Re: SABR/Sports Econ update
- --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "Dean Oliver"
> --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "schtevie2003"<schtevie@h...>
> wrote:advantage I
> > .
> > .
> > From my perspective, the types of increased competitive
> > am anticipating do not necessarily relate to making the bighit,
> > uncovering that diamond in the rough. Rather, it isrecognizing a
> > true, apparently minor improvement in an "undramatic"statistical
> > category (where the herd knows not its true value) akin toOBP in
> > baseball. So, yes, you want to predict a Rodman but you aremore
> > interested in consistently getting, say, the Tony Batties orWalter
> > McCartys of the world for short money (and I am not certainthat
> > these are the right examples, I am just currentlyBoston-centric in
> > my imagination).totals of
> OK. This is what I generally think, too. Managing the middle
> players is where it's at. But people do see the rebounding
> these guys and they don't change much -- what varies is howpeople
> perceive the rest of their games. So predicting reboundingain't
> gonna help get them time (which was, I think, the originalquestion).
I guess I am a little less optimistic about the current state of the
art. I wouldn't be surprised if for the average NBA franchise there
aren't significant analytical improvements to be had, not merely
in the weighting of various statistical categories (both existing
and prospectively refined) but in the actual measurement of the
individual categories themselves.
> > > > Will any NBA team do this?bunch. I
> > >
> > > Yes. And the first time it's done will launch 28 other times.
> > Err,
> > > 27. The Clippers don't care.
> > .
> > .
> > .
> > You have greater faith in the responsiveness of teams
> > .
> How many other baseball teams now use sabermetrics? A
> would guess 5. OK, that's a few, not a bunch, but it's growing.
> because of Moneyball.
Sure enough, but baseball is patently transparent in
comparison, and for me the shock is that Moneyball is
apparently revelatory to the industry itself. Can you think of any
other example where a journalist writes a book about a known
figure in a supposedly competitive industry, whose obvious
success is based on non-proprietary, indeed public, information,
and this telling of the story - not the success itself - has apparent
transformative influence on the industry itself? This implies an
ossified, non-competitive aspect that to me is a bit
mind-boggling. And then there is basketball.
> > .and he
> > .
> > .
> > It seems to me that Bean is the $300,000 guy I referred to,
> > only got in, I suppose, because he entered the traditionalway, ex-
> > player tapped for management track, blah, blah.traditional
> > .
> I think he's a bit more than $300K, but he did get in the
> way. I definitely tout my traditional quals when I talk to teams,.
> too. It just helps to talk the language.
He is now!
> > Boy, I am reluctant to possibly reintroduce the unpleasantriesof
> > that winter string, but to sum up my understanding of theempirical
> > history of the NBA from looking at league averages, from themid-
> > to mid-80s, game pace plummeted and offensive productivity
> > though not as dramatically (around 11% if I recall, but this is
> > huge.) This slowing game pace was essentially a free
> > was imposed on offenses with turnovers decreasing and
> > percentages ring (with offenses eliminating bad passes andbad shot
> > selection). So, yes, if the analysis bears out (and my hunchis it
> > will) the decrease in pace was an inherently beneficial thingthat
> > should have been recognized earlier for most teams,especially
> > the size of the counterfactual benefit. (Thus, apparently there
> > misunderstanding above, going slow is typically a
> > disadvantage. Though more to the point, going stupid is thereal
> > competitive disadvantage. Returning to the case in point, mylong as
> > tentative hypothesis as to why the game pace stayed up as
> > did was that the league was imitating the Celtics, when in
> > offense was rather mediocre, and it was their defense which
> themmay be an
> > championships.)
> I vaguely remembered this. But, as you say, pace decrease
> effect, not a cause, "going stupid is the competitivedisadvantage."
> Turnovers have been reduced a lot and that is reflected inpace. I
> do think you're right with the Celtics' dynasty dictating pace, too.the
> And I think it was a case of teams seeing the symptom and not
> In general, as I document in the book, when you look carefully,
> do see a tendency for better offensive teams to actually beslightly
> quicker teams (faster paced). You have to look pretty carefully,.
I actually believe that the pace decrease is pretty much a cause
and not an effect. Though strictly speaking the hypothesized
cause is coaches instituting controls such as "make the extra
pass", "hold off on helter-skelter play which is turnover-inducing",
etc.,directions such as these necessarily cause a decrease in
And also, I don't mean to be argumentative, but it is definitely not
my belief that the Celtics dictated pace (or that anyone can in a
meaningful sense) rather it was a dramatic league-wide stylistic
error to try to mimic the aspect of their play that did not contribute
substantively to their success (with a couple of caveats that I
won't elaborate on here.)
Finally, I anxiously await your publication date to see the
evidence that better offensive teams tend to be faster paced. It is
certainly a plausible empirical result, though I am not sure how
prescriptive this is. Might you preview the explanations and
- ----- Original Message -----From: Gary CollardSent: Thursday, August 07, 2003 12:13 PMSubject: Re: [APBR_analysis] SABR/Sports Econ updateJim Armstrong wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 04, 2003 at 04:00:38PM -0500, Gary Collard wrote:
> > I'm not sure why that was so controversial. The concept of market size in
> > the NFL is pretty much meaningless, since most league revenue is shared
> > equally. The reason that a Yankees in baseball have such an advantage is
> > that they have local TV revenues that are an order of magnitude or more
> > greater than most (all?) of the other teams and is significant compared to
> > national revenue, thus they can afford to have a payroll that is 60%
> > greater than any other team even before they pay the luxury tax as they do
> > in 2003. In the NFL, there is no local TV at all, and (over a period of
> > years, letting spikes in bonus payments wash out) little payroll deviation,
> Actually, if you look at the distribution of team player payrolls, the NFL
> and the NBA are quite comparable (see standard deviation in data below).
That is why I specifically said "over a period of years, letting spikes in
bonus payments wash out" in the case of the NFL. The one year payroll
numbers you listed are meaningless to my point, do you have the data to run
them for the last 5 years or more? That will tell you who has the "harder"
Gary CollardMaybe the coefficient of variation (SD / Mean * 100) is a more apt measure for comparing the variation of payrolls for different sports across seasons.Year NHL NFL NBA MLB
1994 28.3 8.7 15.2 26.6
1995 26.6 12.7 24.1 27.7
1996 43.3 11.9 21.9 31.4
1997 #N/A 15.3 28.9 33.0
1998 #N/A 12.1 27.0 37.4
1999 33.4 12.0 23.0 43.1
2000 37.4 13.8 23.6 38.3
2001 31.1 13.5 24.6 38.3
2002 33.0 18.1 20.6 36.6
2003 35.9 #N/A 24.0 38.9On this measure, NBA teams show less variation in payroll than baseball and hockey teams, but the NFL teams are more level than any of them.Data from Rodney Fort's excellent resource: http://users.pullman.com/rodfort/SportsBusiness/BizFrame.htmed