Jan

11

David LeeHere is an interesting story showing once again that in sports, the use of statistics is better than our own, albeit no analysis of variability, or subsequent paths.

Scott Brooks writes:

Lee is from a little town in MO, called Poplar Bluff. So being from MO, I have followed his career with a slightly more interest than usual.

I've always admired rebounding specialists. Without rebounding specialists, you don't have as many "Sport Center Top 10 Plays" spots for the likes of Kobe or LeBron.

But Lee lacks scoring ability in his aresenal. It is my opinion that the one thing he should work is the most devastating and nearly impossible to stop shot in the game of basketball:

The Fade Away Jumper.

I can not begin to describe how much a game changes when you have someone on the floor that can hit the fade away jumper…..and for clarity, I'm talking about having your back to the basket, driving said butt into the defender and then stepping away from the defender (while still away from the basket), planting your outside foot (the foot towards the top of the key) pivoting towards the baseline (less defenders down there) and shotting a high arching shot.

The only way to stop it is double team the man……….and that certainly opens up possibilities all over the court….especially when you consider the guy performing this shot should be a "working man" (a grinder…and non-razzle dazzle/non-star player).

Karl Malone built his career around that shot (yes, I know of the "Stockton to Malone pick and roll).

Michael Jordan extended his career by several years by developing one.

Kevin McHale, Larry Bird, and many others mastered that shot.

A "working man" (which is what Lee is…..which is what most any rebounding specialist is), can punch his own ticket to the "Hall of Fame" by simply developing that shot.

It ain't pretty. It won't make the highlight reel or the nightly Sport Center Top 10 Plays, but it is devastating simply because it is unstoppable.

George Parkanyi adds:

Michael Lewis's book "Moneyball" being case in point. Oakland A's manager did very well by finding (good) new players based on their college stats vs the anecdotal information baseball scouts were typically using observing college and even high school athletes. A number of the New York Yankee's current big stars are names that came through the A's this way. (I remember them from the book.)

Baseball I would think has more predictability than trading because there is not a great likelihood that a pitcher can substantially improve his "best-game" ability from one game to the next - there are limits on physical and mental ability, and more likely the variability will be to the downside (having a bad game). So a hitter that historically hits x% against this pitcher is statistically likely to have similar success in any given game. The pitcher's recent consistency might be the main variable the opposing manager would look for. Markets have many more macro and micro influences that could suddenly dramatically change the odds of any given current expectation that is based on historical data.

In trading, it's probably as important however to record all your trades and the outcomes, as are at-bats in baseball. If you have a current situation that is similar to something you did in the past, what did you do then, and what was the outcome? For example, did you bail on your system because you didn't "like" the looks of a particular signal - and then ended up outsmarting yourself by leaving a pile of money on the table? That could be a useful reminder to stick to your plan now.

Jim Sogi comments:

During football season there was a bit of work on whether it is more profitable to kick a field goal or run for the extra point. It's always a question when to take profits. I know there are expectations, but is there a way to improve on them? Is the higher percentage play with smaller return going to pan out better over time? How does the psychological affect the above?


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1 Comment so far

  1. Barry Gitarts on January 15, 2010 10:25 pm

    Interesting link in that article: Hoopdata.com. Bills itself as "a website dedicated to making basketball statistics more accessible and understandable for the common fan. We do this through a combination of analysis and by offering the largest, most user-friendly statistical database for basketball anywhere on the web."

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