Some of the math can be a bit difficult and the chapter on usage curves has an odd breakout where the author breaks down and just spews All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy That said the insights in this book are brilliant and are done by a keen analyst with a good understanding of the game. I ll keep this short for now, but Basketball on Paper is probably the most well written book I ve read include papers articles as well in the realm of basketball analytics A lot of people are scared of the high level statistics used to derive a lot of the equations used in this field, and Oliver not only acknowledges this, but does a great job of explaining concepts in lay terms for the average reader, and supporting these explanations with the math in endnotes and appendices I encourage any basketball fan to read this book it will provide you with a much better way of evaluating whether a player is good or not, and will allow you to watch the game with adiscerning eye. Journey Inside The Numbers For An Exceptional Set Of Statistical Tools And Rules That Can Help Explain The Winning, Or Losing, Ways Of A Basketball Team Basketball On Paper Doesn T Diagram Plays Or Explain How Players Get In Shape, But Instead Demonstrates How To Interpret Player And Team Performance Dean Oliver Highlights General Strategies For Teams When They Re Winning Or Losing And What Aspects Should Be The Focus In Either Situation He Describes And Quantifies The Jobs Of Team Leaders And Role Players, Then Discusses The Interactions Between Players And How To Achieve The Best Fit Oliver Conceptualizes The Meaning Of Teamwork And How To Quantify The Value Of Different Types Of Players Working Together He Examines Historically Successful NBA Teams And Identifies What Made Them So Successful Individual Talent, A System Of Putting Players Together, Or Good Coaching Oliver Then Uses These Statistical Tools And Case Studies To Evaluate The Best Players In History, Such As Magic Johnson, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, And Charles Barkley And How They Contributed To Their Teams Success He Does The Same For Some Of The NBA S Oddball Players Manute Bol, Muggsy Bogues, And Dennis Rodman And For The WNBA S Top Players Basketball On Paper Is Unique In Its Incorporation Of Business And Analytical Concepts Within The Context Of Basketball To Measure The Value Of Players In A Cooperative Setting Whether You Re Looking For Strategies Or New Ideas To Throw Out While Watching The Ballgame At A Sports Bar, Dean Oliver S Basketball On Paper Will Give You Amazing New Insights Into Teamwork, Coaching, And Success Dean Oliver did a really great work on this book to suggest what kind of advanced statistical analysis can be applied to basketball.Yes, it lacks story and some parts of the book is a little boring.But, with John Hollinger s PER, this book was the start of the statistical analysis of basketball.He materialized what I have imagined of for the statistical analysis.Also, it needs to be pointed out that each of John Hollinger and Dean Oliver independently developed Off Rat and Def Rat Probably, it was the first attempt to look at the stats per possession based instead of per game or per minute To me, the most interesting stat this book suggested was individual winning % It may be a combination of usage rate and WS Anyhow, if the purpose of the individual stat is to validate the individual contribution to the team win, this might be the right direction to look at it. This is the holy grail for basketball analytics It sucks that there are no other books out there similar to this What sucks evenis there will likely not be any books similar to this released in the near future NBA teams have promoted a model where there is zero communication and knowledge sharing about analytics They are killing the field and taking away a lot from fans To make things even worse, because analytics employees cannot communicate with eachother, nobody really has any idea if what they are doing is right or wrong and making it harder for anyone to achieve progress. This is it the Bible of ABPRmetrics sabermetrics, but for basketball Oliver s book is full of methods, metrics, and evaluation techniques for basketball strategy and team and individual performance, all from an analytic standpoint The math, when it needs to be, is complicated, but Oliver is never above breaking it down and explaining what it means in simple terms Even difficult concepts like team chemistry are tackled here from a statistical standpoint, and while Oliver admits that he doesn t have all the answers take that, Dave Berri , he provides starting points for analyzing almost any problem After Basketball on Paper, the sport never looks the same. This book is absolutely required reading and likely re reading for anyone with an interest in understanding basketball from a numbers standpoint Dean writes in a manner that is scalable to one s understanding of the math involved making the text approachable for a variety of audiences.I would give this book 5 stars, but it is not well organized The last chapter should be the first, the second chapter should be an appendix, etc. Outdated by now but similarly to the bible, you read this to know where it all started There are still some interesting stats for people who grew up in the 90 s or earlier If you re only getting started with basketball analytics, this is a great intro If you ve already been around the field for a bit longer, than you won t find anything new here but you will get a firm understanding of the basics that make up all of today s advanced stats. What I liked most was the focus on analyzing games on a per possession basis instead of just looking at the total number of points scored This seems obvious in hindsight but it wasn t how people talked about basketball until relatively recently Even now, people will talk about the time Kobe scored 81 points, or how many 40 points games Lebron or Westbrook have had in the playoffs ignoring the fact that just looking at point totals without taking into account efficiency is meaningless.On the other hand, I found the book rambled on quite a bit and picked and dropped topics abruptly For example, he describes a detailed notation for recording all the plays in a game and then he never mentions it again Most of the chapters are devoted to using analytical measures to make exhaustive comparisons of players and teams of the 1980s and 1990s This was obviously muchinteresting when the book was published than it is now.Overall, there is a lot here that will be very interesting to basketball fans, but you have to wade through a lot of cruft to get to it. I thought this book was excellent in both analysis and writing It s extraordinarily rare to be reading a non fiction statistical analysis book and to find yourself laughing out loud, but that s what Oliver s writing did He made his applications relatable and funny.Another of my favorite things about this book was that he knew his audience the first section of the book addresses how different types of people might find use in the book and the rest of the book proves that he really meant that.Also, while Oliver doesn t try to hide the fact that this book is primarily focused on NBA analysis, he does not forget about college OR THE WOMEN Often, he threw a paragraph in at the end of an analysis to show how he thought it would probably change if applied to college, which was nice, and he spent WHOLE SECTIONS TALKING ABOUT THE WNBA AND FEMALE PLAYERS Which is just fantastic It s so tiring having everyone ignore the fact that women even play sports, so it was amazing to have them included in this book, which additionally was so well written and so readable.It did get a little disconnected for me in some of the later chapters simply because there was a lot of analysis of specific present historic NBA players and I ve only really started watching the NBA this season, but I know those chapters would be super interesting reads for those who follow the NBA and would befamiliar with those situations.Highly recommend not too much technical language in the text, but lots of technical supporting diagrams and appendices to look at and read if you ARE interested in thetechnical analysis.
Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Basketball On Paper: Rules and Tools for Performance Analysis book, this is one of the most wanted Dean Oliver author readers around the world.
- 392 pages
- Basketball On Paper: Rules and Tools for Performance Analysis
- Dean Oliver
- 27 April 2019 Dean Oliver