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Layups: Effective Height, 2009-10 Edition

Posted by Neil Paine on December 8, 2009

Last Friday, Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus looked at how much a team's "effective height" (height weighted by minutes played) matters in determining the quality of the team. You'll have to read the whole thing, but the basic gist is that there is a positive relationship between team height and win-loss record, but it's not really that big. Which completely makes sense -- all else being equal, you'd obviously rather be taller than shorter, though there are many other factors more important than height that go into determining how good a player/team is.

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10 Responses to “Layups: Effective Height, 2009-10 Edition”

  1. kevin Says:

    So, does this mean the the reacquisition of Iverson by the Sixers will NOT lead to their title contention, then? How could so many pundits be so wrong about that?

  2. Jay Oh Says:

    As much as I despise the Lakers, i'd love to see them go with a Kobe (PG), Artest (SG), Odom (SF), Gasol (PF), Bynum (C) lineup sometime in a blowout. I love tall lineups.

  3. Jason J Says:

    Neil, I think Kevin's trying to challenge you to figure out what the shortest possible combination of 15 players would be who would be favored by WS to win the title? Are going to take that from him?

  4. Dave Says:

    Jay Oh, At http://basketballvalue.com/teamunits.php?year=2009-2010&team=LAL you can check out all Lakers line ups. Can't see Phil EVER EVER EVER playing Gasol - Bynum - Odom front court, their team is just not deep enough at the 4 for Odom to play as a 3.

    Artest, Ron - Bryant, Kobe - Bynum, Andrew - Gasol, Pau - Vujacic, Sasha (unit) seems to be tallest I can find - except Artest is only 6-6, but has Kobe as Point.

  5. Neil Paine Says:

    Ha, wow, way to read between the lines there, Jason. I'll have to post about that at some point over the next few weeks...

  6. kevin Says:

    Actually, Jason and Neil, I was poking fun at Kevin Pelton, whom I got in a major fight wtih in another hoops blog (can't remember the name of it at the moment). He thinks Iverson is an alltime great. I think he is perhaps the most overrated player in NBA history, certainly the worst player (and by a huge margin) ever to win an MVP award.

    Hollinger's PER and the Prospectus stuff is nearly useless in terms of filtering statisitics to reflect win value. The best stuff by far is David Berri's WP40 over at Wages of Wins. Neil, you should hook up with Dave and use his stats in your site rather than Holllinger's and Peltons. They are way better.

  7. kevin Says:

    I suppose the apotheosis of "the tall lineup" occurred during the 1986 finals playoffs when The Celtics and Rockets rolled out these lineup against one another at one point:

    Walton 7:1 (6:11 my backside)
    McHale 6:10
    Parish 7:00
    Ainge 6:5
    Johnson 6:4

    Olajawon 7:0
    Sampson 7:4
    Peterson 6:10
    Reid 6:7
    Lloyd 6:6

  8. Neil Paine Says:

    Yikes. I'm going to respectfully disagree with you there, Kevin. Didn't know you were in that camp...

  9. kevin Says:

    Well, I agree with you that a role player who is performing well isn't necessarily going to do as well with an expanded role. But, OTOH, at least you can identify players who are performeing above average. PER is completely deceptive. It rewards high-use but inefficient players and doewsn't penalize for taking bad shots. And defensive evaluation, well, don't get me started...

  10. September Remson Says:

    Thanks. Just glanced through your post. failed to have the time to browse the full thing. I subscribed to your rss feeds and trying forward to more.