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Re: player minutes chart

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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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