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Archive for April, 2010

Optimizing the Rockets II

20th April 2010

As if everyone isn't already tired of this debate (one which will never be satisfactorily settled, I'm sure), here's a final note on who contributed the most to the 1995 Rockets' offense during the playoffs, Hakeem Olajuwon (mega-high usage, average efficiency) or Clyde Drexler (mid-to-high usage, mega-high efficiency)...

My last post attempted to create a simple model of team offensive efficiency using Dean Oliver's Offensive Rating, Possession %, and what Dean called "Skill Curves", or the relationship between changes in individual usage and efficiency rates. In general, both Oliver and Eli Witus found a quantifiable inverse relationship between increases in usage and predicted offensive efficiency -- in other words, there's diminishing returns to increasing your usage, and as you add more usage you become less and less efficient (which only makes sense to anyone who's ever played basketball).

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Posted in Analysis, History, Statgeekery, Statistical +/- | 51 Comments »

Optimizing the ’95 Rockets

19th April 2010

Over in the comments of an earlier post about the 1990s Knicks, a discussion is raging about who the best player on the 1995 Houston Rockets was -- Hakeem Olajuwon, or his old college teammate Clyde Drexler? At the core of the back-and-forth is whether Drexler's 120.1 offensive rating (using 23.8% of Houston's possessions when on the court) was more vital to the offense than Hakeem's 109.8 ORtg (using 34.1% of possessions when in the game)... In other words, the old usage-efficiency debate. On one side, Drexler clearly contributed more points per possession to the Rockets' effort than Olajuwon -- but on the other side, Hakeem had to create offense on a significantly higher % of the Rockets' possessions than Clyde, and if you subscribe to "skill curve" theory, this means Clyde's ORtg was artificially enhanced by the extra defensive attention Hakeem drew -- as well as the fact that his shot selection didn't have to include the offense's toughest shots, which were presumably going to Hakeem (at least in a larger proportion), in turn dragging down Hakeem's ORtg.

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Posted in Analysis, History, Statgeekery | 17 Comments »

Layups: 5 Bizarre Facebook Groups Devoted to Random 80s Players

18th April 2010

My buddy Brent sent me this link today, and I had to share it with the world: from Frumpzilla, 5 bizarre Facebook groups you, as a fan of trivial NBA history, should join just for the hell of it... In other words, Facebook "appreciation societies" devoted to Greg Kite, Larry Krystkowiak, Kevin Duckworth, Kurt Rambis, and Joe Wolf. And believe it or not, but according to the article there's actually a turf war brewing between Kite and Krystkowiak's groups! (That's right, backup big men from 25 years ago can still stir up deep emotions in their respective fan bases.)

Of course, those 5 aren't the only journeymen who deserve "preservation status" on a site like Facebook. Brent asked, "What groups would you propose be amended to this list? Those that you personally know of or would like to create?" Bill Wennington came to mind (the Greg Kite of his era?), but I think I'm going to open this one up to the readers... For which historical bench players would you create a social media group whose membership numbers are completely disproportionate to the player's talent level?

Posted in Just For Fun, Layups | 43 Comments »

Winningest Playoff People

16th April 2010

Playoffs Home2010 Playoff Previews

On the eve of the 2010 Playoffs, I thought it'd be cool to run down the current list of winningest NBA "people" -- players and coaches. We know which coaches coached which games, so we can give them accurate credit for W-L records, but if you recall for players, we have to estimate the team's W-L record for games in which they appeared. Fortunately, this is pretty easy and a pretty decent kludge: take the team's winning percentage in all games (in this case, all playoff games in a season) and multiply by the player's games played for wins, then subtract that from his games for losses. This isn't perfect, but in the absence of pre-1991 playoff gamelogs, it's the best we can do (and it's pretty darned accurate for such a simple solution). With the explanation out of the way, here are the winningest playoff "people" of all time:

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Posted in Data Dump, History, Playoffs, Statgeekery | 5 Comments »

Final Regular-Season BBR Rankings

16th April 2010

Rising: Bulls (L-@NJN, W-@TOR, W-BOS, W-@CHA)
Falling: Celtics (L-WAS, W-@MIL, L-@CHI, L-MIL)

(Want to know how the BBR Rankings are calculated? Read this first... "MLE" = Maximum Likelihood Estimate.)

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Posted in BBR Rankings | Comments Off

2010 Playoff Series Preview: Phoenix vs. Portland

16th April 2010

2010 Playoffs Home2010 Playoff Previews

3. Phoenix Suns

Coach: Alvin Gentry
SRS: 4.68 (6th of 30) ▪ Pace Factor: 95.3 (4th of 30)
Offensive Rating: 115.3 (1st of 30) ▪ Defensive Rating: 110.2 (23rd of 30)

Four Factors

Team eFG% Rank TOV% Rank ORB% Rank FT/FGA Rank
Phoenix Suns 0.546 1 0.136 17 0.276 7 0.240 10
Phoenix Suns - Opp 0.491 11 0.116 30 0.292 29 0.224 16

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Posted in Analysis, Playoffs | 3 Comments »

2010 Playoff Series Preview: Dallas vs. San Antonio

16th April 2010

2010 Playoffs Home2010 Playoff Previews

2. Dallas Mavericks

Coach: Rick Carlisle
SRS: 2.67 (12th of 30) ▪ Pace Factor: 92.5 (17th of 30)
Offensive Rating: 109.2 (10th of 30) ▪ Defensive Rating: 106.3 (12th of 30)

Four Factors

Team eFG% Rank TOV% Rank ORB% Rank FT/FGA Rank
Dallas Mavericks 0.506 11 0.123 3 0.243 26 0.226 15
Dallas Mavericks - Opp 0.495 14 0.136 11 0.263 15 0.206 6

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Posted in Analysis, Playoffs | 2 Comments »

2010 Playoff Series Preview: Orlando vs. Charlotte

16th April 2010

2010 Playoffs Home2010 Playoff Previews

2. Orlando Magic

Coach: Stan Van Gundy
SRS: 7.12 (1st of 30) ▪ Pace Factor: 92.0 (18th of 30)
Offensive Rating: 111.4 (4th of 30) ▪ Defensive Rating: 103.3 (3rd of 30)

Four Factors

Team eFG% Rank TOV% Rank ORB% Rank FT/FGA Rank
Orlando Magic 0.536 2 0.136 17 0.246 25 0.246 7
Orlando Magic - Opp 0.477 1 0.122 26 0.226 1 0.205 3

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Posted in Analysis, Playoffs | 5 Comments »

2010 Playoff Series Preview: L.A. Lakers vs. Oklahoma City

16th April 2010

2010 Playoffs Home2010 Playoff Previews

1. Los Angeles Lakers

Coach: Phil Jackson
SRS: 4.78 (5th of 30) ▪ Pace Factor: 92.8 (14th of 30)
Offensive Rating: 108.8 (11th of 30) ▪ Defensive Rating: 103.7 (4th of 30)

Four Factors

Team eFG% Rank TOV% Rank ORB% Rank FT/FGA Rank
Los Angeles Lakers 0.496 15 0.124 5 0.276 7 0.221 18
Los Angeles Lakers - Opp 0.484 6 0.132 18 0.256 9 0.195 2

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Posted in Analysis, Playoffs | 8 Comments »

2010 Playoff Series Preview: Denver vs. Utah

16th April 2010

2010 Playoffs Home2010 Playoff Previews

4. Denver Nuggets

Interim Coach: Adrian Dantley
SRS: 4.15 (8th of 30) ▪ Pace Factor: 94.8 (5th of 30)
Offensive Rating: 111.8 (3rd of 30) ▪ Defensive Rating: 107.5 (16th of 30)

Four Factors

Team eFG% Rank TOV% Rank ORB% Rank FT/FGA Rank
Denver Nuggets 0.509 9 0.127 6 0.261 19 0.290 1
Denver Nuggets - Opp 0.495 14 0.138 9 0.276 25 0.251 24

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Posted in Analysis, Playoffs | Comments Off