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246Re: Similarity Scores

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  • Dean Oliver
    Sep 18, 2001
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      --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "Mike Goodman" <msg_53@h...> wrote:
      > > One of my personal quibbles with all the tendex-like rating
      systems
      > > out there is there is that they do combine offensive with
      defensive
      > > contributions. There is a big difference in my mind between Moses
      > > Malone, who was an offensive force, and Hakeem Olajuwon, who has
      > been
      > > dominant defensively. Both were good in the other thing, but
      > > dominant in just one. Kareem was dominant offensively (and
      > probably
      > > defensively) early on. Duncan has been dominant defensively, not
      > > offensively. (Duncan appears to have more of the competitive
      fight
      > > than Kareem, but, again, I missed the early Kareem.)
      >
      > I get your point, Dean, but your examples don't seem the clearest.
      > Olajuwan is better than Malone because he has all the offense Malone
      > had PLUS defense. Never seen the Dream shake?
      > Duncan has virtually all the offense Kareem had, averaged over their
      > careers, according to my numbers. Kareem did maintain a great
      > shooting pct., but Duncan plays in an era of universally-tough D.

      Olajuwon was very solid offensively (not stellar, like Kareem) -- I
      didn't mean to imply otherwise. Malone was just the epitome of a good
      offensive center who wasn't that good defensively. Rik Smits is
      another example of the poor defensive type who can score (not as well
      as Olajuwon/Moses). Olajuwon is very DISSIMILAR to these guys because
      he is much better defensively. Similarity is all I'm trying to
      capture, not quality.

      I looked at Duncan's offensive #'s last night and his offensive rating
      has been between about 104 and 108 since entering the league, when
      average offensive ratings have been between about 100 and 103. He's a
      little more efficient than average. My recollection of Kareem's #'s
      were about 115 in the early '80s, when average was about 106-108 --
      relatively higher than Duncan's. Again, these two players just don't
      seem very SIMILAR to me. I would think of David Robinson as more
      similar to Kareem. Or possibly Olajuwon. Probably Wilt. Not
      Russell.

      > >
      > > Depending on how you define "average", but, yeah, Duncan looks
      > better
      > > offensively than he really is because he plays on a great
      defensive
      > > team. (He would make most teams better defensively, too.)
      >
      > Don't know how a guy 'looks better than he really is', DeanO.
      >

      Another way of saying that the hype on Duncan has been a little
      extreme. Put him on the Hawks last year and, while he's better than
      Mutombo offensively, the team still wouldn't have scored much. They
      would have been pretty close to as good defensively as they were with
      Mutombo (or better), but they wouldn't be an offensive threat. I
      don't think Kareem ever played on a weak offensive team.

      > This is fun, splitting hairs!
      > If your center kicks out 3 nice passes to guards, who only hit one
      of
      > the 3 shots, the center only gets one assist.
      > The guard can make 3 nice passes inside, 2 of which may be
      converted,
      > so he gets 2 assists.
      > So an equally valid argument is that assists from guards
      > are 'easier', and assists from centers are 'undercounted'.
      > I say they are equal.
      >
      > Perhaps more to the issue, evaluate which players make those
      > practical passes which may or may not get them an assist, versus
      > those who will not give up the ball unless it gets them an assist.

      The goal is to identify when a good pass is made. Generally a better
      pass is one made to a better shooter. That's all I try to capture. I
      capture it in formulas with teammate FG%. For years, I didn't worry
      about it and it really didn't matter much. Now I've got more
      sophisticated calculation devices. I've actually found that this
      adjustment makes the most difference when evaluating different levels
      of basketball (high school, college, women's).

      Dean Oliver
      Journal of Basketball Studies
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