Thursday, September 16, 2010

Nerd Numbers: Dan and Dre podcast

Andres of Nerd Numbers has recently started a weekly podcast in which he discusses the NBA, basketball, and other sports (mostly Denver teams) with his brother Dan. Andres, of course, analyzes the stats from a Wins Produced perspective; Dan is a stats "skeptic" and prefers his own original blend of traditional basketball thinking and idiosyncratic whimsy. Last week I determined that Dan was more convincing. This week's podcast has a few interesting topics:
  • Andres has declared me to be "the stats ambassador to Canada". I need to put that on my resumé.
  • Dan would rather have Rudy Gay and Marc Gasol than Luol Deng and Joakim Noah. Given that Deng is better than Gay and that Noah is better than Gasol, I'll have to go with the pair of Bulls.
  • Dan keeps seems confused about the definition of a "good player". Good players don't necessarily have the best skills; they don't necessarily win games of one-on-one against everybody. "Good players" are those who help their team win more than the average player; the greater the degree to which they help their team win, the better the player.
  • Apparently not even Dan likes Bargnani. Somewhere, somehow, someone in a position of power on another team is going to be impressed by Bargnani's PPG average and make a bid for him. At this point I can't imagine that there are many offers that I would turn down.
  • They talked about baseball and football (snooze).
This week's contest was a lot closer, but...I declare Andres the winner! Dan put up a good fight, but in the end, Andres gave 110% and just out-hustled him.

I also have some strategic advice for Andres:
  • Explain how Wins Produced determines "good" players and "bad" players. Explain which events on the court lead to "positive outcomes" (aka winning) and which lead to "negative outcomes" (aka losing). Use general situations and avoid using specific players at first. Once you've convinced him of the logic behind Wins Produced, he'll have to agree with its evaluation of players.
  • I think Dan is better at using rhetoric than Andres. Andres: practice makes perfect!
Dan's doing pretty well - given that he's on the wrong side. I guess my only advice to him is to keep up the style that made him successful in the past and deny, deny, deny.

 - Devin.

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