‘Tis the season for tanking! Last week, there were six teams eliminated from the playoffs. The Bobcats and Wizards had lost quite a lot already since then, though the Hornets looked surprisingly good. The Hornets continue to look good, but everyone else is bad bad bad, and the ranks of the eliminated have grown. The Bobcats locked in the worst record last night, but it’s hard to imagine them winning any games the rest of the way, so I’m not sure they can be accused of tanking. They are just a terrible team.
The Tank Watch
The Hornets 6-3 record since playoff elimination is largely due to the return of Eric Gordon (they are 4-1 in recent games when he has played). However, would any team other than the LEAGUE OWNED Hornets bring back Eric Gordon Continue reading
Posted in Basketball, Causal Analysis, Commentary, Common Sense, Research Papers
Tagged basketball, Bobcats, Bobcats losing streak, caspian, causal analysis, Charlotte Bobcats, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, do teams tank NBA, draft position, eliminated from the playoffs, Eric Gordon, Golden State Warriors, Grantland, hornets, Hornets can't tank, Hornets league ownership, Hornets not tanking, Hornets owned by the NBA, how much tanking is there in the NBA, Jay Caspian Kang, Jay Caspian Kang tanking, Kang tanking, Minnesota Timberwolves, National Basketball Association, NBA, NBA 2011-2012, NBA 2012, NBA draft lottery, NBA draft lottery incentive to tank, nba teams, New Jersey, New Jersey Nets, New Orleans Hornets, playoff elimination, playoff elimination date, playoffs, Portland Trail Blazers, recent games, research findings, Sacramento Kings, Sports, tank, tankers, tanking, Tony, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards, when eliminated from the playoffs
Following up on my post yesterday tracking tankers the past few years, here’s the tank watch for the 2011-2012 season. Six teams have been eliminated from the playoffs so far, but no one has locked in their spot yet. We’ll see if the Bobcats stop their losing ways (13 in a row!) once they clinch the worst record and the tanking incentive is gone:
The Tank Watch
Posted in Basketball, Causal Analysis
Tagged basketball, Bobcats, Bobcats have lost 13 in a row, Bobcats lose 13 in a row, causal analysis, Charlotte Bobcats, do teams tank NBA, draft position, eliminated from the playoffs, how much tanking is there in the NBA, National Basketball Association, NBA, NBA 2011-2012, NBA 2012, NBA draft lottery, NBA draft lottery incentive to tank, nba teams, New Jersey Nets, New Orleans Hornets, playoff elimination, playoff elimination date, playoffs, Sacramento Kings, Sports, tank, tankers, tanking, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards, when eliminated from the playoffs
Tanking: intentionally losing in order to improve draft position.
After my PhD buddy Chris and I circulated our findings that NBA teams tank a lot, we’ve been asked a few times, “Which teams are tanking?” Today I offer a quick look at teams that have likely tanked.
First, a refresher: we measure tanking by comparing performance before and after playoff-eliminated teams “clinch” their lottery spot. In the last couple games of the season, many teams lock in their spot, so they no longer have an incentive to lose. Those games act as our control. The problem with doing it this way is that some tankers may keep trying to lose even after they clinch their spot. This could happen because teams shut down star players because of “injury” or just because teams develop a habit of losing.
So, the big caveat with the results below (and the results in our paper) is that we are almost certainly missing some tankers. Some teams Continue reading
Posted in Basketball, Causal Analysis, Research Papers
Tagged Atlanta Hawks, basketball, Boston Celtics, causal analysis, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, do teams tank NBA, draft position, Golden State Warriors, how much tanking is there in the NBA, Jason Kidd, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves, MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, National Basketball Association, NBA, NBA draft lottery, NBA draft lottery incentive to tank, NBA first overall picks, NBA lottery rules, nba teams, playoff elimination, Sports, tanking, Toronto Raptors, Vancouver Grizzlies
This week’s LOS LIIIINNNKKKKSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!:
As always, send me los links if you have something funny, sports-related, intelligent, and/or intriguing.
Posted in Basketball, Football, Humor, LOS LIIINNNKKKSSS!!!, Other Sports, Pop Culture
Tagged DeShawn Stevenson, DeShawn Stevenson accidental shot, DeShawn Stevenson alley oop pass, DeShawn Stevenson half court, dollar bill origami, funny sports, Hayden Smith, Hayden Smith NFL, Hayden Smith rugby, los links, los links video, memorize a deck of cards, memory contests, memory techniques, National Basketball Association, national championships memory, National Football League, NBA, NFL, Parent-in-law, rugby man, Sports, Super Bowl, Tony, Tony Award
There’s a new paper out this month by Casey Ichniowski and Anne Preston concerning the NCAA tournament and the NBA draft (thanks to my PhD buddies Chris and Felipe for passing it along). Their argument is that unexpectedly strong tournament performance (especially team performance) causes players to be selected earlier in the NBA draft. This isn’t a bad thing though — in fact, they suggest that these strong tournament players tend to outperform their draft position in the NBA.
I believe their results saying that tournament performance affects draft position (this has also been shown by Chaz Thomas in an undergraduate thesis, and by David Berri, Stacey Brook, and Aju Fenn), and I mostly believe their results that strong tourney performers should be drafted even earlier, though their set up is a little odd for this second issue.
The clearest way to show that teams make mistakes in the draft Continue reading
Posted in Basketball, College Sports, Prediction, Research Papers
Tagged Anne E. Preston, Casey Ichniowski, Chaz Thomas NBA draft NCAA tournament March Madness, Columbia Ichniowski, David Berri, does March Madness matter for the NBA draft, Ichniowski March Madness, Ichniowski NBA draft, Ichniowski NCAA tournament, National Basketball Association, National Basketball Association Draft, NBA, NCAA, NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship, NCAA tournament NBA draft, Perry Jones, predicting NBA performance, statistics
When the Nuggets resigned Nene to a large contract in the off season, I wrote that they were making the most of a bad situation (few marquee free agents available, Nene not worth the money). Today, they admitted as much by trading Nene in a three team deal that landed them talented but unreliable JaVale McGee.
Although the Nuggets have bucked the trend slightly by having some success post-Iverson and Carmelo, my preferred models for NBA success are the South Beach Talents and the Seattle Scientists. The Talents involve trading or signing two (or three!) top 15 players, and spending the spare change on spare parts to fill out the roster. The theory is that mid range guys are overpaid, so just spend you money at the top and bottom.
If you’re a small market, it’s tough to attract stars these days, so I suggest the Scientists, a hypothetical NBA team that attacks a different undervalued asset: effort. The Scientists hire guys who will be in better shape and work harder than every other team. They press on offense AND defense.
The Nuggets are neither of these. They are doing okay with their strategy of paying mid range guys (Afflalo is another example); they have the 6 seed right now. However, they probably aren’t a championship team. Wouldn’t it be fun to try something new instead?
Posted in Basketball, Innovative Ideas, Trades/Free Agency
Tagged bad situation, basketball, Denver Nuggets, free agents, ideas for NBA teams, JaVale McGee, JaVale McGee trade, Los Angeles Clippers, low effort NBA, mid range, National Basketball Association, NBA, NBA players don't try, nba team, NBA team models, Nene, Nuggets, Nuggets trade Nene, Nuggets Wizards Clippers trade, Seattle Scientists, South Beach Talents, spare change, Sports, Washington Wizards