All Forums > Hoops Dynasty Basketball > Hoops Dynasty > When facing higher ranked teams ...
5/3/2013 2:27 PM
I wonder what people think about running uptempo against a more skilled team with minimal depth and average stamina.  I know that running uptempo would make my team take quick shots; However, I've read mixed reviews on how said tempo wouldn't affect the other squad's fatigue. 

In HD, would running slowdownagainst a more skilled squad be the best approach?  It seems as if you're damned if you run slowdown and damned up if you run uptempo.
5/3/2013 3:07 PM
if the other team is better, you have an uphill task

you can take the air out of the ball, slow things down, maybe attack a relative area of weakness on the opponent and hope you get lucky

if you think you have better depth - like your 6, 7, 8 ,. 9 guys are better then MAYBE you can go uptempo, but that rarely works

generally, as a matter of probability, uptempo favors the better team because the odds are that they will "win" each possession more often than the lose it.  The more possessions, the less the chance of an upset.
5/3/2013 3:58 PM
Posted by metsmax on 5/3/2013 3:07:00 PM (view original):
if the other team is better, you have an uphill task

you can take the air out of the ball, slow things down, maybe attack a relative area of weakness on the opponent and hope you get lucky

if you think you have better depth - like your 6, 7, 8 ,. 9 guys are better then MAYBE you can go uptempo, but that rarely works

generally, as a matter of probability, uptempo favors the better team because the odds are that they will "win" each possession more often than the lose it.  The more possessions, the less the chance of an upset.
Meaning they must defend well to "win" the possessions, yes? If you go uptempo it effects the pace of your possessions rather than the opponent's.... If you see a weakness in the opponent's defense then uptempo could help you. So if your 6-9 guys would be up against a weak defense against the other team's 6-9, uptempo could make sense. If one of the other team's starters has a tendency to foul too much, it could make sense to go uptempo. Am I right or way off?

Worst case scenario is that the opponent sees an advantage over your own defense and runs uptempo to exploit it.

That brings me to another uptempo question, though. IRL if I have speedier and/or more athletic players, I could run a fast pace to maximize that advantage. In HD how much does speed play into it? Not many coaches on here say to look at SPD advantage when choosing to run uptempo.

5/3/2013 4:30 PM
Posted by chemguy1979 on 5/3/2013 2:27:00 PM (view original):
I wonder what people think about running uptempo against a more skilled team with minimal depth and average stamina.  I know that running uptempo would make my team take quick shots; However, I've read mixed reviews on how said tempo wouldn't affect the other squad's fatigue. 

In HD, would running slowdownagainst a more skilled squad be the best approach?  It seems as if you're damned if you run slowdown and damned up if you run uptempo.
slowdown against a good squad makes sense, uptempo is teh worst thing you can do. if they press and have 4 walkons, ok then maybe there is an argument for uptempo. but in reality, uptempo isnt really tiring out the opponent, and so you are just making your team worse, while increasing possessions, which favors the better team. thats two very substantial negatives against you, for running uptempo, so you need a DAMN good reason to justify it - like playing a pressing team with 4 walkons. that *might* be a good enough reason, maybe not.
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5/3/2013 9:23 PM
my impression is the tempo affects ONLY the number of possessions.  No particular interaction with SPD

the statistical concept at work in favor of the better team at uptempo is a markov chain.  tennis is a bit easier to analyze than hoops - if one tennis player is somewhat better than the other, so that he would win say 55% of the points, the odds are huge that he will win the set and match.  Why?  because there are so many points in tennis, each played - presumably - at that 55-45 split.  With scores and scores of points, it becomes very unlikely that the guy who has a 45% chance on each point will will enough to win the match

hoops is not exactly the same, so "winning" a possession is a bit of a misstatement, but the same analysis applies.  There are many many possessions.  If one team is more likely to score on its possessions than the other - because of offense, defense or whatever - and if each possession is an independent event, then the odds of the better team winning are high.  They are higher the more possessions there are.  

one way to think about this is to consider the days before the shot clock.  weak team happens to get up randomly by 4-2 early.  If they can then play keepaway for the 30 minutes the game is made waaay shorter - that is fewer possessions - and they have a much better chance of winning than if the game was up and down the court with lots of possession.s

All of that is pure probabilty before you look at anything about how the engine actually works - other than the assumptions that one team is better than the other and that the possessions are each independent events




5/3/2013 10:02 PM
fd343ny... "the odds of the better team winning are... higher the more possessions there are."

So, gillispie basically swears by not ever using uptempo. At least, hardly ever. Almost never. Are you disagreeing with him?

5/3/2013 10:15 PM
I use uptempo sometimes.  Whether it makes sense depends on your team and the other team.  If there isnt some factor - like depth - that offsets it, more possessions makes it more likely for the better team to win.  BUT, for example, if the better team has 6 terrific players and the other team has  10 okay players it may be that the depth effect more than offsets the general principal - because each possession isnt independent
5/4/2013 1:26 AM
Posted by craigaltonw on 5/3/2013 10:02:00 PM (view original):
fd343ny... "the odds of the better team winning are... higher the more possessions there are."

So, gillispie basically swears by not ever using uptempo. At least, hardly ever. Almost never. Are you disagreeing with him?

FWIW, I used to run uptempo a lot back when I first started and even up to about halfway through my HD "career".  But I noticed that Gill said that he rarely, if ever, ran uptempo, so I started experimenting with my own teams a little and now I too have sworn off uptempo almost for good.  I noticed that my own teams played much, much worse at uptempo than at normal or slow and usually by a pretty significant margin.

Don't get me wrong, I'll still run it from time to time and have actually started running it a little more as of recently, but only because I am once again trying something out.  This is just my personal opinion and there are far better coaches than me that swear by uptempo, but you'll probably never see me run it again on a regular basis.  A giant mismatch here or there, sure.  Other than that, no thanks.  To each his own though, that's part of the beauty (and fun) of the game.
5/4/2013 11:52 AM
If your "weaker" team is deep and the "stronger" team has 4 to 6 walk ons, then I think uptempo will work to your advantage. Otherwise, in general slow-down is likely the way to go in these situations (especially 2 or less walkons). I have won running uptempo when the other team has had 3 walkons but again the talent gap plays a role.
5/4/2013 11:58 AM
On another note, I use to equate this game to a game of "rock, paper, scissors" where slowdown (rock) beats uptempo (scissors), uptempo (scissors)beats normal (paper), and normal (paper) beats slowdown (rock).

Meaning these matchups gave you an advantage. Worked pretty well for me at D2 level. I still think its tougher at d1 level and there are other factors....but in general.
5/4/2013 2:21 PM
Posted by emy1013 on 5/4/2013 1:26:00 AM (view original):
Posted by craigaltonw on 5/3/2013 10:02:00 PM (view original):
fd343ny... "the odds of the better team winning are... higher the more possessions there are."

So, gillispie basically swears by not ever using uptempo. At least, hardly ever. Almost never. Are you disagreeing with him?

FWIW, I used to run uptempo a lot back when I first started and even up to about halfway through my HD "career".  But I noticed that Gill said that he rarely, if ever, ran uptempo, so I started experimenting with my own teams a little and now I too have sworn off uptempo almost for good.  I noticed that my own teams played much, much worse at uptempo than at normal or slow and usually by a pretty significant margin.

Don't get me wrong, I'll still run it from time to time and have actually started running it a little more as of recently, but only because I am once again trying something out.  This is just my personal opinion and there are far better coaches than me that swear by uptempo, but you'll probably never see me run it again on a regular basis.  A giant mismatch here or there, sure.  Other than that, no thanks.  To each his own though, that's part of the beauty (and fun) of the game.
i am still kicking myself for running uptempo against you in that a&m south carolina matchup, i dont know what i was thinking. i think it was all the people convincing me my theory on uptempo was wrong, the one about how i interpret CS saying fg% basically stays the same, as, there are competing factors, taking lower quality half court shots, against more high % fast break shots.

i think ive been reasonably convinced that might be the wrong way to think about it, that i was just rationalizing that statement by CS the wrong way. rather, that the bigger impact on fatigue causes fg% to drop across the board, which is more in line with what i saw anyway, i just figured the reason the teams playing uptempo into me always shot worse, was because my half court defense was so good. i thought CS said they ran a study on a sim world and it stayed the same, and thus, there *had* to be something to offset the negative in some cases. but now i think that was just bad info or i took it the wrong way. one guy in particular sent me a ticket that was pretty conclusive. i was largely basing my theory on fg% off 2 things admin said - one, that the only thing that was really affected was possessions, and two, that he had ran simulations and it was largely unaffected. i read that as, on average, all the things except possessions roughly evened out. now, i read that as, fatigue didnt used to matter as much, and when old admin said things were roughly unchanged, that just was because his definition of roughly is a lot rougher than mine. the things both admins call small or insignificant have blown me away over time, so i think that has to be it. i took him too literally, a mistake i feel the HD community always makes and one i always try to avoid, but its so easy to fall into the trap - it IS the game admin talking, after all. 

so, now, i just view uptempo as a drain on fatigue, which hurts your fg% and everything else. if you have a relatively balanced matchup, that means uptempo is always going to hurt you - using fd's very appropriate model, you go from 55/45 to 45/55. or even if you go from 65/35 to 60/40, it takes A LOT more possessions to make up for that decreased chance of winning each possession, or at each state. in extreme cases, that may not be the case. the thing ive always said with uptempo, since the beginning, is there may be times it makes sense, but i really dont care about those cases, i dont play my team to optimize for a team vastly inferior to mine. i optimize my team to play the best, or to try to win a championship, and the quality teams you play there, there is no doubt in my mind, uptempo hurts you. i think with press and the extreme fouling of today compared to years ago adds a twist there, but outside of that, i can't see how uptempo is viable in competitive games.
5/4/2013 2:40 PM (edited)
the one data point i struggled for a long time to reconcile, but finally reconciled, was rail's west chester pa squad, which won 8 titles in 9 years, running uptempo - i think the whole way, but i started at the tail end, and so i only know first hand that he ran it at the end, but i think hes said he ran it the whole way on the forums. hard to remember back that far now but i think that is a fair characterization.

well, the reconciliation to me is two fold. first, fatigue was less of an impact back then. and second, the talent gap he enjoyed was obscene. you could pull down 2 star d1 players, and he was. very few coaches used pulldowns and people would joke that rails's teams could not only win d2 championships, but d1 championships, too. i am pretty confident the talent gap he had was *at least* triple and very possibly higher, over the say #5 team in the country, compared to the talent gap i had at SIUE. ive never claimed to be the best recruiter or even close, i was always about being able to make the most of what you had, and strong teams through synergy between players and the system you ran (the system means much more than offense/defense, to me).

so, what i struggled to reconcile is how a program as dominant as mine, was clearly hurt, over so many trials, by running uptempo - yet his won 8 of 9 running uptempo. well, i think the talent advantages werent even close, they werent comparable at all. and even though those 2 programs have the most dominant runs of all time, outside d1, and thus are in that sense the most comparable programs you have at that level, and even though SIUE's triangle press was *exactly* modeled after rail's triangle press west chester program (well, it started that way, that was always my initial goal, if you are going to imitate - why not imitate the best - but then things evolved over time) - i think our situations were actually pretty different.. he won largely through focusing on building incredible advantages in talent, where uptempo is way more appropriate. often my extremely dominant teams were just not that much better than the others, just by raw talent, i won primarily through team planning and coaching, with much smaller talent gaps, where uptempo is way less appropriate. 

anyway, i guess ill stop rambling now, i just always thought the W Chester PA vs SIUE case study was one of the most interesting of everything i looked at, because of how similar they were in so many ways, yet, so different in  others. it always killed me - i KNEW uptempo was hurting my team, i was 100% positive, running uptempo seemed the worst mistake you could make. and it seemed useless on all my other teams, too - yet i could not assume rails misplayed his teams, you dont badly misplay your team and win 8 titles in 9 seasons. so it was definitely nice to finally come up with a resolution to that conundrum, for me.
5/4/2013 2:43 PM
theres also the question today with zone, where fatigue hits so softly, if you can effectively run uptempo, especially into pressing teams...
5/4/2013 4:03 PM
great stuff gillispie, always appreciate the information you and several other coaches provide.



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