Of analytics, relationships and the dump that is LaGuardia
And now, the debate will rage.
The very good Grantland story about the Raptors – and a whole bunch of other teams – using a relatively new technology as part of their analytics is sure to ignite a lot of discussion about the place pure analysis has in the game.
It’s an excellent piece, as is Cathal’s.
As you know, I’m a tad skeptical – I believe advanced analytics have a place in a very human game, I’m just not sure how big that place should be – but the thing I worry about is it driving some kind of wedge between coaches, general managers and the analytics guys who truly believe their analyses are correct.
Can you see a GM saying, “well, this is what the pictures show and the numbers say so we should do this and use these guys” and a coach saying, “well, at full speed in the heat of a game, you better get me different players because the ones I have aren’t good ghosts” and that conflict arising?
There is enough “creative tension” in many GM-coach relationships that an added level could be the one that causes and irrevocable split.
Now I’m not saying that’s the case in this situation at all but read that story closely and tell me if you truly think the front office and the coaching staff are completely and utterly on the same page. No way that any right-thinking person can come away with that feeling. It’s the elephant in the story.
Anyway, the story is about how much can be done with the information that the camera system supplies and whether the players who are being asked to do it are good enough.
It’s all well and good to suggest this guy should go there and it can be taught and hammered home in practice until everyone is blue in the face but we know all too well that once things get going on the court in full speed some teaching goes out the window.
This kind of stuff is a good teaching tool and an excellent add-on to the preparation process.
But coaching and teaching are human endeavours, you need relationships that are workable, coaches who know how to reach players by the strength of their personality and the manner in which their message is delivered.
The Xs and Os and ghosts are great but they are a small part; if you can’t deliver the message and if it isn’t heard, that’s a problem.
I guess we should laud the Raptors for being on the cutting edge with this technology; we should be worried that they put too much stock in it.
It’s a piece, perhaps a bigger piece than I’d care to admit but that’s all.
Any workplace – and I don’t care if it’s widgets or the NBA – works better when the leaders have the respect of those they are leading and if the personal relationships can make a group better than the sum of its parts.
And no workplace – and I don’t care if it’s widgets or the NBA – works as well as it can if any key components are at cross purposes.
It takes an awful lot of hard work to get along with everyone, to respect the opinions of others and to step outside yourself to see a view from another angle.
Wonder if that hard work is being done around this team?
Okay, saw these guys at a game sitting courtside having a beer and that’s more than enough for me to pay attention.
And I guess it goes to Canada Music Week, no?
Please add LaGuardia to the list of Worst Airports In The History Of Aviation.
Now, I know there are physical limitations and it costs a lot to refurbish these things but surely to all that’s good in the world the overseers of that dump could find a way to ensure travellers going terminal to terminal don’t have to clear security and then go through it again if they’re trying to move about.
A shuttle bus on the safe side of security, perhaps? A rail system maybe? A moving freaking sidewalk at least?
If, say, you’re going from Air Canada to American (I know, I know. I messed up when booking for a variety of reasons that have mostly to do with the timing of us dumping American Express travel for Egencia), you have to leave one terminal, walk a kilometre or so and then – seriously – go through the whole rigmarole of taking your shoes off, your belt off, your computer out (only in a bin by itself or else!) and everything out of your pockets once again.
Makes no sense.
So, add LaGuardia to the list, please and thanks. One to be avoided at all costs.
Oh, and I did make the flight with about three minutes to spare.
Yes, we will be here around 7 tonight for an IGBT. Join in, it’s fun.
Hang on a second.
It’s the first freaking day of spring?
I’m seeing pictures of snow back home; spring, my ass.
(Although it could be about 16 C here today so I won’t whine too much)
Air Canada tale?
We’re all loaded on the plane, the 11:15 a.m. one to New York, and we’re sitting patiently knowing we’re going to have to de-ice and one minute turns into 10 minutes and that turns into 20 minutes and we can’t figure out why we haven’t pushed back.
Well, seems we have no pilots; they’ve been held up travelling in from Ottawa and not only are we going to be weather delayed, we’re going to be pilot-delayed.
Gotta love those March 19 sleet/snow days, eh?
(Someone needs to have a word with those dopey groundhogs, I believe).
Oh yeah, one more point on the analytics thing.
When someone jacks up some ridiculous three-pointer, no complaining. It’s what they want.
All right, I see my morning unfolding with a huge cup of coffee and an NCAA bracket to give you folks something to mock tomorrow.
Hope no news comes out of shootaround, I have stuff to do.