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Hawkeye15
10-09-2010, 07:50 PM
So, when many here debate player versus other player(s), they bring up the term, "intangibles". How can one measure intangibles, and use them with validity in an argument? I am curious to see what the explanation is. I think intangibles most definitely play into an argument, but I would like to hear how they can be measured. Intangibles are things that can not be numerically measured I would guess, but play a huge part in sports. Leadership, work ethic, effort, composure, etc.

Thoughts? This is ALWAYS brought up in debates of players, and I would love to understand the thought process behind using them.

kjoke
10-09-2010, 07:59 PM
watch the game, ull see

not the score sheet

carter15
10-09-2010, 08:02 PM
They can't really be used if you are trying to form a sound argument. The intangibles a player has is very subjective seeing as how they can't be measured. One person can think a certain player has great intangibles and someone else can feel the opposite about the same player. Generally people will use that term with a level of bias, accrediting players they like with more intangibles than others and it's almost natural to do so. The only way to really back your claim up is by quoting an "expert" that backs what you are saying up, but even then it is just that writer's opinion.

Two people can watch the same game and still see it differently, so it's really hard to form a conclusive "measurement" for it.

Hawkeye15
10-09-2010, 08:10 PM
watch the game, ull see

not the score sheet

very valuable input.......Never heard that before. Wake up

VRP723
10-09-2010, 08:14 PM
very valuable input.......Never heard that before. Wake up

Dude are you serious?

The definition of intangibles is "Unable to be touched or grasped; not having physical presence"

How can you evaluate something that can't be defined?

Hawkeye15
10-09-2010, 08:16 PM
Dude are you serious?

The definition of intangibles is "Unable to be touched or grasped; not having physical presence"

How can you evaluate something that can't be defined?

I am curious as to how they can be used with rational in a debate, hence the thread being created. I see many posters saying intangibles moves player A ahead of player B, despite player B's stats being far superior

VRP723
10-09-2010, 08:19 PM
I am curious as to how they can be used with rational in a debate, hence the thread being created. I see many posters saying intangibles moves player A ahead of player B, despite player B's stats being far superior

I'm going to go ahead and assume that you feel intangibles are a stupid argument, and I agree with that, but creating a thread about intangibles and then telling someone to "wake up" when they give their opinion is ridiculous.

Avenged
10-09-2010, 08:20 PM
Intangibles are hard to measure when you're comparing players.

But they work when you're talking about an individual. The intangibles argument is mostly just thrown around for superstars (mainly Kobe) so it really isn't something major that will define who's better or not.

Corey
10-09-2010, 08:20 PM
Intangibles play a huge part in judging a player for me. It's basketball IQ, decision making, the ability to do the things a team needs in order to succeed. Hustle plays, altering your game to help the team, stuff like that.

However, if a player isn't talented in the first place, intangibles don't really matter.

Hawkeye15
10-09-2010, 08:22 PM
I'm going to go ahead and assume that you feel intangibles are a stupid argument, and I agree with that, but creating a thread about intangibles and then telling someone to "wake up" when they give their opinion is ridiculous.

um, his opinion was that you need to watch, or you know nothing. This is false, and I addressed it. Any rational, intelligent fan, knows you need to watch, AND evaluate advanced stats. Those who don't are living in absolutes of their own opinions, without being able to provide evidence in the slightest.
I don't necessarily think intangibles should NOT be used in an argument. But I am curious on how one defines them, individually. I want to understand and hopefully embrace the use of intangibles in a debate.

Slimsim
10-09-2010, 08:33 PM
I will be the first to say that this thread is to complex for my taste. Now lets go eat a god dam snack.

VRP723
10-09-2010, 08:34 PM
um, his opinion was that you need to watch, or you know nothing. This is false, and I addressed it. Any rational, intelligent fan, knows you need to watch, AND evaluate advanced stats. Those who don't are living in absolutes of their own opinions, without being able to provide evidence in the slightest.
I don't necessarily think intangibles should NOT be used in an argument. But I am curious on how one defines them, individually. I want to understand and hopefully embrace the use of intangibles in a debate.

First off, he never said anything about anyone "knowing nothing"

My point is, they can't be absolutely defined, there's no one correct answer when it comes to basketball intangibles, so it seems awfully unfair to criticize someone for stating their opinion, no matter how ridiculous you think it is, in a debate that has no answer.

tangent12
10-09-2010, 08:34 PM
I don't like to exercise my brain while watching a game.. I like to keep it simple.

Bruno
10-09-2010, 08:37 PM
I think this is the biggest struggle for passionate sports fans. How can you fit intangibles into a rational sports argument? I don't know if you can. Ultimately if somebody disagrees there's no way to prove them wrong (unless everyone disagrees with the guy who disagrees, in which you'd revert back to mob mentality, superseding the entire point of trying to discussion intangibles rationally). It's a tough one.

Hawkeye15
10-09-2010, 08:37 PM
First off, he never said anything about anyone "knowing nothing"

My point is, they can't be absolutely defined, there's no one correct answer when it comes to basketball intangibles, so it seems awfully unfair to criticize someone for stating their opinion, no matter how ridiculous you think it is, in a debate that has no answer.

fair enough.
Watch the game, not the scoresheet implies that stats are meaningless to me.
Either way, for the 4th time, I am looking for opinions on the subject, and that was not one.
I already understand your point. I am looking for others now

madiaz3
10-09-2010, 08:46 PM
If they could be measured then they would not be intangibles. You see them with your eyes and observation. It's watching a defender put hesitation into the shooter's eyes, altering the shot time and time again rather than tracking blocks or steals per game. It's making the defense react in such a way that leads to the right teammate getting an easy shot rather than looking at only direct passes that lead to assists. It's watching a player put his teammates in line after they make boneheaded plays. Even making the right comments to the media during a playoff series that keeps confidence and morale up. Even stuff like being an excellent inbound passer, jumpballer, calling timeouts in clutch situations whenever it is needed. It's putting enough shots up (even if the stats aren't great) to send the message that you're not going to back down, give up on the game, or shy away from the competition, killer instinct at all times. It's why at 20-10 for the past decade Tim Duncan is considered the greatest PF despite the presence of PFs who's stats greatly trump his.

You can say that those things can't seriously be factored into a player debate but if they perform enough of those tasks consistently that raises their value far above someone with better stats and none of the above. So to answer your true question, this is the reason why people can believe with honesty that Kobe is better than Lebron. You'll never get the answer you want in numbers, not with PER or winshares. Jordan put up amazing numbers but he sure as hell had an amazing set of intangibles, and those intangibles are not only responsible for getting him those numbers, but just as if not more responsible for his rings. Because they are not tracked, it's not hard to see why high talent players don't focus on them much, most often putting up numbers without the end-game team results to go with them.

Can't prove me wrong or right.

Hawkeye15
10-09-2010, 08:48 PM
madiaz, while I don't agree with a small portion of your post, that is EXACTLY what I was looking for. Great post

Forbo
10-09-2010, 08:57 PM
fair enough.
Watch the game, not the scoresheet implies that stats are meaningless to me.
Either way, for the 4th time, I am looking for opinions on the subject, and that was not one.
I already understand your point. I am looking for others now

Not always about stats, a team can have a nice bench player that is considered good that can hit the 3 ball and be a spark off the bench despite only averaging 6 pts a game.

madiaz3
10-09-2010, 09:12 PM
madiaz, while I don't agree with a small portion of your post, that is EXACTLY what I was looking for. Great post

Haha, yeah it's hard for me to post that without throwing out some jabs in there.

Furthermore, thinking about it. I would say a very overall encompassing intangible is mindgames, on and off the court. Anything to trip up your opponent, make him second guess himself or keep him completely surprised.

Here's an analogy I just came up with. It's like the difference between playing against a human player or a computer in a video games. There's high tech skill, mindgame ability (intangibles), and those who have a varying combinations of the two.

You can't work mindgames or tricks on a computer. They don't respond to trash talk, they won't catch onto patterns or will seldom adjust to what you do to beat it. Raise the difficulty and all that is increased are it's timing (moreso the expectations of the player to respond tech skill-wise) and other numbers (higher strength/health,whatever). In sports games, they'll never actually run clever plays, just force you to defend or attack in ways that require the least amount of human error.

The high technical skill player can and will overcome, the high skill player who has only beaten the computer on "hard" will always be beaten by the human who has also done that, but has experience playing against other humans who also can beat the game on "hard." This is not to discredit technical skill, on the contrary, the person who can beat a game on expert (with only computer experience) will beat the player who can only win on normal even if he has practiced against humans of the same skill. The difference in this case is that the normal player will be aware of what his opponent is doing and what he needs to do, but doesn't have the ability to do anything about it. (Think: an average player on his approach to guard any top player. Take Rondo for instance, you can think to yourself, alright, just force him to take jumpshots. You know it will work, but how many players can actually defend him well enough to make him resort to it? You know that staying infront of your man and with a timely vertical contest you will force low percentage shots, but how many players can actually stay infront of Lebron and contest in time without fouling? You can know HOW to stop many players or score on them, but only a select few are physically apt to be ABLE to pull it off.)

That's kind of how I see intangibles in a larger picture.

Ovratd1up
10-09-2010, 10:19 PM
Good analogy.

Slimsim
10-09-2010, 10:25 PM
So is that thread ?

arkanian215
10-09-2010, 10:53 PM
If they could be measured then they would not be intangibles. You see them with your eyes and observation. It's watching a defender put hesitation into the shooter's eyes, altering the shot time and time again rather than tracking blocks or steals per game. It's making the defense react in such a way that leads to the right teammate getting an easy shot rather than looking at only direct passes that lead to assists. It's watching a player put his teammates in line after they make boneheaded plays. Even making the right comments to the media during a playoff series that keeps confidence and morale up. Even stuff like being an excellent inbound passer, jumpballer, calling timeouts in clutch situations whenever it is needed. It's putting enough shots up (even if the stats aren't great) to send the message that you're not going to back down, give up on the game, or shy away from the competition, killer instinct at all times. It's why at 20-10 for the past decade Tim Duncan is considered the greatest PF despite the presence of PFs who's stats greatly trump his.

You can say that those things can't seriously be factored into a player debate but if they perform enough of those tasks consistently that raises their value far above someone with better stats and none of the above. So to answer your true question, this is the reason why people can believe with honesty that Kobe is better than Lebron. You'll never get the answer you want in numbers, not with PER or winshares. Jordan put up amazing numbers but he sure as hell had an amazing set of intangibles, and those intangibles are not only responsible for getting him those numbers, but just as if not more responsible for his rings. Because they are not tracked, it's not hard to see why high talent players don't focus on them much, most often putting up numbers without the end-game team results to go with them.

Can't prove me wrong or right.

Despite the name, I think intangibles can be quantified. When you think of leadership, who do you think are the best leaders on their team? Sure it's subjective but you can still rank the players according to what you think good leadership is. Someone who favors "leading by example" will have a different list than someone who favors "leading through verbal influence" or "leading by physical influence." Like all "stats," they should be used in context. While your list is subjective, it is still a quantification of something supposedly "intangible."

Anyone can try to refute your list. If you set guidelines for what qualifies as impact based on leadership (being able to hold on to a lead, being able to come back for example) you can have a stat for that. If it was leading by example you could start measuring his impact after he demands the ball and scores or fights through 3 guys for an offensive board, etc. So based on the guidelines for what you think shows the impact of his leadership on the court, you can actually count each time he does it.

I think many people are trying to make intangibles out to something that they can't actually see on the court while they're watching the game. If you can see it in the game, you can quantify it if you lay down ground rules to measure the occurrence and the impact.

It's like someone saying Player A plays with a lot of heart. But how do you know that he plays with a lot of heart if you claim that it's something you can't see or sense?

madiaz3
10-09-2010, 11:11 PM
Despite the name, I think intangibles can be quantified. When you think of leadership, who do you think are the best leaders on their team? Sure it's subjective but you can still rank the players according to what you think good leadership is. Someone who favors "leading by example" will have a different list than someone who favors "leading through verbal influence" or "leading by physical influence." Like all "stats," they should be used in context. While your list is subjective, it is still a quantification of something supposedly "intangible."

Anyone can try to refute your list. If you set guidelines for what qualifies as impact based on leadership (being able to hold on to a lead, being able to come back for example) you can have a stat for that. If it was leading by example you could start measuring his impact after he demands the ball and scores or fights through 3 guys for an offensive board, etc. So based on the guidelines for what you think shows the impact of his leadership on the court, you can actually count each time he does it.

I think many people are trying to make intangibles out to something that they can't actually see on the court while they're watching the game. If you can see it in the game, you can quantify it if you lay down ground rules to measure the occurrence and the impact.

It's like someone saying Player A plays with a lot of heart. But how do you know that he plays with a lot of heart if you claim that it's something you can't see or sense?

I can agree with this. It can be done to SOME degree by keeping track of trends and results, not to say that this is a very easy thing to do by any means. You'll never have consistency across the board for what constitutes leadership though, and what actions and events on the court occurred because of said leadership or anything else?
Your last point only begs such questions as, does one player play with more heart or passion than the other just because he puts on a KG-esque face on the court when compared to a guy as stoic as Tim Duncan? Though he doesn't show it physically, I don't think Timmy's heart is questioned by many.

kjoke
10-09-2010, 11:14 PM
fair enough.
Watch the game, not the scoresheet implies that stats are meaningless to me.
Either way, for the 4th time, I am looking for opinions on the subject, and that was not one.
I already understand your point. I am looking for others now

wow way to derive something out of nothing, i stated that u cant "measure" stats by looking at the score sheet, the only way to measure them is by watching the player play. Its a pretty staight foward way to 'evaluating intangibles'

arkanian215
10-09-2010, 11:54 PM
I can agree with this. It can be done to SOME degree by keeping track of trends and results, not to say that this is a very easy thing to do by any means. You'll never have consistency across the board for what constitutes leadership though, and what actions and events on the court occurred because of said leadership or anything else?
Your last point only begs such questions as, does one player play with more heart or passion than the other just because he puts on a KG-esque face on the court when compared to a guy as stoic as Tim Duncan?

Yeah there are some inconsistencies with stats. For example, what qualifies as an assist?
In basketball, an assist is attributed to a player who passes the ball to a teammate in a way that leads to a score by field goal, meaning that he or she was "assisting" in the basket. There is some judgment involved in deciding whether a passer should be credited with an assist. An assist can be scored for the passer even if the player who receives the pass makes a basket after dribbling the ball.
What about rebounds?

A rebound in basketball is the act of successfully gaining possession of the basketball after a missed field goal or free throw. And yet if I'm flailing my arms and it some how touch the ball and tip it towards my net, that's an offensive rebound yet I never had control or possession of the ball. I remember looking at box scores after each game and I was amazed at how many rebounds Yi had because frankly, he didn't look like he grabbed many. Same with his turnover numbers. Any Nets fan will tell you how many times he really lost the ball in the low post by getting the ball stripped from him. I wouldn't be surprised if that strip was converted to a turnover for one of his team mates or just simply an offensive or defensive rebound for the other team since someone could probably claim he didn't have possession of the ball when he got stripped.

Quantifying things other than points, timeouts taken, and a couple of others involves some degree of subjectivity. Does that mean stats are useless? If you never saw the point, reb, ast etc totals for each player and only watched games, would your top 10 PG's be the same as it is now? Do you think your rankings of players now, knowing their stats, would be better than one based on just watching the game?

Going back to the last part of your quote, I'm going to say that leadership is subjective but if you lay down some ground rules for what form of leadership you're looking for and what you think is the impact of leadership, I think you can quantify all that. Using your heart example, you can count the KG faces, number of leaps into the stands/dives on the floor, the chest pounds, the dick grabs, etc if you think that's how heart should be quantified. Someone's gonna argue with you based on what you think counts as heart but you can count the number of times any of those things happen. No one has to accept the advanced metrics that already exist. They try to grasp concept ideas. You can judge them for yourself and if you think you can come up with a better way to capture something, you're free to. That's why there are modified forms of PER, WS assists etc. If I told you that I measure heart by the number of rings or how many boxes of Wheaties I eat on commercials, you're free to disagree with me and formulate your own.

Last bit... Personally, I like Duncan's "swagger" more than KG's face but I believe both events exhibit passion. I can choose to count how often each one occurs or measure the level of each event. ex: More points if KG does it in someone's face. But since I prefer the "swagger", I'll weight each occurrence more. Would there be a "universal" stat that captures passion? No. Can you attempt to quantify it? Definitely. Would it be hard? Definitely.

Spurred1
10-10-2010, 12:49 AM
I like this thread. But for me, intangibles are not things that can be accurately measured, but those intangibles do (hopefully) lead to actions that can be measured.
Leadership, heart, bbiq were all mentioned in previous posts-those are intangibles, but those intangibles do lead to baskets, rebounds, assists, and other hustle plays that are tallied up.
I guess ranking players could be one way to measure intangibles, but even then, fans only see so much of what is going on. We don't know who leads in the locker room or how some players lead.
I'm not really sure there is one answer here, Hawkeye. Or if there is a right one.

RollinDeep
10-10-2010, 01:33 AM
I believe that just because intangibles cannot be quantified, doesn't mean that you can't measure them. In this sense, intangibles are just measured in relation to other players. For example, toughness is something you cannot measure, but you can relate one players toughness to another. Or in say Pau Gasol's case, you can say he is a tougher player now relative to 2 years ago. Defense cannot always be quantified, but you can measure a players ability to play defense than another. Leading the league in steals/blocks doesn't necessarily mean you're the best defender in the league.

Things scouts look for when evaluating players that aren't seen on a score sheet.

tredigs
10-10-2010, 01:52 AM
So, when many here debate player versus other player(s), they bring up the term, "intangibles". How can one measure intangibles, and use them with validity in an argument? I am curious to see what the explanation is. I think intangibles most definitely play into an argument, but I would like to hear how they can be measured. Intangibles are things that can not be numerically measured I would guess, but play a huge part in sports. Leadership, work ethic, effort, composure, etc.

Thoughts? This is ALWAYS brought up in debates of players, and I would love to understand the thought process behind using them.

A good subject to debate no doubt... but by definition ambiguous and not "measurable" in the concrete sense.

Bottom line is that intangibles are things that can perceived, but not calculated. What you mentioned; work ethic, leadership, etc. How can they be properly measured? Suppose you could have an impartial person and/or committee follow/study the player(s) and dictate their (subjective) take on a player in these situations (this is no different than a close fan of a team, but the idea would be that theoretically the person has a non biased take on the player).

So much goes into this though. Does a player drink? (if so, how soon before a game?).

What are they more driven by? Money, fame, or do they simply have more of that competitive "gene" that makes a person want to WIN more than anything else?

The whole thought process of a competitive athlete (speaking from some experience) is just too malleable/unpredictable for anyone to bring a stat to. In incalculable... and that's the fun of it all!

Kashmir13579
10-10-2010, 04:42 AM
Thoughts? This is ALWAYS brought up in debates of players, and I would love to understand the thought process behind using them.

do you not understand the thought process behind intangibles? sparking the fast break, diving for loose balls, passion, defense, clutch, derrick fisher, hustle, and overall importance to ones team that is not necessarily defined by stats. there are so many undertones in your OP that it seems this is a touchy topic for you. does it make you feel uncomfortable intangibles aren't covered in your precious advanced stats? just playin.

Raoul Duke
10-10-2010, 06:27 AM
Some things can't even be measured by watching the games. What about how good a guy is in the locker room? The job they do mentoring young players? Would you rather have a 20ppg guy that everyone on your team thinks is a d-bag, or a 10ppg guy that everybody would walk through fire for?

Hawkeye15
10-10-2010, 07:46 AM
wow way to derive something out of nothing, i stated that u cant "measure" stats by looking at the score sheet, the only way to measure them is by watching the player play. Its a pretty staight foward way to 'evaluating intangibles'

fair enough answer. Thank you for clearing it up for me.

Hawkeye15
10-10-2010, 07:49 AM
do you not understand the thought process behind intangibles? sparking the fast break, diving for loose balls, passion, defense, clutch, derrick fisher, hustle, and overall importance to ones team that is not necessarily defined by stats. there are so many undertones in your OP that it seems this is a touchy topic for you. does it make you feel uncomfortable intangibles aren't covered in your precious advanced stats? just playin.

I absolutely understand what intangibles are, I was curious as to any thoughts on how to measure them, of which I have seen decent feedback here. I am trying to understand how someone can pull the "intangibles" card, when rating players. Since its tough to define, many times I think it should be left out of a debate.

save the knicks
10-10-2010, 09:44 AM
intangibles are so silly

losing argument scream intangibles!

arkanian215
10-10-2010, 12:30 PM
Quantifying Basketball’s Intangibles, With Some Help From Computers
By JONATHAN ABRAMS

ORLANDO, Fla. — Since the N.B.A.’s inception, the performance of its players has been measured by a somewhat archaic rubric system. Points, assists and rebounds — the plays that meet the eye — are quantified, but the game’s data supply does not expand much beyond the limited horizon of those meager numbers.

The N.B.A. has been faced with the problem of defining what, exactly, is defense? Or, was that goaltending call made correctly?

That could all change shortly with technological advancement aimed at defining what has to this point been indefinable in the N.B.A.

As the Los Angeles Lakers and the Orlando Magic tested one another’s resolve in the finals, the N.B.A. was testing a new tracking system, one that could perhaps alter how the game is watched, measured and coached.

Perched high above and adjacent to the court, six high-definition cameras in a semi-circle have captured and traced the movements of each player, the referees and the basketball in Games 3 and 4 of the N.B.A. finals at Amway Arena. The cameras streamlined information into two data processing computers tucked behind the rafters that are aimed at rapidly defining an N.B.A. game in a way that has not been seen before.

Through the processing computers, the data became relative and relatable. For example, the cross-angle cameras confirmed that a goaltending call on Orlando’s Dwight Howard was accurate. When Howard blocked the shot by Andrew Bynum, the ball had already descended about 3 inches, according to the computers.

In a game of swift movements, when one play can decide the outcome, the technology could be an important step toward verifying the accuracy of calls made by officials. The system is still in its infancy and will continue its trial run through next season with the hope it can be implemented league-wide sometime in the 2010-11 season.

“I would say we’re going to quantify a game that was previously hard to describe with statistics,” said Steve Hellmuth, the N.B.A.’s executive vice president for operations and technology. “We’re going to describe basketball much, much better.”

Hard is perhaps an understatement. In the N.B.A.’s play-by-play description, a typical offensive possession often consists of a rebound, a shot and an assist, if that much. In that time span, there are dozens of other factors that affect a play, including the movement of players away from the ball, matchups and the velocity of passes, that have never been officially recorded.

“You link these two things together, you now know not just that this player has a certain field goal percentage,” said Brian Kopp of Stats, the N.B.A.’s official provider of statistics. “You know where on the court this player has the field goal percentage. You know when someone is within 5 feet of him, what his field goal percentage is versus if they are farther away or how well they shoot in other spots on the court.”

In recent years, the N.B.A. has tipped toward quantitative analysis, paced by Daryl Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets and a former employee of Stats. Sam Hinkie, the Rockets’ vice president of basketball operations, got a look at the new technology on Thursday.

The Rockets are tight-lipped about their in-house statistics, with Morey cloaking them in secrecy. He does not discuss his methods much beyond the basics, lest another N.B.A. team become wise to the organization’s methods. In the near future, that could change.

“We could sort of try this ourselves and have tried similar things, but I don’t think the other 29 teams are going to let me in their doors to install a bunch of cameras,” Hinkie said.

The Rockets, like other teams, are hoping that they will be able to benefit from the new technology more than other teams.

The system will be useful on the offensive side. On Thursday, the goal of the trial run was to measure the velocity of passes and the precise distance of field goals. But the effect may be more prominent on the defensive end, where players are measured in a limited method that hardly stretches beyond blocks and steals.

The cameras attempt to break down how effective Mickael Pietrus is while guarding Kobe Bryant, and compare Derek Fisher’s defense with that of his backups, Jordan Farmar and Shannon Brown.

“You always hear a player telling a coach that, I played the best defense I could,” Hellmuth said. “Now, the coach is going to be able to respond that, ‘You didn’t play the same defense last time here,’ because they are going to have the metrics to prove it as far as what type of proximity he was in, whether he had a hand in the face and whether he was there or not.”

With its struggle to quantifiably define itself, basketball has lagged behind other sports — most notably baseball and its wealth of statistical information. The technology the N.B.A. is testing was originally developed by Stats for use in soccer, where only three cameras were needed.

The input is received and then deciphered in real time. The cameras track virtual dots on each player’s head, as well as on the basketball and the referees.

The referees are tracked to see where they make their calls and how fast they are covering the court’s length.

No one, it seems, will escape the glare of the cameras. And perhaps, the indefinable will finally become understandable.http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/15/sports/basketball/15tech.html

lakers4sho
10-10-2010, 12:38 PM
"Too large a proportion of recent 'mathematical' economics are mere concoctions, as imprecise as the initial assumptions they rest on, which allow the author to lose sight of the complexities and interdependencies of the real world in a maze of pretentious and unhelpful symbols."

- John Maynard Keynes

arkanian215
10-10-2010, 12:49 PM
A good subject to debate no doubt... but by definition ambiguous and not "measurable" in the concrete sense.

Bottom line is that intangibles are things that can perceived, but not calculated. What you mentioned; work ethic, leadership, etc. How can they be properly measured? Suppose you could have an impartial person and/or committee follow/study the player(s) and dictate their (subjective) take on a player in these situations (this is no different than a close fan of a team, but the idea would be that theoretically the person has a non biased take on the player).
If you can perceive it, you can calculate it. What do you think your brain does when it watches something? It's an advanced form of a computer, except it has "limited" memory. Things that you see more recently will have more emphasis in your memory than things that happened a long time ago. ex: What did you eat for breakfast this morning? What did you eat for breakfast October 10, 1995?

"Properly" measuring anything is open to debate. If you can figure out to better measure a characteristic, then folks will catch on.

If it can be perceived it can be counted as long as you define strict rules about what qualifies and what doesn't. Why doesn't the player passing the ball to open man get an assist if that open man decides to mass it off one more time to another player who hits the open shot? Because that's how assists are defined in basketball. How do we know when a player has possession of the ball? When do we know if a player grabbed a rebound? Who gets rewarded a "steal" or a "turnover" when possession changes on a turnover?


So much goes into this though. Does a player drink? (if so, how soon before a game?).

What are they more driven by? Money, fame, or do they simply have more of that competitive "gene" that makes a person want to WIN more than anything else?

The whole thought process of a competitive athlete (speaking from some experience) is just too malleable/unpredictable for anyone to bring a stat to. In incalculable... and that's the fun of it all!

How do people move about in supermarkets and what determines their willingness to buy something? Would placing the bacon and other meat products near the bread section compel people to buy more meats? Bread? What drives these consumers? These are some of the questions folks involved in data mining try to tackle. Why would it be so far fetched to believe there are ways to calculate and compare different player's "intangibles"?

arkanian215
10-10-2010, 12:51 PM
"Too large a proportion of recent 'mathematical' economics are mere concoctions, as imprecise as the initial assumptions they rest on, which allow the author to lose sight of the complexities and interdependencies of the real world in a maze of pretentious and unhelpful symbols."

- John Maynard Keynes

He didn't live in a world where folks were teaching cars to drive themselves.

lakers4sho
10-10-2010, 01:33 PM
Yes but the point being is that there are some things that you just can't measure and quantify. If that were the case, mathematicians would have jumped the gun already and reduce human behavior into equations and formulas without any hesitation.

And I don't see the point of leaving them out of debates simply because you can't produce a corresponding value to them. I, for one, am an avid supporter of expanding statistical analysis in basketball, but to leave out intangibles when comparing players is just plain absurd.

daleja424
10-10-2010, 01:41 PM
intangibles are so silly

losing argument scream intangibles!

its pretty true... there are certain things that cannot be measured... like setting good screens, boxing out well, and having a good motor. I understand that stuff. But there is a lot of crap out there like "will to win" and "heart" that is just crap man.

People only talk about "heart" and "desire" when player B is statistically inferior to player A, but homers won't admit it.

lakers4sho
10-10-2010, 01:50 PM
its pretty true... there are certain things that cannot be measured... like setting good screens, boxing out well, and having a good motor. I understand that stuff. But there is a lot of crap out there like "will to win" and "heart" that is just crap man.

People only talk about "heart" and "desire" when player B is statistically inferior to player A, but homers won't admit it.

Michael Jordan is the (supposed) epitome of "heart", "desire", and the "will to win". How do you account for that?

Avenged
10-10-2010, 01:57 PM
Intangibles play a huge part in judging a player for me. It's basketball IQ, decision making, the ability to do the things a team needs in order to succeed. Hustle plays, altering your game to help the team, stuff like that.

However, if a player isn't talented in the first place, intangibles don't really matter.

This is my take on it as well.

The intangibles argument is only thrown out when you're comparing top talent players as in superstars. But you really don't see intangibles being talked about against all-stars or what not.

And like Daleja said, it pretty much is used when someone is losing an argument, but it doesn't mean it's wrong. Intangibles should be brought into a discussion when player A and player B are too hard to decipher who's better than the other.

From what I've seen in this forum, the intangibles argument is mostly used with Kobe, so I can understand why someone would say "it's crap" because not many think Kobe's at the top anymore with or without greater intangibles.

Hawkeye15
10-10-2010, 02:07 PM
This is my take on it as well.

The intangibles argument is only thrown out when you're comparing top talent players as in superstars. But you really don't see intangibles being talked about against all-stars or what not.

And like Daleja said, it pretty much is used when someone is losing an argument, but it doesn't mean it's wrong. Intangibles should be brought into a discussion when player A and player B are too hard to decipher who's better than the other.

From what I've seen in this forum, the intangibles argument is mostly used with Kobe, so I can understand why someone would say "it's crap" because not many think Kobe's at the top anymore with or without greater intangibles.

Are intangibles enough to overcome a large statistical gap though?

lakers4sho
10-10-2010, 02:19 PM
Are intangibles enough to overcome a large statistical gap though?

Depends on your definition of "large". If we're talking about Dwyane Wade and Corey Brewer (which we assume in this case has intangibles superior to Wade's), of course not.

arkanian215
10-10-2010, 02:24 PM
its pretty true... there are certain things that cannot be measured... like setting good screens, boxing out well, and having a good motor. I understand that stuff. But there is a lot of crap out there like "will to win" and "heart" that is just crap man.

People only talk about "heart" and "desire" when player B is statistically inferior to player A, but homers won't admit it.

What about a mixture of % of screens set without committing an "illegal screen" and the distance between the two defenders involved in the screen and the ball handler (on pick and rolls)? What about relative positioning of a player to the next closest defender when the shot goes up and when the shot either caroms off the rim or backboard or goes in? What about being able sustain your "effort" (closing out the open man, not giving up on fast breaks, putting yourself in the "right" position on offense and defense, whatever other event that you think that shows someone has a good motor) throughout the time you're on the court?

lakers4sho
10-10-2010, 02:27 PM
What about a mixture of % of screens set without committing an "illegal screen" and the distance between the two defenders involved in the screen and the ball handler (on pick and rolls)? What about relative positioning of a player to the next closest defender when the shot goes up and when the shot either caroms off the rim or backboard or goes in? What about being able sustain your "effort" (closing out the open man, not giving up on fast breaks, putting yourself in the "right" position on offense and defense, whatever other event that you think that shows someone has a good motor) throughout the time you're on the court?

In all of the cases you mentioned, there's always a factor of chance and subjectivity that must be taken into account, which makes it harder to quantify those scenarios.

topdog
10-10-2010, 02:28 PM
I don't think you can ever measure true intangibles but you can expand stats far enough to reduce the items that don't show up in the box score and leave only things like leadership in question.

For instance: charges taken, secondary assists (i.e. player A drives and creates space, passes to player B who makes extra pass to open player C), negative scoring load/efficiency (when the team is down, who is creating the offense/are they doing it efficiently), gained possessions (hustle plays where the ball should have gone to the other team but was saved by a player), successful picks, ect.

arkanian215
10-10-2010, 02:33 PM
Yes but the point being is that there are some things that you just can't measure and quantify. If that were the case, mathematicians would have jumped the gun already and reduce human behavior into equations and formulas without any hesitation.

And I don't see the point of leaving them out of debates simply because you can't produce a corresponding value to them. I, for one, am an avid supporter of expanding statistical analysis in basketball, but to leave out intangibles when comparing players is just plain absurd.

Can't or haven't yet been able to? What about Google teaching a car to drive itself? What about the robots that feel emotion? What about the robot that learns to shoot arrows at a target? The supercomputer that plays chess?

arkanian215
10-10-2010, 02:38 PM
In all of the cases you mentioned, there's always a factor of chance and subjectivity that must be taken into account, which makes it harder to quantify those scenarios.

Of course. What I believe to be a good screen might be different from how you define a good screen. The point is you can measure things if you put definitions to these terms. Why do you think someone sets a good screen? Why do you recognize that someone is boxing out? What shows that someone has a good motor? There has to be some event that actually happens that you process in some manner along with other information and end up concluding, yes that's a good screen, box out or a player with a good motor.

lakers4sho
10-10-2010, 02:45 PM
Can't or haven't yet been able to? What about Google teaching a car to drive itself?

"let the above GPS, laser and sensor-guided Volkswagen"

GPS, laser, sensor guided; not to mention that "Google estimates self-driving vehicles are at least eight years down the road"


What about the robots that feel emotion?

based on pre-programmed body language sensors


What about the robot that learns to shoot arrows at a target?

Target identification sensor, an image of the intended target is usually imprinted in the system's memory, a camera matches objects in its surrounding with the image of the target on file.


The supercomputer that plays chess?

Database searching. Brute force searching of known sequences of moves programmed into the computer. Most successful players to defeat chess programs are those that use unorthodox moves, meaning that computers struggle against moves that are not in its book.



None of these things involve true decision-making process similar to those of humans. Most importantly, these machines don't learn from experience. New data must be incorporated into their systems (data created by humans) in order to "learn" more.

lakers4sho
10-10-2010, 02:46 PM
It all boils down to decision-making, the thought process that goes on a player's mind before making a move, which I don't think can be reduced to numbers.

arkanian215
10-10-2010, 03:06 PM
"let the above GPS, laser and sensor-guided Volkswagen"

GPS, laser, sensor guided; not to mention that "Google estimates self-driving vehicles are at least eight years down the road"



based on pre-programmed body language sensors



Target identification sensor, an image of the intended target is usually imprinted in the system's memory, a camera matches objects in its surrounding with the image of the target on file.

So computers aren't allowed to have "eyes" and "ears" to help them compute a scenario? If you were blind, could you drive a car? Could you sense that someone is sad? If you didn't know what sadness looked like, would you know it if you saw it?



Database searching. Brute force searching of known sequences of moves programmed into the computer. Most successful players to defeat chess programs are those that use unorthodox moves, meaning that computers struggle against moves that are not in its book.
The database is their memory. Their program is their strategy. I wonder how a grand master would do it he didn't know the rules of chess and didn't remember all those games he played against other people.


None of these things involve true decision-making process similar to those of humans. Most importantly, these machines don't learn from experience. New data must be incorporated into their systems (data created by humans) in order to "learn" more.

I'm not sure what you mean by "true" decision making. Humans process information based on their memory and what they sense, with a mixture of hormones and other factors. I don't want a computer to hit its period when its trying to figure out who is the best player in the NBA. If it can deduce from all available information who the best player, that's enough for that task. If I want something to make me a glass of orange juice every morning at 7am and placed by my bed side, I'll need something else. If someone wants something that listens to them *****ing all day and relate to their experiences, they can have that too. Probably not in our lifetimes, but it doesn't mean it's impossible.

Jays Claw
10-10-2010, 03:23 PM
Intangibles - • Assets that are saleable, though not material or physical.

^ That's the dictionary definition I found online. Seriously, there is no true way of measuring intangibles because they're simply bias opinions that support one's sports based argument towards a certain idividual. I for one don't believe in intangibles because all they do is give Player A an upper hand in a non-statistic category against Player B.

Different people have different definitions (I mean, opinions) on this term. For example, one will say Player A brings intangibles to the table because their basketball IQ, clutch capabilities and overall hustle are far more superior as to Player B's. ^ Are those characteristics better than actual statistics? Hell no!

Again, intangibles are just bias opinions that some use to gain leverage in their arguments when they can't find suitable answers in a player's statistics.

Meaze_Gibson
10-10-2010, 03:33 PM
Intangibles are the things that happen when you watch the game.

Is a player a vocal leader? (Kobe )..
When teammates mess up do they always pout or Do they maintain composure?(Wade pouts but Lebron usually maintains composure)..
Do they play defense to their fullest capability?..(Kirk Hinrich does)..
Do they encourage and teach rookies? (Baron Davis did)
Do they consistently fight over screens? (Ray Felton does )..
When team is down by a lot, do they still play hard and encourage or sit with a towel draped over their legs? (T-Mac syndrome,)

Other intangibles can be measured though. For example,
-Is a player willing and can he pass out a double team? (Duncan KG Shaq)
-Does a player consistently produce when stakes are at their highest? (Deron Williams) -If a players shot isn't falling is he still effective?(Kobe, Bron, CP)
-How does the player rebound after a terrible performance?

All these types of things are intangibles that indicate not only IQ but the mentality of a player. That mentality is crucial when comparing players cause numbers aren't everything

Jays Claw
10-10-2010, 03:39 PM
Intangibles are the things that happen when you watch the game.

The OP has already stated that he knows what intangibles are and where they could be found. He's asking as to how they're measured through arguments. For example, 'Player A is better than Player B because he has the inangibles.' The main concept that must be answered here is how/why are intangibles brought up in arguments when they're more of characteristic value rather than statistc.

lakers4sho
10-10-2010, 03:41 PM
So computers aren't allowed to have "eyes" and "ears" to help them compute a scenario? If you were blind, could you drive a car? Could you sense that someone is sad? If you didn't know what sadness looked like, would you know it if you saw it?

They might have cameras that can act like the human eye, but machines process this information differently than we do.



The database is their memory. Their program is their strategy. I wonder how a grand master would do it he didn't know the rules of chess and didn't remember all those games he played against other people.

There's nothing special about the "strategy" employed by computer chess programs. Like I said, all it does is it searches its database for a given sequence of moves, and again searches its database for a response that has the statistical probability of being a "good" move.

Human chess players work differently. There are simply millions of possible moves that can be made given a current position. A human simply can't "memorize" all the moves he/she has seen before and go through his/her memory file the way a computer can do it.

There lies the essential difference between the way computers and humans "think".



I'm not sure what you mean by "true" decision making. Humans process information based on their memory and what they sense, with a mixture of hormones and other factors. I don't want a computer to hit its period when its trying to figure out who is the best player in the NBA. If it can deduce from all available information who the best player, that's enough for that task. If I want something to make me a glass of orange juice every morning at 7am and placed by my bed side, I'll need something else. If someone wants something that listens to them *****ing all day and relate to their experiences, they can have that too. Probably not in our lifetimes, but it doesn't mean it's impossible.

Machines make decisions based on programmed input and a database of possible responses. On the other hand, humans, even when they have not experienced a situation or seen an object before, can make decisions.

There's a reason why physicists and mathematicians are still making their livelihoods out of proving theorems. Proving a theorem involves much more than just going through previously proved ones. Machines simply aren't problem solvers. They are incapable of solving problems that they "have not seen before", meaning, they have not been inputted into their memory. If they are, then these intellectuals would have been long displaced from their careers. For crying out loud, there's a reason why psychology, sociology, and other social sciences still exist (and are very healthy fields of research, mind you).

lakers4sho
10-10-2010, 03:49 PM
We're not even at the point where we can qualitatively describe how we think, and you expect us to be able to quantitatively evaluate it?

Jays Claw
10-10-2010, 03:56 PM
We're not even at the point where we can qualitatively describe how we think, and you expect us to be able to quantitatively evaluate it?


How can one measure intangibles, and use them with validity in an argument? I am curious to see what the explanation is. I think intangibles most definitely play into an argument, but I would like to hear how they can be measured.

^ As you can clearly see, the OP isn't asking anyone to evaluate the term but rather explain as to how valid/credible is it when used in arguments.

Bruno
10-10-2010, 04:00 PM
its pretty true... there are certain things that cannot be measured... like setting good screens, boxing out well, and having a good motor. I understand that stuff. But there is a lot of crap out there like "will to win" and "heart" that is just crap man.

People only talk about "heart" and "desire" when player B is statistically inferior to player A, but homers won't admit it.

Disagree.

"Don't ever underestimate the heart of a champion" -Rudy Tomjanovich.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-1jgNhopNo

29$JerZ
10-10-2010, 04:01 PM
I count intangibles as drawing charges, tip passes, double teaming, boxing out, vocal, etc
Only drawing charges though can be counted as a stat to use in an arguement. The rest is what you see with your eyes.

There isn't a legit way to break down how a player brings intangibles imo, its just pretty much everything that cannot be recorded as a stat in basketball that gives value to the player compared to one who scores,rebounds,blocks,etc

For example David Lee got a lot of rebounds last yr for NY but it was largely in part too 2things. 1 being he was the only rebounder on the floor and 2nd was having Danilo box out on his man allowing Lee to grab the rebounds for the fast break. That is an intangible but Lee's rebound is looked more at rather than Danilo boxing out.

Kashmir13579
10-10-2010, 04:41 PM
I absolutely understand what intangibles are, I was curious as to any thoughts on how to measure them, of which I have seen decent feedback here. I am trying to understand how someone can pull the "intangibles" card, when rating players. Since its tough to define, many times I think it should be left out of a debate.

LOL, i know thats what you think; and you have an arguement. different player and playing styles fit a teams chemistry better and that also should be taken into account as intangibles.

Hawkeye15
10-10-2010, 05:15 PM
LOL, i know thats what you think; and you have an arguement. different player and playing styles fit a teams chemistry better and that also should be taken into account as intangibles.

style of play can be defined in most cases. there are many formula's that make it so pace, minutes played, team roles, etc can be quantified.
The basis of my creation of this thread is, at what point can someone stop arguing "for" intangibles, over a player that has far better stats than that player? Use Randolph as an example, before this past year. Great stats, but it led to virtually nothing. He can't possibly be put in the same sentence as Pau Gasol, even though their numbers are similar.

arkanian215
10-10-2010, 05:21 PM
They might have cameras that can act like the human eye, but machines process this information differently than we do.




There's nothing special about the "strategy" employed by computer chess programs. Like I said, all it does is it searches its database for a given sequence of moves, and again searches its database for a response that has the statistical probability of being a "good" move.

Human chess players work differently. There are simply millions of possible moves that can be made given a current position. A human simply can't "memorize" all the moves he/she has seen before and go through his/her memory file the way a computer can do it.

There lies the essential difference between the way computers and humans "think".




Machines make decisions based on programmed input and a database of possible responses. On the other hand, humans, even when they have not experienced a situation or seen an object before, can make decisions.

There's a reason why physicists and mathematicians are still making their livelihoods out of proving theorems. Proving a theorem involves much more than just going through previously proved ones. Machines simply aren't problem solvers. They are incapable of solving problems that they "have not seen before", meaning, they have not been inputted into their memory. If they are, then these intellectuals would have been long displaced from their careers. For crying out loud, there's a reason why psychology, sociology, and other social sciences still exist (and are very healthy fields of research, mind you).

Right machines can't do that. But my point is, in the future, it's not too far fetched to think that they can do that. Our technology today trumps the technology that existed when Keynes was alive. Machines will eventually be able to process a lot of information very quickly in a complex manner and even learn things. Either way, this conversation has awry.



In all of the cases you mentioned, there's always a factor of chance and subjectivity that must be taken into account, which makes it harder to quantify those scenarios.Of course. What I believe to be a good screen might be different from how you define a good screen. The point is you can measure things if you put definitions to these terms. Why do you think someone sets a good screen? Why do you recognize that someone is boxing out? What shows that someone has a good motor? There has to be some event that actually happens that you process in some manner along with other information and end up concluding, yes that's a good screen, box out or a player with a good motor.

Hawkeye15
10-10-2010, 05:22 PM
Right machines can't do that. But my point is, in the future, it's not too far fetched to think that they can do that. Machines will eventually be able to process a lot of information very quickly in a complex manner and even learn things. Either way, this conversation has awry.

my head hurts

arkanian215
10-10-2010, 05:24 PM
my head hurts

Sorry. We got carried away.

madiaz3
10-10-2010, 05:24 PM
The only discussion that intangibles should be left out of is when you're having debates about fantasy basketball and what players you should pick up.

Jays Claw
10-10-2010, 05:30 PM
Use Randolph as an example, before this past year. Great stats, but it led to virtually nothing. He can't possibly be put in the same sentence as Pau Gasol, even though their numbers are similar.

In situations like this, I tend to substitute intangibles with advanced career statistics. I mean, Gasol has a career PER of 21.9 and career WS of 83.4 vs. Randolph's career PER of 19.6 and career WS of 38.1. Not to mention Gasol's crazy playoff performances, career accomplishments and overall impact towards his team's success.

tredigs
10-10-2010, 05:33 PM
If you can perceive it, you can calculate it. What do you think your brain does when it watches something? It's an advanced form of a computer, except it has "limited" memory. Things that you see more recently will have more emphasis in your memory than things that happened a long time ago. ex: What did you eat for breakfast this morning? What did you eat for breakfast October 10, 1995?

"Properly" measuring anything is open to debate. If you can figure out to better measure a characteristic, then folks will catch on.

If it can be perceived it can be counted as long as you define strict rules about what qualifies and what doesn't. Why doesn't the player passing the ball to open man get an assist if that open man decides to mass it off one more time to another player who hits the open shot? Because that's how assists are defined in basketball. How do we know when a player has possession of the ball? When do we know if a player grabbed a rebound? Who gets rewarded a "steal" or a "turnover" when possession changes on a turnover?



How do people move about in supermarkets and what determines their willingness to buy something? Would placing the bacon and other meat products near the bread section compel people to buy more meats? Bread? What drives these consumers? These are some of the questions folks involved in data mining try to tackle. Why would it be so far fetched to believe there are ways to calculate and compare different player's "intangibles"?

In the example of product placement as it correlates to sales, you have only two variables, and they are very easy to calculate and draw conclusions from. This (along with assists, rebounds, etc) are a far, far more simplistic concept than trying to factor in the innumerable variables that are grouped together as "intangibles". You have to realize that.

You're right in the idea that the human brain is a supercomputer, and it can indeed "calculate" what we perceive; but not in the sense of a quantifiable statistic.

The bottom line is that anything short of floating mini-cams that hover over a player 24/7 and a team of statisticians ready to put their findings into a (semi-subjective) statistic that one could label as "intangibles" (I guess it would be the advanced equivalent of PER, being that it was a combo stat), we aren't going to have a full grasp of why it is exactly that makes a player tougher/more clutch/more willing to pass, etc.

Honestly, the best way to figure this out would be to do interviews on a players close friends/family and to figure out how he was raised as a child (as there's obviously a correlation between a persons personality and their upbringing).

I guess my underlying point is that actually trying to put a scale and rate a player on their intangibles is just far too complex/ambiguous to do effectively. That said, it doesn't change the fact that people - if they invest the time on understanding whatever player they're looking at - can get a pretty good idea of what they're dealing with on the "intangible" scale. But an actual objective/quantifiable number? No, I don't see how that's feasible. If you broke down the main factors of intangibility (again, this is somewhat subjective, but 'work ethic' for example would definitely be one of them) then you can begin to rate a player on each of those individually and eventually come up with something resembling a true stat, but it will never be concrete (which all other stats are very close to being).

Hawkeye15
10-10-2010, 05:36 PM
In situations like this, I tend to substitute intangibles with advanced career statistics. I mean, Gasol has a career PER of 21.9 and career WS of 83.4 vs. Randolph's career PER of 19.6 and career WS of 38.1. Not to mention Gasol's crazy playoff performances, career accomplishments and overall impact towards his team's success.

well, this is a bad example, but I really want to avoid an obvious one that will take us off topic. But the point remains, at what point does intangibles not matter? When a player is seperated by quite a bit in advanced stats, when do we stop saying, "I know player A has far better numbers, but player B has more intangibles, therefore he is as good/better"

save the knicks
10-10-2010, 05:39 PM
"Too large a proportion of recent 'mathematical' economics are mere concoctions, as imprecise as the initial assumptions they rest on, which allow the author to lose sight of the complexities and interdependencies of the real world in a maze of pretentious and unhelpful symbols."

- John Maynard Keynes

lol animal spirits

Hayek FTW

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0nERTFo-Sk

PraiseJesus
10-10-2010, 05:45 PM
Intangibles = Derek Fisher

nuff said

Jays Claw
10-10-2010, 05:50 PM
well, this is a bad example, but I really want to avoid an obvious one that will take us off topic. But the point remains, at what point does intangibles not matter?

I don't think that'll ever be the case because nowadays it's common for people to be point it out in debates.


When a player is seperated by quite a bit in advanced stats, when do we stop saying, "I know player A has far better numbers, but player B has more intangibles, therefore he is as good/better"

Statistics: points, rebounds, assists etc. vs. Intangibles: boxing out, taking charges etc.

Now I know the little things (in this case the intangibles) are important. However, do you honestly think Player B's intangibles are going to outwiegh Player A's ability to score, rebound etc.? The only people who would actually admit that the intangibles outwiegh statistics are homers and fans that have no real grasp on Player A's statistics.

EDIT: Sorry, didn't see the first part of your quote. To be honest, I'm not sure as to when people will stop using intangibles as the difference in similar statistics. People seem to use it as leverage in debates, however, they fail to realize that when comparing in-game statistics, work ethic, hustle and a player's willingness is commonly left out of the conversation.

lakers4sho
10-10-2010, 06:03 PM
^ As you can clearly see, the OP isn't asking anyone to evaluate the term but rather explain as to how valid/credible is it when used in arguments.

Well, that post wasn't meant to be a response to the OP.


Right machines can't do that. But my point is, in the future, it's not too far fetched to think that they can do that. Our technology today trumps the technology that existed when Keynes was alive. Machines will eventually be able to process a lot of information very quickly in a complex manner and even learn things. Either way, this conversation has awry.

Fair enough, let's end the discussion here. I would love to talk more about it though :p


I guess my underlying point is that actually trying to put a scale and rate a player on their intangibles is just far too complex/ambiguous to do effectively. That said, it doesn't change the fact that people - if they invest the time on understanding whatever player they're looking at - can get a pretty good idea of what they're dealing with on the "intangible" scale. But an actual objective/quantifiable number? No, I don't see how that's feasible. If you broke down the main factors of intangibility (again, this is somewhat subjective, but 'work ethic' for example would definitely be one of them) then you can begin to rate a player on each of those individually and eventually come up with something resembling a true stat, but it will never be concrete (which all other stats are very close to being).

I agree.

Raoul Duke
10-10-2010, 08:04 PM
It is hilarious to see sports fans actually saying, with a straight face, that they "don't believe in intangibles".

lakers4sho
10-10-2010, 08:24 PM
lol animal spirits

Hayek FTW

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0nERTFo-Sk

:rolleyes:

Some other time and place, ok? This is a sports forum, after all :cool:


It is hilarious to see sports fans actually saying, with a straight face, that they "don't believe in intangibles".

I try to keep the right balance. But I agree that it is pretty funny, even frightening, to think about what you said.

Avenged
10-10-2010, 08:51 PM
well, this is a bad example, but I really want to avoid an obvious one that will take us off topic. But the point remains, at what point does intangibles not matter? When a player is seperated by quite a bit in advanced stats, when do we stop saying, "I know player A has far better numbers, but player B has more intangibles, therefore he is as good/better"

I guess it would depend on the fan on what he views accountable to put player A over player B. For example, you have Lebron and Kobe and it's really 50/50 among fans on who's the better player. Lebron has all the stats in the world, but Kobe has greater intangibles (or is more known for it than Lebron). I mean, it just depends on what you view it as. Kobe has the rings, but Lebron doesn't, that's a good enough reason for many people out there.

For me, there really shouldn't be a point in where you say intangibles do not matter.. They always matter in my point of view. But they can be the final piece that distinguishes who's the better player when it's a close race.

Spurred1
10-10-2010, 09:00 PM
Simply because there isn't a clear cut way to measure intangibles doesn't mean you should ignore them completely. They do have their place when discussing players-but how much do intangibles factor in when determining player A's value against player B's?

tredigs
10-10-2010, 09:27 PM
Simply because there isn't a clear cut way to measure intangibles doesn't mean you should ignore them completely. They do have their place when discussing players-but how much do intangibles factor in when determining player A's value against player B's?

Hugely:

Player A and Player B are both 18 year old college freshman from the Big East looking to enter the NBA Draft this year. Both are PF's with similar size, stats (PER, rebound%, USG% are all similar) and roles on their team.

Player A is widely regarded by his coaches/peers as a relentlessly hard worker, popular leader in the clubhouse, and has a clean record with the law.

Player B is quietly known to be a clubhouse cancer, has a few extra pounds due to overpartying on the weekends, and has a DUI from when he was 16.

Same player on paper, but this is a no-brainer decision for an NBA GM. Intangibles are huge, there's no doubt about that. The problem a lot of people have when using them in arguments is that they tend to be lazy and just say the phrase, "he has great intangibles", without focusing on any one in particular and not substantiating it with any evidence.

I think it's fine/necessary to bring them up in the evaluation of a player (some cases, and some players more so than others...), but you just have to make sure to be specific in what exactly you are pointing to with a guys "intangibles". Sweeping blanket statements that just use the phrase and leave it at that offer nothing to an argument.

Hawkeye15
10-10-2010, 10:25 PM
It is hilarious to see sports fans actually saying, with a straight face, that they "don't believe in intangibles".

that is not what is being said here. Read it again. The thread is about, how does one rationally use intangibles in a debate when arguing players. How do you possibly try and explain what can not be explained when using it to bump one player over the next, or even a player who has substantially worse advanced stats with a player who has those better advanced stats? Only a moron would believe intangibles don't exist.

Hellcrooner
10-10-2010, 10:25 PM
YOU CANT.

thats wh y people fail to see how DUNCAN has been the bst player of the last decade.

Hawkeye15
10-10-2010, 10:29 PM
I guess it would depend on the fan on what he views accountable to put player A over player B. For example, you have Lebron and Kobe and it's really 50/50 among fans on who's the better player. Lebron has all the stats in the world, but Kobe has greater intangibles (or is more known for it than Lebron). I mean, it just depends on what you view it as. Kobe has the rings, but Lebron doesn't, that's a good enough reason for many people out there.

For me, there really shouldn't be a point in where you say intangibles do not matter.. They always matter in my point of view. But they can be the final piece that distinguishes who's the better player when it's a close race.

I will avoid the obvious comparison between LeBron and Kobe, because this isn't really about them. Even though LeBron has plenty of intangibles as well, so I don't even like that comparison to begin with in relation to this thread (There are so many more factors).
And I will agree with your last point. If two players are across the board, so similar in advanced stats, that is when you bring in your argument for intangibles, because its a shaky one at best, and holds small merit numerically.

Hawkeye15
10-10-2010, 10:31 PM
YOU CANT.

thats wh y people fail to see how DUNCAN has been the bst player of the last decade.

agreed, but much of that stems from media attention, of which Duncan doesn't get

Chronz
10-10-2010, 11:16 PM
I dont know about measuring intangibles considering its a contradiction but identifying and finding evidence of them in stats is pretty easy now adays (Wait thats a contradiction too, **** I guess it depends on what qualifies as intangible, alot of examples cited here dont). If a player is a great at boxing out but doesnt rebound himself, is accomplishing something defensively or offensively with his floor spacing ability then there will be evidence of that in the stats of his teammates and/or the stats of the team with and without him.

For example, KG's defensive impact is considered an intangible element but its readily visible in his +/-. People cite Nash's ability to make his teammates better as an intangible aspect but wouldnt that mean those players are doing something better themselves, something they havent done throughout their careers. In this case we look at the #'s that show Amare's performance with Nash and without Nash on the court. I remember Jason Collin in his prime being one of those guys who never got the rebound himself but always made sure to box out his man, as a result his counterpart rarely exploded on the glass (A measurable stat) and his teammates rebounding efficiency spiked with him on the floor without any loss in TEAM Rebounding mind you so it wasnt just a result of his poor rebounding. The team truly benefited from his presence. All that said, it truly shows you how insignificant intangibles are compared to statistical supremacy.

Collins is one of the hardest workers in the league, one of its top intangible players yet he was the guy who held the Nets back. They would have gladly replaced him with a non-intangible guy for even the slightest improvement in production. (Remember when they wanted Stromile Swift to start for them?)

Basically intangibles only come to play when 2 players are similar, very similar. Unless that player is like a 1 of a kind intangible glue guy.

Baller1
10-11-2010, 02:06 AM
Hugely:

Player A and Player B are both 18 year old college freshman from the Big East looking to enter the NBA Draft this year. Both are PF's with similar size, stats (PER, rebound%, USG% are all similar) and roles on their team.

Player A is widely regarded by his coaches/peers as a relentlessly hard worker, popular leader in the clubhouse, and has a clean record with the law.

Player B is quietly known to be a clubhouse cancer, has a few extra pounds due to overpartying on the weekends, and has a DUI from when he was 16.

Same player on paper, but this is a no-brainer decision for an NBA GM. Intangibles are huge, there's no doubt about that. The problem a lot of people have when using them in arguments is that they tend to be lazy and just say the phrase, "he has great intangibles", without focusing on any one in particular and not substantiating it with any evidence.

I think it's fine/necessary to bring them up in the evaluation of a player (some cases, and some players more so than others...), but you just have to make sure to be specific in what exactly you are pointing to with a guys "intangibles". Sweeping blanket statements that just use the phrase and leave it at that offer nothing to an argument.

Nicely put.

kblo247
10-11-2010, 04:04 AM
I am curious as to how they can be used with rational in a debate, hence the thread being created. I see many posters saying intangibles moves player A ahead of player B, despite player B's stats being far superior

Example: Fisher v Farmar

Farmar is faster, jumps higher, more physically gifted, and a more natural point guard.

Fisher on the other hand remains starting point guard because he has heart which allows him to go out there vs a Nash, Deron, Allen, and so on. He is physically out classed in talent more than Farmar will ever be, but the difference is in his heart and his confidence in himself. He has the confidence to come down the court and go shot for shot with those PGs or stars in any game and especially the fourth quarter. He has the confidence in himself to tell Kobe when to get in line, and he has the leadership skills to never allow himself to give up in a game even when it appears over because he feels he can steal it.

There is no logical reason that Fisher should have went at Deron better on both ends than Billup, went at Nash better than Parker or Hill could, or been able to basically take Allen out the majority of the series at this stage of his career and physical abilities other than he wanted it more and willed himself there.

There is a reason why on a team with Gasol, Odom, Bynum, and Artest they defer to him as the second option late in the fourth quarter and he was the only Laker not named Kobe to actually produce better on the road than they did at home in every series these past playoffs.

In that debate it personally comes down to mind over matter. Farmar and "insert other starting PG here" have the better physical tools and talent, but at the end of the day in Fish's mind none of that matters. You can call it swagger, confidence, leadership, heart, arrogance, and so on but at the end of the day that is basically how I look at intangibles. They can't always trump talent but you would be very foolish to slowly discredit a guy with leadership skills, heart, and toughness just because another guy has more sheer talent seeing as how talent (Vince Carter for example) becomes meaningless when you can't maximize it.

Hawkeye, I'll leave you with this since Magic, LA has had Van Exel, Payton, Harper, Farmar, Atkins, and Smush to man the PG spot, but can you honestly say that when push comes to shove any of them would be trusted or picked over Fisher if you had to rely on them to win 1 game for all the marbles? If you say Fish, that would be proof that intangibles matter

Raoul Duke
10-11-2010, 06:40 AM
that is not what is being said here. Read it again. The thread is about, how does one rationally use intangibles in a debate when arguing players. How do you possibly try and explain what can not be explained when using it to bump one player over the next, or even a player who has substantially worse advanced stats with a player who has those better advanced stats? Only a moron would believe intangibles don't exist.

Yeah, I just skimmed the thread and saw the same stuff I saw the first time. People have called them a crutch for losing arguments. Maybe you should re-read it?

I wasn't calling you out and it wasn't a personal attack on anyone. Much like TBS, I just find that **** to be very funny.

Ace33Bone
10-11-2010, 11:36 AM
When i think of intangibles I look at anything that doesnt show up directly in the box score such as:

Taking Charges (Nick Collison & Battier)
Being in Help Side on Defense (Bynum and Gasol)
Making the pass that may lead to an assist (Nelson)
Locking down a player so that he doesnt go off for a lot of points (Artest & Battier)

and then the other things are things you already hinted at
Work Ethic (Kobe & Durant)
Leadership (Durant & CP3)
Athletecism (LeBron)
Speed (Rose & Wall)
Coach on the Court (Nash)
Saying what is tough to say (Garnett)

Hawkeye15
10-11-2010, 02:04 PM
I dont know about measuring intangibles considering its a contradiction but identifying and finding evidence of them in stats is pretty easy now adays (Wait thats a contradiction too, **** I guess it depends on what qualifies as intangible, alot of examples cited here dont). If a player is a great at boxing out but doesnt rebound himself, is accomplishing something defensively or offensively with his floor spacing ability then there will be evidence of that in the stats of his teammates and/or the stats of the team with and without him.

For example, KG's defensive impact is considered an intangible element but its readily visible in his +/-. People cite Nash's ability to make his teammates better as an intangible aspect but wouldnt that mean those players are doing something better themselves, something they havent done throughout their careers. In this case we look at the #'s that show Amare's performance with Nash and without Nash on the court. I remember Jason Collin in his prime being one of those guys who never got the rebound himself but always made sure to box out his man, as a result his counterpart rarely exploded on the glass (A measurable stat) and his teammates rebounding efficiency spiked with him on the floor without any loss in TEAM Rebounding mind you so it wasnt just a result of his poor rebounding. The team truly benefited from his presence. All that said, it truly shows you how insignificant intangibles are compared to statistical supremacy.

Collins is one of the hardest workers in the league, one of its top intangible players yet he was the guy who held the Nets back. They would have gladly replaced him with a non-intangible guy for even the slightest improvement in production. (Remember when they wanted Stromile Swift to start for them?)

Basically intangibles only come to play when 2 players are similar, very similar. Unless that player is like a 1 of a kind intangible glue guy.

give me an example of a 1 of a kind, intangible guy. Battier?

Chronz
10-11-2010, 03:21 PM
Dont know of any, Im just saying thats what it would take for me to really care enough about intangibles to sway my decision one way or another in a lopsided comparison. Like Battier doesnt do enough small things to outweigh the large things stars do and yes hes probably one of the highest Intangible value players in the game.

PraiseJesus
10-11-2010, 04:38 PM
give me an example of a 1 of a kind, intangible guy. Battier?

Derek Fisher is intangible

PraiseJesus
10-11-2010, 04:39 PM
When i think of intangibles I look at anything that doesnt show up directly in the box score such as:

Taking Charges (Nick Collison & Battier)
Being in Help Side on Defense (Bynum and Gasol)
Making the pass that may lead to an assist (Nelson)
Locking down a player so that he doesnt go off for a lot of points (Artest & Battier)

and then the other things are things you already hinted at
Work Ethic (Kobe & Durant)
Leadership (Durant & CP3)
Athletecism (LeBron)
Speed (Rose & Wall)
Coach on the Court (Nash)
Saying what is tough to say (Garnett)

Speed is not intangible dude or Athleticism

PraiseJesus
10-11-2010, 04:40 PM
Robert Horry another intangible guy.

His teams always won yet he was not an all star

Hellcrooner
10-11-2010, 04:49 PM
Robert Horry another intangible guy.

His teams always won yet he was not an all star

more than that.

As soosn as he left that lakers sptoped winning.

imagesrdecievin
10-11-2010, 07:10 PM
Speed is not intangible dude or Athleticism

even though you can measure speed tangibly - you cannot measure tangibly the effect that a fast player can have on a game in terms of pushing the ball and keeping a team on it's heels, limiting offensive rebounding opportunities because teams are worried about getting back on defense, etc.

Hawkeye15
10-11-2010, 07:29 PM
Derek Fisher is intangible

agreed on Fisher. Horry, I think was in the right place at the right time.

PraiseJesus
10-11-2010, 07:35 PM
even though you can measure speed tangibly - you cannot measure tangibly the effect that a fast player can have on a game in terms of pushing the ball and keeping a team on it's heels, limiting offensive rebounding opportunities because teams are worried about getting back on defense, etc.

nah dude.

Intangibles are:
-Leadership
-Character
-Experience
-Intelligence
-Teamwork
-Performance under pressure
-Hustle