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Layups: Do Players Try Harder In the Playoffs?

Posted by Neil Paine on May 8, 2009

Slate asked, so Bradford Doolittle of Basketball Prospectus went to work. The result is a stat that's sort of an homage to Kurt Rambis, intended to measure hustle and all of those other Rambis-y things that hard-working do...

Unfortunately, there's no evidence it goes up in the playoffs. But what does that mean? Teams don't seem to be trying as hard when they should be trying their hardest? That doesn't make sense.

Of course, I'm not sure if he adjusted for the fact that it's tougher to put up numbers -- gritty RAMBIS ones included -- against the better competition one inevitably faces in the playoffs than it is vs. the Grizzlies in January. Either way, it's still an interesting read.

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2 Responses to “Layups: Do Players Try Harder In the Playoffs?”

  1. Jason J Says:

    I kind of like the idea that players are giving it their best all season long and don't have any wiggle room to play harder in the playoffs, but I suspect your reasoning is dead on. It's harder to produce any positives against the top 16 teams in the league who have so much prep time and so much familiarity with a player's strengths and tendencies.

  2. steve norris Says:

    i think teams try to focus more on defense in the playoffs and use offense to get in the playoffs.