The Boxscore Geeks Show: Testing Your Team

This Week's Show

Some brief thoughts on the future of analytics. How do teams build contenders – and do you really need draft picks? Derrick Rose is out again, and what it means for the Bulls. Tune in for another action-packed Boxscore Geeks show!



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Video Show

This Week's Poll

Show Notes

Sloan and Analytics.

We discussed the idea of an analytics arm race last week.

The MIT Sloan Analytics conference happened this past week. You could buy a pass to watch "live" videos. Sadly, their camera was broken on one of the feeds.

My take on Sloan? "Sloan is to analytics as a science fiction convention is to science." You can meet cool people, e.g. Patrick met Sam Hinkie last season. He tells a great story about it.

In regards to the need to pander, I'm just not convinced about "mainstream analytics".

Ben Gulker pointed me to a Stan Van Gundy interview that sounded familiar in how he talked about analytics.

Stockpiling Assets

I bring up the "Moving Goal Posts Fallacy." I notice this one a lot when I question "conventional wisdom." People will change the criteria for what "everyone knows" a lot.

To clarify, my points in my posts: "The Easiest Way to Win a Title" and "The Easiest Way to get a Big Three." The conventional wisdom: "The easiest way to get a star is with a draft pick." is wrong. At least when we examine historical teams.

Nerlens Noel has been having an impressive improvement in his performance since the start of the new year.

Kawhi and Kobe show you can wait until the last moment to trade a player. You don't need to trade for a pick early, à la James Harden.

Compare this: LeBron James and Dwight Howard were back-to-back number one picks. After that were Andrea Bargnani and Andrew Bogut. Key point, not all drafts are created equal. If you trade on draft day, you remove some of that variance.

Dave Berri had an interesting metric as an owner. If your GM misses the playoffs for three straight seasons, they should be fired. Hinkie's on the clock!

We've had some discussions among ourselves on Hinkie's strategy.

Jared Dudley to the Bucks for $4 million a season is an example of hiring a cheap underrated player to help get wins.

Patrick is willing to be a bit patient to see how Joel Embiid turns out for the 76ers before closing the books. That said, next season they need to do something.

"Paul MacCready helped solve the issue of building gliders by changing the process to be quicker. As this compares to the NBA, if it takes three-four years to "test" your theory on how to build a team, it may make improving your team difficult. Thanks to Jeremy Britton for this one.

Patrick has a great rant on how he'd build a team on the cheap. It's worth tuning in for.

The "Starless" Detroit Pistons was a team that was constructed by accident and without much offense. And yet it was one of the best teams ever. I'm shocked no one has tried to emulate it since, including Joe Dumars.

Derrick Rose

Rose is sadly out again. The real bad news is that he's actually been a subpar player this season. Paul Shirley wrote about this at El Pais. (English version at Wages of Wins)

Patrick bet the under for the Bulls. It turns out Derrick Rose was helping this. He's out, which would hurt his chances, but the Bulls have also lost Jimmy Butler for a month as well. This will help Patrick's bet, but also help irrational Rose fans believe he still matters.

Magic Johnson thinks Cleveland will win the East. That makes sense, but he oddly listed injuries to Rose and Bosh as the reason, which makes less sense.

We talk a little bit about the B.S. part of the analytic story that the Mavs subbed in Barea as an "analytics" move to win the finals. Oddly ignored was the hot play of Jason Terry.

The injuries to players like Derrick Rose and Paul George may be more freak accidents than anything we can blame the coach for.

If an athlete plays too much, is it their fault or their coaches?. For example, LaMarcus Aldridge was willing to play with an injured thumb even though rest was completely reasonable.

Shout Outs

I shout out Anthony Mason, who was a great player wth an impressive pedigree. Also, commenters papacur, and AL_S had some great follow up stats about him and Charles Oakley.

Patrick shouts out the Seattle Animal Shelter for taking care of his new dog Whiskey.

Brian thanks the Olympics for helping Klay Thompson's game. We'll take it.