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Matt Harpring, Thurl Bailey and Craig Bolerjack Talk Analytics

February 13, 2014
tags: ,

From the Jazz vs. 76ers broadcast.

On the 76ers losing by large margins in the last two games
Harpring: That’s why you gotta be careful when you judge free agency, especially from a Sixers team. How do you judge it? The guy could put up huge numbers, average 17 points, you know, and have the 6 rebounds.

But how do you really judge that when your team is, doesn’t play defense? You give up 110 points, and you’re on a losing team. That’s tough to judge. I don’t know how the analytics program judges players, or puts that into their logarithms.

Boler: Yeah, good point.

On how analytics lead to selfish play
Harpring: I’m just a fan of, Boler, team basketball. You know, I like when guys help each other out. You know, this analytics game that everyone talks about, and I think it’s factored, has gone down now to the players. And I think the agents talk about it now too, and say, “Hey, if you want money in the off-season, you gotta give me numbers.”

And so now the players are saying, “Well, I gotta get numbers.” So they’re saying, “Well, in order to get numbers, I gotta be more selfish. I gotta play less defense because I gotta have more energy on the offensive end.”

So, it’s, I don’t know how this is gonna play out, ’cause the analytics, I like in a way, but on the other side, if you get a guy that’s strictly trying to get numbers, how do you, you know, how do you get that guy to, or get the analytics from playing defense?

Boler: Good point. …

Harpring: Or judge heart and desire?

Boler: You can’t in analytics. No, you cannot.

Thurl Bailey, asked to weigh in on analytics
Bailey: You know, I like it somewhat. I like it to the point that you know what the numbers are. I don’t buy into it totally. But you were talking about Philly’s team and the style that they play.

I think there might be a little argument or some theory about, you know, a team like Philly wanting to get a good draft pick, obviously, and the style of basketball they play is kinda geared towards that. Not that they’re trying to tank on purpose, but you know, it’s hard to win the way that they play.

But you could tell, with the Jazz, that there’s structure to it, and guys are really trying…

So, I like analytics. I like to read the numbers and know the stats. But I don’t buy totally into it.

Boler: Yeah, T, I like, I think the key word is “structure.”

Bailey: Yeah.

Boler: And that’s the key.

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