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Re: Today's special: Crow

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  • Dean Oliver
    ... outcome, historically important ... discounted relative to ... NBA.com, it seems rather ... look at average point ... and the relevance of ... consistently
    Message 1 of 30 , Jun 24, 2004
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      --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "schtevie2003" <schtevie@h...>
      wrote:
      > The surprise has to do with the fact that, in predicting the
      outcome, historically important
      > fundamentals seem to have been largely ignored, or at least highly
      discounted relative to
      > "higher considerations". Going through the sortable stats at
      NBA.com, it seems rather
      > clear that the Pistons were the stronger team. This is true if you
      look at average point
      > differentials (2nd in the league compared to the Lakers' 7th place)
      and the relevance of
      > this metric is strengthened by the fact that the Piston's were
      consistently improving over
      > the course of the season (as compared to the more erratic Lakers).
      Now, to my
      > understanding, this single statistic is perhaps the best predictor
      of series outcomes, and
      > indeed it is a very rare occasion when the 1st or 2nd best performer
      in this category does
      > not end up the Champion.

      The important consideration in using the info you mention, however, is
      that the Lakers were rarely complete in the regular season. If you
      narrow down the team to those games where they had Shaq and Kobe and
      Karl and Gary, it gets a bit closer than you suggest. Just as you
      suggest looking at the Pistons' improvement, you should look at the
      Lakers as they would appear in the playoffs.

      >
      > Looking back, it would seem that the entirety of the case for the
      Lakers had to do with
      > past championship performance, though the strength of this argument
      was already
      > diminished as there had already been a one year lag in its
      relevance. Am I missing
      > something?

      MikeG mentions the West being stronger, but as Ken Massey's ratings or
      Jeff Sagarin's point out, the strength of schedule for east vs west is
      not all that different because teams do play each other across
      conferences.

      But, yeah, I've always felt that this "history of success" argument is
      lame, as I mentioned a bit.

      >
      > Taking a broader view on the whole playoffs based on the above
      perspective, what needs
      > to be explained is the loss of the Spurs, not that of the Lakers.
      But then again, before
      > there was Roboscout, there was randomness.

      The Spurs definitely should have been favorites. The Lakers found
      their 2 big holes, which are shooting from the outside, which everyone
      knew about, and forcing turnovers from their ballhandlers, which is a
      consequence of them shying away from the outside shot and forcing it
      inside. Roboscout said this was worth 2-3 pts against the Spurs and I
      think the Lakers got all of that.

      >
      > And regarding Roboscout, out of curiosity and assuming it produces
      such output, two
      > questions:
      >
      > (1) Was there a baseline prediction of the series outcome in terms
      of net PPG?

      The tough part is in how much Detroit adopted what it said. Roboscout
      saw a reasonable 4-6 ppg advantage to be gained by Detroit, which
      easily overwhelms the 1.5 ppg advantage the Lakers had with no
      strategy incorporated. But that also ignores the 1-3 ppg that the
      Lakers could have picked up by taking a more optimal strategy.

      >
      > (2) What was the predicted magnitude (again, in terms of net PPG) of
      the "ref effect" (that is
      > the difference between the series called loosely or tightly)?

      Up to 4ppg, a very large impact. I haven't done the ex-ante
      evaluation of it to see if they got that in full or if they got more.
      The Lakers were called for about 7 more fouls per game than they
      normally were in the regular season, though part of that was end-game
      strategy, I'm pretty sure. The Pistons were called for slightly more
      fouls than in the regular season. I expected them to get called for
      more, which is why I raise the possibility that they got more
      advantage than I expected. But how much was calling it tighter vs the
      Pistons playing better than the Lakers? That's an investment in time
      that I haven't made yet. Not sure I could answer it fully anyway.

      DeanO

      Dean Oliver
      Author, Basketball on Paper
      http://www.basketballonpaper.com
      "Oliver goes beyond stats to dissect what it takes to win. His breezy
      style makes for enjoyable reading, but there are plenty of points of
      wisdom as well. This book can be appreciated by fans, players,
      coaches and executives, but more importantly it can be used as a text
      book for all these groups. You are sure to learn something you didn't
      know about basketball here." Pete Palmer, co-author, Hidden Game of
      Baseball and Hidden Game of Football
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