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The Rodman Effect

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  • mikel_ind
    Back in the early 90s, when Dennis Rodman decided to be a rebound specialist, I thought I noticed a subsequent decline in his teammates rebounding numbers.
    Message 1 of 6 , May 23 8:31 AM
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      Back in the early '90s, when Dennis Rodman decided to be a rebound
      specialist, I thought I noticed a subsequent decline in his
      teammates' rebounding numbers. Laimbeer was actually in the twilight
      of his career, so his rebounding rate might be expected to fade.

      Upon the Worm's move to San Antonio, David Robinson's career peaked,
      in every measurable way except rebounding. Same effect? Not that
      it's surprising, but I wonder if overall team rebounds are helped by
      a Rodman type; or if other categories are boosted at the same time;
      etc.

      I found 66 players who played significant minutes both with and
      without Rodman, in Detroit, San Antone, and Chicago. I took a simple
      ratio of their rebounding rate (with/without the worm), as well as
      other production rates. Standardized, of course.

      Broken down by city:

      Tem Min. Pct. Sco. Reb. Ast. P.F. Stl. (TO) Blk. - Total

      Det 0.85 1.00 0.99 0.85 0.86 1.01 0.86 0.87 0.88 - 0.96

      SAn 0.93 1.01 1.05 0.88 0.99 0.97 1.06 0.95 1.01 - 1.00

      Chi 0.78 1.01 1.04 0.83 1.09 1.03 0.77 0.91 1.19 - 0.99


      Now by position:

      Pos Min. Pct. Sco. Reb. Ast. P.F. Stl. (TO) Blk. - Total

      C - 0.79 0.97 1.00 0.85 1.16 1.01 0.72 1.01 1.01 - 0.96

      F - 0.88 1.04 1.05 0.80 0.90 1.05 0.89 0.89 0.89 - 0.97

      G - 0.95 1.03 1.05 0.91 1.00 1.01 1.01 0.82 1.10 - 1.04


      Curiously, Rodman tended to cut into centers' minutes more than into
      forwards'. Then again, the Spurs' backup centers were J.R. Reid and
      Antoine Carr, both really forwards. Terry Cummings, too. And the
      Bulls ran without centers a lot, when Rodman was there.

      Rodman's rising assist-enhancement rate seems to suggest he learned
      more nuances of offense, without being the actual ball-distributor?

      The data used in the ratios above were for whole player-seasons with
      and without Rodman as a teammate.


      Mike G
    • HoopStudies
      Funny, I woke up thinking about Rodman this morning. That s actually not funny. Trust me. But it s funny that MikeG did something on Rodman, too. Dave
      Message 2 of 6 , May 23 9:15 AM
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        Funny, I woke up thinking about Rodman this morning. That's actually
        not funny. Trust me. But it's funny that MikeG did something on
        Rodman, too.

        Dave Berri, as some of you remember, had his evaluation method that
        ranked Rodman the best player in the league, creating more net wins
        than any other player in that year in Chicago. Berri also has said
        that good players have a negative effect on others by doing an
        analysis somewhat like MikeG did here. MikeG doesn't say Rodman has
        a negative effect, which is good. I think what we are looking at
        replacement of finite number of rebounds. Robinson didn't get less
        valuable when Rodman came though his rebounds declined. Not sure
        what Berri's numbers show. The debate on Rodman's value will last
        for a long time. It will keep him out of the Hall of Fame a while, I
        think. The number that sticks out in my mind still is how the Bulls
        actually did better without Rodman during his 3 years there than with
        him and the guys replacing him were Kukoc, Bill Wennington, Dickey
        Simpkins, Jud Buechler, Brian Williams -- guys who weren't as extreme
        as Rodman, but did their jobs. Rodman did yeoman's work, allowing
        the other yeoman to do less, but that still doesn't make him a prince.



        --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "mikel_ind" <msg_53@h...> wrote:
        > Back in the early '90s, when Dennis Rodman decided to be a rebound
        > specialist, I thought I noticed a subsequent decline in his
        > teammates' rebounding numbers. Laimbeer was actually in the
        twilight
        > of his career, so his rebounding rate might be expected to fade.
        >
        > Upon the Worm's move to San Antonio, David Robinson's career
        peaked,
        > in every measurable way except rebounding. Same effect? Not that
        > it's surprising, but I wonder if overall team rebounds are helped
        by
        > a Rodman type; or if other categories are boosted at the same time;
        > etc.
        >
        > I found 66 players who played significant minutes both with and
        > without Rodman, in Detroit, San Antone, and Chicago. I took a
        simple
        > ratio of their rebounding rate (with/without the worm), as well as
        > other production rates. Standardized, of course.
        >
        > Broken down by city:
        >
        > Tem Min. Pct. Sco. Reb. Ast. P.F. Stl. (TO) Blk. - Total
        >
        > Det 0.85 1.00 0.99 0.85 0.86 1.01 0.86 0.87 0.88 - 0.96
        >
        > SAn 0.93 1.01 1.05 0.88 0.99 0.97 1.06 0.95 1.01 - 1.00
        >
        > Chi 0.78 1.01 1.04 0.83 1.09 1.03 0.77 0.91 1.19 - 0.99
        >
        >
        > Now by position:
        >
        > Pos Min. Pct. Sco. Reb. Ast. P.F. Stl. (TO) Blk. - Total
        >
        > C - 0.79 0.97 1.00 0.85 1.16 1.01 0.72 1.01 1.01 - 0.96
        >
        > F - 0.88 1.04 1.05 0.80 0.90 1.05 0.89 0.89 0.89 - 0.97
        >
        > G - 0.95 1.03 1.05 0.91 1.00 1.01 1.01 0.82 1.10 - 1.04
        >
        >
        > Curiously, Rodman tended to cut into centers' minutes more than
        into
        > forwards'. Then again, the Spurs' backup centers were J.R. Reid
        and
        > Antoine Carr, both really forwards. Terry Cummings, too. And the
        > Bulls ran without centers a lot, when Rodman was there.
        >
        > Rodman's rising assist-enhancement rate seems to suggest he learned
        > more nuances of offense, without being the actual ball-distributor?
        >
        > The data used in the ratios above were for whole player-seasons
        with
        > and without Rodman as a teammate.
        >
        >
        > Mike G
      • bchaikin@aol.com
        not only was it not surprising, rodman s affect on the spurs was actually quite predictable...thats what my software was designed to do...if you take 92-93
        Message 3 of 6 , May 23 9:26 AM
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          not only was it not surprising, rodman's affect on the spurs was actually quite predictable...thats what my software was designed to do...if you take 92-93 players stats (rodman on det) and recreate the spurs 93-94 lineup with rodman and replay a number of seasons (can do this in minutes) using the 92-93 stats for the league, you'll see robinson's rebounding decrease, his possession factor increase, and thus his scoring opportunities and scoring average. subjectively evident but the software objectively quantified it...

          because rodman played so many minutes and handled the ball so little (identical touches per minutes for 92-93 in det and 93-94 in san), and other power forwards on the 92-93 spurs handled the ball on offense more than rodman did, in 93-94 other spurs had to handle the ball more in 93-94 than they did in 92-93. that turned out to be robinson (either by design or by natural flow of the game), who had 23% more ball possessions in 93-94 versus 92-93 (1.40 possession factor in 93-94 versus 1.17 in 92-93), as astounding change in the span of one season - i mean how many players can you think of that were fulltime starters for four straight seasons and then all of a sudden handled the ball on offense 23% more often (and not being a point guard)? plus how often robinson shot, passed, got fouled, and turned the ball over per ball possession was identical in both seasons - he basically did not change his offensive game at all. yet because of the dramatic increase in ball possessions due to having a player like rodman as a fulltime floormate who just did not participate in the offensive scheme his scoring average was by far a career best to that point...

          Rodman's rising assist-enhancement rate seems to suggest he learned
          more nuances of offense, without being the actual ball-distributor?


          excellent point - the funny thing is rodman, for all the public rhetoric on his not wanting to be a team player, and for whatever reason he might have had, made a conscious effort to pass more and shoot less in that season of 93-94 with the spurs versus at any other time in his career (this is what the stats show). while in his 7 previous seasons where he had shot the ball each season between 35%-45% of the time he had the ball, in 93-94 he shot only 21% of the time he had the ball (a low number very similar to a point guard or allan bristow/paul pressey type forwards but with a much lower possession factor). on a team with players like robinson, dale ellis, willie anderson, and vinny del negro, shooting very well all of that year (ellis was excellent - 55% on 2s and 40% on 3s), rodman chose to get them the ball rather than shoot. that to me is the sign of a winner...

          of course his playoff tantrum (don't remember if it was that year or the next) shows just the opposite, and i certainly can't explain that behavior (maybe his cross dressing outfits got lost at the cleaners right about then), but during the season the stats showed he did everything to win - exactly what a coach wants...

          bob chaikin
          bchaikin@...









        • HoopStudies
          ... little ... and other ... than ... 94 than ... or by ... 94 versus ... astounding ... think of ... of a ... point ... turned the ball ... basically did not
          Message 4 of 6 , May 23 11:05 AM
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            --- In APBR_analysis@y..., bchaikin@a... wrote:
            > because rodman played so many minutes and handled the ball so
            little
            > (identical touches per minutes for 92-93 in det and 93-94 in san),
            and other
            > power forwards on the 92-93 spurs handled the ball on offense more
            than
            > rodman did, in 93-94 other spurs had to handle the ball more in 93-
            94 than
            > they did in 92-93. that turned out to be robinson (either by design
            or by
            > natural flow of the game), who had 23% more ball possessions in 93-
            94 versus
            > 92-93 (1.40 possession factor in 93-94 versus 1.17 in 92-93), as
            astounding
            > change in the span of one season - i mean how many players can you
            think of
            > that were fulltime starters for four straight seasons and then all
            of a
            > sudden handled the ball on offense 23% more often (and not being a
            point
            > guard)? plus how often robinson shot, passed, got fouled, and
            turned the ball
            > over per ball possession was identical in both seasons - he
            basically did not
            > change his offensive game at all. yet because of the dramatic
            increase in
            > ball possessions due to having a player like rodman as a fulltime
            floormate
            > who just did not participate in the offensive scheme his scoring
            average was
            > by far a career best to that point...

            I guess the surprising part is that Robinson stayed as efficient. If
            you take another player who touched the ball so little and put him on
            the Spurs, Robinson also increases his touches. But normally that
            also means the defense can more easily defend Robinson, which I think
            was true to some degree with Rodman, too. In terms of efficiency,
            Robinson was slightly increasing from 1990 to 1996, with '93 being a
            down year actually. He increased with Rodman's first year but not in
            any way inconsistent with just maturing. He was most efficient the
            year Rodman left, though producing fewer points. Since then, his
            efficiency has been pretty constant, but lower than any of his first
            several years. His total points produced has come down steadily.

            DeanO
          • bchaikin@aol.com
            I guess the surprising part is that Robinson stayed as efficient. If you take another player who touched the ball so little and put him on the Spurs, Robinson
            Message 5 of 6 , May 23 12:02 PM
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              I guess the surprising part is that Robinson stayed as efficient.  If
              you take another player who touched the ball so little and put him on
              the Spurs, Robinson also increases his touches.  But normally that
              also means the defense can more easily defend Robinson, which I think
              was true to some degree with Rodman, too. 

              i would doubt defenses could more easily defend robinson with rodman as a teammate (as opposed to any other not-involved-much-in-the-offense player) simply because he has a low possession factor (touches/minute). rodman was the game's premier rebounder and any defender leaving him to double the admiral would be in for a severe tongue lashing from his coach for leaving rodman and not boxing him out...

              In terms of efficiency, Robinson was slightly increasing from 1990 to 1996, with '93 being a down year actually.  He increased with Rodman's first year but not in
              any way inconsistent with just maturing. 

              i'd say you are partly correct - his increased efficiency wasn't due to rodman, but his change in his game certainly was. i would expect simple maturing (earlier in a player's career) to be across the board improvement, even if slight. but his scoring, while alongside rodman for a full season, was well, well above his career scoring mark, and it decreased significantly when rodman was gone. his best was 25-26 pts/g before rodman and 25 pts/g after. with rodman it was 30 pts/g (93-94) and 27-28pts/g (94-95). in 94-95 when rodman missed half the season, i'd bet the my bottom dollar the admiral's scoring avg when rodman played was much higher than when he didn't play (no proof tho). plus robinson's rebounding was anonomously lower with rodman there for a full season. i'd say absolutely that this is due to a direct correlation to rodman specifically and not some other player being his teammate, i.e. i doubt very seriously any other player in the league (other than maybe a larry smith clone) could have caused those changes to robinson because rodman was such an extreme player in being a low touches/min, great rebounding, great defending, no offense, high min/g player. so you are correct in that overall robinson's efficiency was not increased nor decreased by rodman's presence, but specifically the changes in his game were a direct result of rodman and only rodman being his full time teammate...

              He was most efficient the year Rodman left, though producing fewer points.  Since then, his efficiency has been pretty constant, but lower than any of his first several years.  His total points produced has come down steadily.

              yes robinson had a great season in 95-96...

              bob chaikin
              bchaikin@...


            • harlanzo
              Rodman was certainly an interesting player. I wonder how much of an asset he was to his teams. I actually thought that Rodman on the Pistons when he was able
              Message 6 of 6 , May 23 7:37 PM
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                Rodman was certainly an interesting player. I wonder how much of an
                asset he was to his teams. I actually thought that Rodman on the
                Pistons when he was able to score a little. (Between 86 and 93
                Rodman average about 8 to 9 ppg. After 93, He never really scored
                more than 5 ppg). My feeling is that formulaic ratings of Rodman
                tended to overrate him because he had so few shots missed and
                turnovers when these stats were a function of his teammates often
                playing 4 on 5 on offense and his being an offensive non-factor. I
                liked Rodman but thought he was most effective as a role player.

                Dean noted that the Bulls were actually better in terms of w-l
                without Rodman during their second 3-peat. In fact, in the 97
                playoffs Rodman was effectively displaced by Brian Williams to no
                detriment. (Rodman was fighting with the refs and would rack up
                fouls too quickly to play. Rodman was actually pretty valuable in
                the 98 playoffs when Krause traded away the teams only other power
                forward Caffey).

                The Spurs also did not really miss him much either. They traded him
                away and replaced him with JR Reid and a broken down Charles Smith
                and the team won 59 games (as opposed to the 58.5 wins they averaged
                in Rodman's 2 years in SA). He actually had breakdowns in the
                playoffs both years on the Spurs. The first year they lost to Utah
                and he kind of freaked out and got frustrated and tried to injure
                both Stockton and Malone. (This was also when Madonna was sitting
                courtside at all his playoff games). The next year, Rodman got hurt
                riding a motorcycle during the season and cameback for the playoffs
                but got in a fight with his coach Bob Hill and often took of his
                shoes on the bench and refused to join the huddles in the series
                where Hakeem dominated DRobinson.

                Of course, a lot of anti-Rodman stuff is not always fair. His fights
                with Bob Hill were a result of both him and Hill. He always played
                hard even though he was a little wierd. However, We should recognize
                that there were 2 Rodmans the role player on the bad boys who scored
                a little more, rebounded a little less, and was an incredible
                defender (I have no evidence of this other than perception). The
                later Rodman scored and defended less but rebounded like a fiend.
                The first was an all-star quality player and the second was pretty
                good but it did not seem that the teams he played on suffered much
                from his absence. It would been fun to see how much value he had as
                a role player but by the time he reached that point of his career he
                was too crazy to be an asset in a low-profile 15-20 mpg role (see his
                Laker and Maverick tenures).

                As for Rodman's stastical effect on his teams stars the best comp I
                can come up with was Charles Oakley when Riley first got to the
                knicks and kind of forbade him to shoot the ball. Here are Oakley's
                knicks stats pre-riley and with Riley when he refused to shoot as
                compared with the Knicks primary scorer of that time Ewing:

                Oakley Ewing

                ppg rpg fg% ppg rpg fg%
                88-89 12.9 10.5 51% 22.7 9.3 56.7%
                89-90 14.6 11.9 52.4% 28.6 10.9 55.1%
                90-91 11.2 12.1 51.6% 26.6 11.2 51.4%

                with Riley
                91-92 6.2 8.5 52.2% 24.0 11.2 52.2%
                92-93 6.9 8.6 50.8% 24.2 12.1 50.3%

                Don't really know what this might mean but its the best comparison I
                could come up with. Others I thought about were Dudley on NJ and his
                effect on DC, Bo Outlaw on Orlando, and a few others but they seemed
                too flawed to really compare.
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