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  1. #1
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    The "I don't buy all this advanced stats stuff!" Thread

    Think it's better to understand basketball "just by watching" the game?

    Think traditional basketball stats (such as points per game) are a more accurate representation of efficiency stats (points per possession)?

    Express your views here in this thread - and only here, please.
    I blog basketball at Roundball Mining Company///Twitter: @denbutsu

    Atheists Of PSD

  2. #2
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    Watching the game is important in determining how good a player is, however just watching the game doesn't do itself justice, has to be something behind the game. People tend to hide there players deficiencies and etc by just watching, but when you have stats to back you up then that will speak volumes in itself.
    "Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships."
    - Michael Jordan

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  3. #3
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    My post may not be exactly what this thread is intended for. I do believe in advanced stats completely. They paint a decent picture and do tell us a lot about players. My problem is that people try to use stats as an all-proving measure (not all people, but some). In baseball, this is true. Baseball is an individual sport in a team format, your stats show how good you are. In basketball, I think that certain people look at stats too much as "proof", ignoring things like environmental circumstance of your team and things that don't show up in the stat sheet (and there are a TON of them in basketball). I'm tired of people thinking that just because basketball has made great strides in statistics, statistics alone can prove something like 'player A is better than player B.'



    And while I don't feel just watching the game is better, I do feel that there are some players that I learn more about by watching a game than by looking at stats. I think of Tim Duncan for instance. Sure, even by advanced metrics he's amazing, but he's underrated by those. They don't show how good he is at knowing when to seal his man off to help his guard, something a ton of big men today don't do well (which pisses me off, because I'm 6', 135 lbs, and even I can do it, it's all about positioning), or how many rebounds he gets his teammates by boxing out, or how his man is often a bit slow helping off him because he CAN hit perimeter jumpers (although he often doesn't take him because they're not efficient shots). So I feel they leave a tremendous amount unknown, and it bothers me that people ignore that sometimes. Tremendously useful, but not all-inclusive.
    Last edited by jetsfan28; 09-25-2010 at 10:37 PM.

  4. #4
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    I've always said that only looking at stats (or watching games) is only half the battle. A knowledgeable student of the game knows that both must be incorporated in order to have the complete picture of things.

    That being said, stats are a pretty good indicator of a player's performance. Just like everyone says, numbers don't lie. But then again they don't tell the entire story either

  5. #5
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    oh thank you for making this thread,maybe a few people might actually come in here with their complaints and come out the wiser

  6. #6
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    People are turned off by stats in general because of the misconception that it involves "advanced math" and that they should not bother with it since they can't keep up. Then they start throwing out excuses such as "It ruins the beauty of the game, Who needs stats when we can watch the game, etc".

    While it is true that it can be complicated sometimes, with a little bit of effort and patience, one can understand the mechanics behind the formulas. Dean Oliver once said that all (or most) of his stats involve nothing more than the basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division he learned from studying baseball cards when he was 10.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by lakers4sho View Post
    People are turned off by stats in general because of the misconception that it involves "advanced math" and that they should not bother with it since they can't keep up. Then they start throwing out excuses such as "It ruins the beauty of the game, Who needs stats when we can watch the game, etc".

    While it is true that it can be complicated sometimes, with a little bit of effort and patience, one can understand the mechanics behind the formulas. Dean Oliver once said that all (or most) of his stats involve nothing more than the basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division he learned from studying baseball cards when he was 10.
    some of it is that,and some i found are just genuinely distrustful and/or human natural "take an antagonistic tone towards anything that may challenge a previously held believe" mindset.so say you think player x is great,advanced stats say player x is not so great,instead of that person changing his mind,he instead claims that stats are wrong and not to be trusted.people in general want an echo chamber in life,they usually dont take well to anything that doesnt reaffirm them.

    and yes,well just the bringing up of math..the word,the meaning most put behind it strikes fear in most people.they find anything approaching the subject intimidating and some how will be hard,even if its elementally add/subtract they can do in their heads in a moments notice/time.
    Last edited by abe_froman; 09-26-2010 at 02:22 AM.

  8. #8
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    long story short, I find it ironic that most stat haters crap on them when they point to their man being not what they thought, but are the same people who use them when trying to make a point.

    If you want the ultimate, you've got to be willing to pay the ultimate price. It's not tragic to die doing what you love.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by abe_froman View Post
    some of it is that,and some i found are just genuinely distrustful and/or human natural "take an antagonistic tone towards anything that may challenge a previously held believe" mindset.so say you think player x is great,advanced stats say player x is not so great,instead of that person changing his mind,he instead claims that stats are wrong and not to be trusted.people in general want an echo chamber in life,they usually dont take well to anything that doesnt reaffirm them.
    You're right. Statistical evaluation is a brand new type of analysis in basketball; it is still in its infancy stages. So yes people would generally be distrustful, especially if it challenges a previously held belief, especially those they have held for a long time.

    I wish ESPN would incorporate more indepth statistical analysis in their basketball programs. But we all know it's an entertainment channel. After all, who would want to watch something full of math and numbers?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkeye15 View Post
    long story short, I find it ironic that most stat haters crap on them when they point to their man being not what they thought, but are the same people who use them when trying to make a point.
    Another great point.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by lakers4sho View Post
    You're right. Statistical evaluation is a brand new type of analysis in basketball; it is still in its infancy stages. So yes people would generally be distrustful, especially if it challenges a previously held belief, especially those they have held for a long time.

    I wish ESPN would incorporate more indepth statistical analysis in their basketball programs. But we all know it's an entertainment channel. After all, who would want to watch something full of math and numbers?
    i always likened this time in basketball to the beginnings of baseballs sabr revolution,when the first wave of guys were starting to be hired,and the material was out there but most still looked down upon it(obp,whats that? give me rbi's)

    anyone who comes in here would watch that but your right.which is why,nor anyone should watch it in hopes of hearing anything insightful

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    There shouldnt be a prob taking in these metrics if there's context applied and if you really are a 'true' fan of the game the math shouldnt drive you away either. Abe has addressed the prob, fans would HATE to witness a player they've perceived as a star to fare notsowell in these metrics. So what do they do? Call them DUMB and bash, bash, bash

  13. #13
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    All I will say is, it seems like some users should just watch the stat-line instead of the games by the way some praise advanced stats so much and don't even consider someone's opinion when they say they watch the game.


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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avenged24 View Post
    All I will say is, it seems like some users should just watch the stat-line instead of the games by the way some praise advanced stats so much and don't even consider someone's opinion when they say they watch the game.
    of course. But the same can be said of the other way around. There are countless posters out there who claim stats are for nerds, or are all skewed, or flawed, and they refuse to look at them.
    As I have always said, you need to watch as much basketball as possible, and then embrace and understand stats to truly get the best perspective. But when a debate comes down to who is better, stats can really open up some tough choices and make them easier. Stats show us how much better Paul is than Williams, even though if you only watched the two, you would have a hard time making that claim, simply seeing Paul as only slightly better most likely.
    Kobe vs Jordan. Many Kobe fans see the fall away's, the similar movements, the rings, etc, and truly believe Kobe is in Jordan's class. But the stats show they have never been in the same class.
    I am just sick of using statistics in a debate, and the only retort you get is, "You have to watch the games, your stats mean nothing to me". That is a pathetic response I have started to not even address anymore.

    If you want the ultimate, you've got to be willing to pay the ultimate price. It's not tragic to die doing what you love.

  15. #15
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    I for one grew up playing sports all my life, basketball specifically. Even into my later 20's, I didn't care to look at stats, I just watched and made my evaluations by watching only. It wasn't until right before I joined here that I found some basic advanced stats online, and then with the help of some posters here, got more familiar with even more advanced stats. I embraced them. This is what the average fan needs to do, or they are missing the big picture.

    If you want the ultimate, you've got to be willing to pay the ultimate price. It's not tragic to die doing what you love.

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