Title: Raptors show serious ceiling in first-half dismantling of Jazz, merely survive third-quarter rubber banding
Date: December 2, 2019
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about the Raptors’ picking apart a quality Utah Jazz team by 40 in a half.
If you have ever gotten really good at a video game — and let’s be honest, you have, because you’re smart and talented and capable — you implicitly know about the rubber band effect.
It’s the time you were up 30 on the Celtics and suddenly Marcus Smart couldn’t miss from 30 feet against your pressure defence. It’s the time your team was racking up kills and suddenly couldn’t close out the battle. It’s the time you’d hit The Rock with several Stone Cold Stunners and not only did he kick out, he seemed to hulk up from them. Basically, the further ahead you are or the better you’re doing, the harder the game becomes — it’s a means of dynamically adjusting difficulty to account for a player’s improvement, both to keep games fun and challenging and to encourage continued growth. “DOTA 2” even has (or at one point had) rubber band mechanics built into how teams earned gold/XP to incentivize more balanced tactics between unevenly matched teams.
(There are other applications of the rubber band effect, including in finance and, regrettably, relationships. I can’t speak to the former as I’m a little rusty on my limit orders. As to the latter, please do not be mean to people as a point of dating strategy.)
Check it out on The Athletic.