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557Again on the Rider's of the world

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  • HoopStudies
    Feb 1, 2002
      --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "mikel_ind" <msg_53@h...> wrote:
      > --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "HoopStudies" <deano@r...> wrote:
      >
      > Any time a player plays a lot of minutes for a good team, and is a
      > featured scorer, despite a low shooting percentage, you might
      assume
      > there is sound reasoning behind it.
      > Finley, Sprewell, Jordan (this year), Stackhouse, Iverson, for
      > example.
      > Even on bad teams, Mercer, Jamison, Van Exel, perhaps even Jason
      > Williams, can chuck up lots of misses, yet their presence on the
      > floor is preferable to their not being there.

      I think the problem is the "assumption" that gets made (that it's
      better having low efficiency creative scorers). What I'd like to get
      past is that assumption. What is it that they do that helps the team
      and, more importantly, can we measure it? We all seem to agree that
      these other things they do are

      1. Freeing people up for offensive rebounds.
      2. Freeing people up for easy shots.

      Basically, they raise the efficiency of their teammates relative to
      other people (whoever those "other people" are). The problem is how
      to measure this. I don't want to identify guys who we think do this
      and measure only them. I want to possibly measure the number of
      offensive rebounds off all players' shots. I want to possibly
      measure the FG% off different players' assists. That kind of stuff.
      Supposedly, Sprewell, Finley, Stack, etc. improve something about the
      efficiency of their teammates. What is it? How does it happen? We
      MUST be able to measure it.

      -Isiah Rider was a very good example of a guy who was a "creative
      scorer", but who really was a bad player.

      -All those guys left for expansion drafts -- many of them became high
      scorers on bad teams. Does that mean they're good? No. Ron Mercer
      fits that mold a little right now.

      -Latrell Sprewell is someone who has not been a very efficient scorer
      and has generally been on teams with indisputably poor offenses. He
      didn't become top scorer in GS until the good players -- Webber and
      Hardaway -- left and the team's offense went to hell. Would NY now
      be worse without him? I'm not convinced, though it clearly depends
      on who you replace him with. (Allan Houston ain't great either.)

      -Iverson, despite his rap as a poor shooter, has generally been at or
      above the league average efficiency because the guy gets to the line,
      passes the ball (yes), and doesn't turn the ball over all that much.

      -Jamison's numbers fluctuate tremendously, but average below the
      league numbers for efficiency. His back-to-back 50 pt games last
      year were outstanding games, but relied on his unreliable jump shot.

      -Van Exel actually has been a pretty efficient scorer throughout his
      career, just very erratic from game to game, and a poor defender.

      -Stackhouse has improved his efficiency a bit through his career, but
      last year's Pistons team was still well below average offensively
      last year. Stackhouse was less efficient last year than Iverson (and
      Detroit was less efficient than Philly).

      One of the studies I'm bound to do is to look at all the teams of the
      last decade or so, collect their offensive efficiency ratings as a
      team, and look at the individual offensive ratings I calculate for
      their top scorer (along with how many possessions they use). There
      should be a strong correlation. Given the doubt there can be in
      individual efficiency numbers and their effect on a team's offense, I
      would hope this would clear things up a bit.

      >
      > Not only do the creative scorers disrupt the defense, opening up
      > offensive-rebounding possibilities. The fact that you have a
      > Stackhouse creates a job for a Ben Wallace. He wouldn't do as much
      > with, say, the Jazz.
      > Not only rebounding "specialists", but spot-up shooters see more
      > playing time when you have the "creators" mixing it up. Thus you
      see
      > Nash, Houston, Whitney, Atkins, McKie, Hoiberg, Lenard, etc.
      getting
      > open looks thanks to their more active runningmates.
      >

      Nash creates for himself very well. So does Nowitzki. I think that
      may be why the absence of Finley really didn't hurt the Dallas
      offense.

      > Offensive "efficiency" is not what one player does when he has the
      > ball, it's what his team can do when he has it.

      Teammates give a guy the ball because they know he can score or find
      someone who can score more efficiently than they can. That is what I
      try to measure.

      Dean Oliver
      Journal of Basketball Studies
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