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

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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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