The Paradox of Depth

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The Paradox of Depth

Post by ampersand5 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:03 am

The Paradox of Depth is that in the NBA playoffs, the more depth a team has, the more likely the team is to materially suffer from an injury.

For a team dependant on superstars and lacking depth, the likelihood of being materially effected by an injury is a product of how likely it is for their 2-3 superstars to get hurt.

In contrast, a team that is dependant on 10 different players, is 3-5X more likely to be materially impacted by an injury.

Sure, losing Fred Van Vleet isn't the same thing as losing a Lebron James, but the loss of FVV's direct impact, plus the impact of the rest of the roster needing to adjust to different lineups/players is sufficient to materially effect the Raptor's playoff chances.

Mike G
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Re: The Paradox of Depth

Post by Mike G » Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:59 am

OK, but without one guy they're less deep and now less susceptible to injury, so they're better off.
The paradoxes cancel.

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Re: The Paradox of Depth

Post by Crow » Fri May 11, 2018 4:04 pm

If injury risk for teams were studied rigorously, you'd want to understand, the varying quality of depth, "degree of dependence", risk from game time (bases on minutes played, possessions used), risk from practice, risk from off court and replacement potential for each role, share of team production (internally and externally).

Every team (pretty much) has 15 players, a sum of 100% dependence on that talent for 100% of production and time.

There are different degrees of harm for specific player injury losses. But it is not simply defined as with or without "depth". All 15 can be injured, can be "missed", can be replaced. The total risk / ability to survive without is in the details. The Celtics this season could be a good case study along with cases broader and more specific / singular. There is more to flesh out, including the value of role and position versatility. Versatility that teams use voluntarily and use when injuries hit.

Dr Positivity
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Re: The Paradox of Depth

Post by Dr Positivity » Sat May 12, 2018 2:05 am

Interesting concept. But it depends on who's replacing them. If the team with good depth loses a good player, but replaces their minutes with another almost as good player, say going from a 7 to a 6, then the depth will have done its job to keep them afloat. Likewise if a team with bad depth replaces a league average player with a scrub, then the lack of depth may hurt them more than the first example. Going from a 5 to a 2 hurts.

I would also point out a healthy FVV is very arguably a top 3 player on the Raptors. Possibly their 2nd best player.

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