Rockets highlights from the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by GBRocket, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. GBRocket

    GBRocket Contributing Member

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    Hi all,

    I've been lucky enough to attend the conference the last couple of days. Yesterday there were two panel discussions rich with Rockets insights that I found super interesting. Thought I'd share. Thanks for reading. Note: I didn’t have a voice recorder, but these are the quotes that I wrote down to the best of my memory.

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    Basketball Analytics (included JVG, Jackie MacMullan, John Hollinger and Mike Zarren)

    Jackie MacMullan on Kevin McHale’s use of data:
    I found this comment slightly odd – it wasn’t clear to me if she actually knew something about Kevin or was speaking more in generalities about today’s coaches.

    -----

    JVG on going “2 for 1” at the end of a quarter:

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    There was an interesting discussion on the use of “Sport View” – a spatial tracking technology that 10 NBA teams have installed in their arenas, including the Rockets. The system is comprised of 6 cameras (three at each end of the court) that track player movements on the court, allowing you to learn more about various metrics such as player distance covered per game and player passing tendencies etc.

    On its ability to highlight players ONLY passing to certain players, Hollinger quipped,
    JVG on Jeremy Lin:
    JVG on Steve Novak’s recent blossoming:
    tailed off into laughter

    JVG on using analytics with Yao:
    Coaching Analytics (panel included JVG, Bill Simmons and Brent Barry)

    Brent Barry showed up right as the panel was beginning, leading to the following exchange:

    Morey played a clip of the Rockets vs Bulls (from last year I believe) where the Rockets made a free throw with 10 seconds left in the game, setting up the question of what do you do as a coach – foul or not? (As it turned out, Derrick Rose hit the three to tie the game and we lost in OT)

    Van Gundy then let out this gem which I assume was about Tracy McGrady and gives some insight into some of the difficulties JVG faced as a coach.

    Morey:
    -----
    After some discussion about Charlotte's coaching changes...

    JVG:
    More on Yao:

    Amusing observations:

    Simmons is much nerdier in person than I expected. He’s super skinny and awkward when he walks around. He has a complete smart ass sense of humor and loved making fun of the JVG/Morey history. Simmons and Morey are obviously super tight and gave each other a hearty handshake at the end of the panel. That said, Morey and JVG spent at least 5 minutes deep in conversation right after the panel ended. They were jovial and animated and seem to be on great terms with each other.

    Also, Mark Cuban missed yesterday's events and is running late today. Don't know if that has any relevance to any impending trade activity but found it interesting.

    This conference is a fantastic, super well-run event. You lose track of all the sports celebrities from ESPN etc that you see walking around. I encourage all of you to check it out if you get the opportunity.
     
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  2. Clutch

    Clutch Administrator
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    Love it, madmax11... thanks for writing this up and sharing with us. It's up on our Twitter account.

    <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Houston fan at the <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%2523SSAC">#SSAC</a> breaks down the Rockets-related quotes & observations from MIT. Great stuff. <a href="http://t.co/bR42TtEX" title="http://bit.ly/AF3FBo">bit.ly/AF3FBo</a></p>&mdash; ClutchFans.net (@clutchfans) <a href="https://twitter.com/clutchfans/status/176030955667062784" data-datetime="2012-03-03T19:47:04+00:00">March 3, 2012</a></blockquote>
    <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
     
  3. AroundTheWorld

    AroundTheWorld Contributing Member

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    5-star thread. Must have been awesome to be at that conference.
     
  4. GBRocket

    GBRocket Contributing Member

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    No problem!
     
  5. Carl Herrera

    Carl Herrera Contributing Member

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    Not surprised about the 2-for-1 stuff. Of course, on average it doesn't win you too many games since you have only up to 4 such possessions (out of roughly 90-100 possessions) ever game, and most times you don't have control of the ball in the 2-for-1 situation with the right amount of seconds on the clock. And we are mostly talking about the difference of a fraction of a point per possession between going 2-for-1 and not. (This, by the way, is why "game winning shot" stats are kind of overrated-- they are dramatic, we see them on TV, but the vast majority of games don't even involve such shots, and any difference in the performance data on such shots between players is often the result of luck given small sample size).

    Doesn't mean you shouldn't do the most advantageous thing, though.
    1. Morey getting JVG back with the Rockets? :)

    2. I think Cuban might be dealing with Lamar Odom drama.

    Hmm... Adelman also spoke about the lack of communication with the owner. Seems that it's an issue with Les.
     
  6. RV6

    RV6 Contributing Member

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    GREAT stuff....JVG is 100% correct when he talked about Lin. That's really what Morey couldn't, and failed, to measure. That's why he said Twill may develop elsewhere. We throw out hands up like WTF, well play him then, but a lot of players out there can put up numbers, if given a starting spot and/or minutes, and touches. Jermaine Taylor is one example. Mike James. Von Wafer fits also. However, they're not going to help you win.

    I wish we could have had kept JVG and found a way to get him more offense.

    Exactly. That's two coaches, who have nothing to lose once they're gone, and both have said similar things about Les. I don't think either has reason to lie, especially JVG. People still think it's Morey who runs things and Les doesn't deserve more of the blame for being a mediocre team....SMH..
     
  7. GBRocket

    GBRocket Contributing Member

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    Yeah, it might well be an issue with Les but the way it was discussed made it seem like coach-owner communications are pretty sporadic across the league. They speculated that because owners and GMs generally agree together on "the plan" its hard for the owner to then go and fire a GM for following a plan that they helped to write.
     
  8. Carl Herrera

    Carl Herrera Contributing Member

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    Seems to me that the coach should be part of the "plan forming committee." Guess it's standard practice in the league to have the coach look after the day-to-day but not as much the "big picture" stuff.
     
  9. Clutch

    Clutch Administrator
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    I remember that Rockets game so I looked it up -- it was on January 28, 2005. It was Cuttino Mobley's return game to Houston. That shot forced overtime, where the Rockets lost 117-105.

    Box score | ClutchFans Game Thread
     
  10. Amel

    Amel Contributing Member

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    man

    thats some great insight

    thanks madmax11

    I found these very interesting

    This proves that Morey does have an actual say on who to play, I believe this was a big issue with Adelman.

    Something Adelman complained about...the communication between him and Les was non-existent...
     
  11. RV6

    RV6 Contributing Member

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    I don't think it does...sounds more like a suggestion that JVG finally got around to considering, and even then, only played him out of necessity. Plus, I took more like chit-chat than a serious conversation or an order from Morey.
     
  12. coachbadlee

    coachbadlee Rookie

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    Sounds like they were trying to make an ass of Morey the whole time. Some friend that Simmons guy is. He was trying to embarass Daryl.
     
  13. redhotrox

    redhotrox Contributing Member

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    Thanks for sharing the Rockets tidbits. There’s some good coverage of the entire event here if anyone’s interested:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/category/_/name/sloan2012

    As a side note, these things Cuban is saying in the conference right now are really pissing me off:

    <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Cuban: "Owners get cold feet." about CP3 trade. Says this stuff happens all the time with lots of teams. Shocker. <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%2523SSAC">#SSAC</a></p>&mdash; Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) <a href="https://twitter.com/HPbasketball/status/176060609488625665" data-datetime="2012-03-03T21:44:55+00:00">March 3, 2012</a></blockquote>
    <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

    <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>"As much as (the media) wanted to portray it as unique, it wasn't." -Cuban on CP3 vetoed trade. <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%2523SSAC">#SSAC</a></p>&mdash; Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) <a href="https://twitter.com/HPbasketball/status/176060842490593282" data-datetime="2012-03-03T21:45:50+00:00">March 3, 2012</a></blockquote>
    <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

    As if him complaining to Stern didn't have anything to do with the "cold feet." :rolleyes:
     
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  14. GBRocket

    GBRocket Contributing Member

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    Just sat through the live BS report with Bill Simmons and Mark Cuban. According to Cuban the thing he "gave **** to Stern" about with the CP3 trade was that they had just spent months negotiating a new CBA that would provide incumbent teams an advantage when re-signing their own free agents. He couldn't comprehend how the Hornets (NBA) would then instantly turn around and trade their franchise player because they thought he wouldn't re-sign as a FA. Also said that the trade also failed because it didn't wipe the slate clean for NOH financially and allow them to get rid of their bad contracts.

    As an aside, I'm pretty sure Cuban will be fined for several comments he made today. He said the Commissioner "didn't know what he was doing" (in relation to the Paul trade) and said that the NBA stands for "Nuthin' But Attorneys" (regarding the lengthy CBA negotiations. He also made a homophobic joke to at Bill Simmons expense (saying he likes to kiss his boyfriend on the kiss cam at games) or something. All in all an interesting performance from Cubes. His charisma and intelligence is certainly paired with a generous helping of brashness and bravado.

    As an a
     
  15. GBRocket

    GBRocket Contributing Member

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    This is great! What a find. Thanks Clutch.

    Loved going back and finding this quote in the thread:

    You can tell that JVG's mind is full of past coaching/in-game scenarios that he still actively stews over even years after the fact.
     
  16. TheFreak

    TheFreak Contributing Member

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    [rquoter]JVG on Jeremy Lin:

    “What’s amazing is that he’s actually leading his team to wins. Anyone can put up numbers in our league.
    Not anyone can put up numbers and win. That should be the story...[/rquoter]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member

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    It looks like any sliver of humility he may have had before is gone after winning the championship.

    I kind of like the way he's talking down the Stern, though. :)
     
  18. SeabrookMiglla

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    I agree. On a side note, someome mentioned how morey pushes the coach to play certain players. I remember adelman being frustrated when we got thabeet, and adelman pretty much said reluctantly thay morey kept giving him junk. Seems that more say than i thought, i always knew he did but when a former coach says it with no hesitationit tells you something. It makes you thik about the relationship of the team in general.

    i know players come and go, but this makes me think more and more that there may possibly be bad rumors floating in the nba about the way houston treats players (assets)etc. I trust morey though, especially hearing nene talk about houston which of course makes you realize morey could have finally pulled a legit contender together with the gasol trade. but it makes me think morey needs to take a slightly different approach, maybe more risky and maybe more power to the coach. Because if the players cant trust the coach, who are they going to trust?
     
  19. SeabrookMiglla

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    Seems that morey has more say than i thought*
     
  20. blahblehblah

    blahblehblah Member

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    Great thread, wish there was youtube vids from this. Here are the JVG highlights from espn.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/38042/the-best-of-jeff-van-gundy

    <script src="http://storify.com/JADubin5/the-best-of-jeff-van-gundy.js"></script><noscript>[<a href="http://storify.com/JADubin5/the-best-of-jeff-van-gundy" target="_blank">View the story "The Best of Jeff Van Gundy" on Storify</a>]</noscript>
     

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