Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Computers vs. Scouts, Updated

Erich Doerr and John Hollinger have each published new analyses, looking at the 2008 draft from a purely statistical standpoint.  Doerr’s piece at DraftExpress nicely summarizes some of his previous work, for a new audience.  He’s extremely cautious. The article is not, strictly speaking, a ranking system. Doerr uses his ratings to give essentially a thumbs up/thumbs down (or at least a caution) for each of the high-profile players. 

Of note: Don’t get too excited about any of the guards… don’t sleep on Mareese Speights. 

Hollinger, unlike Doerr, thinks he has it nailed.  He’s also totally revamped his method since last year. He’s now done – he says – a regression analysis, rather than an ad-hoc mix-and-match method. He’s devised two different systems, one for bigs and one for other players. Today he writes about the Big Men (Insider is free this week). For bigs,

    “The formula considers 16 variables: height, age, schedule strength, team strength, and the usual individual stats (assist ratio, turnover ratio, usage rate, pure point rating, defensive rebound rate, FTA/FGA, 3A/FGA, PER, blocks per minute, steals per minute, field-goal percentage and 3-point percentage). Note that two variables — offensive rebound rate and free-throw percentage — didn’t make the cut as they were found to be almost completely irrelevant in determining pro success for big men. Also, testing showed that looking at multiple seasons improved accuracy quite a bit. As a result, all of a player’s seasons count on his record.”

Of note: Michael Beasley rates as the best big-man prospect since he started calculating in 2002. (Personally, I think there’s a good chance anyone taking Rose at #1 feels silly in a few years)… Mama Lopez will be disappointed…. Mareese Speights looks good here, too…. and Anthony Randolph — wow. I think this might be a little harsh, since he’s so young and so skinny he has a lot of room for improvement, but this is as damning a projection as you can find.

And here’s the smackdown: Hollinger’s numbers suggest that Joey Dorsey will struggle to have an NBA career at all. Doerr thinks Dorsey looks like a big-time player. 

17 comments on “Computers vs. Scouts, Updated

  1. Dave

    I’m really disappointed that D’Antoni kept Herb Williams around. Herb is fantastic and a loyal servant to the club but … I thought the players needed a clean break and that all the coaching staff should have gone. No daily memories of yesteryear. Clean break. Ah well.

  2. GiantsKnickFan420

    I think keeping Herb is a good move, hes been here for a while, has had success here as a player, knows these players better than anyone currently at play over there and hopefully can provide some meaningful insight on some of the current players in hope of gettting them to perform better.
    Draft is gettin closer, im anxious cause im hoping Walsh can hijack the draft and trade away contracts and still grab a decent pick, BUT my gut is telling me that absolutely nothing will happen and we’ll be stuck at 6 with everyone on our current roster and will chose either (Bayless,Mayo,Westbrook,Agustin) with DeAndre Jordan being the wild card, hes easily the drafts best pure athelete considering his 7 feet frame, but hes very raw..

  3. Ess-dog

    Doerr seems to heavily favor big men in his statistics. I can’t imagine that every combo guard in this draft will be a bust! But it’s worth thinking about further. What about the idea drafting a Love or a Speights and teaming them with Lee for a small, fast front-court? I doubt Love will fall to us and we’d have to trade down to get Speights. We are in the perfect spot for a draft-day trade though…

  4. hoopinion

    Ess-dog–

    Doerr favors big men because they get most of the rebounds, and, as Berri discovered, rebounds are the greatest thing ever.

    That complaint aside, I much prefer the voice of Doerr’s piece.

  5. jon abbey

    yeah, it’s amazing. what I’m hoping is that Donaghy responds by really opening the vaults and going public with absolutely everything he knows, or even suspects.

  6. Erich

    Thank you for the coverage and comments.

    I do appreciate Hollinger’s work and eagerly look forward to his article on guards.

    Looking at position adjusted win score (PAWS) does filter a lot of college bigs to the top of the list, though guards appearing high should be well noted. Chris Paul, Rajon Rondo, and Brandon Roy all ranked very highly in past years.
    This year, the best WS guards appear to be going back to school (Hudson, Curry) or projected out of the first round (Hill, Lofton). Rose’s splits indicate he can be amazingly good, though there just isn’t enough data to say that with authority.

    Re: Rebounds & Win Score
    One of the statistical gripes on Win Score was that “regression analysis just doesn’t work for player evaluation”. Now I don’t think that was voiced by Hollinger, but I did smile to see Hollinger going full-out regression analysis on this one.

  7. Italian Stallion

    I’m surprised there hasn’t been much discussion on this:

    http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=9157

    “The final pick in the lottery belongs to the Golden State Warriors, and this pick is also very much in play. The Warriors have some interesting options since the team holds a $9.9 million trade exception. What this means is the club can acquire a high salary player in return for just the 14th pick by simply using the aforementioned trade exception to match salary. Even more intriguing is the fact the exception expires on June 30th, which means the draft is the last real chance for the Warriors to cash it in. Don’t be surprised if teams in need of cap relief such as the Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks engage the Warriors in discussions.”

  8. jon abbey

    Jamal Crawford for the 14th pick? he’d be a good fit in GS, along with Baron and Monta, Nellie could even play all three of them together sometimes.

  9. bud

    nice links. both guys like roy hibbert, who is looking like a potential steal based on his position in online mock drafts. quiet different views of darrell arthur (not a fan myself).

  10. Ted Nelson

    After looking at these statistical analyses Joe Alexander looks like the man at #6. I sort of thought of him as an overhyped workout warrior, so it was a bit of a shock to see him grade out pretty well statistically. I guess he doesn’t exactly overwhelm, but depending on who else is on the board at #6 he might be the best option.

    I’m starting to warm up to the trading down idea… (Speights looks good in both ratings but his lack of team success this season scares me fairly or unfaairly. Chalmers looks really good. CDR is definitely my “sleeper who shouldn’t be a sleeper given his NCAA career” of this draft, ala Josh Howard, Tayshaun Prince, or Danny Granger. I wouldn’t mind Augustin in the mid-teens, but I also wouldn’t jump for joy.) Trading up to get Love or Beasley (if Miami goes with Mayo) would be even better (don’t know how…), then maybe trying to trade into the 20s for Chalmers or CDR.

    It’s interesting that Doerr is so pessimistic in his remarks on Westbrook even though his PAWS/40 is the same as Mayo’s and better than Bayless’, Gordon’s, or Augustin’s, especially given that he played on a better team and only Mayo seems comparable defensively… Seems like he’s a steal compared to Bayless, Augustin, or Gordon according to that metric.

    Also interesting that Robin Lopez doesn’t look good in WoW terms, given his “grit-guy” rep. Maybe a similar guy to the other Stanford twins Jason and Jarron Collins who both always look bad statistically but help their teams win…

    Anthony Randolph looks terrible, but his draft stock is clearly based on his upside so I’d still call him a legit top 20 pick (not #6, though).

    Some more comparisons/putting the prospects/class in context would have been nice in both pieces (Hollinger did it more). Maybe a mock draft, and pointing out how some of the prospects with high/low rating in this year’s draft are similar to guys who their system over-/under- rated in the past.

  11. Caleb Post author

    “The Warriors have some interesting options since the team holds a $9.9 million trade exception… Don’t be surprised if teams in need of cap relief such as the Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks engage the Warriors in discussions.”

    I guess Crawford for #14 is a faint possibility, but if the Warriors really want to use the trade exception, I’m guessing they will have better offers. They’re a pretty budget-conscious franchise, and it’s hard to see them going on the hook for $30 million to Jamal Crawford.

    In other Warrior news, I saw somewhere that Memphis is prepping a big free agent offer for Monta Ellis. Golden State would be hard-pressed to match, unless they’re prepared to trade Baron Davis asap. (Miami?)

    I know rumors fly fast and furious, but three things make this one look realistic. One, Ellis’ hometown is only 2 or 3 hours from Memphis and he supposedly still has a lot of ties there. Two, yesterday the Griz let Juan Carlos Navarro walk back to Spain without even making a counteroffer; Three, it just makes good sense for Memphis.

  12. Ted Nelson

    The Warriors are going to be interesting to watch this offseason with only 4 or 5 (Perovic?) players on their roster and over $30 mill in payroll if Baron Davis opts out and 5 or 6 players and almost $50 mill in payroll if he stays…

    As far as not matching Barcelona’s offer to JCN, I don’t think Memphis had any choice. The dollar’s so weak and JCN didn’t do enough in the NBA to warrant the 5-6 million USD a year he’s going to make in Barcelona (his home town) for the next 4 seasons.

    —————————-

    In regards to “more comparisons/putting the prospects/class in context”… Doerr’s comments on Mayo are what I had in mind.

    (The fact that he thinks he’s a PG is what scares me about Mayo and makes me think of Steve Francis, but while Arenas may be overrated I don’t think many teams would mind getting him in the draft.)

    ————-

    Erich,

    “One of the statistical gripes on Win Score was that “regression analysis just doesn’t work for player evaluation”. Now I don’t think that was voiced by Hollinger, but I did smile to see Hollinger going full-out regression analysis on this one.”

    Regressions definitely do work to take variables (college stats) and project predicted outcomes (pro success) via a model. I don’t know enough about econometrics or Wages of Wins to say whether regressions work for breaking team success down to the individual level (have been trying it on my own to a very limited extent). Hollinger using regressions to create a model to predict NBA potential of draft prospects doesn’t strike me as very comparable to Berri using econometrics to ascribe team success to individual players, though.

    ————————–

    Anyone think that the “D’Antoni doesn’t like Gallinari” rumors are a similar pre-draft smoke screen to the “Pitino doesn’t think Ron Mercer’s an NBA player” rumors???

  13. Caleb Post author

    Baron’s due to make more than $20 million this year, so he’s not opting out — that would be a sign and trade, if GS doesn’t’ want to commit to a multi-year extension.

  14. Z

    Caleb– the only thing separating you from the Fords and Vesceys of the world is that you don’t ascribe your unfounded speculation to “a source close to the franchise”.

    In the future, try posting this:

    “In other Warrior news, rumor has it that Memphis is prepping a big free agent offer for Monta Ellis. Golden State would be hard-pressed to match, unless they’re prepared to trade Baron Davis, who sources indicate has been drawing the attention of the Miami Heat in a possible sign and trade.”

    This way, if it turns out to be true, you look like you are smart and have important friends. If it’s not true, everyone blames your imaginary source, who is always a fail-safe scapegoat.

    (The Knickerblogger brass didn’t teach you any trick of the trade before they put you on staff?)

Comments are closed.