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1794Re: [APBR_analysis] Re: On a lighter note...

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  • bchaikin@aol.com
    Feb 18, 2003
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      Bruce Bowen, Michael Curry, and to a lesser extent Eric Williams should be fascinating studies for our crowd. In fact, we should be devoting huge amounts of attention to these guys.

      Whether you're using Tendex, PER, or another system to statistically rate players, you're going to come up with a rating for all three of them that shows them to be absolutely horrible. Yet all three are important players on good teams.

      I would submit that none of these players are all that important.  They play small roles on good teams.  None of them dramatically impact the success or failure of their teams. 

      i too would not call them "important", but they do indeed fill a role that certain coaches desire - a player who can play minutes and provide something positive to the team (usually something positive that the other starters are not contributing or something the coach feels the team needs more of) that does not require them having ball on offense, or more correctly, taking touches away from the players the coaches want to have the ball most or all of the time...

      bowen serves the purpose of playing defense. if he played great D but also required more touches on offense (taking touches away from say tim duncan) and he shot a low FG%, odds are he wouldn't be playing. his lousy shooting the past two seasons hasn't been a major problem because he rarely shoots. there aren't many players in this league who are willing to do the dirty work and also not want the ball on offense, but there are those smart enough to realize they can secure a nice paycheck by doing so...

      the perfect example for this the past few seasons is ben wallace. his touches per minute has been 0.30 - 0.50 the past 5 seasons. who even heard of ben wallace after the 98-99 season? yet he had been in the league for 3 years and was a good to excellent rebounder and a good shot blocker. orlando traded him, washington traded him, both calling him an undersized center who couldn't score. neither the magic nor the wizards have a center now that even compares to wallace, yet someone in detroit saw something in wallace that they liked. however he is an extreme example because he does not 1 but 3 things very well (rebound, block shots, and play great stand-up D)...

      p.j. brown is another extreme example. handles the ball a lowly 0.50 times/min on offense the past two years but plays major minutes because he rebounds and plays good D (and blocks a few shots). would he play if he rebounded but didn't play D, or played good D but couldn't rebound? maybe not - but with mashburn, b.davis, and wesley, they don't need any more people wanting the ball on offense...

      any season in the NBA the vast majority of players who play major minutes but touch the ball very infrequently on offense are Cs or PFs. they do 1, 2, or all of these things well - rebound, block shots, and play good D. its rare to see a SF or SG with very few touches/min, but they do show up now and then. since a SF or SG rarely rebounds well or blocks alot of shots, if they are not going to be participating in the offense they had better be playing tough D or odds are they won't be playing at all....

      To me, that underscores more than anything how many miles behind we are in the study of defense and how much work needs to be done. Folks aren't going to take statistical ratings seriously if they don't pass the laugh test, and if we're rating Bruce Bowen and Michael Curry as the two worst players in the league, then we don't pass it.

      this is where a simulation is effective (although there are those in this crowd that prefer not to hear this). in a simulation you can adjust a player's defensive rating and easily see the difference in terms of a team's Wins and Losses. and isn't that what is most important, how many Ws and Ls a player contributes to a team?...

      bob chaikin
      bchaikin@...


































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