Oliver Bateman's Reviews > Pro Basketball Prospectus 2011-12

Pro Basketball Prospectus 2011-12 by Bradford Doolittle
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's review
Jan 10, 2012

it was amazing
Read from January 10 to 18, 2012

Bradford Doolittle et al. have produced a fantastic (and fantastically well written) reference book that recalls the glory years of the Baseball Prospectus, before major publications hired away all of its top talent. In many ways, basketball is even more amenable to statistical analysis than baseball--a fact realized years ago by Dean Oliver and John Hollinger--and it appears that the BP team, working from the foundations established by those two men, have produced a useful way of quantifying the total contributions of players on a team (the decision to leave out mere counting stats--PPG, RPG, etc.--is irksome at first, but begins to make sense as one progresses through the book). The player essays are longer than the ones found in the Baseball Prospectus (owing to the far smaller number of players in the NBA pool), and are worth reading not merely for the detailed commentary but also for the assorted witticisms to be found there. The essays at the back of the book--on the effects of "mileage" on the first generation of prep-to-pros players, the death of the triangle offense, the "bonus" awarded to free agents from championship teams, and an especially insightful piece on how a team's pace can affect usage rates--are especially interesting. Contributor Sebastian Priuti is already writing for Grantland; expect other members of the Basketball Prospectus family to land similarly higher-profile gigs.

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