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
--- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com
, "schtevie2003 <schtevie@h...>"
> 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
> 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.
> 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
> 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 -
> 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
> > ...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
> > 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
> > 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
> > 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
> > 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
> > bob chaikin
> > bchaikin@b...