The NBA is a league that matched the ACB

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La competitividad entre los equipos de la NBA es más constante a lo largo de las temporadas que en la liga ACB de baloncesto, donde además cae tras cada edición de los juegos olímpicos. Según un estudio de la Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, las diferencias pueden deberse a razones económicas y de organización: en la NBA solo hay una división, existe un tope salarial y los equipos más débiles tienen acceso a buenos jugadores.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) in North America and the Basketball Clubs Association (CBA) of Spain are two of the best and most competitive leagues in the sport in the world. But perhaps the Spanish league should consider their competitive record, in the light of a new study.

According to a work of researchers at the University of Las Palmas (ULPGC), equality NBA teams is more consistent from year to year. “In the Spanish league most marked along the seasons are variations,” says Juan Manuel Martin, Department of Physics and member of the team that analyzed the results of the two leagues.

The fact that the NBA is a closed league without promotions or demotions as in Spanish, can be one of the factors that explain this behavior. “The ACB is open and less powerful computers less competitive globality” says the researcher, who suggests the need to design strategies to change this.

Large budget differences

The authors also highlight the major budgetary differences of Spanish clubs, high economic dependence in some cases with public institutions and the high volatility of their workforces as other possible causes besides that some have several -Basketball sections, football and handball by example and not every year equally distributed resources.

“But what really draws attention in the Spanish league, and although desconozcamos causes, is that a decline in competitiveness every four years, just after the celebration of the Olympic Games occurs,” notes Martin.

The data reflected for the seasons 1996-97 2000-01, 2004-05 and 2008-09, subsequent games in Atlanta, Sydney, Athens and Beijing, respectively. The researchers observed if after London 2012 is the same.

For the study, published in Physica magazine A, the team examined the results of the regular phase of the ACB league 14 (between 1996 and 2010) and 18 of the NBA (1992 to 2010). The data of the last two seasons still not been analyzed. Researchers have applied a mathematical parameter known as ‘Shannon entropy’ to make comparisons.

Regarding the NBA, work confirms that competitiveness was lower in the late 90s, the decade of the triumphs of Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. “At that time the domain of the Bulls was spectacular, but the league as a whole was less competitive, perhaps by increasing the number of franchises,” said Yves de Saá Guerra, another author, Department of Physical Education ULPGC.

However, this situation changes between the 2001-02 and 2006-07 seasons, the period of maximum rivalry. These years coincide with the renegotiation of the salary cap (salary cap), the maximum amount of money each NBA franchise can afford to pay their players.

“It is likely that this has an impact on the overall performance of the American League, since the aim of the salary cap -along with other mechanisms such as the draft- is to prevent only teams with great benefits can sign the best players, facilitating so equality is maintained in the NBA, “said Saa.

“The ACB is open and less powerful computers less competitive globality” say researchers

The business model is NBA franchise type, where each team has rights over players. The operation of the salary cap and the draft -sorteo in which weak teams in a season are the first to choose from the following candidates from American universities and foreign- leagues requires each franchise to study what to choose and what to shield players economically.

The two factors: money and players

According to researchers, the performance of a team is determined by two closely related factors: the level of players and economic. Without measures to prevent this, a large budget allows signing top athletes and make balanced templates, while teams with players capture fewer resources, in principle, less bright. Consequently, their staff would theoretically be less offset and less competitive.

The study also shows a drop in competitiveness for both leagues over the last two years analyzed. “It is more accentuated in the CBA, perhaps due to the economic crisis, since access to resources is uneven,” says Martin, who in the case of the American League asks: “Falling competitiveness in the NBA in 2010 it had to do with the strike of 2011-2012? season.”

NBA imposes measures to prevent only teams with great benefits can sign the best players

Bibliographic reference:
Y. de Saá Guerra, J.M. Martín González, S. Sarmiento Montesdeoca, D. Rodríguez Ruiz, A. García-Rodríguez, J.M. García-Manso. “A model for competitiveness level analysis in sports competitions: Application to basketball”. Physica A 391 (10): 2997–3004, 2012.

Date: 09/08/2013
Source: Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
City: Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain
Type: Ministry of Education.

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