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Re: [APBR_analysis] Re: On a lighter note...

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  • igorkupfer@rogers.com
    ... From: To: Sent: Friday, February 07, 2003 10:39 PM Subject: [APBR_analysis] Re: On a lighter note...
    Message 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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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