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Basketball and its dozen or so positions

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by ColdCat, May 3, 2012.

  1. ColdCat

    ColdCat Well-Known Member

    College senior is using statistical analysis to claim that basketball does not have five positions but rather 13.


    This does make a lot of sense, after all, what Steve Nash does and what Alan Iverson or Jason Williams did are very different but they have all been lumped into the classification of "Guard"
    I'm not so sure about some of the new positions he comes up with though. I'm not sure I'd use "NBA first team" or "NBA second team" as a classification since players within that classification could be very different.
  2. BrianGriffin

    BrianGriffin Active Member

    Basketball sort of lacks any positions. Rather, it has five generic players and what this guy is describing are 13 general roles those players might play. He didn't even have Scottie Pippen's old position, the "Point forward."

    I don't think you need a point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, center. But you do need five guys who, combined, perform the function of how one might describe the above five positions. If you have Iverson as a ball-hogging small "point guard," you better have a "shooting guard" who will be an unselfish distributor who's big enough to guard shooting guards. Hello, Eric Snow.
  3. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    What this young man is trying to suggest has already been effectively argued and agreed upon by most of the most prominent NBA bloggers, starting with Bethlehem Shoals (who now is the top editor at The Classical and a contributor to GQ, among other places, and in the past was the founder of Free Darko and a lead NBA blogger for FanHouse). Shoals popularized the idea of the NBA moving to a post-positional world at least four years ago. This 13-position idea misses its point entirely: We need to stop trying to define positions because the game is constantly evolving.
  4. clintrichardson

    clintrichardson Active Member

    this is the sort of story that feels so faddish—that is, a poor example of the moneyball/freakonomics stuff that everyone loves nowadays. the story seems to be telling you something new, but really, it is just taking what we know and expressing it differently. and it ignores the basic reality that people talk about five positions because in a basketball game each team has—and I'm sure someone could cook up a vivid graphic to demonstrate this— five men on the floor at a time.
  5. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    You don't need a dozen positions. You just need to make four passes before each shot.
  6. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    How can there be 13 positions for a sport whose rules put 5 players on the court?

    That story was pretty weak in premise.

    Nobody needed statistical analysis to understand that there was a difference between Spud Webb and Magic Johnson's games. Or a computer to realize that some guys are overpaid and others are underpaid (based on hindsight). Or that you can tailor a roster to have different kinds of players with various strengths and weaknesses.
  7. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    How many positions are there in football?
  8. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Point taken. Kind of.

    There is a major difference between the sports. The rules of basketball aren't situation specific. It's the rules of football that dictate you have a guy who can throw the ball on offense, but not on defense, or a guy who makes tackles on defense, but not on offense. Different positions exist because the rules mandate it. Basketball isn't that kind of sport.
  9. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    Another example from my favorite sport:

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  10. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    The guy identifies 13 positions and doesn't make room for a libero??
  11. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Do people actually masturbate when they write stuff like this, or is "journalistic masturbation" just a figure of speech?
  12. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    Ask versatile
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