Kobe on Advanced Analytics: "The Game is about Momentum and Pace"

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Re: Kobe on Advanced Analytics: "The Game is about Momentum and Pace" 

Post#101 » by udfa » Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:46 am

Kobe is right, from a certain point of view. Analytics aren't made for players, they don't need to know a single thing about them to be successful. They could help a player determine where they need to work to improve, but there are other methods to determine where to put that improvement effort. It's not a problem if most or even all players ignore them. It's the effort itself that matters, and the quality of technique acquired. Coaches and GMs are the persons in the franchise who need to pay attention to them and use the information provided to make what should be rational decisions. Not using these tools is like refusing to use math to see where your company might be making or losing money.

Based on all of the times I've heard a sports legend state an opinion about a player or team and watched them be proven by events to be completely wrong, there are no players who can consistently evaluate players or teams better than mathematics can. People who have never even heard of basketball but can read these advanced stats and get what they mean could assemble teams out of current players who would win championships. People who use raw stats but refuse to use advanced stats will tend to pick worse teams. People who refuse to use counting to evaluate players will tend to do worse than people who will only use raw stats.
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Re: Kobe on Advanced Analytics: "The Game is about Momentum and Pace" 

Post#102 » by CallMeKahn » Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:49 am

fianchetto wrote:
IgorK wrote:
fianchetto wrote:
Front offices pay smart people a lot of money to develop analytics whose purpose is exactly that. Not saying they’re there yet of course. Baseball is much ahead in that regard but of course that game is very very different


Analytics point to past performance trends. They're not great at predicting true winning, and they never will be since they don't take into account intangible factors like motivation and health.


The goal of analytics is to make intangibles tangible. How can you say they never will?


Because it's like Science trying to prove God. The goal of analytics isn't to prove an intangible thing. It's goal is to provide data, isolate trends, and possible future performance. But it doesn't predict health, emotional states, or even fluke outliers that can affect the whole (think regression to the mean). Grayson f***ing Allen dropped 40 in a game last year. Even if it's a scrub game with neither side having anything to play for, no one predicted that.

Simply put, having the data available helps and is wickedly valuable. But if it's the end-all-be-all, why haven't the Rockets won a chip lately?
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Re: Kobe on Advanced Analytics: "The Game is about Momentum and Pace" 

Post#103 » by Gnik » Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:58 am

IgorK wrote:
Side beard wrote:
IgorK wrote:
Analytics won't win you the next game.

Then what will?


Skills & effort. Motivation & tutelage. Health & rest. Go ahead and quantify those things for me now.


There are a lot of metrics for skill. You think scouts only use eye test for annual NBA drafts? :lol:

For effort, teams can get insight from player activity by having GPS wearables in the jerseys. I read some already tried this in the NBA. Can measure each activity accounted for each player to determine effort levels(ie. shot contest, whether it is a good/bad contest).

Health and rest probably accounts for most of the money used for analytics of these teams. Those load management game weren't just 'Oh, let's skip this one. Then this after this.'. These are thoroughly studied so the team won't suffer and at the same time circumvent any possible penalty. We're talking the opponents, geography, time, etc. A lot of factors.

LeBron alone spends millions for his body. How do you think those experts maximizes LeBron's body at this late stage of his career? By looking at a lot metrics to determine how.

If you mean health when a player suddenly gets hurt when they were tipped to be a better team, that doesn't necessarily mean that the insights from the numbers are invalid. It's just that the player got hurt.

Intangibles are real. Just don't make it up too much to disregard useful insights from facts.

Analytics determines a lot of things. Not just the best player/team. Look into it instead of talking without knowing.
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Re: Kobe on Advanced Analytics: "The Game is about Momentum and Pace" 

Post#104 » by fianchetto » Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:05 pm

CallMeKahn wrote:
fianchetto wrote:
IgorK wrote:
Analytics point to past performance trends. They're not great at predicting true winning, and they never will be since they don't take into account intangible factors like motivation and health.


The goal of analytics is to make intangibles tangible. How can you say they never will?


Because it's like Science trying to prove God. The goal of analytics isn't to prove an intangible thing. It's goal is to provide data, isolate trends, and possible future performance. But it doesn't predict health, emotional states, or even fluke outliers that can affect the whole (think regression to the mean). Grayson f***ing Allen dropped 40 in a game last year. Even if it's a scrub game with neither side having anything to play for, no one predicted that.

Simply put, having the data available helps and is wickedly valuable. But if it's the end-all-be-all, why haven't the Rockets won a chip lately?


That rockets point is such a strawman argument. I never said analytics are good yet. Just because one team who uses analytics doesn’t win the title (they were a win away) doesn’t mean that analytics aren’t useful.

And yes, their goal is exactly to make intangibles tangible exactly in the way you pointed out. And yes, they can address health. And outliers will always be there, but they are the exception and so rare that it’s ok. That’s why they are called outliers.
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Re: Kobe on Advanced Analytics: "The Game is about Momentum and Pace" 

Post#105 » by Gnik » Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:12 pm

I mean seriously, a lot of the game tape session involves a lot of analytics. These are not supposed to predict the future to a tee, but you can get a picture. In a competitive scene, that's a sh*t load of help.

To downplay it by saying 'how come the rockets haven't won a chip?' is just plain lazy and so ignorant lmao
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Re: Kobe on Advanced Analytics: "The Game is about Momentum and Pace" 

Post#106 » by MrDollarBills » Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:24 pm

GeorgeMarcus wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:
MrDollarBills wrote:
This is why you cannot use the numbers without proper context. Like on/off, for example.


Pretty sure in the end we decided who wins the game based on numbers. Scoreboard baby.

Momentum is very important...because it has the potential to affect the scoreboard.

Re: numbers without proper context. Absolutely agree that that's what you want to avoid. Disagree if you're implying those who making use of numbers in the +/- family aren't also considering context.


He didn’t like that I posted the on/offs of the Nets last year (with a minutes qualifier) even after I stated outright that bench players having positive on/offs does not mean they are better than starters with negative on/offs. What I did deduce however is that, for a team with an average point differential of -0.1, negative on/offs imply the starters were worse than an average starting unit. Also that depth was a big part of their success. There was plenty of context in the thread.


Saying that Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Shabazz Napier had more of a floor impact over Joe Harris on the Nets last season is a textbook example of using on/off with very little context.
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Re: Kobe on Advanced Analytics: "The Game is about Momentum and Pace" 

Post#107 » by CallMeKahn » Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:26 pm

fianchetto wrote:
CallMeKahn wrote:
fianchetto wrote:
The goal of analytics is to make intangibles tangible. How can you say they never will?


Because it's like Science trying to prove God. The goal of analytics isn't to prove an intangible thing. It's goal is to provide data, isolate trends, and possible future performance. But it doesn't predict health, emotional states, or even fluke outliers that can affect the whole (think regression to the mean). Grayson f***ing Allen dropped 40 in a game last year. Even if it's a scrub game with neither side having anything to play for, no one predicted that.

Simply put, having the data available helps and is wickedly valuable. But if it's the end-all-be-all, why haven't the Rockets won a chip lately?


That rockets point is such a strawman argument. I never said analytics are good yet. Just because one team who uses analytics doesn’t win the title (they were a win away) doesn’t mean that analytics aren’t useful.

And yes, their goal is exactly to make intangibles tangible exactly in the way you pointed out. And yes, they can address health. And outliers will always be there, but they are the exception and so rare that it’s ok. That’s why they are called outliers.


The Rockets, as I understand it, are the most analytics heavy team in the league. So no, it's not a strawman. And I never said analytics wasn't a useful tool. It most certainly is. The main thing is analytics can't predict everything. They point to trends and can be useful to make predictions on how events will pan out with a degree of certainty. But you cannot exclusively rely upon it where an eye-test might be a better measure. As a case in point, certain elections in the world swung wildly beyond what was predicted because the results that were predicted did not account for certain data sets that proved to be the tipping point.

As such, anyone trying to exclusively use analytics because "it seeks to prove the intangible" needs to use their eyes in addition to their minds. It doesn't predict emotions, mental states, and other things you could probably call "the human factor". That's all I'm saying. Otherwise, I think we're agreeing on the rest of the points here.
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Re: Kobe on Advanced Analytics: "The Game is about Momentum and Pace" 

Post#108 » by og15 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:06 pm

Pennebaker wrote:
ccameron wrote:Not sure if there was ever a topic on this, the interview is not new, but Kobe was asked about advanced analytics and the modern game about 8:45 of this interview:



The quote about advanced analytics is:

I think it has a place in the game. I don't think it gives the full answer of why things happen, and how to create momentum. The game really is about momentum, and who can control momentum, more so than numbers. There's the emotion of the game.Who can dictate tempo and pace. Those things are the most important, because those things actually win games.

Numbers look good, and can kind of tell you a story. But the true story lies in the tempo and pacing of the game.


Of course it's not possible to quantify what he is talking about (and that's the point he is making), but intuitively I feel like what he is saying makes sense. Numbers tell part of the story, but they will never tell the full story. It's why you can't say one player is greater than another purely by looking at the numbers (whether simple box score numbers or advanced analytics). I like his point that the numbers can tell a story, but not the whole story. I think some people lose track of this sometimes.

Thoughts?


Kobe is defensive as usual and not using his brain again. Momentum, tempo and pace are all numbers.

I don't think Kobe even properly understands what the analytics effort is about - quantifying what was previously thought of as absolutely unquantifiable i.e. scientifically exploring amorphous terms like "emotion" and "assassin". Trying to get to truth, essentially.

I suspect Kobe will always argue that there are some facets that can never be explained because that's what protects him and his inefficient game and his fragile ego.

In other words, Kobe's game is built for ignorance and he looks worse and worse the closer we get to truth, so he doesn't want to go there.

Whenever I read someone say Kobe is inefficient, I wonder how they are understanding efficiency. So I guess my question is how are you interpreting efficiency here? How exactly is Kobe inefficient? Compared to more efficient players, sure, but that's different than calling sometime inefficient in general. Is he inefficient in something like TS% compared to league average? Is his individual Ortg low? How is he inefficient?

I do have to disagree about analytics being able to quantify everything, that's just not the expectation. It's the aim, to get as much data as possible, but there will always be a limit to the ability to quantify the why of every single aspect in a number. There will be aspects that will need to be addressed with interpretation of the data and other factors.
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Re: Kobe on Advanced Analytics: "The Game is about Momentum and Pace" 

Post#109 » by dhsilv2 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:14 pm

IgorK wrote:Analytics are great for analysis, which comes after the game has concluded.


I'm pretty sure you want all kinds of analytics in your scouting report. That plays a KEY role in how you defend, how you attack, your offense should be designed around those metrics as well. In game sure, someone gets hot and you have to adapt. Someone goes cold, same thing.
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Re: Kobe on Advanced Analytics: "The Game is about Momentum and Pace" 

Post#110 » by SlowPaced » Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:19 pm

One thing to note, a lot of ex and current players talking about analytics don't actually know what analytics are. Many of them think analytics consists merely of boxscore analysis, which is wrong. There are boxscore metrics like PER, BPM, WS and VORP, but there are much more complicated impact metrics like RPM, RAPM and PIPM as well. The former set of metrics are pretty useless, the latter are very useful but still don't tell the whole story and need to be put in context by eye-test. This is only about publicly available metrics, too, analytics departments of pro teams have their own sets of metrics that we aren't aware of. Also, the aforementioned are all catch-all metrics, there are specific measures that are very valuable (Defensive FG% at the rim, catch-and-shoot FG%, ORPG%, deflections etc.).

I'd wager that Kobe doesn't really know much about analytics himself, as momentum and pace are both quantifiable numbers and are reflected in impact data, but at least he's not foolishly dismissive of analytics simply because he's not in the know about them like certain foolish ex-players are. *cough* Charles Barkley *cough*
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Re: Kobe on Advanced Analytics: "The Game is about Momentum and Pace" 

Post#111 » by lakers2020 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:20 pm

Kobe thinks in a weird, abstract kind of way that doesn't seem to make any sense. He would have given someone like Morey fits, who is a logic/ facts based thinker.
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Re: Kobe on Advanced Analytics: "The Game is about Momentum and Pace" 

Post#112 » by og15 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:32 pm

IgorK wrote:
fianchetto wrote:
IgorK wrote:
Analytics won't win you the next game.


Front offices pay smart people a lot of money to develop analytics whose purpose is exactly that. Not saying they’re there yet of course. Baseball is much ahead in that regard but of course that game is very very different


Analytics point to past performance trends. They're not great at predicting true winning, and they never will be since they don't take into account intangible factors like motivation and health.
Well, nothing is truly "great" at predicting true winning, at least depending on what level of prediction you are looking for, so that's not really something specific to or condemning of analytics. Even as fans, analysts, former players, etc, there's always some level of data that is used to predict winning. Regular season wins, regular season matchups, specific team strengths and weaknesses based on numbers, that's all data. People choose the 1st seed to beat the 8th seed because of the past performance of both teams.

If we had no stats, no previous production, and just had rosters with height, weight and position, we would all just be guessing when it comes to predicting winning. Even if you gave us and the best analysts 10 minute clips of every player on the team, but no stats, our ability to predict would be much worse.

So based on that, analytics are great at predicting winning because past performance is a good predictor of future performance. Good does not mean perfect though, and perfect is a nonsensical requirement, then of course when you have closer matched teams, predicting becomes more difficult. In addition, in single games, especially in the regular season, nothing can necessarily predict fully what the outcome will be.

Analytics can help you win the next game, they can help you make adjustments that end up making the difference, but that doesn't mean that your adjustments will always work or can't be countered.
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Re: Kobe on Advanced Analytics: "The Game is about Momentum and Pace" 

Post#113 » by tv24lakers » Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:02 pm

KyRo23 wrote:Kind of rich coming from Kobe, a guy who went for numbers instead of winning for awhile.


Yes, because we all know how badly Kobe wanted the team to tank so he can jack up his stats. :crazy:
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Re: Kobe on Advanced Analytics: "The Game is about Momentum and Pace" 

Post#114 » by SappySkunk » Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:15 pm

If youve ever played bball or even a bball video game, you will know this to be true. I think you can add team morale as part of momentum. Teams that are losing momentum or confidence will look to contol the pace to gain it back. Hence, slowing the game down or calling timeout in order to run a set play.

I think it was Bird in a post game interview, he was breaking down specific plays/moments that led to a win/loss and how those plays made a difference in the outcome.
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Re: Kobe on Advanced Analytics: "The Game is about Momentum and Pace" 

Post#115 » by JellosJigglin » Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:31 pm

Kobe is the greatest I've seen at imposing his will on the game. That's really what it was about for him. He came at you like an avalanche. Sometimes it made for great historic performances, sometimes not so great. But he was the ultimate suppressive fire.
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Re: Kobe on Advanced Analytics: "The Game is about Momentum and Pace" 

Post#116 » by Arman_tanzarian » Tue Aug 13, 2019 5:24 pm

GusFring wrote:Why do people harbor so much resentment for kobe still?

Lol I know. This is like the least polarizing thing he's ever said too.
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Re: Kobe on Advanced Analytics: "The Game is about Momentum and Pace" 

Post#117 » by Perishable517 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 5:25 pm

PistolPeteJR wrote:
Buzzard wrote:
PistolPeteJR wrote:
Why is your minimum threshold here DRose? I was shocked when you pointed out he put up .55 TS% as I didn’t think he ever hit that mark. Turns out he hit it, once, and you fit the narrative to fit him in? I hope that’s not what you did, but it sure seems so. Not trying to take a shot at you, just curious to see.

You are funny. Yes I made DRose shoot a .550TS% the year he won the MVP. He did that to fit my narrative, that is how much he likes me :lol:


That’s not what I said at all, nor could it be understood in that way. I think it’s obvious that my question was, basically, did you carve the narrative to fit all those players to say “everyone who shot 55 TS% rightfully won MVP except Iverson?” Why not make it a minimum of 56 TS% for instance and say they all won it and fit the bill to win it with this condition minus Iverson, KG, Rose and Westbrook?

Again, my question is not a shot at you, just wondering why you chose 55 TS% per se?


Obviously did not read the second, and only, sentence in his post.

Edit: And on that note, Iverson's TS was at league average for the 2000-2001 season.

Second edit: duh. It was in the post. *sigh*
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Re: Kobe on Advanced Analytics: "The Game is about Momentum and Pace" 

Post#118 » by skones » Tue Aug 13, 2019 5:35 pm

I still think that video where Kobe breaks down Jayson Tatum and encourages long two after long two is really hilarious. "That's a shot, that's a shot, THAT's a shot."
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Re: Kobe on Advanced Analytics: "The Game is about Momentum and Pace" 

Post#119 » by PistolPeteJR » Tue Aug 13, 2019 5:43 pm

Perishable517 wrote:
PistolPeteJR wrote:
Buzzard wrote:You are funny. Yes I made DRose shoot a .550TS% the year he won the MVP. He did that to fit my narrative, that is how much he likes me :lol:


That’s not what I said at all, nor could it be understood in that way. I think it’s obvious that my question was, basically, did you carve the narrative to fit all those players to say “everyone who shot 55 TS% rightfully won MVP except Iverson?” Why not make it a minimum of 56 TS% for instance and say they all won it and fit the bill to win it with this condition minus Iverson, KG, Rose and Westbrook?

Again, my question is not a shot at you, just wondering why you chose 55 TS% per se?


Obviously did not read the second, and only, sentence in his post.

Edit: And on that note, Iverson's TS was at league average for the 2000-2001 season.

Second edit: duh. It was in the post. *sigh*


No. You clearly don’t get the question I posed. I’ll move on now.
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Re: Kobe on Advanced Analytics: "The Game is about Momentum and Pace" 

Post#120 » by ccameron » Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:26 pm

SlowPaced wrote:One thing to note, a lot of ex and current players talking about analytics don't actually know what analytics are. Many of them think analytics consists merely of boxscore analysis, which is wrong. There are boxscore metrics like PER, BPM, WS and VORP, but there are much more complicated impact metrics like RPM, RAPM and PIPM as well. The former set of metrics are pretty useless, the latter are very useful but still don't tell the whole story and need to be put in context by eye-test. This is only about publicly available metrics, too, analytics departments of pro teams have their own sets of metrics that we aren't aware of. Also, the aforementioned are all catch-all metrics, there are specific measures that are very valuable (Defensive FG% at the rim, catch-and-shoot FG%, ORPG%, deflections etc.).

I'd wager that Kobe doesn't really know much about analytics himself, as momentum and pace are both quantifiable numbers and are reflected in impact data, but at least he's not foolishly dismissive of analytics simply because he's not in the know about them like certain foolish ex-players are. *cough* Charles Barkley *cough*


I don't know, I give Kobe more credit than that. Pace is something you can measure, sure. But when he talks about the "emotion of the game," pretty sure he is talking about more than just the measured pace of the game. I confess I'm not very educated myself on how a lot of the advanced data is measured, but I'm sure there a lot that is missing. There is garbage time, there is coasting time, there are times where both teams are going at it 110% battling for every possession (and it doesn't always coincide with the end of the 4th quarter), and I'm not sure any of the advanced metrics can distinguish these moments. But some of those moments can affect the way a team plays the rest of the game more than others -- I think he's right that "emotion" of the game has a lot to do with it. A lot of that effect can be measured, sure, but like Kobe says, the measured data doesn't tell you why.

Maybe I am falling into the trap that people are accusing Kobe of setting up here, but I think Kobe is generally underrated by the people who rely too much on analytics. Maybe the data suggests Kobe wasn't as efficient as some other stars. But maybe he didn't have to be. I've said this on a number of occasions, but in the playoffs, when everything goes to hell, and you are facing competition that has a counter to your plan A, your plan B, and even your plan C, I'd rather have Kobe on my team than James Harden (not trying to slight Harden, who blows Kobe out of the water as far as efficiency is concerned). Very unscientific, the "emotion" of the game, I know, and maybe that view is colored by the actual fact of Kobe winning, but I still think there is some truth this.

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