Art Slash Science

You may have noticed that the NBA season started last night, but you may not have realized the full ramifications of that momentous event, such as the fact that the FreeDarko Presents the Disciples of Clyde podcast is back to being just about weekly. If you don't know, now you know.

This week, Dan builds on Shoals's Basketball Prospectus post by talking with Kevin Pelton himself about the new book and also providing a primer on advanced basketball statistics. Even if you, like me, are wary of eggheads who would turn art into science, this is still stuff that we need to at least try to understand. And despite my oft-expressed skepticism, I do think stats can complement what we see with our eyes and help provide a fuller picture of the game. Also, to help you get started, Kevin put together a handy resource page over at Sonics Central. Check it out.

The soundtrack to our lives:

“We Make Beginnings” - Je Ne Sasi Quoi
“God Bows to Math” - Minutemen
“Something I Learned Today” - Husker Du
“You Don’t Know Like I Know” - Sam & Dave

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At 10/28/2009 5:04 PM, Blogger Teddy said...

Try to think of it this way, BRE: the relevant divide isn't art vs. science, it's smart vs. stupid. (Or, more charitably, thoughtful vs. superficial.) Grouped that way, FD and BP are on the same side.

At 10/28/2009 6:13 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

Yeah, I agree if you're saying that doing stats in a dumb way (like Wages of Win) is dumb, and doing stats in a smart way (like Prospectus) is smart, just like good scouting is smart and dumb scouting is dumb. But, that's pretty circular, isn't it?

Anyway, I think you have to have both, and if I had to live without one, I'd live without the stat shit. I don't have time to look it up right now, but one of these stat gurus (the IU guy who works for the Mavs, I think) was saying how Andre Iguodala (again, I think that's who it was) graded out as this amazing player based on his formulas, which surprised him because when he watched him, he didn't think he was very good. I mean, that's "stupid" in my book, that's someone who cannot judge basketball ability based on watching a player play.

It's nice to have stats as a way of backing up what you already thought, but that basketball knowledge is vital.

At 10/29/2009 9:58 AM, Blogger Teddy said...

I meant the dumb/art box of the matrix to encompass more the "right way" disciples than inaccurate scouting. But I hear you.

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