Years ago

Miami = Moneyball?

Just watched moneyball and it got me thinking...

Why do teams seem to go for the same type of 'role' player guys to fill out a team when they get a superstar?

I know the salary cap makes it hard to fill a team with better than average players, but as in the case with Miami, surrounding a superstar with either long range spot up shooters or key position defenders just results in an absurd work load for the superstar to create for a team unable to generate its own offence?

Why not take a moneyball approach and fill your team with low coast players who can create shots for themselves, guys that may have been overlooked in the past but may have specific offensive talents like getting to the foul line?

A team with Lebron is always going to be OK defensively, but imagine trying to stop a team like that from scoring?

Those who know me know i have always preached the virtues of D and that this is a big departure from that, but with Lebron seemingly jumping the cavs to end up in a similar situation in Miami, are NBA teams getting it wrong with the age old superstar + shooter / defender role players model?

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Years ago

There is already a money ball style system working with Darryl Morey and the Rockets.

Not a championship contender but managing to rebuild without having to tank.

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Years ago

There are a few coaches who are trying he 'team' concept. Eg, George Karl at Denver and Doug Collins at 76ers. Both have worked OK in this shortened, injury ridden season.

However the reality is that the NBA rules are stacked in favour of the 'superstar' teams. Since there is no zone allowed your offence is pretty much taken care of if you have the best offensive player in the game, ala Kobe or Lebron. Just give them the ball and clear out.

Now try to put 3 superstars on the same team.. Booyaa

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Years ago

No way, definitely not in Miami's case. Players like Lebron and D-Wade can get to the hoop so easily that they simply dont need more slashers/creaters. Between Lebron and Wade, theres more than enough talent there to create shots, what a team like that really needs is 3-point shooters to stretch the floor so teams dont collapse in the paint so hard.

You really do need balance in every team and you can already see a lack of balance in Miami Since the teams been together. 2 creaters(as good as the big 2) is kind of more than enough, i think defenders/scrappers and shooters, and a legit post player is whats needed in a team like Miami. Sometimes, most times as you saw in the series against Pacers, LBJ and Wades brilliance can carry them but when they play a great/smart team such as Spurs, or Boston or evn Bulls, thats where their lack of balance and depth gets exploited. Miami are my team but i wish they were more balanced like Spurs, OKC, Bulls, Boston, even LAC.

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Years ago

the moneyball concept only works for team sports that are also individual sports. Baseball obviously is an individual sport within a team sport. A batters stats aren't affected by team mates.

Basketball is the opposite. Someones stats are not always a true reflection of how good they are. Mo williams playing with lebron in cleveland was an allstar. Mo williams without lebron is a back up PG.

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Years ago

The 'moneyball' philosophy can't really work in basketball like it works in baseball. As already mentioned, to 'team' orientated.

The owners of the Boston Red Sox, FSG have purchased Liverpool in the English Premier League and tried to bring in the moneyball principle into football. Didn't work and it won't, once again individual statistics don't have a huge say in the outcome of a game of football. Too team orientated, like basketball.

The 'buy young and cheap and sell for a profit down the track' method isn't rocket science, been around for years.

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Years ago

I am thinking more in terms of moneyball providing me with the idea that you can have a different way of building a winner.

The teams that build a roster around a superstar using role playing shooter defenders may not actually be as good as building a team around the concept that all players can create shots.

Motion based offences that can be tough to design defensive schemes against because of the very nature of the ball movement.

Why do people just assume that having three point shooters spreads the floor? I havn't seen a lot of evidence of this. And in the playoffs defenders close out much harder so i just don't buy into it.

Surround Lebron with a team of guys who will each play 20 frenetic minutes of high power running and penetrating offence where Lebron is a beneficiary not always the catalyst.

A grizzly team about 8 years ago had some success under Hubie Brown, and we are seeing the 76ers and pacers over achieving this year...

The superstar team model has to be rebuilt.

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Years ago

While Miami isn't balanced, they're roster makeup on the perimeter is fine, but it wouldn't hurt to pick up someone else who can create for themselves, just to add an extra dimension to the team, could you imagine a J.R Smith coming off the bench for Miami? after all, he was busted in Miami the other day.

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Years ago

Pacers might of beaten miami if they had a superstar.

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Years ago

Miami made the finals last year and have a very good chance of doing so again, and possibly winning it all. Not sure why that's a model that needs to be rebuilt.

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Years ago

Id say the Spurs are the moneyball team. Pretty much a team built on great (and late) draft picks. Sure they have Duncan (an old player but former Pick 1), but apart from that they have got some real steals in the draft and through free agency.

Reply #364107 | Report this post

No Deal!!  
Years ago

Like anon said, the rockets use a "moneyball" type model to build their side. They trade/draft underapprieciated players and keep them while they are cheap. They tend to find a lot of 2nd/3rd tier gems but nothing resembling an elite level player.

I'd say they have had mixed results and seem to fall short each year by the bearest of margins. I think the moneyball approach can be applied to basketball, but only after you have your 1 or 2 elite level talents in place, and for most teams, that has to be done through the draft.

Reply #364160 | Report this post

Dr Bullshit  
Years ago

That was supposed to be Yao....

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