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[APBR_analysis] On a lighter note...

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  • igorkupfer@rogers.com
    I thought it may be amusing to come up with a basketball version of Hacking Mass (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/hm/), which attempts to find the worst
    Message 1 of 21 , Feb 4, 2003
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      I thought it may be amusing to come up with a basketball version of Hacking Mass
      (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/hm/), which attempts to find the worst offensive
      production in the most attempts. I changed it around a little, since I recognize that
      some player's contributions will not show up in the boxscore.

      My StiffPoints uses this formula:

      StfPts = [ (Games Played) / (Minutes Per Game) ]
      - z (Manley Credits)

      where

      Manley Credits = MC = (PTS + AST + REB + STL + BLK - FGMiss - FTMiss - TO)/Games

      and
      z (Manley Credits) = (Player_MC - Average_NBA MC)/
      (Standard Deviation_NBA MC)

      And so the StiffIndex for this season to date looks like this:


      1. harrington,adam (dal) 6
      2. rakocevic,igor (min) 5.9
      3. woods,qyntel (por) 5.8
      4. slater,reggie (min) 5.8
      5. sundov,bruno (bos) 5.7
      6. langhi,dan (pho) 5.7
      7. salmons,john (phi) 5.7
      8. rentzias,efthimi (phi) 5.5
      9. stewart,michael (cle) 5.4
      10. arroyo,carlos (uta) 5.4
      11. foster,jeff (ind) 5.3
      12. sesay,ansu (sea) 5.2
      13. ferry,danny (san) 5.1
      14. ford,alton (pho) 4.8
      15. murray,ronald (mil) 4.8
      16. murray,tracy (lal) 4.7
      17. ham,darvin (atl) 4.7
      18. lynch,george (nor) 4.6
      19. diop,desagana (cle) 4.6
      20. simmons,bobby (was) 4.6
      21. humphrey,ryan (orl) 4.5
      22. rush,kareem (lal) 4.4
      23. hoiberg,fred (chi) 4.3
      24. sasser,jeryl (orl) 4.3
      25. armstrong,brando (njn) 4.3
      26. long,art (tor) 4.2
      27. slay,tamar (njn) 4.2
      28. burke,pat (orl) 4.2
      29. johnson,avery (dal) 4.2
      30. traylor,robert (nor) 4.1


      The top 100 all time Stiff Index for accumulated StfPts

      1. Scott Hastings 65
      2. Jud Buechler 62.6
      3. Joe Kleine 59.9
      4. Greg Dreiling 57.3
      5. Mark West.................56.1
      6. Tree Rollins 53.5
      7. Greg Foster 53.4
      8. Bill Wennington 53.3
      9. Greg Kite 53.1
      10. Hank Finkel...............50.9
      11. Danny Schayes 50.3
      12. Will Perdue 49.6
      13. Jack Haley 49.4
      14. Scott Brooks 49.2
      15. Paul Mokeski..............48.5
      16. Chris Dudley 46.8
      17. Duane Ferrell 46.1
      18. Barry Clemens 45.3
      19. Steve Kerr 45.1
      20. Fred Roberts..............45
      21. Tom Hammonds 45
      22. Rick Mahorn 43.8
      23. Ed Nealy 43.3
      24. Mark Bryant 43.2
      25. Stuart Gray...............43.1
      26. Don Nelson 43.1
      27. Matt Bullard 42.8
      28. David Wingate 42.6
      29. George T. Johnson 41.6
      30. Phil Jackson..............41.2
      31. Sam Mitchell 40.9
      32. Dell Curry 40.6
      33. Antoine Carr 40.6
      34. Kurt Rambis 40.6
      35. Alton Lister..............40.3
      36. Mel Counts 40.1
      37. Steve Kuberski 40
      38. Clemon Johnson 39.5
      39. Jerome Whitehead 39.3
      40. Brad Lohaus...............39
      41. LaSalle Thompson 38.7
      42. John Crotty 38.6
      43. Pete Chilcutt 38.6
      44. Craig Ehlo 38.1
      45. Chucky Brown..............37.7
      46. T.R. Dunn 37.7
      47. Johnny Newman 37.4
      48. Wayne Cooper 37.3
      49. Joe Wolf 37.2
      50. Olden Polynice............37.1
      51. Danny Ferry 36.7
      52. Gerald Henderson 36.5
      53. Walt Wesley 36.1
      54. John Lambert 36.1
      55. Jon Barry.................35.9
      56. Charles (CJ) Jones 35.8
      57. Eric Leckner 35.8
      58. Cliff Levingston 35.7
      59. Jim Davis 35.5
      60. Dale Schlueter............35.4
      61. Jerome Kersey 34.9
      62. Herb Williams 34.7
      63. Felton Spencer 34.6
      64. Dick Cunningham 34.5
      65. Randy Breuer..............34.5
      66. David Wood 34.5
      67. Adam Keefe 34.2
      68. Dudley Bradley 34.2
      69. Dave Corzine 33.9
      70. Dennis Awtrey.............33.8
      71. Earl Cureton 33.5
      72. James Edwards 33.2
      73. Randy Brown 33.2
      74. Sean Rooks 32.7
      75. Bud Olsen.................32.6
      76. Dave Gambee 32.4
      77. Harvey Catchings 32.3
      78. Tom Sanders 32.3
      79. Ed Pinckney 32.2
      80. Greg Anderson.............32.1
      81. Marc Iavaroni 32.1
      82. Steve Scheffler 32
      83. Scott Williams 32
      84. Charles Davis 31.9
      85. Tracy Murray..............31.9
      86. Alvin Scott 31.9
      87. Corie Blount 31.8
      88. Mike Brown 31.8
      89. Andrew Lang 31.8
      90. John Battle...............31.7
      91. Bob Weiss 31.7
      92. Sedale Threatt 31.6
      93. Mark McNamara 31.6
      94. Johnny Egan 31.6
      95. Johnny Green..............31.4
      96. Danny Young 31.4
      97. Brad Davis 31.2
      98. George Wilson 31.2
      99. Tyrone Corbin 31.2
      100. Pat Riley.................31.2


      cheers
      ed
    • Michael Tamada
      Heh! Nice. For a stiffness index, I might add personal fouls to the Manley Credits. Normally fouls are not a particularly useful statistic, especially for
      Message 2 of 21 , Feb 4, 2003
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        Heh! Nice. For a stiffness index, I might add personal fouls to the Manley Credits. Normally fouls are not a particularly useful statistic, especially for starters and all-stars. But yet another hallmark of stiffness is a large number of fouls commited in a small number of minutes.

        (Games^2)/Minutes is an interesting twist, there's undoubtedly other functional forms we could use but that's an imaginative one which probably does a good job of getting at what we want: a guy who plays 5 minutes a game but who rarely gets in at all is a CBA player, whereas a guy who plays 5 minutes a game and does that for 82 games is probably the guy we want to identify as a stiff. The Games^2 properly gives emphasis to the 82 game guy.

        Still, yet another approach would be along the lines of the counting stats: PAR, or points created, or whatever. But a measure which includes the possibility that a player could have a negative index (which PAR does not, because only good things are measured in it). Which players have the most negative index? Such players would have to accumulate a lot of minutes to achieve this degree of negativity, which is in line with the Hacking Mass philosophy (it has to be a player with a lot of at bats) as well as the Games^2 functional form. Or, VBRP (value below replacement player), if we had a measure of Replacement Player.

        Who comes out on the bottom of your stiffness index?


        --MKT

        -----Original Message-----
        From: igorkupfer@... [mailto:igorkupfer@...]
        Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2003 12:26 PM
        To: APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [APBR_analysis] On a lighter note...


        I thought it may be amusing to come up with a basketball version of Hacking Mass
        (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/hm/), which attempts to find the worst offensive
        production in the most attempts. I changed it around a little, since I recognize that
        some player's contributions will not show up in the boxscore.

        My StiffPoints uses this formula:

        StfPts = [ (Games Played) / (Minutes Per Game) ]
        - z (Manley Credits)

        where

        Manley Credits = MC = (PTS + AST + REB + STL + BLK - FGMiss - FTMiss - TO)/Games

        and
        z (Manley Credits) = (Player_MC - Average_NBA MC)/
        (Standard Deviation_NBA MC)

        And so the StiffIndex for this season to date looks like this:


        1. harrington,adam (dal) 6
        2. rakocevic,igor (min) 5.9
        3. woods,qyntel (por) 5.8
        4. slater,reggie (min) 5.8
        5. sundov,bruno (bos) 5.7
        6. langhi,dan (pho) 5.7
        7. salmons,john (phi) 5.7
        8. rentzias,efthimi (phi) 5.5
        9. stewart,michael (cle) 5.4
        10. arroyo,carlos (uta) 5.4
        11. foster,jeff (ind) 5.3
        12. sesay,ansu (sea) 5.2
        13. ferry,danny (san) 5.1
        14. ford,alton (pho) 4.8
        15. murray,ronald (mil) 4.8
        16. murray,tracy (lal) 4.7
        17. ham,darvin (atl) 4.7
        18. lynch,george (nor) 4.6
        19. diop,desagana (cle) 4.6
        20. simmons,bobby (was) 4.6
        21. humphrey,ryan (orl) 4.5
        22. rush,kareem (lal) 4.4
        23. hoiberg,fred (chi) 4.3
        24. sasser,jeryl (orl) 4.3
        25. armstrong,brando (njn) 4.3
        26. long,art (tor) 4.2
        27. slay,tamar (njn) 4.2
        28. burke,pat (orl) 4.2
        29. johnson,avery (dal) 4.2
        30. traylor,robert (nor) 4.1


        The top 100 all time Stiff Index for accumulated StfPts

        1. Scott Hastings 65
        2. Jud Buechler 62.6
        3. Joe Kleine 59.9
        4. Greg Dreiling 57.3
        5. Mark West.................56.1
        6. Tree Rollins 53.5
        7. Greg Foster 53.4
        8. Bill Wennington 53.3
        9. Greg Kite 53.1
        10. Hank Finkel...............50.9
        11. Danny Schayes 50.3
        12. Will Perdue 49.6
        13. Jack Haley 49.4
        14. Scott Brooks 49.2
        15. Paul Mokeski..............48.5
        16. Chris Dudley 46.8
        17. Duane Ferrell 46.1
        18. Barry Clemens 45.3
        19. Steve Kerr 45.1
        20. Fred Roberts..............45
        21. Tom Hammonds 45
        22. Rick Mahorn 43.8
        23. Ed Nealy 43.3
        24. Mark Bryant 43.2
        25. Stuart Gray...............43.1
        26. Don Nelson 43.1
        27. Matt Bullard 42.8
        28. David Wingate 42.6
        29. George T. Johnson 41.6
        30. Phil Jackson..............41.2
        31. Sam Mitchell 40.9
        32. Dell Curry 40.6
        33. Antoine Carr 40.6
        34. Kurt Rambis 40.6
        35. Alton Lister..............40.3
        36. Mel Counts 40.1
        37. Steve Kuberski 40
        38. Clemon Johnson 39.5
        39. Jerome Whitehead 39.3
        40. Brad Lohaus...............39
        41. LaSalle Thompson 38.7
        42. John Crotty 38.6
        43. Pete Chilcutt 38.6
        44. Craig Ehlo 38.1
        45. Chucky Brown..............37.7
        46. T.R. Dunn 37.7
        47. Johnny Newman 37.4
        48. Wayne Cooper 37.3
        49. Joe Wolf 37.2
        50. Olden Polynice............37.1
        51. Danny Ferry 36.7
        52. Gerald Henderson 36.5
        53. Walt Wesley 36.1
        54. John Lambert 36.1
        55. Jon Barry.................35.9
        56. Charles (CJ) Jones 35.8
        57. Eric Leckner 35.8
        58. Cliff Levingston 35.7
        59. Jim Davis 35.5
        60. Dale Schlueter............35.4
        61. Jerome Kersey 34.9
        62. Herb Williams 34.7
        63. Felton Spencer 34.6
        64. Dick Cunningham 34.5
        65. Randy Breuer..............34.5
        66. David Wood 34.5
        67. Adam Keefe 34.2
        68. Dudley Bradley 34.2
        69. Dave Corzine 33.9
        70. Dennis Awtrey.............33.8
        71. Earl Cureton 33.5
        72. James Edwards 33.2
        73. Randy Brown 33.2
        74. Sean Rooks 32.7
        75. Bud Olsen.................32.6
        76. Dave Gambee 32.4
        77. Harvey Catchings 32.3
        78. Tom Sanders 32.3
        79. Ed Pinckney 32.2
        80. Greg Anderson.............32.1
        81. Marc Iavaroni 32.1
        82. Steve Scheffler 32
        83. Scott Williams 32
        84. Charles Davis 31.9
        85. Tracy Murray..............31.9
        86. Alvin Scott 31.9
        87. Corie Blount 31.8
        88. Mike Brown 31.8
        89. Andrew Lang 31.8
        90. John Battle...............31.7
        91. Bob Weiss 31.7
        92. Sedale Threatt 31.6
        93. Mark McNamara 31.6
        94. Johnny Egan 31.6
        95. Johnny Green..............31.4
        96. Danny Young 31.4
        97. Brad Davis 31.2
        98. George Wilson 31.2
        99. Tyrone Corbin 31.2
        100. Pat Riley.................31.2


        cheers
        ed


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      • igorkupfer@rogers.com
        ... From: Michael Tamada To: Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2003 3:44 PM Subject: RE: [APBR_analysis] On a
        Message 3 of 21 , Feb 4, 2003
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          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Michael Tamada" <tamada@...>
          To: <APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2003 3:44 PM
          Subject: RE: [APBR_analysis] On a lighter note...

          I'm on my way out, so I'll address your other comments later. Incorporating PFs is a
          good idea.

          >
          > Who comes out on the bottom of your stiffness index?
          >
          >

          2002-03

          400. wallace,ben (det) -0.9
          401. francis,steve (hou) -0.9
          402. payton,gary (sea) -1.1
          403. kidd,jason (njn) -1.1
          404. o'neal,jermaine (ind) -1.1
          405. pierce,paul (bos) -1.2
          406. marion,shawn (pho) -1.2
          407. brand,elton (lac) -1.3
          408. webber,chris (sac) -1.6
          409. nowitzki,dirk (dal) -1.7
          410. mcgrady,tracy (orl) -2
          411. duncan,tim (san) -2
          412. bryant,kobe (lal) -2
          413. garnett,kevin (min) -2.3
          414. o'neal,shaquille (lal) -2.3



          All time:

          3031. Tim Duncan -3.4
          3032. Jerry Lucas -4.4
          3033. Adrian Dantley -5
          3034. Grant Hill -5.1
          3035. Dave Cowens...............-6
          3036. David Robinson -6.3
          3037. Karl Malone -7.4
          3038. Chris Webber -7.6
          3039. Jerry West -9.1
          3040. Hakeem Olajuwon...........-9.2
          3041. Shaquille O'Neal -10.1
          3042. Bob Pettit -11.7
          3043. Magic Johnson -12.1
          3044. Charles Barkley -12.2
          3045. Michael Jordan............-12.2
          3046. Elgin Baylor -13.4
          3047. Larry Bird -13.8
          3048. Oscar Robertson -13.9
          3049. Bill Russell -14.8
          3050. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.......-15.3
          3051. Wilt Chamberlain -28.7


          ed
        • Michael Tamada
          ... From: igorkupfer@rogers.com [mailto:igorkupfer@rogers.com] Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2003 12:59 PM To: APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com Subject: Re:
          Message 4 of 21 , Feb 4, 2003
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            -----Original Message-----
            From: igorkupfer@... [mailto:igorkupfer@...]
            Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2003 12:59 PM
            To: APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [APBR_analysis] On a lighter note...


            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Michael Tamada" <tamada@...>
            >> Who comes out on the bottom of your stiffness index?


            > 3045. Michael Jordan............-12.2
            > 3046. Elgin Baylor -13.4
            > 3047. Larry Bird -13.8
            > 3048. Oscar Robertson -13.9
            > 3049. Bill Russell -14.8
            > 3050. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.......-15.3
            > 3051. Wilt Chamberlain -28.7

            Although the Stiffness Index is designed to measure stiffness, not excellence, this is still an interesting list. The Big 3 Centers leading the way; Wilt and Kareem are no surprise but Russ didn't put up the scoring stats to make it to the Top 3 of most tendex-type lists. Oscar, Larry -- no surprise. But a bit surprising to see Elgin beat our Jordan. Again part of this may be an artifact of the fact that we're not trying to measure excellence, but anti-stiffness in these players. In particular, Russ and Elgin may've had large minutes/game, which most tendex-type measures give little credit to, but which makes them rank high in terms of being non-stiff.


            --MKT
          • Kevin Pelton <kpelton08@hotmail.com>
            Cool idea. To be truly faithful to BP s intentions, I think minutes would have to be weighed more heavily. The general idea there is to find a player who is
            Message 5 of 21 , Feb 4, 2003
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              Cool idea.

              To be truly faithful to BP's intentions, I think minutes would have
              to be weighed more heavily. The general idea there is to find a
              player who is bad, but not so bad that he'll get taken out of the
              lineup. Along those lines, the best NBA example I can think of would
              probably be Junior Harrington of Denver (in his case, it's mostly for
              lack of alternative with Chris Whitney injured). He's easily the
              worst NBA player by my Value Over Replacement Player system.
            • Gary Collard
              ... Yes, playing time is important. What you would be looking for is somebody who plays a lot of minutes, shoots and scores poorly, turns the ball over,
              Message 6 of 21 , Feb 4, 2003
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                "Kevin Pelton " wrote:
                >
                > Cool idea.
                >
                > To be truly faithful to BP's intentions, I think minutes would have
                > to be weighed more heavily. The general idea there is to find a
                > player who is bad, but not so bad that he'll get taken out of the
                > lineup. Along those lines, the best NBA example I can think of would
                > probably be Junior Harrington of Denver (in his case, it's mostly for
                > lack of alternative with Chris Whitney injured). He's easily the
                > worst NBA player by my Value Over Replacement Player system.

                Yes, playing time is important. What you would be looking for is somebody
                who plays a lot of minutes, shoots and scores poorly, turns the ball over,
                doesn't rebound it well, commits fouls, and maybe even flips off fans.
                Something that combined each negative and multiplied it by minutes would do
                the trick.

                --
                Gary Collard
                SABR-L Moderator
                collardg@...
              • igorkupfer@rogers.com
                ... From: Gary Collard To: Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2003 9:39 PM Subject: Re: [APBR_analysis] Re:
                Message 7 of 21 , Feb 4, 2003
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                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: "Gary Collard" <collardg@...>
                  To: <APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2003 9:39 PM
                  Subject: Re: [APBR_analysis] Re: On a lighter note...


                  > "Kevin Pelton " wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Cool idea.
                  > >
                  > > To be truly faithful to BP's intentions, I think minutes would have
                  > > to be weighed more heavily. The general idea there is to find a
                  > > player who is bad, but not so bad that he'll get taken out of the
                  > > lineup. Along those lines, the best NBA example I can think of would
                  > > probably be Junior Harrington of Denver (in his case, it's mostly for
                  > > lack of alternative with Chris Whitney injured). He's easily the
                  > > worst NBA player by my Value Over Replacement Player system.
                  >
                  > Yes, playing time is important. What you would be looking for is somebody
                  > who plays a lot of minutes, shoots and scores poorly, turns the ball over,
                  > doesn't rebound it well, commits fouls, and maybe even flips off fans.
                  > Something that combined each negative and multiplied it by minutes would do
                  > the trick.
                  >

                  Although what you describe is more along the lines of the Hacking Mass system, it's not
                  quite what I'm after. In baseball, if you play, you _have_ to take your turn at the
                  plate, where you'll either perform poorly or do well. In basketball, a poor shooting
                  stiff will be asked _not_ to shoot, and so really bad offensive players won't
                  necessarily show up in the box.

                  What I'm actually looking for is a guy who is good enough to be on an NBA roster, and
                  make it into lots of games, but not good enough to get a lot of minutes. This seems to
                  me to describe stiffosity well. (When I sat around thinking about this, the prototype
                  stiff I had in mind was Greg Foster.) My formula places a lot of weight on players who
                  had accumulated many Games Played, but who had very low Minutes Per Game. I also took
                  away credit for putting up some decent offensive numbers in the usual categories, but
                  maybe I'll do away with this.

                  Kevin mentions his Replacement Value system, which I haven't seen -- a casual glance
                  through the archived messages brings up a lot of hits. I hope it's described there,
                  because whatever usefulness "replacement level" has for rating good players, it's ideal
                  for rating the mediocre. Kevin: help me out -- give me a pointer to your system.

                  The next version of the StiffDx will incorporate fouls -- and techs and flagrants. I
                  _wish_ I could include fan/bird flipping, but, sadly, I am missing that data.

                  ed
                • Gary Collard
                  ... Got any data on funbabies? :-) -- Gary Collard SABR-L Moderator collardg@earthlink.net The other day I walked into a pawn shop, and I found that I
                  Message 8 of 21 , Feb 4, 2003
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                    igorkupfer@... wrote:
                    >
                    > The next version of the StiffDx will incorporate fouls -- and techs and
                    > flagrants. I
                    > _wish_ I could include fan/bird flipping, but, sadly, I am missing that
                    > data.

                    Got any data on funbabies? :-)

                    --
                    Gary Collard
                    SABR-L Moderator
                    collardg@...

                    "The other day I walked into a pawn shop, and I found that I couldn't
                    turn around until I had advanced all the way to the other end of the
                    store and promoted myself to queen."
                    -- Chris Lipe
                  • Kevin Pelton <kpelton08@hotmail.com>
                    ... Unless your coach is unable to get it through your players brains that they shouldn t shoot. Not that I see any of that with the Sonics or anything. I
                    Message 9 of 21 , Feb 4, 2003
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                      --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, <igorkupfer@r...> wrote:
                      > Although what you describe is more along the lines of the Hacking
                      > Mass system, it's not quite what I'm after. In baseball, if you
                      > play, you _have_ to take your turn at the plate, where you'll
                      > either perform poorly or do well. In basketball, a poor shooting
                      > stiff will be asked _not_ to shoot, and so really bad offensive
                      > players won't necessarily show up in the box.

                      Unless your coach is unable to get it through your players' brains
                      that they shouldn't shoot. Not that I see any of that with the Sonics
                      or anything.

                      I think I agree with you. The concept of "stiffness" is definitely
                      different in the NBA, and I couldn't think of a better example than
                      Greg Foster after having the unique "privilege" of watching him
                      closely during the 1999-2000 season.

                      On my VORP system - I don't usually bring it up too much here since I
                      use it fairly infrequently. This recent article touches on it:

                      http://www.hoopsworld.com/article_2582.shtml
                    • John Hollinger <alleyoop2@yahoo.com>
                      In fact, despite the fact that he s played over 1,000 minutes, Harrington may be the worst player in the entire league. I can t think of anyone off the top of
                      Message 10 of 21 , Feb 7, 2003
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                        In fact, despite the fact that he's played over 1,000 minutes,
                        Harrington may be the worst player in the entire league. I can't
                        think of anyone off the top of my head that's been worse.


                        --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "Kevin Pelton <kpelton08@h...>"
                        <kpelton08@h...> wrote:
                        > Cool idea.
                        >
                        > To be truly faithful to BP's intentions, I think minutes would have
                        > to be weighed more heavily. The general idea there is to find a
                        > player who is bad, but not so bad that he'll get taken out of the
                        > lineup. Along those lines, the best NBA example I can think of
                        would
                        > probably be Junior Harrington of Denver (in his case, it's mostly
                        for
                        > lack of alternative with Chris Whitney injured). He's easily the
                        > worst NBA player by my Value Over Replacement Player system.
                      • Kevin Pelton <kpelton08@hotmail.com>
                        ... Surely you re not forgetting Joe Forte, John! He shot 8% last year, for goodness sakes. I really had to chuckle earlier this year when I put in my weekly
                        Message 11 of 21 , Feb 7, 2003
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                          --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "John Hollinger
                          <alleyoop2@y...>" <alleyoop2@y...> wrote:
                          > In fact, despite the fact that he's played over 1,000 minutes,
                          > Harrington may be the worst player in the entire league. I can't
                          > think of anyone off the top of my head that's been worse.

                          Surely you're not forgetting Joe Forte, John! He shot 8% last year,
                          for goodness' sakes.

                          I really had to chuckle earlier this year when I put in my weekly
                          Sonics "Playback" that Forte had set and re-set his career high in
                          points. His totals? Three and then four.
                        • igorkupfer@rogers.com
                          ... From: To: Sent: Friday, February 07, 2003 10:39 PM Subject: [APBR_analysis] Re: On a lighter note...
                          Message 12 of 21 , Feb 8, 2003
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                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: <alleyoop2@...>
                            To: <APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com>
                            Sent: Friday, February 07, 2003 10:39 PM
                            Subject: [APBR_analysis] Re: On a lighter note...

                            [on Junior Harrington]

                            > In fact, despite the fact that he's played over 1,000 minutes,
                            > Harrington may be the worst player in the entire league. I can't
                            > think of anyone off the top of my head that's been worse.
                            >

                            Check out Greg Foster's "contributions" to the injury depleted Raps this season.
                            Despite logging a career-high in minutes, he logged near career-lows in virtually every
                            other statistical category -- and that takes some doing, considering how low those
                            highs were. I could go on about Grog (indeed, on the Raptors newsgroup, I have gone on
                            about him). I must defend his status as the Stiff Emeritus of the NBA.

                            re Kevin's suggestion to add more weight to minutes: I tried that, and ended up with
                            bad results. There are, apparently, many good players who end up playing a high number
                            of games / low number of minutes. I'm having enough trouble with the fact that Dell
                            Curry and Kurt Rambis show up in my top 100 stiffs, I don't want to add many more
                            fundamentally decent players to that list.
                          • Mike G <msg_53@hotmail.com>
                            ... Of players with at least 1000 minutes, I rate Walter McCarty, Bruce Bowen, Trent Hassell, and Milt Palacio as weaker than Harrington. The notion of worst
                            Message 13 of 21 , Feb 8, 2003
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                              --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, <igorkupfer@r...> wrote:
                              >
                              > ----- Original Message -----
                              > From: <alleyoop2@y...>
                              > [on Junior Harrington]
                              >
                              > > In fact, despite the fact that he's played over 1,000 minutes,
                              > > Harrington may be the worst player in the entire league. I can't
                              > > think of anyone off the top of my head that's been worse.

                              Of players with at least 1000 minutes, I rate Walter McCarty, Bruce
                              Bowen, Trent Hassell, and Milt Palacio as weaker than Harrington.

                              The notion of 'worst player in the league' is kind of a pointless
                              objective, in my mind. The worst players aren't going to get
                              significant minutes.

                              Of players with at least 1 minute, I find 110 worse than Harrington.
                              Not all of them are in the league at this moment; but it's perhaps
                              more plausible to say a guy is only about the 300th best player, than
                              to say he 'may be the worst'.


                              > Check out Greg Foster's "contributions" to the injury depleted Raps
                              this season.
                              > Despite logging a career-high in minutes, he logged near career-
                              lows in virtually every
                              > other statistical category -- and that takes some doing,
                              considering how low those
                              > highs were.


                              I actually find 50+ players who have looked worse than Foster.

                              Keep in mind that the worst 100 players in the NBA would all kick
                              your ass. That these guys will never be allstars doesn't mean they
                              can't play.
                            • igorkupfer@rogers.com
                              ... From: To: Sent: Saturday, February 08, 2003 5:34 PM Subject: [APBR_analysis] Re: On a lighter note...
                              Message 14 of 21 , Feb 8, 2003
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                                ----- Original Message -----
                                From: <msg_53@...>
                                To: <APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com>
                                Sent: Saturday, February 08, 2003 5:34 PM
                                Subject: [APBR_analysis] Re: On a lighter note...


                                <snip>
                                >
                                > The notion of 'worst player in the league' is kind of a pointless
                                > objective, in my mind. The worst players aren't going to get
                                > significant minutes.
                                >

                                Absolutely. My Stiff Index was not a list of the "worst" -- any such list that did not
                                include me would not be credible. I defined "stiff" as a player who is good enough to
                                get into a lot of games, but not good enough to get a lot of minutes per game. I
                                subtracted offensive contributions from the games:mpg ratio to get Stiff Points.

                                >
                                > > Check out Greg Foster's "contributions" to the injury depleted Raps
                                > this season.
                                > > Despite logging a career-high in minutes, he logged near career-
                                > lows in virtually every
                                > > other statistical category -- and that takes some doing,
                                > considering how low those
                                > > highs were.
                                >
                                >
                                > I actually find 50+ players who have looked worse than Foster.
                                >

                                No doubt. Like I said, he played about 18 minutes per game -- he must've been doing
                                _something_ right.

                                > Keep in mind that the worst 100 players in the NBA would all kick
                                > your ass. That these guys will never be allstars doesn't mean they
                                > can't play.
                                >

                                Once again, that wasn't my point. I am not trying to make fun of these guys. I know
                                that just be granted a big league tryout you must have more talent than I could ever
                                hope to have, or probably ever shared the floor with.

                                I just find the idea of marginal NBA talent fascinating, much more interesting than
                                GOAT lists. How many of these players -- guys maybe good enough to play NBA ball, maybe
                                not -- are there? Hundreds? Surely. Thousands? Maybe. I'd like to know.

                                My index is an attempt to identify these players from a simple ratio. Eventually, I'd
                                like this to become the basis of my attempt at a Replacement Level-type rating system.
                                After all, if you can bring a guy like Foster, who had no job at season's beginning, in
                                on a 10-day contract, and have him get x points and y rebounds in z minutes, what does
                                that say about your starting center who is only getting x + 5 points and y + 2 rebounds
                                in z + 10 minutes?
                              • Charles Board
                                ... This is just silly. Bruce Bowen is one of the 5-10 best defensive players in the league. Easily. He has *no* offensive game to speak but being among the
                                Message 15 of 21 , Feb 9, 2003
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                                  > >
                                  > > > In fact, despite the fact that he's played over 1,000 minutes,
                                  > > > Harrington may be the worst player in the entire league. I can't
                                  > > > think of anyone off the top of my head that's been worse.
                                  >
                                  > Of players with at least 1000 minutes, I rate Walter McCarty, Bruce
                                  > Bowen, Trent Hassell, and Milt Palacio as weaker than Harrington.
                                  >

                                  This is just silly. Bruce Bowen is one of the 5-10 best defensive
                                  players in the league. Easily. He has *no* offensive game to
                                  speak but being among the league elite at half the game has to
                                  exempt one from "worst player in the league" debates.
                                • bchaikin@aol.com
                                  This is just silly. Bruce Bowen is one of the 5-10 best defensive players in the league. Easily. He has *no* offensive game to speak but being among the
                                  Message 16 of 21 , Feb 9, 2003
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                                    This is just silly. Bruce Bowen is one of the 5-10 best defensive players in the league. Easily.  He has *no* offensive game to speak but being among the league elite at half the game has to exempt one from "worst player in the league" debates.

                                    and this is the crux of any rating system based on the numbers generated by the sport, whether they be for greatness or stiffness...

                                    but bowen is in my opinion not among the elite at half the game. he is from what i can tell and have read and have seen accolades placed on him (2nd team all defense) an excellent stand up defender, one of the very best in the league. but along with "half that game" of defense is steals, blocked shots, and defensive rebounding, at which bowen is not exceptional (poor rebounder, avg to good at ST and BS). add that to his "...no offensive game..." - christ he can't even hit his free throws - and what you have is a one trick pony, an excellent stand up defender that is a luxury on a team that can afford that, i.e. a team that can make up for his deficiencies at the other positions...

                                    on the spurs that's easier than on most teams, with duncan, robinson, et al, but it's my belief bowen would have an incredibly tough time getting a starting role on a lesser team. the only time he's played more than 1700 min in a single season in 6 years in the league has been on riley's heat, and that was probably because riley already had enough ball handlers on that squad with hardaway, eddie jones, and anthony mason and a bench of mostly older possibly over-the-hill veterans so that he stressed defense over other qualities. its appears he'll get similar total minutes this season on the spurs...

                                    bob chaikin
                                    bchaikin@......










                                  • Michael Tamada
                                    ... From: bchaikin@aol.com [mailto:bchaikin@aol.com] Sent: Sunday, February 09, 2003 10:46 AM To: APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com Subject: Re: [APBR_analysis]
                                    Message 17 of 21 , Feb 10, 2003
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                                      -----Original Message-----
                                      From: bchaikin@... [mailto:bchaikin@...]
                                      Sent: Sunday, February 09, 2003 10:46 AM
                                      To: APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com
                                      Subject: Re: [APBR_analysis] Re: On a lighter note...

                                      This is just silly. Bruce Bowen is one of the 5-10 best defensive players in the league. Easily.  He has *no* offensive game to
                                       
                                      [...]
                                       
                                      but bowen is in my opinion not among the elite at half the game. he is from what i can tell and have read and have seen accolades placed on him (2nd team all defense) an excellent stand up defender, one of the very best in the league. but along with "half that game" of defense is steals, blocked shots, and defensive rebounding, at which bowen is not exceptional (poor rebounder, avg to good at ST and BS). add that to his "...no offensive game..." - christ he can't even hit his free throws - and what you have is a one trick pony, an excellent stand up defender that is a luxury on a team that can afford that, i.e. a team that can make up for his deficiencies at the other positions...

                                      on the spurs that's easier than on most teams, with duncan, robinson, et al, but it's my belief bowen would have an incredibly tough time getting a starting role on a lesser team. the only time he's played more than 1700 min in a single season in 6 years in the
                                      [...]

                                      [Michael Tamada] I agree; he reminds me of Danny Vranes from the 1980s.  A legitimately good one-on-one defender who could stick tenaciously to his man.  But who, aside from his excellent one-on-one defense, did not contribute much else to the team defense, in terms of steals, blocks, or most importantly quickness and anticipation in making switches and helping out his teammates (Bowen may be better at this than Vranes). 
                                       
                                      But as BobC says, a good team can afford to have one player like this in their lineup, if they've got compensatory strengths among their other players.  Kinda like the 76ers having one of the best teams ever in 1983, despite having Marc Iavaroni in their starting lineup.
                                       
                                       
                                      --MKT 


                                    • Mike G <msg_53@hotmail.com>
                                      ... Frankly, I considered letting Bowen slip by and not mention him; but for the sake of consistency -- there he was, so I named him. Bowen is an extreme
                                      Message 18 of 21 , Feb 10, 2003
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                                        --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "Charles Board" <chaboard@n...>
                                        wrote:
                                        > ... Bruce Bowen is one of the 5-10 best defensive
                                        > players in the league. Easily. He has *no* offensive game to
                                        > speak but being among the league elite at half the game has to
                                        > exempt one from "worst player in the league" debates.

                                        Frankly, I considered letting Bowen slip by and not mention him; but
                                        for the sake of consistency -- there he was, so I named him.

                                        Bowen is an extreme example of a player without a lot of 'skills' who
                                        gets a lot of minutes. As others have noticed, he only gets minutes
                                        on certain teams. He got little time in Boston and Philly, and in
                                        Miami only when Zo went down.

                                        His defensive work, on offensive superstars like Kobe, is legendary.
                                        No doubt it helps to have Duncan and/or Robinson behind you.

                                        I do realize statistics will never capture defensive ability. At
                                        least, not until DeanO's army of scoresheet guerrilas are unleashed.

                                        In the meantime, it could be said that guys like Bowen would not be
                                        getting ANY minutes (much less 30) without a great defensive presence.
                                        And in the course of those minutes, they will be picking up some
                                        points, rebounds, etc., that they otherwise wouldn't, to mark their
                                        presence in the league.

                                        This year, Bowen's overall shooting % is way up from last year
                                        (up .100), though his shot frequency is down. He has one of the
                                        strangest % lines I've ever seen:

                                        3-pointers .467
                                        2-pointers .465
                                        free throw .429

                                        He shoots a lot more 3's than FT, so his overall % (.564) is right up
                                        there with Steve Kerr's, on the Spurs. Only Stephen Jackson has more
                                        3s, (6 more in 60 more attempts).
                                      • John Hollinger <alleyoop2@yahoo.com>
                                        Bruce Bowen, Michael Curry, and to a lesser extent Eric Williams should be fascinating studies for our crowd. In fact, we should be devoting huge
                                        Message 19 of 21 , Feb 18, 2003
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                                          <!-- RANT -->

                                          Bruce Bowen, Michael Curry, and to a lesser extent Eric Williams
                                          should be fascinating studies for our crowd. In fact, we should be
                                          devoting huge amounts of attention to these guys.

                                          Whether you're using Tendex, PER, or another system to statistically
                                          rate players, you're going to come up with a rating for all three of
                                          them that shows them to be absolutely horrible. Yet all three are
                                          important players on good teams.

                                          To me, that underscores more than anything how many miles behind we
                                          are in the study of defense and how much work needs to be done. Folks
                                          aren't going to take statistical ratings seriously if they don't pass
                                          the laugh test, and if we're rating Bruce Bowen and Michael Curry as
                                          the two worst players in the league, then we don't pass it.

                                          <!-- END RANT -->



                                          --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, bchaikin@a... wrote:
                                          > This is just silly. Bruce Bowen is one of the 5-10 best defensive
                                          players in
                                          > the league. Easily. He has *no* offensive game to speak but being
                                          among the
                                          > league elite at half the game has to exempt one from "worst player
                                          in the
                                          > league" debates.
                                          >
                                          > and this is the crux of any rating system based on the numbers
                                          generated by
                                          > the sport, whether they be for greatness or stiffness...
                                          >
                                          > but bowen is in my opinion not among the elite at half the game. he
                                          is from
                                          > what i can tell and have read and have seen accolades placed on him
                                          (2nd team
                                          > all defense) an excellent stand up defender, one of the very best
                                          in the
                                          > league. but along with "half that game" of defense is steals,
                                          blocked shots,
                                          > and defensive rebounding, at which bowen is not exceptional (poor
                                          rebounder,
                                          > avg to good at ST and BS). add that to his "...no offensive
                                          game..." - christ
                                          > he can't even hit his free throws - and what you have is a one
                                          trick pony, an
                                          > excellent stand up defender that is a luxury on a team that can
                                          afford that,
                                          > i.e. a team that can make up for his deficiencies at the other
                                          positions...
                                          >
                                          > on the spurs that's easier than on most teams, with duncan,
                                          robinson, et al,
                                          > but it's my belief bowen would have an incredibly tough time
                                          getting a
                                          > starting role on a lesser team. the only time he's played more than
                                          1700 min
                                          > in a single season in 6 years in the league has been on riley's
                                          heat, and
                                          > that was probably because riley already had enough ball handlers on
                                          that
                                          > squad with hardaway, eddie jones, and anthony mason and a bench of
                                          mostly
                                          > older possibly over-the-hill veterans so that he stressed defense
                                          over other
                                          > qualities. its appears he'll get similar total minutes this season
                                          on the
                                          > spurs...
                                          >
                                          > bob chaikin
                                          > bchaikin@b...
                                        • Dean Oliver <deano@rawbw.com>
                                          ... statistically ... of ... As of 2/7, I have Eric Williams as a net positive in Boston. He wouldn t be if he were on a team that needed more offense, but I
                                          Message 20 of 21 , Feb 18, 2003
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                                            --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "John Hollinger
                                            <alleyoop2@y...>" <alleyoop2@y...> wrote:
                                            > <!-- RANT -->
                                            >
                                            > Bruce Bowen, Michael Curry, and to a lesser extent Eric Williams
                                            > should be fascinating studies for our crowd. In fact, we should be
                                            > devoting huge amounts of attention to these guys.
                                            >
                                            > Whether you're using Tendex, PER, or another system to
                                            statistically
                                            > rate players, you're going to come up with a rating for all three
                                            of
                                            > them that shows them to be absolutely horrible. Yet all three are
                                            > important players on good teams.
                                            >

                                            As of 2/7, I have Eric Williams as a net positive in Boston. He
                                            wouldn't be if he were on a team that needed more offense, but I have
                                            him with 3.4-2.3 win-loss record. His offense is better this year.
                                            Last year, he wasn't very good offensively.

                                            As of 2/7, I have Bruce Bowen as a net positive in San Antonio.
                                            Again, he wouldn't be if he had to use a lot of possessions. His
                                            individual win-loss record is 3.0-2.1. His defensive rating is not
                                            as good as his reputation but I don't have the time to do the
                                            modifications I can do to fix that.

                                            As of 2/7, I have Michael Curry as a net negative in Detroit. His
                                            record is only 0.8-2.5, so he's not killing the team.

                                            I would submit that none of these players are all that important.
                                            They play small roles on good teams. None of them dramatically
                                            impact the success or failure of their teams.

                                            > To me, that underscores more than anything how many miles behind we
                                            > are in the study of defense and how much work needs to be done.
                                            Folks
                                            > aren't going to take statistical ratings seriously if they don't
                                            pass
                                            > the laugh test, and if we're rating Bruce Bowen and Michael Curry
                                            as
                                            > the two worst players in the league, then we don't pass it.
                                            >

                                            I think all the players I have who are towards the worst in the
                                            league get very few minutes. Curry actually does start to approach
                                            the lower tier, I'll admit, but he's not in it.

                                            The point, however, could be that too often rating evaluations are
                                            based on looking at whether the methods work with good players, not
                                            with bad ones. You want to make sure Jordan is better than Chris
                                            Mullin, for example. But few people look at whether Bowen is better
                                            than Bruno Sundov.

                                            DeanO
                                          • bchaikin@aol.com
                                            Bruce Bowen, Michael Curry, and to a lesser extent Eric Williams should be fascinating studies for our crowd. In fact, we should be devoting huge amounts of
                                            Message 21 of 21 , Feb 18, 2003
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                                              Bruce Bowen, Michael Curry, and to a lesser extent Eric Williams should be fascinating studies for our crowd. In fact, we should be devoting huge amounts of attention to these guys.

                                              Whether you're using Tendex, PER, or another system to statistically rate players, you're going to come up with a rating for all three of them that shows them to be absolutely horrible. Yet all three are important players on good teams.

                                              I would submit that none of these players are all that important.  They play small roles on good teams.  None of them dramatically impact the success or failure of their teams. 

                                              i too would not call them "important", but they do indeed fill a role that certain coaches desire - a player who can play minutes and provide something positive to the team (usually something positive that the other starters are not contributing or something the coach feels the team needs more of) that does not require them having ball on offense, or more correctly, taking touches away from the players the coaches want to have the ball most or all of the time...

                                              bowen serves the purpose of playing defense. if he played great D but also required more touches on offense (taking touches away from say tim duncan) and he shot a low FG%, odds are he wouldn't be playing. his lousy shooting the past two seasons hasn't been a major problem because he rarely shoots. there aren't many players in this league who are willing to do the dirty work and also not want the ball on offense, but there are those smart enough to realize they can secure a nice paycheck by doing so...

                                              the perfect example for this the past few seasons is ben wallace. his touches per minute has been 0.30 - 0.50 the past 5 seasons. who even heard of ben wallace after the 98-99 season? yet he had been in the league for 3 years and was a good to excellent rebounder and a good shot blocker. orlando traded him, washington traded him, both calling him an undersized center who couldn't score. neither the magic nor the wizards have a center now that even compares to wallace, yet someone in detroit saw something in wallace that they liked. however he is an extreme example because he does not 1 but 3 things very well (rebound, block shots, and play great stand-up D)...

                                              p.j. brown is another extreme example. handles the ball a lowly 0.50 times/min on offense the past two years but plays major minutes because he rebounds and plays good D (and blocks a few shots). would he play if he rebounded but didn't play D, or played good D but couldn't rebound? maybe not - but with mashburn, b.davis, and wesley, they don't need any more people wanting the ball on offense...

                                              any season in the NBA the vast majority of players who play major minutes but touch the ball very infrequently on offense are Cs or PFs. they do 1, 2, or all of these things well - rebound, block shots, and play good D. its rare to see a SF or SG with very few touches/min, but they do show up now and then. since a SF or SG rarely rebounds well or blocks alot of shots, if they are not going to be participating in the offense they had better be playing tough D or odds are they won't be playing at all....

                                              To me, that underscores more than anything how many miles behind we are in the study of defense and how much work needs to be done. Folks aren't going to take statistical ratings seriously if they don't pass the laugh test, and if we're rating Bruce Bowen and Michael Curry as the two worst players in the league, then we don't pass it.

                                              this is where a simulation is effective (although there are those in this crowd that prefer not to hear this). in a simulation you can adjust a player's defensive rating and easily see the difference in terms of a team's Wins and Losses. and isn't that what is most important, how many Ws and Ls a player contributes to a team?...

                                              bob chaikin
                                              bchaikin@...


































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