[See twitter summary of this Effort vs .Concentration panel at the Sloan conf. seminar, at the bottom of post; other similar posts are going up as soon as I can get them there. Be patient.]
At today’s MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Cambridge, one of the seminars focused on the fine work by Justin Rao and Matt Goldman, set forth in their paper “Effort vs. Concentration: The Asymmetric Impact of Pressure on NBA Performance”.
I’ll boil it down for you, Cameron Crazies: you’ve had it all wrong. All these years.
Making a racket when Harrison Barnes of UNC goes to the free throw line? WRONG.
Staying silent when your Blue Devil, Austin Rivers shoots a free throw? WRONG
Rao and Goldman are smart-guys, they actually looked at more stats than there are trees in the United States — about free-throws and rebounding under pressure — and here’s what they found:
1) Home team FT shooters experience a significant decline in percentage as the importance of points increased; the loss for home teams in “clutch” situations from free throw line is about two percentage points. (The biggest home free-throw shooting chokers in the NBA?: Jordan Hill, Paul Pierce, and Samuel Dalembert.)
2) Home teams offensively rebound better in the clutch than other situations.
It’s probably, they explain from increased self-focus (thinking too much about what you’re doing) and increased distraction factors – factors which help the home team on rebounding, but not free throws.
Whatever the cause, here’s what it tells you, Cameron Crazies: the stone silence that your home team guy(s) Plumlee gets when he steps to the line in the last two minutes? NOT good. Make some white noise. Have those cheerleaders, or those Dancing Dukies, particularly Connie, chat sweetly in the background.
And when Harrison Barnes is up at the line, thirty seconds to go? Not a pin-dropping sound. Not one.
But Cameron Crazies, this is urgent, and you need a high-level conference of all CC management, to decide how best to implement this late-breaking, and ground-breaking, news. You probably need to call in Dan Arielly. Do not delay.
Go to Hell, Carolina, Go to Hell!; Go to Hell, Carolina, Go to Hell!
Below are the miscellaneous Twitter notes from this conference on the Goldman and Rao paper:
PRESSURE Effort vs. Concentration – the asymmetric impact of pressure on NBA performance. Matt Goldman and Justin Rao
Sitting in listening to “Effort vs Concentration: Pressure in Sports”. Of course Jason Garrett is here
2 key ways pressure impacts performance: increased self-focus (thinking too much about what you’re doing) and increased distraction
Two tasks in study: FT shooting and offensive rebounding … Study accounts for win probability “importance” of each point
Home team FT shooters experience a significant deline in percentage as the importance of points increased
Finding of study Home teams offensively rebound better in the clutch than other situations
Goldman: Biggest home free throw shooting chokers: Jordan Hill, Paul Pierce, Samuel Dalembert.
Home fans go dead silent in clutch moments. That’s when performance anxiety sets in. Away teams face white noise
Statiscal anlysis shows the clutchest player in the league is…Manu Ginobli!
Lots of noise in the study, but Robert Horry is listed as another clutch player.
This chart in front me says that Jordan Hill is the biggest “home choker” in the NBA. This chart is my new best friend.
Bad free-throw shooters (Ben Wallace shoutout) tend to chocke more than good free-thrwo shooters #
@JADubin5 Check out the basketball score prediction app atbookwormsports.com #
5% of players are outliers. Don’t react the same at all. Manu Ginobili is super clutch FT% at home. Good shooters overall choke less.
Loss for home teams in “clutch” situations from free throw line is about two percentage points
most interesting part of pressure and clutch talk is that home teams get significantly more offensive rebounds in the clutch