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Re: player minutes chart

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  • harlanzo@yahoo.com
    ... I agree with your conclusion on player improvement. I was trying to think of a way of independently verifying that point. The one way that it struck me
    Message 1 of 14 , Jun 8, 2001
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      --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "Mike Goodman" <msg_53@h...> wrote:

      > Even casually asking my acquaintances seems to produce the same
      > response, intuitively or analytically: players must be getting
      > better.

      I agree with your conclusion on player improvement. I was trying to
      think of a way of independently verifying that point. The one way
      that it struck me to do this is to check players' best years and see
      whether their peaks coincide with the generally believed development
      of players (ie rising production from 21-27/28 and then gradual
      decline). Indeed, it did seem that an inordinate number of players
      hit their statistical peaks in 61-62 well before we might believe
      they would. I have not looked at this thoery in depth but its just a
      thought.
    • Mike Goodman
      ... to ... see ... development ... a ... Another suggestion (offline) has been that players have longer careers these days. Whereas 13 years was about the
      Message 2 of 14 , Jun 9, 2001
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        --- In APBR_analysis@y..., harlanzo@y... wrote:
        >
        > I agree with your conclusion on player improvement. I was trying
        to
        > think of a way of independently verifying that point. The one way
        > that it struck me to do this is to check players' best years and
        see
        > whether their peaks coincide with the generally believed
        development
        > of players (ie rising production from 21-27/28 and then gradual
        > decline). Indeed, it did seem that an inordinate number of players
        > hit their statistical peaks in 61-62 well before we might believe
        > they would. I have not looked at this thoery in depth but its just
        a
        > thought.

        Another suggestion (offline) has been that players have longer
        careers these days. Whereas 13 years was about the limit for players
        entering before 1965, there are now quite a few players who go for 15-
        20 years. In general, their last few seasons would consist of
        minutes diminishing below that of their rookie seasons.
        Which brings me to another point: I don't think it matters where
        in your career you peak (early, middle, late), in terms of league-
        wide averages. Rather, it matters how many minutes you played as a
        rookie, and how many you play in your last season, and that is all.
        While a good many players hang on to the bitter end, perhaps
        winding up their career with a 100-minute season, there are very few
        who get 100 minutes as a rookie, and build up to major minutes
        later. Most good, long-career players are good as rookies.
        So, regardless of the intervening years, only one's first and last
        seasons really add up to anything in the league totals. If you get
        2000 minutes as a rookie, you may peak at 3000 or 2500, or whatever;
        if you play 10 years and end up with a 500 minute season, you lost
        1500 minutes over 10 years. When you are looking at large numbers of
        players, the curve smooths out everyone's peaks and valleys, and it
        looks as though every year it is tougher to get minutes; but at least
        part of this measurement is bogus.
        Now we come to another sticking-point; we could figure everyone's
        rookie minutes, final-season minutes, and career length, to get an
        average annual minutes-lost number. But this would not distinguish
        between an aging factor and a competition factor.
        So these numbers may mean nothing. Or they may mean something.
        Anyone?
      • Mike Goodman
        Responding to one of my own posts, again. I went ahead and tabulated the careers of some 1500 players, using seasons spent with a single team. I have broken
        Message 3 of 14 , Jun 22, 2001
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          Responding to one of my own posts, again.
          I went ahead and tabulated the careers of some 1500 players, using
          seasons spent with a single team. I have broken them down by career
          length, from single-season careers to a 17+ year group.
          The 2nd and 3rd columns are the minutes played as rookie, and in
          final season.

          career avg. minutes
          length season annual decline
          ----- ----------- ----- --------------
          yrs. # first last net min. pct.
          1 326 (500) (500)
          2 156 685 561 -123 123 .180
          3 129 873 626 -247 124 .142
          4 93 916 688 -229 76 .083
          5 76 1032 678 -354 88 .086
          6 65 1150 784 -367 73 .064
          7 86 1368 660 -709 118 .086
          8 78 1415 734 -681 97 .069
          9 96 1266 953 -313 39 .031
          10 106 1448 912 -537 60 .041
          11 92 1393 983 -410 41 .029
          12 70 1534 1020 -513 47 .030
          13 57 1779 1101 -678 57 .032
          14 42 1734 1030 -704 54 .031
          15 24 1436 1053 -383 27 .019
          16 19 1881 1037 -844 56 .030
          17+ 16 1997 480 -1516 89 .044
          __________________________________________
          7.7 1531 1240 805 -435 65 .052


          This thing has sat on my desktop long enough; I am not ashamed to
          say I don't know what to make of it.
          One thing is clear: "weak" players (those with brief careers) have
          a steeper decline, both in minutes and pct. of minutes, than do
          stronger (longer) players. Is it possible to produce a "natural
          decline" factor, as distinguished from a "talent concentration"
          factor, by comparing the decline rates of stronger and weaker players?
          Something about guys who go past 16 years and hanging on to the
          bitter end? I don't know how much these 16 players can skew the
          overall group, but it does illustrate how a bias can result when
          talented young players come in at 2000 minutes and leave at 500.

          --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "Mike Goodman" <msg_53@h...> wrote:
          I don't think it matters where
          > in your career you peak (early, middle, late), in terms of league-
          > wide averages. Rather, it matters how many minutes you played as a
          > rookie, and how many you play in your last season, and that is all.
          > While a good many players hang on to the bitter end, perhaps
          > winding up their career with a 100-minute season, there are very
          few
          > who get 100 minutes as a rookie, and build up to major minutes
          > later. Most good, long-career players are good as rookies.
          > So, regardless of the intervening years, only one's first and
          last
          > seasons really add up to anything in the league totals. If you get
          > 2000 minutes as a rookie, you may peak at 3000 or 2500, or
          whatever;
          > if you play 10 years and end up with a 500 minute season, you lost
          > 1500 minutes over 10 years. When you are looking at large numbers
          of
          > players, the curve smooths out everyone's peaks and valleys, and it
          > looks as though every year it is tougher to get minutes; but at
          least
          > part of this measurement is bogus.
          > Now we come to another sticking-point; we could figure
          everyone's
          > rookie minutes, final-season minutes, and career length, to get an
          > average annual minutes-lost number. But this would not distinguish
          > between an aging factor and a competition factor.
          > So these numbers may mean nothing. Or they may mean something.
          > Anyone?
        • Dean Oliver
          ... using ... Mike -- I think all this work with minutes is very interesting. Not precisely sure what to make of it either, but it _seems_ relevant and
          Message 4 of 14 , Jun 22, 2001
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            --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "Mike Goodman" <msg_53@h...> wrote:
            > Responding to one of my own posts, again.
            > I went ahead and tabulated the careers of some 1500 players,
            using
            > seasons spent with a single team. I have broken them down by career
            > length, from single-season careers to a 17+ year group.
            > The 2nd and 3rd columns are the minutes played as rookie, and in
            > final season.
            >
            > career avg. minutes
            > length season annual decline
            > ----- ----------- ----- --------------
            > yrs. # first last net min. pct.
            > 1 326 (500) (500)
            > 2 156 685 561 -123 123 .180
            > 3 129 873 626 -247 124 .142
            > 4 93 916 688 -229 76 .083
            > 5 76 1032 678 -354 88 .086
            > 6 65 1150 784 -367 73 .064
            > 7 86 1368 660 -709 118 .086
            > 8 78 1415 734 -681 97 .069
            > 9 96 1266 953 -313 39 .031
            > 10 106 1448 912 -537 60 .041
            > 11 92 1393 983 -410 41 .029
            > 12 70 1534 1020 -513 47 .030
            > 13 57 1779 1101 -678 57 .032
            > 14 42 1734 1030 -704 54 .031
            > 15 24 1436 1053 -383 27 .019
            > 16 19 1881 1037 -844 56 .030
            > 17+ 16 1997 480 -1516 89 .044
            > __________________________________________
            > 7.7 1531 1240 805 -435 65 .052

            Mike --

            I think all this work with minutes is very interesting. Not precisely
            sure what to make of it either, but it _seems_ relevant and
            informative. (Maybe for doing something like James' career projection
            stuff...)

            For instance, it's interesting that players with longer careers never
            fall to the level of 2 year players -- in terms of minutes. That
            probably means that they are still better than the 2 year players even
            after 16 years in the game.

            Another way to look at the data would be to calculate the minutes for
            players in their peak year and what year that typically was.
            Calculate a decline rate in minutes per year from the year of peak.
            I'm guessing that the peak minute year flatterns out at about 5 years,
            based on the typical assumption that players' careers peak at age
            27-28.

            Dean Oliver
            Journal of Basketball Studies
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