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BBR Rankings: Final Regular-Season Schedule-Adjusted Offensive and Defensive Ratings

Posted by Neil Paine on April 14, 2011

2010-11 NBA power rankings through the games played on April 13, 2011:

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Posted in BBR Rankings, SRS, Statgeekery | 33 Comments »

Layups: Best Defenders in 2011

Posted by Neil Paine on April 13, 2011

At Back Picks, ElGee took a look at the top individual defenders of the 2010-11 NBA season.

Posted in Awards, Layups | 18 Comments »

Mailbag: The Redd-Randolph All-Stars

Posted by Neil Paine on April 11, 2011

Here's an idea sent my way courtesy of BBR reader Rob P.:

"Can you think of players who had excellent 'per-36-minute' stat lines on limited
minutes, and who either outperformed or seriously underperformed those 'per-36'
numbers once given an increase in minutes?

I'm a Celtics fan, so Glen Davis comes to mind as being a good example of
someone who produced close to their per-36 averages upon being given a larger
role.

I'm curious about some of the extremes; players whose averages were seriously
impacted by an increase in minutes. Basically examples that make you think, 'it
was a bad idea to give this guy more minutes' OR 'I can't believe he's been
coming off the bench all this time instead of starting!'"

One of the big early battlegrounds of APBRmetrics was the philosophical debate between per-minute and per-game statistics. Per-game was the traditional standard, but analysts like John Hollinger began to tear that way of thinking down after realizing per-minute performance held over for most players who received more playing time. From Hollinger's seminal 2004-05 Pro Basketball Forecast:

"It's a pretty simple concept, but one that has largely escaped most NBA front offices: The idea that what a player does on a per-minute basis is far more important than his per-game stats. The latter tend to be influenced more by playing time than by the quality of play, yet remain the most common metric of player performance.

[...]

Unfortunately, many NBA execs and fans still believe that somebody can be a '20 minute player' -- that he's only useful in short stretches but can't play a full game. With the exception of the rare few who are scandalously out of shape (Oliver Miller, for example), this is profoundly untrue. [Michael] Redd was the perfect example -- he was thought of as a bench player simple because that's what he'd always been, but there was no reason he couldn't play 40 minutes a night. There's a supposition that some players' production will decrease with increased minutes, but within reason that's completely untrue. The first Prospectus emphatically proved this with research showing that most player's [sic] performance improves with greater playing time."

Hollinger's examples of predictable "breakouts" from per-minute stats included Redd, Zach Randolph, Carlos Boozer, and Andrei Kirilenko, all of whom held onto their low-MPG production when thrust into bigger roles. In fact, Hollinger featured Redd on the cover of his 2nd book as an example of a player with great per-minute stats who was underrated because of a lack of playing time.

So, to answer Rob's original question, and in honor of Hollinger's early per-minute darlings, here are the "Redd-Randolph All-Stars". To qualify, a player had to:

  • play in the "Hollinger Era" (the 1990s, 2000s, or 2010s)
  • play at least 41 games in back-to-back seasons
  • play less than 24 MPG in the first of the back-to-back seasons, and more than 24 MPG in the second
  • see an increase of at least 7 MPG between the two seasons

Of that group (which included 320 players since 1990), I'll list 3 top-5 lists: players who improved their PERs the most when given increased playing time, players whose PERs were the closest to what they had been before when given increased playing time, and players whose PERs declined the most with an increase in PT. This will capture all of the possible extremes Rob mentioned, plus the Hollinger prototype of players whose PERs didn't change at all.

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Posted in Analysis, BBR Mailbag, History, Statgeekery, Totally Useless, Trivia | 33 Comments »

NY Times: Underdogs Have Little Bite in N.B.A. Playoffs

Posted by Justin Kubatko on April 8, 2011

Unlike the NCAA tournament, the NBA playoffs are not set up for "Cinderella" runs:

Keeping Score: Underdogs Have Little Bite in N.B.A. Playoffs

This will be my last weekly column for the New York Times this season, as they will move on to baseball next week. However I might contribute a few pieces during the playoffs. Thanks for reading this season.

Posted in NY Times | 5 Comments »

BBR Rankings: Schedule-Adjusted Offensive and Defensive Ratings (April 8, 2011)

Posted by Neil Paine on April 8, 2011

2010-11 NBA power rankings through the games played on April 7, 2011:

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Posted in BBR Rankings, SRS, Statgeekery | 15 Comments »

Mailbag: Last-Place Teams Who Beat the League’s Best

Posted by Neil Paine on April 6, 2011

Longtime BBR reader Imadogg had a great observation/question last Wednesday:

"Last night, the last place Cavs beat the Greatest Team Ever Assembled, the Miami Heat. That means this year, the Cavaliers have defeated the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, and Miami Heat... 3 of the top 6 teams in the league (record-wise, as of now), and the current 2, 2, and 3 seeds.

When was the last time this happened, that the last place team in the entire league defeated half of the top 6 teams in a single season? Maybe it happens more often than I think, but I'd be surprised."

I was finally able to research this today. First, I searched for teams ranked last (or tied for last) in the NBA in WPct. Then, I searched for teams ranked in the top 6 (again, with ties) in WPct, and counted how many different times those teams had been beaten by the last-place teams. Here's every instance in NBA history where a last-place team by WPct beat at least 3 of the top 6 teams by WPct:

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Posted in BBR Mailbag, History, Just For Fun, Trivia | 15 Comments »

It Finally Happened!!!!

Posted by Neil Paine on April 4, 2011

...Artis Gilmore is going to be a Hall of Famer!

This means we will have to come up with a new answer to #6 on our Keltner List posts.

Posted in Announcements, Hall of Fame, History, Layups | 78 Comments »

Double, Triple, and Quad-Double Leaders (1986-2011)

Posted by Neil Paine on April 4, 2011

A lot of users have been asking for double- and triple-double leaderboards, so I thought I would make some now that we have gamelog data going back to 1986.

Here are the career double-double leaders since then:

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Posted in Data Dump, History, Just For Fun | 32 Comments »

So Who’s the MIP? (Episode II)

Posted by Justin Kubatko on April 1, 2011

About this time last year, I developed a method for identifying the leading candidates for the Most Improved Player (MIP) award. Since we are nearing the end of the 2010-11 season, I thought it might be interesting to revisit this topic. I made some minor tweaks to last year's method, so let me outline the process once again before reporting this season's results.

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Posted in Analysis, Awards, Statgeekery | 29 Comments »

BBR Rankings: Schedule-Adjusted Offensive and Defensive Ratings (April 1, 2011)

Posted by Neil Paine on April 1, 2011

2010-11 NBA power rankings through the games played on March 31, 2011:

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Posted in BBR Rankings, SRS, Statgeekery | 5 Comments »

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