Yesterday, Dave Collins and I did a podcast for Advanced Football Analytics (my favorite advanced football stats site). We covered a collection of issues, including the Lions, inconsistency of performance in football, the drafting of NFL quarterbacks, and college sports. As you can tell (I laugh a bit too much), I had lots of fun. And as I also note, it was like taking a test. Not entirely positive I got everything right (still had fun, though!).
In addition — and this was also yesterday — Time.com posted an article I wrote about the “game within the game” in the NBA. Recent comments by Chris Bosh and Kevin Love indicate that the contest over shot attempts can make winning less important. Or at least — as they put it — playing with LeBron James is a sacrifice. These comments highlight a key finding from research in basketball. Scoring totals drive player evaluations (salary, awards, minutes, etc…). And since shot attempts are finite, players compete for the opportunity to take shots.
This could be fixed by evaluating players on their contribution to wins. But despite the “advanced stats movement”, that isn’t happening. That might be because many “advanced stats” aren’t really linked to wins (or actually that “advanced”).