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RE: 2pters vs 3pters (was: [APBR_analysis] Re: Who is the next Micheal Redd?)

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  • Michael Tamada
    P.S. I should ve added a qualification: none of this implies that there aren t some players and even teams out there that may be shooting too many long
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 13, 2004
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      P.S. I should've added a qualification: none of this
      implies that there aren't some players and even teams out
      there that may be shooting too many long 2-pointers.

      But we can't simply look at their FG% and conclude that
      they should take fewer 2-pters and more 3pters. Just
      as we can't look at Aaron McKie's 46% shooting and
      conclude that he should shoot more and Iverson at
      37% should shoot less. Maybe they should, and maybe
      they shouldn't. The raw FG%s are not sufficient data
      from which to draw a conclusion.

      Oh, another example of how a low FG% shot may be the
      one to take: the stereotypical example is when the
      team's PG is stuck with the ball and 2 seconds are
      left on the shot clock. Certain players, usually
      PGs, are the ones who get stuck with the lousy
      shots. The player may not have wanted to put up
      a shot with a 30% chance of success, but that shot
      may nonetheless have been the best option, compared
      to a 24-second violation.


      -----Original Message-----
      From: Michael Tamada
      Sent: Friday, August 13, 2004 3:44 PM
      To: APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: 2pters vs 3pters (was: [APBR_analysis] Re: Who is the next
      Micheal Redd?)

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Dean Oliver [mailto:deano@...]
      Sent: Friday, August 13, 2004 9:51 AM


      >> > you're just watching one the sideline: Guys who take lots of long
      >> > 2-point shots will KILL you. Show me a guy who does this and I can


      >> And this from the guy who bemoaned the disappearance of the mid-
      >> range shot?
      >> (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2004/basketbal
      >> fs/2004/06/06/hollinger.midrange/index.html)
      >> I know there's a difference between midrange and a long two, but I
      >> think it's subtle at best. For shame, John, for shame. :)


      >a foot on the line. What makes it hard is that where a shot should be
      >taken is a very individual-specific thing. If you're making 40% of
      >your midrange j's, you're about breaking even. Roland has identified
      >several guys who do this. Can't complain about those guys taking the
      >shot. But the league average of 35% or so means it is, on average, a
      >bad shot.

      The other complication is that even shots which are on average bad can
      still be an important and useful shot to take. Sometimes one has
      to, and even wants to, take a lower percentage shot.

      Paradoxical? Here's three examples which resolve the paradox.

      1. NBA teams probably average about a 95% FG% on dunks. That's a
      lot higher than any other shot. Therefore, team that want offensive
      success should do nothing but dunk.

      Clearly preposterous, teams have to shoot some other shots. They
      might prefer a 95% dunk attempt, but maybe the 35% or 40% 2-pointer
      is in fact the best shot available.

      2. More realistic example: if teams shoot ... rather than looking
      it up, I'll guess ... 60% on inside shots, and 36% on 3-pointers
      (yielding an equivalent FG% of about 54%), and only 35% or 40% on
      long 2-pointers, they nonetheless might still WANT to shoot some
      of those 2-pointers. Because if they don't, their offense becomes
      too predictable and easy to defend -- and eventually their
      scoring efficiency would decline. Teams need to have diverse,
      unpredictable, offenses.

      It's the opposite extreme of the example that DeanO gave of bad
      coaching in the last 10 seconds of the game: give the ball to
      your best player and have him create something. If the defense
      knows that's what you're going to do, their defense becomes much
      more effective.

      In contrast, if your team has several offensive options (not
      just choice of players, choice of shots that they might take),
      the defense's job is harder.

      3. From football: unless they've got Ryan Leaf at QB, practically
      every football team averages more yards per pass attempt (including
      incomplete passes) than they do yards per rushing attempt. So why
      don't teams do nothing but pass and stop running those inefficient
      rushing plays?

      Again, predictablility vs diversity. Your quarterback will get
      mangled and your receivers double-teamed if the defense knows
      that you will do nothing but pass. It's easy to show with a
      simple game theory matrix that even though the "rush" option
      has a lower average payoff than the "pass" option, teams want
      to randomly throw a few rushing plays in there, just to keep
      the defense off balance.

      (There's also the issue of the spread or standard deviation
      that one gets from rushing vs passing plays, but I'm ignoring
      that in this example.)

      Oh, a 4th example, from finance. Suppose Microsoft stock has
      an expected return of 5%, with a standard deviation of 4%.
      Meanwhile, MBI stock has an expected return of 4%, also with
      a standard deviation of 4%. What would your optimal
      portfolio look like?

      The knee jerk reaction is to buy only Microsoft and avoid
      that dog MBI stock. But again, it's easy to show that the
      optimal portfolio, assuming one has any risk aversion
      (desire for low standard deviation) at all, is to buy at
      least a little MBI stock (unless its price movements are
      perfectly correlated with Microsoft's). As any wise
      financial advisor will tell you: diversify, diversify,

      Despite the lower average return, an optimal portfolio needs
      to have a little MBI stock in it. And despite the lower effective
      FG%, an optimal offense needs to have some long 2-pointers in it.


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