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Plus-Minus and Covering Games

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  • wizardskev
    Had something interesting happen at Wednesday s Wizards-Celtics game. I was there to cover the game, and it was clear to me that Haywood was the key player. In
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 19, 2004
      Had something interesting happen at Wednesday's Wizards-Celtics game.
      I was there to cover the game, and it was clear to me that Haywood was
      the key player. In the third quarter, Haywood picked up his 4th foul
      and had to go to the bench. I told the reporter sitting next to me,
      "Here comes the collapse." Then I had to explain the concept of
      plus-minus and that the Wizards are better when Haywood plays than
      when he doesn't. My colleague was skeptical -- until Boston outscored
      the Wizards 27-13 to finish the quarter. The Wizards stabilized and
      came back once they got Haywood back on the floor. All that's background.

      The next day my headline was "Haywood Leads Wizards To Win Over
      Celtics." I wrote about how the Wizards were +17 when Haywood played
      and -12 when he was off the floor.

      What was fascinating to me is that the writeups in the Washington
      Post, Washington Times and AP did not even mention Haywood's name.

      Even Wiz coach Eddie Jordan mentioned Haywood only as an afterthought
      -- after he talked about four other guys who also had a decent game.
      Anyway, I thought this was an interesting example of the dichotomy
      between mainstream media coverage and that done through the
      statistical/analytic lense.
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