Everyone loves a good sport debate (ok maybe not everyone but certainly most die hard sports fans that frequent message boards and blogs). All over the internet right now there are arguments happening on Twitter, Facebook and various message boards debating all types of things from whether the Broncos should get Manning and dump Tebow, whether the Rams committed highway robbery trading the number 2 overall pick to the Redskins for 3 number 1 picks and a number 2 pick (although not much to argue there), and of course whether or not Steve Nash is the greatest offensive player of all time. Which brings us to David Friedman’s latest article discussing the strengths and limitations of advanced basketball statistics. He covers a number of things in the article but perhaps nothing sums it up more then the following excerpt:
“”Advanced basketball statistics” can be useful as a supplement to traditional box score data and to the observations of trained scouts/coaches–but some “stat gurus” (and their media sycophants) do a disservice to their cause by overstating the meaning and reliability of their data (I suspect that legitimate researchers into basketball statistics cringe every time they read one of Henry Abbott’s biased, tendentious rants)”
Then there’s his take from near the end of the article on “clutch shots” that may hit a little close to home for some of the authors on this site:
“This stuff is so foolish that I cannot believe that it is a topic for supposedly serious discussion; the problems with sample size are so obvious that it should be readily apparent that “clutch shot” data is, at best, a fun, frivolous stat to consider lightly, and not something that is worthy of in depth debate.”
Well, whether or not it’s worthy of debate is completely subjective but it certainly will not stop the masses from discussing it ad nauseum. In any case if you’ve read some of the more popular articles on this site then this is definitely one you need to read.