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Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Friday Post Filled with Questions For You

It’s been a busy Spring term down here in South Cackalack (that’s South Carolina for those who do not speak Southern). Other than a few game threads, I haven’t been able to hang with the Knickerbloggeristas as much as I’d like. It’s Spring Break and I’m posting this from the public library, just to give you a taste for how I get down these days. Before diving into these reviews, grading these exams, and working on these papers though, I’m interested to get the pulse of the Knickerblogger community on a few items.

1. The Knicks are fun to watch again. Jeremy Lin has been a big part of that, but not the entire story. I’m curious to see some “community projections” on Lin and various Knicks.
(a) For Lin: What do you predict for his final regular season % share of PG duties with Baron Davis, assuming both stay healthy (e.g., 60-40 Lin), TS%, Assist Rate (or Assists Per Game for the advance metric impaired), Turnover Rate (or TOs Per Game)? (For Owen: if you read this how do you think WOW will assess Lin’s 2011-12 season?)
(b) For Fields: Is he slumping or turning back into a pumpkin? Will he end the season as the starting SG (assuming he is healthy)?
(c) For Novak: What do you predict for his final regular season TS%, 3pt FG%, and Rebound Rate?
(d) For Toney Douglas: Will he ever see meaningful NBA minutes again for any team? (I always liked him, and it sucks that he went from marginally useful to making my eyes bleed.)
(e) All of the above. (Sorry, force of habit.)

2. As you may now be aware, Baron Davis is a believer in this team’s championship potential. (For the record, that was more of a “we can do anything” power of positive thinking statement than a prediction.) But what about you, dear reader? First, what is the ceiling for this year’s Knicks team? Second, assuming the roster stays basically the same, what realistically has to break right for the Knicks to have a title shot? (So, no “magic bullets” like trading Jeffries and Fields for Dwight Howard.)

81 comments on “A Friday Post Filled with Questions For You

  1. jon abbey

    I’ve said it before, but it bears reiterating now that things are coming together. I see strong parallels between this year’s team and last year’s Dallas team:

    Chandler=Chandler
    Lin=Barea
    Smith=Terry
    Baron=Kidd

    so to me the answer as to “what is the ceiling for this year’s Knicks team?” lies with Melo (and Amare to a lesser extent). if Melo can somehow summon up the smart, quick decision-making and determination to win of Nowitzki, this team can maybe beat anyone (although MIA/OKC are still prohibitive favorites to me for the Finals).

  2. Gideon Zaga

    Feels like 1999 all over again but to me, it lies with Amare, our Ewing. Melo will be Melo and do what Melo does.

  3. ephus

    1. (a) Lin vs. Baron Davis split — I expect Lin to get about 30 minutes and Davis to get about 20 minutes per game (obviously, I expect some BD/Lin back courts). I expect that his rate stats will remain where they have been since he took over the starting role (the Miami game evens out a lot of really good games), except the TO rate should come down.

    (b) Landry Fields = Bobby Hansen. I think he will hold on to the starting SG role, even if he does not get the majority of the minutes. He has shown a knack for slashing to the basket and good rebounding skills. Bringing Shumpert and JR Smith off the bench seems to work.

    (c) Novak is like the girl with the curl. When he is good, he is really really good, and when he is bad, he is really really bad. Looking at his game logs, he is shooting .469 for 3pts on the season, but only rarely does he shoot around 50% in a game. Outide of the 5-10 performance against the Hawks, he has either shot well above 50%, or well below. He should average around 5 rebounds/48 minutes, with almost all of them coming off the defensive glass.

    Disaster: Missing the playoffs
    Double Bogey: Swept in the first round
    Bogey: Losing in the first round
    Par: Making the second round
    Birdie: Winning at least one game in the second round
    Eagle: Winning the second round
    Double Eagle: Winning the Eastern Conference
    Hole in One (on a par 5): Winning the Championship

  4. attgig

    1
    a)lin to baron: 70-75 vs 30-25.
    shooting % .585
    apg 7.9
    TOpg 3.5
    b) Fields. slumping. end the season on the bench.
    c) Novak TS%.704
    3p% .520
    Rebound: 6.5
    d) TD: yes. not with the knicks.
    e) yes.

    2. ceiling is winning it all. no quesiton. realistically though, they lose to the heat or bulls in eastern conference. I think they have the potential to beat one of them, but if they face both of them in back to back series, I don’t see them surviving. What has to happen? Lin developing more chemistry with the big 3, and Amare regaining form/explosiveness.

  5. Thomas B.

    Two things about this Knicks team vs. last year’s dallas team. Dallas had far more seasoned vets on the team than the Knicks have. Also, the Knicks have nothing like the offensive weapon of Dirk. Having said that, I still like the comparison. Davis played a very Kidd like game against the Cavs. Would you say Shumpert= Marion (backcourt version)? It would be nice to have one more very solid frontcourt defender/rebounder.

    If the offense can get to at least middle of the NBA (currently 22nd), and the defense can stay in the top 10 (Def RTG 99.8 that 5th in the NBA!), this could be a very dangerous team.

  6. Thomas B.

    a. Lin/Davis PG time split 65/25 ( At least 10% of the time Melo will bring up the ball and won’t let anyone else touch it).

    b. Landry is just tired and trying to find his spot. This week of practice will help him. He really is best as a slasher so he needs to find his cutting lanes in the new offense. What he a Shump need to do is spend time with Novak working on shooting drills.

    c. TS% .717 3fg% .508

    d. Toney Douglas will be a starting shooting guard in the NBA next year and play 36 minutes a game. Unfortunately, he will play for the Wizards therefore the minutes will not be meaningful.

  7. ephus

    Thomas B.: Toney Douglas will be a starting shooting guard in the NBA next year and play 36 minutes a game. Unfortunately, he will play for the Wizards therefore the minutes will not be meaningful.

    I wish I had come up with that one.

  8. xcat01

    As for the questions posed.

    JLin will average 30 mpg to BDiddy 18 mpg
    JLin will finish the season between 9 – 10 apg
    BDiddy will average between 5 – 7 apg
    JLin will average 2 – 3 TO/game
    BDiddy less than 1 TO/game

    Fields will finish the season as the starter but JR and Shump will both play more minutes than Fields.

    Novak will finish with a 45% 3pt%, don’t really care about his rebounds his job is as a gunner.

    As to the points about Novak being hot or cold on days when he is cold expect Jorts to play more. On days he is hot he will get more minutes. I expect that with 11 players that D’Antoni trusts he will just play the hot hand. That also make the Knicks a more dangerous team come playoff time because there is no one to scheme against. It becomes a pick your poison situation. Even if Melo has an off game, there is Novak and Smith to score for him. If Stat or Chandler is off, Jorts can pick up the slack. If JLin is getting shut down, well here comes Baron Davis. This team is very tough to play against and when the playoffs come no team will have an advantage of catching a team after previously playing 3 out of 4 nights. So I expect the Knicks in the second round and a big battle against either Miami or Chicago.

  9. Frank

    Interesting… Knicks beat writers talking Lin+Baron in the backcourt together at practice today.
    If that is something they are really going to try, I think Fields’s minutes get cut further. I’m just not sure what Fields gives you that other guys don’t to the point that he should get to play more. I think JR and Shumpert are better defensively. I think JR is a much better offensive player (and he hasn’t even started shooting well yet!) and is certainly considered a bigger threat by opposing defenses, which probably opens the floor more.

    Re: whether we are serious contenders this year – we will know in 4 weeks whether we are serious. Brutal schedule coming up – if we come out of this better than .500 and still have another month to build more chemistry, I think we will be dangerous. But I do think we need to get to the 6 seed or higher. Despite the presence of a fair amount of guys who have played deep into the playoffs, I’m not sure this team fully understands the intensity needed to compete with the Miamis and Chicagos. Would be nice to have an easier matchup in round 1 to build up to a showdown with one of those teams in round 2. I would MUCH rather play Chicago though.

  10. steveoh

    a) I see Jeremy and Baron splitting time around 60/40, with them playing together taking up some time too. I also think that, once playoff time comes around, that 60/40 might shift the other way. That Miami game (and Landry’s putrid playoff performance last year) illuminated that sometimes the playoff spotlight shines a little too bright, and I don’t think Pringles will be shy about using the seasoned vet a bit more as a stabilizing force.

    b) I don’t know where Landry fits. JR is instant offense (hopefully) and Iman is the lockdown guy. What does Landry bring to the mix? I think he actually fits better with the second team at the 3, where he’s not playing off a superstar like Melo and rather just playing within a flow. So I see his role with the backups as the 3.

    c) For Novak, I’ll leave that up to people much smarter than me. I just think it’s amazing the potential you can burst out of some players by putting them in a role where they can succeed. He’s such a weapon when on the floor with a point who can drive off the pick and roll. I know we ask this all the time about Jeremy Lin, but seriously, how did anyone not see this from Novak, considering this is his one and only skill?

    d) For some team, Toney will get minutes. But not here. We’re too stacked. (Did I just really type that last sentence?)

    e) I can’t see anyone beating Miami this year, assuming LeBron doesn’t turn into a mouse again in the playoffs. But if he does, why not? I think there’s enough here to believe that we can hang with Miami and Chicago. Beating them is another matter.

  11. Mulligan

    In terms of lucky breaks, it’d be interesting if the Celtics really do blow it up. If Milwaukee snuck into the 8th spot, they could really give the Heat fits. At the very worst, soften them up so that they’re tired deeper into the playoffs. That plus us knocking the 76er’s off the top of the Atlantic would potentially be huge.

  12. ruruland

    Owen, what kind of basketball were the Knicks playing without Melo and Amar’e?

    Not sure if you missed it but they scored 120 the other night. I’m sure you’re under the impression that they did that in spite of Melo’s 9/16 no turnover 4 assist performance, just as Jared Jeffries and Fields willed the Knicks to a near-game 2 victory in Boston last year.

    A true motion offense without Amar’e and Melo? LMAO. You’re level of vindicativiness towards these two is seriously clouding your reasoning (extending the benefit of the doubt).

    Fields was playing his best ball of the year just before Melo got injured (before Lin).

    The Knicks needed two flukes, essentially, to just scrape by Minnesota and Toronto. Their win against the Lakers was defense-fueled.

    The Knicks assist rate has gone up significantly with the return of Melo, Lin’s turnovers have gone down quite a bit since the return of both Melo and Amar’e……

  13. formido

    Or, more likely, with some actual practice time with the offense, with not having to initiate all offense and carry the team all the time, and not having to play Miami (playing some historically good basketball right now) every game, Lin’s TOs will come down and he will become even more efficient. Cf. Cleveland game, which, unless I’m missing something, was his most efficient game of the season? Seriously, people have been making these deprecating claims every…single…game. And he just keeps delivering.

    Moreover, people continue to discount both Lin’s competitiveness AND underrecognizing his IQ. IQ matters. Lin has already shown between this season and last that he has the ability to improve faster than other players. Ignore this at your predicting peril.

    Also, Baron Davis is not remotely on Lin’s level as far as competitiveness, another attribute which people pay lip service to but *still* underrate. I don’t know what Baron Davis other people are remembering, but he is not 2007-beating-the-Mavs-in-the-first-round Baron Davis. He is amazing-athleticism-and-skills-but-rarely-shows-up-and-consistently-underperforms Baron Davis. Perhaps Lin will push him or the incredible other talent on the Knicks will make him look good, but if he takes too many of Lin’s minutes or causes a PG controversy, it will *certainly* be bad for the Knick’s title chances.

  14. chrisk06811

    Here’s what I would love to see. vs the celts, lets see Mike D do his version of Sam Cassell’s “I have giant testicles” dance and start:

    Davis
    Shump
    Smith
    Novak
    Jeffries

    Do it for 1 game. send the message to amare, melo, fields. do it.

  15. Frank

    Let’s be honest – we have NO IDEA what to expect from Baron. We can talk as if we know how he’s going to play, but it’s all guessing as far as I’m concerned.

    Variables – age, fitness, new system, health of his back.
    He’s obviously older than he used to be but he looks to be in much better cardiovascular shape (at least visually-speaking) than he has been in the past. Who knows what to make of his back-

    And regardless of what some people think here, the system makes a difference. It made a difference for Nash, it made a difference for at least a while with Felton, and it clearly has made a difference with Lin.

    btw before the hysterical shouts of “Nash’s WS/48 stayed the SAME before and after the move to PHX” start – I would take the 4 seconds and look at the actual statistics. Here you go:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/n/nashst01.html

    Nash’s WS/48 in the 4 years prior to PHX was basically ~0.17 prior to PHX except for one year in which he had a career low TOV% and he broke the 0.2 mark. His assist rate was in the mid-high 30s. When he moved to PHX, he posted 3 straight seasons > 0.2 and he has led the league in ast% in 5 out of the 8 years he’s been there. the only reason his WS/48 weren’t even more through the roof in PHX is because his TOV% has increased significantly since he has become responsible for all the playmaking. So even though his WS/48 #s haven’t changed super-dramatically (I’d say a difference of 0.05 is a lot but I guess other people don’t), his game has changed significantly since entering the SSOL system.

    The system has made a difference. So let’s see what it does for Baron before we prejudge him based on what we arbitrarily (and with no evidence whatsoever) think of his competitiveness or smarts or health or whatever.

  16. Gideon Zaga

    Seriously to what end, see the reason why fans don’t coach teams. Smh

    chrisk06811:
    Here’s what I would love to see. vs the celts, lets see Mike D do his version of Sam Cassell’s “I have giant testicles” dance and start:

    Davis
    Shump
    Smith
    Novak
    Jeffries

    Do it for 1 game.send the message to amare, melo, fields.do it.

  17. ruruland

    Gideon Zaga:
    Seriously to what end, see the reason why fans don’t coach teams. Smh

    It’s funny, but for as well as the bench played in the that third quarter early to mid-fourth, they were actually a big reason the deficit ballooned to 17 in the second.

    The bench outscored Cleveland by 10
    Starters outscored Cleveland by 7.

    Melo was +12, Lin +13

    Let’s not forget, either, that the starters closed a 17 pt deficit to a 1 pt deficit in just about 7.5 minutes (from late second half to mid third quarter)

    The bench energy wasn’t exactly amazing in the first half. Everyone picked it up in the second half.

    The problems with the starters were dribble penetration allowed by Fields and Lin. Lack of help from Amar’e (a couple of instances where it was others), and shots not dropping.

  18. Gideon Zaga

    Man you’ve got to be kidding me, listen to yourself talking about Lin’s IQ. Son until a couple of games ago, u didn’t even know what Jeremy Lin was so stop talking about Last season. Sample size is still too small. And talking about underrated, seriously the guy still isn’t rated. I dunno man but personally I still think Baron is better than Lin and I would trust him more and better in crunch time.

    formido:

    Moreover, people continue to discount both Lin’s competitiveness AND underrecognizing his IQ. IQ matters. Lin has already shown between this season and last that he has the ability to improve faster than other players. Ignore this at your predicting peril.

    Also, Baron Davis is not remotely on Lin’s level as far as competitiveness, another attribute which people pay lip service to but *still* underrate.

  19. ruruland

    Frank:
    Let’s be honest – we have NO IDEA what to expect from Baron. We can talk as if we know how he’s going to play, but it’s all guessing as far as I’m concerned.

    Variables – age, fitness, new system, health of his back.
    He’s obviously older than he used to be but he looks to be in much better cardiovascular shape (at least visually-speaking) than he has been in the past.Who knows what to make of his back-

    And regardless of what some people think here, the system makes a difference. It made a difference for Nash, it made a difference for at least a while with Felton, and it clearly has made a difference with Lin.

    btw before the hysterical shouts of “Nash’s WS/48 stayed the SAME before and after the move to PHX” start – I would take the 4 seconds and look at the actual statistics. Here you go:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/n/nashst01.html

    The system has made a difference. So let’s see what it does for Baron before we prejudge him based on what we arbitrarily (and with no evidence whatsoever) think of his competitiveness or smarts or health or whatever.

    Yeah, was just referencing those improvements the other day.

    Baron’s always played better with less half-court structure. Always played better in up-tempo system with athletes. To me, his issues in terms of poor shot selection and over-shooting have always stemmed from over-playing. He has those bursts where he lives in the lane, but too often he settles for difficult shots because, I think, he doesn’t have a 35mpg motor.

    But he can be great in those 5-10 minute stretches. That’s why this situation is perfect for him in every way. Feeding off the great crowd is also a part of it.

  20. ruruland

    Gideon Zaga:
    Man you’ve got to be kidding me, listen to yourselftalking about Lin’s IQ. Son until a couple of games ago, u didn’t even know what Jeremy Lin was so stop talking about Last season. Sample size is still too small. And talking about underrated, seriously the guy still isn’t rated. I dunno man but personally I still think Baron is better than Lin and I would trust him more and better in crunch time.

    No way Baron starts. Makes no sense. But, I was going to add that Baron’s had more than just that one great playoff stretch. He’s raised his game each time he made the playoffs.

    He may not be capable of taking over playoff games anymore, but he can be an excellent player with the second unit (I think their skills sets and offense to defense is perfect for him)

  21. David Crockett

    jon abbey:
    I’ve said it before, but it bears reiterating now that things are coming together. I see strong parallels between this year’s team and last year’s Dallas team:

    Chandler=Chandler
    Lin=Barea
    Smith=Terry
    Baron=Kidd

    so to me the answer as to “what is the ceiling for this year’s Knicks team?” lies with Melo (and Amare to a lesser extent). if Melo can somehow summon up the smart, quick decision-making and determination to win of Nowitzki, this team can maybe beat anyone (although MIA/OKC are still prohibitive favorites to me for the Finals).

    Cowherd was running this line yesterday. I had to fight my reflexive urge to disagree with him. I can see it, but the parallels are a bit vague.

  22. David Crockett

    Thomas B.:

    d. Toney Douglas will be a starting shooting guard in the NBA next year and play 36 minutes a game. Unfortunately, he will play for the Wizards therefore the minutes will not be meaningful.

    Harsh man. Harsh. Poor DWTDD.

  23. Grymm

    Baron Davis is a .711 career FT shooter. That, to me, says he probably doesn’t have much of a jump shot. Then you look at his career stats and it bears out. I like Baron as a player – very talented, but I don’t expect him to be a better shooter than he has been over his career this year.

  24. max fisher-cohen

    (a) For Lin: Davis will play 17 MPG. Health and the fact that Lin is in NYK’s long term plans will play as much a part in this as anything.
    (b) For Fields: I could see Smith starting some games, but the bench scoring will suffer, and I think MDA would quickly go back to Fields as a starter even if he only plays 20 MPG. I don’t see him recovering the shooting touch this year. His shot is broken right now and he’ll have little time to fix it before summer.
    (c) For Novak: Novak is ridiculous. I see no reason why his 3pt % wouldn’t stay the same. Guys are looking for him. He doesn’t play enough minutes to lose his legs.
    (d) For Toney Douglas: Next year. The shoulder thing, if that’s the problem, seems like it will be chronic though, so I don’t see any long-lasting recovery coming.

    2) I think the Knicks would be swept in a matchup against the Heat. Against he Bulls, I could see a 6-7 game series and even the long shot possibility of an upset.

    Without roster changes, I can’t see NYK winning a title if they have to get through OKC or Miami because they both have really smart and quick interior defenders in Collison, Ibaka and Joel Anthony. These guys turned last year’s STAT into a crappy player and create real problems for penetrators like Anthony and Lin. The high usage guys on NY are turnover prone already, and with the middle closed off, they’ll have to make passes that they aren’t comfortable or used to making.

    Here’s the best reasonable case scenario starting five I can see for the Knicks:

    Lin as he is now with fewer turnovers
    Shumpert with a better jump shot
    Anthony with more of a focus of playing the screener/pick and pop and with slight improvements from three
    Harrellson with a money three point shot. I can’t see Stoudemire as our starter because he’s so redundant with Melo and Chandler and he’ll never be even a decent defender.
    Chandler as he is now.

    That’s a top 2 defense and an organized offense that has the potential to…

  25. Z

    c) Steve Novak prediction: TS% .558; 3pt% .401; RebRate 10.3

    (these were Shawne Williams’ numbers from last year, playing the exact same role. Like Novak, Williams came from the end of the bench to rain 3 pointers, only to regress by season’s end… Let’s see if Novak can keep it up a little longer!)

  26. xcat01

    @26, if Stat is not starting then best to trade him somewhere. It would too much of a distraction to the team. I don’t think Jorts is ready to start yet but I can see a time in a couple years where Jorts is the starting PF and playing the Laimbeer role for the Knicks. As for TD, I think the Knicks should do him a favor and trade him now, along with Walker so those guys can get some burn. Neither one is going to be getting off the bench unless major injuries occur

  27. Gideon Zaga

    You’re kidding right? until we know what will happen with Jr and Baron, no one is trading nobody. Fantasy games have ruined sports.

    xcat01:
    @26, if Stat is not starting then best to trade him somewhere.It would too much of a distraction to the team.I don’t think Jorts is ready to start yet but I can see a time in a couple years where Jorts is the starting PF and playing the Laimbeer role for the Knicks.As for TD, I think the Knicks should do him a favor and trade him now, along with Walker so those guys can get some burn.Neither one is going to be getting off the bench unless major injuries occur

  28. Frank

    Z:
    c) Steve Novak prediction: TS% .558; 3pt% .401; RebRate 10.3

    (these were Shawne Williams’ numbers from last year, playing the exact same role. Like Novak, Williams came from the end of the bench to rain 3 pointers, only to regress by season’s end… Let’s see if Novak can keep it up a little longer!)

    difference is that Williams was a total revelation as a shooter. His best 3 point shooting year was his rookie year at 36% and then he shot 31% and 5.9% from 3 the next two years, then was out of the NBA. He was only a 31% shooter from college 3.

    Novak in the last two years has shot 49.8% from 3 on 160 3 pointers and is a 43% career shooter from 3. He was a 46% shooter from 3 in college.

    I’m going to go with: TS 65%, 3P% 45%. Don’t care about his rebound rate since that’s not why he’s out there.

  29. Owen

    DC – To answer your above question, I see Lin finishing at around .150 for the season, solid but not elite….

    Novak – 62% ts% and an 8% rebound rate. I think strangely that Novak might be an underrated defender. He is a mediocre athlete but pretty long at 6’10 and I feel like he contests shots pretty effectively.

    I don’t think we make it out of the first round against Chicago, Miami, or Orlando.

    I think TD will still have an NBA career, but this year isn’t looking good for him.

  30. ruruland

    Owen:
    DC – To answer your above question, I see Lin finishing at around .150 for the season, solid but not elite….

    Novak – 62% ts% and an 8% rebound rate. I think strangely that Novak might be an underrated defender. He is a mediocre athlete but pretty long at 6’10 and I feel like he contests shots pretty effectively.

    I don’t think we make it out of the first round against Chicago, Miami, or Orlando.

    I think TD will still have an NBA career, but this year isn’t looking good for him.

    Orlando scares you know? Well, they do have superstar Ryan Andersen I suppose I understand.

  31. Grymm

    Lin: 33 min/game, 4 to, 16 pts, 9 assists, Baron 15 min/game
    I think you’ll see Baron and Lin in the game at the same time as often as you see Shump/Melo/TD/Bibby running the point. I hope that means a few blowouts, but I also don’t see why you would need 2 primary ball handlers on the court unless this also assumes Shumpert, Smith, and Melo are sitting. Lin has no experience as a spot up shooter but he may be ok at it. Baron is not a particularly good shooter.

    Fields: I don’t really see Fields as slumping or turning into a pumpkin. Somehow, his shot is completely broken. He needs to sit in a gym and shoot it 10,000 times to find his shot. All of his percentages are equivalent or improved from last year except his 3pt shot and foul shooting which are both now awful. Something has to be mechanically wrong. His 10-15ft shot is way up as is his 3-9. His shots at the rim and 16-23 are almost identical. He is averaging more assists with a better Ast/TO ratio and more steals. His def rebounding is down, but some of that might have to do with playing with a center who can actually rebound. I think he continues to start because he plays well without the ball. That doesn’t mean I think he’ll play more than Shump/Smith.

    Novak: His Def rebound rate is a pretty flat 11% for his career (as it is this year). I’d say that stays the same. His TS%/EFG% of 65% seems maintainable give his career numbers and role. If they try and play him 24min/game, I think it starts to drop off.

    TD: I could see him becoming someone’s poor man Jason Terry. He doesn’t get to the line much, doesn’t finish at the rim, doesn’t generate a lot of assists. He did, however, take pretty good care of the ball, get some steals, and hit the three. That’s a useful player.

  32. Juany8

    Ruruland, to be fair Ryan Anderson is the worst matchup for Amar’e in the league. If we’re also having to hope Fields is staying with his man, it’s going to be a long series.

  33. Owen

    And with their superstar Dwight Howard, yes, Orlando scares me now. Like they scared me before.

    And what’s wrong with Ryan Anderson? Does he not dribble the ball enough for your taste?

  34. ruruland

    Owen:
    And with their superstar Dwight Howard, yes, Orlando scares me now. Like they scared me before.

    And what’s wrong with Ryan Anderson? Does he not dribble the ball enough for your taste?

    Actually ,yeah. Look at how Orlando’s offense broke down last night when OKC turned up their ball pressure.

    They couldn’t get a shot up. Let’s say Anderson has a skill outside of making open corner threes. Say he can put the ball on the floor off a PnR and create a shot without a pass. That would obviously hurt his statistics, but it would really help his team.

    The vast majority of what Anderson gets is kick-outs out of over rotations and double-teams.
    Nice player, but one of the 10 best in basketball (WS/48) absolutely hilarious.

  35. ruruland

    Juany8:
    Ruruland, to be fair Ryan Anderson is the worst matchup for Amar’e in the league. If we’re also having to hope Fields is staying with his man, it’s going to be a long series.

    Yeah, but the Knicks have no problem guarding everyone else. Chandler is a really good match-up with Dwight.

    Amar’e struggles with a lot of different kinds of 4′s. At least Anderson (unlike a guy like Jamison) is completely one-dimensional.

    If Amar’e can simply force Anderson to put the ball on the floor…… I think he can do that.

  36. ruruland

    Juany8:
    Ruruland, to be fair Ryan Anderson is the worst matchup for Amar’e in the league. If we’re also having to hope Fields is staying with his man, it’s going to be a long series.

    In fact, I think Bosh and Boozer are significantly more challenging matchups for Amar’e.

  37. ruruland

    Owen, explain to me how Anderson has a WS/48 67 points higher than Dwight. Would you contest the notion that a great deal of Anderson’s success on both ends of the floor is a direct result of Howard’s presence?

  38. MSA

    ruruland: Yeah, but the Knicks have no problem guarding everyone else. Chandler is a really good match-up with Dwight.

    Amar’e struggles with a lot of different kinds of 4?s. At least Anderson (unlike a guy like Jamison) is completely one-dimensional.

    If Amar’e can simply force Anderson to put the ball on the floor…… I think he can do that.

    Anderson is a pretty good player.

    Half his points are 2 point shots. And he have a better OREB% than Dwight freaking Howard and is a good defender.

    I will trade Amare for him in a heartbeat.

    Just because he don’t have fancy moves doesn’t make him a one-dimensional player.

  39. ruruland

    MSA: Anderson is a pretty good player.

    Half his points are 2 point shots. And he have a better OREB% than Dwight freaking Howard and is a good defender.

    I will trade Amare for him in a heartbeat.

    Just because he don’t have fancy moves doesn’t make him a one-dimensional player.

    OMG

    Yes, I’ll grant you that he’s a decent rebounder. Though you have to wonder how many oboard opportunities arise from the most double-teamed center in basketball.

    I acknowledged he’s a decent player. But he’s been a detriment in the playoffs when teams start to crowd him. He has one offensive skill. And that has nothing to with “fancy dribbling”. Good lord. What’s the offensive efficiency of a team with five Ryan Andersons?

    He’s nowhere near as good of a player when Amar’e is healthy and at the right weight.

  40. ruruland

    MSA:
    Correction,

    Half of his shots are 2 point shots…

    Less than half. Closer to 40 % than 50 percent. He’s a 3pt shooter who gets the occasional put-back and inside 3pt jumper.

  41. MSA

    ruruland: OMG

    Yes, I’ll grant you that he’s a decent rebounder. Though you have to wonder how many oboard opportunities arise from the most double-teamed center in basketball.

    I acknowledged he’s a decent player. But he’s been a detriment in the playoffs when teams start to crowd him. He has one offensive skill. And that has nothing to with “fancy dribbling”. Good lord. What’s the offensive efficiency of a team with five Ryan Andersons?

    He’s nowhere near as good of a player when Amar’e is healthy and at the right weight.

    Can you imagine a team with five Shaqs in his prime?

    Thank god there is positions and roles in basketball.

    Amare is healthy and in his right weight. He’s just not playing well.

  42. Frank

    Orlando the team does not scare me as much as Mike Woodson the defensive coach. Last year we were stuck doubling DH12 every possession because we had Amare or Extra E guarding him. This year we have Tyson Chandler and we still doubled DH12 100x. Orlando’s entire offense is built around teams doubling Howard and yet we go ahead and oblige them anyway?

    (One of) the point(s) of having Tyson Chandler is so we don’t have to blow up our defense with switches and doubles and run-outs because of a mismatch at the center position. And yet we did that again and again in that first game. Mystifying.

    Would be interesting to see how Anderson would do if someone just told Amare or whoever to just face guard him. 37% of his offense comes on spot-ups which presumably are open because of action off of DH12 doubles. 14% of his offense is as the roll man (presumably pick-and-pop) but he is much less deadly in that role (0.9 PPP) than as a spot up shooter (1.22 PPP). But Orlando does very little in terms of a screen game to open him up (only 2% of his possessions) so face guarding might just work.

    Actually I’d love to see Shumpert guard him. Seems to me the best way to guard Anderson is to get in his grill and/or deny him the catch.

  43. ruruland

    MSA: Can you imagine a team with five Shaqs in his prime?

    Thank god there is positions and roles in basketball.

    Amare is healthy and in his right weight. He’s just not playing well.

    Amar’e is not at his right weight. I’m not getting into that.

    Yes, different roles. Players making certain kind of plays that allow one-dimensional power forwards to thrive. You’re on to something now.

  44. ruruland

    Frank:
    Orlando the team does not scare me as much as Mike Woodson the defensive coach.Last year we were stuck doubling DH12 every possession because we had Amare or Extra E guarding him.This year we have Tyson Chandler and we still doubled DH12 100x.Orlando’s entire offense is built around teams doubling Howard and yet we go ahead and oblige them anyway?

    (One of) the point(s) of having Tyson Chandler is so we don’t have to blow up our defense with switches and doubles and run-outs because of a mismatch at the center position.And yet we did that again and again in that first game. Mystifying.

    Would be interesting to see how Anderson would do if someone just told Amare or whoever to just face guard him.37% of his offense comes on spot-ups which presumably are open because of action off of DH12 doubles.14% of his offense is as the roll man (presumably pick-and-pop) but he is much less deadly in that role (0.9 PPP) than as a spot up shooter (1.22 PPP).But Orlando does very little in terms of a screen game to open him up (only 2% of his possessions) so face guarding might just work.

    Actually I’d love to see Shumpert guard him. Seems to me the best way to guard Anderson is to get in his grill and/or deny him the catch.

    Thanks for confirming with the numbers.

    If you don’t double Howard I can see a great deal of Knicks players being able to shut Anderson down.

  45. MSA

    ruruland: Amar’e is not at his right weight. I’m not getting into that.

    Yes, different roles.Players making certain kind of plays that allow one-dimensional power forwards to thrive. You’re on to something now.

    So, according to your argument, Reggie Miller is a role player who only thrive because Mark Jackson assisted him properly? I can’t remember him dribbling the ball once.

  46. ephus

    ruruland: In fact, I think Bosh and Boozer are significantly more challenging matchups for Amar’e

    Actually, the Knicks were lining up Chandler on Bosh, not Amar’e. I think that makes sense, since Miami gets virtually no offense out of the 5. The problem was that Chandler did not do a good job of keeping Bosh off of the offensive glass, particularly in the 4th quarter.

  47. ruruland

    MSA: So, according to your argument, Reggie Miller is a role player who only thrive because Mark Jackson assisted him properly? I can’t remember him dribbling the ball once.

    Miller is a bad comparison. He was much more than just a spot-up shooter. He was arguably the greatest off-screen shooter in history. If you overplayed him he could drive and finish or he could use an assortment of dribble pull-up shots from anywhere inside the 3pt line. He could also pass. Anderson barely averages an assist per game, which is quite astonishing for a guy getting over 30 mpg surrounded by good shooters and one of the best finishers in history, on a team devoid of a playmaking guard.

    Anderson is as one-dimensional as you can get.

    However, he has a .255 WS/48 which considerably higher than Howard, Steve Nash, and far exceeds any of Miller’s best WS/48 seasons. It’s a number that’s better than most of the top 40-50 players of all-time ever had.

    What does that tell you about WS/48?

  48. ruruland

    ephus: Actually, the Knicks were lining up Chandler on Bosh, not Amar’e.I think that makes sense, since Miami gets virtually no offense out of the 5.The problem was that Chandler did not do a good job of keeping Bosh off of the offensive glass, particularly in the 4th quarter.

    I know they were. That would likely change in a playoff series.

    Chandler struggled keeping Bosh off his left, contesting his shots, etc.

    Amar’e would have a lot of issues as well but at least it keeps Chandler in the paint, as you alluded to.

  49. Gideon Zaga

    Yeah Chandler definitely forgot the scouting report, Amare actually did a better job the few times he was on him.

    ruruland: I know they were. That would likely change in a playoff series.

    Chandler struggled keeping Bosh off his left, contesting his shots, etc.

    Amar’e would have a lot of issues as well but at least it keeps Chandler in the paint, as you alluded to.

  50. ephus

    Nice analysis by Sebastian Pruti on ‘Melo’s offense since his return:

    http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/19003/can-carmelo-and-jeremy-lin-co-exist

    His prescription is more post-ups for ‘Melo. He warns that ‘Melo is not a good catch-and-shoot player. The one play that I do not see analyzed is ‘Melo on the pick and pop. Maybe it has not happened enough to give a sample size, but I recall at least one time that ‘Melo looked great shooting the 16 foot jumper on the pick and pop.

  51. Owen

    “Owen, explain to me how Anderson has a WS/48 67 points higher than Dwight. Would you contest the notion that a great deal of Anderson’s success on both ends of the floor is a direct result of Howard’s presence?”

    As Neil Paine pointed out recently, Anderson was through the All Star Break having the best season ever by a player of his profile, i.e. perimeter specialist. The BEST SEASON EVER. And by a pretty decent margin.

    There are a thousands of players who have filled the role Anderson is filling right now playing next to superstars of Howard’s caliber since the inception of the three point line. Guys who played with Shaq, Magic, Duncan, Olajuwon, kobe, Nash, Dirk etc etc etc. There are a handful of guys who have been really good at it. And he is doing it better than anyone EVER has.

    And yet Dwight Howard still has more Wins Produced than him this year.

    Do I think Ryan Anderson is having a spectacular season? Yes. Should he have been an All-star? Yes. Has he been a million times better than Melo this year? For sure.

    Will his next 1000 minutes be as productive as the first 1000 minutes? I doubt it. The most likely answer to why Ryan Anderson has been so amazing this year is just luck. He’ll probably regress from being the best perimeter specialist of all time to just really good. Look at Dorell Wright last year and this year. Shooting threes is a high variance business.

    Instead of knocking down stat-crows all the time you should really go get a 19.99 pass to Basketball Prospectus and read that article along with everything else in their archives. that will give you a good idea of what the people who really understand advanced statistics think so you can calibrate your posts.

    It’s always good to understand what you are attacking before you attack it, you know?

  52. Gideon Zaga

    Melo is good midrange and also good catch and shoot. He did it so many times last year, I think his progression back to what he was is gradual. He was quite a beast before injury. Wake me up after 5 games.

    ephus:
    Nice analysis by Sebastian Pruti on ‘Melo’s offense since his return:

    http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/19003/can-carmelo-and-jeremy-lin-co-exist

    His prescription is more post-ups for ‘Melo.He warns that ‘Melo is not a good catch-and-shoot player.The one play that I do not see analyzed is ‘Melo on the pick and pop.Maybe it has not happened enough to give a sample size, but I recall at least one time that ‘Melo looked great shooting the 16 foot jumper on the pick and pop.

  53. Gideon Zaga

    Always looking to take a cheap shot at Melo even when the argument has nothing to do with him. You’re consistent, I’ll give you that.

    Owen:
    “Owen, explain to me how Anderson has a WS/48 67 points higher than Dwight. Would you contest the notion that a great deal of Anderson’s success on both ends of the floor is a direct result of Howard’s presence?”

    As Neil Paine pointed out recently, Anderson was through the All Star Break having the best season ever by a player of his profile, i.e. perimeter specialist.The BEST SEASON EVER. And by a pretty decent margin.

    There are a thousands of players who have filled the role Anderson is filling right now playing next to superstars of Howard’s caliber since the inception of the three point line. Guys who played with Shaq, Magic, Duncan, Olajuwon, kobe, Nash, Dirk etc etc etc. There are a handful of guys who have been really good at it.And he is doing it better than anyone EVER has.

    And yet Dwight Howard still has more Wins Produced than him this year.

    Do I think Ryan Anderson is having a spectacular season? Yes. Should he have been an All-star? Yes. Has he been a million times better than Melo this year? For sure.

    Will his next 1000 minutes be as productive as the first 1000 minutes?I doubt it. The most likely answer to why Ryan Anderson has been so amazing this year is just luck. He’ll probably regress from being the best perimeter specialist of all time to just really good.Look at Dorell Wright last year and this year. Shooting threes is a high variance business.

    Instead of knocking down stat-crows all the time you should really go get a 19.99 pass to Basketball Prospectus and read that article along with everything else in their archives. that will give you a good idea of what the people who really understand advanced statistics think so you can calibrate your posts.

    It’s always good to understand what you are…

  54. MSA

    ruruland: Miller is a bad comparison. He was much more than just a spot-up shooter. He was arguably the greatest off-screen shooter in history. If you overplayed him he could drive and finish or he could use an assortment of dribble pull-up shots from anywhere inside the 3pt line. He could also pass. Andersonbarely averages an assist per game, which is quite astonishing for a guy getting over 30 mpg surrounded by good shooters and one of the best finishers in history, on a team devoid of a playmaking guard.

    Anderson is as one-dimensional as you can get.

    However, he has a .255 WS/48which considerably higher than Howard, Steve Nash, and far exceeds any of Miller’s best WS/48 seasons.It’s a number that’s better than most of the top 40-50 players of all-time ever had.

    What does that tell you about WS/48?

    It tells me that Anderson in this particular season and with the minutes alocated for him has been more productive than howard.

    Overall howard have more “wins generated” in total numbers, so he’s still the focal point of Orlando success.

    And for a player that have a USG of 21.4, saying that he only lives in the scraps of howard it’s a little bit unfair.

    You can argue that THIS IS the play the want. Ball to howard-double team-kick to Anderson. The same way that the screens were designed to Miller shoot.

  55. ruruland

    ephus:
    Nice analysis by Sebastian Pruti on ‘Melo’s offense since his return:

    http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/19003/can-carmelo-and-jeremy-lin-co-exist

    His prescription is more post-ups for ‘Melo.He warns that ‘Melo is not a good catch-and-shoot player.The one play that I do not see analyzed is ‘Melo on the pick and pop.Maybe it has not happened enough to give a sample size, but I recall at least one time that ‘Melo looked great shooting the 16 foot jumper on the pick and pop.

    Way too small of samples. The analysis that Melo can’t be an effective catch-and-shoot player flies in the face of his ability to make shots with a man draped all over him. He has the same finish to each of his shots. Melo’s rarely been a catch-and-shoot player. It’s a different kind rhythm. It just takes reps.

    Also, no analysis of the weakside drives.

  56. ruruland

    Owen:

    There are a thousands of players who have filled the role Anderson is filling right now playing next to superstars of Howard’s caliber since the inception of the three point line. Guys who played with Shaq, Magic, Duncan, Olajuwon, kobe, Nash, Dirk etc etc etc. There are a handful of guys who have been really good at it.And he is doing it better than anyone EVER has.

    And yet Dwight Howard still has more Wins Produced than him this year.

    Do I think Ryan Anderson is having a spectacular season? Yes. Should he have been an All-star? Yes. Has he been a million times better than Melo this year? For sure.

    Instead of knocking down stat-crows all the time you should really go get a 19.99 pass to Basketball Prospectus and read that article along with everything else in their archives. that will give you a good idea of what the people who really understand advanced statistics think so you can calibrate your posts.

    It’s always good to understand what you are attacking before you attack it, you know?

    That was just a long-winded way of saying Anderson is shooting lights out as a spot-up shooter. It really addresses nothing.

    I would agree that Anderson is having a great season in the very limited role he has. Usage simply indicates that he’s Orlando’s go-to shooter when the ball is swung. Guys in the corner are often the last place the ball gets swung to against the rotation.

    So, if the answer is simply repeating what was phrased in my question, I’m not sure it’s worth $20 bucks a month.

    If I’m to arrive at the conclusion that the value of Anderson’s minutes exceeds the value of Howard’s minutes, I think it greatly diminishes the value of the stat itself. Because that’s a totally laughable conclusion.

    Juany has explained that quite a few times.

  57. Frank

    This is and forever will be the problem with individual stats in a team sport. No one player plays in a vacuum. The best players carry their greatness with them from team to team whereas the pretenders only look great when the other team is occupied with someone else or when they are in a specific situation. Seriously, if you look at any player on the Cavs, their advanced, traditional, etc. stats all cratered after Lebron left, whereas guys like James Jones suddenly became the greatest 3 point shooters in the world after the big 3 started playing for Miami.

    Most guys in this league do a bunch of things ok, one thing very well, and a few things badly. When they are forced to do things they are not comfortable with, they suffer (see: Toney Douglas). When they are allowed to forget about everything else and do the one or two things they’re really good at, they look awesome (see: Steve Novak).

    Well, we may have the answer to the Ryan Anderson question very soon. If DH12 gets traded and Anderson’s numbers crash, we’ll pretty much know that his “greatest season ever for a perimeter player” was probably mostly due to the fortune of playing next to an actual superstar.

    Yet another reason that all-in-one stats for player evaluation sometimes interesting but often misleading. The players are all dependent on each other and on the system they are playing in.

  58. ruruland

    MSA: It tells me that Anderson in this particular season and with the minutes alocated for him has been more productive than howard.

    Overall howard have more “wins generated” in total numbers, so he’s still the focal point of Orlando success.

    And for a player that have a USG of 21.4, saying that he only lives in the scraps of howard it’s a little bit unfair.

    You can argue that THIS IS the play the want. Ball to howard-double team-kick to Anderson. The same way that the screens were designed to Miller shoot.

    But most teams can set good enough screens to give Miller a large enough window to shoot.

    No one else in the NBA has a center creating double teams five feet from the basket almost every time down the floor.

    Moreover, when teams start to ball-pressure Orlando’s average ballhandlers, forcing them to penetrate and disallowing entry passes, Anderson is virtually useless.

    So, yes, what you CAN DO is incredibly important and has a great bearing on who ends the play (even if you aren’t doing it). Unfortunately, there aren’t any stats that punish a player for what he can’t do.

    Does Chandler have a net positive effect on the Knicks offense?

    The Knicks are almost 3 points better with him on offense when he’s on the bench.

    Shouldn’t a player with astronomically high offensive rating have a greater impact on the offense when he’s in the game? Does that say something about all of the limitations in Chandler’s game?

    Isn’t there a lot of value for guys who are multi-dimensional threats, even if it ends up with that player taking less efficient shots, that the stats aren’t picking up?

  59. ruruland

    Frank:
    This is and forever will be the problem with individual stats in a team sport. No one player plays in a vacuum. The best players carry their greatness with them from team to team whereas the pretenders only look great when the other team is occupied with someone else or when they are in a specific situation.

    Yet another reason that all-in-one stats for player evaluation sometimes interesting but often misleading.The players are all dependent on each other and on the system they are playing in.

    I agree totally. But I’m going deeper and saying that the things a player cannot do, the abilities he does not have, diminishes the effectiveness of other players on the floor.

    Something that no stat can really capture.

    Given that Anderson is useless with the ball in his hands in a non-spot up situation means that someone else on the floor is going to take the less efficient opportunity.

    If Anderson was a threat to score off the dribble, he would find himself with the ball in his hands a lot more. This would end up hurting his efficiency, but by default it would help his team because it puts other players on the floor in better position to execute a more efficient play in those circumstances.

    For example, in the 4th quarter last night when OKC started to ratchet up their defense, Orlando had two stationary players on the floor who could not help the offense generate a decent opportunity– Anderson and Howard.

    Now, it’s not just that the offense becomes more limited because of Anderson’s limitations, it’s that he’s not even going to be given a chance to take a more difficult shot. the other 3 guys on the floor are left with the tally at the end of a difficult possession.

  60. ruruland

    It’s (Anderson) akin a to a baseball hitter being subbed for every high-leverage 2-0 and 3-1 count, coming in for the guy who’s the real threat (who the pitcher pitches around) who creates that high-leverage count.

    A lot of the time it means the defense is going to give him a meatball, (not sending the rotation allowing the open 3) or he gets a pass (if the gets the ball and the defense rotates, he simply makes the pass to the next guy.

  61. Owen

    “That was just a long-winded way of saying Anderson is shooting lights out as a spot-up shooter. It really addresses nothing.”

    Seriously? Nothing? The fact that Anderson is having the best season EVER by a perimeter specialist is a throwaway?

    Look, Ruruland, you seem really eager to fill a role too, which is the gadfly telling all the people on this blog who like advanced statistics that they don’t really know what they are talking about. And you are doing a GREAT job at it. Not Ryan Anderson level great maybe, but you are definitely putting together a fine body of work.

    Just to be clear though, you don’t understand advanced statistics. You really have no idea what you exactly it is you are attacking.

    And as you made clear, you have no interest in learning more.

    So by your own admission, you are that guy who is attacking something he doesn’t understand while making no effort to understand it.

    Either that or you are a missionary to the heathens doing the Lord’s good work trying to save us from our heretical beliefs.

    Alright, time to actually get out of my mother’s basement and go watch some real college basketball, like not on a spreadsheet….

  62. ruruland

    Owen:

    Look, Ruruland, you seem really eager to fill a role too, which is the gadfly telling all the people on this blog who like advanced statistics that they don’t really know what they are talking about. And you are doing a GREAT job at it. Not Ryan Anderson level great maybe, but you are definitely putting together a fine body of work.

    Just to be clear though, you don’t understand advanced statistics. You really have no idea what you exactly it is you are attacking.

    And as you made clear, you have no interest in learning more.

    So by your own admission, you are that guy who is attacking something he doesn’t understand while making no effort to understand it.

    Either that or you are a missionary to the heathens doing the Lord’s good work trying to save us from our heretical beliefs.

    Alright, time to actually get out of my mother’s basement and go watch some real college basketball, like not on a spreadsheet….

    What am I missing? What don’t I understand? My question was intentionally posed in a way for you or any other wonk to elucidate on why Anderson should be considered a more valuable player than Dwight Howard on a per minute basis.

    It was a great opportunity for you to explain for us noobs why the WS/48 stat is the end-all be-all in determining a players value.

    I acknowledged that Anderson was having an amazing year shooting the ball. My question was why does that skill, his only discernible one, make him a better player than Dwight?

    If advanced stats are meant to help one understand the game, and if WS/48 is the foundation of of which all advanced stats are essentially derivative to, this would seem to require an elementary response. But it doesn’t seem to be as innocuous as I thought.

  63. Z

    Owen didn’t say Anderson was better than Dwight Howard. You looked at some stat and interpreted it as saying that Anderson was better than Dwight Howard, then attributed it to Owen.

    What Owen said was that Anderson was “a million times better than Melo”… something I’m frankly surprised you didn’t spend 1000 words lambasting him for.

  64. ruruland

    Z:
    Owen didn’t say Anderson was better than Dwight Howard. You looked at some stat and interpreted it as saying that Anderson was better than Dwight Howard, then attributed it to Owen.

    What Owen said was that Anderson was “a million times better than Melo”… something I’m frankly surprised you didn’t spend 1000 words lambasting him for.

    So I’m the one interpreting WS/48 as an absolute measure of a player’s value?

    Don’t you think that was what I was trying to get it?

    Owen’s already run down a list of about 20 teams full of guys better than Melo.

  65. Frank

    I hesitate to even get involved in this argument but I think what ruruland is NOT saying is that advanced stats have no place. I think what he IS saying is that he’s not convinced that the all-in-one stats are really that “advanced” and that they have lots of weaknesses. If I might quote one Jim Cavan- this is something I wholeheartedly believe in:

    Cavan: Ten years from now, it may very well be that things like PER, WS48 and the like will have become more trusted and accepted by the mainstream public. But it’s also true that today’s groundbreaking metrics will become tomorrow’s points per game.

    I think many of us are very dissatisfied with the currently publicly available “advanced” stats, which is the same way guys like Dean Oliver, the BP guys, Mike K etc felt about points per game however many yrs ago when this current more stat based analysis began.

    I would be very interested to hear what Jim Cavan thinks about this topic after he returns from Sloan. We are talking grade school stats most of the time on this blog, and he is at a conference which presumably is far more advanced, using video technology, multivariable analysis etc to increase the granularity and decrease the obvious confounders in the stats they we lay people use.

  66. Juany8

    Ruruland has the right idea about roles, when you build a team you’re not trying to find a center, a point guard, etc. you’re looking to find a paint protector, players who can handle the ball and run a pick and roll, players who can play off the ball and shoot open shots, players who can consistently attack any defense. Basketball isn’t about filling out positions, it’s about filling roles defined by skill sets. Do centers tend to be the best rim protectors and point guards the best ball handlers? Sure, but if you have someone like Lebron you don’t need to fill that role from your point guard.

    What all in one metrics miss is that a player’s role has a value regardless of his efficiency in accomplishing it. Chandler has a very small offensive role, so even if he made every single shot he took, you couldn’t run an offense around him taking shots, and therefore he has a cap to his total offensive value. Same with Anderson. He can make all the open jumpers he wants, it still requires him to be open, which means the defense has to willfully decide that they don’t consider guarding Anderson a big priority. That has limited value, regardless of how good he is at filling that role.

  67. ruruland

    Frank:
    I hesitate to even get involved in this argument but I think what ruruland is NOT saying is that advanced stats have no place. I think what he IS saying is that he’s not convinced that the all-in-one stats are really that “advanced” and that they have lots of weaknesses.

    That’s it.

  68. ruruland

    Juany8:
    Ruruland has the right idea about roles, when you build a team you’re not trying to find a center, a point guard, etc. you’re looking to find a paint protector, players who can handle the ball and run a pick and roll, players who can play off the ball and shoot open shots, players who can consistently attack any defense. Basketball isn’t about filling out positions, it’s about filling roles defined by skill sets. Do centers tend to be the best rim protectors and point guards the best ball handlers? Sure, but if you have someone like Lebron you don’t need to fill that role from your point guard.

    What all in one metrics miss is that a player’s role has a value regardless of his efficiency in accomplishing it. Chandler has a very small offensive role, so even if he made every single shot he took, you couldn’t run an offense around him taking shots, and therefore he has a cap to his total offensive value. Same with Anderson. He can make all the open jumpers he wants, it still requires him to be open, which means the defense has to willfully decide that they don’t consider guarding Anderson a big priority. That has limited value, regardless of how good he is at filling that role.

    Was searching for the eloquence. Thanks.

  69. daJudge

    David, such cool questions. Stats are hard for me, but I will give it a shot:

    1. After about a month, if Baron continues to improve health wise, 55 Lin /45 BD, in part because of Baron’s stout D, intelligence and experience. Lin is awesome and the team will play them together at times, which should be fun. Lob City. They will be both playing lots of minutes. IMO, the amount depends on Baron mostly. In the playoffs, I expect to BD play a bit more than Lin at the 1.
    TS%–57%
    Assists—-10
    TO’s—-2.5
    BTW, dudes—How great would this be?

    2. Fields—Definitely not starting. There are two better combo guards/small forwards on the team right now. Look, JR has mad offensive skills/plays good D and Shump is already one of the best lock downs in the NBA. I love him. No one wants to play against him. Wait till he learns to draw a charge. Also, in contrast to some defensive specialists, he has the ability to score. Again, he reminds me of a young Sugar Ray Richardson, w/o the cocaine nose. Fields will however thrive off the bench with the right mix and will not have a hissy over it. Dude is centered. Caveat—if Field’s three point shot returns (it will not), I reserve the right to amend.
    c. Novak–46% from 3. His D is underrated. Love son’s of coaches.
    d. TD–I don’t know whether it’s a physical injury of serious psych issue like Marvin Webster. If it’s physical and he get’s better, of course he will play significant minutes (15-20) for another team as a 2. If it’s psychological, he will muddle through like the rest of us. I wish him only the best. If you observe his behavior on the bench, he seems in tune. We should all pull for the guy.

    No ceiling on this team. They can beat any team in the league, including Miami. The offense will improve and the D is really starting to look good. Stat is a huge issue if the staff thinks he must start no matter what. I would sit him if he doesn’t improve. Plain and simple.

  70. Juany8

    Oh and for anyone who’s dead set on refusing to accept that players affect each other, here’s an interesting paper from the Sloan Conference about player synergies. Notice they at least try to take into account offense and defense, and consider ball handling a skill. They’re on the right track even if the stat ultimately doesn’t pan out. The math is a little complex, but at least the statistically inclined (Owen, THCJ) should be able to get through it.

    http://www.sloansportsconference.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/MMS1-NBA-Chemistry.pdf

  71. Owen

    “you couldn’t run an offense around him taking shots”

    Is that how we should evaluate a basketball player? Am I really the myopic one here? Is that the litmus test we should employ in comparing Ryan Anderson to Carmelo Anthony?

    Ok sure, Chris Paul and Steve Nash are duking it out, so that sounds good..

    For the record, I agree with Jim. I don’t think what we have is perfect. And I do think we will find better methods. But somehow I don’t feel Ruru and Juan are going to be the tip of the spear in that regard….

  72. Owen

    Also, just to yes, cherrypick from that paper you posted Juan…..

    “The SPM ratings suggest that the Nuggets benefited more from the trade. Danilo Gallinari has a higher overall
    rating than Carmelo Anthony, while Raymond Felton and Chauncey Billups have similar overall ratings. While it is
    debatable whether Gallinari is actually better than Anthony, both teams’ synergies interestingly improve with the
    trade.”

  73. Juany8

    I guess I should expect someone who reduces an entire sports league to a single math formula to ignore most of my point. You can fight it all you want Owen, but the NBA is never going to value players entirely around how high their shooting percentage is. Front offices and coaches are responsible for understanding how those shots occur and how they can be recreated, and the final result only shows a fraction of what occurred.

    You’re right, I’m not going to be at the forefront of any statistical revolution, partly because there isn’t going to be one of the magnitude that you’re hoping for (there will never be a valid all in one stat for evaluating every NBA players equally), but also because there are very intelligent people who dedicate significant amounts of time to groundbreaking research, and a lot of those people have nice jobs at NBA front offices. I’d love to work for the NBA, but I like my prospects in oil companies so I’ll leave the fantasy basketball to the pros lol.

  74. Owen

    And another conclusion, that it would have been mutually beneficial to trade Ryan Gomes for Amare Stoudemire, discussed by Kevin Arnovitz, from an interview he did with the author of the paper..

    “I asked Shen whether, as a scientist, he was genuinely happy to see the system produce such a novel result or was it frustrating because it might undermine the credibility of the study.

    “Amare Stoudemire’s reputation is so much better than Ryan Gomes’, so the first reaction is ‘Can that be right?’ Shen says. “But I’d be dishonest with myself if I rigged the system so it doesn’t spit that out. For what it’s worth, Amare Stoudemire’s ratings are not very high. He’s rated very close to Ryan Gomes [between 2006-2010]. They have very different skill sets, and the system predicts they would’ve been a good trading fit. So, I guess, I find it interesting and thought-provoking that the system would generate a trade like that. But on the surface, of course, everyone thinks Stoudemire is better and that would never happen in real life. But I hope it stimulates some good discussion.”

  75. jon abbey

    Owen:
    Also, just to yes, cherrypick from that paper you posted Juan…..

    “The SPM ratings suggest that the Nuggets benefited more from the trade.Danilo Gallinari has a higher overall
    rating than Carmelo Anthony, while Raymond Felton and Chauncey Billups have similar overall ratings.While it is
    debatable whether Gallinari is actually better than Anthony, both teams’ synergies interestingly improve with the
    trade.”

    this sounds like it was based on just the end part of last year, so to me not especially relevant. Felton and Billups aren’t in the picture anymore, and somehow NY is as deep as a healthy Denver team.

    Owen, I have a question for you. why do you think Melo is out there at the end of the All-Star Game still if he’s as average as the stats say, and a candidate to take the final shot in a game like that? why does Charles Barkley still insist he’s the best offensive player in the league (he said this in the last couple of weeks)? it can’t be pure reputation, in a sport where the very top players are thoroughly aware of how they fare against each other, why do the other top players respect Melo so much?

    genuine questions, from someone whose opinion of Melo is in between yours and ruruland’s.

  76. Juany8

    That’s obviously very small sample, I just wanted to point out that people are already looking at new and more innovative ways to look at the game. I don’t agree with all of their findings, and I find it hilarious that a professed statistician is cherry picking a few individual results based on a season’s worth of data to try to make a point.

    In terms of the paper itself, it’s most interesting idea to me was trying to put a value on the different ways a play can start. Starting an offensive play from a steal at the 3 point line generally leads to easy points, which means that the steal had offensive value in and of itself. I’ve wondered why no one thought to consider this before, although reducing a player’s ball handling to how well he avoids turnovers seems somewhat questionable to me, especially since they don’t take passing into account.

  77. Owen

    “That’s obviously very small sample, I just wanted to point out that people are already looking at new and more innovative ways to look at the game. I don’t agree with all of their findings, and I find it hilarious that a professed statistician is cherry picking a few individual results based on a season’s worth of data to try to make a point.”

    “We acknowledge Berri and Schmidt’s criticism and therefore use data from four NBA seasons (2006-2007 through
    2009-2010) to achieve better estimates for player skills. While Fearnhead and Taylor [8] allow their APM ratings to
    be time-varying, we estimate one rating for all four years.”

    My choice for interesting tidbit would be this….

    “Offensive ballhandling (preventing turnovers) has negative synergies with itself (-0.825) because a lineup with one great ballhandler does not need another.”

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