My sympathy for the ‘eyeballs’ crowd is that there are undoubtedly things that help a team win that we haven’t figured out how to measure yet, so the eyeballs still might have some advantages over the ‘facts.’ This blog post by the fantastic Nate Silver gets at some of that. Key point:
The effect of a player who improves the rest of his team’s TS% by 3.8 points is extremely substantial: it is works out to their scoring about 5 or 5.5 additional points per game solely on the basis of this efficiency gain. That, in turn, translates into about 15 additional wins per season for an average team, according to a commonly-used formula. This is how Anthony creates most of his value — not in the shots he takes himself, but in the ones he creates for his teammates – and some of the “advanced” formulas completely miss it.
I would love to see some of these stats run for Joe Crispin. We’re starting to see some of the benefits of this with Talor, as more guys are able to get involved in the offense and take advantage of the attention paid to him.