Saturday, 23 February 2008

Thomas to the Spurs, what a move!!!

I am very surprised that the trade of Thomas to the Spurs has not been talked about more... Think about it:

the whole west has been trading for bigs, in order to essentially match with Duncan. What the Spurs did was to trade for the only player in the league that can defend Duncan 1 on 1. If a team wants to beat the Spurs ,defending TD without a double team is crucial. The Spurs are built around Duncan's passing off the double teams, when defense collapses on him for help. Play him 1 on 1 and 9 out of 10 times its a bucket. Thomas was one of the very few players that was big and agile enough to successfully defend Duncan without much help. So what the Spurs did were to trade for TD's kryptonite, which I consider a genius move!

Furthermore, there is another thing that made this trade a piece of brilliance: the Spurs' acquired the only player that defend can Amare Stoudamire!!! Thomas has been playing with him day in and out when he was with the Suns... After this trade, the Spurs have a frontcourt of TD, Oberto and Thomas, that can essentially lock down any center/forward in the NBA. I would lie to see how Gasol, Shaq, Garnett, Amare, Ming will handle the defense of the Spurs' frountcourt trio.

Yes, the West is now loaded, but after the Thomas move, the Spurs are more than ready for them.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Fresh Start!

Hi all!

This is my first post, I will make it a quick one. As you might have guessed from the title, I am interested in the science behind what makes a team/player perform well. I will try to approach this issue both from a statistical point of view (similar to what ESPN's John Hollinger does) but also from a more "in-game" perspective. I tend to think that although statistical reductionism is interesting and useful, a team's/player's excellence go far beyond quantifiable measurements. For example, what measure can quantify help-defense, or efficient without-the-ball movement? We will try to explore these issues, and possibly understand a bit more about our beloved game.

A bit about myself: I have a degree in psychology, and I am currently doing my PhD in face processing at Cambridge University, UK. In my studies lots of maths and stats were a requirement, which gives me some confidence to approach the statistical challenges of basketball.

I have been living in the UK for 10 years now, but I am born and raised in Greece. I grew up at a time when bball was the most popular sport, after we won the 1987 European Championship. I have been playing bball for... well... almost 25 years... (I am 30...)

More very soon, watch this space!