## Walker's Boston Correlation

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• Anyone want to tackle this one from ESPN: EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- MIT could break down the data and provide an insightful statistical analysis, but you don t
Message 1 of 11 , May 8, 2003
Anyone want to tackle this one from ESPN:

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- MIT could break down the data and provide an
insightful statistical analysis, but you don't need to be John Nash
to research the following proof about the Boston Celtics.

Bad games by Antoine Walker equal Celtics defeats.

I think it may be a bit simplistic, but not bad...
• ... From: aaronkoo To: Sent: Thursday, May 08, 2003 2:11 PM Subject: [APBR_analysis] Walker s Boston
Message 2 of 11 , May 8, 2003
----- Original Message -----
From: "aaronkoo" <deano@...>
To: <APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Thursday, May 08, 2003 2:11 PM
Subject: [APBR_analysis] Walker's Boston Correlation

>
> Anyone want to tackle this one from ESPN:
>
> EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- MIT could break down the data and provide an
> insightful statistical analysis, but you don't need to be John Nash
> to research the following proof about the Boston Celtics.
>
> Bad games by Antoine Walker equal Celtics defeats.
>
>
> I think it may be a bit simplistic, but not bad...
>
>

I came up with this quickly: how the Cs perform when Twan played above/below average,
in terms of Manley Credits [tm].

Win% PtsDiff OffRtg DefRtg

AboveAvg 0.70 3.49 108.22 104.31
BelowAvg 0.39 -4.29 99.67 104.48

Cs team defense seems weakly correlated to their offensive performance -- the r squared
value is .04. DeanO: any quickie method of gauging Twan's defensive performance from
game to game?

More to come as soon as I get a minute.

ed
• ... provide an ... Nash ... above/below average, ... performance -- the r squared ... performance from ... Wow. That s pretty strong already. That implies
Message 3 of 11 , May 8, 2003
--- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, <igorkupfer@r...> wrote:
> >
> > Anyone want to tackle this one from ESPN:
> >
> > EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- MIT could break down the data and
provide an
> > insightful statistical analysis, but you don't need to be John
Nash
> > to research the following proof about the Boston Celtics.
> >
> > Bad games by Antoine Walker equal Celtics defeats.
> >
> >
> > I think it may be a bit simplistic, but not bad...
> >
> >
>
> I came up with this quickly: how the Cs perform when Twan played
above/below average,
> in terms of Manley Credits [tm].
>
> Win% PtsDiff OffRtg DefRtg
>
> AboveAvg 0.70 3.49 108.22 104.31
> BelowAvg 0.39 -4.29 99.67 104.48
>
> Cs team defense seems weakly correlated to their offensive
performance -- the r squared
> value is .04. DeanO: any quickie method of gauging Twan's defensive
performance from
> game to game?
>

Wow. That's pretty strong already. That implies that when opponents
shut down Antoine, they aren't taking away someone else to do it,
making their offense better in another way, something I have seen in
other cases (I saw it in Chicago and Utah in the '90's when I first
looked at it, so that Jordan may get slowed down, but you'd be giving
up the other guys).

Your r2 means what here? Team offense vs Team D?

No quick method of individual defense available unfortunately, not
with the stats we have. But his low credit days don't seem to affect
the D so much, implying his bad games are poor offensive games
(shooting, turnovers).

DeanO
• ... an ... I d be very surprised if the Celtics can beat very many teams with a bad game from Walker OR Pierce. Pierce seems more consistent (without checking
Message 4 of 11 , May 8, 2003
--- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "aaronkoo" <deano@r...> wrote:
>
> Anyone want to tackle this one from ESPN:
>
> EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- MIT could break down the data and provide
an
> insightful statistical analysis, but you don't need to be John Nash
> to research the following proof about the Boston Celtics.
>
> Bad games by Antoine Walker equal Celtics defeats.
>
>
> I think it may be a bit simplistic, but not bad...

I'd be very surprised if the Celtics can beat very many teams with a
bad game from Walker OR Pierce. Pierce seems more consistent
(without checking the numbers); but Walker can shoot the Celts to
victory, or to defeat.

Like any true gunner, if he's hitting, he's sure as hell gonna keep
shooting. And if he's in a slump, he's gonna try and shoot his way
out of it.

Kinda like the Lakers, a 2-man team like this pretty much depends on
both stars to do well, to beat anyone of quality.
• ... Yeah, that doesn t seem to be happening here. Bad games from Walker do not seem to translate into good games for other players. Does this mean that
Message 5 of 11 , May 8, 2003
At 11:15 PM 5/8/2003 +0000, aaronkoo wrote:
--- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, <igorkupfer@r...> wrote:
> >
> > Anyone want to tackle this one from ESPN:
> >
> > EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- MIT could break down the data and
provide an
> > insightful statistical analysis, but you don't need to be John
Nash
> > to research the following proof about the Boston Celtics.
> >
> > Bad games by Antoine Walker equal Celtics defeats.
> >
> >
> > I think it may be a bit simplistic, but not bad...
> >
> >
>
> I came up with this quickly: how the Cs perform when Twan played
above/below average,
> in terms of Manley Credits [tm].
>
>                 Win%  PtsDiff   OffRtg    DefRtg
>
> AboveAvg        0.70    3.49    108.22    104.31
> BelowAvg        0.39   -4.29     99.67    104.48
>
> Cs team defense seems weakly correlated to their offensive
performance -- the r squared
> value is .04. DeanO: any quickie method of gauging Twan's defensive
performance from
> game to game?
>

Wow.  That's pretty strong already.  That implies that when opponents
shut down Antoine, they aren't taking away someone else to do it,
making their offense better in another way, something I have seen in
other cases (I saw it in Chicago and Utah in the '90's when I first
looked at it, so that Jordan may get slowed down, but you'd be giving
up the other guys).

Yeah, that doesn't seem to be happening here. Bad games from Walker do not seem to translate into good games for other players. Does this mean that defenses don't really key in on him, and that Walker shuts himself down through bad shot selection?

Some other numbers to ponder. I calculated the Celtics numbers sans Walker  Walker Independent Production Stats (WIPS), if you will. The WIPS possession numbers don't look right to me  they are just there for reference. TotalFG% is pts / (1 * FTA + 2 * 2ptFGA + 3 * 3ptFGA)  we were calling it something else, but I've forgotten what that was. I've shown the WIPS for different stats, broken down by how Walker did in those games  above and below average in Manley Credits [tm], field goal attempts, and shooting accuracy.

TOTAL TEAM             TEAM minus WALKER (WIPS)

Walker  |tmPts Opppts poss | EffFG%   MC  Pts  TotalFG%  OffRtg  poss
--------+------------------+-----------------------------------------
<AvgMC  | 87.6  91.7  88.6 | 47.5%  81.4  74.0    47.9%   108.2  68.8
>AvgMC  | 97.2  94.4  89.9 | 48.2%  81.5  73.1    47.9%   112.0  65.6
|                  |
<AvgFGA | 93.2  93.8  91.3 | 47.2%  86.7  77.2    46.0%   107.7  71.9
>AvgFGA | 92.2  92.4  87.6 | 48.5%  76.6  70.0    49.7%   112.5  62.6
|                  |
<AvgFG% | 89.7  93.0  90.0 | 48.6%  80.7  73.5    47.8%   110.1  67.2
>AvgFG% | 95.5  93.2  88.6 | 47.2%  82.3  73.5    48.0%   110.1  67.1

Your r2 means what here?  Team offense vs Team D?

Yes.

No quick method of individual defense available unfortunately, not
with the stats we have.  But his low credit days don't seem to affect
the D so much, implying his bad games are poor offensive games
(shooting, turnovers).

Of which there are many. The team's success seems to be largely dependant on Walker's performance  I'd hate to think that he alone is just as responsible for his good games as his bad games.

ed
• ... From: igorkupfer@rogers.com [mailto:igorkupfer@rogers.com] Sent: Thursday, May 08, 2003 5:26 PM ... above/below average, ... [...] Yeah, that doesn t seem
Message 6 of 11 , May 8, 2003
-----Original Message-----
From: igorkupfer@... [mailto:igorkupfer@...]
Sent: Thursday, May 08, 2003 5:26 PM

At 11:15 PM 5/8/2003 +0000, aaronkoo wrote:
--- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, <igorkupfer@r...> wrote:
>
face=Arial color=#0000ff size=2>  I came up with this quickly: how the Cs perform when Twan played
above/below average,
> in
terms of Manley Credits [tm].
>
>
Win%  PtsDiff   OffRtg    DefRtg
>
>
AboveAvg        0.70    3.49    108.22    104.31
>
BelowAvg        0.39   -4.29     99.67    104.48

[...]

Yeah, that doesn't seem to be happening here. Bad games from Walker do not seem to translate into good games for other players. Does this mean that defenses don't really key in on him, and that Walker shuts himself down through bad shot selection?

[...]

TOTAL TEAM             TEAM minus WALKER (WIPS)

Walker  |tmPts Opppts poss | EffFG%   MC  Pts  TotalFG%  OffRtg  poss
--------+------------------+-----------------------------------------
<AvgMC  | 87.6  91.7  88.6 | 47.5%  81.4  74.0    47.9%   108.2  68.8
>AvgMC  | 97.2  94.4
89.9 | 48.2%  81.5  73.1    47.9%   112.0  65.6
|                  |
<AvgFGA | 93.2  93.8  91.3 | 47.2%  86.7  77.2    46.0%   107.7  71.9
>AvgFGA |
92.2  92.4  87.6 | 48.5%  76.6  70.0    49.7%   112.5  62.6
|                  |
<AvgFG% | 89.7  93.0  90.0 | 48.6%  80.7  73.5    47.8%   110.1  67.2
>AvgFG% |
95.5  93.2  88.6 | 47.2%  82.3  73.5    48.0%   110.1  67.1

[...]

Of which there are many. The team's success seems to be largely dependant on Walker's performance — I'd hate to think that he alone is just as responsible for his good games as his bad games.

Well if there were any player for whom those statements would be true (team success largely dependent on a player's performance, and his performance not strongly related to the opposition's apparent defensive strategies), it'd be Walker.  He's surely the captain of the no-conscience team when it comes to shooting and keeping shooting regardless of the situation.   When this works, great, when it doesn't he shoots his team out of games.  And it may well be the case that his good games and bad games are largely determined by chance rather than the opponents' choice of defensive strategies, given Walker's apparent imperviousness to changing his shot selection.

The WIPS numbers above however suggest that the non-Walker Celtics do benefit from good games from 'Twan, at least as measured by their offensive rating, and based on his MC and FGA performances.

I haven't seen the original ESPN article; Ed's stats on the Celts' winning % are certainly attention-getting, but to really put them in context we'd need to know how it compares to other teams and players.  E.g. how do the 76ers do when Iverson is above- or below-average in his Manley creds?  (They seem to usually win when he has one of his superman 40+ point games; I don't know however if the correlation would be as strong for his more average games.)

T-Wolves and Garnett?  Warriors and Arenas?  Magic and McGrady?  And perhaps most relevantly, Celtics and Pierce?

The LA Times occasionally shows the Lakers' record when Shaq or Kobe accomplish various levels of achievement in a game; in general I don't think there were strong correlations but one would tend to expect that with a two-superstar team where a 35 point night by Shaq usually means that Kobe was relatively quiet.

Charlie Board recently noted that Duncan had only led the Spurs in scoring twice in the last month or some such thing (or maybe it was leading them in scoring during victories).  One obvious interpretation is that the Spurs though lacking any current superstars besides Duncan (Robinson being an ex-superstar at this point in his career), have pretty good depth in talent with several players who can hurt you in various ways.  So we'd tend to expect a lower correlation between Spurs wins and Duncan performances.

The Celtic-Walker correlation though does look surprising.  Especially if it's higher than Pierce's.

There is of course still the problem, which we discussed several years ago in APBR, about correlation and causality.  Blowout wins will tend to shrink the stars' playing time and increase the benchwarmers'.  So that will tend to throw off the stats a bit.

--MKT
• ... poss ... - ... 68.8 ... 65.6 ... 71.9 ... 62.6 ... 67.2 ... 67.1 ... dependant on Walker s performance - I d hate to think that he alone is just as
Message 7 of 11 , May 9, 2003
wrote:
> [...]
>
> TOTAL TEAM TEAM minus WALKER (WIPS)
>
> Walker |tmPts Opppts poss | EffFG% MC Pts TotalFG% OffRtg
poss
> --------+------------------+----------------------------------------
-
> <AvgMC | 87.6 91.7 88.6 | 47.5% 81.4 74.0 47.9% 108.2
68.8
> >AvgMC | 97.2 94.4 89.9 | 48.2% 81.5 73.1 47.9% 112.0
65.6
> | |
> <AvgFGA | 93.2 93.8 91.3 | 47.2% 86.7 77.2 46.0% 107.7
71.9
> >AvgFGA | 92.2 92.4 87.6 | 48.5% 76.6 70.0 49.7% 112.5
62.6
> | |
> <AvgFG% | 89.7 93.0 90.0 | 48.6% 80.7 73.5 47.8% 110.1
67.2
> >AvgFG% | 95.5 93.2 88.6 | 47.2% 82.3 73.5 48.0% 110.1
67.1
>
> [...]
>
>
> Of which there are many. The team's success seems to be largely
dependant on Walker's performance - I'd hate to think that he alone
is just as responsible for his good games as his bad games.
>
>
> Well if there were any player for whom those statements would be
true (team success largely dependent on a player's performance, and
his performance not strongly related to the opposition's apparent
defensive strategies), it'd be Walker. He's surely the captain of
the no-conscience team when it comes to shooting and keeping shooting
regardless of the situation. When this works, great, when it
doesn't he shoots his team out of games. And it may well be the case
that his good games and bad games are largely determined by chance
rather than the opponents' choice of defensive strategies, given
Walker's apparent imperviousness to changing his shot selection.
>

I think that there are other examples like Walker, but MikeT's
statement that he is "captain of the no-conscience team" seems pretty
accurate. I have looked at Iverson's behavior a bit and I don't see
quite as strong a correlation as Walker seems to be showing (though I
did it differently). Iverson does draw strong defensive attention to
help his teammates, whereas Walker launches shots and it's not clear
how much defensive help he draws, especially with Pierce around and
with Walker's rep as a decent passer.

> The WIPS numbers above however suggest that the non-Walker Celtics
do benefit from good games from 'Twan, at least as measured by their
offensive rating, and based on his MC and FGA performances.
>
> I haven't seen the original ESPN article; Ed's stats on the Celts'
winning % are certainly attention-getting, but to really put them in
context we'd need to know how it compares to other teams and
players. E.g. how do the 76ers do when Iverson is above- or below-
average in his Manley creds? (They seem to usually win when he has
one of his superman 40+ point games; I don't know however if the
correlation would be as strong for his more average games.)
>
> T-Wolves and Garnett? Warriors and Arenas? Magic and McGrady?
And perhaps most relevantly, Celtics and Pierce?

All good examples to look at. More subtle ones could be interesting,
too -- like Detroit and Chauncey Billups or Houston and Steve Francis.

You do have to worry about blowouts, but with the help of DeanL's db,
I think we can do really well handling this in the long run.

DeanO
• ... From: aaronkoo To: Sent: Friday, May 09, 2003 1:20 PM Subject: [APBR_analysis] Re: Walker s Boston
Message 8 of 11 , May 9, 2003
----- Original Message -----
From: "aaronkoo" <deano@...>
To: <APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Friday, May 09, 2003 1:20 PM
Subject: [APBR_analysis] Re: Walker's Boston Correlation

<snip>
>
> I think that there are other examples like Walker, but MikeT's
> statement that he is "captain of the no-conscience team" seems pretty
> accurate. I have looked at Iverson's behavior a bit and I don't see
> quite as strong a correlation as Walker seems to be showing (though I
> did it differently). Iverson does draw strong defensive attention to
> help his teammates, whereas Walker launches shots and it's not clear
> how much defensive help he draws, especially with Pierce around and
> with Walker's rep as a decent passer.
>

Hmm. Walker vs Pierce would've been something to look at.

> > I haven't seen the original ESPN article; Ed's stats on the Celts'
> winning % are certainly attention-getting, but to really put them in
> context we'd need to know how it compares to other teams and
> players. E.g. how do the 76ers do when Iverson is above- or below-
> average in his Manley creds? (They seem to usually win when he has
> one of his superman 40+ point games; I don't know however if the
> correlation would be as strong for his more average games.)
> >
> > T-Wolves and Garnett? Warriors and Arenas? Magic and McGrady?
> And perhaps most relevantly, Celtics and Pierce?
>
> All good examples to look at. More subtle ones could be interesting,
> too -- like Detroit and Chauncey Billups or Houston and Steve Francis.
>

I'm just preparing the data now. Are there any other players you'd like to see? I don't
think it would be that much more trouble to include a few more.
• ... Celts ... in ... below- ... has ... interesting, ... Francis. ... like to see? I don t ... In Philly, supposedly Van Horn was going to be the 2nd guy that
Message 9 of 11 , May 9, 2003
--- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, <igorkupfer@r...> wrote:
> > > I haven't seen the original ESPN article; Ed's stats on the
Celts'
> > winning % are certainly attention-getting, but to really put them
in
> > context we'd need to know how it compares to other teams and
> > players. E.g. how do the 76ers do when Iverson is above- or
below-
> > average in his Manley creds? (They seem to usually win when he
has
> > one of his superman 40+ point games; I don't know however if the
> > correlation would be as strong for his more average games.)
> > >
> > > T-Wolves and Garnett? Warriors and Arenas? Magic and McGrady?
> > And perhaps most relevantly, Celtics and Pierce?
> >
> > All good examples to look at. More subtle ones could be
interesting,
> > too -- like Detroit and Chauncey Billups or Houston and Steve
Francis.
> >
>
> I'm just preparing the data now. Are there any other players you'd
like to see? I don't
> think it would be that much more trouble to include a few more.

In Philly, supposedly Van Horn was going to be the 2nd guy that is
important.

In NO, I'd wonder about Mashburn and Davis' influences.

In Miami, Eddie Jones.

In Toronto, it's pretty clear that Vince Carter was important this
year. The team was much better with him than without him. Not sure
if the kind of analysis you're doing would show anything.

Portland is one of the most annoying teams I've seen. They have a
lot of balance, but I've never been convinced that they should be so
balanced. The guy who stands out there as a potential driver (though
in the same sense as Walker) is Bonzi Wells. He can be a
tremendously valuable player when on, but doesn't know as well as the
others when to put that shot away when he's bricking.

Dallas and Michael Finley.

Good enough from my end.
• I d be interested to see the data from the year before and see if it held up. One thing that may be producing a larger effect than expected is that Walker
Message 10 of 11 , May 9, 2003
I'd be interested to see the data from the year before and see if it
held up. One thing that may be producing a larger 'effect' than
expected is that Walker has obviously been playing with some kind of
injury during the second half of the year -- all his numbers went in
the toilet and have continued to do so in the playoffs -- and during
that same stretch the Celtics, not surprisingly, played far worse
than during the season's first half.

So we aren't seeing results of teams shutting down Walker as much as
we are seeing the result of Walker's health shutting him down, and
thus are an artifact of his current hobbled state rather than of his
importance to the Celtics.

--- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "aaronkoo" <deano@r...> wrote:
> --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Tamada"
> wrote:
> > [...]
> >
> > TOTAL TEAM TEAM minus WALKER (WIPS)
> >
> > Walker |tmPts Opppts poss | EffFG% MC Pts TotalFG% OffRtg
> poss
> > --------+------------------+--------------------------------------
--
> -
> > <AvgMC | 87.6 91.7 88.6 | 47.5% 81.4 74.0 47.9% 108.2
> 68.8
> > >AvgMC | 97.2 94.4 89.9 | 48.2% 81.5 73.1 47.9% 112.0
> 65.6
> > | |
> > <AvgFGA | 93.2 93.8 91.3 | 47.2% 86.7 77.2 46.0% 107.7
> 71.9
> > >AvgFGA | 92.2 92.4 87.6 | 48.5% 76.6 70.0 49.7% 112.5
> 62.6
> > | |
> > <AvgFG% | 89.7 93.0 90.0 | 48.6% 80.7 73.5 47.8% 110.1
> 67.2
> > >AvgFG% | 95.5 93.2 88.6 | 47.2% 82.3 73.5 48.0% 110.1
> 67.1
> >
> > [...]
> >
> >
> > Of which there are many. The team's success seems to be largely
> dependant on Walker's performance - I'd hate to think that he alone
> is just as responsible for his good games as his bad games.
> >
> >
> > Well if there were any player for whom those statements would be
> true (team success largely dependent on a player's performance, and
> his performance not strongly related to the opposition's apparent
> defensive strategies), it'd be Walker. He's surely the captain of
> the no-conscience team when it comes to shooting and keeping
shooting
> regardless of the situation. When this works, great, when it
> doesn't he shoots his team out of games. And it may well be the
case
> that his good games and bad games are largely determined by chance
> rather than the opponents' choice of defensive strategies, given
> Walker's apparent imperviousness to changing his shot selection.
> >
>
> I think that there are other examples like Walker, but MikeT's
> statement that he is "captain of the no-conscience team" seems
pretty
> accurate. I have looked at Iverson's behavior a bit and I don't
see
> quite as strong a correlation as Walker seems to be showing (though
I
> did it differently). Iverson does draw strong defensive attention
to
> help his teammates, whereas Walker launches shots and it's not
clear
> how much defensive help he draws, especially with Pierce around and
> with Walker's rep as a decent passer.
>
> > The WIPS numbers above however suggest that the non-Walker
Celtics
> do benefit from good games from 'Twan, at least as measured by
their
> offensive rating, and based on his MC and FGA performances.
> >
> > I haven't seen the original ESPN article; Ed's stats on the
Celts'
> winning % are certainly attention-getting, but to really put them
in
> context we'd need to know how it compares to other teams and
> players. E.g. how do the 76ers do when Iverson is above- or below-
> average in his Manley creds? (They seem to usually win when he has
> one of his superman 40+ point games; I don't know however if the
> correlation would be as strong for his more average games.)
> >
> > T-Wolves and Garnett? Warriors and Arenas? Magic and McGrady?
> And perhaps most relevantly, Celtics and Pierce?
>
> All good examples to look at. More subtle ones could be
interesting,
> too -- like Detroit and Chauncey Billups or Houston and Steve
Francis.
>
> You do have to worry about blowouts, but with the help of DeanL's
db,
> I think we can do really well handling this in the long run.
>
> DeanO
• ... From: John Hollinger To: Sent: Friday, May 09, 2003 7:22 PM Subject: [APBR_analysis] Re: Walker s
Message 11 of 11 , May 9, 2003
----- Original Message -----
From: "John Hollinger" <alleyoop2@...>
To: <APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Friday, May 09, 2003 7:22 PM
Subject: [APBR_analysis] Re: Walker's Boston Correlation

> I'd be interested to see the data from the year before and see if it
> held up. One thing that may be producing a larger 'effect' than
> expected is that Walker has obviously been playing with some kind of
> injury during the second half of the year -- all his numbers went in
> the toilet and have continued to do so in the playoffs -- and during
> that same stretch the Celtics, not surprisingly, played far worse
> than during the season's first half.
>
> So we aren't seeing results of teams shutting down Walker as much as
> we are seeing the result of Walker's health shutting him down, and
> thus are an artifact of his current hobbled state rather than of his
> importance to the Celtics.
>
>

Looks like you're on to something.

01-02 season, Celtics stats with Antoine Walker's subtracted

Pts OppPts EffFG% OppEffFG%
<avg 92.7 93.0 47.5% 46.6%
>avg 100.0 95.3 49.1% 46.8%

Here we see something different: when Walker has a bad game, the rest of the Cs also
have bad games -- perhaps because the teams they face have better defenses.... Nope,
just checked - the teams against which AW had his better games were defenses just as
strong as those against which he had his poor performances: 103.0 vs 102.3, although
the difference is not significant.

ed
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