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Redeem Team Stats

Posted by Neil Paine on July 12, 2010

Many commenters have asked for this, especially in light of the fact that 1/4 of the Redeem Team are "taking their talents to South Beach" next season, so I thought some stats from the 2008 Olympics were in order. All I have is the USA page right now, though hopefully I'll be able to add other teams from the Beijing games at some point in the near future.

2008 United States Men’s Basketball Statistics

Olympic Tournament Summary

If the Redeem Team numbers are informative about the LeBron James/Dwyane Wade dynamic, Wade will be the bigger possession user (he led James 27.7% to 23.6% in terms of possessions used on the floor in the Olympics), while James will have the ball in his hands and be a facilitator (he led Wade in touches/minute, 1.33 to 1.21, and his pass/shot breakdown on touches was 59%/28% vs. Wade's 43%/34%). This aligns with the commentators who predict James will become the 21st-century version of Magic Johnson alongside his new Heat teammates.

Of course, the Redeem Team used Wade off the bench while James started, so a portion of those stats were accumulated with only one of the two in the game. Still, the general trend could hold, since they did play at least a third of their minutes together.

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79 Responses to “Redeem Team Stats”

  1. Yocar Says:

    Thanks for the info Neil, this proves that Wade will be Batman and Lebron his Robin.

  2. Brandon Says:

    You alluded to this above, but it's important to note that LeBron was forced to share ball time with Kobe Bryant, while Wade was the first and second option for the second unit.

  3. JTaylor21 Says:

    Yocar, since when did Magic equate into being Robin. So that means that pippen is just as good as Magic, if I follow your stupid assumptions. Just because Lebron went to miami doesn't mean that overnight wade becomes the better player. LeBron would still be the best player in the L even if he went to the clippers.

  4. Anon x 2 Says:

    "You alluded to this above, but it's important to note that LeBron was forced to share ball time with Kobe Bryant, while Wade was the first and second option for the second unit."

    And Carmelo as well. Seems difficult to compare the two situations. One was an all-NBA team, the other is a 3/5 starting 5 all-nba with the rest role players. And FIBA is much different than the NBA.

  5. Jason J Says:

    If Bosh has a 165+ ORtg for the season like he did in the Olympics, can we find him an MVP vote or two? Dang. Or at least get the guy in a Gatorade ad?

  6. huevonkiller Says:

    Yocar I'm assuming you forgot Magic Johnson won various MVPS in title runs? Barkley was also the MVP in the 1992 Dream Team, that doesn't mean anything in the NBA.

    Good points about Kobe and roles off the bench, Brandon. I think over the course of their run together LeBron's youth will help as well.

  7. AYC Says:

    There was plenty of mixing and matching roster wise; Wade spent a fair amount of time on the court with both LBJ and Kobe (they used Wade at SF a lot, while Bron played PF).

    Anyway, these stats confirm what my eyes saw at the time: Wade was clearly the best performer on the team, LBJ was second, and Kobe played like crap until the final quarter of the gold medal game. Also, Bosh was clearly the best big-man on the team, outplaying Howard on offense AND defense. Did you see his TS%?!?

  8. huevonkiller Says:

    Wade wasn't clearly the best performer, LeBron did lead in total +/- on that team. In +/- per 40 minutes Bosh was first I believe. In the medal rounds LeBron was pretty consistent as well. If he hadn't had to share the ball with Kobe he'd take over that role more too.

    LeBron playing at the same time as Kobe and Wade is another matter.

  9. Gil Meriken Says:

    I want 2006 FIBA World Championship advanced stats! USA and Spain's, specifically.

  10. huevonkiller Says:

    The starters LeBron played with were inferior as well. Kidd, Kobe and Howard were not as valuable as their backups.

    I remember when Carmelo was also one of the best players on the USA roster. That doesn't mean anything either for the NBA.

  11. AYC Says:

    #8, I watched all 8 games; Wade was their best player. The entire tenor of their games changed for the better when he came off the bench. As I recall, opposing teams would play the US to stand-still for the first 10 minutes or so of a game, then Wade would come in and they would blow the other team away. The stats confirm this:

    25.1 ppg/8.5 rpg/6.1 apg/.663 TS%/ 12.33 SPM (per 40min)
    34.1 ppg/8.5 rpg/4.0 apg/.727 TS%/ 17.37 SPM

    Please not that STATISTICAL plus/minus rates Wade as over 40% more valuable than LBJ.

    Wade led the team in scoring despite being 6th in minutes. He was also the team's best perimeter defender, he matched Bron on the boards, and the assist totals don't do justice to his stellar passing. Now I didn't say Lebron wasn't great on that team. But Wade was clearly better.

  12. BSK Says:

    Thinking about the construction of the Heat, why is the assumption that these 3 guys will play 40 minutes a game together, always on the court together, and logging major minutes because of weak depth.

    Why can't they just work it out that only 2 of the 3 are on the court at a given time? I mean, each of them will be the best teammate that any of them ever had. And they all enjoyed pretty high levels of success in their careers with inferior teammates.

    So wouldn't 32 minutes of a James/Wade combo with 32 minutes of a Bosh/Wade combo with 32 minutes of a James/Bosh combo, plus whatever other 3 guys you rotated through with them, still be an elite team and save these guys legs for the playoffs when they will need to play a lot more?

    Think about it:
    Bosh plays first 32
    LeBron plays first 16 and last 16
    Wade plays last 32

    You'd have Bosh-Lebron for the first 16 minutes, Wade-Bosh for the middle 16, and Wade-James for the last 16. BAM! 48 minutes of hell for the opposition. Obviously, you might want to break it down slightly differently from that to allow for rhythms to develop and such, but I'm not quite getting why detractors are acting as if these guys will spend 40+ minutes on the court together every night.

    Curious to hear other thoughts on this.

  13. huevonkiller Says:

    @AYC

    Heh I wasn't just talking about LeBron, I mentioned Chris Bosh. He was the one who lead the team per 40 minutes in +/-. I made the case for LeBron based on what they asked of him in the front court, and inferior teammates. Curious to know how you got the SPM though.

    Carmelo Anthony was more worthless than Kidd per 40, and he was the one playing SF while LeBron's on the court. I would imagine off the bench Paul/Wade/Kobe/Melo/Williams would be using the ideal perimeter positions as well.

    How much PF did LeBron play, and did he play within his regular role like Wade did? I think that's an important thing to note as well. Wade was the scoring punch off the bench, LeBron had to deal with more perimeter players in his ideal spots I would imagine.

    Some helpful information:

    PLAYER TEAM MIN OFF/40 DEF/40 NET/40
    BOSH Chris USA 138 121 78 43
    WADE Dwyane USA 150 119 78 42

    http://sonicscentral.com/apbrmetrics/viewtopic.php?t=1871&start=15

    FIBA ultimately means little to me (off topic I know). Jordan memorably had a subpar olympic run in 1992.

  14. huevonkiller Says:

    *Curious to know how the APM was attained for this I mean (SPM is in the link, Props to Neil).

    4.96 DPA combined with the role issues I mentioned are the problem.

    Paul/Wade/Kobe/Melo/Williams/Kidd used up 115.8 minutes per game. Out of the three perimeter positions there are only a handful left for LeBron. Dwight and Bosh were the only bigs regularly used, and LeBron had to fill in for much of that.

  15. mrparker Says:

    Aren't we reading a little bit too much out of 8 games. Wade was the most valuable player at the Olympics. However, Lebron has outperformed every player in the league(almost ever by some metrics) over the past two NBA seasons. It seems a small chance that Dwade will outplay Lebron over an 82 game season. I was more interested in the usage stats.

    And one poster has realized that its not as if these 3 are connected at the hip. The three of them together allow for a ton of flexibility in the lineup. Wade is capable of handling both back court positions. Lebron can play 2-4. And Bosh can play 4-5 though he doesn't want to. They each can play these positions at a high level though of course they're are most productive at their natural positions.

    Also, it'll be interesting to see the lineup they come out with. Its almost a waste to have them all playing at the same time. Maybe they play at the same time in the 1st and 4th and the rest of the game at least 1 of them is on the floor vs the other teams bench.

  16. AYC Says:

    huevonkiller, it's pretty clear from your comments that you didn't actually watch the olympic team's games. Lebron played positions 3-5 on that team; he spent alot of time at PF, and some time at center as well; that team didn't have much size, so they didn't have the luxury of using him on the perimeter.

    To be clear, I didn't say Wade was a better player than Lebron; I said he was the best performer on THAT team. And Bosh's SPM was 7.30, 5th best on the team; nice try.

    PS I got the SPM from the link Neil provided on this page. Maybe you should use due diligence before spouting off

  17. Jason J Says:

    You know Barkley outshone everyone at the 1992 Olympics, but he was never close to being better than Jordan as an actual basketball player. As a matter of fact if Magic had been in shape, the best he could have placed was 3rd on that team, and most statisticians would probably have dropped him behind Robinson too. Not sure that's the right arena to make player comparisons. As an example of how the usage breakdown might go it's interesting thought.

  18. AYC Says:

    I believe LBJ is a better player than Wade, but it's not as clear cut as MJ over Barkley. For one, Lebron isn't as good as MJ, and Wade is better than Barkley. Sir Charles is one of those players that advanced stats overrate, thanks to his high rebounding and FG% numbers. But I don't think those things matter more than his weak defense and inconsistent scoring. Wade is better defensively and better at consistently creating shots (for himself AND his teammates)

    PS Lebron and Wade both played out of position on the "redeem team". And both benefited from it, playing against bigger players who couldn't handle their superior skill and explosiveness

  19. Jason J Says:

    The value of Barkley's rebounding is hard to over-estimate because so much of it was at the offensive end. I agree that the gap between LeBron and Wade is smaller than the gap between Jordan and Barkley, but I also think the two Redeemers are just easier to compare. I mean LeBron is basically a bigger stronger Wade. They do the same sorts of things. Jordan and Charles were very different. Charles was legitimately much better in some areas, where Wade really doesn't have any notable advantages over LeBron that spring to mind (better commercials?). Not that that has anything to do with anything. Just thought I'd bring it up for no reason.

  20. huevonkiller Says:

    @AYC

    Lol ok chill out, I wasn't going by SPM I didn't spout off anything. I was trying to brung up different barometer's for discussion's sake. Since they have similar teammates, +/- was interesting to me. And yes Chris was first in that. That doesn't mean he should be the best player either.

    No need to get snappy, and I did watch the Olympics so you can stop regurgitating that for me. I don't care what you watch either I'm aware of the circumstances. When did I mention James never played some 3 or 5? Clearly he had to because they had only a couple of bigs aside from him. Hah whatever.

    SPM isn't the only statistic we can measure players by, I thought net 40 was also interesting. I was trying to capture their non boxscore contributions (APM would have been more helpful but not sure where to get that). Yes in general APM kind of sucks compared to other barometers. I prefer basketball on paper stats to APM. Basketball on paper stats over SPM as well.

    As for Jordan-Barkley vs LeBron-Wade, you're terribly off on that. http://www.basketball-reference.com/leaders/ws_per_48_career.html

    LeBron has an edge of .0352 WS/48. Jordan has an edge of .0342 WS/48 over Barkley. You're a little too obsessed with PER, PER doesn't capture durability or all defensive differences. I usually prefer WS to PER.

  21. huevonkiller Says:

    Barkley is one of the most underrated players in the history of the league. It is a shame some automatically put Wade over Barkley.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/tiny.cgi?id=Lwowk

    Maybe you should use due diligence before spouting off. Lol. ;)

  22. AYC Says:

    Let's compare apples to apples. Wade has only played 7 seasons,and he wasn't an all-star caliber player as a rookie, leaving 6 seasons as an elite player. So what happens if you compare his top 6 seasons to Barkley's top 6?

    (2005-10 for Wade, 1988-93 for Charles)

    26.8 ppg/ 5.0 rpg/ 7.0 apg/ .568 TS%/ 104 DRtg/ 21.8 DWS/ 26.8 PER/ .201 WS/48, 410 G
    25.9 ppg/11.6 rpg/ 4.1 apg/ .637 TS%/ 106 DRtg/ 22.0 DWS/ 26.8 PER/ .246 WS/48, 456 G

    28.3 ppg/ 5.6 rpg/ 6.1 apg/ .578 TS%/ 102 DRtg/ 3.7 DWS/ 25.5 PER/ .195 WS/48, 53 G
    25.9 ppg/13.3 rpg/ 4.6 apg/ .580 TS%/ 108 DRtg/ 2.2 DWS/ 25.2 PER/ .207 WS/48, 45 G

    IMO, offensive win-shares overvalues offensive rebounds and high FG%; I think PER does a better job of rating offense, and it rates the two as virtually equal. On the other hand, defensive win-shares are the best measure of defense we have (Hollinger doesn't pretend PER measures Dee well)... but Wade avgd more DWS per game than Barkley, and had a higher defensive rating. In postseason play, Wade's defensive stats improved, while Barkley's got worse. This is despite the fact that Charles avgd a whole lot more defensive rebounds than Wade; that should give him an advantage, and the fact that it doesn't tells us how bad he was defensively

  23. AYC Says:

    PS please note how dramatically Barkley's TS% and WS/48 dropped in postseason play, along with the defensive decline I mentioned above. Wade saw a rise in scoring, TS%, and his advanced defensive stats in playoff action

  24. Anon x 2 Says:

    Magic = Reggie on that list. um....

  25. huevonkiller Says:

    Interesting, but Barkley is definitely better in the regular season. He has the greatest SPM numbers of all time for a power forward. It isn't just a few decimal points of difference like with PER.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/blog/?p=1654

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/blog/?p=2191

    Basically Barkley has 4 seasons at or above Wade's prime season.

    "IMO, offensive win-shares overvalues offensive rebounds and high FG%; I think PER does a better job of rating offense, and it rates the two as virtually equal. On the other hand, defensive win-shares are the best measure of defense we have (Hollinger doesn't pretend PER measures Dee well)... but Wade avgd more DWS per game than Barkley, and had a higher defensive rating. In postseason play, Wade's defensive stats improved, while Barkley's got worse. This is despite the fact that Charles avgd a whole lot more defensive rebounds than Wade; that should give him an advantage, and the fact that it doesn't tells us how bad he was defensively"

    I think because of Neil's work here:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/blog/?p=5500

    And using the "usage/efficiency trade-off" combined with defensive rating, you're right in that respect. Ideally I'd have SPM for the post-season too but that's more difficult to acquire for all these seasons.

    However, I'm not so sure about this older quote of yours. "For one, Lebron isn't as good as MJ,". You sure? http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/tiny.cgi?id=TqePV You could say it isn't as long, but it has been better.

    "PS Lebron and Wade both played out of position on the "redeem team". And both benefited from it, playing against bigger players who couldn't handle their superior skill and explosiveness"

    Oh I'm sure LeBron was bigger and they couldn't handle him, but did he "benefit" from it? I'm not sure that was the right word. You must mean he still excelled at it, but having to perform at the 4/5 is certainly a unique situation offensively. James had a lower offensive rating than Dwight Howard.

  26. Jason J Says:

    AYC - I don't really want to get into the Wade / Barkley debate (don't think there's any chance to get a consensus answer), but total DWS is a poor measure of playoff defense in this instance because Wade has played in 8 more playoff games (largely because there's an extra game in the first round now).

  27. Anon Says:

    "I think because of Neil's work here:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/blog/?p=5500"

    I remember that thread lol. It made some people salty because by the Basketball On Paper stats, it showed that Clyde was actually slightly better offensively than Hakeem in that playoffs (by a few points). By SPM, Hakeem gets the edge, but again only by a few points. So basically it's a wash -- but either way it dispels the prevailing myth that Hakeem was head and shoulders better than anyone else on his team offensively.

    I think that Hakeem is a great player but has the same kind of effect that Kobe Bryant has: people tend to overrate his actual production.

  28. Jason J Says:

    huevonkiller - Why did you arbitrarily set the Jordan / LeBron playoff comparison at age 23 - 30? If you look at them from 22-30 Jordan is much better. If you just change Jordan's cutoff age from 30 down to 27, once again he's better.

    I mean, we're using PER as our rank which isn't necessarily the most accurate judge, but to randomly set age limits to give LeBron an advantage when he hasn't even reached the upper age limit set for MJ seems odd.

  29. AYC Says:

    "total DWS is a poor measure of playoff defense in this instance because Wade has played in 8 more playoff games"

    Do I have to spell everything out? OK, CB avgd 3.96 DWS per 82 games (reg season), while Wade avgd 4.36 DWS/82. In the playoffs, CB avgd 4.01 DWS/82, while Wade avgd 5.72 DWS/82. Those are excellent number for a guard from Wade, and terrible numbers for dominant rebounder from CB.

    PS no amount of statistical gymnastics will ever prove Drexler was close to Hakeem as a player.

  30. Jason J Says:

    AYC - I actually didn't look that hard. I just figured I'd point it out. I don't think any reasonable human who watched either of them play could argue that Barkley played defense as well as Wade.

  31. Jason J Says:

    I just did a quick check on proportion of defensive win share - it being somewhat team-determined (mediocre defender who play a lot of minutes on good defense teams come off looking better than mediocre defenders on poor defensive teams).

    I see that in his longest playoff run (the 2006 title) Wade has 2.0 DWS out of a total team DWS of 9.8 roughly 20% of the DWS is Wade.

    I see that in his longest playoff run (1993 finals) Barkley has 1.3 DWS out of a total team DWS of 4.4. More than 25% of the DWS is Barkley.

    Which shows that the Heat were a really good defensive team, and Wade was there most important player while the Suns were not and that Barkley was their most important player. Which still says nothing about the fact that he was a lazy defender.

  32. AYC Says:

    I think the point is that Barkley didn't make the Suns a better team defensively, despite his high defensive rebound numbers. As their best player, he has to take a large share off the responsibility for the poor D of his teams. Most other elite rebounders have much more impressive DWS stats. Even with Philly, CB put up paltry DWS totals; in '89 he had just 2.9 in 79 games. Only once, in 86, did he have over 5 DWS in a season. By way of comparison, Karl Malone had 11 straight seasons of 5 DWS or more, and Tim Duncan has had 9 seasons of 6 DWS or more.

  33. Jason J Says:

    No doubt that's true, though again I wonder how much coaching and teammates come into it. When Charles played with Mo Cheeks, Bobby Jones, and Moses his WS peaked. That doesn't seem like a coincidence. Again, I'm in no way defending Chuck's defense. More pointing out what I think may make DWS somewhat unreliable as a defensive rater.

  34. Anon Says:

    "PS no amount of statistical gymnastics will ever prove Drexler was close to Hakeem as a player."

    Not to get into this argument again, but 1) I was referring to the two players offensively in the '95 playoffs, not for their careers and 2) using this argument removes you from the world of objectivity.

    "I just did a quick check on proportion of defensive win share - it being somewhat team-determined (mediocre defender who play a lot of minutes on good defense teams come off looking better than mediocre defenders on poor defensive teams)."

    I'm of the train of thought that defense in basketball is alot easier to excel at when the rest of your team is good defensively (and I can say this from experience). Sometimes people might complain that defensive rating (and likewise DWS) is a bit team-oriented, but I'd like to challenge anyone to play a game of basketball against a great player from your gym one-on-one and then in a team game with other steady defenders (and especially with a big man in the middle), and then tell me which scenario allows you to play more effective defense.

    Besides, it's not like we can't use both. I think using the two together -- the Basketball on Paper stats and the +/- regressions that you find in Neil's DPA -- can tell you "who's who" as a defender.

  35. P Middy Says:

    "Sir Charles is one of those players that advanced stats overrate, thanks to his high rebounding and FG% numbers. But I don't think those things matter more than his weak defense and inconsistent scoring."

    I'll give you weak defense. But how does someone who scores at a high fg% and also put up a high ppg average display "inconsistent" scoring?

  36. Jason J Says:

    Anon -

    "I'm of the train of thought that defense in basketball is alot easier to excel at when the rest of your team is good defensively (and I can say this from experience). Sometimes people might complain that defensive rating (and likewise DWS) is a bit team-oriented, but I'd like to challenge anyone to play a game of basketball against a great player from your gym one-on-one and then in a team game with other steady defenders (and especially with a big man in the middle), and then tell me which scenario allows you to play more effective defense."

    That is exactly what I was trying to say. Defense is a team game. A player's DWS is likely to be at least partially dependent on how well his teammates defend as well as how well he defends. This also shows up in +/- on the defensive side.

  37. AYC Says:

    Anon, I think you're just trying to eff with me because you know I'm a Hakeem fan; suffice to say, my opinion about Dream outplaying Drex in 95 is based on objective stats like ppg (33.0 for Hakeem), rpg (10.3), FG% (.531), bpg (2.8), spg (2.0) and apg (4.5). WS, PER and plus/minus are subjective methods for evaluating objective stats; there are certain assumptions built into each metric that can fairly be challenged.

    Middy, Charles was the type of guy who would drop 20 one night, and 40 the next; Karl Malone was the guy who could consistently give you 30. If you had Charles when he was on, it was like having the greatest forward in history; but you couldn't count on that night-in and night-out. Check out the box scores from the 93 finals:

    http://webuns.chez-alice.fr/finals/1993.htm

    Barkley had monster offensive perfromances in game's #2 and #4, but was sub-par or just OK in games 1, 3, 5 and 6

  38. P Middy Says:

    Let's get a wider sample size, AYC.

    CB played (I had to use the player game finder, so I dropped his first two seasons) 911 games between 86/87 - 99/00. He shot below 40% for 168 of them. He shot over 60% for 329 of them.

    In that same time period, he had only 21 games over 40 points. He scored 20 or less in 329. 131 of those came in Houston where he averaged less than 20 ppg. That cuts the number of games below 20 when he was averaging +20ppg almost in half.

    So out of 911 games, he shot unreasonably bad in 18% of them. Of the 728 games in which he averaged 20+ PPG, 198 of them were below 20 points. That's 27%.

    Seems pretty darned consistent to me.

  39. P Middy Says:

    Hopefully all my math is right!

  40. Jason J Says:

    Charles also had a hurt elbow in that Finals. He was incredible in the WCF that year.

  41. AYC Says:

    Middy, Barkley shot .542 from the field for his career, so I think 40% or under is a too low threshold for a poor shooting game; if 60% shooting represents a good game, and his career avg is 54%, shouldn't 48% or under qualify as a bad shooting night?

  42. P Middy Says:

    AYC, I think you could make that argument. However, I think if you looked at a box score in the 80s and 90s and saw that Chuck shot 48%, you wouldn't say "that hurt his team."

    40% is pretty low though. So let's go with the current cutoff of a decent FG%, which I think most people put at 45%. That number is 245. 27% of 911.

    If we got with 48% the number is 299. 32%.

    Still, 70% of the time Chuck is giving you what you expect. I suppose we'd have to run his contemporaries through the process to see where he stood amongst them. In general though, I think we gotta say that puts in him in the good to excellent range for consistency - especially when you consider how amazing his overall offensive game was to begin with.

  43. huevonkiller Says:

    "huevonkiller - Why did you arbitrarily set the Jordan / LeBron playoff comparison at age 23 - 30? If you look at them from 22-30 Jordan is much better. If you just change Jordan's cutoff age from 30 down to 27, once again he's better.

    I mean, we're using PER as our rank which isn't necessarily the most accurate judge, but to randomly set age limits to give LeBron an advantage when he hasn't even reached the upper age limit set for MJ seems odd."

    Well I set it from 23-25 originally, and LeBron won. So I wanted to see if Michael could expand this lead somehow in his prime title runs. I chose to start at age 23 because that was the first season LeBron led the league in PER. He and Michael had similar PER at that age. You're right that Michael wins from 23-27 but then he loses at 23-26, 23-28, 23-29.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/tiny.cgi?id=W2oV8

  44. Anon Says:

    "Anon, I think you're just trying to eff with me because you know I'm a Hakeem fan; suffice to say, my opinion about Dream outplaying Drex in 95 is based on objective stats like ppg (33.0 for Hakeem), rpg (10.3), FG% (.531), bpg (2.8), spg (2.0) and apg (4.5). WS, PER and plus/minus are subjective methods for evaluating objective stats; there are certain assumptions built into each metric that can fairly be challenged."

    You say this all the time, but I don't think even you know what you mean by your statements.

    These methods (the Oliver stats and +/- regressions) aren't half-assed formulas with random weights that some person comes up with after five minutes. Rather, they're models built on years of empirical data and observations on the game of basketball, backed with the principles of statistics. The only "subjective" aspects about them (as you call it) is the difference in the approaches to understanding the game in the methods (which is why I love having both), but either way, you're coming up with something alot more useful than per game numbers, which leave out MANY things that take place on the court.

    And by the way, this is coming from a Hakeem fan just like you.

  45. Jason J Says:

    gotcha, Huev. On the other hand, we're only including LeBron's top 3 in that list. We if only take Jordan's top 3, I'd guess Mike would be back in the lead. In any case the fact that its comparable pretty much means LeBron is the balls. Cause it ain't comparable with anybody else in the 3 point era.

  46. AYC Says:

    Anon, I didn't say those metrics are "half-assed"; those are your words not mine.

    "the difference in the approaches to understanding the game" is a matter of subjective interpretation of objective stats; I'm well aware that alot of time and brain-power has gone into developing these metrics; that doesn't mean they always measure a given player's production accurately. In basketball, I think the objective stats we have don't come close to measuring every relevent aspect of on-court performance; and if your metric doesn't include every relevent factor, it's likely that it will sometimes produce bizarre results. Hakeem and Clyde in 95 is a perfect example of a bizarre result from WS. Actually, forget about Clyde; according to OWS, Robert Horry also outperformed Hakeem offensively in the 95 playoffs. Based on WS, David Robinson is not only better than Dream, he was also better than Shaq, Bird and Magic. Sometimes I think the player rating ESPN uses for fantasy basketball produces a more accurate assesment of statistical production....

  47. Anon Says:

    ^^^ Which is why using several metrics together is the best way to go. None of these are meant to be "holy-grail" metrics; that is, the use of one and only one metric that captures player performance in a single number. It doesn't exist.

    Anyway, I don't even think that is the problem. The object of these metrics is to model the game of basketball, not put certain players that we THINK should be at the top. Are the numbers "wrong" BECAUSE the player we call Hakeem isn't where we want him to be? If that's the case, you're asking yourself the wrong question.

  48. P Middy Says:

    There's too many things the numbers, even (or maybe especially) the advanced stats, simply can't account for. How do you even begin to measure the defensive attention that a player demands, which opens things up his teammates? How do you measure that Duncan made the pass that led to the pass that was the assist so consistently throughout his career?

    There must be some deference to actually watching the games, and the holistic knowledge of that. That's why I don't try to rank players I've never watched. There's no baseline of knowledge there. Any statements about players made PURELY on stats is incomplete. You have to experience that players game first, IMO.

  49. AYC Says:

    Middy, I agree. Watching footage of Wilt on espn classic, nba tv and youtube , I have been struck by how limited his offensive game was; based on his stats, I had assumed he was much better on offense than he actually was. But the video doesn't lie; only by watching him can you see why such a dominant player saw his scoring plummet against good defenses in postseason play. Only by actually watching them play can you see that players like Kareem and even Hakeem, were better scorers.

    Anon, I think it's a cop-out to say we shouldn't use advanced stats to try to rate players. If they don't rate players properly, why should we pay attention to them at all? When your metric says Horry was a better offensive player than Hakeem, that's a sign your metric is imperfect. Even Neil has admitted in recent articles that he has issues with win-shares....

  50. Anon Says:

    "There must be some deference to actually watching the games, and the holistic knowledge of that. That's why I don't try to rank players I've never watched. There's no baseline of knowledge there. Any statements about players made PURELY on stats is incomplete. You have to experience that players game first, IMO."

    There is some truth to this. However, the problem you run into here is that the human mind can be prone to all sorts of bias, plus the fact that there isn't anybody out there who has access to EVERY game on film of whichever player they want to analyze...and even if they do, I'm not sure there are people who will sit down and watch every second of their careers, write down all the postives and negatives, and then determine his value.

    If the mind was perfect, there would be no need for the numbers. But it isn't, so here they are. And over the course of a career, I'll take those over biased recollections of how Player X performed.

    "Anon, I think it's a cop-out to say we shouldn't use advanced stats to try to rate players."

    And where did I say this or even imply this? Reread my post.

    "When your metric says Horry was a better offensive player than Hakeem, that's a sign your metric is imperfect."

    And once again, I never said any metric was, either.

    By the way, you asked the very question that I said isn't a good way of tackling the problem. If a certain metric is "not acceptable" BECAUSE your favorite player isn't where you think he should be, it's akin to taking the evidence to fit the theory, instead of the other way around.

  51. AYC Says:

    Anon, this isn't just about players I like or don't like. Hakeem is the ultimate example of a player that WS don't properly rate, but there are many more. Barkley was a player I liked, but advanced stats overrate him. David Robinson is tremendously overrated by WS, as are Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Paul and John Stockton. Meanwhile, Bird, Wade, Ewing and Kobe (who I despise) are underrated. And don't get me started on how advanced stats undervalue Isiah Thomas and other elite point guards like Kidd and Payton.

    PS Bird is just as underrated as Hakeem; WS manages to overrate him as a defender while tremendously underrating him as an offensive player.

  52. AYC Says:

    6.9 ppg, 4.0 Orpg, 1.6 apg, 1.2 topg, .486 TS%, 39.4 mpg
    24.3 ppg, 3.6 Orpg, 2.9 apg, 3.2 topg, .541 TS%, 38.1 mpg

    Which player had the better offensive season? According to OWS, player A, who recorded 2.7 OWS in 73 games (2003); Player B recorded 2.5 OWS in 82 games (1990).

    Player A is Ben Wallace, Player B is Hakeem. Does the fact that I'm a Hakeem fan disprove my belief that OWS don't properly rate these two seasons?

  53. Anon Says:

    "Anon, this isn't just about players I like or don't like. Hakeem is the ultimate example of a player that WS don't properly rate, but there are many more."

    And like I said about a million times previously in other posts, I'm not JUST using WS to back up my arguments. You are.

    "Barkley was a player I liked, but advanced stats overrate him. David Robinson is tremendously overrated by WS, as are Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Paul and John Stockton."

    Why? Because you say so? You need to present PROOF for your arguments. Several advanced metrics like these players, and not just WS. Maybe they're all wrong and your views of these players based on biased recollections of these players are correct, or they were perhaps better players than you give them credit for.

    "And don't get me started on how advanced stats undervalue Isiah Thomas and other elite point guards like Kidd and Payton."

    Thomas is overrated anyway. Haven't seen Kidd and Payton get shafted in anything.

    "Player A is Ben Wallace, Player B is Hakeem. Does the fact that I'm a Hakeem fan disprove my belief that OWS don't properly rate these two seasons?"

    The fact that you originally started by looking up HAKEEM'S numbers then comparing them to another player just to find an example shows at least part of your motivation for not liking the metric.

    You're interested in putting the "star names" where you FEEL they should be. I'm interested in accurately representing the game of basketball. If MJ ended up in the middle of the list of the best players of all-time, I would laugh. But I can't sit there and discount the metric BECAUSE of that, I need to ask myself, "How is this metric valuing performance?" "Could it be really that stupid, or perhaps MY original views were incorrect on ________ in the first place?" etc. etc. When you investigate what is going on with the MODEL'S interpretation of the game then you will get clearer answers on these things. But the "smell test" isn't the definitive way for discounting evidence. You need to delve further into the thought process.

  54. AYC Says:

    Anon, I have said this a billion times, but since you seem a little thick, I will repeat myself: I base my opinion of players on objective stats (points, rebounds, blocks, FG%, etc). PER, WS, plus/minus and every other metric you care to name are not objective stats. I can admit that my own interpretation of stats is subjective, but the fact is, ANY attempt to interpret stats is subjective, including your metrics.

    What is the value of a made field goal, relative to an assist? Relative to a turnover? What is the relative value of a missed field goal? If we base a player's rating in part on his team's performance, how do we know we are properly rating each player's contribution to the team? Could we be overvaluing some player's contributions, while undervaluing others? Could we be overvaluing mediocre players on good teams, while undervaluing good players on bad teams?

    As for my Wallace/Olajuwon comparison, now who's making unfounded assumptions? I wasn't looking specifically at Hakeem's stats, I was looking at the DWS leaders of the 3 pt era when I stumbled across this bizarre result. You pretended to address my objection, but in truth you side-stepped actually trying to justify the obviously nonsensical results that OWS produced in this case. If you can explain how Wallace really was a better offensive player than Hakeem based on objective stats, I'll be happy to hear it; something tells me we will all be waiting a long, long time....

  55. Anon Says:

    "I can admit that my own interpretation of stats is subjective, but the fact is, ANY attempt to interpret stats is subjective, including your metrics."

    Well you just axed your argument in one fell swoop. Your subjective argument is just that: subjective. Which makes you telling me that Hakeem was as good as you claim he is on offense and suggesting that people are wrong to think otherwise...well, silly.

    "What is the value of a made field goal, relative to an assist? Relative to a turnover? What is the relative value of a missed field goal? If we base a player's rating in part on his team's performance, how do we know we are properly rating each player's contribution to the team? Could we be overvaluing some player's contributions, while undervaluing others? Could we be overvaluing mediocre players on good teams, while undervaluing good players on bad teams?"

    That is precisely what these metrics are made for. To find out the answers to these things based on their unique strengths and weaknesses.

    "If you can explain how Wallace really was a better offensive player than Hakeem based on objective stats, I'll be happy to hear it; something tells me we will all be waiting a long, long time...."

    We will be, because I never, ever said that.

  56. AYC Says:

    You asked for "PROOF" when I had just given you plenty. Here it is again, since you keep ignoring it:

    "6.9 ppg, 4.0 Orpg, 1.6 apg, 1.2 topg, .486 TS%, 39.4 mpg, 2.7 OWS, 73 g
    24.3 ppg, 3.6 Orpg, 2.9 apg, 3.2 topg, .541 TS%, 38.1 mpg, 2.5 OWS, 82 g"

    Which one of us is dealing in facts, and which one is just spouting opinions? The OBJECTIVE stats above speak for themselves. You claim I'm being silly, but you won't address the actual stats in question; you even claim you don't think Wallace had the better offensive season. So which is it? Am I being silly, or does OWS produce a nonsensical result? You can't have it both ways

  57. AYC Says:

    PS I made a mistake, Hakeem avgd 3.9 TOpg, not 3.2. Doesn't make the result OWS produce any less nonsensical. If you can't admit that in this specific instance, you aren't being intellectually honest

  58. Anon Says:

    "Which one of us is dealing in facts, and which one is just spouting opinions? The OBJECTIVE stats above speak for themselves."

    Two men went into two different restaurants and ate a burger for lunch. Fact.

    What that statement doesn't tell you is one ate a plain hamburger, while the other ate a pineapple bacon burger with all the works. That's like what per game stats give you: just the basic information. These metrics strive for (and give you) much more than that. Which brings me to my next point...

    "You claim I'm being silly, but you won't address the actual stats in question; you even claim you don't think Wallace had the better offensive season. So which is it? Am I being silly, or does OWS produce a nonsensical result?"

    I would be inclined to say yes. But before you just dismiss what you see here, do you ever ask yourself WHY? Scoring points in Ben's era were alot more valuable than points in Hakeem's era (by about 5 points per 100 possessions) and were also scored at alot slower pace. WS takes these things into account in its calculation of marginal offense and marginal points per win. So while Ben's per game numbers don't look at all impressive, they become moreso within the context (or the era of the league) he produced his offense in. Hence the higher OWS (which by the way, several of Ben's teammates had over Hakeem in 1990 as well).

    Does this mean at all that Ben is a more talented or gifted offensive player than Hakeem? Of course not. But these thing measure VALUE, which is a different thing altogether. You need to make this important distinction before making your comparisons.

  59. AYC Says:

    Yeah, I know; advanced stats adjust for pace. That brings us to another assumption they take as a given, that there's a linear correlation between pace and production. But how do we know that for a fact?

  60. Anon Says:

    You can see this by observing how the game works and also prove this empirically. Players who play in slower paced offenses don't have as high per game averages as players who are in faster paced offenses (of course, with all other things held constant, which is something to always keep in mind).

    It's the same reason why it's easy as a casual fan to go nuts over the scoring averages of the Golden State Warriors, but when you take a step back and note that they also have the fastest paced offense in the league, you see why their numbers are "inflated".

  61. AYC Says:

    Anon, give me a little credit please; I know a faster pace means more scoring; but that's on the team level; we can't assume that every individual player is affected equally by changes in pace. A fast pace may benefit the avg player, but it might hurt a player like, say, Eddie Curry (or Yao Ming, Andrew Bynum, Shaq, etc).

    I'm also inclined to believe pace affects roleplayers more than elite scorers; fast-paced teams tend to be more balanced offensively, not relying on a single dominant scorer. Advanced stats assume all players benefit equally from a change in pace. Don't get me wrong, I know pace affects every player; what I don't know is that it affects them all in exactly the same way. The issue as always is separating out individual performance from team performance.

  62. Anon Says:

    "Advanced stats assume all players benefit equally from a change in pace. Don't get me wrong, I know pace affects every player; what I don't know is that it affects them all in exactly the same way."

    It doesn't make that assumption at all. As a matter of fact, the methods used to measure these things seek to discover what the relationship is between pace and production so we then make a conclusion about the *average effect per player* (or lack thereof) in a particular sample, then yo go from there. It's the same thing with any study on the correlation between two variables.

  63. AYC Says:

    I'm not calling you a liar, but I don't believe that. How do you "adjust for pace" without penalizing players from fast-paced teams relative to players on slower teams? How do you "adjust for pace" differently for individual players on the same team?

  64. Anon Says:

    "How do you "adjust for pace" without penalizing players from fast-paced teams relative to players on slower teams?"

    It's not "penalizing" the player as much as it is putting the numbers into proper context. If you don't see the point in this, then it makes no difference trying to convince you.

    It just makes it hard to take the value of per game numbers on its face when Player A has more possessions per minute to score with than Player B, then erroneously conclude that Player A is a "better" offensive player because of what the per game numbers say. Scoring 20 pts/game for a team that sees alot of offensive possessions in a game isn't as valuable as scoring 20 per game on a team that paces itself and "grinds it out" on every halfcourt set (once again, with all other things held constant).

    "How do you "adjust for pace" differently for individual players on the same team?"

    Not really necessary since players play within the confines of team dynamics.

  65. AYC Says:

    Anon, let's not forget where this discussion started. Without much justification, you went off about how Drexler outplayed Hakeem in th 95 playoffs. So you are the one who first brought up Hakeem, not me. And according to your own post, SPM rated Hakeem as the better performer that year, as does PER. Win-Shares is the only metric I know of that says Drex outplayed Hakeem in 95. So I showed that WS often produces bizarre results. You responded by trying to make this about advanced stats in general, when WS is the metric in question. Btw, have you noticed Neil hasn't been using win-shares in his articles lately?

  66. Anon Says:

    "Without much justification, you went off about how Drexler outplayed Hakeem in the 95 playoffs."

    On the offensive end and according to the Oliver stats, yes he did.

    "And according to your own post, SPM rated Hakeem as the better performer that year, as does PER. Win-Shares is the only metric I know of that says Drex outplayed Hakeem in 95. So I showed that WS often produces bizarre results."

    I don't use PER at all. And not because of the result it gives, simply because it is flawed in alot of ways as a formula (at least in its derivation). And btw, WS isn't the only metric that has Drex > Hakeem on offense in the 95 playoffs, and isn't something entirely different from everything else either - it's actually based on the ORtg/Poss%/DRtg numbers you see all the time. It just puts everything into one number as the amount of wins a player contributed to his team.

    OSPM has Hakeem outperforming Drex by a few points. The other perspective (per Oliver) has it the other way around. I just call it a draw. That's all.

    If you want to give the edge to Hakeem, be my guest, and I have NO problem with that. What I'm simply saying is that based on the evidence, the prevailing viewpoint that Hakeem was just "sooooooo much better offensively" than anyone else on his team is false. Drexler was right there with him.

  67. AYC Says:

    I'm not an expert on advanced stats, but I understand them well enough to see through your BS. I'm well aware that "ORtg/Poss%/DRtg" go into factoring win-shares. We were discussing "catch-all" type metrics; PER, WS and SPM are intended to be catch-alls, ORtg is not, unless you think Steve Kerr is the greatest offensive player in history.

    As for PER, you might not like it, but it's listed on this site, so somebody thinks it's respectable. And while it might not be "scientific" enough for your tastes, it does better than OWS at evaluating individual offensive performance.

  68. AYC Says:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/psl_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&type=per_game&per_minute_base=36&is_playoffs=N&year_min=1985&year_max=2002&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=C&qual=&c1stat=ows&c1comp=lt&c1val=3.0&c2stat=ows&c2comp=gt&c2val=2.4&c3stat=g&c3comp=gt&c3val=70&c4stat=per&c4comp=gt&c4val=&order_by=ows

    Over the span of Hakeem's career, a center recorded between 3.0 to 2.4 OWS in a season of 70 or more games 38 times; going by OWS, Hakeem's 1990 season ranks 30th out of 38; and he played the full 82 games; 7 of the 8 players behind him played less than 82, which means he ranks dead last on a per game basis. Yet PER ranks his season as the best of the bunch; so which of these measures produces a more reasonable result, OWS or PER?

  69. AYC Says:

    PS My bad, next to last

  70. Anon Says:

    I don't even know why you're even using Hakeem's 1990 season as an example. It's not like he did anything special that year - he got his points per game and shot 50% from the field, but once again these numbers are pretty devoid of any other information. Putting up a 104 ORtg rating while using 25%+ of your team's offense (in addition to doing so in a 108 ORtg league environment) is pedestrian; it would be interesting to see the OSPM take on his season. PER doesn't tell you ANY of these things (among issues that people have with the derivation of its weights in the formula). PER is a pretty popular stat among the casual fans that are looking to dabble into other stats outside of per game numbers, and its a good way of doing a quick analysis on "who's who" in the league so I understand its use. But there are better metrics out there.

    BTW, as for "catch-all" stats, you continue to act as if I look at only WS for my information. There are multiple sources of information that I'm using to support my case. If several of them don't exactly have Hakeem blowing away his peers on offense, then perhaps you need to be asking yourself if your opinion is a bit biased - which is little apparent from this statement you made: "And while it might not be "scientific" enough for your tastes, it does better than OWS at evaluating individual offensive performance."

    Really now, is this because it's not putting Hakeem where you feel he should be?

  71. AYC Says:

    You know exactly why I'm using that example: because his OWS that season is preposterously low. Compare his real stats to the other centers with similar OWS totals. Btw, several Ben Wallace seasons aren't on the list because he is erroneously listed as a forward. Ben Wallace, a better offensive player than Hakeem in his prime!? Anyway, I don't think 24ppg/50%FG/70%FT is "nothing special"

    And since ORtg (and DRtg) is a major component in factoring WS, it's disingenuous to pretend it's an entirely independent measure. ORtg assumes a player is as good (or bad) as the team he plays on. Thus a good offensive player on a bad offensive team is unfairly punished, while a bad offensive player on a good offensive team is unfairly rewarded. Adjustments for pace also unfairly reward players on slow teams, or playing in slow eras.

    Since you have some special animosity towards Hakeem, let's look at Bob Cousy; through the first 5 years of his career that we have DWS for, Cooz was one of the worst defensive guards in BBall; in 55 he recorded just 1.5 DWS in 71 games. Then in 1957 he suddenly became the best defensive guard in the game, recording at least 4.6 DWS a season in each of his last 7 years. Hmmm, I wonder what changed in 1957...? Maybe WS doesn't properly measure how much a specific player contributes to his team's defensive performance in this case....

  72. Anon Says:

    "Anyway, I don't think 24ppg/50%FG/70%FT is "nothing special""

    For Hakeem's standards (and for the standards of star offensive players in 1990), it was just that, so-so. And for someone who keeps talking about the need for more complete stats, you're not exactly doing yourself a favor by using numbers that give you the least amount of info about player performance.

    "ORtg assumes a player is as good (or bad) as the team he plays on. Thus a good offensive player on a bad offensive team is unfairly punished, while a bad offensive player on a good offensive team is unfairly rewarded."

    I don't know if you ever read Basketball on Paper, but this is false.

    "Adjustments for pace also unfairly reward players on slow teams, or playing in slow eras."

    Unfair for what reason? You can't just make a statement without explaining your point.

    "Since you have some special animosity towards Hakeem, let's look at Bob Cousy..."

    I don't have any particular feeling about ANY basketball player, in terms of his on-court performance. I simply look at his production. Doesn't matter if I'm saying this about MJ or Sam Perkins.

    But since you did happen to bring up DWS, you're right that it IS largely team-dependent (as well as something that is hard to get in the numbers) - it also happened to be the same season that Bill Russell entered the league and the Celtics became a better defensive team (not solely bc of Bill of course, but some of defense improvement certainly goes to his credit). But then again, it's nothing I don't even think that is anything necessarily "wrong" with the model. Defense is basketball is mostly team-dependent (in comparison to offense), and great defensive bigs and interior defenders are more valuable than perimeter defenders. Any player would become a alot better defender with a legendary defender behind him in the paint and other good defensive players around him as well.

    Getting defense right statistically is still a work in progress, but this gets away a bit from what we we're discussing in the first place.

  73. AYC Says:

    anon, I think you enjoy playing dumb. First, I brought up Hakeem in 90 in the context of comparing his "real" stats to those of other centers with similar OWS totals for a full season. Most of the players on the list ahead of Dream are nowhere close to being "star offensive players". Hakeem (and Ewing, the only other 20 ppg scorer on the list)sticks out like a sore thumb.

    On the second point, I meant OWS (not ORtg), which has the same issues that you acknowledged with regard to DWS. Just as Cooz unfairly benefitted with more DWS once Russell arrived, Hakeem's OWS was unfairly hurt by being on a bad offensive team (HOU was 21st out of 27 in ORtg in 1990). I feel like my point was pretty clear, even if I mistakenly said ORtg instead of OWS above.

    As for pace-adjusted stats, I shared some of my objections earlier in post #61. Let's suppose a player sees his "real" statistical production RISE when his team starts playing at a faster pace, but his pace-adjusted stats show a DROP in individual production. Which measure is more accurate? If he's a high usage "star", perhaps his marginal utility can't really be much improved upon by the faster pace, simply because he was already near his peak of possible productivity. Meanwhile his lesser teammates disproportionately gain the rewards of a faster pace. Cousy is a good example of this, since he played in both the pre-shot-clock era and in the 60's when scoring was off the charts. Let's look at his PER, since it's not tied to team performance beyond the pace adjustment. It turns out Cooz had a PER over 20.0 in his first 6 seasons (not counting his rookie year, when they didn't track minutes). But from 1958-63, his PER fell below 20, despite the fact that his ppg and apg both rose on a per minute basis, and his FG% improved. What changed in 58? Bos went from averaging 105 ppg to 110 ppg; and that was just a transition year; in 59 Bos avgd 116 ppg; in 60, they avgd 124 ppg.

  74. AYC Says:

    Cousy from 1952-57, then from 1958-63:

    18.5 ppg/ 5.5 rpg/ 7.0 apg (36 mpg), .373 FG%, .814 FT%, 416 G, 21.1 PER
    19.5 ppg/ 4.8 rpg/ 8.9 apg (36 mpg), .379 FG%, .795 FT%, 432 G, 18.2 PER

    If we exclude his last season with boston (due to decline) and look at 1958-62:

    19.8 ppg/ 5.0 rpg/ 8.9 apg (36 mpg), .376 FG%, .805 FT%, 356 G, 18.5 PER

  75. Anon Says:

    "First, I brought up Hakeem in 90 in the context of comparing his "real" stats to those of other centers with similar OWS totals for a full season. Most of the players on the list ahead of Dream are nowhere close to being "star offensive players"."

    You're comparing players from different seasons where the league environment and defenses change from season to season. It makes comparing their per game numbers absurd.

    "Just as Cooz unfairly benefitted with more DWS once Russell arrived, Hakeem's OWS was unfairly hurt by being on a bad offensive team (HOU was 21st out of 27 in ORtg in 1990)."

    First of all, it wasn't "unfair" for the reasons I already mentioned. DRtg is also based on the assumption that the individual faces 1/5th of the opposing team's offense while on the floor, so DWS is going to tie alot of your value to how the rest of your team performs defensively (which reflects how defense works on the floor anyway).

    Second, unlike defense, offense is much less team-oriented, and this is also reflected in ORtg (which is the basis for OWS). When OWS is calculated, it doesn't even look at what your team does - it compares your performance to the rest of the league on offense.

    "Let's suppose a player sees his "real" statistical production RISE when his team starts playing at a faster pace, but his pace-adjusted stats show a DROP in individual production. Which measure is more accurate? If he's a high usage "star", perhaps his marginal utility can't really be much improved upon by the faster pace, simply because he was already near his peak of possible productivity. Meanwhile his lesser teammates disproportionately gain the rewards of a faster pace."

    You need to explain the last sentence in your paragraph. But with what you're talking about, you still don't understand that the key here is measuring VALUE (which is the same point I have been making about the list that you put up with Hakeem). Those points scored in an offense where there are more possessions in a given time span don't have as much value as points in a slower paced offense.

    In the example of Cousy, he went from scoring in a slower-paced offense to scoring in a faster-paced one, in a league where the overall pace also was faster. So those per game numbers are misleading despite the increase - the actual value of the point, assist, etc. (which contribute to wins) went down in the late 50s and 60s. Once again, you cry foul over this phenomenon, but I don't see how you can attribute the same amount of value to each case.

  76. AYC Says:

    What's "absurd" is any measure that says Ben Wallace had a better offensive season than Hakeem or Ewing. Wallace is one of the worst offensive players in NBA history. Hakeem avgd 24.3 ppg, shot above the league avg from the field, and wasn't far off the league avg from the line; he also grabbed plenty of off. rebounds. His TO/G was high, but that happens with high usage players; nothing about his statline suggests that a single-figure scorer (7 ppg) who shot under 50% from the line was more valuable offensively.

    Regarding pace, my point was that high usage "star" players see diminishing returns from increased pace (or minutes for that matter), because they are already producing at peak level. Conversely, role-payers have more to gain from a faster pace or more minutes. I think it's telling that fast-paced teams are associated with a balanced attack, rather than a single dominant scorer; think Russell's Celts, Magic's Lakers, Webber's Kings, and Nash's Suns.

  77. Anon Says:

    "What's "absurd" is any measure that says Ben Wallace had a better offensive season than Hakeem or Ewing. Wallace is one of the worst offensive players in NBA history."

    And we're not talking about NBA history are we? We're talking about Ben's 2003 season compared to Hakeem's 1993 season.

    Anyway, it's almost like you didn't comprehend a single thing I was explaining by my earlier statement in the first place. Hakeem's 104 ORtg (on around 26% of his team's offense) is equivalent to someone putting up a 99 ORtg in 2003. He would still have a higher ORtg (and the difference isn't exactly by leaps and bounds, either) than Wallace given the usage/efficiency tradeoff, but once again the metric is measuring value. Two players can post identical ORtgs and % poss rates in the same statistical league environment, but if Player A played in more games where points are harder to come by, his production is going to be more important to his team winning their games, plain and simple.

    You can be impressed with raw offense and per game numbers all you want, but without putting them into the right context, it's like buying a computer because you went by the clock speed of its CPU. Per game numbers/PER/ORtg + % poss rate gives you raw offense, WS gives you the CONTEXT to put those numbers into.

  78. AYC Says:

    Clearly an improper context. But hey, you go on believing Wallace had more "value" offensively because WS tell you so....

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