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Eric Chase Blog

Advanced Stats Aren't Scary.

 
Posted April 14th, 2014 @ 3:53pm

Listen up you neophytes, it's not as menacing as it sounds.

Tom Gores allowed emotion and supportive fan sentiment to steer what turned out to be an awful decision. Gores allowed Joe Dumars to continue in the role of President of Basketball Operations after the completion of the sale of the Pistons. 

'When it comes to business, Mr. Gores applies philosophies of swift and thorough diligence, sound acquisitions, effective management, and driving value through honest, intelligent operational improvement rather than financial engineering.' 

That's straight from Gores bio at the Platinum Equity site. *On a personal note, being in the business that I'm in, and seeing how some have acted since the 2008 financial collapse, any time I see the words merger and acquisitions, my skin begins to crawl for the potential of massive job loss, treating people like cells on a spread sheet, and the general prevalence of greed and corruption.*

Uhhhhh, doesn't seem like much, or any of that has been applied during his brief tenure as Pistons owner. 

As a venture capitalist and CEO and Chairman of Platinum Equity, I can't envision Gores making further decisions about the Pistons future as a franchise on emotion. 

Ability to connect with a staff, and players will be required, and it's challenging to quantitatively perceive that, but expect proceeding decisions about how the Pistons to operate become heavily influenced in a cold, qualitative fashion. 

Plain and simple, securing a job is all about a relationship. If two candidates are equally able, I'm guessing the one with closer ties to the decision makers is getting the job. 

I have no relationships with decision makers within the Pistons organization. However, considering the job Dumars has done in last few years in his role, I am more qualified than him. So are many others who have an interest in the Pistons. Hell, let the Piston Powered guy do it. How about DetNews writer Vince Goodwill. Seriously, making moves like Brandon Jennings, Josh Smith and Mo Cheeks aren't that far removed from the Sixers intentionally surrendering the 2013-2014 campaign. 

Thankfully, David Mayo at MLive.com has a comprehensive list of potential candidates for the Pistons front office opening. 

GETTY IMAGES - Yes, Billups is on the list. 

Mayo labels three of the candidates with the word analytics closely. 

Four other candidates comes from astute and shrewd organizations, (two OKC, Hou, GS) not far removed from that scary A word. 

Please. Stop with the prehistoric comments about not having a need for analytics, or advanced statistics. They drive the NBA, they drive sports, the drive the world, including what fuels your financial sustenance every few weeks.

A few weeks ago, either on Twitter, or I think on Hardballtalk (sorry for not properly crediting), someone wisely stated that advanced stats are really, hardly that. 

WAR. Yes, that's complex and murky, so if you don't value it, I can respect that to a certain degree. 

Like I said once before, a long time ago, someone probably though batting average was WAY to advanced and scientific to be practically used. 

Can I give you an example of what YOU MIGHT consider advanced stats?

Was that so iconoclastic to your perception of how stats should be? They're all thanks to the SportVU technology that's in every NBA arena (bonus question, how are there?).

From back in September, Grantland's Zach Lowe offers some explanations how this quaint advancement in technology was going to aid the NBA. 

The NBA has its own somewhat clandestine cousins of baseball's WAR and others, and I wrote about that last week in regards to the Pistons' woes. 

Basketball Reference has Win Shares per 48 minutes, but it also offers the much less advanced statistic sharing what a player's three point percentage is on corner 3s, which (sorry!) new data shows as one of the game's most valuable shots, all things considered. 

Brandon Jennings has hit on 31% of those this year. Khris Middleton, whom the Pistons traded away, is a quality 3 point shooter hitting 41% on total 3s this year. He also hits 41% on those easy corner 3s. 

I don't know who the Pistons are going to hire - besides it not being me, Feldman or Goodwill - but I'm simply asking you not to shun any choices because you hear or read alarming words like analytics and advanced stats, because for the most part, they're not. 

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