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Re: [APBR_analysis] Re: Ballhogs - Dominique Wilkins

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  • bchaikin@aol.com
    speaking of ballhogs... here are the stats for 3 different players (all small forwards) from the 1980s/early1990s over each of their best 10 year stretch (10
    Message 1 of 21 , Sep 12, 2002
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      speaking of ballhogs...

      here are the stats for 3 different players (all small forwards) from the 1980s/early1990s over each of their best 10 year stretch (10 consecutive seasons):

      AVG   Tendex   possfact   %shoot   %pass   min/g   2ptFG%    3ptFG%
      25.3      .731        1.40          37           50        39        52             37
      26.0      .591        1.30          45           40        36        51             21
      28.0      .589        1.20          50           32        37        48             31

      possfact is possession factor or touches/min
      %shoot is #shots per 100 ball possessions

      so the first player shot the ball 37% of the time he had possession of it, the last 50% of the time. the first passed off about 1/2 of the time he had the ball, the last about 1/3 of the time. the one with the highest touches/min had 1.4, the lowest 1.2 ball possessions per min....

      as you can see all 3 were high scorers during their best 10 year stretch, each played a ton of minutes, and each shot very well (even the last person, scoring 28 pts/g on 48% shooting on 2s). almost every season each of these players had the 2nd highest touches/min (possession factor) on their team behind the starting point guard, sometimes the 3rd highest. obviously all 3 were great offensive players - can you name them? obviously the last player could be considered the biggest ball hog because he shot the most and passed the least, but all 3 show great offensive numbers...

      the 1st is larry bird, the 2nd alex english, the 3rd dominique wilkins. was each a ballhog? technically yes - each had high touches/min for a forward, as well they should have with those stats...

      bob chaikin
      bchaikin@...





    • bchaikin@aol.com
      actually kevin mchale s career %shoot and %pass numbers are very close to dominique wilkin s numbers of 50 and 33 (shoot 50 times and pass 33 times per 100
      Message 2 of 21 , Sep 12, 2002
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        actually kevin mchale's career %shoot and %pass numbers are very close to dominique wilkin's numbers of 50 and 33 (shoot 50 times and pass 33 times per 100 ball possessions)...

        the big difference was touches/min of 0.90 for mchale and 1.20 for wilkins, meaning wilkins handled the ball 33% more often than mchale did...

        bob chaikin
        bchaikin@...
      • Dean Oliver
        ... from the ... consecutive ... 39 52 ... 36 51 ... 37 48 ... To clarify, ball possessions = touches ? ... of it, ... time he had ...
        Message 3 of 21 , Sep 12, 2002
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          --- In APBR_analysis@y..., bchaikin@a... wrote:
          > speaking of ballhogs...
          >
          > here are the stats for 3 different players (all small forwards)
          from the
          > 1980s/early1990s over each of their best 10 year stretch (10
          consecutive
          > seasons):
          >
          > AVG Tendex possfact %shoot %pass min/g 2ptFG% 3ptFG%
          > 25.3 .731 1.40 37 50
          39 52
          > 37
          > 26.0 .591 1.30 45 40
          36 51
          > 21
          > 28.0 .589 1.20 50 32
          37 48
          > 31
          >
          > possfact is possession factor or touches/min
          > %shoot is #shots per 100 ball possessions
          >

          To clarify, "ball possessions" = "touches"?

          > so the first player shot the ball 37% of the time he had possession
          of it,
          > the last 50% of the time. the first passed off about 1/2 of the
          time he had
          > the ball, the last about 1/3 of the time. the one with the highest
          > touches/min had 1.4, the lowest 1.2 ball possessions per min....
          >

          So 'nique shot 50% of the time he touched it? Even higher than
          Iverson in the Finals in 2001, huh? How confident are you in the %'s
          you estimate? Can you post a bunch of players with the highest
          values of %shoot?
        • bchaikin@aol.com
          To clarify, ball possessions = touches ? for all intent and purpose, yes So nique shot 50% of the time he touched it? Even higher than Iverson in the
          Message 4 of 21 , Sep 12, 2002
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            To clarify, "ball possessions" = "touches"?

            for all intent and purpose, yes

            So 'nique shot 50% of the time he touched it?  Even higher than
            Iverson in the Finals in 2001, huh?  How confident are you in the %'s
            you estimate?  Can you post a bunch of players with the highest
            values of %shoot?

            how confident? the numbers are right on - but as you know the larger the sample population size (more possesisions, like over the span of a season) the more accurate you are...

            this data has been posted for some time now at www.apbr.org ever since robert bradley posted the stats database for download. all players since 1977-78, and most of the ABA players, have possession factors (touches/min) and %shoot, %fouled, %pass, and %TO (what i call "player attributes") listed in the stats database at www.apbr.org, both for the regular season stats and also the playoffs (i.e. you can compare a player's regular season stats with his playoffs stats). you can sort the entire database by these categories also, to find the players with the highest/lowest %shoot, %pass, %TO, and %fouled. just first limit the database to players who have played some significant minutes, like > 500, or you might sort it and find someone who took all of 2 shots in 2 min of action (no TO, no FTA, etc) and has a %shoot of %100...

            players with the highest %shoot, but that actually handled the ball fairly often (not like a manute bol or mark eaton) include mike mitchell and dale ellis, who are up near or over %shoot of 60. others almost as high include the previously mentioned elvin hayes, terry catledge, and also kevin willis...

            bob chaikin
            bchaikin@...



          • Dean Oliver
            ... % s ... larger the ... season) ... But the # s are estimated from formulas, though, right? Are you saying the formulas are always perfect? I know you
            Message 5 of 21 , Sep 12, 2002
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              --- In APBR_analysis@y..., bchaikin@a... wrote:
              >
              > To clarify, "ball possessions" = "touches"?
              >
              > for all intent and purpose, yes
              >
              > So 'nique shot 50% of the time he touched it? Even higher than
              > Iverson in the Finals in 2001, huh? How confident are you in the
              %'s
              > you estimate? Can you post a bunch of players with the highest
              > values of %shoot?
              >
              > how confident? the numbers are right on - but as you know the
              larger the
              > sample population size (more possesisions, like over the span of a
              season)
              > the more accurate you are...
              >

              But the #'s are estimated from formulas, though, right? Are you
              saying the formulas are always perfect?

              I know you estimate only 40% of Iverson's touches were shots in 2000
              playoffs. Different year than what Stu mentioned and his was only
              Finals, but I don't imagine things would be horribly different. 9%
              is a lot of difference.

              > this data has been posted for some time now at www.apbr.org ever
              since robert
              > bradley posted the stats database for download. all players since
              1977-78,
              > and most of the ABA players, have possession factors (touches/min)
              and
              > %shoot, %fouled, %pass, and %TO (what i call "player attributes")
              listed in
              > the stats database at www.apbr.org, both for the regular season
              stats and
              > also the playoffs (i.e. you can compare a player's regular season
              stats with
              > his playoffs stats). you can sort the entire database by these
              categories

              I've done it in the past, it's just that that online db is pretty
              hard to use -- some columns aren't readable and you can't do much
              analysis with because you can't save any of the data. Can't do the
              averaging over a career like you did, for example. I guess looking
              at seasons is simple enough.

              Mike Mitchell shows up a lot as someone with high %shoot. Walt
              Piatkowski? Jamaal Wilkes, Robert Parish, Wayman Tisdale, Scott
              Wedman, Terry Catledge are up there.
            • bchaikin@aol.com
              But the # s are estimated from formulas, though, right? Are you saying the formulas are always perfect? the simulation i developed would not produce
              Message 6 of 21 , Sep 12, 2002
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                But the #'s are estimated from formulas, though, right?  Are you
                saying the formulas are always perfect?

                the simulation i developed would not produce statistical results that match real life numbers if the player attributes were not right on - meaning the player possession factor and their player attributes. think about it, if i don't peg pretty much exactly how often each player handles the ball on offense, and then what they do when they do get it (either shoot, pass, get fouled, or turn it over) and how often, how could the program possibly reproduce past real life numbers with so many players involved?...

                I know you estimate only 40% of Iverson's touches were shots in 2000
                playoffs.  Different year than what Stu mentioned and his was only
                Finals, but I don't imagine things would be horribly different.  9%
                is a lot of difference.

                the database shows iverson shooting 40 times per 100 ball possessions for the 22 games he played in the playoffs. i did not break it down by finals, opening round, etc...

                I've done it in the past, it's just that that online db is pretty
                hard to use -- some columns aren't readable and you can't do much
                analysis with because you can't save any of the data.

                how is the database hard to use? you can sort and limit the database in innumerable ways. what can't you read? is your resolution high?

                bob chaikin
                bchaikin@...

              • Mike G
                ... database in ... I ve made great use of Bob s database, and am much appreciative. I think the limit feature is essential to it s usefulness. Otherwise,
                Message 7 of 21 , Sep 12, 2002
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                  --- In APBR_analysis@y..., bchaikin@a... wrote:

                  > how is the database hard to use? you can sort and limit the
                  database in
                  > innumerable ways. what can't you read? is your resolution high?

                  I've made great use of Bob's database, and am much appreciative. I
                  think the 'limit' feature is essential to it's usefulness.
                  Otherwise, it does take a while to page up and down.

                  The one drawback is (unless I've missed something) that normal
                  scrolling doesn't happen, or is cumbersome. This makes it rather
                  unwieldy for just browsing.

                  There are also a lot of columns I don't need, like certain
                  percentages. This makes it harder to see the columns at the far
                  right and left. If I am using it for an extended time, I compress
                  the unused columns.
                • Dean Oliver
                  ... that match ... meaning the ... it, if i ... ball on ... pass, get ... possibly ... The same way Stratomatic, etc. reproduce numbers. They don t use a
                  Message 8 of 21 , Sep 12, 2002
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                    --- In APBR_analysis@y..., bchaikin@a... wrote:
                    >
                    > But the #'s are estimated from formulas, though, right? Are you
                    > saying the formulas are always perfect?
                    >
                    > the simulation i developed would not produce statistical results
                    that match
                    > real life numbers if the player attributes were not right on -
                    meaning the
                    > player possession factor and their player attributes. think about
                    it, if i
                    > don't peg pretty much exactly how often each player handles the
                    ball on
                    > offense, and then what they do when they do get it (either shoot,
                    pass, get
                    > fouled, or turn it over) and how often, how could the program
                    possibly
                    > reproduce past real life numbers with so many players involved?...
                    >

                    The same way Stratomatic, etc. reproduce numbers. They don't use a
                    touch factor. From economics (and other stat sciences), there are
                    always a lot of different ways to _explain_ past results using all
                    sorts of models. Dave Berri's estimates of individual wins reproduce
                    team wins very well. Does that mean his model of individual wins is
                    right? No. I'm pretty sure that your #'s are ballpark -- they
                    mostly reflect subjective ideas that we have. But I want to know how
                    big that ballpark is.

                    > I know you estimate only 40% of Iverson's touches were shots in
                    2000
                    > playoffs. Different year than what Stu mentioned and his was only
                    > Finals, but I don't imagine things would be horribly different. 9%
                    > is a lot of difference.
                    >
                    > the database shows iverson shooting 40 times per 100 ball
                    possessions for the
                    > 22 games he played in the playoffs. i did not break it down by
                    finals,
                    > opening round, etc...
                    >

                    Can we break it down for the Finals? Since Stu has directly observed
                    numbers from the 2001 Finals, that would give a sense for how
                    accurate it really is in a small sample of games. If you can, do it
                    for all players in the Finals so that we can compare with Stu's
                    counts.


                    > I've done it in the past, it's just that that online db is pretty
                    > hard to use -- some columns aren't readable and you can't do much
                    > analysis with because you can't save any of the data.
                    >
                    > how is the database hard to use? you can sort and limit the
                    database in
                    > innumerable ways. what can't you read? is your resolution high?

                    The sorting and limiting work fine. My resolution is definitely
                    high. I cannot read a lot of the columns, primarily in the basic
                    fields (minutes, fga, etc.). The last number gets cut off
                    frequently. Because I can't cut and paste, it's hard to put in a
                    format that I can read the way I want to read it. Sometimes, you
                    want to see %shoot next to minutes and FGA, but you can't do that. I
                    understand your desire to keep it all proprietary and that limits cut
                    and paste and display options, but that also limits usage.

                    DeanO
                  • Dean Oliver
                    ... I guess this is something I never thought of. I had expanded columns to see things better (every time I open it), but hadn t compressed to put things side
                    Message 9 of 21 , Sep 12, 2002
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                      --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "Mike G" <msg_53@h...> wrote:
                      > --- In APBR_analysis@y..., bchaikin@a... wrote:
                      >
                      > > how is the database hard to use? you can sort and limit the
                      > database in
                      > > innumerable ways. what can't you read? is your resolution high?
                      >
                      > There are also a lot of columns I don't need, like certain
                      > percentages. This makes it harder to see the columns at the far
                      > right and left. If I am using it for an extended time, I compress
                      > the unused columns.

                      I guess this is something I never thought of. I had expanded columns
                      to see things better (every time I open it), but hadn't compressed to
                      put things side by side.
                    • bchaikin@aol.com
                      I ve made great use of Bob s database, and am much appreciative. I think the limit feature is essential to it s usefulness. Otherwise, it does take a while
                      Message 10 of 21 , Sep 12, 2002
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                        I've made great use of Bob's database, and am much appreciative.  I
                        think the 'limit' feature is essential to it's usefulness. 
                        Otherwise, it does take a while to page up and down.

                        thank you very much for the compliment. yes the limit feature is real nice - did you know that you can limit on any column, even columns with text?.....and again any suggestions for ways to improve the database are always appreciated...

                        There are also a lot of columns I don't need, like certain
                        percentages.  This makes it harder to see the columns at the far
                        right and left. 

                        all you have to do is to double-click on any column and it "disappears" - is hidden. you can hide as many columns as you wish so that you don't have to view stats/columns you don't want to. a nice feature when looking at old time stats where few stats were actually kept and most columns are dashes (all explained in the online instructions). to "unhide" any or all of the columns you hid go to the top menu "Options", then "Unhide", and click on any of the columns you want returned or click on "Unhide All"...

                        The one drawback is (unless I've missed something) that normal
                        scrolling doesn't happen, or is cumbersome.  This makes it rather
                        unwieldy for just browsing. 

                        if you get a chance try using the new football stats database at www.bballsports.com that we just posted for free download. a number of the "problems" with the old basketball/baseball/hockey databases have been fixed in the football database - ex: scrolling up/down now is instantaneous, and you can "combine" any records by player name, year, team, etc. example: in the football players database with one click of the mouse you can combine all yearly player records to combine by "player name" to get player career totals, one line per player. all of these changes will be implemented in basketball and the others in the next few months...

                        bob chaikin
                        bchaikin@...








                      • Michael K. Tamada
                        ... There s another difference, which to me is much more important for why Wilkins is regarded as a ballhog and McHale isn t: FG% PT% Wilkins 46% 53% McHale
                        Message 11 of 21 , Sep 12, 2002
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                          On Thu, 12 Sep 2002 bchaikin@... wrote:

                          >
                          > actually kevin mchale's career %shoot and %pass numbers are very close to
                          > dominique wilkin's numbers of 50 and 33 (shoot 50 times and pass 33 times per
                          > 100 ball possessions)...
                          >
                          > the big difference was touches/min of 0.90 for mchale and 1.20 for wilkins,
                          > meaning wilkins handled the ball 33% more often than mchale did...

                          There's another difference, which to me is much more important for why
                          Wilkins is regarded as a ballhog and McHale isn't:

                          FG% PT%
                          Wilkins 46% 53%
                          McHale 55% 59%


                          Sure, McHale may have shot the ball about as often as Wilkins, at least as
                          measured by %shoot. The difference is when McHale shot, the ball was
                          likely to go in! That makes all the difference between calling a player a
                          ballhog vs a bonafide superstar.


                          --MKT
                        • Dean Oliver
                          ... why ... least as ... was ... player a ... But McHale WAS considered a ballhog, actually. I think I have some quotes back then. I know I wrote that he was
                          Message 12 of 21 , Sep 12, 2002
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                            --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "Michael K. Tamada" <tamada@o...> wrote:
                            >
                            > There's another difference, which to me is much more important for
                            why
                            > Wilkins is regarded as a ballhog and McHale isn't:
                            >
                            > FG% PT%
                            > Wilkins 46% 53%
                            > McHale 55% 59%
                            >
                            >
                            > Sure, McHale may have shot the ball about as often as Wilkins, at
                            least as
                            > measured by %shoot. The difference is when McHale shot, the ball
                            was
                            > likely to go in! That makes all the difference between calling a
                            player a
                            > ballhog vs a bonafide superstar.

                            But McHale WAS considered a ballhog, actually. I think I have some
                            quotes back then. I know I wrote that he was a ballhog as early as
                            1988. Both were good players, though.

                            McHale's top offensive rating was an incredible 126 and Wilkins was
                            at 118. These are both star numbers. Wilkins did use as much as 33%
                            of the team's possessions and McHale never used more than 23%. As
                            Bob said, McHale just didn't get as many touches, but when he did, he
                            shot and passed at about the same frequency as Nique.

                            Early and late in Wilkins' career, his team's offense was not good.
                            McHale was always part of a good team offense. Iverson and
                            Stackhouse have NEVER been part of good team offenses. Maybe that's
                            part of it. If guys hog the ball enough that their team offense is
                            bad, then they could be hogs. That would eliminate Glenn Robinson
                            and Steve Francis, whose teams have been pretty good offensively.

                            DeanO
                          • bchaikin@aol.com
                            ...for why Wilkins is regarded as a ballhog and McHale isn t... who considers dominique wilkins a ballhog? certainly not me! the whole point about my last
                            Message 13 of 21 , Sep 12, 2002
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                              "...for why Wilkins is regarded as a ballhog and McHale isn't..."
                                 
                              who considers dominique wilkins a ballhog? certainly not me! the whole point about my last post was that offensively the difference between bird, english, and wilkins wasn't that much - all 3 were bonafide superstars. sure bird was clearly the better of the 3, but the other two had tendexs of close to .600 for a 10 year stretch. that's a helluva run! bird, magic, jordan - forget these guys because they are clearly in a class by themselves, they aren't just hall-of-famers but clearly the absolute best of their time...

                              but english and wilkins were clearly superstars. every game their teams played the opposition tried to stop them and them specifically, because they were by far the top scorers on their teams over that 10 year stretch (granted vandeweghe had a couple better scoring years than english and wilkins had moses malone for a short time)...

                              "...Sure, McHale may have shot the ball about as often as Wilkins, at least as
                              measured by %shoot.  The difference is when McHale shot, the ball was
                              likely to go in!  That makes all the difference between calling a player a
                              ballhog vs a bonafide superstar...."


                              are you attempting to say here that mchale was a bonafide superstar and wilkins was not? because if you are you have to understand that for a frontcourt player like wilkins to have a high possession factor and also score alot means a ton, a whole lot. a frontcourt player who can handle the ball alot, and is not just a passer (allan bristow, john johnson later in his career in seattle, sam lacey) but is a scorer is a very rare commodity. mchale was a low post player, i think most would agree. wilkins could get the ball anywhere and score...

                              wilkins had a lifetime possession factor (touches/min) of about 1.20-1.25. mchale's highest was about 0.90 and about 0.85 for his career. that means over their careers wilkins handled the ball 40% more often than mchale. that's a huge difference. mchales best season he scored 26.1 pts/g, and his career numbers were just under 18 pts/g on excellent 56% shooting. wilkins pertty much scored mchale's career best over his entire career - just under 25 pts/g over his career on, yes, worse shooting. you can't convince me that mchale was the better player, not by a longshot...

                              i don't have a lot of respect for the game of a player like allen iverson who scores 30 pts/g on 41% shooting, but he scores and scores big and teams design their defense to stop him and him specifically and most can't stop him. i think that classifies him as a superstar...

                              bob chaikin
                              bchaikin@...





                            • bchaikin@aol.com
                              The same way Stratomatic, etc. reproduce numbers. They don t use a touch factor. From economics (and other stat sciences), there are always a lot of
                              Message 14 of 21 , Sep 12, 2002
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                                The same way Stratomatic, etc. reproduce numbers.  They don't use a
                                touch factor.  From economics (and other stat sciences), there are
                                always a lot of different ways to _explain_ past results using all
                                sorts of models.  Dave Berri's estimates of individual wins reproduce
                                team wins very well.  Does that mean his model of individual wins is
                                right?  No.  I'm pretty sure that your #'s are ballpark -- they
                                mostly reflect subjective ideas that we have.  But I want to know how
                                big that ballpark is.

                                have you ever used the software? the free download at members.aol.com/bchaikin? its not like i'm hawking the damn thing - its free. but i think you are really missing the boat here because you are basically saying that unless i watch every game and chart every single possession that the way i calculate poss fact and player attributes can't possibly be that accurate. and then you got on to say, in essence, that anyone can reproduce past results, and there are a number of ways to do it accurately. mind you now, you are basically saying all this without even having taken a serious look at the parameters in action, meaning using the software..

                                well what the B-BALL software does, and what it was specifically designed to do, is to not only reproduce past results with extreme accuracy, but also to predict future performance based on player's past stats, and this it does. your next question is either - how, i'dlike to see that? or a statement like "...i doubt it very much...". well again, if you haven't use the software, its easy to criticise. you are putting the burden of proof on me, but not looking at the proof available, meaning the software. but i will try to convince you with an example...

                                in 91-92 and 92-93 david robinson scored between 23-24 pts/g. then in 93-94 his scoring jumped to 29.8 pts/g. why? what specifically happened? could it have been predicted? can you yourself explain it?...

                                here's what happened. a frontcourt player who played a ton of minutes yet had a very low possession factor (touches/min) was traded to the spurs and played in every game but three and 38 min/g - dennis rodman, taking the place of players with much higher poss facts. starting PG avery johnson played in 92-93 (high poss fact of 1.70) but not in 93-94 (don't remember why - injury, traded away?). in 93-94 PG vinny del negro started and had a low 1.25 poss fact (low for a starting PG). starting G/F dale ellis had his poss fact drop from 0.69 to 0.59 in a year playing major minutes. sean elliot (92-93) and willie anderson (93-94) were somewhat similar players and played similar minutes...

                                so what happens? david robinson has his poss fact shoot up by 23% - in one season! from 1.14 to 1.40! that 1.40 poss fact was the highest ever touches/min for a starting center in the league until shaq's 2000-01 season. if you look closely at robinson's  stats in the stats database at www.apbr.org, you'll see his player attributes (%shoot, %fouled, %TO, %pass) in 92-93 and 93-94 are virtually identical, meaning what he did once he got the ball was basically the same, i.e. he didn't shoot more often or score from the line more often per offensive ball possession. he just handled the ball 23% more often...

                                fine..that's the history lesson. but could this have been predicted? the answer is definitely yes - this is what i did for 5-6 years in consulting. if you use the B-BALL software using the 92-93 players (not the 93-94 players mind you), and trade rodman to the spurs and set him up in the sub pattern to play 36-40 min/g, reduce dale ellis' poss fact by about 10%, and put in del negro at starting PG instead of avery johnson, and run a few similar seasons using the 92-93 data (again s.elliot's stats and w.anderson's stats were very similar), and you'll get similar statistical results to the 93-94 spurs with robinson's poss factor increasing by 20%-25% as well as his scoring going up to 27-28-29 pts/g from 23-24 pts/g...

                                you don't even have to take my word for this - you can do it yourself (the free download is the 86-87 to 88-89 teams, you can use that for similar examples or i can send you - for free - the above mentioned seasons). but it works - like a charm....

                                any other simulation you ever seen able to do this? i've played them all (or did 6-7 years ago) and none were even close. so while you may believe that many can reproduce past seasons with extreme accuracy, how many can do the above? i mean you are not a typical basketball fan but one who has done some serious statistical analysis. how can you explain the above scenario unless the model works to a "T"? unless the parameters truly parallel the real world? the bottom line is that the possession factors and player attributes are right on the money - if they weren't the simulation would not reproduce real life numbers with the accuracy that it does, nor could it do the above example. its like a jigsaw puzzle, unless every player (the ones with the major minutes) handles the ball as often as he did in real life, and then did with the ball what he did in real life, and shot the same FG%s, how could you possible get the accurate results?...

                                other examples could be trading dantley from the jazz to the pistons and seeing his average drop alot without changing his player attributes because he's traded to a team with players with higher possession factors than the team he was traded from, or jeff malone traded from the bullets to the jazz, where his poss fact dropps about 25% -  there are many other examples...

                                Can we break it down for the Finals?  Since Stu has directly observed
                                numbers from the 2001 Finals, that would give a sense for how
                                accurate it really is in a small sample of games.  If you can, do it
                                for all players in the Finals so that we can compare with Stu's
                                counts.

                                if you send me the 76ers stats (or just iverson's) for each of their playoff series that season, i'll calculate his poss fact and player attributes and post them...

                                The sorting and limiting work fine.  My resolution is definitely
                                high.  I cannot read a lot of the columns, primarily in the basic
                                fields (minutes, fga, etc.).  The last number gets cut off
                                frequently.  Because I can't cut and paste, it's hard to put in a
                                format that I can read the way I want to read it.  Sometimes, you
                                want to see %shoot next to minutes and FGA, but you can't do that. 

                                yes you can, just double click on all the columns in between the ones you mentioned and the columns are hidden, that way you can see the minutes, FGA, and %shoot columns right next to each other...

                                I understand your desire to keep it all proprietary and that limits cut
                                and paste and display options, but that also limits usage.

                                would you let users get the stats in ascii files for free if you had developed this - typed in the stats by hand over the years?..

                                did you know that all - and i mean all - the websites that list complete historical baseball stats (1871-1993 and later) on the internet, including the few that have since gone defunct (like www.baseballstats.com), all got their stats in ascii files from the same single source - not a single one typed all their stats in by hand nor researched the data initially? all the data came from a Total Baseball CD that came out in the early 1990s where they put on it all the stats in ascii files (i found out later accidently/mistakenly). its easy to tell because they all have the same original errors as the Total Baseball CD. so all these people "giving" away free historical baseball stats on the web didn't do the work of typing it all into spreadsheets - so noble of them to give them away for free. moron here has been typing stats into spreadsheets since the days of 8" floppies and computers running CPM, the predecessor to DOS (thinking i'd be using them for creating simulations) never thinking about the internet and these databases...

                                i just spent 2 years creating what i believe is the only historical football stats database on the internet that people can using for free. should i give those stats away for free? actually a week does not go by that i don't get emails saying i have no right to "keep" the stats for myself, that i should let people download the entire databases in computer/ascii format for import to spreadsheets because the stats are public domain. but the vast majority of people who use the databases and realize the work behind them are like msg_53@... who send emails simply saying thanks for making them available. and again i'm always looking for ways to improve the databases so suggestions are always welcome...

                                bob chaikin
                                bchaikin@...


                              • Michael K. Tamada
                                ... Obviously we ve reached the point of semantic disagreements (and some substantive ones too). Short answer: yes, someone like Wilkins who shoots that
                                Message 15 of 21 , Sep 12, 2002
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                                  On Thu, 12 Sep 2002 bchaikin@... wrote:

                                  >
                                  > "...for why Wilkins is regarded as a ballhog and McHale isn't..."
                                  >
                                  > who considers dominique wilkins a ballhog? certainly not me! the whole point

                                  Obviously we've reached the point of semantic disagreements (and some
                                  substantive ones too). Short answer: yes, someone like
                                  Wilkins who shoots that much, with a FG% below both his team average and
                                  the league average (and I believe his PT% was below his team and league
                                  average most years too, but I can't get the stats site to load).

                                  Someone like McHale who shoots about as much (per touch) but (a) shoots
                                  with very high efficiency and (b) doesn't use up as many of his team's
                                  possessions to get his points is not a ballhog. To bring in a related
                                  question that's been discussed, one can call McHale a black hole (because
                                  he couldn't pass worth a darn, and instead would shoot the ball) but not a
                                  ballhog.

                                  [...]

                                  > but english and wilkins were clearly superstars. every game their teams

                                  "Superstars" is another term where we can semantically disagree, but I do
                                  agree with this: both players were close to each other in ability,
                                  clearly below Bird et al, and depending on how one defines "superstar",
                                  might be considered that: clear longtime all-stars, possible All-pros ...
                                  although at that point, subjectivity and the way in which scorers get
                                  overrated by the fans and media start coming into play.

                                  But those stats that you posted show exactly the differences between
                                  English and Wilkins that I'm talking about. English, on a percentage
                                  basis, shot less and passed more than Wilkins, and with a better shooting
                                  percentage. His PossFact was higher than Wilkins according to your stats,
                                  which I can believe, but in Denver's high-octane offense I'll bet he used
                                  up a smaller percentage of his teams touches or possessions.

                                  So in terms of offense, I take English over Wilkins. Overall, it's close
                                  because Wilkins was a better rebounder and I suspect was a better defender
                                  too. On the other hand, English could and would pass more, and most
                                  importantly would fit into a team game better. (Haven't these World
                                  Championships taught us anything?)

                                  If one's team is offensively hopeless and one can add one player who will
                                  most help the offense (and probably the team too), then yes, Wilkins would
                                  be a good choice, probably better than English. But if one is building a
                                  team that'll advance in the playoffs, and possibly contend for a
                                  championship, Wilkins is way down my list. He's the type of player who
                                  like McAdoo with the Lakers or Aguirre with the Pistons could be a role
                                  player on a championship team, but you don't build championship teams
                                  around players like Wilkins. English wouldn't be much preferable to
                                  Wilkins, but offensively he'd be less ball-hoggedly.

                                  [...]

                                  > are you attempting to say here that mchale was a bonafide superstar and
                                  > wilkins was not? because if you are you have to understand that for a

                                  Yes. And forget the semantics, whatever we choose to call them, I'll take
                                  McHale over Wilkins. Granted they played different positions, but unless
                                  we're talking about a team as in the example above, a team of offensive
                                  zeroes which needs a player like Dominique to achieve something
                                  approaching respectability, I take McHale over Wilkins easy.

                                  > mchale was a low post player, i think most would agree. wilkins could get the
                                  > ball anywhere and score...

                                  Get the ball anywhere and score: precisely! Yes Wilkins could do that
                                  (and McHale could not). But why would we want that?? The
                                  superstar-gets-the-ball-and-drives-the-lane offense is precisely what
                                  observers have (correctly in my view) accused the US players of doing too
                                  much of, leading to their downfall in the World Championships.

                                  Now when Jordan does that, and scores 28 points and shoots 53% from the
                                  field, then that can be okay (still not desirable compared to a team game,
                                  but it can be okay -- hey it worked for the Bulls). But when Wilkins does
                                  that, and scores 28 points, but shoots *46%* from the field -- that kind
                                  of team offense (or more accurately, lack of TEAM offense) is not the way
                                  to build a contending team.

                                  > wilkins had a lifetime possession factor (touches/min) of about 1.20-1.25.
                                  > mchale's highest was about 0.90 and about 0.85 for his career. that means
                                  > over their careers wilkins handled the ball 40% more often than mchale.
                                  > that's a huge difference. mchales best season he scored 26.1 pts/g, and his

                                  It is a huge difference, but it's again part of why I call Wilkins a
                                  ballhog and McHale not. Both were shoot first, pass never players. But
                                  McHale didn't use up all his teams possessions in doing so, and when he
                                  did use a possession, he scored. Whereas Wilkins missed.

                                  That Wilkins could maintain a near-average shooting efficiency while using
                                  up so many possessions is indeed a rare achievement. But (a) it's not the
                                  way to play good team basketball and (b) the fact that he was using up so
                                  many possessions is why I call him a ballhog. (By the way, this is not
                                  to say that he was a bad player; as I said before, a clear perennial
                                  all-star and marginal all-pro, somewhere close to English overall.)

                                  [...]

                                  > i don't have a lot of respect for the game of a player like allen iverson who
                                  > scores 30 pts/g on 41% shooting, but he scores and scores big and teams
                                  > design their defense to stop him and him specifically and most can't stop

                                  Here we agree. Iverson is Wilkins but even more extreme. But it's not
                                  the way to build a contending team (yes I know the 76ers made it to the
                                  finals, but we all knew they had no chance against the Lakers and no
                                  business being in the finals except for the fact that the other Eastern
                                  teams were even worse).

                                  > him. i think that classifies him as a superstar...

                                  We do agree that Iverson is a remarkable player, a clear all-star.
                                  Whether that's enough to call him a superstar ... that's a semantic issue.
                                  A substantive issue: does he deserve to be all-pro? I'd say 2nd team
                                  all-pro maybe, 1st team not, and MVP definitely not. (And yes I know who
                                  won the MVP award in 2001, but that's simply because the sportswriters
                                  all too often like to give MVP awards to players who are The Man on
                                  One-Man-Teams-Which-Do-Pretty-Well.)

                                  World B. Free could, and did, score from anywhere on the court too, and
                                  with even more unlimited range and unstoppability than Wilkins. Now
                                  semantically we can disagree whether to apply the terms "ballhog" and
                                  "superstar" to players such as Free, Wilkins, and McHale, but although
                                  players such as Free and Wilkins have their place (including deserved
                                  slots on all-star teams), I do not rate them as highly as the McHales of
                                  the world.



                                  --MKT
                                • Michael K. Tamada
                                  ... [...] ... Bob s and MikeG s emails have been helpful. I guess a good succinct way to put the advice is: by all means jump into the database and start
                                  Message 16 of 21 , Sep 12, 2002
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                                    On Thu, 12 Sep 2002, Dean Oliver wrote:

                                    > --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "Mike G" <msg_53@h...> wrote:
                                    > > --- In APBR_analysis@y..., bchaikin@a... wrote:

                                    [...]

                                    > > There are also a lot of columns I don't need, like certain
                                    > > percentages. This makes it harder to see the columns at the far
                                    > > right and left. If I am using it for an extended time, I compress
                                    > > the unused columns.
                                    >
                                    > I guess this is something I never thought of. I had expanded columns
                                    > to see things better (every time I open it), but hadn't compressed to
                                    > put things side by side.

                                    Bob's and MikeG's emails have been helpful. I guess a good succinct way
                                    to put the advice is: by all means jump into the database and start
                                    running queries. But at the point (which arrives soon) when you realize
                                    that you're getting the data that you want, but not in the convenient or
                                    easy-to-read form that you want, then it's time to RTF page of
                                    instructions, which I think cover all of the hints that BobC and MikeG
                                    have mentioned.


                                    --MKT
                                  • bchaikin@aol.com
                                    here s MY definition of a ballhog in basketball, and this is from someone who has played a ton of basketball (tho not at a high a level still a ton of hoops)
                                    Message 17 of 21 , Sep 12, 2002
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                                      here's MY definition of a ballhog in basketball, and this is from someone who has played a ton of basketball (tho not at a high a level still a ton of hoops) and played the point guard position. a ballhog is first and foremost someone who does not pass, usually shoots, and is not the person you want trying to score all the time if you want to win. a few passes to that player and as a point guard you know to freeze him out, especially if he doesn't play any defense...

                                      moses malone was a technically a ballhog in the strictest sense but rebounded his own misses (and yours thank god), got fouled alot, and played D. so you do want to get him the ball 'cause you want to win (and stay on the court in pick up games) and you don't mind that he doesn't pass (he passed about 1/5 of the time he had the ball). so not a ballhog (and yes a superstar in his prime)...

                                      dominique wilkins was the prototypical scorer, a player who could score at will but who also got to the line and rebounded, yet was not a deadeye shooter. yeh he shot alot but he did shoot 48% on twos and 32% on threes in his career, solid numbers, and passed 1/3 of the time he had the ball (alot more than moses malone). i'd certainly want him on my team - so not a ballhog in my opinion (and yes a superstar in his prime). he was his team's dominant player and top scorer for a decade, and the opposition keyed their defenses to stop him and him specifically...

                                      kevin mchale was a great player, and i mean a great player. but i would not consider him a superstar in his prime (many would tho) because he had only one really good scoring season. wilkins was all-pro 1st team once, all-pro 2nd team twice, and all-pro 3rd team once. mchale was all-pro 1st team once (that high scoring year) and that was it. but he was also all-D 1st team 3 times and all-D 2nd team 3 times - i said he was great. the one season he played without larry bird (88-89), his numbers suffered just slightly, but he didn't take the "...bull by the horns..." and dominate in bird's absence. actually robert parish had a much better season without bird than the season before and the season after with bird, rather than mchale. that to me means mchale is not of the superstar class. a great player, a superb defender, but not a superstar. just a few too few touches on offense to be a dominant offensive player. but again many probably would consider him a superstar...

                                      if i had to choose between mchale and wilkins for MY team, and knowing that regardless which i picked that player would be my best player, i would take wilkins, because i'd have a frontcourt player that could score at will. but if i already had a great offensive player (like bird) i'd take mchale. i think mchale's career was certainly helped and made more public by playing with bird all those years, just like pippen was with jordan. wilkins never really played with a great teammate, moses malone came to the hawks in his 15th season in the league, and while still good was not the player he was in 82-83. other than that and one outrageous season by kevin willis (91-92), wilkins was the hawks' key man...

                                      and did you know that although wilkins was 3 inches shorter than mchale (6.07 to 6.10), he was just as good an offensive rebounder?...

                                      and yes i certainly think you could have built a championship team around a dominique wilkins in his prime....

                                      "....He's the type of player who like McAdoo with the Lakers or Aguirre with the Pistons could be a role player on a championship team, but you don't build championship teams around players like Wilkins..."

                                      in his prime bob mcadoo was the best the game had to offer. in the early to mid 1970s people were talking about him as one of the absolute greatest ever in the history of the game - he was the best scorer in the league, a high percentage shooter, and many many at the time called him the best shooting big man ever to play the game. the only player comparable to him at that same time was jabbar, and he too was in his very prime. mcadoo didn't get to the lakers until his 10th year in the league....

                                      aguirre was an offensive player, and i think a worse defender than wilkins...

                                      if wilkins had ever had a center in atlanta comparable to parish while in his prime, and another starter that was a superb defender, i certainly think he could have played in a championship - easily. christ - don't you remember that playoff game between the celtics and hawks where bird and wilkins went head to head the whole game? i think both had 40+ points in that game (i don't remember when it was but i just saw it on ESPN classics). he had the heart of a lion and the talent to win...

                                      so i would take wilkins over mchale. not an easy choice, but a solid one...

                                      now...on to true ballhogs/guns...

                                      probably my two biggest ballhogs would be john drew and freeman williams, and possibly john williamson. both had fairly high touches/min, drew rarely passed because if he wasn't shooting he was getting fouled. your offense stopped when he got the ball. williams and williamson just shot from anywhere at anytime. neither played any D...

                                      strictly guns - players who shot alot, had failey high poss facts, rarely drove the lane, didn't play much D include john long, rex chapman, darrell griffith, dale ellis (great shooter tho and did drive more than the others), dell curry, dennis scott

                                      players who shot more than anything but didn't have high touches/min so you couldn't really call them ball hogs include mike mitchell, terry catledge (the "black hole"), dinnerbell mel turpin, and kevin willis....

                                      bob chaikin
                                      bchaikin@...






                                    • Michael K. Tamada
                                      On Fri, 13 Sep 2002 bchaikin@aol.com wrote: We ll have to agree to disagree about Wilkins and for that matter McHale; you raise some interesting other issues:
                                      Message 18 of 21 , Sep 12, 2002
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                                        On Fri, 13 Sep 2002 bchaikin@... wrote:

                                        We'll have to agree to disagree about Wilkins and for that matter McHale;
                                        you raise some interesting other issues:

                                        [...]

                                        > "....He's the type of player who like McAdoo with the Lakers or Aguirre with
                                        > the Pistons could be a role player on a championship team, but you don't
                                        > build championship teams around players like Wilkins..."
                                        >
                                        > in his prime bob mcadoo was the best the game had to offer. in the early to
                                        > mid 1970s people were talking about him as one of the absolute greatest ever
                                        > in the history of the game - he was the best scorer in the league, a high
                                        > percentage shooter, and many many at the time called him the best shooting
                                        > big man ever to play the game. the only player comparable to him at that same
                                        > time was jabbar, and he too was in his very prime. mcadoo didn't get to the
                                        > lakers until his 10th year in the league....

                                        McAdoo's tough to judge, and had one of the more complex careers of any
                                        NBA player. He got what 1, 2 MVP awards -- and pretty much deserved them.
                                        But his post-Buffalo career showed the limitations in his game. He was a
                                        much better offensive player than Wilkins, and you're correct that he
                                        literally was the best scorer in the game for a couple of seasons. And
                                        in his best seasons he rebounded decently and even blocked shots.

                                        But.

                                        His post-Buffalo career revealed the weaknesses in his game, and even in
                                        his glory years at Buffalo we're looking at a bigger, better (much
                                        better) version of Dominique. Let's look first at his Buffalo years:
                                        Jack Ramsey centered the team's offense around McAdoo -- by itself, who
                                        could argue with that decision? But they never went far in the
                                        playoffs...partly that may have been due to having other teams that were
                                        just plain better than them. But it's not as if he had chumps for
                                        teammates: Jim McMillian had been a starter on one of the best teams
                                        ever, the 1972 Lakers. Garfield Heard went to the finals as a starter
                                        with Phoenix. Randy Smith was an all-star. Ernie D -- well okay, there's
                                        a defensive hole there, but he was a top notch point guard offensively.

                                        But too much focus on McAdoo means that the offensive skills of Smith and
                                        McMillian don't get fully utilized. Those were good Buffalo teams, but
                                        not great ones. And he wasn't a defensive whiz in the manner of a Jabbar
                                        or a Cowens.

                                        And after he left Buffalo, and wandered throughout the wilderness of New
                                        York, New Jersey, Boston, and Detroit, with at best modest success (and
                                        often abject failure) at each stop, teams discovered that they were not
                                        getting the 30-point per game scorer they thought they were getting. Sure
                                        he was capable of doing it, but do you want to unbalance your team's
                                        offense so much just so he can get his points? Worse, if he's not scoring
                                        30 points per game for you, he's not good enough in other areas of the
                                        game to contribute to your team.

                                        In just the right situation, and with a good coach, McAdoo could be
                                        useful. He proved that with the Lakers -- note that he was only a role
                                        player though. I'm sure you're correct that that was his 10th year in
                                        the league -- but so what? 32 years is not old for a true superstar
                                        (actually, didn't he leave college a year early?): I believe Dr. J was
                                        about that age when he won his NBA MVP (granted he didn't really deserve
                                        it, it was more of a salute to him than a true MVP award, but he WAS still
                                        an all-pro caliber player). Russell was still winning championships in
                                        his 13th year in the league. Etc.

                                        As a leading player, as opposed to role player, again with a good coach
                                        and in the right situation, McAdoo could be an excellent player, as in
                                        Buffalo. But it had to be just the right situation, with the team
                                        revolving around his offense. And even when the team did revolve around
                                        his offense (I believe that's what the Knicks tried) most teams found
                                        little success with him.

                                        So in a way McAdoo's MVP awards were like Iverson's (although McAdoo
                                        was a much better player; the high scoring and high shooting percentages
                                        that you cite were real, and McAdoo probably did deserve his MVP award).
                                        One can't deny his accomplishments when he was the focus of the team, at
                                        least if the team was well-coached and had the right complementary
                                        players. But such a team, devised to revolved around McAdoo, can be no
                                        more successful than a team devised to revolve around Alan Iverson.

                                        It can be a good team, but not more than that. To win a championship with
                                        a McAdoo, he has to be a complementary player, not the focus of the team.

                                        > aguirre was an offensive player, and i think a worse defender than wilkins...

                                        No question that Wilkins was better than Aguirre, but I still put them
                                        into the same category: if you build your team around a player like
                                        that, you can have a good team, but not a great one. On a great team
                                        (such as Detroit 1988 and 1989) players like Aguirre will be only role
                                        players.

                                        > if wilkins had ever had a center in atlanta comparable to parish while in his
                                        > prime, and another starter that was a superb defender, i certainly think he
                                        > could have played in a championship - easily. christ - don't you remember
                                        > that playoff game between the celtics and hawks where bird and wilkins went
                                        > head to head the whole game? i think both had 40+ points in that game (i
                                        > don't remember when it was but i just saw it on ESPN classics). he had the
                                        > heart of a lion and the talent to win...

                                        I certainly do remember that game, I was living in Boston at the time.

                                        Chuck Person did the same thing in a playoff game. Big deal. That
                                        doesn't make Chuck Person a championship caliber player. (Well, he was
                                        certainly good enough to play on a championship team, in fact maybe he did
                                        with San Antonio, but again, as a role player. Person's not up there with
                                        the Duncans and Robinsons of the world. Neither was Wilkins. Wilkins
                                        was better than Person though.)

                                        And MikeG's posting of Wilkins' playoff stats were very revealing. Take
                                        away that historic game and Wilkins' stats start getting abysmal. He was
                                        137 for 300 in the 1988 playoffs (your website is working for me now,
                                        thanks). I think you or someone posted that he was 19-23 in that historic
                                        game? Which means he was 118-277 in the other games, 43% shooting.
                                        Iversonish statistics (maybe worse than Iverson's when we consider that
                                        NBA FG percentages were higher then). Hmm, in fact 43% is Wilkins' career
                                        playoff average.

                                        [...]

                                        > probably my two biggest ballhogs would be john drew and freeman williams, and
                                        > possibly john williamson. both had fairly high touches/min, drew rarely
                                        > passed because if he wasn't shooting he was getting fouled. your offense
                                        > stopped when he got the ball. williams and williamson just shot from anywhere
                                        > at anytime. neither played any D...

                                        100% agreement here. I'd mentioned Williams in a post just before this,
                                        but I forgot about Drew and Super John Williamson.

                                        > strictly guns - players who shot alot, had failey high poss facts, rarely
                                        > drove the lane, didn't play much D include john long, rex chapman, darrell
                                        > griffith, dale ellis (great shooter tho and did drive more than the others),
                                        > dell curry, dennis scott

                                        Yes, gunners all, although did Chapman and Long really use up that many
                                        possessions? What is much less clear is whether they deserve the title
                                        ballhog. Ellis in particular: that was his role with the team. Catch and
                                        shoot. The Sonics probably pleaded with him NOT to do anything else with
                                        the ball, because whenever he tried to dribble it or pass it, bad things
                                        would happen (except for passes that he dumped back to the PG near
                                        midcourt).

                                        Also, using the definition that you opened with (I've deleted
                                        it, it's the one about a ballhog being the kind of guy you don't want to
                                        pass to because he will (a) always shoot it and (b) usually miss it),
                                        Ellis doesn't meet that definition, because (b) definitely does not apply
                                        to him, not in his prime with Seattle. Nor McHale. Wilkins on the other
                                        hand...

                                        Crap, I said I was going to move on from Dominique and talk about other
                                        issues. Sorry. But thanks for raising those other issues, which are
                                        interesting.


                                        --MKT
                                      • Michael K. Tamada
                                        On Thu, 12 Sep 2002, Michael K. Tamada wrote: [...] ... I should clarify here; Bob McAdoo without question was a true superstar (when put into just the right
                                        Message 19 of 21 , Sep 12, 2002
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                                          On Thu, 12 Sep 2002, Michael K. Tamada wrote:

                                          [...]

                                          > In just the right situation, and with a good coach, McAdoo could be
                                          > useful. He proved that with the Lakers -- note that he was only a role
                                          > player though. I'm sure you're correct that that was his 10th year in
                                          > the league -- but so what? 32 years is not old for a true superstar

                                          I should clarify here; Bob McAdoo without question was a true superstar
                                          (when put into just the right team situation). Whereas with Dominique, I
                                          waver over whether Dominique deserves the title.

                                          But McAdoo, MVP and league scoring titles nonwithstanding, was clearly not
                                          up to the levels of ... well pick the centers who were better than McAdoo,
                                          there's quite a few. Not just the traditional Big 3, and the recent Big 3
                                          of Shaq, Robinson, and Hakeem; but Cowens, Walton (a good match, because
                                          their periods of peak performance were both so brief, albeit for different
                                          reasons), Parish. I think most people would add Unseld and Thurmond and
                                          probably Gilmore as well. Personally I'd add Sikma and maybe Ewing.
                                          Except for Walton (for health reasons) and Cowens (for physical and mental
                                          burnout reasons), age 32 was not an obstacle for those truly great or
                                          near-great centers.

                                          McAdoo was a superstar and a legit MVP candidate, given just the right
                                          conditions. But a limited one -- because the conditions were limited, and
                                          even under those conditions, we're not talking about a championship team.



                                          --MKT
                                        • Mike G
                                          ... I call both of these guys borderline-superstars. Wilkins was at that level for several years, McHale the one year. Whether McHale was a bit complacent
                                          Message 20 of 21 , Sep 13, 2002
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                                            --- In APBR_analysis@y..., bchaikin@a... wrote:
                                            > dominique wilkins was ... his team's dominant
                                            > player and top scorer for a decade,...
                                            >
                                            > kevin mchale was a great player... but ... he had only
                                            > one really good scoring season.

                                            I call both of these guys borderline-superstars. Wilkins was at that
                                            level for several years, McHale the one year.

                                            Whether McHale was a bit complacent about his place in history, or
                                            whether he suddenly had physical ailments (at least partly the case),
                                            his career trajectory was pretty steep on both sides of that one year
                                            (1987).

                                            It's easy to like McHale for his success (and to devalue Wilkins for
                                            his relative lack); and as objective thinkers we may remind ourselves
                                            that hindsight is 20-20.

                                            Mentally swapping out McHale for Wilkins, you get Bird and Nique both
                                            at forward. This would have been a dynamic duo. Nique doesn't play
                                            backup center, though.

                                            Whether McHale could 'carry' a team as Wilkins could, is doubtful.
                                            It's one thing to take a few years developing, winning some 6th-man
                                            awards, and finally blossoming as a go-to guy. It's another to
                                            shoulder the scoring load, crash the boards, and be the franchise.


                                            > ... wilkins was all-pro 1st team once, all-pro
                                            > 2nd team twice, and all-pro 3rd team once. mchale was all-pro 1st
                                            team once
                                            > (that high scoring year) and that was it. but he was also all-D 1st
                                            team 3
                                            > times and all-D 2nd team 3 times - i said he was great. the one
                                            season he
                                            > played without larry bird (88-89), his numbers suffered just
                                            slightly, but he
                                            > didn't take the "...bull by the horns..." and dominate in bird's
                                            absence.

                                            I seem to recall Larry Bird having harsh words for McHale, from the
                                            bench. Not hustling, not seeming to care?

                                            These guys played in the Age of Forwards. 3rd Team all-league was
                                            quite an honor. Taking a random year, 1986, I see Bird, Dantley,
                                            Barkley, Wilkins, McHale, Nance, English, Worthy, Herb Williams,
                                            Cummings, Aguirre, Pressey all having stellar seasons. That's 12 of
                                            the top 25 players at forward.


                                            > if i already had a great offensive player (like bird) i'd take
                                            mchale. i
                                            > think mchale's career was certainly helped and made more public by
                                            playing
                                            > with bird all those years, just like pippen was with jordan.
                                            wilkins never
                                            > really played with a great teammate,

                                            Precisely.


                                            > in his prime bob mcadoo was the best the game had to offer.

                                            I think McAdoo was never quite as good as Kareem. Mac's best seasons
                                            came right after Kareem's absolute prime, so Kareem may have been
                                            seen to be 'slipping', and Mac got the MVPs. (Kind of like Shaq
                                            became 'ineligible' for MVP after 2000, when he 'slipped'.)

                                            But McAdoo was very close to Kareem for a couple years, more than
                                            a 'mere superstar'.


                                            > if wilkins had ever had a center in atlanta comparable to parish
                                            while in his
                                            > prime, and another starter that was a superb defender, i certainly
                                            think he
                                            > could have played in a championship - easily.

                                            Moses Malone was probably almost equivalent to Parish, while he was
                                            in Atlanta. Yet the Hawks missed the playoffs one of those years.
                                            Chemistry is everything!
                                          • Mike G
                                            ... any ... who ... were ... Well, I guess. Buffalo s 1st playoff appearance (1974) got them a matchup with the eventual champion Celtics, and they went 6
                                            Message 21 of 21 , Sep 13, 2002
                                            • 0 Attachment
                                              --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "Michael K. Tamada" <tamada@o...> wrote:
                                              > McAdoo's tough to judge, and had one of the more complex careers of
                                              any
                                              > NBA player. ...
                                              >... his Buffalo years:
                                              > Jack Ramsey centered the team's offense around McAdoo -- by itself,
                                              who
                                              > could argue with that decision? But they never went far in the
                                              > playoffs...partly that may have been due to having other teams that
                                              were
                                              > just plain better than them.

                                              Well, I guess. Buffalo's 1st playoff appearance (1974) got them a
                                              matchup with the eventual champion Celtics, and they went 6 games.

                                              In '75, they went 7 games with the Bullets, who would go on to the
                                              Finals.

                                              In '76, they beat the Sixers of McGinnis and Collins, then lost in 6
                                              again to the glory-bound Celtics.


                                              But it's not as if he had chumps for
                                              > teammates: Jim McMillian had been a starter on one of the best
                                              teams
                                              > ever, the 1972 Lakers. Garfield Heard went to the finals as a
                                              starter
                                              > with Phoenix. Randy Smith was an all-star. Ernie D -- well okay,
                                              there's
                                              > a defensive hole there, but he was a top notch point guard
                                              offensively.

                                              Not chumps per se, but not stars the likes of which surrounded
                                              Cowens, or Unseld.

                                              > But too much focus on McAdoo means that the offensive skills of
                                              Smith and
                                              > McMillian don't get fully utilized.

                                              Smith and McMillian weren't any greater offensive stars before or
                                              after McAdoo, as near as I can tell. Good, well-rounded players, but
                                              no more.


                                              > And after he left Buffalo, and wandered throughout the wilderness
                                              of New
                                              > York, New Jersey, Boston, and Detroit, with at best modest success
                                              (and
                                              > often abject failure) at each stop,

                                              I recall a magazine article at the time of Mac's resurrection in LA.
                                              He said he had been called a 'malingerer' in Detroit. He didn't
                                              think of himself as a malingerer. He said he was injured and he
                                              wasn't getting respect. So why should he play injured, in that
                                              environment?


                                              > In just the right situation, and with a good coach, McAdoo could be
                                              > useful. He proved that with the Lakers -- note that he was only a
                                              role
                                              > player though.

                                              The same article quoted one of the Lakers saying 'Mac is a star'. So
                                              he had his respect, and without the burden of carrying a team. In 4
                                              LA seasons, he averaged 55 games. So he was a part-time part-timer.

                                              Still, he was good for 20 off the bench, in the '82 playoffs.


                                              > I'm sure you're correct that that was his 10th year in
                                              > the league -- but so what? 32 years is not old for a true superstar

                                              Mac wound up in Philly in 1986, and was still a capable scorer (10
                                              pts in 21 min.). Apparently this wasn't enough, and by age 35 he was
                                              out of the league.

                                              I believe Dr. J was
                                              > about that age when he won his NBA MVP (granted he didn't really
                                              deserve
                                              > it,

                                              Julius' best years were 1980-82, when he was 29-31 years old. And he
                                              was quite deserving of MVP in those years. (Relatively speaking;
                                              Kareem was better, but he had enough.)


                                              > As a leading player, as opposed to role player, again with a good
                                              coach
                                              > and in the right situation, McAdoo could be an excellent player, as
                                              in
                                              > Buffalo. But it had to be just the right situation, with the team
                                              > revolving around his offense. And even when the team did revolve
                                              around
                                              > his offense (I believe that's what the Knicks tried) most teams
                                              found
                                              > little success with him.

                                              I still say Mac had very little help in Buffalo, New York, certainly
                                              Detroit, or Boston. Coming in as a Savior is a sure recipe for
                                              disaster.


                                              > No question that Wilkins was better than Aguirre, but I still put
                                              them
                                              > into the same category: if you build your team around a player like
                                              > that, you can have a good team, but not a great one. On a great
                                              team
                                              > (such as Detroit 1988 and 1989) players like Aguirre will be only
                                              role
                                              > players.

                                              Mike, are you saying anything, other than making the obvious comment
                                              that one player does not win a championship? Of Course, if Wilkins
                                              or McAdoo are the only great player on the team, they are a long shot
                                              to win a title. Of Course, if McAdoo is the 4th or 5th option he
                                              must be on a hell of a good team.

                                              It's easy to argue, for example, Detroit trading Dantley for Aguirre
                                              caused them to win their titles. Then you can go on to say Dantley
                                              could never be on a championship team, and Aguirre could.

                                              I'd say, someone has to win, and not everyone can. Assigning cause
                                              and effect is another matter.

                                              I'd also say, given the maturing of Dumars, Salley, and Rodman, the
                                              Pistons might have been even more dominant by keeping Dantley
                                              (providing he doesn't get injured on the same timeline.)

                                              Oops, now I've gone and played the Dantley card.
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