NBA.com – The Suns topped the Spurs in points, blocks, and rebounds in their preseason opener on Monday night, but there is one other stat to keep an eye on as the season unfolds.
“We have a high-five stat,” Head Coach Earl Watson said following the 91-86 victory. “I’m being honest with you. This is true. So we want to keep track of how many high-fives we get per game to each other.”
Although this might make basketball analytic experts scoff, there is actually some science behind the theory.
Dacher Keltner, Professor of Psychology at UC Berkeley, in 2015 took one game of every NBA team at the start of the year and coded all of the fist bumps, embraces and high fives.
Look anyone who has ever bowled or gotten on a beer pong heater could’ve told you this. But it’s always nice to see science proving what we already know. Winning = fun. High fives = fun. Ipso fatso, high fives = winning. It’s brilliant really.
It is also the exact opposite of my world-renowned Neck Tattoo Corollary that I developed after watching the Isiah Thomas-era Knicks. It’s simple really – the more players with neck tattoos your roster has, the more games you will lose. Now, 1 or 2 neck tat guys is fine. But when it’s half your roster, that’s when you run into problems. And those Knicks teams were arguably one of the greatest collections of neck tattoos an NBA locker room has ever seen. Eddy Curry, Stephon Marbury, Nate Robinson, Jamal Crawford, Matt Barnes, Quentin Richardson, Wilson Chandler, Zack Randolph. Just a murderer’s row of neck ink and mediocrity. It’s a shame their fearless leader Isiah Thomas got fired over a $10 million sexual harassment lawsuit and the whole thing fell apart. No telling what those rosters could’ve been capable of given a little more time to let that ink dry, so to speak.