Grizzlies HC Lionel Hollins not a big fan of advanced statistics in basketball
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Grizzlies HC Lionel Hollins not a big fan of advanced statistics in basketball
Posted by Bench McElroy on 1/11 at 8:22 pm

The rampant Rudy Gay trade rumors are making everyone in Memphis a bit crazy, but it's becoming clear that members of the team are particularly against any move to break up the core of the squad. Rudy Gay said he wants to stay in Memphis, and on Friday morning head coach Lionel Hollins expressed his displeasure with the idea of breaking up the team -- as well as his distrust of the underlying statistical arguments that support shipping out Gay -- during a radio interview on Sports 56 WHBQ in Memphis.

Hollins predictably came to the defense of his star small forward during the interview, but things got interesting when he started to express his opinion on the rise of analytics in the NBA. In short, Hollins doesn't think advanced statistical metrics and measures are fit to capture the contributions of a player like Rudy Gay. Here's a bit of what he had to say:

"We get hung up on statistics a little too much, and I think that's a bad trait all over the league that's taken place. And the media has done it because it's easy to go to the stats to make a point or to build up a player or tear down a player. Just the analyzing, I see it every time listening to talk show radio. You've got guys spouting off stat after stat after stat. The bottom line is going out and contributing to your team for winning."

"Analytics has a place. It can't be the be all end all. I'm still trying to figure out when the Oakland Athletics won a championship with all the analytics they have. It takes talent. We had a guy a few years ago that was sending me emails about different lineup combinations, and he was saying, 'this lineup should be on the court a lot more because they're the most effective.' So, then you coach that lineup and keep them on the floor for 40 minutes. I'm going to stay with the lineups that I have on the floor. No matter what anyone wants to say, there are players that get it done in the last six minutes, they're players that do it in the first quarter. When it comes down to big shots, there's only a few guys that will take those shots, want to take those shots, have the bravery and courage to take them. Because there's a lot of criticism when you miss a shot. You have to be mentally tough and courageous to take those shots at the end of the game."

I just think we get caught up in the stats. There are some guys that contribute so much that the stats don't even talk about. A guy running the court, filling the lane 100% of the time is better than having a guy that's a little more talented that fills the lane 40 percent of the time. That guy filling the lane 100 percent of the time is going to create a shot for somebody else."


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Posted by PortCityTiger24 on 1/11 at 8:55 pm to Bench McElroy
I agree with all of that.

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Posted by Fun Bunch on 1/11 at 9:05 pm to Bench McElroy
Well the guru of advanced analytical works in their FO now. So....awkward.

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Posted by Lester Earl on 1/11 at 9:08 pm to PortCityTiger24
my kinda guy

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Posted by floridatigah on 1/11 at 9:14 pm to Bench McElroy
That's not that bad, pretty much everything he said is dead on (the Athletics thing was the only dumb comment). Doug Collins said he'd rather shoot himself in the head than look at an analytics report.

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Posted by Vicks Kennel Club on 1/11 at 10:07 pm to Bench McElroy
Even if there is statistical merit to trading Rudy Gay, there are other factors to be looked at. I would not want to affect team chemistry if everything is going well.

Another thing to look is that by trading Gay, then you have to make up for his volume of shots. Odds are that each player would become a little less efficient as they each have greater responsibilities. Look at the regressions of the some of the Pacers players without Granger.

Stats are great, but you have to have context at the minimum. Blind faith to stats does not work. Furthermore, the players have to buy into to what you are selling, or the whole idea (such as dealing Gay) should be thrown out the window.

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Posted by lsusportsman2 on 1/11 at 10:17 pm to Bench McElroy
That's too much for me to read.

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Posted by Matisyeezy on 1/11 at 11:12 pm to lsusportsman2
He makes great points. Stats have merit, but at this point we haven't determined a way to numerically analyze intangibles. Good for him not giving in to organizational pressure because some accountant thinks he should play player X 4 minutes and 8 seconds more per game.

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Posted by Sophandros on 1/12 at 4:44 am to Bench McElroy
Statistics are a tool, not the end of all things.

When people try to make it an either/or endeavor, they come across as foolish luddites. I say that because the only people who use the false dichotomy in these discussions are those who don't like statistics and want to throw them out of the window.

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Posted by RonBurgundy on 1/12 at 5:11 am to Matisyeezy

because some accountant thinks he should play player X 4 minutes and 8 seconds more per game.

that's not what exactly goes on and even the lowest analysts know that metrics are just projections.

This post was edited on 1/12 at 3:37 pm

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