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RE: [APBR_analysis] DeanO in the P-I

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  • Michael Tamada
    ... From: John Hollinger [mailto:alleyoop2@yahoo.com] Sent: Thursday, December 30, 2004 7:35 PM ... The other thing that I found interesting was the
    Message 1 of 7 , Dec 31, 2004
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      -----Original Message-----
      From: John Hollinger [mailto:alleyoop2@...]
      Sent: Thursday, December 30, 2004 7:35 PM


      >http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/basketball/205859_sonx30.html
      >
      >The Ridnour discussion is interesting. I've found that with first-
      >year point guards, their performance has much less correlation with
      >eventual success than any other position.

      The other thing that I found interesting was the characterization
      of Wally Walker as the stats-oriented type (no surprise there, given
      his UVa and MBA background) and Rick Sund as the intuition-oriented
      type. Presumably, many of the recent personnel decisions have been
      made by Rick Sund, who seemingly deserved the blame when the Sonics
      roster last season, and at the beginning of this season, looked
      woefully under-talented. And Sund presumably deserves the credit
      when the roster and talent mix in fact seems to have been brilliantly
      designed and developed.

      But if Sund indeed deserves much of the credit for the current
      Sonics roster, he's apparently doing so using old-fashioned
      techniques, rather than new-fangled "Moneyball" or "BoP" (Basketball
      on Paper) techniques.

      Of course, Walker is probably one of the more hands-on owners/presidents
      out there, given his background, so he may deserve a chunk of the
      credit too, rather than Sund.

      Yet another possibility is that the Sonics roster truly is mediocre
      in terms of its talent level, and what is setting them apart this
      season is that they a roster playing good basketball, rather than
      a roster of good players. I.e. it's coaching and team play rather
      than talent.

      I don't know, but somebody's doing something right.


      --MKT

      --MKT
    • Dean Oliver
      One thing I have said in the interviews but hasn t shown up in the articles is that Roland s 82games material is quite useful. I m using a ton of my own work
      Message 2 of 7 , Jan 4, 2005
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        One thing I have said in the interviews but hasn't shown up in the
        articles is that Roland's 82games material is quite useful. I'm using
        a ton of my own work (some in the book, some not), but the detail that
        can come out in the data that Roland compiles is very very nice. It
        is a great way to break down both our own team and future opponents
        for attackable weaknesses, for instance. Team tendencies become more
        clear, including ones you can't see upon watching. Some of what I use
        from Roland isn't on his main site (more premium material), but a lot
        of what is on that basic site can come in handy for communicating
        certain points. Really, coaches are just people managers, so giving
        them info that helps them manage, even if it just confirms their
        beliefs, is valuable. Giving them tools to improve the players or how
        to use the players (two different things) -- that's more valuable than
        overall ratings and that can come from some of what Roland has.

        --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Tamada" <tamada@o...>
        wrote:
        >
        > The other thing that I found interesting was the characterization
        > of Wally Walker as the stats-oriented type (no surprise there, given
        > his UVa and MBA background) and Rick Sund as the intuition-oriented
        > type. Presumably, many of the recent personnel decisions have been
        > made by Rick Sund, who seemingly deserved the blame when the Sonics
        > roster last season, and at the beginning of this season, looked
        > woefully under-talented. And Sund presumably deserves the credit
        > when the roster and talent mix in fact seems to have been brilliantly
        > designed and developed.

        The dynamic of decisions is complex in the organization, but the
        characterizations of the people are about right. It's been great for
        me to earn Rick's trust despite him being less quantitatively oriented.

        > I don't know, but somebody's doing something right.

        In Moneyball, Billy Bean was primarily concerned about getting his
        team to the playoffs. That is viewed as a pretty good measure of
        success in baseball. In the NBA, it isn't as valid a measure (for
        obvious reasons). NBA playoff coaches get canned fairly often
        (Bzdelik being a recent example). Successful playoff coaches don't
        get canned often. Success is winning a bit in the playoffs. So we
        have a lot left to accomplish -- well beyond any regular season win
        total -- to consider this season a success.

        DeanO

        Dean Oliver
        Consultant to the Seattle Supersonics
        Author, Basketball on Paper
        http://www.basketballonpaper.com
        "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
      • Michael Tamada
        ... From: Dean Oliver [mailto:deano@rawbw.com] Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2005 10:51 AM [...] ... One great thing about the Sonics and Suns is that they ve
        Message 3 of 7 , Jan 4, 2005
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          -----Original Message-----
          From: Dean Oliver [mailto:deano@...]
          Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2005 10:51 AM

          [...]

          >beliefs, is valuable. Giving them tools to improve the players or how
          >to use the players (two different things) -- that's more valuable than
          >overall ratings and that can come from some of what Roland has.

          One great thing about the Sonics and Suns is that they've continued the
          trail set by the Kings and Mavericks, showing that one can have an
          up-tempo, offensively oriented team which is nonetheless a good team.
          (Championship team? That's another matter).

          And the Sonics, if one believes that their roster is not filled with
          a particularly scary amount of talent, have continued the examples
          shown by the Pistons, Argentinian Olympic team, etc. in which team
          play and team effort overcame the seemingly superior individual talent
          level of teams such as the Lakers and USA Olympic team.

          Up-tempo, team-oriented basketball. What a concept.

          [...]

          >get canned often. Success is winning a bit in the playoffs. So we
          >have a lot left to accomplish -- well beyond any regular season win
          >total -- to consider this season a success.

          As I've mentioned on a Sonics email list, this could shape up to be
          the best Sonics season since 1978 -- although the Sonics will at
          a minimum have to make it to the Finals to match that incredible
          Cinderella season. But I think even non-Sonics fans have to
          appreciate what the Sonics and Suns have accomplished so far this
          season. DeanO's right that they really haven't accomplished anything
          yet, the season's only 1/3 over so it's too early to be handing out
          awards, but what a 1/3 of a season it's been. Some positives have
          been going on, to balance out the Pacer-Piston slugfest.


          --MKT
        • John Hollinger
          ... the best Sonics season since 1978 Woooooooooaahhhhh -- didn t they win 64 games with Glove and Rainman? ... how ... than ... the ... team. ... talent ...
          Message 4 of 7 , Jan 4, 2005
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            >>>this could shape up to be
            the best Sonics season since 1978

            Woooooooooaahhhhh -- didn't they win 64 games with Glove and Rainman?





            --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Tamada" <tamada@o...>
            wrote:
            > -----Original Message-----
            > From: Dean Oliver [mailto:deano@r...]
            > Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2005 10:51 AM
            >
            > [...]
            >
            > >beliefs, is valuable. Giving them tools to improve the players or
            how
            > >to use the players (two different things) -- that's more valuable
            than
            > >overall ratings and that can come from some of what Roland has.
            >
            > One great thing about the Sonics and Suns is that they've continued
            the
            > trail set by the Kings and Mavericks, showing that one can have an
            > up-tempo, offensively oriented team which is nonetheless a good
            team.
            > (Championship team? That's another matter).
            >
            > And the Sonics, if one believes that their roster is not filled with
            > a particularly scary amount of talent, have continued the examples
            > shown by the Pistons, Argentinian Olympic team, etc. in which team
            > play and team effort overcame the seemingly superior individual
            talent
            > level of teams such as the Lakers and USA Olympic team.
            >
            > Up-tempo, team-oriented basketball. What a concept.
            >
            > [...]
            >
            > >get canned often. Success is winning a bit in the playoffs. So we
            > >have a lot left to accomplish -- well beyond any regular season win
            > >total -- to consider this season a success.
            >
            > As I've mentioned on a Sonics email list, this could shape up to be
            > the best Sonics season since 1978 -- although the Sonics will at
            > a minimum have to make it to the Finals to match that incredible
            > Cinderella season. But I think even non-Sonics fans have to
            > appreciate what the Sonics and Suns have accomplished so far this
            > season. DeanO's right that they really haven't accomplished
            anything
            > yet, the season's only 1/3 over so it's too early to be handing out
            > awards, but what a 1/3 of a season it's been. Some positives have
            > been going on, to balance out the Pacer-Piston slugfest.
            >
            >
            > --MKT
          • Michael Tamada
            I should have clarified what I meant by best : not best outcome (1979 clearly beats both 1978 and 1996 in that regard), nor most wins. What I meant was most
            Message 5 of 7 , Jan 4, 2005
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              I should have clarified what I meant by "best":
              not best outcome (1979 clearly beats both 1978 and 1996 in
              that regard), nor most wins.

              What I meant was "most incredible", "most enjoyable",
              "most memorable" ... along those lines.

              1978 beats both 1979 and 1996 because the Sonics literally
              came out of nowhere to make it all the way to Game 7 of
              the Finals.

              By 1996, the Sonics were a regular 60-game winner. In 1979,
              they were a repeat finalist; everyone knew they were good.

              But in 1978, the Sonics were coming off a chaotic, mediocre
              season (which was both a cause and an effect of Bill Russell's
              resignation), and they started the season a miserable 5-17.
              A mediocre team fraying into disarry.

              Lenny Wilkens stepped in as head coach (after Bob Hopkins
              was fired), replaced almost the entire starting lineup
              (Slick Watts, Fred Brown, Paul Silas, Bruce Seals) with
              a cast of then unknowns (Gus Williams, Dennis Johnson,
              John Johnson, rookie Jack Sikma) and the Sonics went on
              to win 70% of their remaining games and make it all the
              way to the Finals, the first time a Seattle major pro
              sports team had ever advanced so far (unless you count
              the 1977 Sounders making it to the Soccer Bowl as a major
              pro team).

              The word "Cinderella team" doesn't even begin to describe
              that 1978 Sonics squad. Has there ever been such a sharp
              mid-season turnaround in NBA history?

              That's what makes the 1978 season "best", better by far
              than 1996 or even 1979, not in terms of outcome, but in
              terms of a team exceeding expectations, and also making
              a historic (by Seattle standards) achievement by making
              it to the Finals.

              This 2005 Sonics team did not have the burden of a 5-17
              start, just an 0-1 shellacking by the Clippers (almost
              as embarassing). But pre-season, they probably had
              even lower expectations than the 1978 team did in
              pre-season, so if they do make it to the Finals, with
              an excellent won-loss record, they'll have matched
              the 1978 team, IMO, in terms of exceeding expectations.


              --MKT


              -----Original Message-----
              From: John Hollinger [mailto:alleyoop2@...]
              Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2005 4:52 PM
              To: APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [APBR_analysis] Re: DeanO in the P-I




              >>>this could shape up to be
              the best Sonics season since 1978

              Woooooooooaahhhhh -- didn't they win 64 games with Glove and Rainman?





              --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Tamada" <tamada@o...>
              wrote:
              > -----Original Message-----
              > From: Dean Oliver [mailto:deano@r...]
              > Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2005 10:51 AM
              >
              > [...]
              >
              > >beliefs, is valuable. Giving them tools to improve the players or
              how
              > >to use the players (two different things) -- that's more valuable
              than
              > >overall ratings and that can come from some of what Roland has.
              >
              > One great thing about the Sonics and Suns is that they've continued
              the
              > trail set by the Kings and Mavericks, showing that one can have an
              > up-tempo, offensively oriented team which is nonetheless a good
              team.
              > (Championship team? That's another matter).
              >
              > And the Sonics, if one believes that their roster is not filled with
              > a particularly scary amount of talent, have continued the examples
              > shown by the Pistons, Argentinian Olympic team, etc. in which team
              > play and team effort overcame the seemingly superior individual
              talent
              > level of teams such as the Lakers and USA Olympic team.
              >
              > Up-tempo, team-oriented basketball. What a concept.
              >
              > [...]
              >
              > >get canned often. Success is winning a bit in the playoffs. So we
              > >have a lot left to accomplish -- well beyond any regular season win
              > >total -- to consider this season a success.
              >
              > As I've mentioned on a Sonics email list, this could shape up to be
              > the best Sonics season since 1978 -- although the Sonics will at
              > a minimum have to make it to the Finals to match that incredible
              > Cinderella season. But I think even non-Sonics fans have to
              > appreciate what the Sonics and Suns have accomplished so far this
              > season. DeanO's right that they really haven't accomplished
              anything
              > yet, the season's only 1/3 over so it's too early to be handing out
              > awards, but what a 1/3 of a season it's been. Some positives have
              > been going on, to balance out the Pacer-Piston slugfest.
              >
              >
              > --MKT






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