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Euclidian comparison of current and past players

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  • mikel_ind
    In APBR room, I touched on the Euclidian Distance method of comparing statistical profiles. This got me to thinking. Currently, there are a number of players
    Message 1 of 9 , Aug 2, 2002
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      In APBR room, I touched on the Euclidian Distance method of comparing
      statistical profiles. This got me to thinking.

      Currently, there are a number of players whose career totals bring up
      Hall of Fame mention. Others have just been around forever, and so
      have amassed big numbers.

      I decided to use career totals, rather than per-game/t*nd*x-type
      stuff. Playoff games are included, but weighted no than regular-
      season games.

      In no particular order, current players and those from the past with
      most-similar career totals:

      The Euclidian Distance has 6 factors: pts, reb, ast, stl, blk, and
      total of those first 5.

      Michael Jordan
      .99 Julius Erving
      1.51 Oscar Robertson
      1.74 John Havlicek
      1.77 Jerry West

      Reggie Miller
      .64 Adrian Dantley
      .70 George Gervin
      .73 Rick Barry
      .74 Alex English

      Karl Malone
      1.23 Wilt Chamberlain
      1.40 Kareem
      1.81 Hakeem

      Hakeem Olajuwon
      .90 Ewing
      .95 Elvin Hayes
      1.00 Moses
      1.01 Erving
      1.07 Gilmore
      1.10 Parish

      Horace Grant
      .21 Jerry Lucas
      .37 Bill Laimbeer
      .44 Dave Cowens
      .45 Maurice Lucas
      .47 Shawn Kemp

      Charles Oakley
      .54 Wes Unseld
      .75 Jack Sikma
      .83 Cowens
      .84 Laimbeer

      Shaquille O'Neal
      .58 Kevin McHale
      .59 Dolph Schayes
      .64 Bob Lanier
      .71 Bob Pettit

      Terry Porter
      .33 Lenny Wilkens
      .39 Jeff Hornacek
      .40 Walt Frazier

      David Robinson
      .54 Pettit
      .69 Baylor
      .77 Schayes

      Kevin Willis
      .51 Buck Williams
      .58 Laimbeer
      .62 Otis Thorpe

      Shawn Kemp
      .26 Sam Perkins
      .38 Bob McAdoo
      .45 Bailey Howell
      .47 Zelmo Beaty

      Patrick Ewing
      .32 Elvin Hayes
      .50 Gilmore
      .51 Parish

      Dikembe Mutombo
      .50 Caldwell Jones
      .64 Nate Thurmond
      .70 Billy Paultz

      Mitch Richmond
      .28 Walter Davis
      .39 Bernard King
      .41 Chris Mullin
      .43 Mark Aguirre

      Tim Hardaway
      .26 Kevin Johnson
      .33 Derek Harper
      .36 Reggie Theus
      .44 Dave Bing
      .47 Nate Archibald

      Vlade Divac
      .16 Dave DeBusschere
      .32 Johnny Kerr
      .36 Jerry Lucas
      .41 Paultz
      .44 Cowens

      John Stockton
      1.22 Oscar
      1.28 Magic
      1.75 West

      Rod Strickland
      .41 Cheeks
      .46 KJ
      .51 D Harper

      Scottie Pippen
      .33 Clyde Drexler
      .46 Larry Bird
      .54 John Havlicek

      Cliff Robinson
      .33 James Worthy
      .42 Bob Dandridge
      .43 Chet Walker
      .46 Cliff Hagan
      .48 Billy Cunningham

      Mookie Blaylock
      .41 Cheeks
      .54 Richie Guerin
      .63 KJ

      Anthony Mason
      .51 Mickey Johnson
      .53 Larry Johnson
      .54 Sidney Wicks

      Dan Majerle
      .34 Sidney Moncrief
      .39 Marques Johnson
      .40 Mickey Johnson
      .44 Chuck Person
      .46 Ed Macauley
      .47 Wicks

      Chris Webber
      .28 Mickey Johnson
      .30 Vern Mikkelsen
      .32 Rudy LaRusso
      .33 Wicks
      .37 Tom Heinsohn
      .37 Marques Johnson
      .38 Joe Graboski
      .40 Cedric Maxwell

      Steve Smith
      .22 Dick Van Arsdale
      .31 Pete Maravich
      .33 Moncrief
      .38 Fred Brown
      .39 World Free
      .41 Bill Sharman

      Tim Duncan
      .23 Thurl Bailey
      .29 Willie Naulls
      .29 Darryl Dawkins
      .30 Joe Barry Carroll

      Derrick Coleman
      .20 Vern Mikkelsen
      .26 Dan Roundfield
      .31 Mychal Thompson
      .31 Willis Reed

      Danny Manning
      .27 Marques Johnson
      .27 Heinsohn
      .28 Macauley
      .29 Don Nelson
    • Michael K. Tamada
      ... [...] Interesting stuff, but I think the lack of rate and ratio statistics weakens the formula. If nothing else, I think you should put career total
      Message 2 of 9 , Aug 2, 2002
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        On Fri, 2 Aug 2002, mikel_ind wrote:

        > In APBR room, I touched on the Euclidian Distance method of comparing
        > statistical profiles. This got me to thinking.
        >
        > Currently, there are a number of players whose career totals bring up
        > Hall of Fame mention. Others have just been around forever, and so
        > have amassed big numbers.
        >
        > I decided to use career totals, rather than per-game/t*nd*x-type
        > stuff. Playoff games are included, but weighted no than regular-
        > season games.
        >
        > In no particular order, current players and those from the past with
        > most-similar career totals:
        >
        > The Euclidian Distance has 6 factors: pts, reb, ast, stl, blk, and
        > total of those first 5.

        [...]

        Interesting stuff, but I think the lack of rate and ratio statistics
        weakens the formula. If nothing else, I think you should put career total
        minutes in there, to distinguish players who had similar totals, but who
        may've amassed their stats at different rates. E.g.:

        > Mookie Blaylock
        > .41 Cheeks
        > .54 Richie Guerin
        > .63 KJ

        It's believable that KJ's career totals may be fairly similar to
        Blaylock's, but KJ piled up the points and assists (per game and per
        minute) faster than Mookie. Also the lack of a FG% measure (corrected for
        era if you want to get fancy) means that one of the biggest differences
        between Cheeks and Blaylock isn't getting measured.


        [...]

        > Chris Webber
        > .28 Mickey Johnson

        > Tim Duncan
        > .23 Thurl Bailey

        Two more examples of the pitfalls of looking only at totals and not rates;
        of course Webber and Duncan are both young and so their career totals are
        unknown, so getting good matches is much more complex. Interestingly, I
        think of Mickey Johnson and Thurl Bailey as being sort of similar to each
        other: tall thin guys who were too skinny for PF but much taller than
        typical SFs of the era, who could score in a variety of ways (not just
        inside plodders).


        --MKT
      • HoopStudies
        ... comparing ... bring up ... so ... with ... and ... career total ... but who ... Very key point. I tried things using totals originally, too, but that
        Message 3 of 9 , Aug 2, 2002
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          --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "Michael K. Tamada" <tamada@o...> wrote:
          > On Fri, 2 Aug 2002, mikel_ind wrote:
          >
          > > In APBR room, I touched on the Euclidian Distance method of
          comparing
          > > statistical profiles. This got me to thinking.
          > >
          > > Currently, there are a number of players whose career totals
          bring up
          > > Hall of Fame mention. Others have just been around forever, and
          so
          > > have amassed big numbers.
          > >
          > > I decided to use career totals, rather than per-game/t*nd*x-type
          > > stuff. Playoff games are included, but weighted no than regular-
          > > season games.
          > >
          > > In no particular order, current players and those from the past
          with
          > > most-similar career totals:
          > >
          > > The Euclidian Distance has 6 factors: pts, reb, ast, stl, blk,
          and
          > > total of those first 5.
          >
          > [...]
          >
          > Interesting stuff, but I think the lack of rate and ratio statistics
          > weakens the formula. If nothing else, I think you should put
          career total
          > minutes in there, to distinguish players who had similar totals,
          but who
          > may've amassed their stats at different rates. E.g.:
          >

          Very key point. I tried things using totals originally, too, but
          that really doesn't work in basketball. It is the way that James
          does baseball and career totals seem to be more reflective of
          similarity in baseball than in basketball. Per game rates make some
          sense, but those are subject to pace issues. Pace can also be
          accounted for. The three-point shot makes it really difficult to
          compare across eras because players _are_ different with the 3-pt
          shot. The game is different.

          Similarity is a tough concept. I started on it in '88. I'm a lot
          closer than I was only a few years ago. But I'm not happy with it
          yet.

          I know MikeG did something different last year with similarity
          because he then had Kareem and Duncan similar, which set off a slew
          of discussion about whether Duncan is a good offensive player.

          DeanO
        • mikel_ind
          ... It depends on what you want your formula to do. I was in a mood to look at career totals. Blending in production rates gets into all manner of
          Message 4 of 9 , Aug 2, 2002
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            --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "Michael K. Tamada" <tamada@o...> wrote:
            > ... I think the lack of rate and ratio statistics
            > weakens the formula.

            It depends on what you want your formula to do. I was in a mood to
            look at career totals. Blending in production rates gets into all
            manner of prioritizing. That's what I usually do. And I catch heck
            for it, generally.

            >If nothing else, I think you should put career total
            > minutes in there, to distinguish players who had similar totals,
            but who
            > may've amassed their stats at different rates. E.g.:
            >
            > > Mookie Blaylock
            > > .41 Cheeks
            > > .54 Richie Guerin
            > > .63 KJ
            >
            > It's believable that KJ's career totals may be fairly similar to
            > Blaylock's, but KJ piled up the points and assists (per game and per
            > minute) faster than Mookie.

            Yes. And the knowledgable reader may know how long it took to amass
            the totals. Still, I think it tells us something.

            Actually, I think it lends a bit of fascination to see dissimilar
            players arriving at the same totals: Dan Majerle and Sidney
            Moncrief? Vlade Divac and Dave DeBusschere? Shaq and McHale ??


            >Also the lack of a FG% measure (corrected for
            > era if you want to get fancy) means that one of the biggest
            differences
            > between Cheeks and Blaylock isn't getting measured.

            True enough. And Mookie was a 3-point artist, so that is gonna make
            things even murkier. Have I said "points is points" lately?


            > [...]
            >
            > > Chris Webber
            > > .28 Mickey Johnson
            >
            > > Tim Duncan
            > > .23 Thurl Bailey
            >
            > Two more examples of the pitfalls of looking only at totals and not
            rates;
            > of course Webber and Duncan are both young and so their career
            totals are
            > unknown, so getting good matches is much more complex.

            Don't think of it as a pitfall; think of it as a contrast. We know
            Duncan has been around about a third as long as Bailey played; so his
            achievment is phenomenal.


            >Interestingly, I
            > think of Mickey Johnson and Thurl Bailey as being sort of similar
            to each
            > other: tall thin guys who were too skinny for PF but much taller
            than
            > typical SFs of the era, who could score in a variety of ways (not
            just
            > inside plodders).

            Mickey Johnson was a forerunner of the passing forwards we see
            today: Webber, Mason, Garnett, etc. In the late '70s, he was pretty
            unique.
          • Michael K. Tamada
            On Fri, 2 Aug 2002, mikel_ind wrote: [...] ... Actually I think of Majerle and Moncrief as being fairly similar, except that Moncrief was better and presumably
            Message 5 of 9 , Aug 2, 2002
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              On Fri, 2 Aug 2002, mikel_ind wrote:

              [...]

              > Actually, I think it lends a bit of fascination to see dissimilar
              > players arriving at the same totals: Dan Majerle and Sidney
              > Moncrief? Vlade Divac and Dave DeBusschere? Shaq and McHale ??

              Actually I think of Majerle and Moncrief as being fairly similar, except
              that Moncrief was better and presumably piled up his similar stats at a
              faster rate. Both were all around guards who could play defense at
              all-defensive team levels but who could also score (real well in
              Moncrief's case) and rebound and pass some. Shaq and McHale of course
              were not really similar players, but given that they were
              both high-percentage low post players, it makes some sense. The matching
              of Divac and DeBusschere though tells us that there's some seriously
              missing variables. Guys who could rebound and score some and pass some,
              and who could shoot from outside, but I don't know if I'd draw any
              similarities beyond that.

              [...]

              > Mickey Johnson was a forerunner of the passing forwards we see
              > today: Webber, Mason, Garnett, etc. In the late '70s, he was pretty
              > unique.

              Yes, he was the first forward I remember seeing who would sometimes bring
              the ball out of backcourt -- this at 6'10". And not just in fast break
              situations or fullcourt pressure situations, but as part of the regular
              offense. I'd have to think that Rick Barry must've done so occasionally
              -- he may be the grand-daddy of all point forwards -- but I don't actually
              remember seeing him do it. John Johnson must've started doing it around
              the same time as Mickey Johnson, but he was 6'6" or 6'7", not as unusual.


              --MKT
            • mikel_ind
              ... What little I saw of Moncrief had him scoring around the basket and midrange. Majerle was the thunderdunker, then he had the 30-footer, but apparently
              Message 6 of 9 , Aug 3, 2002
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                --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "Michael K. Tamada" <tamada@o...> wrote:
                > Actually I think of Majerle and Moncrief as being fairly similar,

                What little I saw of Moncrief had him scoring around the basket and
                midrange. Majerle was the thunderdunker, then he had the 30-footer,
                but apparently nothing midrange. Perhaps the ultimate case of a guy
                with unlimited range (in and out) who only gets 10-12 points in 36
                min.

                >... The matching
                > of Divac and DeBusschere though tells us that there's some seriously
                > missing variables. Guys who could rebound and score some and pass
                some,
                > and who could shoot from outside, but I don't know if I'd draw any
                > similarities beyond that.

                DeBusschere invented the DeBu Flop. Modelled it after Fosbury.

                (Rebound, score, pass, shoot from outside ... what more do you want?)


                >
                > > Mickey Johnson ...
                >
                > Yes, he was the first forward I remember seeing who would sometimes
                bring
                > the ball out of backcourt -- this at 6'10". And not just in fast
                break
                > situations or fullcourt pressure situations, but as part of the
                regular
                > offense. ... John Johnson must've started doing it
                around
                > the same time as Mickey Johnson, but he was 6'6" or 6'7", not as
                unusual.

                These guys had similarities for sure. JJ preceded Mickey J by 4
                years. Both guys played 12 seasons, shot fairly low percentages, had
                high turnovers, and got traded a lot ('til JJ settled down in
                Seattle). But they did it all -- or at least tried to.

                Mickey Johnson played in only 19 playoff games, but he made the best
                of it. He averaged 19.2 pts, 9.2 reb, per-36; his assists and
                turnovers were lower in these games, shooting pct higher (.548,
                vs .507 RS).

                He is another guy with big per-minute numbers who played mysteriously
                few minutes (28 pg) for his career.


                Mike G
              • HoopStudies
                ... footer, ... guy ... Moncrief was quicker and smaller, an outstanding defender. Majerle was bigger, still pretty quick, but also strong enough to avoid
                Message 7 of 9 , Aug 3, 2002
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                  --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "mikel_ind" <msg_53@h...> wrote:
                  > --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "Michael K. Tamada" <tamada@o...> wrote:
                  > > Actually I think of Majerle and Moncrief as being fairly similar,
                  >
                  > What little I saw of Moncrief had him scoring around the basket and
                  > midrange. Majerle was the thunderdunker, then he had the 30-
                  footer,
                  > but apparently nothing midrange. Perhaps the ultimate case of a
                  guy
                  > with unlimited range (in and out) who only gets 10-12 points in 36
                  > min.

                  Moncrief was quicker and smaller, an outstanding defender. Majerle
                  was bigger, still pretty quick, but also strong enough to avoid using
                  his quickness. He played D well when he wanted to and wasn't hurt.
                  Moncrief was the perceived star of his teams. Majerle was not.
                  Moncrief was a better player, without a doubt.

                  DeanO
                • Michael K. Tamada
                  On Sat, 3 Aug 2002, HoopStudies wrote: [...] ... No question that Moncrief was better, although wasn t Marques Johnson still around when Moncrief joined the
                  Message 8 of 9 , Aug 4, 2002
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                    On Sat, 3 Aug 2002, HoopStudies wrote:

                    [...]

                    > Moncrief was the perceived star of his teams. Majerle was not.
                    > Moncrief was a better player, without a doubt.

                    No question that Moncrief was better, although wasn't Marques Johnson
                    still around when Moncrief joined the Bucks? MJ had been the star
                    previously and I think of those Bucks teams as having two perceived stars,
                    Marques and Moncrief.

                    I think Marques joined the league the same year as Bernard King and Walter
                    Davis, an incredible trio of SFs coming into the league at once. Injuries
                    shortened his career, but he possessed a wider range of all-around skills
                    than the other two, and might have been the best of them overall,
                    quality-wise if not longevity-wise. Yet another negative contribution of
                    Benoit Benajamin to the NBA: his (inadvertent) collision with Marques
                    Johnson broke Johnson's neck and finished his NBA career.


                    --MKT
                  • alleyoop2
                    He is another guy with big per-minute numbers who played mysteriously few minutes (28 pg) for his career. If I m not mistaken, Mickey played so few minutes
                    Message 9 of 9 , Aug 6, 2002
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                      "He is another guy with big per-minute numbers who played
                      mysteriously few minutes (28 pg) for his career."

                      If I'm not mistaken, Mickey played so few minutes because he was a
                      major pain in the ass and didn't play any defense.


                      --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "mikel_ind" <msg_53@h...> wrote:
                      > --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "Michael K. Tamada" <tamada@o...> wrote:
                      > > Actually I think of Majerle and Moncrief as being fairly similar,
                      >
                      > What little I saw of Moncrief had him scoring around the basket and
                      > midrange. Majerle was the thunderdunker, then he had the 30-
                      footer,
                      > but apparently nothing midrange. Perhaps the ultimate case of a
                      guy
                      > with unlimited range (in and out) who only gets 10-12 points in 36
                      > min.
                      >
                      > >... The matching
                      > > of Divac and DeBusschere though tells us that there's some
                      seriously
                      > > missing variables. Guys who could rebound and score some and
                      pass
                      > some,
                      > > and who could shoot from outside, but I don't know if I'd draw any
                      > > similarities beyond that.
                      >
                      > DeBusschere invented the DeBu Flop. Modelled it after Fosbury.
                      >
                      > (Rebound, score, pass, shoot from outside ... what more do you
                      want?)
                      >
                      >
                      > >
                      > > > Mickey Johnson ...
                      > >
                      > > Yes, he was the first forward I remember seeing who would
                      sometimes
                      > bring
                      > > the ball out of backcourt -- this at 6'10". And not just in fast
                      > break
                      > > situations or fullcourt pressure situations, but as part of the
                      > regular
                      > > offense. ... John Johnson must've started doing it
                      > around
                      > > the same time as Mickey Johnson, but he was 6'6" or 6'7", not as
                      > unusual.
                      >
                      > These guys had similarities for sure. JJ preceded Mickey J by 4
                      > years. Both guys played 12 seasons, shot fairly low percentages,
                      had
                      > high turnovers, and got traded a lot ('til JJ settled down in
                      > Seattle). But they did it all -- or at least tried to.
                      >
                      > Mickey Johnson played in only 19 playoff games, but he made the
                      best
                      > of it. He averaged 19.2 pts, 9.2 reb, per-36; his assists and
                      > turnovers were lower in these games, shooting pct higher (.548,
                      > vs .507 RS).
                      >
                      > He is another guy with big per-minute numbers who played
                      mysteriously
                      > few minutes (28 pg) for his career.
                      >
                      >
                      > Mike G
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