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