Comments on: Shocker of the Day: Losing Your Leading Scorer Hurts Your Offense NBA & ABA Basketball Statistics & History Mon, 21 Nov 2011 20:56:04 +0000 hourly 1 By: Travis Sat, 21 May 2011 11:13:22 +0000 @49:

It used to be on the site. This was before the reset a couple years ago.

I see that nobody has bothered to mention post #31. This is exactly what Berri is saying. This is an issue of semantics, like in the following example:

I support cutting off foreign aid to Israel.


The US should not dictate Israel's border decisions for Israel; the outcome should be negotiated between Israel and its neighbor.

While those may seem like opposing statements, both are non-interventionist.

By: Matt, Colombia Sat, 21 May 2011 03:11:40 +0000 @47

How does 25-30% of teams improving because they lost their leading scorer show that scoring is overrated? It may show that those particular teams overrate it, but the majority of the league still doesn't.

Also, he's only saying that his method shows that without actually giving any proof of it through looking at whether those teams actually improved without those example players he uses. Philly and Denver both added players. Memphis didn't really win that much more without Gay and really could have used him against the Thunder for shot creation.

That 25% of the league has a high volume low-efficiency scorer leading their team in ppg, just goes to show valuable a skill efficient scoring really is. If those teams had someone who could create their own shot and score efficiently, they would be doing it, or so one assumes.

By: Jay Sat, 21 May 2011 01:29:44 +0000 Why doesn't this site run Wins Produced numbers for players? If PER can get on there, I see no reason why WP shouldn't.

By: Neil Paine Fri, 20 May 2011 22:23:34 +0000 I already corrected myself on the second remark -- I misread the initial DBerri post as saying that 19 of 30 teams could be improved by replacing their leading scorer with an average WP48 player. But the actual conclusion of his post makes the opening quotation seem even more like an oversell.

By: Owen Fri, 20 May 2011 21:12:07 +0000 "I think there were two separate points made in that post -- that a team can survive the loss of its leading scorer (in general), and that replacing a team's leading scorer with an average player by WP48 will usually make the team better."

That's a pretty bizarre reading of the post, especially "in general" and "usually."

I think what he is saying is that some percentage of the time, maybe 25%-30% of the time, if you replaced a team's leading socrer with an average player the team would improve. That's because scoring is overrated.

Honestly, this isn't even controversial is it?

What happens to the Bulls if Kyle Lowry replaces Derrick Rose? Would love to see what happens there.....

By: marparker Fri, 20 May 2011 16:16:04 +0000 Neil,

Now, I see where you are coming from more clearly.

By: Neil Paine Fri, 20 May 2011 15:27:43 +0000 #43 - I think there are 2 semi-related but ultimately distinct questions here:

* Are scorers overrated offensively? (i.e., is high-volume shooting easy to replace on offense?)

* Are scorers overrated as all-around players? (i.e., are they so bad at defense, passing, etc. that the impact of their scoring is offset?)

The first question is what I was driving at, and it's strictly an offensive one. However, plus/minus regressions have shown that volume shooters do tend to be worse defensively than low-usage players, all else being equal. This could be because players who don't create shots must be doing something else to justify being on the floor, but it could also imply that scorers tend to be bad defenders, in which case #2 might be true even if #1 isn't.

#44 - Now that's a great idea. Might have to use win score instead of WP. Replicate the (pending) study of MPG vs PPG by looking at winscore/G vs PPG.

By: Guy Fri, 20 May 2011 14:51:08 +0000 Neil:
Any chance you could replicate your games played/not played analysis, but instead of looking at each team's top scorer look at the player with the highest Wins Produced? That is, repeat Dave Berri's earlier analysis of how much teams would lose without their highest WP player, but using your methodology. It would be interesting to see the actual change in efficiency differential, compared to the projected change based on WP.

By: marparker Thu, 19 May 2011 18:35:32 +0000 Neil,

I thought it was understood that maximizing efficiency differential was the goal.

By: Neil Paine Thu, 19 May 2011 15:57:47 +0000 41 now (well, actually, 42).

"Top scorer" seems to be primarily an offensive designation, no?