I’m at the Sloan Sports Analytics conference in Boston today. I just attended a panel led by two guys who wrote a research paper titled: Effort vs. Concentration: The Asymmetric Impact of Pressure on NBA Performance.

There were a lot of numbers involved with this. They established what tasks constituted effort and what tasks constituted concentration based tasks. They wanted tasks that produced roughly the same result, but could be calculated differently. The authors decided that they would compare offensive rebounds as the effort task and free throws as the concentration task. Previous research had determined that an offensive rebound was worth roughly one point, the same as a free throw.

Their findings showed, at home, players performed better in late game situations that were related to increased effort and worse in late game situations that required increased concentration.

The offensive rebounding rate of the home team increases monotonically with the importance of the point, but the away team’s rate is flat, indicating the result is due to the supportive crowd and not other confounding factors. In contrast to free throws, for which the home team shows a decline in performance, pressure amplifies home-court advantage in the heat of the moment

I couldn’t help but think of Ersan Ilyasova.

Over his past two home games, Ilyasova has five offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter, including a game winning tip in against the Wizards that came with two seconds left. On the season, Ilyasova is averaging 1.2 offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter per game. His next highest quarter is .9.

Just thought it was worth mentioning considering Ilyasova’s recent uptick and the upcoming trade deadline. Perhaps a team struggling to finish off games and in need of some offensive rebounding prowess might be interested?

Jeremy Schmidt writes the Milwaukee Bucks blog Bucksketball.com. Follow him on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.