Rating Top Players by Luck or Skill/Winning or Losing? | TigerDroppings.com

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DeionDeion
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
New Orleans, LA
Member since Apr 2010
1898 posts

Rating Top Players by Luck or Skill/Winning or Losing?


It's always interesting to me to see how people opinions change about a player depending on whether their team wins or loses in big games or the change because a player looks better or worse based on the team they are on. Some analysts describe that "it" factor that just pushes teams to win...so watching the NCAA games I think how can you predict how good a player really is? Is it luck or skill? Is it a player who just wins? Stats? Anyway I read this article which is pretty cool if you have time.

According to the article they propose that basketball requires much more skill whereas baseball and football require a little more luck than basketball. To calculate this they used something called the "true score theory." With a lot of other statistical explanation that I don't have the patience to figure out, what I got from this is that the less players involved, the more pure skills is required, and less luck is required. The more times you touch the ball in sports/possessions the more pure skill is required and less luck is required.

quote:

Basketball is the game that has the most skill. Football and baseball are not far from one another, but baseball teams play more than 10 times the games that football teams do. Baseball, in other words, is close to random — even after 162 games the best teams only win about 60 percent of their games. Hockey, too, has an enormous amount of randomness.

One interesting thought is that the National Basketball Association and National Hockey League have had lockouts in successive seasons...But there’s the key point: Even with a shortened season, we can tell which teams in the NBA are best and hence deserve to make the playoffs.



So I guess that means basketball requires more skill and what you see is what you get from a guy there's not much you don't know because of the large sample size. I immediately think of guys like Damiam Lillard or Stephen Curry or Steve Nash or maybe CJ McCollum this year who played at virtually unknown schools against lesser competition but turn out to be pretty good players. But then you have good players that play for Kansas, and UK, and Indiana who look like they will turn out to be good players but end up being nothing but bench players. So how do you evaluate an NBA prospect?


quote:

In fact, there is a concept called the “shrinkage factor” that tells you how much you should revert past outcomes to the mean in order to make a good prediction. A shrinkage factor of 1 means that the next outcome will be the same as the last outcome and indicates all skill, and a factor of 0 means the best guess for the next outcome is the average. Almost everything interesting in life is in between these extremes.

To make this more concrete, consider batting average and on-base percentage, two statistics from baseball. Luck plays a larger role in determining batting average than it does in determining on-base percentage. So if you want to predict a player’s performance (holding skill constant for a moment), you need a shrinkage factor closer to 0 for batting average than for on-base percentage.


quote:

Now no one has a problem with the suggestion that future outcomes combine skill and luck. But once something has occurred, our minds quickly and naturally create a narrative to explain the outcome. Since the interpreter is about finding causality, it doesn’t do a good job of recognizing luck. Once something has occurred, our minds start to believe it was inevitable. This leads to what psychologists call “creeping determinism” – the sense that we knew all along what was going to happen. So while the single most important concept is knowing where you are on the luck-skill continuum, a related point is that your mind will not do a good job of recognizing luck for what it is.



Anyway I found the article very interesting, I know I just wrote and quoted a novel and no doubtedly I will get quite a few "did not reads" but trust me I condensed this article way down. I curious on what you guys think and how do you formulate your own predictions on guys like Marcus Smart, Ben McClemore, Nerlens Noel, etc? Let me know what you think

Here's the link: LINK



This post was edited on 3/22 at 2:33 pm



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Fleur de Diable
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Aug 2010
861 posts

re: Rating Top Players by Luck or Skill/Winning or Losing?


I think most people here use the eye test and then after that probably stats to substantiate what they saw.

Personally, when judging a kid, especially in college, my baseline is one definite trait that will translate. i.e. Marcus Smart and his defense. Oladipo and his motor. Porter and his decision making. After that, I look at what can reasonably be improved. Take Noel and Smart, I'd say its highly more likely that Smart improves his shooting than Noel develops an offensive game. One goal is just easier to attain. Thus, in my eyes, that player is closer to being a better version of himself. Its basically like looking at a slab of concrete on a plot of land. You have to balance whats there with what could be and if the already complete house down the road is a better option.



This post was edited on 3/22 at 2:43 pm


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DeionDeion
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
New Orleans, LA
Member since Apr 2010
1898 posts

re: Rating Top Players by Luck or Skill/Winning or Losing?


yea i would assume the eye test is the most used

thats interesting because now that you say it ill see a guy that can take a defender off the dribble pull up and nail a jumper its almost automatic ill say Pelicans need that guy! but I havent looked at his defense, ability to get teammates involved, motor, etc

i think those immediate quick assumptions we make about a player make us form very fickle opinions about players that lead us to say oh Marcus Smart lost yesterday and he played bad, drop him in the lottery, or Step Curry went for 26 today move him up...and trust me I fall into the category






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DeionDeion
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
New Orleans, LA
Member since Apr 2010
1898 posts

re: Rating Top Players by Luck or Skill/Winning or Losing?


quote:

You have to balance whats there with what could be and if the already complete house down the road is a better option.


nice comparison I like it






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JohnZeroQ
USA Fan
Pelicans of Lafourche
Member since Jan 2012
4226 posts

re: Rating Top Players by Luck or Skill/Winning or Losing?


quote:

fickle opinions about players that lead us to say oh Marcus Smart lost yesterday and he played bad, drop him in the lottery, or Step Curry went for 26 today move him up.
In a year like this... with no clear number one guy... this will happen.








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Fleur de Diable
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Aug 2010
861 posts

re: Rating Top Players by Luck or Skill/Winning or Losing?


quote:

i think those immediate quick assumptions we make about a player make us form very fickle opinions


Exactly, there are too many other circumstances to judge just off of one game.






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