14 May 2009

Rockets Force Game 7!

My buddy Daryl, who has guest blogged here at R World, is in the news. His Houston Rockets have just forced the Lakers to game 7 of the playoffs. There is a fascinating article about Shane Battier and Daryl in last Sunday's New York Times' Magazine by Michael Lewis (author of Moneyball and Liar's Poker).

Just remember, you read about Daryl here at R World before you read about him in the New York Times. Do you need further proof that blogs live in the future that newspapers will write about?

1 comment:

Big Al said...

The New York Times article about Battier is infinitely so much better than the short story in this week's edition of SI about Battier guarding Kobe. And I have to admit: as frustrated as I was at seeing my Trailblazers lose in the 1st round to Houston, I'm glad it was Houston and not LA. I've always respected Coach Adelman (he did a FANTASTIC job when he coached in Portland) because his teams had good character, and Battier is truly a sports competitor. I only wish Battier could play for the Blazers.

In terms of the use of statistics and numbers, being an engineer, I'm simply incredulous all the sports teams don't use data. But as is correctly pointed out in the article, it's knowing WHAT data to use that makes the difference, along with how to correctly interpret the information and then what you should do based on the information. I 100% agree that a boxscore showing minutes played, points scored, rebounds accumulated, etc. is indeed data, but by itself it doesn't mean anything. Someone could look at a boxscore, see that Kobe contributed 50 points and then assume the Lakers won, only to find out the Lakers lost. And it's then that the data could show how Kobe maybe shot 30% to get those 50 points, and that Kobe had the ball in his hands 60% of the time the Lakers had possession of the ball meaning he severely, negatively impacted his team because, quite literally, he was a "ball hog" who was not efficient when he had the ball, translating into his teammates only having a little bit of time to contribute to the scoring effort. And if his teammates were inefficient in their scoring percentage for that short period of time they had the ball to score . . . well . . . there goes the ballgame!

Yes, data and statistics *ARE* important.