Tuesday, February 01, 2011

The Truth About Splits

With the Memphis Grizzlies beating Orlando 100-97 last night, the Atlanta Hawks' improved their record their record against teams above .500 improved from 6-11 to 8-11.

2 comments:

LazyBum said...

well, not really a comment about this post, but considering that you've discussed the horford treatment in the past, i thought you would find this interesting:

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1736633

"We use a large dataset of play-by-play NBA data to determine when yanking foul-plagued starters is optimal by applying insights and tools from finance. We find that a team performs significantly worse if a starter with foul trouble is allowed to remain in the game, and that this effect is strongest in the third quarter. We use a novel win-probability technique that is sufficiently general to be useful for other questions simply by appropriately redefining the state variables. Thus, our two contributions are to introduce the new approach and also to demonstrate its usefulness by solving the problem of early foul trouble that had remained unaddressed in the academic literature."

Bret LaGree said...

There's a (presumably) similar study discussed in Scorecasting but I didn't write about in reference to The Horford Treatment as that study had to do with whether or not it was optimal to remove a player in the first half after he picked up his third foul.

Aversion to having players foul out is so ingrained in NBA head coaches, I'd be curious to read this study to see how they controlled for that. For example, if the Hawks weren't down 10 and he didn't have a terrible bench, I doubt Drew would have left Josh Smith on the court with 5 fouls half-way through the fourth quarter in Dallas.