Everybody Plays: How Expanded Rotations Could Change the NBA Forever 


In the aftermath of the San Antonio Spurs’ five-game Finals dismantling of the Miami Heat, Gregg Popovich and company found themselves awash in admiration and affirmation for how beautifully they interpreted the game of basketball.

聖安東尼奧馬刺隊總冠軍賽五場內拆解了邁阿密熱火隊之後,總教練Gregg Popovich和馬刺團隊發現他們出色的詮釋籃球比賽,得到大量的尊敬和肯定。


But it’s who the Spurs played that could prove the harbinger for an even bigger NBA revolution.



According to Fortune.com’s Jake Turtel, the 2013-14 Spurs registered the fourth-highest raw bench production in NBA history, helping the franchise capture its fifth championship in 16 years.

根據Fortune.con的Jake Turtel,在2013-14球季,馬刺隊創造了NBA歷史上第四高的板凳貢獻度,以至於他們在16年內第五度的得到了NBA的總冠軍。


The correlation, while not traditionally airtight, has become a tried-and-true trend of late, with HoopsStats.com showing the Spurs as one of seven NBA champions in the last decade to boast a top-10 scoring bench.



Of course, one could argue the sheer makeup of the Spurs made such regimentation all the more necessary, why with Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker all being 30 or older.

當然看到這個數據,就會有人開始爭論說,這全然是因為馬刺隊的團隊組成,他們擁有Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker他們三個都是已經30或甚至更老,所以其他球員才有更多時間在場上貢獻。


That’s not to say there won’t be hard-headed holdouts. The Chicago Bulls Tom Thibodeau, for example, is renowned (some would say infamous) for his almost cavalier rotational philosophy.

但有那些爭議不代表就不會有頭腦清醒的擁護者。舉例,芝加哥公牛隊的總教練Tom Thibodeau 調度哲學在聯盟裡面是非常有名的(但有些人卻說是聲名狼藉的)


Still, given enough time and early converts, there’s bound to emerge data—borne out by SportVU and other similarly cutting edge technologies—all but proving the soundness of the Spurs' philosophy.

他也給予公牛隊不是先發的其他球員足夠的時間和較早的輪替上場,這就浮現了由SportVU 和其他尖端技術所產生的數據,全都更證明了馬刺隊哲學的正確。

(附註:芝加哥公牛隊在2013-14 板凳的 上場時間為聯盟第25(馬刺為第1)、平均得分為聯盟第15(馬刺為第1) 、平均籃板為聯盟第27(馬刺為第3)、平均助攻為聯盟第18(馬刺為第1))



Those seeking a cautionary tale (albeit somewhat anecdotal) need look no further than LeBron James, that bastion of basketball invincibility. The league’s No. 8 minutes-logger, James pulled up lame with cramps after the AT&T Center’s air conditioning went on the fritz in Game 1 of the Finalsper ESPN.com.

那些在尋找解答的人們(儘管只是傳聞), 都沒有比 LeBron James這位在籃球場上無敵的堡壘更加了解。作為聯盟中出賽時間第八的球員,在2013-2014總冠軍的第一戰中因為AT&T中心的冷氣壞了,導致他的的腿抽筋讓他不良於行,在他下場休息之後,球隊的其他球員也沒有適時地跳出來,所以在總冠軍賽的系列戰輸了第一場。


An isolated incident not worthy of cherry-picking? Perhaps. Nevertheless, it’s impossible to completely dismiss James’ plight—rare as it is for the planet’s best player—as mere meaningless coincidence.



The slight silver lining: As Bleacher Report’s Jared Zwerling points out in his excellent synopsis from 2013 on why today’s NBA stars have already begun to log fewer minutes, such a reduction is also an inevitable byproduct of the league’s ever-evolving collective bargaining agreement:

烏雲背後的一道曙光: 當Bleacher Report的Jared Zwerling從他的紀錄指出為什麼現今的NBA明星球員們已經開始登入更少的時間。才知道從聯盟不斷修改的集體談判協議後,像減少上場時間這樣的事情是不可避免


For starters, a key number behind the downward trend came from the NBA's new collective bargaining agreement in the summer of 2005. The size of the regular-season roster increased from 12 to 15 players, with 12 active for every game. Then in August 2006, the NBA Board of Governors put that number into effect for the postseason.



With those adjustments, coaches started expanding their rotations and spreading out minutes. From 2005-06—the first season of the roster changes—to 2008-09, the number of players who were above 40 minutes per game went from nine to six to three to zero. And in the past four seasons, only two guys total averaged 40 or more minutes (Monta Ellis twice for the Golden State Warriors and Gerald Wallace once for the Charlotte Bobcats).

隨著那些調整,教練們開始擴大球員的輪替並分配更多時間給其他人。從2005-06第一個球季的輪替改變到2008-09球季,球員在一整個球季下來,單場上場時間超過40分鐘的球員數量從九到六,六到三,三到零。在過去四個球季裡,只有兩個球員平均上場時間超過40分鐘或是更多。(Monta Ellis效力金洲勇士隊的時候兩度上場時間超過,Gerald Wallace在效力夏洛特山貓隊的時候上場時間一度超過。)


Lest you think Popovich’s peerless program is all about reducing the wear and tear to his agingstars, however, a June interview with NBA.com’s Jeff Caplan helped shed light on the deeper strategy at play for the Spurs skipper:

免得你認為Popovich無與倫比的調度全是為了減少他們老化明星的損耗。所以在六月時和NBA.com的Jeff Caplan六月的訪談中,他幫助大家更深入的了解的馬刺打球的策略


It also does develop the bench, give them some confidence to play. And hopefully in the end when playoff time comes, sometimes it’s a role player that steps up in a certain game and has a heck of a night and helps you.



As Caplan points out, there weren't many numbers that didn't bear out San Antonio's superior bench play: The Spurs bench finished tops in the NBA in regular-season scoring (44.5 PPG), field-goal percentage (47.8) and assists (10.9). And they were second in both rebounds (16.8) and three-point percentage (39.1).

Caplan 指出這裡有許多數字可以支持聖安東尼奧馬刺隊的板凳打出了一個超級的數據,馬刺隊的板凳在例行賽裡擁有幾項聯盟第一的表現,例行賽平均得分44.5、投籃命中率44.8和平均助攻10.9,另外還有他們的籃板數16.8和三分球命中率39.1也都是排在聯盟第二。


No doubt some of the apprehension over reducing certain players’ minutes—and stars in particular—concerns the very real fact that, in this game, more production means better pay.




But as the league trends more and more toward efficiency-based analytics (as opposed to the per-game stats that dominated the discourse for decades), one’s value will inevitably begin to be seen more and more as a qualitative, rather than a purely quantitative, question.



Here again, San Antonio has shown itself to be miles ahead of the curve. Here's what Popovich told the San Antonio Express-News’ Jeff McDonald (subscription required):

再一次的,聖安東尼奧馬刺隊已經顯示他們已經在板凳貢獻方面裡領先了一大段了。以下是總教練Popovich告訴聖安東尼奧快報的記者Jeff McDonald :


We’ve never had any numerical or positioning goals, ever. Not one time. We’ve never talked about it one time the entire time I’ve been here. The only thing we’ve talked about is trying to be the best team we can be come playoff time. That’s what we harp on, period.



Few are naive enough to believe the quest for rings guides all NBA players all the time. If that were the case, it would be commonplace to see veteran stars taking the league minimum to join a team like the Spurs.




Regardless, if the case can be made, statistically as well as philosophically, that a slight reduction in playing time would mean both less risk for injury and a better chance at a championship (to say nothing of better ), the buy-in would be instantaneous and effusive.



However, as Zwerling aptly notes, the possibility exists that improvements in medical science, diet and training regimens could yield the opposite effect—stars playing more minutes—as it did with Erik Spoelstra's Miami Heat.

然而,如同Zwerlong表示,有時候會產生出另一種的效果,就像是Erik Spoelstra教練所帶領的邁阿密熱火隊一樣,全然是因為醫學、飲食和訓練的方法不斷的進步。



Still, there’s a difference between the game’s top minutes-getters adhering to a more conservative playing-time approach and San Antonio’s all-encompassing methodology.



For the Spurs, sitting Duncan, Parker and Ginobili isn’t about reducing their wear and tear (although that’s a big part of the equation) so much as it is incubating the entire team—from starter to water-fetcher—within a system that itself demands top-to-bottom repetition.



Perhaps no study better underscores San Antonio's status as a statistical-philosophical outlier better than the one conducted by FiveThirtyEight's Benjamin Morris, who looked at usage-rate disparity within specific teams during the 2013-14 season to gauge how "unselfish" they really were:

或許沒有任何一個哲學統計的研究強調馬刺隊的狀況是特殊的,但FiveThirtyEight的Benjamin Morris對於2013-14球季特定的隊伍使用率卻有不同的看法,以此去評斷他們是多麼的無私。


On the other hand, spreading the ball around isn’t easy, and it’s not the normal path to victory in the NBA. The most top-heavy team (and the top line on the chart) is the Oklahoma City Thunder, who had the second-best record in basketball and did better against this Spurs team than Miami did. The most evenly distributed team overall was theBrooklyn Nets, who did make the playoffs but lost in five games to the Heat.



The Spurs won a lot more than we would expect for a team as balanced as they are. The 15 teams with the largest gaps between their top player and their eighth player (by possessions used per game) won 57.5 percent of their games, while the 15 with the smallest gaps won 42.5 percent (the Spurs were second-lowest)



Reading Morris' take, it’s worth wondering whether a traditionally isolation-heavy team like, say, the New York Knicks, would benefit as much from a more democratic allocation of playing time. When your entire postseason strategy revolves—as it has for the Knicks the last three seasons—around one player’s singular talents, your rotational range of motion is certain to be far, far narrower.

當讀到Morris' take,值得去疑惑的是一個較傳統隔離感較重的隊伍,例如:紐約尼克隊。會比那些民主均衡分配時間給每個球員的隊伍更具優勢嗎,當你的整個季後賽策略是圍繞在單一個球員身上,隊伍的輪替範圍是非常、非常狹窄的。


And this is why the Spurs offer us a basketball template revolutionary in both form and function, where the dispersion of playing time and style of play are inextricably linked.



By developing an offensive system predicated on ball movement and communication, familiarity with one’s teammates is of the utmost importance. Of course, the talent level doesn't hurt, either.



Part of what makes the NBA so enjoyable is the diversity of talent and tactics, methodology and managerial perspectives. To suggest every team ought to adopt verbatim "the Spurs way" isn’t only unrealistic, but also it would make for a less compelling league.

NBA可以讓人覺得如此過癮的其中一個部分就是它多樣的天賦和戰術,不同的方法和管理概念。如果要去建議每個團隊完完全全採納 " 馬刺隊的方法 "是不切實際的,但時代也會強迫隊伍們慢慢地朝這個方向走去。


All the same, San Antonio’s emphasis on expanded rotations certainly seems like a stratagem worth considering—if not outright adopting.

仍然,強調擴大輪替的聖安東尼奧馬刺,看起來確實是一個值得思考的戰略,當然不是完全照著他們的方法去做 ( 指每個團隊有其特色,但擷取吸收好的也是不錯)


But if there’s one thing we’ve learned about copying and pasting(複製貼上) the Spurs' peerless basketball code, it's that, even with all those banners and bona fides to back them up, you probably won't.



And that's just fine by them.







 *注一 : 2007-2008球季總冠軍 波士頓賽爾提克

            2008-2009                      洛杉磯湖人

            2009-2010                      洛杉磯湖人

            2010-2011                      達拉斯小牛 

           2011-2012                       邁阿密熱火

            2012-2013                      邁阿密熱火

            2013-2014                      聖安東尼奧馬刺







翻譯: ㄤ廷

作者:  Featured Columnist Aug 19, 2014

文章和圖片皆取自: bleacherreport 




創作者 ㄤ廷 的頭像


ㄤ廷 發表在 痞客邦 留言(1) 人氣()

留言列表 (1)

  • sports
  • 親愛的會員您好:

    謝謝~ 也期待您日後的再次分享~

  • 謝謝!! :)

    ㄤ廷 於 2014/08/25 15:07 回覆