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Tuesday, May 01, 2012

OT: NBA Monthly Thread, May 2012

I estimate that only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, but with our own thread, we won’t detract from what the site is really about: Bryce Harper getting mooned by a Dodgers fan, how dumb interleague baseball is, or random spamming of Yankees/RedSox news that barely counts as news.

Tripon Posted: May 01, 2012 at 10:28 AM | 2330 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1801. smileyy Posted: May 25, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4140062)
What are people's thought on the Westbrook "flip" shot counting? The basketball purist in me doesn't like it, because he wouldn't have been shooting from there, if not for the foul. The NBA fan likes players being able to take contact and continue a play. Some other part of me thinks that will just lead to guys being mugged on breakaways to prevent that. Mostly, I'm with the middle opinion.
   1802. Zipperholes Posted: May 25, 2012 at 01:14 PM (#4140066)
What are people's thought on the Westbrook "flip" shot counting? The basketball purist in me doesn't like it, because he wouldn't have been shooting from there, if not for the foul. The NBA fan likes players being able to take contact and continue a play. Some other part of me thinks that will just lead to guys being mugged on breakaways to prevent that. Mostly, I'm with the middle opinion.
Is this the one from game 6 (EDIT: or whatever the last game was) on the fast break? That pissed me off. "Shooting" IMO = shooting at the moment of contact. you make a great point though.
   1803. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: May 25, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4140070)
Cousy also played in a very up-tempo system and was, as I understand it, an iffy defender. Plus, his own shooting numbers weren't great (in contrast with Paul). Lastly, could you argue that he was a product of his team's system (with the significant caveat that they used that system in large part to take advantage of his skills)?

I'm not saying he wasn't great - the question is how great.

***

Robertson's defense was also questioned and his numbers benefit from a high pace environment. I used to think he was badly underrated - I'm no longer as sure (in part because I have less of a feel as to how he's rated in general).
Still, a great, great player - no doubt. Top 15 all-time, at absolute minimum, and a childhood favorite (meaning, as a kid looking in almanacs).

(By the way - and this was a question I asked wrt Wilt as well - how much extra credit does Oscar get for playing huge minutes in the regular season? Over the first decade of his career, he averaged 44 mpg.)
   1804. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 25, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4140073)
What are people's thought on the Westbrook "flip" shot counting? The basketball purist in me doesn't like it, because he wouldn't have been shooting from there, if not for the foul. The NBA fan likes players being able to take contact and continue a play. Some other part of me thinks that will just lead to guys being mugged on breakaways to prevent that. Mostly, I'm with the middle opinion.


I think that should be called as a clear path foul, 2 shots and the ball.

EDIT: Just to be clear, I would advocate for that being the rule, not claiming that the right call in the situation with the current rule was clear path.
   1805. baudib Posted: May 25, 2012 at 01:27 PM (#4140080)
Not sure how much Oscar benefited from a high-pace environment. The year he led the league in PPG, Cincy was next-to-last in FGA. In many years they were 800-1000 FGA per year below the Celtics. Of course the league as a whole played at a much faster pace.
   1806. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: May 25, 2012 at 01:32 PM (#4140085)
Right - I figure the league factor overwhelms the team / Oscar liking to grind-it-out guy factor.

Come to think of it - why doesn't bb-ref have pace or era neutralized stats? Not that that's as easy to do as it sounds.
   1807. AROM Posted: May 25, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4140098)
(By the way - and this was a question I asked wrt Wilt as well - how much extra credit does Oscar get for playing huge minutes in the regular season? Over the first decade of his career, he averaged 44 mpg.)


I think that's just a product of their times. The league was not nearly as physical as it is today.

I'd rank Jerry West ahead of Oscar because of his defense. Jerry West ranks 9th in steals per minute for a career, for any player with 900 or more minutes. Who knows how many he'd have if the stat were tracked his whole career, but all we have for West is what he did in his final season, at age 35. We should expect that he would have even more steals when he was younger.

Based on that same season, he's 4th alltime in blocked shots per minute for anyone 6-4 or under (Jerry listed at 6-2). Just behind David Thompson and Dwyane Wade. Charles Smith, a backup who played 1900 minutes in his career, is #1.
   1808. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 25, 2012 at 01:50 PM (#4140108)
Don't forget Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen.

STEAGLES, get off baudib's account!

Cousy also played in a very up-tempo system and was, as I understand it, an iffy defender. Plus, his own shooting numbers weren't great (in contrast with Paul). Lastly, could you argue that he was a product of his team's system (with the significant caveat that they used that system in large part to take advantage of his skills)?

I'm not saying he wasn't great - the question is how great.


He also gets bonus points, I think, for changing the style of play for point guards. No one was throwing behind the back cross court passes in the NBA before Cousy, at least based on what I know.

Come to think of it - why doesn't bb-ref have pace or era neutralized stats? Not that that's as easy to do as it sounds.

Has no really ever done this? Someone must have, right? How hard would it really be to do at least a simple version of them? You'd obviously need a leaguewide adjustment - I don't know that you include team effects. You'd have to do component stats individually. What else?
   1809. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: May 25, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4140116)
I think that's just a product of their times. The league was not nearly as physical as it is today.
Agreed - but how do we account for that, if at all?

Well, there's more to defense than steals and blocks but... I'd definitely call West underrated.
   1810. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: May 25, 2012 at 02:07 PM (#4140129)
Well, we couldn't get the sim basketball league up (mostly my fault, I blame the sudden appearance of my 60 hour work weeks), what's the likelihood of a Hall o' Merit for basketball being built by this thread's denizens?
   1811. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 25, 2012 at 02:12 PM (#4140134)
For what it's worth, I'm not saying we go through and remake the NBA Hall of Fame starting in like 1960 or something. Definetly not that level of commitment, at least from me.

I bet we could knock out a 50 greatest list, though.
Another idea would be to have an "ultimate fantasy draft" a la what TNT did. Did anyone see that? I thought it was wildly entertaining, if a bit silly (see Barkley's 1st overall pick).
   1812. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: May 25, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4140139)
draftexpress pace adjusts.

Adjusting for pace is one thing (if you just do league possessions per min / team possession per min), but going across eras, accounting for secondary effects, and not just making linear transformations sounds hard.
   1813. AROM Posted: May 25, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4140146)
Top player by win shares, not in basketball HOF but eligible:

Buck Williams.

Hard to get too worked up over a project to correct that injustice. Next on the list are Horace Grant, Jack Sikma, and Terry Porter.

An alternative HOF would be mostly about "who do we kick out?" That doesn't have the same appeal to me as the HOM, where you've got a lot of deserving guys out of the HOF and many lessor players who made it in.
   1814. Booey Posted: May 25, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4140155)
An alternative HOF would be mostly about "who do we kick out?" That doesn't have the same appeal to me as the HOM, where you've got a lot of deserving guys out of the HOF and many lessor players who made it in.


I would think the bigger purpose would mainly be to come up with a list ranking those already in there (and including active players).

But yeah, the basketball HOF hasn't been nearly as strict as Cooperstown when it comes to defining who's in and who's out. Though, until last year, Artis Gilmore was a pretty blatant (and puzzling) snub.
   1815. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: May 25, 2012 at 02:41 PM (#4140161)
For that matter, it's not an NBA HOF - it's a basketball HOF. Different goals...
   1816. rr Posted: May 25, 2012 at 02:57 PM (#4140179)
Abbott has a nice post up apologizing to Lavoy Allen for ESPN.comn ranking Allen number 500 (last)in preseason wherein:

1. Allen comes off very well as a good-humored and articulate guy.
2. Abbott excerpts to a Hollinger post explaining that Allen has in fact had an impact on the series due to his ability to push Garnett off his spots and will in fact be a key to Game 7.
   1817. andrewberg Posted: May 25, 2012 at 03:14 PM (#4140196)
One way we could do a consensus top 50 is for each of us to come up with personal (very rough) top 100 lists, aggregate them to create some kind of loose consensus top 100. Then, we could discuss a few guys each week culminating with everyone who wants to participate giving the guy a number grade out of 100 (with some prior agreement about what the ranges should mean). At the end, we'd take the mean for each of the rough top 100 and the top 50 aggregate scores would be our top 50. That would allow us to have some careful thought before making the number rankings and would remove the biases associated with strict ordinal rankings (like the "Hakeem HAS to be above Robinson cuz playoffs once). Any thoughts?
   1818. rr Posted: May 25, 2012 at 03:33 PM (#4140215)
If I understand correctly, the issue is the relative performance of Lebron vs. Kobe in this newscycle wherein Lebron can get dogged for making the right basketball plays and Kobe can get lauded for making the wrong basketball plays. If that continues for any length of time, then Lebron's peak could be distorted by those reports.


Like I said, James has won 3 of the last 4 MVPs. And frankly, as someone suggested earlier, if anything is "distorting LeBron's peak" IMO it is not highlight shows of Kobe hitting contested shots off isos at the buzzer, it is:

1. The fact that James' teams have not yet won a title, and James himself contributed to those defeats at a couple of very visible moments, playing like dogshit in Game 5 of the Boston series in 2010 and not doing much late in games in the Finals at times last year while Nowitzki blew up late in the very same games, as happened in Game 6.
2. That James alienated millions of people with "The Decision" and the pep rally in Miami the next day at which he said the Heat would win "not five, not six..."

But, as time passes,these things seem to me to be fading. I am hearing a lot less about that now than I once did (except from Abbott, who earlier in the year wrote a three-part series, entitled "Hating LeBron James" in which he opined about the myriad sociological ills that permeate James discussions).

People on this thread and elsewhere who are concerned about James getting his proper due--and it seems to be a recurring theme here--have an obvious career to look at for encouragement: Kobe Bryant's. Since the rape allegation and the Shaq trade, Kobe has mostly stayed out of trouble, played at a very high level, and has been the key guy on two championship teams. There are a very large number of people who still energetically find ways to put him down of course, but overall I think his image is much better than it was, and there is more respect as well as balanced criticism, along with the cheap shots and the venting and the venom--as, frankly, there should be.

OTOH, as I said in the earlier post, there are also MSM types who elevate Kobe as a player somewhat more than his performance warrants. I can see why that would bother some people, but I don't think it really has all that much to do with James.

So, if James can avoid saying stupid stuff on Twitter and in the media (he has done so this year) and wins a couple of titles and has some big Finals games, maybe Abbott and Co. can relax a little.

Hollinger wrote a piece a couple of years ago on great individual performances in NBA Finals games. IIRC something like six of the top ten are Jordan games. If James is going to be thought of like Jordan by casual fans, he needs to have a couple of those kind of games. People can say that is unfair if they want, but that is the media world we live in. And it really isn't about Kobe or how he is perceived--except to people who make everything about Kobe.
   1819. Backlasher Posted: May 25, 2012 at 03:38 PM (#4140219)
It's a relic of a stat. And it's kind of like saves - there's only one player on the team who's really in position to rack up a bunch of them and therefore be treated like a star.

Kenny the Jet talked about this a few years ego, and I may have even mentioned this on the original epic-thread. He was talking about how some guards pass to rack up assists (as I recall a reference to Starbury) and how other guards were more focused on making the right pass (IIRC a reference to Andre Miller).

To segue this into the Lebron discussions, IMHO, if there were a "right pass" statistic, King James would kill this metric.

... quality of competition arguments start coming into play more once you extend these lists beyond the top 30 or so all time inner circle greats

The elo rater does rate everyone that, "u...ho meet at least one of the following career criteria:

10,000 points
5,000 rebounds
2,500 assists
1,000 steals plus blocks"

You could just as easy get into a discussion about whether the following ordinal list is correct

403 Caldwell Jones
404 Troy Murphy
405 Tyrone Corbin
406 John Paxson
407 Kevin Loughery
408 Vern Fleming
409 Gerald Wilkins
410 Dick Snyder
411 Robert Reid
412 Eric Snow
413 Sherman Douglas
414 Darrell Griffith
415 Grant Long
416 Gar Heard
417 Stacey Augmon

Although at those levels, there is a small seperation between candidates. One elo battle can send a player moving 20 or so spots in a direction.

That would allow us to have some careful thought before making the number rankings and would remove the biases associated with strict ordinal rankings (like the "Hakeem HAS to be above Robinson cuz playoffs once). Any thoughts?

While I am always happy to talk about players, I doubt I could be a contributor to any systematic process with time lines, specific deliverables, or precise differentiations. Sometimes I just don't know or care if Pippen is better than Drexler.

One reason I like the elo model is that it does remove some of the ambiguities by reducing the decision between Player A and Player B. What I really like is that it gives you the option to skip a matchup. So if I get Arnie Risen vs. Billy Grabinass, I can just say Pass.
   1820. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: May 25, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4140224)
Sometimes I just don't know or care if Pippen is better than Drexler.

I care a lot more about -why- I'd think Pippen is better/worse than Drexler, as opposed to the answer itself; discovering and refining my personal methodology is a big part of the benefit of such a project. YMMV.

I was excited about the ELO model until I looked at some of the outcomes...

Well, someone isn't buying my Grabinass jersey on eBay.
   1821. Manny Coon Posted: May 25, 2012 at 03:53 PM (#4140227)
I feel like pace is a reason for so many 60s guys showing up.

I feel like the conversation started with the notion of "best player of his generation". I see it more as eras of best players:

LeBron
??? (Kobe/Duncan/???)
Shaq
Jordan
Olajuwon*
Jordan
(my NBA history ends here)

The Shaq-LeBron interregenum is the interesting place.


Isn't Duncan pretty much the consensus of that era? I know Kobe, Garnett and Nowitzki are relatively close, but Duncan seems to have the best combination of stats and on the court results, and has strong intangibles to go with it. I think the only reason it would be debated is people find him boring.

Also on the last page I saw something about Nowitzki not really being at Kobe's level and I've heard this about Garnett in the past, I just don't see what Kobe on those guys other than the good fortune of playing with much better teammates most his career.
   1822. rr Posted: May 25, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4140232)
And yes, I know that Kobe's "bad thing" is on a whole different level than James'--all the more reason to think James' image will eventually be closer to what his supporters think it should be.
   1823. rr Posted: May 25, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4140236)
BL,

What about Von Wafer vs. Billy Grabinass?
   1824. Backlasher Posted: May 25, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4140242)
Hollinger wrote a piece a couple of years ago on great individual performances in NBA Finals games. IIRC something like six of the top ten are Jordan games. If James is going to be thought of like Jordan by casual fans, he needs to have a couple of those kind of games. People can say that is unfair if they want, but that is the media world we live in. And it really isn't about Kobe or how he is perceived--except to people who make everything about Kobe.

I generally like Hollinger and I did not read that piece; however, IMHO, those types of pieces can be even bigger problems when evaluating the talent level of players. Whether its MSM, Stats-oriented, blog posters, bar conversations, or other, I opine that the biggest fallacy is the expectation of these big playoff GAME performances.

My memories as a kid aren't like the memories shown by Simmons. I don't remember "Bird shooting left handed for a whole half"; I remember him methodically killing my Hawks. Not with a 40/20/10, but just always and consistently getting high production and making good plays. The same would be true with those Frankenstein looking front court mates of his.

However, since Jordan, it seems that it has always been about the big games in all forms of discourse. I think this colors perception about rating players. One project that I have wanted to do, but it is slow and ponderous to gather the data, is to see how "Volume shooting" really impacts a team. My hypothesis is that it does have a slow effect that tends to get masked because someone hits a big game. That is, its like playing Keno, but the reporters only talk about the wins and not the losing strategy even among the best of the volume shooters.

So far, I've only been able to scrape together the career game logs of just MJ, Kobe and DWade. The hypothesis seems supportable. Here are there teams winning percentages (and pct deltas) based on their volume of shots

Flash (except last game)


count<10 61.22%
count >10 58.39% -2.84%
count>15 55.47% -2.92%
count>20 48.71% -6.76%
count>25 44.83% -3.88%
count >30 12.50% -32.33%


Mamba


count<10 72.30%
count >10 64.48% -7.82%
count>15 62.61% -1.86%
count>20 57.71% -4.90%
count>25 53.56% -4.15%
count >30 44.57% -8.99%

His airness

count<10 61.11%
count >10 65.99% 4.88%
count>15 65.77% -0.22%
count>20 63.85% -1.92%
count>25 62.56% -1.29%
count>30 55.73% -6.83%


Even with MJ, it looks suboptimal as a long term strategy. This doesn't mean that you pass up a dunk because it puts you over 25 FGAs, or that there aren't certain games when it is the only strategy you can employ. However, it does seem that if you are having volume shooters, then either: (1) your coach is doing something wrong; (2) the player is taking much more inefficient shots or (3) you really have a sh1tty roster.

It doesn't change much in the post season either:

Flash

count<10 66.67%
count >10 59.57% -7.09%
count>15 57.69% -1.88%
count>20 51.61% -6.08%
count>25 57.14% 5.53%
count >30 0.00% ----

Mamba

count<10 58.33%
count >10 60.71% 2.38%
count>15 59.89% -0.83%
count>20 57.89% -1.99%
count>25 55.56% -2.34%
count >30 30.77% -24.79%

MJ

count<10 0.00%
count >10 66.67% 66.67%
count>15 65.87% -0.80%
count>20 64.23% -1.63%
count>25 61.73% -2.51%
count>30 59.38% -2.35%


Cutting and pasting game logs aren't very precise, so anyone that has better databases to check me, please feel free. But if this is correct, then even MJ acting as a volume shooter of more than 25 shots (which he would do about 47% of the time) is likely to have real impact over the course of the playoffs.








   1825. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: May 25, 2012 at 04:08 PM (#4140245)
1821/Manny: Tell it to Shaughnessy (or so says Kelly Dwyer).
   1826. Jon T. Posted: May 25, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4140253)
BL,

I guess the only problem with that analysis is that often times a superstar is a volume shooter, BECAUSE his teammates are shooting poorly, so it's kind of a self sustaining that the team would lose when they shot a lot.
   1827. smileyy Posted: May 25, 2012 at 04:21 PM (#4140257)
[1824] Are those FGAs or shooting possessions (including trips to the line)?
   1828. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: May 25, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4140261)
I'll broaden Jon's concern by extending it more broadly to issues with game state (like, if he doesn't shoot much, it might be because he was pulled because they were up (or down - more the former because these are above average teams) by 30, etc...) / broader expectations; yeah.

Also that roster quality varies over time (and should be inversely related with team quality - an issue you've already alluded to).

Lastly, if it is FGA, well, there's an issue there too.

I don't mean to be negative - this sort of thing is worth pursuing - just that I wouldn't read too much into anything yet.
   1829. Backlasher Posted: May 25, 2012 at 04:55 PM (#4140272)
What about Von Wafer vs. Billy Grabinass?

Von Wafer vs Luther Head is a discussion I would be interested in :)

Are those FGAs or shooting possessions (including trips to the line)?

FGA's. I did look at FTA's as a separate measure on team success. I probably could combine them in some means for those three players; however, there would be limits. I don't have play-by-play data. I only know FTAs. I would not be able to seperate out AND-1s or technical free throws.

I guess the only problem with that analysis is that often times a superstar is a volume shooter, BECAUSE his teammates are shooting poorly, so it's kind of a self sustaining that the team would lose when they shot a lot.

Possibly, or teammates may be shooting poorly because the offense breaks down with volume shooting. There isn't anyway I know of that you can measure that type of causation over any known dataset. Even in the micro instances, we argue about that type of causation in high volume games. What appears to be the case is that whatever is causing the volume shooting is something that should be fixed because it has an effect.

'll broaden Jon's concern by extending it more broadly to issues with game state (like, if he doesn't shoot much, it might be because he was pulled because they were up (or down - more the former because these are above average teams) by 30, etc...) / broader expectations; yeah.

No argument; however, a player may also shoot a lot, create a game state (good or bad), and then get pulled etc. I'd think much of that would balance out at some point.

Also that roster quality varies over time (and should be inversely related with team quality - an issue you've already alluded to).

Agreed. It would be hard to say it was sub-optimal for Lebron and Wade to both shoot more than 20 shots in last nights game. I don't think this would be some type of micro-measure like a pitch count. However, IMHO, the fact that Lebron and Wade DID shoot more than 20 times is a signal that there is a problem. In this case, the problem is the roster construction.

Over the course of a career though, I don't think, its always going to be roster construction. That certainly can't be true with these three players. That is why I was going to try Reggie Miller for the next test.

Lastly, if it is FGA, well, there's an issue there too.

I don't mean to be negative - this sort of thing is worth pursuing - just that I wouldn't read too much into anything yet.


Its not taken as negative at all. I am open to any thoughts, suggestions or discussions. I have no agenda to make broad proclamations about what this means. Nevertheless, I might need to know more about why FGA is the issue and what you would recommend to fix the issue. I did not look at FTAs b/c I presume they are always optimal unless a player shoots less than about 55% from the line. Also, I can't really translate the FTAs to "shot attempts" for the reasons discussed above. Also, I presume much of the FTA idea is already captured in utlization stats, TS%, etc. IOW, that ground is largely covered with individual value statistics

   1830. rr Posted: May 25, 2012 at 04:55 PM (#4140273)
1825 indirectly raises a good point: how much should we care what Shaughnessy thinks of Tim Duncan? People at sites like this tend to get really worked up about stuff like that..."Damn MSM clowns...I KNOW Jeter can't field...I KNOW Kobe shoots too much...look at these STATS I have..."

And that's fine. But I think we should realize, like BL says, how much these things worry you depends on who you hang out with and like I said, on whom you are trying to defend.

As to the volume shooting issue, I would add (4) the other team plays D such as to take other options away or make them more difficult to use such as when OKC fronted Bynum (5) there are too many variables with matchups, pace, roster composition and the like to draw firm conclusions about the issue.

I think to really study this issue, you would need to do detailed video breakdowns and use play-by-play, focusing on (among other things) when shots are taken in the shot clock. With Kobe on the current Lakers, what happens a lot is that:

They walk the ball up
They pass the ball a couple of times while someone sets a screen and/or Bynum tries to seal his guy
Nothing really happens, no one shakes loose, Bynum doesn't get position
Someone gives the ball back to Kobe with about seven seconds on the shot clock and he does his thing

There are also times of course when Kobe jacks up a 20-footer with 15 seconds on the shot clock and three guys around him.

So, in looking at this issue, I would want more information about that sort of thing before I told Dwyane Wade to get Joel Anthony more involved in the offense.

As to the idea that Jordan has changed expectations, that's probably true. James has suffered some because he is a different type of player than Jordan, and probably should be compared to Magic and Bird. But I was talking about what will happen and how people do talk, not necessarily how they should.

The other thing that I would say is echoing something Hombre has said many times: Kobe Bryant is basically a scorer; that is what he does and what he is good at. BL's entire view of Bryant was more or less summarized in something he said in 2009, and AFAICT has not changed at all three years and two rings later. BL said that the Lakers needed Bryant to "play like Pippen" but being such a ######## "he had to be like Mike" and in the process "really hurt his team."

But I think that Bryant, and to an extent Wade and Jordan, although both of those guys are better passers than Bryant is, are basically playing to their strengths when they shoot a lot. There is a line, and Bryant is sometimes on the wrong side of it. But I think knowing where to draw it and where it is in any individual game or even large in a large sample of games is pretty complicated.

And, finally, this is where we get back to ringzzzzz. It is foolish to use ringzzzzz to say Bryant is Jordan's equal or James' better. But I think it is questionable to focus too much on volume shooting and crunch time when the team wins all the time and seems to be hitting its PYTH and reaching its collective ceiling. In one of his hit pieces, Abbbot flat-out said that the Lakers would be better and would win more if Bynum shot more and Bryant shot less. As I pointed out then, Bynum's and Gasol's USGs spiked and the efficiency cratered when Bryant was out of the lineup this year. That certainly does not prove Abbott is wrong, but I think it does show that this is complex.





   1831. Zipperholes Posted: May 25, 2012 at 05:22 PM (#4140280)
1825 indirectly raises a good point: how much should we care what Shaughnessy thinks of Tim Duncan? People at sites like this tend to get really worked up about stuff like that..."Damn MSM clowns...I KNOW Jeter can't field...I KNOW Kobe shoots too much...look at these STATS I have..."

And that's fine. But I think we should realize, like BL says, how much these things worry you depends on who you hang out with and like I said, on whom you are trying to defend.
I think a lot of people are just less interested in basketball than in what others say about basketball. This also applies to pretty much any topic that humans discuss.
   1832. Backlasher Posted: May 25, 2012 at 05:25 PM (#4140282)
But I think that Bryant, and to an extent Wade and Jordan, although both of those guys are better passers than Bryant is, are basically playing to their strengths when they shoot a lot. There is a line, and Bryant is sometimes on the wrong side of it. But I think knowing where to draw it and where it is in any individual game or even large in a large sample of games is pretty complicated.


In all our conversations, I honestly think this is the only point to where we respectfully disagree. In most all other areas, I think its just presentation style that creates a perception of disagreement.

I don't think its "bird's gotta fly, fish gotta swim, Mamba's got to shoot" I previously tried to use his USA team experience as an exemplar. But from recent history, I 'd ask, which was Kobe's better game

5/8/2012 in a loss versus Denver where he was 14 of 32 FG/ 5 of 11 3PT/ and 10 of 11 FT and 43 points; or
5/12/2012 in a game 7 victory versus Denver with 7-16 FG/ 2 for 2 3PT/ and 1 of 4 FT and 17 points.

This is the same player on the same roster versus the same team. The only stat line where Kobe did better in the second game was picking up the 8 assists. The contemporaneous story on the loss will be a "heroic effort" with no help from his teammates. Yet if you watch game 7 and grade his touches, he is almost always making the right pass and the right decision.

You are right that I should not have previously tried to figure out Kobe's motivation or to psychoanalyze his game, etc. I don't have the facts and any hypothesis or conclusion to that point is likely to inflame passions.

As I pointed out then, Bynum's and Gasol's USGs spiked and the efficiency cratered when Bryant was out of the lineup this year.

I wasn't present, and that is an astute observation and counterpoint. You know more about the Lakers than I do, so it would not be useful for me to directly engage you on that point even if I am inclined to believe they may be optimal with different utlization rates.

What I would point out is that I don't think the absence of Kobe (or any high volume SG) is the optimal strategy. My current hypothesis is that there is likely an equilibrium point for any player in a given offense/roster. I would have guessed it was between 15 and 20 shots; however, that is not the direction that emerged with these three players.

There are people that do much better jobs of capturing this type of analysis though. I can't recall the location, but there was one of the study's that showed efficiency of these star players based on the offensive play that was being run.
   1833. Squash Posted: May 25, 2012 at 05:59 PM (#4140299)
You are right that I should not have previously tried to figure out Kobe's motivation or to psychoanalyze his game, etc. I don't have the facts and any hypothesis or conclusion to that point is likely to inflame passions.

The thing about basketball is that it is a game of choice - you can choose who takes the shots (for the most part, and particularly on the perimeter), you can choose who handles the ball, etc., so psychology is a big part of the game. I don't like volume shooting both for aesthetic reasons and because I think it's a psychological negative for the team that has a direct impact on the team's output on the court. Basketball players, with few exceptions, like to shoot. They like to score points, they want to score points, their financial future is impacted by their scoring points. When one guy starts taking a ton of shots and using up possessions inevitably the other guys start forcing up their own low-percentage shots because otherwise the ball ain't coming back. It happened with the Knicks this year in the Carmelo/Amare dynamic, it happened occasionally with the Lakers this year (more so in the past - Kobe was, I thought, pretty good about sharing the ball for the first 3.9 quarters of a game this year). Players have to feel like they're going to get theirs or they're going to take theirs.
   1834. Srul Itza Posted: May 25, 2012 at 06:31 PM (#4140321)
One way we could do a consensus top 50 is for each of us to come up with personal (very rough) top 100 lists, aggregate them to create some kind of loose consensus top 100.


Have you thought about doing something like SABR's "Baseball Survivor"? They came up with a consensus list of the top 100 players, and then started voting people "off the island". You can read a little about it here
   1835. baudib Posted: May 26, 2012 at 01:32 AM (#4140613)
403 Caldwell Jones
404 Troy Murphy
405 Tyrone Corbin
406 John Paxson
407 Kevin Loughery
408 Vern Fleming
409 Gerald Wilkins
410 Dick Snyder
411 Robert Reid
412 Eric Snow
413 Sherman Douglas
414 Darrell Griffith
415 Grant Long
416 Gar Heard
417 Stacey Augmon


I always thought of Caldwell Jones as a top 240 player. He'd probably be a top 5 center today?
   1836. baudib Posted: May 26, 2012 at 02:57 AM (#4140616)

5/8/2012 in a loss versus Denver where he was 14 of 32 FG/ 5 of 11 3PT/ and 10 of 11 FT and 43 points; or
5/12/2012 in a game 7 victory versus Denver with 7-16 FG/ 2 for 2 3PT/ and 1 of 4 FT and 17 points.


I don't think there's any way to justify taking the 5/12 line over the 5/8 line. You take 26 points on 16 shots every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Beyond that, even in games between the same two teams, the context is wildly different. What you have is a balls-out, awesome effort by Kobe in a game in which the Lakers trailed from the start and needed 103 points to win. They didn't get it. In the other, they only needed 88 points to win. Without even seeing much of either game, I guarantee you that A. the rest of the Lakers played better 5/12 than on 5/8 and B. the Nuggets defended differently in the latter game, doing whatever they could to limit Kobe while leaving people such as Steve Blake (7-for-11 for 19 points) wide open.

I'd also guess that Kobe played well in the second game while not dominating as much as he did in the earlier game, taking what he was given, not forcing any shots and finding open teammates (8 assists), i.e. "he is almost always making the right pass and the right decision."

The difference is that the second game is more aesthetically pleasing to you or fits better into your idea of what winning basketball should be.

He played better when he scored 43 points.
   1837. Spivey Posted: May 26, 2012 at 03:06 AM (#4140617)
Joe C: Ultimately, yeah, it's house money. The Sixers are where they are because Derrick Rose's knee blew out. They should have been done in 4, maybe 5 games in the 1st round. They should not be where they are. Can you explain why you think that's not playing with house money? Your team shouldn't even be in this round.


I think this idea is totally B.S. Rose wasn’t healthy all year. A player who had injuries all year got hurt in the playoffs – why is this supposed to surprise me?

Chicago was also quite good without Rose. It’s not like the 76ers snuck by a terrible team.

Anyhow, Miami may be without Bosh but when James and Wade are playing like this they’re still the best team in basketball IMO.

For example, look at the all-NBA teams that came out today. Other than James, how many of those guys are going to have a career comparable to Bryant's? Durant, perhaps. Dirk and Wade won't catch him. Parker, Melo, Bynum? Doubtful. Chandler, of course not. Howard, Rondo, Westbrook and Love are young, but it's hard to see them move that high up the ladder. So among Kobe's contemporaries, it's Lebron, it's Duncan, and ... perhaps nobody else.


And Garnett and Shaq. And Dirk will be close. And Howard is likely to be right there at the end of it.

Anyways, LeBron will go down as clearly the best SF of all time. And I think people who aren’t Jon Barry or Skip Bayliss will put him on a level with Jordan. Mainly because even one championship will make him the Wilt-wing. And I refuse to believe he isn’t going to win a championship. He’s just that good.

I think insulting a team that beat you in the playoffs is poor form. I understand being frustrated, but credit has to go to Philly for how they’ve played.
   1838. thok Posted: May 26, 2012 at 07:45 AM (#4140632)
[1824] What are the sample sizes for the different bins? I can't imagine any of the players in question have a lot of games with <10 FGA's, and I suspect those games tend to come against weak opponents. (Similarly, there probably aren't that many games with >30 FGA's eitherr.
   1839. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 26, 2012 at 10:37 AM (#4140662)
I think this idea is totally B.S. Rose wasn’t healthy all year. A player who had injuries all year got hurt in the playoffs – why is this supposed to surprise me?

Chicago was also quite good without Rose. It’s not like the 76ers snuck by a terrible team.


He had a freak injury in the playoffs, not the same nagging ones that had bothered him. The Bulls had just shellacked the Sixers in game 1. And, they didn't just lose Rose, they also lost Noah. No, the 76ers didn't sneak by a "terrible" team. Would you prefer it if we just call it "extraordinary good fortune"? And what about what I said wasn't true? Do you think the Sixers are playing a game 7 tonight in Boston if Rose is 70% or whatever he was with the nagging injuries he had during the season? If Noah is healthy?

Hell, it will be the same thing for the Celtics if they manage to win tonight. They had no business in the Conference Finals this year they way they played. I will consider those five games against the Heat House Money Basketball. Does that mean I won't be disappointed if they lose? No. But it does mean I'll have some perspective about it. YMMV.
   1840. kpelton Posted: May 26, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4140690)
I don't like volume shooting both for aesthetic reasons ...

One of the important conclusions I have drawn in the last year is that a lot of basketball analysis is either thinly-veiled aesthetics, or at least an attempt to justify aesthetics.
   1841. baudib Posted: May 26, 2012 at 11:34 AM (#4140691)
agree 100% Kevin.
   1842. Spivey Posted: May 26, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4140716)
And what about what I said wasn't true?

Basically all of it, which is why I responded. Chicago was a great team for specific reasons – defense and rebounding. Those should have still been big advantages. Rose’s injury may have been freak, but when you’re playing less than 100% you have a higher likelihood of getting injured. And who’s to say he wouldn’t have had a smaller injury later in the series or even on that play if it wasn’t as bad as it was. The biggest bone to pick I have is that Chicago should have won in 4 or 5. We don’t know that would have happened even if everyone stayed healthy. Chicago was a really good team, but they were also a team that looked like they were going to be in tough games against any playoff team any time that Rose didn’t have a good game. Why couldn't have Philly won some games? Further, I think this idea that some team “should” have won is basically Bill Simmons-footnote mental masturbation.

I think Philly has validated the win by going to Game 7 against Boston. I fully expect them to lose, though since Boston is a jump shooting team and don’t have their best jump shooter at 100% anything can happen.

I’m willing to give Bulls fans a little leeway on these arguments because their championship window could well have closed and there’s going to be an immense amount of frustration tied with that. But the general arguments don’t appeal to me, and I don’t like them.

But if we're going to talk about teams that "should" have won... I still don't understand how Memphis lost the series to the Clippers. They were so clearly better.
   1843. PJ Martinez Posted: May 26, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4140732)
One of the important conclusions I have drawn in the last year is that a lot of basketball analysis is either thinly-veiled aesthetics, or at least an attempt to justify aesthetics.

I think it's fine to consider aesthetics when analyzing basketball. It shouldn't cloud your vision -- or be veiled or used to justify things -- but if someone says, "I prefer this style of play because it is more aesthetically pleasing," I respect that.
   1844. Spivey Posted: May 26, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4140752)
Also, I'd be interested in a HOM deal.
   1845. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: May 26, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4140753)
Joe C: Ultimately, yeah, it's house money. The Sixers are where they are because Derrick Rose's knee blew out. They should have been done in 4, maybe 5 games in the 1st round. They should not be where they are. Can you explain why you think that's not playing with house money? Your team shouldn't even be in this round.

I think insulting a team that beat you in the playoffs is poor form. I understand being frustrated, but credit has to go to Philly for how they’ve played.

Joe C is not a Bulls fan. With the exception of one comment from Moses, the Bulls fans here have not taken part in this discussion.

Every team that wins has some measure of good fortune along the way. The Bulls certainly have had quite a lot of good fortune of their own in winning the lottery to draft Rose and previously throughout MJ's career. Of course I wanted the Bulls to win in the first round, but considering their injury issues both in the playoffs and in the regular season, I wasn't particularly frustrated when they lost, and I don't consider the Sixers somehow unworthy as a result. The goal for this year's Bulls team was to win the title; once that appeared impossible, the exact manner in which they lost seemed a lot less important.

I agree that the Sixers have had quite a lot of good fortune in the playoffs this year, but that's to be expected when a low seed makes it this far in a postseason tournament, and they still have to win the games. With somewhat better luck during the regular season, the Sixers easily could have been in Boston's position playing the Hawks in the first round (Philly was 4 games better than Boston by expected W-L). The Celtics and Sixers are roughly equivalent teams by record, so I think it's a bit awkward to view this series and game 7 in particular as a "just happy to be here" situation for one of them.
   1846. Spivey Posted: May 26, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4140759)
Joe C is not a Bulls fan. With the exception of one comment from Moses, the Bulls fans here have not taken part in this discussion.


I think the larger conversation has been going on with more than just comment from Moses and none from Matt. I like Matt and Moses is one of my favorite posters on the site, but I really don't like running a team down as they're beating your team in the playoffs. I think it's kind of classless. I also realize that Joe C isn't a Bulls fan.
   1847. kpelton Posted: May 26, 2012 at 02:11 PM (#4140762)
It shouldn't cloud your vision -- or be veiled or used to justify things -- but if someone says, "I prefer this style of play because it is more aesthetically pleasing," I respect that.

Definitely. We all have styles of play that we prefer, and those styles of play can be described as "the opposite of the Celtics-Sixers series."
   1848. Zipperholes Posted: May 26, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4140787)
The idea that a team "should" perform a certain way in the playoffs based on their regular season record, or some fantasy version of their team where there are no injuries and everyone had Wheaties for breakfast, is a bunch of nonsense. It's fun and fine to make predictions and speculate and ask what could've been, but no serious basketball analysis should take it to the level to say a certain result "should" have happened.
   1849. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: May 26, 2012 at 03:54 PM (#4140802)
Aaargh. Long, long post eaten.

Caldwell: Definitely not a top 240/5 guy. bb-ref has his top comp as Elden Campbell. I think he's more like a poor man's Marcus Camby, qualitatively. WS/48 and PER below league average over the course of his career (in part because he played well into his decline phase - also these measures underrate him defensively). Short peak that was exclusiively in the ABA (note: I'd like to revisit the ABA v. NBA quality discussion some time, though that sounds like summer stock) - was a backup in one ABA All-Star game, which looks about right in hindsight.
More grabby sounding note: Averaged 6.2 pts, 7.2 reb over his NBA career, never averaged double digits per game or led the league in blocks after leaving the land of the red, white, and blue.
Better than his brothers, though.

Kobe: I'm somewhere b/w robinred and Backlasher, I think. That kind of discussion always makes me think of Dean Oliver's usage curves and how I wish we could estimate them more easily for individuals. I often use Witus' estimates for this sort of thing, but I bet a Kobe type loses/gains less than most by dialing back or increasing usage. Do think he should've shot less and Bynum shot more this season, but I'm not drawing up any plays for them.

One of the important conclusions I have drawn in the last year is that a lot of basketball analysis is either thinly-veiled aesthetics, or at least an attempt to justify aesthetics.

I'll freely cop to this and try my best to account for/minimize it. Not saying I'm successful.

I am open to any thoughts, suggestions or discussions. I have no agenda to make broad proclamations about what this means.

I presumed that all along - just wanted to make clear that I have zero desire to shoot you down; I'm very much for people doing things like you're doing. How else am I gonna learn? (he says selfishly)

As for free throws, well this is a big part of why my departed post was so long. Short, snipped version:
* fta are a common way for possessions to end via an act of shooting, seems like you'd want to account for them - particularly because...
* end with fta tells us something about the likely outcome of the possession (yielding more pts on average than fga or fga alone) and the quality of defense/defenders (the offensive player was or wasn't fouled).
I'd go with FGA + FTA*.44, or something.

As for getting pulled early, I interpreted your work to be about the Mamba/Flash/Red Baron class - guys who are given more leeway.
   1850. steagles Posted: May 26, 2012 at 03:57 PM (#4140803)
Definitely. We all have styles of play that we prefer, and those styles of play can be described as "the opposite of the Celtics-Sixers series."
:)

ref assignments for tonight:
Monty McCutchen
Tony Brothers
Mike Callahan


   1851. Backlasher Posted: May 26, 2012 at 04:20 PM (#4140812)
The idea that a team "should" perform a certain way in the playoffs based on their regular season record, or some fantasy version of their team where there are no injuries and everyone had Wheaties for breakfast, is a bunch of nonsense. It's fun and fine to make predictions and speculate and ask what could've been, but no serious basketball analysis should take it to the level to say a certain result "should" have happened.

How your team should perform is only important in determining how to construct the roster for the next season.

I always thought of Caldwell Jones as a top 240 player. He'd probably be a top 5 center today?

That level of precision is beyond my ability to reconcile. Neverthless it would make for some good Elo matchups.

Caldwell Jones v. Tyson Chandler
Caldwell Jones v. Chris Kaman
...

What are the sample sizes for the different bins?

mike


count<10 18
count >10 1237
count>15 1119
count>20 841
count>25 430
count>30 131


*It looks like I don't have the 4 games from the 1985 playoff games and they aren't on bk-ref to add.

Dwade (except last game)


count<10 49
count >10 644
count>15 503
count>20 232
count>25 58
count >30 8


Kobe

count<10 148
count >10 1233
count>15 1003
count>20 629
count>25 295
count >30 92

The under 10 shots for Kobe is about 10.5% of his games; about 6.7% of Flash's games and about 1.4% of MJs games. The over 30 is about 10.5% of MJ's games; 1.1% of Flash's games and 6.7% of Kobe's games.
   1852. rr Posted: May 26, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4140814)
On the 76ers/Celtics thing, even though I get what the term "house money" means, I didn't read it as the 76ers should be happy to be there or that the 76ers fans should not want this game. Expectations are based more on who you are playing than how on you get there. Boston is beatable for the 76ers. Joe C knows that.

As to the testiness, it is understandable that 76ers fans don't want to hear about Rose and Noah, and it is equally understandable that Bulls fans are thinking about them. For me, it was a reminder of why I am wise to divide my time between here and a Lakers' site, given my disposition.

____

As to Kobe, as we discussed here at the time, and as baudib pointed out again, Karl defended him differently in Game 7, running a lot more doubleteams at him than he had in Games 5 and 6. Fortunately for the Lakers, Steve Blake knocked down 5 of 6 3s and had his best game as a Laker, and they were able to survive the series. Some people thought this was a bad strategy by Karl. I thought it was a reasonable one and just didn't work out, and Denver lost mostly because they only scored 87 points.

As to the larger issue, the psychoanalysis/choice/style of play stuff, you certainly are not alone in psychoanalyzing Kobe Bryant based on his shot selection. There are many people who do it on a possession-to-possession basis.

To address both your point and Squash's point about negative impact on the other plyers, since they are related:

1. As Hombre and I have said, Kobe is mostly a scorer. He is a pretty good passer, but far from a great one. He occasionally makes a memorable dish, but I seldom see him make a Nash or Paul or James "OH, SHITT, DID YOU SEE THAT?!" sort of pass. It is my belief that this is because he has good but not great court vision; I know that Bill Bradley was once given a vision test that tested peripheral vision and his was off the charts. I think most of the great passers have this gift. Kobe doesn't. Kobe is good at PLANNING what he wants to do. Post this guy up, head fake, jab step, if he goes this way, I will go that way. If he backs off I will do the step back, etc. Chris Ballard wrote about this a bit in The Art of a Beautiful Game. Great passing is more of a spontaneous thing; Kobe can do it if they run obvious doubles at him--as Denver did.
2. All that said, there is no doubt that there are times when he just shoots for the hell of it and because he wants to and can get away with it. The meme, "heat check" applies to him; sometimes when he is hot, he will jack up a 3 early in the shot clock. Some people, like his old HS coach and long-time mentor Gregg Downer, claim that he can tell by his body language when he is in this mode. That may be true. I have my own feelings about that, but I don't base much analysis on it.
3. As to his style of play negatively impacting the psyches/performances of the other players, that was a big thing this year with Bynum. Many Lakers fans and others believe that Bynum stops playing hard if he doesn't get "enough" touches. Kobe himself fed this issue with the "Drew is going to have to fall in line" comment, and there have been numerous reports that in a telephone conversation with Dwight Howard prior to the trading deadline, Bryant told Howard that he would be the "third option" in LA, would be "like Tyson Chandler" and that Howard, reluctant about playing in LA anyway, decided at that point that he definitely did not want to play here.

My own take, as I have said before, is that I have seen no evidence over the years that the Lakers have underachieved big-picture relative to the takent on the roster when Jackson was there, and I do not think they underachieved this year. They lost in 2003 because they dropped to 23rd in DRTG after Shaq put on about 50 pounds, Kupchak let the back end of the roster atrophy, and Tim Duncan rampaged his way through the postseason. 2004 we have covered. The 2006 and 2007 teams were first-round fodder that lost to superior Phoenix teams. The 2006 team did it in a way that spotlighted Kobe, but that team was playing on "house money" in Game 7. Boston was better in 2008. Dallas was hotter than hell and won it all in 2011. OKC was clearly better this year, although Kobe's play late was a HUGE factor in the Game 2 and 4 defeats (hence Abbott's recent gloating).

So, even if it is true that other guys hate Bryant and the way he plays, I don't really think that it has hurt the team. I have always thought--and there is some evidence to back this up--that Bryant's style of play helps other guys in some ways because he draws so much attention on D.

I was surprised that more people interested in this issue did not follow Shannon Brown more closely in 2012. Brown went from playing with Kobe to playing with the anti-Kobe, Nash. In addition, Brown was in Kobe's own words, "my little brother", a guy Kobe took under his wing, etc. In 2011, Lakers fans criticized Brown for shooting too much--like Kobe taught him. Here are Brown's basic numbers:

2011 PER 13.6 TS .518 EFG .482 USG 22.2 ORTG 105 DRTG 106
2012 PER 13.6 TS .507 EFG .477 USG 22.8 ORTG 101 DRTG 108

There are caveats here; Brown was often not on the floor with Kobe all that much. There is abundant statistical evidence to support the idea that Nash makes all kinds of players better on offense. Nash is a great player, of course. Shannon Brown is just one guy. But I think people who love Nash and trash Kobe for supposedly hurting other guys' games should be aware of Shannon Brown's stats.

So, overall, my thing is the same that it has always been: I think people at times--and Abbott is the most egregious example these days
--need to focus on Bryant LESS when they analyze the Lakers and look more at what is going on around him. Bryant, Bynum and Gasol have some overlap issues. Mike Brown has some issues coaching O and seemingly has a gravitas deficit. There are nine other guys on the floor with Bryant at all times. There is another coach game planning for him.

And Bryant himself? I think his USG would be better at around 32 rather than 35. I am not sure that Bynum and Gasol (if they are on the team) should be getting those shots; I actually think Sessions should if he is on the team. Bryant needs to take fewer 3s. I think he needs to take some to keep the D honest, but fewer. And mostly, he needs to play off the ball more. The finger and wrist damage have compromised his handle. It is hard for him to turn the corner and hard for him to iso off the dribble. This is apparent from both the eye test and the numbers. But respsonsbility for that issue falls on Bryant AND the FO and the coaching staff. Not on Bryant alone.
   1853. rr Posted: May 26, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4140817)
Sorry for the typos. Edit function is not working and it is time to go work out. Will be back for PHI/BOS game.
   1854. baudib Posted: May 26, 2012 at 04:43 PM (#4140823)
I found a clip of ESPN's Sports Century on Oscar Charleston and he talked about playing in the NBA and the prejudices black players faced. Part of the racist conventional wisdom of the time was that black players couldn't dribble. WTF?!
   1855. Backlasher Posted: May 26, 2012 at 04:47 PM (#4140826)
I'd go with FGA + FTA*.44, or something.

Kobe


count<10 62.50%
count >10 65.51% 3.01%
count>15 63.98% -1.52%
count>20 62.26% -1.72%
count>25 57.37% -4.89%
count >30 56.34% -1.03%
count>35 50.00% -6.34%

MJ

count<10 57.14%
count >10 65.91% 8.77%
count>15 66.19% 0.28%
count>20 65.87% -0.32%
count>25 64.02% -1.85%
count >30 65.23% 1.21%
count>35 56.55% -8.68%

Flash

count<10 52.38%
count >10 58.78% 6.40%
count>15 58.36% -0.42%
count>20 57.55% -0.81%
count>25 49.55% -8.00%
count >30 52.24% 2.69%
count>35 50.00% -2.24%


Creates a bit of an odd bump for Flash, takes out some of the edge on MJ, but the trend is the same.

IMHO, I still think the other means is more accurate. I don't know that this takes out or handles tech free throws, bonus free throws, or fouls when there would not even be a shot (like the westbrook one discussed above).
   1856. Squash Posted: May 26, 2012 at 05:24 PM (#4140844)
One of the important conclusions I have drawn in the last year is that a lot of basketball analysis is either thinly-veiled aesthetics, or at least an attempt to justify aesthetics.

Awesome. What did you think of the rest of my post? I get that you aren't really picking on an individual person (i.e. me, poor me), but when someone says they like/don't like something b/c of aesthetics but then backs it up with a measurable statement, it's kind of foul play to focus on the aesthetics part, ellipses away the measurable part, and make a statement of finality as if it ended there. I suppose the proper thing to look at would be to see if, in instances of volume shooting, if, in the short term and long term, other players start exhibiting the same characteristics of the volume shooter, i.e. if their passing rates go down, field goal percentage goes down, if they start taking more long 2s, if the team's offensive efficiency goes down, etc. beyond what we would expect from the single player's impact. I imagine we can all agree that those would be bad things. And they're measurable. I.e., do volume shooters make the rest of their team worse? Is it indeed more efficient/better for the team to share the ball? Does volume shooting work if the team has a sick defense? Does that not matter?

Maybe, maybe not - but it's worth looking into. Let's be honest - basketball stats are in their infancy. They're terrible. That PER, a stat we really know nothing about, is held up as a main barometer (yes I know not by anyone here), is telling. We still don't have a really good way to measure passing. We don't have a really good way to measure defense. We know pretty much nothing about how to measure different players playing together, or how players match up one-on-one to each other, or how they match up 5-on-5 to each other, or how adding one player to a group will affect the group dynamically, or taking a player away, or coaching, or style of play, or depth, etc., etc. Handwaving anything away as just #######' about aesthetics is silly. That works in the opposite direction as well. But come now.
   1857. Squash Posted: May 26, 2012 at 05:32 PM (#4140847)
In other news, apparently the Warriors are trying to cut a deal with Utah to keep their pick regardless of where it falls in the draft. As a W's fan, this strikes me as stupid. Sooner or later the Warriors are giving Utah a pick. The Warriors suck and are going to continue to suck, so that pick is going to be pretty decent regardless. They're very unlikely to suddenly get good and the pick ends up being #22 or something. The #8 pick this year, which in the most-likely worst case scenario they give away and be done with it, isn't THAT valuable that they need to give more to make sure they keep it. One of the things they're talking about trading is loosening the restrictions in 2013 or 14 if the pick falls to there. It's top-7 in 2013, top-6 in 2014. It would be just like the Warriors, in their endless stupidity, to bend over backwards to keep the #8 pick this year and then end up having to send the #4 next year.
   1858. baudib Posted: May 26, 2012 at 07:34 PM (#4140891)
Prediction: 30 years from now they will speak reverently of Lavoy Allen's domination of Game 7 much as they talk about Andrew Toney today.
   1859. baudib Posted: May 26, 2012 at 07:35 PM (#4140892)
Prediction: The team whose point guard scores more points will win.
   1860. thok Posted: May 26, 2012 at 08:06 PM (#4140899)
The under 10 shots for Kobe is about 10.5% of his games

80 of those games are from his age 18 and 19 year games, when he was still developing, and reflects a part of his career that neither Wade nor Jordan had (they joined the league at age 22 and 21 respectively). It's not really fair to compare Bryant's winning percentage on a team that had Shaq, Eddie Jones, and Van Exel that can develop Bryant as a 11.5 shot per game player to his winning percentage on a team that had Lamar Odom, Smush Parker, and Brian Cook that needs Bryant to chuck up 27 shots to have a competent offense.
   1861. rr Posted: May 26, 2012 at 08:14 PM (#4140903)
Correction: 2003 Lakers were 19th, not 23rd, in DRTG.
   1862. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: May 26, 2012 at 08:30 PM (#4140922)
Did Breen really just say Rondo committed a chin-to-elbow foul?
   1863. rr Posted: May 26, 2012 at 08:30 PM (#4140923)
Do think he should've shot less and Bynum shot more this season, but I'm not drawing up any plays for them.


Bynum was doubled a lot, and even with that his USG went from 17.6 to 23.8. His EFF metrics dropped slightly. Kobe was doubled a lot in a game a lot of people saw, Game 7 vs. Denver, but Bynum saw a lot of that during the season, particularly late in the season. One problem the Lakers have is that they have three high-usage guys who need to play a lot in the post. Gets pretty crowded down there (and of course the Lakers did try to trade one of those three guys for a point guard).

As I suggested, I think Sessions, if Brown was going to run him out there 30 minutes a game and live with his D, should have had the keys a little more, particularly in the playoffs. Kobe's USG was at 35+ again, and considering his EFF dropoff, it probably should come down. But I think "more Bynum" needs to be an outgrowth of "more true PG play" rather than simply trying to pound the ball inside to him, as so many say the Lakers should have done.
   1864. rr Posted: May 26, 2012 at 08:34 PM (#4140931)
I like the way Elton Brand plays on this team.
   1865. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 26, 2012 at 09:41 PM (#4140991)
This game is borderline unwatchable.
   1866. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: May 26, 2012 at 09:51 PM (#4141007)
But I think "more Bynum" needs to be an outgrowth of "more true PG play" rather than simply trying to pound the ball inside to him, as so many say the Lakers should have done.

I say both, but you watch them a lot more than I do. When I did watch them play, I saw a lot of him being in positions where he could score easily, but not getting the ball.

Cherry picking a bit, but: team leader in 3pt% for the Lakers (min 30 3ptm): Steve Blake 33.5%. Yeesh.

As for Sessions, he obviously needs to improve on D, but if even half his gains from three are real (making him credible if you leave him alone), that's a big upgrade for you. (Presuming he stays...)
   1867. Booey Posted: May 26, 2012 at 10:07 PM (#4141032)
In other news, apparently the Warriors are trying to cut a deal with Utah to keep their pick regardless of where it falls in the draft. As a W's fan, this strikes me as stupid. Sooner or later the Warriors are giving Utah a pick. The Warriors suck and are going to continue to suck, so that pick is going to be pretty decent regardless.


I don't know about that last line. The Warriors have some good players; if they can stay healthy, I wouldn't be surprised at all if the pick they give to the Jazz next year instead won't be nearly as high as this one. Which of course, will make me dislike the Warriors for years to come.

So we'll take this deal. Give the Jazz Curry, and the W's can keep this pick. :)
   1868. JJ1986 Posted: May 26, 2012 at 10:18 PM (#4141053)
Maybe Ray Allen is not dead.
   1869. Zipperholes Posted: May 26, 2012 at 10:21 PM (#4141056)
Wouldn't you rather have the #8 this year than the #4 next year? Time value of assets and all that...
   1870. Booey Posted: May 26, 2012 at 10:27 PM (#4141061)
#1869 - Is that question directed at me or Squash? Is the draft so deep this year that a #8 pick should be a hotter commodity than a top 4 pick next season?
   1871. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 26, 2012 at 10:47 PM (#4141066)
Rondo, go figure.
   1872. steagles Posted: May 26, 2012 at 10:55 PM (#4141068)
####. ####. #### fuck ####.

too many ####### turnovers. too many missed ####### free throws. too many terrible ####### shots.


pierce fouled out with 4 minutes to go. the sixers were down just 3. they had the ball. and then rondo pulled a couple of 26' jumpshots out of his ass and ended the game scoring 9 points in a row, putting the celtics up 10.


this game was just a ####### knee to the balls (which, incidentally, is the reward i'd like to give doug collins for his wondrous coaching in the playoffs). i know the sixers had no business winning the game or the series, but ####, they were so ####### close, and they just never got over the hump.
   1873. baudib Posted: May 26, 2012 at 11:00 PM (#4141069)
Disaster sequences:

1. Late in the third, Sixers are playing incredible D and Iggy turns it over on two alley-oop tries to Lou Williams. Iggy also misses 3 of 4 free throws around this time.
2. Any time Evan Turner was in the game. Heard he finished -23, not surprised. He has obvious talent and had some moments but he has a long ways to go to become a positive player.
3. After Pierce fouls out, Rondo goes WTF crazy, hitting 2 from downtown + layup and making all his free throws.
   1874. Srul Itza Posted: May 26, 2012 at 11:04 PM (#4141070)
The hardest part of the ECF is figuring out which of the teams is the lesser of two evils.
   1875. Zipperholes Posted: May 26, 2012 at 11:09 PM (#4141072)
#1869 - Is that question directed at me or Squash? Is the draft so deep this year that a #8 pick should be a hotter commodity than a top 4 pick next season?
Directed at no one in particular. Just something I wondered after reading your posts.

Generally, unless waiting will net you a superstar, I feel like I'd rather have a pick a year earlier. So it's four spots lower? That's an extra year of a good player on your team at a good salary, whom you get to develop. I mean, I'm applying general business principles here; that's my instinct. I'm not knowledgeable about the nuances of valuing NBA assets to know the answer.
   1876. rr Posted: May 26, 2012 at 11:28 PM (#4141076)
When I did watch them play, I saw a lot of him being in positions where he could score easily, but not getting the ball.


Not at all big on this kind of claim. I think you can look at a lot of possessions and talk about what you think should have happened. Playing the game in real time is different than watching it on TV. Abbott had a podcast with Rambis on which he made a similar claim, that Bynum was "could have scored" X times, but didn't get the ball, and Rambis FWIW was not enthused.

And like I said, Bynum's USG went way up, to 23.8, and in the seven games when Kobe was out, Bynum's EFG nosedived. If you think his USG should have been 26, like Howard's, and Kobe's should have been 32, not 35, that's fine, and I don't necessarily disagree. But when a team lacks consistent outside shooting, lacks a high-level PG, and its three best players all like working the post, getting the ball inside is not always as easy as it might look.


   1877. PJ Martinez Posted: May 26, 2012 at 11:35 PM (#4141078)
@SeanGrandePBP At halftime of Game 7, the Celtics have now outscored Atl/Phi by 144 with Kevin Garnett on the floor..been outscored by 92 when he's off it.
   1878. rr Posted: May 26, 2012 at 11:35 PM (#4141079)
Hollinger was really on Collins' case about Even Turner on Twitter. Ups to Ray Allen. Hit a couple of big ones when the team needed them.

Rumors about that the Lakers are going to try to acquire Iguodala.
   1879. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: May 26, 2012 at 11:38 PM (#4141080)
That is more or less what I mean, yes. Also, I'll certainly grant that your pg play and offensive sets played parts in this story, but there is obviously more than that going on.
We've gone over mamba a zillion times here - I'm no hater and is he what he is, a stone scorer / assassin. Wiiiiith possible trust issues... ;)

Steagles, sorry for your loss - I was rooting for you guys.

Srul, i imagine you might want for Miami to win this round and lose in the finals.
   1880. PJ Martinez Posted: May 26, 2012 at 11:39 PM (#4141081)
Rumors about that the Lakers are going to try to acquire Iguodala.

Would be a smart move, but how do they make it worth Philadelphia's while?
   1881. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: May 26, 2012 at 11:40 PM (#4141082)
I heard a rumor about a deal based on iggy and gasol a ways back - this that?
   1882. steagles Posted: May 26, 2012 at 11:51 PM (#4141084)
Rumors about that the Lakers are going to try to acquire Iguodala.
Would be a smart move, but how do they make it worth Philadelphia's while?
andrew bynum. please, dear god, let it be for andrew bynum.

I heard a rumor about a deal based on iggy and gasol a ways back - this that?
that'd be my guess. i don't think that'd be the best move for the sixers, and i'd probably prefer just to keep iguodala rather than potentially make a big mistake by getting gasol. i realize the issues that gasol had fitting in to LA's offense this year, and i understand that he is a better player than he showed, but the bulk of the sixers roster will be 22-25 years old next year, and i can't help but think that by the time they are grown up enough to actually be in a position to contend, gasol will be past his prime, and will be an anchor that holds the team back, rather than the engine that powers it forward.
   1883. baudib Posted: May 26, 2012 at 11:57 PM (#4141085)
yeah, I don't want Gasol.
   1884. Backlasher Posted: May 27, 2012 at 12:01 AM (#4141087)
#1869 - Is that question directed at me or Squash? Is the draft so deep this year that a #8 pick should be a hotter commodity than a top 4 pick next season?

Many commentators feel this is one of the deeper drafts in awhile, At 8, who is the worse player you get -- John Henson, Perry Jones? Who is the best player you get next year at 4 -- James Michael McAdoo, Cody Zeller?



   1885. Into the Void Posted: May 27, 2012 at 12:11 AM (#4141090)
You guys are forgetting- this is the Warriors you are talking about. It doesn't really matter if they have the #8, 4, 2 or 1 pick- they will F it up no matter what.
   1886. PJ Martinez Posted: May 27, 2012 at 12:12 AM (#4141091)
Sixers fans really don't want Gasol? That guy is a helluva player. I like Iggy, but the Sixers have about a million wing players plus Spencer Hawes and Lavoy Allen. Depending on what else Philly had to give up, getting Gasol seems like a very good move.

Edit: Obviously, all this is highly speculative. I'm just sort of baffled that when a hypothetical Gasol for Iggy trade is mentioned, the response from Sixers fans on here is, "I don't want Gasol."
   1887. baudib Posted: May 27, 2012 at 12:24 AM (#4141094)
If Gasol were about the same age as Iggy I'd do it for sure. As is he's almost 3 years older and it feels like the Sixers would have to give up a pretty decent piece to get the deal done.
   1888. steagles Posted: May 27, 2012 at 12:32 AM (#4141097)
Sixers fans really don't want Gasol? That guy is a helluva player. I like Iggy, but the Sixers have about a million wing players plus Spencer Hawes and Lavoy Allen. Depending on what else Philly had to give up, getting Gasol seems like a very good move.
the way i look at it, the sixers will only have one opportunity to bring in a true stud big man to play alongside jrue holiday, and i just am not convinced that pau gasol is the right one to go after.

if they pass on gasol, i don't know that there will be another opportunity to bring in a big man of his caliber, but i am fairly sure that if they do pull this deal for gasol, they'll have no bullets left in the chamber if ever a better opportunity were to come along.


   1889. baudib Posted: May 27, 2012 at 12:35 AM (#4141098)
I mean when all is said and done I'd probably be happy with getting Gasol for Iggy. It sort of depends on what the goal is though. Depending on what Boston does, the division is really there for the taking, so if the goal is to make a run at a 50+ win season and get a decent matchup in the first round, then sure.

However, if the idea is to beat this roster into some sort of core that will be ready to really contend in 2-3 years (when Jrue is 23-24), there are probably better options, which may include anything from blowing it all up save a couple of players or basically staying pat.
   1890. baudib Posted: May 27, 2012 at 12:37 AM (#4141099)
Steagles, would you do Turner for Favors? Even throw stuff in?
   1891. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 27, 2012 at 12:38 AM (#4141101)
Not at all big on this kind of claim. I think you can look at a lot of possessions and talk about what you think should have happened. Playing the game in real time is different than watching it on TV. Abbott had a podcast with Rambis on which he made a similar claim, that Bynum was "could have scored" X times, but didn't get the ball, and Rambis FWIW was not enthused.

I'm going to go ahead and agree with RR on this one. Getting the ball to Bynum more isn't just whether or not Bynum appears to be open but it also depends on the actual getting the ball to him part and most of the guys on the Lakers roster are, IMO, pretty poor entry passes to the point where I think there's a legitimate argument to be made that trying to get Bynum the ball more may just result in increased turnovers. YMMV.
   1892. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: May 27, 2012 at 12:41 AM (#4141103)
Depending on what Boston does, the division is really there for the taking

There's this team in Miami. I hear they have some pretty good players.
   1893. steagles Posted: May 27, 2012 at 12:48 AM (#4141106)
i don't want to go too far through the rabbit hole, but assuming they pull this iggy for gasol deal straight up, and assuming the sixers can then go out and flip thaddeus young for kevin martin, again, 1 for 1, would people think that team is a contender? or at least enough of one to have made it a worthwhile endeavor?

PG: jrue holiday
SG: kevin martin
SF: evan turner
PF: pau gasol
C: lavoy allen

bench:
lou williams
sam young
nik vucevic
(spencer hawes)
(jodie meeks)

the sixers would still have the MLE and the BAE to work with, along with 6 draft picks over the next 2 years (15, 45, and 54 this year, and their own picks, plus NOH's 2nd rounder in 2013).



   1894. Backlasher Posted: May 27, 2012 at 12:51 AM (#4141107)
most of the guys on the Lakers roster are, IMO, pretty poor entry passes to the point where I think there's a legitimate argument to be made that trying to get Bynum the ball more may just result in increased turnovers

If the Lakers are having that much problem feeding the post, they may not want to trade away Gasol. Nevertheless, I am sure Kupchuk could find a couple of guys around the association that can feed the post during this offseason.
   1895. steagles Posted: May 27, 2012 at 12:55 AM (#4141108)
Steagles, would you do Turner for Favors? Even throw stuff in?
i'd think about it. in the end, though, i'd probably want to give turner another year.
   1896. baudib Posted: May 27, 2012 at 01:02 AM (#4141109)

There's this team in Miami. I hear they have some pretty good players.


Good for them, but that seems to be Orlando or Atlanta's problem?
   1897. baudib Posted: May 27, 2012 at 01:05 AM (#4141110)
PG: jrue holiday
SG: kevin martin
SF: evan turner
PF: pau gasol
C: lavoy allen

bench:
lou williams
sam young
nik vucevic
(spencer hawes)
(jodie meeks)

the sixers would still have the MLE and the BAE to work with, along with 6 draft picks over the next 2 years (15, 45, and 54 this year, and their own picks, plus NOH's 2nd rounder in 2013).



I can't even really think straight right now, especially about basketball but thinking about this lineup is distressing.

Obviously a lot more offensive firepower. I'm ready to give Allen a shot but who the hell knows. The defense seems so much worse it's hard to imagine the transition.
   1898. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: May 27, 2012 at 01:13 AM (#4141111)
Steagles, would you do Turner for Favors? Even throw stuff in?


Why would the Jazz? Favors has far more upside than Turner, is younger, and already a good player. Furthermore, while the Jazz could use another wing, Turner is not good (nor as good as Hayward) and even if he develops does not fill the Jazz' need for outside shooting.

The Jazz obviously have an excess of bigs, but Favors is, IMO, by far the least likely player the Jazz would move, and certainly not for someone like Turner. I guess depending on what else it could make sense, but Turner would have to be the secondary piece.
   1899. baudib Posted: May 27, 2012 at 01:16 AM (#4141112)
I have no idea. The Sixers once traded Barkley for Jeff Hornacek, stupid stuff happens occasionally.
   1900. Backlasher Posted: May 27, 2012 at 01:21 AM (#4141114)
... SF: evan turner
PF: pau gasol
C: lavoy allen ...


I don't know which deals you make, but that #15 pick can likely get you one of the following Gs that are left: Lillard, Marshall or Rivers; a big like Moultree; or a SF like Harkless or Quincy Miller. If you are worried about building for the future, that is some decent looking talent to back any contribution you might trade for a short term increase with an older player.

IMHO, I wouldn't hold onto an unbalanced wing heavy lineup out of fear of getting a little bit older. You likely get a near term contributor that is young out of the draft.
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