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Nate Silver on Popovich, coaching in general

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by printit, Apr 24, 2014.

  1. printit

    printit Member


    Good article. I love the point at the end. Great coaches, to me, are the ones who do not have a "system". They will adapt their style of play to fit what they have and what the league is allowing.
  2. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I think the notion of comparing how a team finishes to how they were predicted to finish is a very good one.

    He lost me on the point spread stuff though. It means nothing to anything other than bettors and in the NBA, more than any other professional sport, there are several times during a season where starters are rested and they may lose by 30 which completely skews those stats. You don't usually see that in football and in hockey and baseball, picking winners in individual games is so much more difficult than in the NFL and NBA.
  3. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    "Popovich is awesome." Now there's a point that the basketball world doesn't know. What groundbreaking research.

    This site has been pretty disappointing. I know Silver has to do his mental gymnastics, but reading about it is not all that exciting.

    And a lot of the writing is pure awful. This example is just boring, but some of that stuff takes three screen rolls to get to the fucking point.
  4. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    It's because Nate Silver made the point. People treat him like he's Nietzsche.
  5. printit

    printit Member

    I think that sells this article a bit short. Silver advanced an argument at the end as to why he thinks Popovich is awesome, as opposed to merely pointing out that he is.
  6. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Quite the reach by Silver.
  7. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    You mean this?

    Perhaps in staying one step ahead of his opponents, he has stayed one step ahead of Las Vegas. The reason it’s hard to succeed in sports betting, or in any other market-based activity, is not just that markets are reasonably efficient to begin with. It’s also that when you’ve identified a historical tendency worth exploiting, other participants in the market may have found it as well. You may have an advantage for a while, but it will evaporate soon. Or, like in the game rock-paper-scissors, your opponents will exploit you for trying to exploit them.

    But what if your advantage is not in finding one particular loophole in the market, but in having the aptitude to continually come up with new advantages? Before your opponent has identified a counter to your tactic, you’re on to the next tactic. Great poker players have this skill: They have a sense for when a particular tactic in a particular situation has gone from being underutilized to overutilized in the poker “market.” They’ve adjusted a moment before everyone else.

    My romantic notion — my intuition — is that the way coaches like Popovich and Belichick exploit edges in their games is pretty similar to how sports bettors exploit edges in theirs. So the fact that opponents have never caught up with Popovich and Belichick may have something to do with why betting markets haven’t either. I do know that I wouldn’t bet against Popovich or Belichick. And I wouldn’t want to play poker against them.

    He thinks a step ahead of his opponents. Sometimes two steps ahead.

    Holy shit, what a revelation. Now there's something you wouldn't hear from a hundred guys watching the game in a bar with the sound down.
  8. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    I wonder if Pop would like to test Silver's hypothesis by coaching the Bucks next season -- purely in the interests of science. How about a tribute such as "he's kept all his goddamn good players on his team as long as he can!"
  9. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Don't write this down, but I find Nate Silver probably as boring as you find Nate Silver. Mrs. Silver found him boring too. He's a little bit long-winded, he doesn't translate very well into our generation, and his jokes are terrible.
  10. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    I think Nate Silver has done some interesting stuff, but the whole new 538 strikes me as him biting off more than he could chew.
  11. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    If Silver's last point -- his "why" -- is the attraction of that piece, then he has fallen into punditry, the thing he hates most. He spends all his time examining numbers that tell a story, but they don't tell the story in any intriguing way, and then he wraps it up with a narrative that's a pure guess as to how it all came out. Peggy Noonan for the sports set.
  12. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I judge Popovich by WACBRM

    Wins Against Chauncey Billups and Ron Mercer. :D
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