Bill Simmons Hates Sample Sizes   4 comments

They always said in statistics class that you needed a relatively large sample size, because having a small sample size could skew things in either direction. In the case of NBA players stats, it could be skewed by a couple of good games or a couple of bad games.

Normally, 1 month is a fine sample size (I guess). Unless, of course, one of the guys being compared has only played in 2 games!!!. Of course, “the Sports Guy” over at the wwl couldn’t give a damn about sample sizes as he comes up with this argument…

I argued before the season, passionately, that Paul was in a different league and earned myself a few death threats from the Salt Lake City area. (You stay classy, Utah.) Check out their 2009 stats through four weeks:

• Paul: 20.5 PPG, 12.2 APG, 2.9 steals, 52.3% FG, 85.6% FT.
• Williams: 7.5 PPG, 8.0 APG, 0.0 steals, 26.7% FG, 66.7% FT.

I mean, that’s a landslide! Come on! Can we all agree to stop arguing about this?


Congrats. I’m sure that Deron having played 2 games (that too, injured) this season totally proves your point. Using that brilliant logic, Brevin Knight is better than Agent Zero because Agent Zero’s stats are currently a bunch of 0′s. Look, I think this Deron v. Paul argument is totally stupid… things aren’t going to change no matter how much people say Paul is better (unless the teams agree on a 1-for-1 swap… which neither team would). J-Slo got his player (you know, the one that doesn’t decide to throw punches at opponents), the Hornets got theirs… and both teams are happy. (Well, relatively… the Jazz would like the injury bug to disappear, but yeah.) Still though, if you’re going to compare them, then do. Your choice. But using stats from this year is total rubbish, and is most definitely not going to prove your point.

Oh, and Miley Cyrus? Seriously Bill? Seriously? We’ll stay classy. You, though, need to learn a bit about sample sizes before making stupid arguments.

(HT: True Blue Jazz)

Posted November 26, 2008 by Sujal in Brevin Knight, Deron Williams

4 responses to “Bill Simmons Hates Sample Sizes

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  1. Jazz fans shouldn’t even bother responding to him. He’s just trying to get attention while attempting to be funny.

  2. Yeah, probably. But I figured I might as well get some use out of the 2 statistics classes I’ve taken. :)

  3. When I read this, I assumed that Simmons was purposely making a terrible argument to further egg on the Jazz fans. That’s fine I guess, because a lot of the fans did, indeed “bite” and have called him to task for it. But a lot of NBA fans probably aren’t aware that Deron had only played 2 games at the time of the writing and was definitely hobbling a little bit, and this misrepresentation of the facts is really kind of a slimy move by the Sports Guy.

  4. Agreed. He made no mention of it at all, which I think is really stupid. At least mention that Deron hasn’t played a lot, or something. Misrepresenting the facts… highly frowned upon.

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