--- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com
, "John Hollinger"
> So the Sonics suddenly are invincible, this group is laden with
> Sonics fans, and yet ... tumbleweeds.
> Come on, folks. Since you guys watch these guys every day, I want to
> hear some theories as to how a team everyone thought would be 33-49
> is suddenly 17-3 with two wins over the Spurs.
Given that I am working with the coaching staff, I do know a bit about
what we're doing (not as much as if I were in Seattle all the time).
I just don't want to say much. Definitely some of what we're doing
comes from 82games and Basketball on Paper. The coaches and
management see things from the BoP perspective on a regular basis
because I send them that stuff all the time. The team has talked a
lot in the press about the concept of everyone doing their role, which
is played up in Chp 20 of the book. One of my favorite stats (that
some people hated) was my game-by-game win-loss record because it
shows ability to do role. It's very useful on this kind of team --
the kind of team that wins _as a team_, not with a superstar. Most of
our guys are doing their roles and we've crafted the roles so that we
can win. I've done a few reports also to provide insight on what it
takes to improve our defense and to make individual players more
likely to succeed in their careers and with us. Those have gone well
(almost as predicted!).
Obviously, none of this would be doing anything if the coaching staff
weren't willing to listen and, further, knew how to communicate with
the players. Nate, Dwane, Bob, Dean, and Jack have been much more
receptive than I thought, using my stuff from Day 1 of training camp.
And they've been more savvy than I expected. Having talked
philosophy with these guys for hours, I have seen how smart they are.
They know basketball. They are not as "hard headed" as fans often
like to label them. At least not our coaches. They know some of the
stats if not as stats but as the philosophy/strategy that comes out of
the stats. When they're surprised at a result I suggest, I can
explain it and they grasp it quickly.
Even more obviously, it's early. We're 17-4 and a LOOOONNNNGG way
from being done with the season. We have a lot of improvements to
make already. In the long run, communication can break down and
bodies can break down. I've got a couple projects to do to try to
ensure that we don't fall far.
It's fun. We'll have rough spots. We are a group of human beings who
can't be programmed despite what numbers sometimes suggest. That's
part of what makes it so much fun.
Consultant to the Seattle Supersonics
Author, Basketball on Paper
"Excellent writing. There are a lot of math guys who just rush from
the numbers to the conclusion. . .they'll tell you that Shaq is a real
good player but his team would win a couple more games a year if he
could hit a free throw. Dean is more than that; he's really
struggling to understand the actual problem, rather than the
statistical after-image of it. I learn a lot by reading him." Bill
James, author Baseball Abstract