All Forums > Hoops Dynasty Basketball > Hoops Dynasty > Why substitute someone in foul trouble?
4/12/2013 11:16 AM
There's a fallacy that just about every coach and media personality fall for-- saving your "star" for the last possession. In reality, benching someone with X fouls so they're available for the last possession reduces the total number of possessions they're available in the game, therefore reducing the impact they would have had on the game (points per possession). It doesn't matter if a player plays the first 15 minutes of the game or the last 15 minutes of the game-- a made field goal is worth the same at either time. (There's no such thing as a "game-winning" shot. The final score is a cumulative of all the made baskets. The one on the last possession isn't worth more than the ones on other possessions.)

There's an argument in real life that players play more timid when they have foul trouble earlier in the game, therefore reducing their value to the team. In that case, it might make sense to sub (unless the sub's value is still less than the player playing timidly). But in HD, the players don't change how they play when they have foul trouble-- so it makes no sense to sub them.

There's also an argument that during the last few minutes of a game there are likely more possessions as the losing team starts fouling. If you want your key players in for the most possessions (the right strategy) then it makes sense to save them. But I'm not sure I see that often applies in HD. If both teams are running uptempo, there will be a lot of possessions-- moreso than at the end when one team is winning and running "hold ball."

My question: Why doesn't the engine have a "never substitute" for foul trouble instead of just a "leave him in longer" option? I don't want my key guys coming out for fouls at all. (I also don't want them coming out for fatigue until their value drops below the next guy on the depth chart. Why don't we have an option for that as well?)

4/12/2013 2:12 PM
I get your argument for HD, and it's the same argument I used to make in the Sim League Baseball games - why pull a pitcher in the sim league based upon how he is performing in the game when his performance is simulated based upon set statistics?

In real life, that pitcher may lose confidence or ability because of being shelled, but unless there is a factor to simulate just that in the game, then the game is going to continue running the numbers the same, so you should never pull a pitcher based upon how he is doing but only upon simulated fatigue.

I think in HD it is similar. You shouldn't be pulling your starters or better players to save them for the end because the arguments that make sense in real life (as you pointed out) do not make sense in the simulated environment.

4/12/2013 2:41 PM
this goes beyond what one can do in a SIM, but in real life there are other issues

one aspect is that you cant really say that your players rank from 1 through 12 in all aspects of their contribution.  Here's an example - lets say I have two players who are capable ballhandlers, who can handle against pressure, run the offense, etc.  Lets say that they are my two best guards and they start.

Now, if one of them gets into early foul trouble I want to take him out for a while because the one thing that is a real disaster for my team is if both those guys foul out (or both play timidly).  I have to have one of them on the floor to run our offense.  So, the guy in foul trouble sits for a while and guards 3 and/or 4 get some minutes.  If the other starting guard also gets into the start of foul trouble I rotate my guards so that I always have one of the two ballhandlers out there but conserve their minutes until the game is far enough along that I feel I can - or must - have them both out there.....

there are other examples like that where players are not simply better or worse but may bring special contributions that affect the rotation

4/12/2013 3:09 PM (edited)
i like eflhoca's theory for HD at first glance, it makes sense. metsmax's rebuttal makes sense in that by benching a player in foul trouble you're basically hedging your bets (sacrificing your team a bit 'now' to make sure you don't get completely screwed 'later' by decreasing the chance of double-foul-out).

I have a different take, though. ever notice how basketball "blowouts" are typically measured in point differential, as opposed to ratio between scores? a blowout in a basketball game might be 60-40, a huge blowout 80-40. for total points scored, that's about average for basketball, or at least in the ballpark. the average football game might be 27-17. nobody is calling that one a blowout, even though the scores are a 1.58/1 ration (compared to the 1.5/1 ratio in the 60-40 mini-blowout). a huge blowout could be 35-7, a 5/1 ratio, whereas the huge basketball blowout is only 2/1. hockey, baseball, soccer, etc. could all end up with these huge football-like scoring ratios and not be considered as huge of blowouts as an 80-40 basketball game.

the reason for this obviously comes down to how the game is scored and the consistency in which 'quality play' leads to quantifiable 'points'. in basketball, you outplay a team for a half and it will absolutely show up on the scoreboard; in football, some bad luck might leave the game within a score despite outplaying your opponent.

because of basketball's continuous scoring, a team that starts out the game on a 30-10 run (and completely earned the 3/1 scoring ratio) will NEVER maintain that scoring 'ratio', even if they had the talent advantage to do so. why play hard when you're up 20? you may have the skill to maintain that 30-10 'ratio', but you're much more likely to ease up and tie the other team the rest of the way, winning 70-50. basketball has a tendency to 'stay close' more than any other game BECAUSE the score is so fluid.

my point? what you do on the first possession is actually not worth as much as the last possession, because basketball games have a way of staying close. the benefit of having your best man out there in the first half could just as easily be mitigated early in the second half because of how big leads cause teams to ease up. the scores of HD games would lead me to believe they MAY set the game up like this beyond the 'play backups in blowout' option.

if they don't set the game up like that, then my whole theory still holds true with RL bball, at least.
4/12/2013 3:38 PM
Posted by eflhoca on 4/12/2013 11:17:00 AM (view original):
There's a fallacy that just about every coach and media personality fall for-- saving your "star" for the last possession. In reality, benching someone with X fouls so they're available for the last possession reduces the total number of possessions they're available in the game, therefore reducing the impact they would have had on the game (points per possession). It doesn't matter if a player plays the first 15 minutes of the game or the last 15 minutes of the game-- a made field goal is worth the same at either time. (There's no such thing as a "game-winning" shot. The final score is a cumulative of all the made baskets. The one on the last possession isn't worth more than the ones on other possessions.)

There's an argument in real life that players play more timid when they have foul trouble earlier in the game, therefore reducing their value to the team. In that case, it might make sense to sub (unless the sub's value is still less than the player playing timidly). But in HD, the players don't change how they play when they have foul trouble-- so it makes no sense to sub them.

There's also an argument that during the last few minutes of a game there are likely more possessions as the losing team starts fouling. If you want your key players in for the most possessions (the right strategy) then it makes sense to save them. But I'm not sure I see that often applies in HD. If both teams are running uptempo, there will be a lot of possessions-- moreso than at the end when one team is winning and running "hold ball."

My question: Why doesn't the engine have a "never substitute" for foul trouble instead of just a "leave him in longer" option? I don't want my key guys coming out for fouls at all. (I also don't want them coming out for fatigue until their value drops below the next guy on the depth chart. Why don't we have an option for that as well?)

This is utter nonsense. If this was a rational argument, real-life coaches who get paid lots of money to win would never use foul trouble as a reason to sub out players. And yet they do. It's so blindly obvious why they do, it doesn't merit discussion.

In HD as well, you have strategic changes and defensive changes throughout the game, and in the event of a close ending, I want my best players available.
4/12/2013 4:24 PM
Posted by kcsundevil on 4/12/2013 3:38:00 PM (view original):
Posted by eflhoca on 4/12/2013 11:17:00 AM (view original):
There's a fallacy that just about every coach and media personality fall for-- saving your "star" for the last possession. In reality, benching someone with X fouls so they're available for the last possession reduces the total number of possessions they're available in the game, therefore reducing the impact they would have had on the game (points per possession). It doesn't matter if a player plays the first 15 minutes of the game or the last 15 minutes of the game-- a made field goal is worth the same at either time. (There's no such thing as a "game-winning" shot. The final score is a cumulative of all the made baskets. The one on the last possession isn't worth more than the ones on other possessions.)

There's an argument in real life that players play more timid when they have foul trouble earlier in the game, therefore reducing their value to the team. In that case, it might make sense to sub (unless the sub's value is still less than the player playing timidly). But in HD, the players don't change how they play when they have foul trouble-- so it makes no sense to sub them.

There's also an argument that during the last few minutes of a game there are likely more possessions as the losing team starts fouling. If you want your key players in for the most possessions (the right strategy) then it makes sense to save them. But I'm not sure I see that often applies in HD. If both teams are running uptempo, there will be a lot of possessions-- moreso than at the end when one team is winning and running "hold ball."

My question: Why doesn't the engine have a "never substitute" for foul trouble instead of just a "leave him in longer" option? I don't want my key guys coming out for fouls at all. (I also don't want them coming out for fatigue until their value drops below the next guy on the depth chart. Why don't we have an option for that as well?)

This is utter nonsense. If this was a rational argument, real-life coaches who get paid lots of money to win would never use foul trouble as a reason to sub out players. And yet they do. It's so blindly obvious why they do, it doesn't merit discussion.

In HD as well, you have strategic changes and defensive changes throughout the game, and in the event of a close ending, I want my best players available.
Well, KC, several well-known economists disagree with you. It is a rational argument based on maximizing output. There is much too much attention paid by coaches and sports commentators to what happened on the last possession of a game, ignoring that that possession was worth no more/fewer potential points than other possessions. Your "close ending" isn't any more important than the close beginning.

Coaches, like people, have all kinds of cognitive biases keeping them from doing rational things. Read Kahmeman's Thinking Fast and Slow for a ton of examples. Romer showed (using a ton of NFL data) that teams should go for it on 4th down much more often than they do-- but coaches still don't. Even ones like Belichik who have read Romer's work.



4/12/2013 5:31 PM
Kcsundevil, just because the top coaches do something doesn't mean it's automatically the "best" way. Look up the term "sacred cow"
4/12/2013 6:25 PM
You can't ignore the fact that fatigue in HD is a much greater factor than it is in real life. A guy playing sporadically because of foul trouble in the first half can still save your rotation... but if you aren't deep somewhere, and your top guy fouls out early in into the game because you just had to leave him in, that can really mess you up from a fatigue point of view when it really matters. 
4/12/2013 7:45 PM
I would just like to put out there that the Coach at Grinell never subs due to fouls.
4/12/2013 11:12 PM
Posted by jetwildcat on 4/12/2013 5:31:00 PM (view original):
Kcsundevil, just because the top coaches do something doesn't mean it's automatically the "best" way. Look up the term "sacred cow"
Your post is silly. You know I'm right.
4/13/2013 10:59 AM
Posted by kcsundevil on 4/12/2013 11:12:00 PM (view original):
Posted by jetwildcat on 4/12/2013 5:31:00 PM (view original):
Kcsundevil, just because the top coaches do something doesn't mean it's automatically the "best" way. Look up the term "sacred cow"
Your post is silly. You know I'm right.
You might want to check out the bestselling book Moneyball or the movie based on it for real-life story of actual metrics vs. "what is blindly obvious to everyone."
4/13/2013 11:01 AM
Posted by jsajsa on 4/12/2013 6:25:00 PM (view original):
You can't ignore the fact that fatigue in HD is a much greater factor than it is in real life. A guy playing sporadically because of foul trouble in the first half can still save your rotation... but if you aren't deep somewhere, and your top guy fouls out early in into the game because you just had to leave him in, that can really mess you up from a fatigue point of view when it really matters. 
But why does it matter if he fouls out early instead of at the end? If he's benched, the backup player is still going to get fatigued. "When it really matters" is all 40 minutes of the game. No one possession is more important than another because point values don't change in basketball based on time on the clock.
4/13/2013 1:02 PM
Posted by kcsundevil on 4/12/2013 11:12:00 PM (view original):
Posted by jetwildcat on 4/12/2013 5:31:00 PM (view original):
Kcsundevil, just because the top coaches do something doesn't mean it's automatically the "best" way. Look up the term "sacred cow"
Your post is silly. You know I'm right.
i think you're right about the foul trouble issue itself...but for the wrong reason 
4/13/2013 1:35 PM
Posted by eflhoca on 4/13/2013 10:59:00 AM (view original):
Posted by kcsundevil on 4/12/2013 11:12:00 PM (view original):
Posted by jetwildcat on 4/12/2013 5:31:00 PM (view original):
Kcsundevil, just because the top coaches do something doesn't mean it's automatically the "best" way. Look up the term "sacred cow"
Your post is silly. You know I'm right.
You might want to check out the bestselling book Moneyball or the movie based on it for real-life story of actual metrics vs. "what is blindly obvious to everyone."
Get back to me when a major-league coach adopts your strategy and wins with it.
4/13/2013 3:59 PM
Jeez, you mean like Boston and, in particular, Tampa Bay just in the last little while?  Oakland with roughly zero budget ever?  The Rangers?  The Yankees?  Are you Hawk Harrelson?
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