Bucks Diary

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Road woes say alot...plus early NCAA insights


Sorry I haven't been posting. Been a little busy, and I'm sort of out of "thesi" (is that the plural of thesis?) about the Bucks. All I can say is "They stink (at the moment)", and I can't dress that pig up until the offseason. I do still have some thoughts about them, though...

Road Record is the measure of the team

You know how I am always bitching about the Bucks being a schizo team because they seem to always take a dump on the road and play halfway competitively at home? Well, its not because they're schizo... that phenomenon happens a lot... it just means the team sucks.

I went back in NBA history using this guy's nifty time traveler... (BTW, did you know that until about 1972-73 every NBA team played a slate of around 10 "neutral site" games every season? I did not know that). What I discovered was that the Bucks ".500 at home; putrid on the road" record is actually common among 20-30 win teams throughout NBA history.

That's because no matter how bad they are, most NBA teams are at least competitive at home (except the exceptionally awful). There is clearly and demonstratively a distinct "home court advantage" in the sport of basketball... that's not debatable and has been proven in several interesting studies ( but none of those studies has settled on a consensus "Why?" to my satisfaction. Some studies point out biased refereeing, some show evidence of crowd "intimidation" of the visitors, others purport to show crowd "inspiration" of the home team... there is no clear cut consensus).

Because of that, the true measure of an NBA team is taken on the road, not at home. Bad teams are usually below .400 on the road, good teams are usually just over or just under .500 on the road, and the great teams are nearly as great on the road as they are at home. It happens every season in the NBA.

In fact, my new maxim that "you can judge a basketball team by their road record" is so solid that I am going to use it as part of my econometric formula to help myself and you all pick this year's NCAAs...

Coming for Bucks Diary readers: Kickass NCAA Pool Insights

Are you like me, an NBA fan who is sick of getting his ass kicked every March Madness because he rarely watches college basketball and just makes picks based on something he heard some dunder head on ESPN say? Well, no more.

Coming on Monday, I will have a complete Win Score-based, historical-significance influenced, econometric analysis of the entire NCAA tournament field. I'm half way done with it already. This year we will dominate the offices, Bucks fans!!

This thing should be good. As I say, its based on each team's offensive and defensive Win Score, fully adjusted for strength of schedule, and further adjusted based on each team's Road/Neutral record. The last adjustment was added when I found out that the single best way to predict an upset victim is by their weak road record. Makes sense based on what I wrote above.

Preview of my NCAA Primer

Here's a quick preview: Barring injury, the Badgers look set to make a deep run... I've got them at around sixth or seventh strongest team, which they in truth weren't last year... the Polar Bear's absence last season hurt the Badgers waaayyyy more than anyone at the time realized... my early Cinderella looks like Drake, a solid, solid team, and Davidson... Purdue and Michigan State both look like upset victims in the making, especially Purdue... same thing with Vanderbilt... and Notre Dame... beware of slightly above average teams with great home records... if Tennessee is a No. 1 seed, they will be the most likely to go down... Kansas State is a complete fraud, they probably won't make it... Butler grades out solid but their lack of offense scares me.

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