Navigation Links
Basketball teams offer insights into building strategic networks

TEMPE, Ariz. What started out as a project to teach undergraduate students about network analysis, turned into an in-depth study of whether it was possible to analyze a National Basketball Association (NBA) basketball team's strategic interactions as a network. Arizona State University researchers discovered it is possible to quantify both a team's cohesion and communication structure.

The researchers' findings appear in an online November issue of PLOS ONE.

Jennifer Fewell, a professor in ASU's School of Life Sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and lead investigator on the project, explains that because teams are an integral part of both human and animal societies understanding how a team's interactions as a whole affect its success or failure is important.

"We were able to come up with a hypothesis about strategy and then apply network analysis to that," says Fewell. "Often, people simply create networks and then conduct descriptive analysis of them, but they don't actually explain why they would expect an individual in a group to communicate the way they do. We take a different approach by suggesting that there are potentially successful ways to organize your team if you use this strategy then we should expect this network metric to show up as an indicator sort of a proof of concept."

The researchers measured two offensive strategies to learn whether differences in offensive strategy could be determined by network properties. First, they looked at whether teams moved the ball to their shooting specialists measured as "uphill/downhill flux," and second, whether they passed the ball in an unpredictable way measured as team entropy. They analyzed games from the first round of playoffs in the 2010 season and gathered an extensive amount of data on 16 teams.

To evaluate the teams as networks, researchers graphed player positions and ball movement among players, as well as shots taken. Then, they used that data to find out whether network metrics can measure team decisions in a useful way. The study involved more than 1,000 ball movements and 100 ball sequences.

"What that paper basically says is the 2010 data shows that the most successful teams are the ones that use a less predictable, more distributed offense and that connect their players more," said Fewell. "Those were the teams that had actually hired more elite players and allowed them to work together."

Fewell believes measuring team cohesion and communication is important.

"It's one way to capture the essence of a team and teams are everywhere for people," Fewell explained. "You work in teams for all different kinds of reasons. And the same, fundamental idea of cohesion and communication structure among the individuals and the team is critical and it's not easily quantified and this gives you a way to quantify it."

Fewell talked about how her favorite team, the Phoenix Suns, measured up.

"I started working on this in part because I'm a Suns fan, especially of the 'run and gun' Suns," shared Fewell. "Our data suggested though that the 2010 Suns played the game as a fairly traditional point-guard centered play style. The Lakers and Celtics, in contrast, showed the network equivalent of the triangle offense, and it paid off for them. They were the teams in the finals that year."


Contact: Sandra Leander
Arizona State University

Related biology news :

1. Basketball-sized eyes help squids play defense
2. Thirty teams compete to interpret three families genomes
3. Pollution teams with thunderclouds to warm atmosphere
4. ONR taps research teams to help reduce jet noise
5. Young gamers offer insight to teaching new physicians robotic surgery
6. Fire logs made from lawn clippings offer earth-friendly option
7. Study offers new tool for incorporating water impacts into policy decisions
8. Wake Forest Baptist Offers Tips on How to Avoid and Relieve Campaign Season Stress
9. Cross Match Technologies Undoubtedly Offers the Highest Value to Customers in the North American Biometrics Market, Says Frost & Sullivan
10. Old deeds, witness trees offer glimpse of pre-settlement forest in West Virginia
11. Rare genetic disease offers insight into common cancers
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Basketball teams offer insights into building strategic networks
(Date:6/22/2016)... 22, 2016  The American College of Medical Genetics and ... Magazine as one of the fastest-growing trade shows during ... the Bellagio in Las Vegas . ... of growth in each of the following categories: net square ... number of attendees. The 2015 ACMG Annual Meeting was ranked ...
(Date:6/21/2016)... Columbia , June 21, 2016 ... to the new role of principal product architect ... named the director of customer development. Both will ... chief technical officer. The moves reflect NuData,s strategic ... in response to high customer demand and customer ...
(Date:6/15/2016)... June 15, 2016 Transparency ... titled "Gesture Recognition Market by Application Market - Global Industry Analysis ... 2024". According to the report, the  global gesture recognition ... 2015 and is estimated to grow at a ... by 2024.  Increasing application of gesture ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... SAN DIEGO , June 27, 2016  Sequenom, ... company committed to enabling healthier lives through the development ... Supreme Court of the United States ... Federal courts that the claims of Sequenom,s U.S. Patent ... the patent eligibility criteria established by the Supreme Court,s ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016  Liquid Biotech ... announced the funding of a Sponsored Research Agreement ... circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from cancer patients.  The ... in CTC levels correlate with clinical outcomes in ... These data will then be employed to support ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in Ancona combed medical journal ... Their findings are the subject of a new article on the Surviving Mesothelioma website. ... the blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma patients that can help point doctors ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... SPRING, Md. , June 23, 2016 A ... collected from the crime scene to track the criminal down. ... and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses DNA ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. The ... genome sequencing to support investigations of foodborne illnesses. Put as ...
Breaking Biology Technology: