The research team pored over a ton of data, ran countless simulations and looked at how many points...
The research team pored over a ton of data, ran countless simulations and looked at how many points certain combinations of skills created.
Some of the conclusions are obvious to the basketball fan: Offensive ball-handling and offensive scoring have positive synergies. Likewise, offensive ball-handling has a positive synergy with offensive rebounding because, as the paper explains, "[O]ffensive ballhandling helps a team convert possessions into shot attempts, and offensive rebounding increases the number of possessions over which the ballhandler can protect the ball." In other words, give Chris Paul teammates who can score and others who can generate more possessions on the offensive glass, and his team will thrive.
But offensive ball-handling has a negative synergy with itself. It's not that having a couple of guys who can capablly handle the ball is a bad thing, but your team simply won't be able to extract the full value of those skills because there's only one basketball on the court. If Ball-handling stud A has possession of the ball, by definition Ball-handling stud B doesn't -- and that minimizes his best skill.