Comments on: Win Shares & EWA: A Comparison NBA & ABA Basketball Statistics & History Mon, 21 Nov 2011 20:56:04 +0000 hourly 1 By: Jason J Fri, 03 Apr 2009 15:33:55 +0000 Steve - That's a really interesting point about being able to plug in any 4 / 5 to get that rebound range. That's one of those instinctive things that raises my hackles when I look at WP (though I really like Dave Berri's thoughtful approach to things) - as an indicator of team wins it's very strong but as a rater of individual contribution it may over-reward highly replaceable stats.

I think with the blocks / rebounds correlation experiment you'd find Rodman and Barkley would be majorly off the curve in the other direction (as opposed to the Eaton's the world) because they were never much in the way of big number shot blockers but they have two of the highest rebound rates of any 30+ min/g players in NBA history.

On Dennis's anticipation of bounces off the rim, he used to study film of teammates and opponents to find where the ball would come to when they normally missed from each area of the court. It was a science to him.

By: Steve Sailer Fri, 03 Apr 2009 10:08:28 +0000 You had an earlier posting that was very enlightening about how defensive rebounding stats don't differ that much. You plug any big man into the center or power forward position and he'll get at least 6 or 8 rebounds per 36 minutes, most of them defensive. In contrast, Moses Malone got lots and lots of offensive rebounds that nobody else would have.

Still, some people are just bad rebounders. Dennis Rodman talks about how he could tell when the shot left the shooter's hand where the carom would wind up. In contrast, in my inglorious career as a 6'4" playground player who routinely got shut off the boards by low-flying stocky 5'10 guys, I seldom knew where the ball would bounce after already bounced.

Here's an idea for a topic: Who was the worst rebounder (relative to size) of all time? Some of seven-footer Brad Sellers rebounding statistics are astonishingly bad, but there was probably somebody worse out there.

Another possibility is to compare shotblocking to rebounding and look for the biggest contrasts. You'd think they correlate well, but I was a fine playground shotblocker despite not being able to jump and being pretty clueless. I think Mark Eaton would come up in any list of people who could block but not rebound real well.

By: Jason J Wed, 01 Apr 2009 15:39:33 +0000 Neil,

It's cool to see the relative accuracy of the WS method in terms of win determination.

How does it stack up to Dave Berri's Wins Produced?

When I look at things like PER, EWA, or WP I wonder if we wouldn't be better served developing a system where stats are valuated differently for different positions. It's not as clear cut as in some sports, but there is definitely a distribution of labor in the NBA. While it's great to acknowledge and reward versatility, maybe a PG, whose role is specifically to set up teammates, should get a little extra credit for assists and have smaller impact associated with his rebounds or blocks, which the team is typically going to rely on big guys to provide. Just as a matter of emphasis in the metric.

Or maybe I'm way off-base. I just look at stats like WP and find it odd that in order to even the playing field there need to be position adjustments done after the fact, as though guards require a handicap to produce wins at the same level as bigs do. Yes rebounding and efficient scoring are paramount, but how important is the space provided by a shooter or a clean lead or entry pass to getting that big man his high percentage shot opportunity?

Then we get back to the whole issue of assigning roles and positions in the first place, and it gets to be an even messier concept.

By: Mike G Wed, 01 Apr 2009 12:50:30 +0000 Neil,
You refer to player WS/ews 'predicting' team wins, but you're actually just comparing same-season totals -- right?

This year, you have WS-Wins error as 2.24 . The Pythagorean-Wins 'error' is about 1.69 . So one might presume the WS-Pyth error should be closer to .55 . Is that a more reasonable result to know?