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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Similarity Scores Part II

Something I’ve touched on a few times this year, is the similarity (or dissimilarity) between Kobe and Jordan. So let’s use similarity scores to find out how close the two are. The most similar players to Kobe Bryant at the age of 30:

z-Sum FLName Year Tm PER TS% eFG% PTS ORB TRB AST STL BLK TOV
.000 Kobe Bryant 2009 LAL 24.3 .561 .502 26.8 1.1 5.2 4.9 1.5 0.5 2.6
.117 Vince Carter 2007 NJN 21.8 .559 .503 23.8 1.3 5.7 4.5 0.9 0.3 2.5
.167 George Gervin 1983 SAS 20.5 .561 .491 26.0 1.4 4.5 3.4 1.1 0.9 3.1
.173 Alex English 1984 DEN 22.2 .570 .529 27.2 2.7 5.8 5.1 1.0 1.2 2.8
.183 Allen Iverson 2006 PHI 25.9 .543 .467 27.6 0.5 2.7 6.2 1.6 0.1 2.9
.184 Manu Ginobili 2008 SAS 24.3 .612 .540 22.6 1.0 5.5 5.2 1.7 0.5 3.1
.226 Ray Allen 2006 SEA 22.2 .590 .544 23.3 0.8 4.0 3.4 1.3 0.2 2.2
.238 Paul Pierce 2008 BOS 19.6 .599 .529 19.7 0.7 5.1 4.5 1.3 0.5 2.8
.250 Mitch Richmond 1996 SAC 19.2 .591 .529 22.9 0.7 3.3 3.1 1.5 0.2 2.7
.252 James Silas 1980 SAS 16.7 .585 .514 21.4 0.7 2.6 5.4 1.0 0.2 3.0
.284 World B. Free 1984 CLE 18.8 .512 .453 25.3 1.3 3.3 3.4 1.4 0.1 2.3
.289 Scottie Pippen 1996 CHI 21.0 .551 .525 19.1 1.9 6.3 5.8 1.7 0.7 2.6

I think this is about right for Kobe: All Star/Hall of Fame caliber players, but no one that you’d consider for the greatest of all time. Vince Carter’s name on there is more of an indictment of Vinsanity than anything else. Kobe has gone out of his way to make sure he went to the right team (orchestrating a draft day trade), and complained when the team wasn’t doing enough to win. Granted some of what Kobe did was selfish, but when you compare him to Carter’s antics, you can see that Bryant truly values winning above other things. It seems that the two have similar abilities, but Kobe is more motivated to win (or more able to put himself in positions to win.)

Jordan doesn’t show up on the list, because at the age of 30 he was playing minor league baseball. If we go back a year to age 29, Jordan shows up, but 12th on Kobe’s list. However looking at it from Jordan’s perspective, Kobe is the most similar.

z-Sum FLName Year Tm PER TS% eFG% PTS ORB TRB AST STL BLK TOV
.000 Michael Jordan 1993 CHI 29.7 .564 .515 29.8 1.6 6.1 5.0 2.6 0.7 2.4
.227 Kobe Bryant 2008 LAL 24.2 .576 .503 26.2 1.1 5.8 5.0 1.7 0.5 2.9
.299 Julius Erving 1980 PHI 25.4 .568 .520 26.9 2.8 7.4 4.5 2.2 1.8 3.6
.365 Clyde Drexler 1992 POR 23.6 .560 .509 24.9 2.2 6.5 6.7 1.8 0.9 3.1
.394 Larry Bird 1986 BOS 25.6 .580 .521 24.5 2.2 9.3 6.4 1.9 0.6 3.1
.403 Manu Ginobili 2007 SAS 24.1 .609 .539 21.7 1.0 5.7 4.6 1.9 0.5 2.7
.424 Scottie Pippen 1995 CHI 22.6 .559 .522 20.2 2.1 7.6 4.9 2.8 1.1 3.2
.432 Alex English 1983 DEN 24.1 .561 .517 28.0 3.2 7.2 4.8 1.4 1.5 3.2
.452 Paul Westphal 1980 PHO 21.1 .593 .535 24.2 0.6 2.5 5.6 1.6 0.5 2.8
.457 Fred Brown 1978 SEA 19.6 .528 .488 21.8 1.1 3.4 4.4 2.0 0.5 3.0
.493 Purvis Short 1987 GSW 18.6 .543 .483 23.5 2.1 5.2 3.3 1.7 0.3 2.6
.524 Dell Curry 1994 CHH 18.5 .543 .520 22.1 1.2 4.3 3.7 1.6 0.4 2.0

But there’s one caveat with this: Kobe isn’t very similar. He’s about 3 standard deviations away. Of course when you look at Michael’s similarities, there are a lot of no doubt upper tier Hall of Famers, before trailing off into the not very similar at all. What about LeBron?

z-Sum FLName Year Tm PER TS% eFG% PTS ORB TRB AST STL BLK TOV
.000 LeBron James 2009 CLE 31.7 .591 .530 27.2 1.2 7.2 6.9 1.6 1.1 2.8
.153 Dwyane Wade 2006 MIA 27.6 .577 .499 25.4 1.3 5.4 6.3 1.8 0.7 3.3
.272 Kobe Bryant 2003 LAL 26.2 .550 .483 26.0 1.1 6.0 5.1 1.9 0.7 3.0
.316 Grant Hill 1997 DET 25.5 .556 .500 19.6 1.4 8.2 6.7 1.6 0.5 3.0
.319 Anfernee Hardaway 1996 ORL 24.6 .605 .549 21.3 1.5 4.2 6.9 2.0 0.5 2.7
.355 Julius Erving 1975 NYA 26.2 .565 .514 24.8 3.0 9.7 4.9 2.0 1.7 3.2
.393 Gilbert Arenas 2006 WAS 23.8 .581 .507 25.0 0.6 3.0 5.1 1.7 0.3 3.2
.424 Tony Parker 2007 SAS 21.4 .572 .527 20.6 0.5 3.6 6.1 1.2 0.1 2.8
.426 Marques Johnson 1981 MIL 22.0 .583 .552 21.8 3.2 7.3 4.9 1.6 0.6 2.7
.430 Tracy McGrady 2004 ORL 25.3 .526 .473 25.3 1.3 5.4 5.0 1.3 0.6 2.4
.435 Chris Mullin 1988 GSW 19.8 .580 .526 21.5 1.0 3.6 5.1 2.0 0.6 2.8
.471 Walter Davis 1979 PHO 23.0 .606 .561 27.6 1.6 5.5 5.0 2.2 0.4 4.3

Like Jordan, LeBron’s comparables aren’t very close. There is considerable drop offs between James to Wade to Kobe to Hill. I’m a bit surprised Magic didn’t come up on this list, as both LeBron and Magic were great in multiple areas. But Johnson was more of a point guard, meaning his assists were higher and his scoring was lower. As for Magic at the same age:

z-Sum FLName Year Tm PER TS% eFG% PTS ORB TRB AST STL BLK TOV
.000 Magic Johnson 1984 LAL 22.6 .628 .569 16.5 1.4 6.9 12.3 2.1 0.7 4.3
.450 Terry Porter 1988 POR 18.1 .592 .533 14.7 0.8 4.5 10.0 1.8 0.2 2.9
.514 Kevin Johnson 1991 PHO 23.7 .604 .520 22.2 0.7 3.5 10.1 2.1 0.1 3.5
.522 Isiah Thomas 1986 DET 21.2 .554 .498 20.8 1.1 3.6 10.7 2.2 0.3 3.7
.698 John Bagley 1985 CLE 16.0 .524 .490 12.1 0.8 4.4 10.5 1.9 0.1 3.1
.717 Deron Williams 2009 UTA 21.1 .573 .506 19.0 0.3 2.8 10.4 1.0 0.3 3.3
.742 John Stockton 1987 UTA 19.0 .575 .506 12.6 0.6 2.9 13.0 3.4 0.3 3.2
.811 Gary Grant 1990 LAC 15.3 .507 .471 13.5 1.4 4.6 10.4 2.5 0.1 4.9
.836 John Crotty 1994 UTA 17.5 .575 .510 15.2 1.3 3.6 8.9 1.7 0.1 3.1
.846 Doc Rivers 1986 ATL 17.4 .520 .474 14.0 1.1 3.7 10.2 2.7 0.3 3.2
.862 Johnny Moore 1983 SAS 17.5 .507 .471 13.3 0.9 3.9 10.6 2.7 0.5 3.2
.870 Micheal Ray Richardson 1980 NYK 17.8 .517 .485 14.8 1.8 6.3 9.8 3.1 0.4 4.2

Again look at the z-Sum score, it’s not close at all. No one had Magic’s combination of excellent passing, strong rebounding, and highly efficient scoring. In one respect that is what makes guys like Jordan, Magic, and LeBron so great. There aren’t many players who are similar to them, which makes them unique – a class above everyone else. Let’s get back to the present, how about this guy from the FA class of 2010.

z-Sum FLName Year Tm PER TS% eFG% PTS ORB TRB AST STL BLK TOV
.000 Chris Bosh 2009 TOR 22.1 .569 .492 21.5 2.6 9.5 2.3 0.8 0.9 2.1
.047 Wayman Tisdale 1989 TOT 17.5 .568 .514 20.4 2.8 9.0 1.9 0.8 0.8 2.5
.064 Charlie Villanueva 2009 MIL 18.6 .529 .488 21.7 2.6 8.9 2.4 0.9 1.0 2.4
.081 Vin Baker 1996 MIL 18.4 .527 .493 18.8 2.9 8.8 2.3 0.7 1.0 2.3
.097 Shareef Abdur-Rahim 2001 VAN 19.1 .549 .477 18.5 1.9 8.2 2.8 1.0 0.9 2.6
.104 Don MacLean 1994 WSB 17.8 .566 .503 19.8 2.0 6.8 2.3 0.7 0.3 2.2
.107 James Edwards 1980 IND 17.6 .545 .512 20.0 2.8 9.0 2.0 0.9 1.6 2.0
.109 Sam Perkins 1986 DAL 17.6 .573 .509 16.9 2.7 9.4 2.1 1.0 1.3 2.0
.116 Tom Chambers 1984 SEA 16.6 .563 .499 20.8 3.1 7.5 1.9 0.7 0.7 2.7
.118 Mitch Kupchak 1979 WSB 19.4 .588 .539 21.6 3.4 9.7 2.0 0.5 0.5 2.7
.119 Dave Robisch 1974 DNR 18.5 .538 .473 17.7 3.2 10.3 2.2 0.7 1.0 1.5
.119 Keith Van Horn 2000 NJN 18.1 .537 .478 19.9 2.6 8.7 2.0 0.8 0.8 3.2

I have to say I’m not impressed with Bosh’s list. The thing about him is that you can’t pinpoint what he’s great at. He’s a good scorer, and an OK rebounder, a good passer for his height, and possibly a sub par defender (at least by the numbers). And hence why there are lots of guys who are close in similarity who are barely All Star caliber players. Now compare him to someone else’s name that was floated around in 2010 free agent talks:

z-Sum FLName Year Tm PER TS% eFG% PTS ORB TRB AST STL BLK TOV
.000 Dwyane Wade 2009 MIA 30.4 .574 .516 28.2 1.1 4.7 7.0 2.0 1.3 3.2
.188 Paul Westphal 1978 PHO 23.8 .565 .516 29.2 0.6 2.4 6.3 2.0 0.4 4.1
.283 Michael Jordan 1991 CHI 31.6 .605 .547 30.6 1.4 5.8 5.4 2.6 1.0 2.4
.292 Clyde Drexler 1990 POR 22.2 .551 .505 22.9 2.8 6.8 5.8 1.9 0.7 2.6
.333 Tracy McGrady 2007 HOU 23.2 .515 .474 24.8 0.8 5.4 6.5 1.3 0.5 3.0
.370 Grant Hill 2000 DET 24.5 .565 .501 24.7 1.3 6.4 5.0 1.3 0.6 3.1
.379 Larry Bird 1984 BOS 24.2 .552 .497 22.7 2.2 9.5 6.2 1.7 0.8 2.8
.414 Baron Davis 2007 GSW 21.0 .530 .480 20.5 0.8 4.5 8.3 2.2 0.5 3.1
.418 Sam Cassell 1997 TOT 18.4 .541 .482 20.3 1.0 3.8 6.4 1.6 0.4 3.5
.418 Ray Williams 1982 NJN 19.0 .527 .465 22.1 1.5 4.3 6.4 2.6 0.6 3.8
.469 Walter Davis 1982 PHO 18.3 .553 .525 24.2 0.6 3.1 4.9 1.4 0.1 3.4
.479 Mack Calvin 1975 DNA 19.2 .587 .486 21.1 0.5 3.1 8.3 2.0 0.1 4.1

Lots of big names on this list, albeit that aren’t very comparable. But that’s a much stronger list than Bosh’s. In the end similarity scores allow us to communicate how good a player is, by using other players. Kobe is like Jordan, but not nearly as good. Vince Carter is like Kobe, but not as good. Bosh doesn’t seem to be particularly special, and no one is even remotely like Magic Johnson.

29 comments on “Similarity Scores Part II

  1. Nick C.

    Is being # 2 on Bosh’s list the reason for Charlie Villanueva getting what seemed like an exorbitant contract, becuase I can’t come up iwth another one?

  2. Z-man

    “Jordan doesn’t show up on the list, because at the age of 30 he was playing minor league baseball.”

    I said this previously, but I have an issue with the methodology of comparing players on the basis of the stats they put up at a specific age. Many factors can affect the stats a player puts up in a given year, including injury, coaching, team performance, personal problems, or for younger players, rates of development and opportunities (stars playing in front of younger players, etc.)

    While I have not run a test, I would guess that:
    1) if you ran similarity scores for a player for each year in his career based solely on age, you would get a broad range of results. It is inevitable that the normal ups and downs a player has over the years will not line up with those of other players. For example, there may be more of a correlation between Michael’s and Kobe’s best 3 years than between their performance at age 29 or 30. And if not, then it will offer stronger statistical support for the contention that they are less similar than many think.

    2) if you compared average of stats over a comparable period of time (say 3 years in early, mid, or late career) or a comparable # of games or minutes, or best 3 statistical season (or 4 or 5), you would likely see names that evoked more compelling comparisons.

    In the above example, why not compare career averages, or averages for their 3rd through 5th years in the league, of averages between ages 27 and 30, and see what comes up? My guess is that it will contrast markedly with the names on the above list, and would be a more accurate and meaningful comparison.

    Perhaps there is no easy way to do this, but I think it’s worth thinking about.

  3. Z-man

    Don’t get me wrong, Mike, I don’t want to come off as unappreciative of your underlying premise; just think it can be refined. For what it’s worth, I suggest using a “3-year (or more) average” method for the base player (say, Michael Jordan in years 1991-1994) and treat the average as an “age.” Then run your comparison rubric for age 25, 26, 27, etc. and either 1) list in order the 10 player-seasons that come closest, or 2) list the players and seasons that repeatedly come up. For example, if Kobe’s 2001, 2004 and 2006 seasons come up in the comparisons for those “ages,” then that would control for the issues that arise when age is the benchmark.

    Just as a random check, I ran the following comparison for Bosh vs. Tisdale for their first 6 seasons:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/fc/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&=t&p1=tisdawa01&y1=1991&=b&p2=boshch01&y2=2009&=&=

    While there are some similarities, Bosh is clearly the superior player after 6 seasons based on a comparison of their per 36 minute and advanced stats. There are issues with this method as well, considering that some players have entered the league at age 18 and some at age 24, the latter expected to develop more quickly and the former’s early year’s needing to be thrown out (Bosh’s first 2 years?) Basketball-reference doesn’t seem to let me do that, otherwise I would have compared Bosh 2006-2009 to Tisdale 1987-1990…or something like that.

  4. Thomas B.

    Kobe is not similar to Jordan. Well that makes a good deal of sense when you consider how much better Kobe is than MJ. hee hee

  5. Thomas B.

    I agree with Z-man on comparison by age. But it isnt fair to compare a 27 year old to a 36 year old in this sport. There has to be a good definition of “prime years” that can be used. Furthermore, Kobe had more years as a NBA player by 29 than Jordan did right?

    So how does years of service factor in? Should it? Can you fairly compare a 9 year pro at 27 with a 5 year pro at 27?

  6. Gorky

    Alan Hahn says Nate will sign a 1 year deal today for more than the $2.9 mil qualifying offer, + performance bonuses (jumping over D Howard)?

  7. Z-man

    Mike, in looking at Jordan vs. LeBron at age 24, their stats seem eerily similar, starting with identical PER of 31.7 (an astronomical number!) In my opinion, they seem more similar than LeBron and DWade for that year. However, it seems that the rebounding differential knocked Michael completely off of LeBron’s similarity chart. However, if you subsitute in Michael’s year at age 25, which was a comparatively strong rebounding year for Michael, his stats are even closer to LeBron’s at age 24.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/fc/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&=j&p1=jordami01&y1=1988&=j&p2=jamesle01&y2=2009&=w&p3=wadedw01&y3=2006&=j&p4=jordami01&y4=1989

    I would concede, though, that your larger point: that the combination of the spread of the numbers (best players have less players statistically similar to them) and the names on the list (best players have fewer quirky names appearing, e.g. Dave Robisch,) is a telling indicator of a player’s value is hard to refute.

  8. Mike Kurylo Post author

    I just tried to play with doing multiple seasons, but I’m not happy with the results. My idea is this – take the player’s last 3 seasons and compare them to the player at the same age. So for a 23 year old, compare age 23=> 23, 22 => 22, 21 => 21. This way if a player develops in the same manner, they should be more similar. The problem is how to weigh them, and even more troubling, how to account for seasons missing. Players with only 1 year in common tend to score much higher, which makes sense considering the spread of player seasons (in other words you’re much more likely to have people more in common in one single season than you would in 3 consecutive). I’m still thinking about this…

    The problem without limiting for age would be invalid comparisons. What if David Lee is similar at this age to some guy at 36 years old? Does that really say anything about him or what he might become? Perhaps I’ll try to change the query to be +/- 1 year and see how the results end up.

  9. Mike Kurylo Post author

    Wow Z-Man I think allowing for +/- 1 year (a 3 year span) really has improved things. Look at Nate Robinson’s top 10 comparable…

    z-Sum FLName Age
    0 Nate Robinson 24
    0.049 Anfernee Hardaway 25
    0.051 Gilbert Arenas 23
    0.052 Eddie Johnson 24
    0.059 Kobe Bryant 25
    0.06 Purvis Short 24
    0.062 Michael Finley 24
    0.069 Kobe Bryant 23
    0.07 Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf 25
    0.072 Gerald Wilkins 23
    0.073 Rex Chapman 23

    That’s a very impressive list! LeBron James’ last season:

    z-Sum FLName Age
    0 LeBron James 24
    0.153 Dwyane Wade 24
    0.213 Dwyane Wade 25
    0.246 Michael Jordan 25
    0.25 Tracy McGrady 23
    0.272 Kobe Bryant 24
    0.316 Grant Hill 24
    0.318 Dwyane Wade 23
    0.319 Anfernee Hardaway 24
    0.332 Gilbert Arenas 25
    0.338 Chris Mullin 25
    0.342 Larry Bird 25

    Much better I think…

  10. Mike Kurylo Post author

    Oh and Chris Bosh…

    z-Sum FLName Age
    0 Chris Bosh 24
    0.045 Dave Robisch 25
    0.047 Wayman Tisdale 24
    0.064 Charlie Villanueva 24
    0.068 Jay Vincent 25
    0.077 Otis Thorpe 25
    0.081 Vin Baker 24
    0.096 Vin Baker 25
    0.097 Shareef Abdur-Rahim 24
    0.097 Dirk Nowitzki 25

    Kobe age 29:

    z-Sum FLName Age
    0 Kobe Bryant 29
    0.081 Paul Pierce 28
    0.104 Michael Jordan 28
    0.122 Manu Ginobili 30
    0.131 Manu Ginobili 29
    0.132 Vince Carter 28
    0.151 Paul Pierce 29
    0.157 Paul Westphal 29
    0.168 Clyde Drexler 29
    0.171 Vince Carter 29
    0.173 Ray Allen 28

  11. Z-man

    “The problem without limiting for age would be invalid comparisons. What if David Lee is similar at this age to some guy at 36 years old? Does that really say anything about him or what he might become?”

    Actually, it depends. If DLee’s similar players turn out to be a combo of decent players in their respective “prime” years, young players on their way to stardom, and 36yo HOF players on the decline, it might give even more perspective as to where Lee is right now as a player. One could focus on the players on the list closest to Lee’s age to address your concern, and the quirky stuff that happens in individual careers would be controlled for. It might be easier to pare down the list after the fact; i.e. run all player seasons vs. Lee’s 2009 season, then sort that list +/- 1-2 years of age, just for comparison.

    Easy for me to say when you’re doing all the work! Sorry for the excessive input, but I really think you’re on to something that adds a valuable dimension to discussions on this forum.

  12. Thomas B.

    “Wow Z-Man I think allowing for +/- 1 year (a 3 year span) really has improved things. Look at Nate Robinson’s top 10 comparable…”

    Wow my sarcasm detector is going off the charts right now.

  13. Ted Nelson

    Was that a sarcastic comment? I took it at face value… Nate is a good scorer and rebounds like a tall SG.

  14. Ted Nelson

    Mark Blount won’t be at training camp and is seeking a trade (according to ESPN, via HoopsHype)… How great would a Blount for Jeffries or Blount + contract for Curry deal be? The Walsh-Kahn connection could help.

  15. ess-dog

    Read my mind, TN. But I don’t know if I’d take Jeffries straight up for Blount, and since Jeffries has that extra year…
    Also the great Jack McClinton is free to be signed now. If we got him, we could go with the mini-lineup of Nate, McClinton, Douglas, Chandler and Lee… run ‘em out of the building.

  16. Z

    “How great would a Blount for Jeffries or Blount + contract for Curry deal be?” -Ted

    “I don’t know if I’d take Jeffries straight up for Blount, and since Jeffries has that extra year…” -Ess

    If we wait a month for Blount’s TR to expire, a package of Blount and Cardinal for Jeffries and Mobley would work salary wise. MN would be turning two useless salaries into one somewhat useful one with no $ impact to their bottom line. They could take on Jeffries and still have a lot of cap flexibility next summer.

    As for us, we’d be down to just one immovable contract…

  17. Frank O.

    From Hahn’s twitter account:

    David Lee and the Knicks have reached an agreement for a 1 year at $8M, includes team-related bonuses.

  18. Z-man

    Mike, Thanks for doing this. I like the outcomes better and think that the points hinted at by the same-age method are more evident. It certainly makes Nate look even better than he already did (in an antic-neutral comparison!) and removes the look of flukiness(?) to Bosh…better players but still a questionable mix for a max contract prospect (wonder if Allan Houston similarities would reveal similar reservations at the point we signed him.) Kobe’s similars are interesting in that Manu, Pierce and Vince all show up twice, as does a lower PER year for Jordan. I was surprised that Jordan’s 25 year wasn’t more similar to LeBron @ 24 than either DWade year, but at least he’s on the list.

    As for Thomas B., I could live with it if Mike was being sarcastic since he did all the work, but will take him at his word unless he admits to it (either way, Mike, much appreciated.)

    Based on your earlier comment #7, Tom, I was hoping you might have had an opinion on the results.

  19. KnickfaninNJ

    Looking at your similarity stats, two things jump out at me. One is that Vince Carter in underrated. Two is that Nate could get much better and Walsh could look silly for not locking him in for low dollars now when he had the chance.

    I realize that some may say that this means the similarity stats have flaws, but I actually think the opposite. Most scoring stats have the flaw that they don’t take into account how other teams defend the player in question. (For example, David Lee doesn’t get defended like the Knicks go to scoring guy, so you can’t use his scoring average to extrapolate how he would do if put in such a position). But the similarity scores do take this into account, at least to a certain extent. You just have to assume that players with similar stats get defended similarly, which is often the case.

    For the players in question, I think Carter’s statistics suffered because last year he was basically the only go to guy on the Nets and teams always put their best defender on him. In Orlando, Howard could make them pay for that. So Carter may help them a lot. For Nate, after he scored 33 points and had a monster game one night, teams started doing whatever they had to stop his drives to the basket, which usually meant they put two tall guys with their hands up in the way as soon as he started driving. But Nate is starting to stop and pop successfully some times now and may get better at this. What is more, this year the Knicks might actually have a scoring center down low that he can pass to, instead of him having to pass out to the wings. Both these factors could make defending him with two big guys much more problematic and make either his assists or his scoring go up.

  20. Ted Nelson

    The Bosh comparisons are interesting. At first glance they seem somewhat accurate; although, I think Bosh is ahead of the rest. Without doing an in-depth analysis, it seems to me after looking at their numbers that none of those guys offered the combination of high-volume, efficient scoring plus solid rebounding plus solid shot blocking that Bosh does.
    I think that Bosh is a guy who you can give a max contract to. If you want to be a real contender then he should probably be the 2nd guy behind an MVP caliber player, or at least even up with another All-Star to All-NBA caliber guy… and of course have a good rotation around those guys.

    I still don’t understand the irrational hatred towards Nate Robinson. Here is a list of players’ seasons with TS% above .545, assist rate above 22, rebound rate above 7, and TO rate below 11:
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/fc/psl_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&type=per_minute&per_minute_base=36&is_playoffs=N&year_min=1980&year_max=2009&season_start=1&season_end=-1&age_min=0&age_max=99&height_min=0&height_max=99&lg_id=&franch_id=&is_active=&is_hof=&pos=&qual=&c1stat=ts_pct&c1comp=gt&c1val=.545&c2stat=ast_pct&c2comp=gt&c2val=22&c3stat=trb_pct&c3comp=gt&c3val=7&c4stat=tov_pct&c4comp=lt&c4val=11&order_by=ws
    Nate is the low man of that group (sorted by Win Shares) and I don’t think he’s going to be a Hall-of-Famer like most guys on that list, but I think on a good team he’d be 6th man of the year by a large margin (or should be, can’t really predict who will get votes).
    The interesting thing about Nate is that he was a dead-eye 3pt shooter for two seasons and has now been below average for two season. He’s not shooting 3s any more than he did his 2nd season (at least not significantly more accounting for pace). If he can regain that 39% 3pt shooting he would be that much better. His TS% would have increased to 56 if he hit 39% of his 3s last season.

    Devin Harris wasn’t a go to scorer on the Nets last season? He had a higher usage rate and a higher TS% than Carter… Brook Lopez also had a usage rate of 20 and a higher TS% than Carter…

  21. KnickfaninNJ

    You might be right about Devin Harris being a go to scorer, but do you think other teams defended him harder than Carter? I didn’t see many Net games, so if you did, I trust what you saw.

  22. Ted Nelson

    Teams defend the basket, and a PG who scores and draws fouls like Harris is someone who you want to stop. The Nets ended up with an average offense (16th) despite playing Yi huge minutes and lacking depth. I just don’t think VC was particularly hurt by playing in that offense. He had a high scoring guard next to him and bigmen couldn’t cheat off Brook Lopez much. If VC was hurt in that offense then there are 14 teams on which the top wing scorer has more to complain about.

    That said Devin Harris is not Dwight Howard and the Nets are not the Magic, of course. VC will probably get a lot of hype this season regardless of whether he plays any better than last season, because he’ll finally win 60ish games and make it deep into the playoffs.

    I find it funny that popular opinion cuts both ways on the effect of playing on a bad team: VC was hurt by playing on a bad team, but everyone says David Lee could never put up good numbers on a good team for some reason. Not directed at you KnickfaninNJ, just an observation.

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