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How Much Trouble is Early Foul Trouble? Strategically Idling Resources in the NBA

24 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2011 Last revised: 22 Feb 2012

Allan Maymin

AllianceBernstein

Philip Maymin

University of Bridgeport - School of Business; Vantage Sports

Eugene Shen

AllianceBernstein

Date Written: February 21, 2012

Abstract

We analyze a large and comprehensive play-by-play dataset of professional games in the National Basketball Association using tools from financial economics to explore the optimality of strategically idling resources in the face of uncertain future demand. We find that starters ought to be idled by the coach on a "Q 1" basis, meaning that a starter has one more foul than the current quarter, when the future option value is high or the value of the replacement player is high. We use a novel win-probability approach that can be easily extended to other applications.

Keywords: Basketball, Sports, NBA, Win Probability, Fouls, Foul Trouble, Strategic Idling

JEL Classification: L83, G19

Suggested Citation

Maymin, Allan and Maymin, Philip and Shen, Eugene, How Much Trouble is Early Foul Trouble? Strategically Idling Resources in the NBA (February 21, 2012). NYU Poly Research Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1736633 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1736633

Allan Maymin

AllianceBernstein ( email )

1345 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10105
United States

Philip Maymin (Contact Author)

University of Bridgeport - School of Business ( email )

126 Park Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06601
United States

Vantage Sports ( email )

United States

Eugene Shen

AllianceBernstein ( email )

1345 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10105
United States

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