Given that I started off recalling data over the 60s and 70s, let me take '60 and '79 as endpoints to begin the discussion. Note a drop in game pace from 131.2 to 109.7

possessions per game, a decrease of 15.6%. And during which time offensive productivity increased 11% (.879 to 1.005). Put another way, the average team in 1979, playing at its slower pace would be expected to beat the average team of 1960 by 13.82 points per game (.126 P/CP * 109.7 CP/game).

*...so this is your magical brain storm as to why an average 1978-79 team is almost 14 points better than an average 1959-60 team??? you're blatantly stating, based on this one lonely calculation, that:*

"....the superiority of the average team in the early 80 (in this case 1978-79) to its 60s counterpart was on the order of 10 to 12 points per game (at a modern game pace). This is equivalent to how much better the best Bulls team was to the league

average....."

I say again: yes, yes, and yes, certainly to a first approximation and absent any introduced counter-argument.

your 1959-60 pts/poss is .879. your 1978-79 pts/poss is 1.005. you are saying that:

1 - (.879)/(1.005) = 0.126 difference in pts/poss between 59-60 and 78-79...

you are then multiplying this pts/poss difference by the 78-79 game pace:

0.126 x 109.7 = 13.82 pts/g

and you are then stating that because of this percent difference that since these pts/poss numbers are the average for their respective season, that an average team in 78-79 would beat an average team in 59-60 by almost 14 points....

but like professor morbius in the forbidden planet, you are clueless...

this calculation of yours is, because you fail to realize that pts/poss, while a measure of "offensive productivity", is at the same time a measure of what the defense allows per possession. you are measuring simply one side of the ball, and looking only at offense, and your calculation*absolutely meaningless*.*assumes that the defensive pts/poss remained the same over that time..*

pts/poss scored is a relative number, what the offense scores against the defense on average, or what the defense allows the offense to score on average. it is a relative number stating the "balance" between what the offense produces and what the defense gives up...

in 59-60 defenses allowed only 0.879 pts/poss, as compared to in 78-79 defenses allowing 1.005 pts/poss. no matter how you want to look at it, a defense giving up just 0.879 pts/poss is "better" than a defense that gives up 1.005 pts/poss - in any game where two teams each have the same number of possessions, the team giving up the least amount of pts/poss will win. thus the avg team in 59-60, based on your meaningless logic, states that 59-60 had the better avg defensive teams...

stating that an offensive productivity of 1.005 in 78-79 is better than 0.879 in 59-60 is exactly the same as saying a defense allowing 1.005 pts/poss in 78-79 is worse than a defense allowing just 0.879 pts/poss in 59-60...

this is exactly the same arguement you are using to say teams of 78-79 are better than teams of 59-60, simply because the avg team pts/poss is greater, 1.005 to 0.879. it has no basis in fact. using your formula one can say the teams of 59-60 are 13.82 better on defense than teams of 78-79, and thus if they played the avg 59-60 team would defeat the avg 78-79 team by that 13.82 pts/g, actually even more because the game pace was greater in 59-60...

0.126 x 131.2 = 16.5 pts/g

thus an avg 59-60 team, because of its "better" defense, would outscore an avg 78-79 team by 16.5 pts/g, normalized for the 59-60 game pace. this manipulation of the numbers is worthless...

a completely meaningless calculation that has no basis in fact....

bob chaikin

bchaikin@...

- Bob, I read your posting, shaking my head in disbelief. What

could possibly be your motivation for not responding to any of the

substantive points in the previous posting? They were not hard

to identify in the text; I pointed them out as they arose, inviting a

response, noting that for an alternative interpretation of the data

to prevail that these were the relevant points at issue. But a

complete lack of response is what you offered. In fact, all you

posted was a numerical illustration of the problem that I initially

presented (way back when)! And that problem is that one cannot

identify progress or regress based on movements in average

offensive (equivalently defensive) productivity alone.

Congratulations on your having mastered the first sentence of

paragraph one, now proceed onwards!

I am left with the belief that the only plausible answer for your

lack of responsiveness (if not the rudeness) is that you are

entirely cynical. (After all, your stated profession demands in

training that you have the intellect to understand the type of

arguments presented - based as they are on simplest math and

logic. And you have shown yourself to be very dogged pursuing

evidence - all that S.J. Gould stuff - when you think you have a

case.) I can only think that you have seen the error of your ways

and are hoping no one else has (?) and are blustering to the

end, hoping that I will tire of repeating the argument - and

imploring you to respond - thereby taking some odd comfort in

being the last one to opine. Such an approach has its

consequences however and ones I would be very concerned

about them if I were you. In particular, your credibility erodes. At

best (?) one is left with the misimpression that you lack a certain

acuity. At worst is the inference that you lack trustworthiness,

being willing to obfuscate for the purposes of protecting a vested

interest.

So here we go again - this time with much greater brevity.

To be interpreted: the rise (to the mid-80s) and fall (thereafter) of

offensive productivity (well actually just the rise, but the fall - I

presume - is at least finally admitted to as being fact?)

Interpretation offered: falling game pace identifies observed

increase is offensive productivity as a net (that is lower bound)

improvement in offensive "technology" (that is distinct from player

height, strength, or athleticism) as opposed to a decrease in

defensive "technology".

Basis of inference: Possessions by definition consist exclusively

of fast-breaks and non-fast-breaks (that is half-court set

offenses). By definition fast-breaks take less time and yield

higher points per possession. Thus, all else equal (READ: IF

THERE HAS BEEN NO CHANGE IN OFFENSIVE

"TECHNOLOGY") if the game slows, this means that by

definition there are either fewer fast-breaks or longer half-court

possessions. In either of these two instances, the implication is

that average offensive productivity falls. THUS, THERE MUST

HAVE BEEN A CHANGE IN OFFENSIVE TECHNOLOGY.

Bob, there is the argument. Deal with it (and all the better if no

gratuitous insults are offered) or just sit down.

Oh yes, one final thing. If behind your inability to deal with the

arguments is your inquietude with the jarring statistical

conclusion (12 to 14 points, blah, blah, blah) perhaps it is

comforting to know that I share it to a certain degree, but absent

ameliorating explanations (or some error of my ways) I feel

obliged to accept the calculation as is.

That said, it would be nice if there were some other evidence of a

time machine sort that could to some degree corroborate the

logical inference above. And perhaps (only perhaps) there is.

Consider two cases:

1. Teams that went retro to their detriment (thanks to Mike G. for

the idea). As a possible (and I only say possible) case in point,

the '90 Nuggets became the '91 Nutties and increased their

possessions per game by 8.4 and dropped their points per

possession by .033. Now, if one looks at these changes and

links them to movements in the league averages these are

equivalent to going back in time from 1990 to 1978 in the former

case and to between '78 and '79 in the latter. Now, whether any

ultimately persuasive evidence can ever be gleaned from looking

at the basketcases on the NBA over time is not clear to me, but

it's a thought in progress.

2. More persuasive to me now is a reasoned interpretation of

the performance of NBA All-Stars in Olympic/World Competition.

Witness how over a mere decade, the rest of the world went from

being whipping boys to being serious competitors. (Sorry, no

hard data on average victory margins of European and South

American elite vs. NBA, but it must show a movement of at least

10 points per game on average.) So what would the analogy be?

In the case of the NBA history in question, the presumption is

that greatness is greatness no matter when, and it is

unreasonable to assume improvement, especially dramatic

improvement, over relatively short periods of time. As in "are you

trying to tell me that the average NBA team in the early 90s was

as good or better than the 67 Warriors, clearly one of the greatest

teams ever?"

Against this we have witnessed just such dramatic improvement

against relatively constant NBA talent in a not-too-distantly

related theater - though arguably it can in large measure be

attributed to improvements in foreign talent as well as in

organization (though wasn't the presumption that talent

increases weren't that plausible either?)

The tentative upshot: massive changes can happen in relatively

short periods of time, to the surprise and sadness of many.

***************

--- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, bchaikin@a... wrote:

>

> Given that I started off recalling data over the 60s and 70s, let

me take '60

> and '79 as endpoints to begin the discussion. Note a drop in

game pace from

> 131.2 to 109.7

> possessions per game, a decrease of 15.6%. And during

which time offensive

> productivity increased 11% (.879 to 1.005). Put another way,

the average team

> in 1979, playing at its slower pace would be expected to beat

the average

> team of 1960 by 13.82 points per game (.126 P/CP * 109.7

CP/game).

>

> ...so this is your magical brain storm as to why an average

1978-79 team is

> almost 14 points better than an average 1959-60 team???

you're blatantly

> stating, based on this one lonely calculation, that:

>

> "....the superiority of the average team in the early 80 (in this

case

> 1978-79) to its 60s counterpart was on the order of 10 to 12

points per game

> (at a modern game pace). This is equivalent to how much

better the best Bulls

> team was to the league

> average....."

>

> I say again: yes, yes, and yes, certainly to a first approximation

and absent

> any introduced counter-argument.

>

> your 1959-60 pts/poss is .879. your 1978-79 pts/poss is 1.005.

you are saying

> that:

>

> 1 - (.879)/(1.005) = 0.126 difference in pts/poss between 59-60

and 78-79...

>

> you are then multiplying this pts/poss difference by the 78-79

game pace:

>

> 0.126 x 109.7 = 13.82 pts/g

>

> and you are then stating that because of this percent difference

that since

> these pts/poss numbers are the average for their respective

season, that an

> average team in 78-79 would beat an average team in 59-60

by almost 14

> points....

>

> but like professor morbius in the forbidden planet, you are

clueless...

>

> this calculation of yours is absolutely meaningless, because

you fail to

> realize that pts/poss, while a measure of "offensive

productivity", is at the

> same time a measure of what the defense allows per

possession. you are

> measuring simply one side of the ball, and looking only at

offense, and your

> calculation assumes that the defensive pts/poss remained the

same over that

> time...

>

> pts/poss scored is a relative number, what the offense scores

against the

> defense on average, or what the defense allows the offense to

score on

> average. it is a relative number stating the "balance" between

what the

> offense produces and what the defense gives up...

>

> in 59-60 defenses allowed only 0.879 pts/poss, as compared

to in 78-79

> defenses allowing 1.005 pts/poss. no matter how you want to

look at it, a

> defense giving up just 0.879 pts/poss is "better" than a

defense that gives

> up 1.005 pts/poss - in any game where two teams each have

the same number of

> possessions, the team giving up the least amount of pts/poss

will win. thus

> the avg team in 59-60, based on your meaningless logic,

states that 59-60 had

> the better avg defensive teams...

>

> stating that an offensive productivity of 1.005 in 78-79 is better

than 0.879

> in 59-60 is exactly the same as saying a defense allowing

1.005 pts/poss in

> 78-79 is worse than a defense allowing just 0.879 pts/poss in

59-60...

>

> this is exactly the same arguement you are using to say teams

of 78-79 are

> better than teams of 59-60, simply because the avg team

pts/poss is greater,

> 1.005 to 0.879. it has no basis in fact. using your formula one

can say the

> teams of 59-60 are 13.82 better on defense than teams of

78-79, and thus if

> they played the avg 59-60 team would defeat the avg 78-79

team by that 13.82

> pts/g, actually even more because the game pace was greater

in 59-60...

>

> 0.126 x 131.2 = 16.5 pts/g

>

> thus an avg 59-60 team, because of its "better" defense, would

outscore an

> avg 78-79 team by 16.5 pts/g, normalized for the 59-60 game

pace. this

> manipulation of the numbers is worthless...

>

> a completely meaningless calculation that has no basis in

fact....

>

> bob chaikin

> bchaikin@b... - All right! For whatever reason there is a disconnect here on this

topic. Let's hold off a while on this train of thought and converse

on some other things. It's getting to some rather uninformative long-

winded counterproductive stuff.

So let's not talk about this thing for a month or so. Hopefully some

of these other tracks will address other issues that may lead to

productive discussion...LATER!!!

DeanO

Moderator

--- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "schtevie2003 <schtevie@h...>"

<schtevie@h...> wrote:> Bob, I read your posting, shaking my head in disbelief. What

a

> could possibly be your motivation for not responding to any of the

> substantive points in the previous posting? They were not hard

> to identify in the text; I pointed them out as they arose, inviting

> response, noting that for an alternative interpretation of the data

At

> to prevail that these were the relevant points at issue. But a

> complete lack of response is what you offered. In fact, all you

> posted was a numerical illustration of the problem that I initially

> presented (way back when)! And that problem is that one cannot

> identify progress or regress based on movements in average

> offensive (equivalently defensive) productivity alone.

> Congratulations on your having mastered the first sentence of

> paragraph one, now proceed onwards!

>

> I am left with the belief that the only plausible answer for your

> lack of responsiveness (if not the rudeness) is that you are

> entirely cynical. (After all, your stated profession demands in

> training that you have the intellect to understand the type of

> arguments presented - based as they are on simplest math and

> logic. And you have shown yourself to be very dogged pursuing

> evidence - all that S.J. Gould stuff - when you think you have a

> case.) I can only think that you have seen the error of your ways

> and are hoping no one else has (?) and are blustering to the

> end, hoping that I will tire of repeating the argument - and

> imploring you to respond - thereby taking some odd comfort in

> being the last one to opine. Such an approach has its

> consequences however and ones I would be very concerned

> about them if I were you. In particular, your credibility erodes.

> best (?) one is left with the misimpression that you lack a certain

of

> acuity. At worst is the inference that you lack trustworthiness,

> being willing to obfuscate for the purposes of protecting a vested

> interest.

>

> So here we go again - this time with much greater brevity.

>

> To be interpreted: the rise (to the mid-80s) and fall (thereafter)

> offensive productivity (well actually just the rise, but the fall -

I

> presume - is at least finally admitted to as being fact?)

approximation

>

> Interpretation offered: falling game pace identifies observed

> increase is offensive productivity as a net (that is lower bound)

> improvement in offensive "technology" (that is distinct from player

> height, strength, or athleticism) as opposed to a decrease in

> defensive "technology".

>

> Basis of inference: Possessions by definition consist exclusively

> of fast-breaks and non-fast-breaks (that is half-court set

> offenses). By definition fast-breaks take less time and yield

> higher points per possession. Thus, all else equal (READ: IF

> THERE HAS BEEN NO CHANGE IN OFFENSIVE

> "TECHNOLOGY") if the game slows, this means that by

> definition there are either fewer fast-breaks or longer half-court

> possessions. In either of these two instances, the implication is

> that average offensive productivity falls. THUS, THERE MUST

> HAVE BEEN A CHANGE IN OFFENSIVE TECHNOLOGY.

>

> Bob, there is the argument. Deal with it (and all the better if no

> gratuitous insults are offered) or just sit down.

>

> Oh yes, one final thing. If behind your inability to deal with the

> arguments is your inquietude with the jarring statistical

> conclusion (12 to 14 points, blah, blah, blah) perhaps it is

> comforting to know that I share it to a certain degree, but absent

> ameliorating explanations (or some error of my ways) I feel

> obliged to accept the calculation as is.

>

> That said, it would be nice if there were some other evidence of a

> time machine sort that could to some degree corroborate the

> logical inference above. And perhaps (only perhaps) there is.

> Consider two cases:

>

> 1. Teams that went retro to their detriment (thanks to Mike G. for

> the idea). As a possible (and I only say possible) case in point,

> the '90 Nuggets became the '91 Nutties and increased their

> possessions per game by 8.4 and dropped their points per

> possession by .033. Now, if one looks at these changes and

> links them to movements in the league averages these are

> equivalent to going back in time from 1990 to 1978 in the former

> case and to between '78 and '79 in the latter. Now, whether any

> ultimately persuasive evidence can ever be gleaned from looking

> at the basketcases on the NBA over time is not clear to me, but

> it's a thought in progress.

>

> 2. More persuasive to me now is a reasoned interpretation of

> the performance of NBA All-Stars in Olympic/World Competition.

> Witness how over a mere decade, the rest of the world went from

> being whipping boys to being serious competitors. (Sorry, no

> hard data on average victory margins of European and South

> American elite vs. NBA, but it must show a movement of at least

> 10 points per game on average.) So what would the analogy be?

>

> In the case of the NBA history in question, the presumption is

> that greatness is greatness no matter when, and it is

> unreasonable to assume improvement, especially dramatic

> improvement, over relatively short periods of time. As in "are you

> trying to tell me that the average NBA team in the early 90s was

> as good or better than the 67 Warriors, clearly one of the greatest

> teams ever?"

>

> Against this we have witnessed just such dramatic improvement

> against relatively constant NBA talent in a not-too-distantly

> related theater - though arguably it can in large measure be

> attributed to improvements in foreign talent as well as in

> organization (though wasn't the presumption that talent

> increases weren't that plausible either?)

>

> The tentative upshot: massive changes can happen in relatively

> short periods of time, to the surprise and sadness of many.

>

> ***************

>

> --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, bchaikin@a... wrote:

> >

> > Given that I started off recalling data over the 60s and 70s, let

> me take '60

> > and '79 as endpoints to begin the discussion. Note a drop in

> game pace from

> > 131.2 to 109.7

> > possessions per game, a decrease of 15.6%. And during

> which time offensive

> > productivity increased 11% (.879 to 1.005). Put another way,

> the average team

> > in 1979, playing at its slower pace would be expected to beat

> the average

> > team of 1960 by 13.82 points per game (.126 P/CP * 109.7

> CP/game).

> >

> > ...so this is your magical brain storm as to why an average

> 1978-79 team is

> > almost 14 points better than an average 1959-60 team???

> you're blatantly

> > stating, based on this one lonely calculation, that:

> >

> > "....the superiority of the average team in the early 80 (in this

> case

> > 1978-79) to its 60s counterpart was on the order of 10 to 12

> points per game

> > (at a modern game pace). This is equivalent to how much

> better the best Bulls

> > team was to the league

> > average....."

> >

> > I say again: yes, yes, and yes, certainly to a first

> and absent

better

> > any introduced counter-argument.

> >

> > your 1959-60 pts/poss is .879. your 1978-79 pts/poss is 1.005.

> you are saying

> > that:

> >

> > 1 - (.879)/(1.005) = 0.126 difference in pts/poss between 59-60

> and 78-79...

> >

> > you are then multiplying this pts/poss difference by the 78-79

> game pace:

> >

> > 0.126 x 109.7 = 13.82 pts/g

> >

> > and you are then stating that because of this percent difference

> that since

> > these pts/poss numbers are the average for their respective

> season, that an

> > average team in 78-79 would beat an average team in 59-60

> by almost 14

> > points....

> >

> > but like professor morbius in the forbidden planet, you are

> clueless...

> >

> > this calculation of yours is absolutely meaningless, because

> you fail to

> > realize that pts/poss, while a measure of "offensive

> productivity", is at the

> > same time a measure of what the defense allows per

> possession. you are

> > measuring simply one side of the ball, and looking only at

> offense, and your

> > calculation assumes that the defensive pts/poss remained the

> same over that

> > time...

> >

> > pts/poss scored is a relative number, what the offense scores

> against the

> > defense on average, or what the defense allows the offense to

> score on

> > average. it is a relative number stating the "balance" between

> what the

> > offense produces and what the defense gives up...

> >

> > in 59-60 defenses allowed only 0.879 pts/poss, as compared

> to in 78-79

> > defenses allowing 1.005 pts/poss. no matter how you want to

> look at it, a

> > defense giving up just 0.879 pts/poss is "better" than a

> defense that gives

> > up 1.005 pts/poss - in any game where two teams each have

> the same number of

> > possessions, the team giving up the least amount of pts/poss

> will win. thus

> > the avg team in 59-60, based on your meaningless logic,

> states that 59-60 had

> > the better avg defensive teams...

> >

> > stating that an offensive productivity of 1.005 in 78-79 is

> than 0.879

> > in 59-60 is exactly the same as saying a defense allowing

> 1.005 pts/poss in

> > 78-79 is worse than a defense allowing just 0.879 pts/poss in

> 59-60...

> >

> > this is exactly the same arguement you are using to say teams

> of 78-79 are

> > better than teams of 59-60, simply because the avg team

> pts/poss is greater,

> > 1.005 to 0.879. it has no basis in fact. using your formula one

> can say the

> > teams of 59-60 are 13.82 better on defense than teams of

> 78-79, and thus if

> > they played the avg 59-60 team would defeat the avg 78-79

> team by that 13.82

> > pts/g, actually even more because the game pace was greater

> in 59-60...

> >

> > 0.126 x 131.2 = 16.5 pts/g

> >

> > thus an avg 59-60 team, because of its "better" defense, would

> outscore an

> > avg 78-79 team by 16.5 pts/g, normalized for the 59-60 game

> pace. this

> > manipulation of the numbers is worthless...

> >

> > a completely meaningless calculation that has no basis in

> fact....

> >

> > bob chaikin

> > bchaikin@b...