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Sabermetrics come to basketball

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Dick Whitman, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Really good Chris Ballard piece in SI this week about the Houston Rockets's analytic approach. The link just has the layout of the piece, not the piece itself, which you have to be a subscriber to read.


    Good stuff in there about getting players who take efficient shots (3's and lay-ups), as well as the value of draft picks, acquiring undervalued assets and dumping overvalued ones, etc., etc.

    If I'm not mistaken, the piece noted that the Rockets spend 10 times more on analytics than the next closest team in the NBA. It'll be interesting to see how it all develops.

    Morey talks about getting an internship application from a wealthy New York hedge fund manager. Sounds like the MBA's who have infiltrated baseball may see basketball as the next frontier.
  2. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    Simmons has been writing about that for a while now, I believe. I think Morey even attended some....seminar? or conference?....that dealt with this. He's big into it, that's for sure. Didn't help last night against OKC, even with the line teased 8 points, but still....
  3. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Is it better than the piece Michael Lewis wrote about the Rockets in 2009 titled "The No Stats All-Star" based on Shane Battier, Daryl Morey and the Rockets as a whole?


    Sabermetrics has been around basketball a long time.
  4. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Yeah, the story mentions the seminar they have every year at MIT. While Ballard was hanging out with Morey, Morey got a confirmation text from Nate Silver about attending.

    I've been kind of interested in the Rockets this year anyway because of some of the moves they've made the last couple years, like acquiring Lin and Asik and finding a second-round gem in Parsons last year.

    I knew that there was some deeper analysis going on in basketball - like offensive efficiency ratings and some of the stuff at 82games.com. But it's interesting that there is essentially an Oakland A's of the NBA now to serve as a laboratory for the theories in practice.

    What Morey talks about in the piece is that no team has ever become a championship contender without a top-5 pick to get there. (I guess he would still count Wade? I'd have to re-read the sentence to see how exactly he put it.)
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2015
  5. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Bit of a stretch there. He means no team has done it without a player who was a top-5 pick by any team at any time. For the 2010 Lakers the player who fills that bill is Lamar Odom, who was drafted #4 by the Clippers 11 years earlier and was the sixth man (albeit arguably the league's best sixth man) by 2010. And, oh yeah, the Lakers also had Adam Morrison on their bench.

    Probably a lot of other teams who sneak in under that banner too. So a bit of a manipulation. Or else there's going to be a huge trade market for Darko!
  6. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    What about Bynum? That's who the story mentions.

    EDIT: OK, the story must just mean a lottery pick to rebuild. Bynum was 10th.
  7. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    Numbers, numbers, number. They can be skewed. Whatever happened to watching the freaking game and seeing who can and can't play?
  8. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Rockets have gotten worse every year since Darryl Morey became GM.
  9. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Here's what happened: You will lose, and you will lose big, and you will be fired, if you rely entirely on "watching the freaking game and seeing who can and can't play," particularly in leagues with a salary cap. You have to know how much assets are worth, as precisely as possible.
  10. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    No new ground here. Michael Lewis wrote about Morey in 2009.

  11. JC

    JC Well-Known Member

    Why can't you do both?
  12. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member


    I think that's kind of one point of the story. Now that they've acquired Harden, no more excuses. They have to start to turn it around now to validate the myth of Darryl Morey.
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