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Thread: Season is over so the question is here, was it worth it?

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    Quote white men can't jump wrote: View Post
    The logic is far from perfect. It's not like you can accurately calculate the probabilities of where Toronto could've finished with different scenarios. .
    LOOOOL, Dude, obviously you don't have the basic grasp on topics like probability, risk assessment, cost / benefit and ... OR I am doing an awful job of explaining to you here right now.

    Either way, it does not mater because I don't have the time and energy to explain these easy concepts to you here right now.
    So to end this:

    You are right This was awesome and it was fun and it was totally worth it and we did not and will not loss anything now or in near future for this run and it was just 100% beneficial to our team and future of this franchize.

    Lets Go Raptors

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    Quote Jamshid wrote: View Post
    LOOOOL, Dude, obviously you don't have the basic grasp on topics like probability, risk assessment, cost / benefit and ... OR I am doing an awful job of explaining to you here right now.

    Either way, it does not mater because I don't have the time and energy to explain these easy concepts to you here right now.
    So to end this:

    You are right This was awesome and it was fun and it was totally worth it and we did not and will not loss anything now or in near future for this run and it was just 100% beneficial to our team and future of this franchize.

    Lets Go Raptors
    Actually, I think it's the other way around man, sorry. Your idea of risk assessment in this scenario is fairly simplistic, and your consideration of probabilities as well. Sorry. When considering the cost/benefit of this year, and the risks in trying for a tank, you have to consider ALL possible scenarios if the Raps finished in ANY (and different probabilities) of the lottery spots. You can't just compare it against the teams that end up with favorable outcomes in 2-3 years. Nor can you just compare it to teams that end up with unfavorable outcomes.

    And I didn't say it was 100% beneficial to the future of the team. Stop being so condescending. There's nothing about what you're saying that is insightful, or rational, or mathematical......
    Last edited by white men can't jump; Thu May 8th, 2014 at 08:30 PM. Reason: toned down language

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    Quote Jamshid wrote: View Post
    This is why I did not say one specific team just for the reason of uncertainty ... I mentioned few teams and then we can look at them in few years and see where they are ... It is called probability and mathematically it is the MOST logical way of looking at this instead of just saying, yah, it was fun and it was a blast without knowing what we really missed out on.
    Actually, speaking of probability and mathematical analysis: this excellent article shows that losing teams have a much lower probability of becoming great teams in the future, in comparison to teams on the so-called 'mediocrity treadmill'.

    We can argue the definitions of losing, mediocre and great, but the data itself is eye-opening...

    http://freakonomics.com/2013/10/29/l...gy-in-the-nba/

    The NBA season is beginning this week and fans of each team are, of course, optimistic. At this point, everyone can hope a title is possible come next summer.

    Although everyone could theoretically have dreams of a title in 2014, it is clear that every NBA fan isn’t actually hoping their team is successful in 2014. Some NBA fans are actually dreaming of an event that happens just after the conclusion of the NBA Finals. For fans of a few teams, the focus is already on the 2014 draft. For example, some fans of the Philadelphia 76ers seem convinced that not only are the Sixers not trying to win this year, but that this is actually the best course of action for this franchise.

    Proponents of “tanking” dream of such number one picks as Shaquille O’Neal or LeBron James. Each of these players were selected number one and went on to win multiple NBA titles. Of course, other number one picks – like Yao Ming, Michael Olowokandi, Allen Iverson, Joe Smith, Glenn Robinson, Chris Webber, Larry Johnson, etc. – played their entire careers and never won an NBA title.

    Despite this list, fans of the NBA’s losers still have dreams that success in the NBA lottery will lead to title contention and an NBA championship in the future. But is this likely to happen? About a year ago, I offered the concept of the “lottery treadmill” in an effort to understand how title contenders are built. Now I want to address what happens to teams that are not contenders.

    Or more specifically: if a team wins 25 or fewer games – a result needed to maximize success in the lottery – what happens in future NBA seasons?

    Before answering this question, let’s make an observation. Since 1985, only two teams (the Miami Heat in 2006 and the Houston Rockets in 1995) have managed to win an NBA title without winning at least 66 percent (54 wins in an 82-game season) of their games. And since 1984-85, about 20 percent of teams have won 54 or more games. So it seems likely that a team needs to be in this group to really be considered a contender.

    But it appears that teams that win 25 or fewer games have a hard time joining this elite. Of the teams that won 25 or fewer games since 1984-85,

    2.3 percent won 54 or more games the next year
    3.9 percent won 54 or more games two years later
    5.7 percent won 54 or more games three years later
    10.1 percent won 54 or more games four years later
    10.6 percent won 54 or more games five years later

    In sum, nearly 90 percent of teams that win 25 or fewer games are not contenders five years later. This suggests that “tanking” is a strategy that is very unlikely to lead to NBA success.

    Of course, some may say that this is still better than just being “mediocre” in the NBA. Back in 2011, three different NBA executives made a similar observation:

    Towards the close of yesterday’s basketball analytics panel, Mark Cuban (owner of the Dallas Mavericks) and Kevin Pritchard (general manager of the Portland Trail Blazers) showed their cards in terms of fast-tracking a franchise rebuilding project.

    Cuban confessed that once Dirk Nowitzki retires he expects the Mavericks to lose, and, if he gets his way, they’ll lose badly. Kevin Pritchard seemed to agree and introduced a new term into our lexicons: “the mediocrity treadmill.”

    There is no championship future for a middling team that is stuck in the embattled space between those who struggle to make the playoffs and those that struggle and miss. Cuban has no desire for the Mavericks to be such a team. Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan recently defended trading Gerald Wallace to the Portland Trailblazers by saying, “We don’t want to be the seventh or eighth seed.” The Bobcats have been, at best, mediocre, and so perhaps we can interpret his statement as one owner casting his philosophical lot with Cuban and Pritchard.

    So are teams better off avoiding the “mediocrity treadmill”? Let’s define a mediocre team as one that wins between 34 and 49 wins. Of the teams in this group,

    9.1 percent won 54 or more games the next year
    13.9 percent won 54 or more games two years later
    14.8 percent won 54 or more games three years later
    16.5 percent won 54 or more games four years later
    19.8 percent won 54 or more game five years later

    In sum, a team that is mediocre is much more likely to contend in the near future than a loser. And that means if your team is actually trying to build a loser (i.e. avoid the mediocrity treadmill), they are reducing their chances to contend.
    Now some might argue that this next draft is different. This next draft is supposed to have such players as Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, and Julius Randle. Each of these players are supposed to be stars. Of course, such players have only “starred” so far in high school. So it is possible that these players will not excel in college or the NBA.

    But let’s imagine these players are like LeBron. It is important to remember that LeBron never won a title with the teams that acquired his services on draft night. In fact, in the lottery era (since 1985) only the San Antonio Spurs (with David Robinson and Tim Duncan) have drafted a player number one and won a title with that player. Every other number one pick failed to bring a title to the team that “won” the lottery.

    So we see that the NBA draft lottery is quite similar to the state lotteries so many people play. Winners of these lotteries often don’t get the life of their dreams. And the odds of winning are so poor that state lotteries are often described as a tax on the mathematically illiterate. Despite all this, people still buy lottery tickets in the hopes of realizing their dreams. And likewise, some people in the NBA have dreams that winning the NBA lottery is the path to a future NBA title.
    But it is important to remember as fans that these are often just dreams.

    Losing is not a winning strategy in the NBA. And if you see your team lose frequently this next season, you shouldn’t think that unhappiness experienced today is likely to lead to much happiness in the future.
    Last edited by golden; Thu May 8th, 2014 at 10:27 PM.

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    Quote golden wrote: View Post
    Actually, speaking of probability and mathematical analysis: this excellent article shows that losing teams have a much lower probability of becoming great teams in the future, in comparison to teams on the so-called 'mediocrity treadmill'.

    We can argue the definitions of losing, mediocre and great, but the data itself is eye-opening...

    http://freakonomics.com/2013/10/29/l...gy-in-the-nba/
    Thank you. Nice to see a good piece with actual statistics bashing tanking.
    The name's Bond, James Bond.

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    Quote golden wrote: View Post
    Actually, speaking of probability and mathematical analysis: this excellent article shows that losing teams have a much lower probability of becoming great teams in the future, in comparison to teams on the so-called 'mediocrity treadmill'.

    We can argue the definitions of losing, mediocre and great, but the data itself is eye-opening...

    http://freakonomics.com/2013/10/29/l...gy-in-the-nba/
    Nice article. Would seem to make sense, since if you're losing a lot, even if you get lucky and draft a franchise calibre talent, you still have to build a team and system around that player. It is essentially very difficult to turn failure into success, and that's why I always thought "tanking" is something you kind of have to fall ass-backwards into, so-called "organic" tanking where your team is just being rebuilt because it has to be, or you come out flat and embrace sucking for the year (often because of injuries).

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    And I think that the point of Duncan bringing home the title was a fluke, as Robinson was injured that year.
    The name's Bond, James Bond.

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    Quote RaptorsFohEva wrote: View Post
    And I think that the point of Duncan bringing home the title was a fluke, as Robinson was injured that year.
    I think that's part of the point though in the end. If you're going to suck because of an injured star, or retiring star....anything where you lose your foundation....that's acceptable tanking, because you don't really "plan" for it, it just kind of happens.

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    Quote white men can't jump wrote: View Post
    I think that's part of the point though in the end. If you're going to suck because of an injured star, or retiring star....anything where you lose your foundation....that's acceptable tanking, because you don't really "plan" for it, it just kind of happens.
    like if DD and Klow had both had torn ACLs or something and we got Wiggins.

    Injured backcourt comes back and we're roaring to the playoffs.
    The name's Bond, James Bond.

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    Quote golden wrote: View Post
    Actually, speaking of probability and mathematical analysis: this excellent article shows that losing teams have a much lower probability of becoming great teams in the future, in comparison to teams on the so-called 'mediocrity treadmill'.

    We can argue the definitions of losing, mediocre and great, but the data itself is eye-opening...

    http://freakonomics.com/2013/10/29/l...gy-in-the-nba/

    Thanks for reviving that link. I remember reading it. I'm going to head over to the FAQ thread and post the link for future discussions of the probability of tanking leading to a championship...or even relevance.

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    Quote Puffer wrote: View Post
    Thanks for reviving that link. I remember reading it. I'm going to head over to the FAQ thread and post the link for future discussions of the probability of tanking leading to a championship...or even relevance.
    The issue with that article is that there is no way to separate intelligent tanking from just sucking as a franchise. Most of the teams in that sample are just terribly mismanaged. Hard to say tanking was the problem when you've got David Kahn making your draft picks. The reality is, bad teams tend to stay bad because of incompetence, not because of strategy.

    The other issue, is the time constraints placed on success. What if a team tanks hard, develops its young players, and ends up "middling" after the time frame specified, but jump up to championship status after that? Then they would be classified as a "treadmill" team that made the jump, rather than a "tanking" team.

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    Quote DanH wrote: View Post
    The issue with that article is that there is no way to separate intelligent tanking from just sucking as a franchise. Most of the teams in that sample are just terribly mismanaged. Hard to say tanking was the problem when you've got David Kahn making your draft picks. The reality is, bad teams tend to stay bad because of incompetence, not because of strategy.

    The other issue, is the time constraints placed on success. What if a team tanks hard, develops its young players, and ends up "middling" after the time frame specified, but jump up to championship status after that? Then they would be classified as a "treadmill" team that made the jump, rather than a "tanking" team.
    At the very least, what it's showing is that the top pick isn't a guaranteed ticket to relevance like some might hope.

    The number one pick, even if it works out, is one piece (arguably the hardest to obtain) of a very large puzzle.

    Where the Raptors are right now, we have most of our puzzle in place, with multiple outside shots at getting that one, most coveted, final piece.

    Are the combined odds of:

    1. JV developing into a superstar OR Demar developing into a superstar OR Lowry developing into a superstar OR us signing a superstar, better than the odds of;

    2. a tanking team making the right pick AND developing him the right way AND putting a championship team around him for the right price, doing this all before that top pick leaves?

    The Sixers, who I'd consider are one of the best run tanking teams right now, still have a TON of questions facing them. Is MCW, with little to no outside shot at the age of 23, a possible championship PG? Will Noel be a complete bust? Will they make the right pick this year? Will they be able to resign all these guys when their extensions all come due within a year of each other? Will they be able to add the right coach and veteran players to impose a professional culture within the franchise? Etc.

    So, yeah, teams like the Cavs seriously mismanaged the situation. But what about teams like Denver, that just couldn't quite get it together, or teams like Minnesota, where a projected star falls flat (Rubio), teams like Utah, that just can't quite pull it together (remember DW was considered on par with CP4), teams like NOH (again, similar to Denver, both with CP4 and I predict with AD as well).

    I'd add that a lot of the teams that have done well with their own draft picks - LAL, MIA, BOS, etc. - did so after adding an all-NBA free agent to help out. So maybe Andrew Wiggins helps you get that piece, but that's another big hurdle a tanking team has to clear sometime in the future.
    Last edited by stooley; Fri May 9th, 2014 at 09:28 AM.

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    I remember starting a thread or making a post..... not sure..... anyways.

    Over the last 20 years you had about a 40% chance of getting an All-Star calibre player from the top 5 of the draft. Some years 2, some 3, some 1, 2003 had 4.... but on average it was about 2 out of 5.

    FWIW
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    Basketball has clear winners every night --
    except at the draft, which is all homework, politics and chance.

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    Quote stooley wrote: View Post
    At the very least, what it's showing is that the top pick isn't a guaranteed ticket to relevance like some might hope.

    The number one pick, even if it works out, is one piece (arguably the hardest to obtain) of a very large puzzle.

    Where the Raptors are right now, we have most of our puzzle in place, with multiple outside shots at getting that one, most coveted, final piece.

    Are the combined odds of:

    1. JV developing into a superstar OR Demar developing into a superstar OR Lowry developing into a superstar OR us signing a superstar, better than the odds of;

    2. a tanking team making the right pick AND developing him the right way AND putting a championship team around him for the right price, doing this all before that top pick leaves?

    So, yeah, teams like the Cavs seriously mismanaged the situation. But what about teams like Denver, that just couldn't quite get it together, or teams like Minnesota, where a projected star falls flat (Rubio), teams like Utah, that just can't quite pull it together (remember DW was considered on par with CP4), teams like NOH (again, similar to Denver, both with CP4 and I predict with AD as well).
    I'm not saying anything is a guarantee. What I'm saying is that the teams you listed should perhaps be the sample size, if you want to judge the action and not the actor. And as such, the numbers in the study are very skewed. Even if the overall trend is negative (say, only 30% of tanking teams achieve success, so maybe it's better to pursue a different path), it still wouldn't paint the "no hope" picture that comes from including the teams that are just awful in general.

    And frankly, I think the odds of your first scenario are zero aside from us signing a superstar. The odds there are very close to zero. The real path to perhaps getting a superstar on this team is through trade, in which case you lose many of those supplementary pieces in the process. So the equivalence is really:

    Which odds are better?

    A) Being able to trade current pieces for a true superstar, then manage rest of assets into championship calibre supporting cast.

    B) Tanking team makes right pick (among several, tanking is not a one year process, and if done correctly the trade of current assets for picks means multiple shots each year), develops him correctly, then manages rest of assets into championship calibre supporting cast.

    I don't think the odds of either are wildly different. I think with where we are now, the correct course is probably action A. I think either course would have worked well at the time of the Gay trade, though with the unknowns of the players returned in that trade at the time and the status of Ross, JV, DD and Lowry (all underperforming at the time relative to the season since), tanking was probably the way I would have chosen. And Ujiri too (tried to move Lowry). But as the season progressed, action A became a viable option due to the performance of the team, and no one got moved as a result. Now we'll see where the next 18 months or so takes us.

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    Quote DanH wrote: View Post
    I'm not saying anything is a guarantee. What I'm saying is that the teams you listed should perhaps be the sample size, if you want to judge the action and not the actor. And as such, the numbers in the study are very skewed. Even if the overall trend is negative (say, only 30% of tanking teams achieve success, so maybe it's better to pursue a different path), it still wouldn't paint the "no hope" picture that comes from including the teams that are just awful in general.

    And frankly, I think the odds of your first scenario are zero aside from us signing a superstar. The odds there are very close to zero. The real path to perhaps getting a superstar on this team is through trade, in which case you lose many of those supplementary pieces in the process. So the equivalence is really:

    Which odds are better?

    A) Being able to trade current pieces for a true superstar, then manage rest of assets into championship calibre supporting cast.

    B) Tanking team makes right pick (among several, tanking is not a one year process, and if done correctly the trade of current assets for picks means multiple shots each year), develops him correctly, then manages rest of assets into championship calibre supporting cast.

    I don't think the odds of either are wildly different. I think with where we are now, the correct course is probably action A. I think either course would have worked well at the time of the Gay trade, though with the unknowns of the players returned in that trade at the time and the status of Ross, JV, DD and Lowry (all underperforming at the time relative to the season since), tanking was probably the way I would have chosen. And Ujiri too (tried to move Lowry). But as the season progressed, action A became a viable option due to the performance of the team, and no one got moved as a result. Now we'll see where the next 18 months or so takes us.
    Yeah sorry, I agreed with your criticisms of the math, I should have mentioned that. Obviously, teams like SAC and PHI should not necessarily be lumped into the same group.

    I agree with the rest of what you said with the exception of the bold.

    I think there are some scenarios in which JV learns to play at Marc Gasol's level.

    And I think there are some scenarios in which Demar learns to dribble and extends his range by a couple feet and learns to pass out of double teams, making him a defenceless Kobe. (aside: like seriously, if Demar passes out of double teams, we play the entire Nets series 4 on 3 and I think we win solidly)

    And I think I'd extend my range from "superstar" signing to all-star signing. A Guy like Lamarcus Aldridge or Demarcus Cousins (minus the attitude issues) would turn is into a contender if we get them in 2015.
    Last edited by stooley; Fri May 9th, 2014 at 09:46 AM.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar iblastoff's Avatar
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    i just find it hilarious that jamshid still posts here and pretends he knows what hes talking about.

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    Quote iblastoff wrote: View Post
    i just find it hilarious that jamshid still posts here and pretends he knows what hes talking about.
    Hey, hey now. We embrace people of all stripes here. Even the ones with crazy unreasonable expectations.

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    Speaking of SAC and PHI. Is there some way we can separate teams that intentionally tanked, as in, gave away pieces to turn from a half-decent team to a terrible one, and ones that just sucked.

    I'd argue that the proper measure of tanking should be the success rates among teams that ended up that low intentionally (like PHI), rather than through a series of bad moves (like Milwaukee). I think one is an indication of a plan carried out - successfully or not - while the other is an example of bad management continuing to be bad or getting lucky.

    This gets a little tricky because: a. noone admits to tanking so its pretty subjective and b. I don't have the fucking time for that.

    Maybe a team effort can get er done. If we can each figure out for a certain year or two, which teams gave up contributors for future assets and looked like they tanked, we can maybe find a realistic expectation for "tanking teams" rather than just "bad teams".
    Last edited by stooley; Fri May 9th, 2014 at 09:58 AM.

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    Quote stooley wrote: View Post
    Speaking of SAC and PHI. Is there some way we can separate teams that intentionally tanked, as in, gave away pieces to turn from a half-decent team to a terrible one, and ones that just sucked.

    I'd argue that the proper measure of tanking should be the success rates among teams that ended up that low intentionally (like PHI), rather than through a series of bad moves (like Milwaukee). I think one is an indication of a plan carried out - successfully or not - while the other is an example of bad management continuing to be bad or getting lucky.

    This gets a little tricky because: a. noone admits to tanking so its pretty subjective and b. I don't have the fucking time for that.

    Maybe a team effort can get er done. If we can each figure out for a certain year or two, which teams gave up contributors for future assets and looked like they tanked, we can maybe find a realistic expectation for "tanking teams" rather than just "bad teams".
    That's definitely a lot of work. I'd probably have been into it in December, but with all that's already happened this year, the discussion (although interesting) doesn't have that immediacy to the Raptors' situation anymore, so I don't think I can muster the effort.

    I'd suggest you could use previous years' records, but then it gets really muddy where you draw the line, and context (such as injuries, etc) can derail that as well.

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    Quote DanH wrote: View Post
    That's definitely a lot of work. I'd probably have been into it in December, but with all that's already happened this year, the discussion (although interesting) doesn't have that immediacy to the Raptors' situation anymore, so I don't think I can muster the effort.

    I'd suggest you could use previous years' records, but then it gets really muddy where you draw the line, and context (such as injuries, etc) can derail that as well.
    Yeah, I was thinking of something like - gave up at least one starter in exchange for draft picks/cap relief, followed by a decrease in win-total by 10 or 15 or something the next year.

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    Quote stooley wrote: View Post
    I think there are some scenarios in which JV learns to play at Marc Gasol's level.
    Completely agree. But Marc Gasol is not a superstar.

    And I think there are some scenarios in which Demar learns to dribble and extends his range by a couple feet and learns to pass out of double teams, making him a defenceless Kobe. (aside: like seriously, if Demar passes out of double teams, we play the entire Nets series 4 on 3 and I think we win solidly)
    I think there are some scenarios wherein I stumble upon a winning lottery ticket on the sidewalk and never have to work another day in my life, but I won't hold my breath. I think DD reaching Kobe's level of effectiveness offensively is a pipedream and certainly a best case scenario. And his defense will forever hold him back from being a superstar, unless he actually reaches that level of offensive effectiveness (and possibly even then, depending on whether, for example, you consider Harden a superstar).

    And I think I'd extend my range from "superstar" signing to all-star signing. A Guy like Lamarcus Aldridge or Demarcus Cousins (minus the attitude issues) would turn is into a contender if we get them in 2015.
    And sure, they might be able to land a guy like that (and would be a great move), but they've got ONE shot. After 2015 that cap space goes away, whether they sign a big name or not (JV and Ross get raises, DD undoubtedly opts out to get a bigger deal). Of course, landing a guy like that still puts the team into a non-superstar construction - which is fine, but has only won one team a championship in the history of the NBA, and the Pistons had several all-stars and the DPOY. So in that case, you are probably looking at hoping to land that piece, AND get the best case scenarios for DD, Lowry, JV, Ross, etc in terms of development. And the reality is, this is probably the course of action we are pursuing, so I'll spend my time dreaming of ways it could work out. But objectively speaking, the odds seem just as long as the tanking route's were.

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