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GBRocket is offline Old 03-03-2012, 01:34 PM   #1
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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.

-----

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

Jackie MacMullan on Kevin McHale’s use of data:
Quote:
“the Rockets coach might not be interested in sports analytics now, but he will be soon.”
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:

Quote:
“I asked Daryl what would happen if I went ‘2 for 1’ every time. He told me we’d win one extra game every two years. Of course this information has to be weighed up with other factors, such as do you want to train your guys to jack up rushed shots and do they want to take the hit on their stats of taking poor shots at the end of quarters? Overall though I found the knowledge that Daryl gave me to be tremendously valuable.”
-----

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,
Quote:
“I wonder if it has stats from Cuttino Mobley and Steve Francis!”
JVG on Jeremy Lin:
Quote:
“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, rather than his going to Harvard, his ethnicity or his so-called ‘struggles’ to make the league which I don’t believe he really faced - he signed a two-year deal with the Warriors last year and played in the D-League.”
JVG on Steve Novak’s recent blossoming:
Quote:
“I was Novak’s first coach! I gave him his first start and after 24 minutes, I vowed I would never…”
tailed off into laughter

Quote:
“Daryl was always on me to ‘play him, play him, play him.’ So eventually I did and when he made his first three pointer in a game you can see in the video footage Daryl jumping up and down behind the Rockets bench. He was happier than when his first child was born!”
Quote:
“Our mistake was playing him at the four but it turns out he’s better at the three because he’s better at defending threes than expected. We started him at the four against the Jazz and that was when Carlos Boozer was much more athletic. He really made life tough for Steve. At the end of the day, I had to go with the players that I felt gave me the best chance to win, (so that’s why Novak didn’t have as much of an opportunity to play at the Rockets).”
JVG on using analytics with Yao:
Quote:
“Lots of people kept on telling me to have Yao shoot turn around jumpers from 14-16 feet. Yeah, that’s what you want with a guy whose 7’6”. With data we showed Yao how much more effective he was closer to the basket – what his stats were from 4-6 ft, 6-8 ft and 8-10 ft. Every step [closer] matters in post play.
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:

Quote:
Morey: “Here’s Brent showing up late, just like he did to practice. But at least now we have a basketball expert on the panel.”

Simmons: “Yeah, after you released Jeremy Lin, I guess you don’t count any more.”

Morey: “Yeah I’m on probation.”

Simmons: “Those jokes aren’t getting old.”

Morey: “No, they have a pretty long shelf life.
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.

Quote:
“This reminds me of a time we played against Sacramento. The plan was to foul Chris Webber when he had his back to the basket before he could turn around and shoot. Instead he faked a dribble hand-off to Bibby that we bit on and he turned around and hit a three.”

“You have to have your best player believe in what you’re doing otherwise the whole thing falls apart. After the game we got into the ‘I thought he was handing it off’ discussion.”

“I hadn’t sold the concept well enough to my team. You have to have the whole team buy-in on the plan. If we execute the plan and we lose, then fine, that’s on me. You can blame me if we lose."

“If a player does something outside the scheme, that’s frustrating for a coach. But you have to make sure that what you don’t tolerate in defeat, you also don’t tolerate in victory. If a player goes outside the scheme on offense and wins the game, you still need to make the same point.”
Morey:
Quote:
“Fouling (versus defending the three) is a slightly better strategy statistically but the success rate is only slightly higher. It still remains unpopular with coaches.”
-----
Quote:
Morey: “What mistakes do GMs make when they hire coaches?”

Simmons: “You’ve fired two coaches. Shouldn’t you answer that?”

Morey: “You said you wouldn’t cause trouble!”
After some discussion about Charlotte's coaching changes...

Quote:
Simmons: "I think GMs take as much heat as coaches"

JVG: I disagree. Coaches take far more heat than GMs do. That’s just a simple fact. Even after consistent playoff failure, GMs get to hire and fire 2-3 coaches before they get fired.

Simmons: Well we have a clear example of that right, Daryl?
JVG:
Quote:
I think the biggest problem is a lack of communication between the coach and the owner. I think there should be regular triangle meetings between the GM, coach and owner as a matter of process.
More on Yao:

Quote:
JVG: I went to Daryl and asked him how many minutes I should play Yao.

Morey: What we found out that even when Yao was tired, he was better than any other option we had. Clearly we couldn’t play him all 48 minutes, so we had to go back to Jeff and tell him we couldn’t help him!
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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Clutch is offline Old 03-03-2012, 01:51 PM   #2
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Love it, madmax11... thanks for writing this up and sharing with us. It's up on our Twitter account.



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AroundTheWorld is offline Old 03-03-2012, 02:00 PM   #3
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5-star thread. Must have been awesome to be at that conference.

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GBRocket is offline Old 03-03-2012, 02:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clutch View Post
Love it, madmax11... thanks for writing this up and sharing with us. It's up on our Twitter account.


No problem!
 
Carl Herrera is online now Old 03-03-2012, 02:12 PM   #5
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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.
Quote:
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.
1. Morey getting JVG back with the Rockets?

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

Quote:
JVG:
Quote:
I think the biggest problem is a lack of communication between the coach and the owner. I think there should be regular triangle meetings between the GM, coach and owner as a matter of process.
Hmm... Adelman also spoke about the lack of communication with the owner. Seems that it's an issue with Les.

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RV6 is online now Old 03-03-2012, 02:19 PM   #6
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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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Herrera View Post

Hmm... Adelman also spoke about the lack of communication with the owner. Seems that it's an issue with Les.
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..
 
GBRocket is offline Old 03-03-2012, 02:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Herrera View Post
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.
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.
 
Carl Herrera is online now Old 03-03-2012, 02:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madmax11 View Post
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.
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.

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Clutch is offline Old 03-03-2012, 03:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madmax11 View Post
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.

    Quote:
    “This reminds me of a time we played against Sacramento. The plan was to foul Chris Webber when he had his back to the basket before he could turn around and shoot. Instead he faked a dribble hand-off to Bibby that we bit on and he turned around and hit a three.”

    “You have to have your best player believe in what you’re doing otherwise the whole thing falls apart. After the game we got into the ‘I thought he was handing it off’ discussion.”

    “I hadn’t sold the concept well enough to my team. You have to have the whole team buy-in on the plan. If we execute the plan and we lose, then fine, that’s on me. You can blame me if we lose."

    “If a player does something outside the scheme, that’s frustrating for a coach. But you have to make sure that what you don’t tolerate in defeat, you also don’t tolerate in victory. If a player goes outside the scheme on offense and wins the game, you still need to make the same point.”
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.

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Amel is offline Old 03-03-2012, 04:32 PM   #10
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man

thats some great insight

thanks madmax11

I found these very interesting

Quote:
“Daryl was always on me to ‘play him, play him, play him.’ So eventually I did and when he made his first three pointer in a game you can see in the video footage Daryl jumping up and down behind the Rockets bench. He was happier than when his first child was born!”
This proves that Morey does have an actual say on who to play, I believe this was a big issue with Adelman.

Quote:
I think the biggest problem is a lack of communication between the coach and the owner. I think there should be regular triangle meetings between the GM, coach and owner as a matter of process.
Something Adelman complained about...the communication between him and Les was non-existent...

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RV6 is online now Old 03-03-2012, 04:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amel View Post

This proves that Morey does have an actual say on who to play, I believe this was a big issue with Adelman.
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.
 
coachbadlee is offline Old 03-03-2012, 04:46 PM   #12
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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.

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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/cat...name/sloan2012

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







As if him complaining to Stern didn't have anything to do with the "cold feet."
 
GBRocket is offline Old 03-03-2012, 05:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redhotrox View Post
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/cat...name/sloan2012

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







As if him complaining to Stern didn't have anything to do with the "cold feet."
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
 
GBRocket is offline Old 03-03-2012, 05:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clutch View Post
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.

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This is great! What a find. Thanks Clutch.

Loved going back and finding this quote in the thread:

Quote:
"That was all my fault, man," McGrady said. "I let my team down. We were up three and coach stressed in the huddle to foul. We had a chance to and I didn't foul, and he knocked down a big shot. It's me not tuning into what coach wanted. (Webber) threw me off a bit. I tried my best to recover. I tried to contest the shot. I just prayed that shot wouldn't go in.
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.
 
TheFreak is offline Old 03-03-2012, 05:32 PM   #16
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quote:
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...


 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madmax11 View Post
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
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.
 
SeabrookMiglla is offline Old 03-03-2012, 05:45 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Herrera View Post
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.
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?
 
SeabrookMiglla is offline Old 03-03-2012, 05:46 PM   #19
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Seems that morey has more say than i thought*
 
blahblehblah is offline Old 03-03-2012, 05:48 PM   #20
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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/pos...jeff-van-gundy

 

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