Tanking and Advanced Stats (but not Advanced Stats on Tanking)

Here are three stories I wanted to bring to everyone’s attention.

1. Tom Sunnergren – at Bleacher Report – has an interesting article on how to end tanking.  The title tells the story.

Want to End Tanking? Give LeBron James a Raise

Why that might work? You need to read the article.

2. Speaking of tanking… Drew Cohen alerted me to the following website a few days ago:


As the website indicates, Drew hopes to end tanking via a petition.

As I mentioned to Drew, I have some skepticism regarding this approach.  It seems to me that the best protest against “tanking” would be for fans to stop attending the games.  But league attendance in 2013-14 seems pretty similar to what we saw in 2012-13 (at least, average per game seems similar).  So despite the anger “tanking” causes in some fans, I am not sure the typical fan has demonstrated they care enough to stop giving the NBA their money.

That being said, it is possible a petition could make a difference.

3.  Finally, for those interested in “advanced stats”, I very much recommend: RPM and a Problem with “Advanced” Stats.  This article – from Andres Alvarez at BoxScoreGeeks – reviews a significant problem with many “advanced” stats.  Specifically – unlike Wins Produced – the authors often do not seem inclined to reveal exactly how they arrived at their conclusions.  And furthermore – as Arturo Galletti noted three years ago – attempts to re-construct such methods do not reveal a pretty picture.

Speaking of Arturo – it appears he is working on an article on Statistical Adjusted Plus-Minus.  Judging by what I have seen so far, this method doesn’t seem to hold up well to scrutiny either.

– DJ