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Re: DeanO in the P-I

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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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