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258Re: Jordan

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  • Dean Oliver
    Oct 2, 2001
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      --- In APBR_analysis@y..., harlanzo@y... wrote:
      > Reaction has been mixed on the Jordan comeback. Many have argued
      > about whether MJ's decision was "right" in terms of how it might
      > threaten his historical context and storybook ending. I really
      don't
      > have a problem with the return. I am much more interested in
      seeing
      > how a 38-year old shooting guard can perform in the NBA.

      Well, since you showed that there really weren't good 38-year old
      comparisons to be made, I took a slightly different tack. I
      calculated the most similar players to Jordan in his last playing
      year:

      Player Team Season SimScore
      wilkins,dominiq atl 1989 887
      wilkins,dominiq atl 1990 879
      jordan,michael chi 1997 869
      jordan,michael chi 1996 860
      bryant,kobe lal 2001 860
      wilkins,dominiq atl 1992 856
      wilkins,dominiq atl 1991 856
      chambers,tom pho 1990 853
      Hill,Grant det 2000 849
      chambers,tom pho 1989 849
      malone,karl uta 1996 847
      wilkins,dominiq atl 1993 843
      carter,vince tor 2000 841

      and decided to look at what they did 3 years later, regardless of
      age. Of this list,Chambers or Wilkins might be considered the best
      fit when considering age. The inclusion of Kobe, Vinsanity, and
      Grant Hill is interesting, but doesn't help at all because the
      seasons are too recent to tell us anything about 3 yrs down the line.
      Given that they should be improving (maybe not Hill) and Jordan
      should be declining means that we probably wouldn't trust those
      comparisons anyway. So, the seasons we can use to estimate what
      happens 3 yrs later:

      Wilkins 92
      Wilkins 93
      Wilkins 94
      Wilkins 95
      Chambers 92
      Chambers 93
      Malone 99

      These seasons are shown below:

      G Min fgm fga fg3m fg3a
      chambers,tom 69 28.2 6.2 14.3 0.3 0.7
      chambers,tom 73 23.6 4.4 9.8 0.2 0.4
      wilkins,dominiq 42 38.1 10.1 21.8 0.9 3.0
      wilkins,dominiq 71 37.3 10.4 22.3 1.7 4.5
      wilkins,dominiq 74 35.6 9.4 21.4 1.1 4.0
      wilkins,dominiq 77 31.5 6.4 15.2 1.5 3.8
      malone,karl 80 37.4 8.0 16.3 0.0 0.0
      Avg 69 33.1 7.9 17.3 0.8 2.3

      Plyr ftm fta oreb treb ast
      chambers,tom 3.7 4.5 1.2 5.8 2.1
      chambers,tom 3.3 3.9 1.3 4.7 1.4
      wilkins,dominiq 7.0 8.4 2.5 7.0 3.8
      wilkins,dominiq 7.3 8.8 2.6 6.8 3.2
      wilkins,dominiq 6.0 7.1 2.5 6.5 2.3
      wilkins,dominiq 3.5 4.4 2.0 5.2 2.2
      malone,karl 7.7 9.8 2.2 9.4 4.1
      Avg 5.5 6.7 2.0 6.5 2.7

      Plyr stl tov blk pf pts
      chambers,tom 0.83 1.5 0.54 2.8 16.3
      chambers,tom 0.59 1.3 0.32 2.9 12.2
      wilkins,dominiq 1.24 2.9 0.57 1.8 28.1
      wilkins,dominiq 0.99 2.6 0.38 1.7 29.9
      wilkins,dominiq 1.24 2.3 0.41 1.7 26.0
      wilkins,dominiq 0.79 2.2 0.18 1.7 17.8
      malone,karl 1.27 3.3 0.57 2.7 23.8
      Averages 0.99 2.3 0.42 2.2 22.0

      Players fg% fg3% ft% ast/tov fta/fga
      chambers,tom 0.431 0.367 0.830 1.38 0.31
      chambers,tom 0.447 0.393 0.837 1.10 0.40
      wilkins,dominiq 0.464 0.289 0.835 1.30 0.39
      wilkins,dominiq 0.468 0.380 0.828 1.23 0.40
      wilkins,dominiq 0.440 0.288 0.847 0.98 0.33
      wilkins,dominiq 0.424 0.388 0.782 0.96 0.29
      malone,karl 0.493 0.000 0.788 1.24 0.60
      Averages 0.454 0.342 0.820 1.17 0.39

      Frankly, these averages don't look all that different from what
      harlanzo and Mike proposed. I don't look at that as a pure scorer;
      he's still balanced. He appears to play less, too, only 69 games.

      I plugged in these Average #'s to determine how good a player this
      is, from my calculations. I get a player like this:

      Scor. Poss. Floor RTG Points
      Poss. . Pct. . Prod.
      699 1343 0.520 109.6 1471

      Defensive Stops Def. Net Net Net
      Total /Min /Poss Rtg. Win% W L
      442 0.192 0.493 102.6 0.746 9.5 3.2

      Definitely still a good player, but not like the Mike of old.
      Producing a little over 20 ppg, but not as efficiently (his lowest
      rating before was 111.4 in his last season). The defensive #'s are
      highly uncertain, but actually based on a team context like the
      Clippers of last year, which may be a little too good for my tastes,
      but not a bad comparison.

      Of course, this is missing the age factor, but harlanzo's was missing
      the quality factor -- both of which are important -- showing how
      unique MJ is.

      (One last thing -- the average winning percentage of the teams 3
      years after: 45-35, 0.555. Highly variable, from 27-55 to 62-20.)

      Dean Oliver
      Journal of Basketball Studies
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