Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Re: Tim Duncan

Expand Messages
  • Dean Oliver
    ... case. Let s take personality out of this. After all, personality gave us people like Dennis Rodman and Don King. Removing personality gives us people
    Message 1 of 5 , Sep 26, 2001
      --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "Mike Goodman" <msg_53@h...> wrote:
      > I have endeavored to find out if in fact Tim Duncan is a barely-
      > average offensive player, as DeanO has contended, or if he is an
      > extremely good offensive player, as intuitively seems to be the
      case.

      Let's take personality out of this. After all, personality gave us
      people like Dennis Rodman and Don King. Removing personality gives
      us people like Pamela Anderson -- a much better person, we can all
      agree.

      So no names here. We'll just swap stats and some interesting stories
      -- kinda like online dating -- then make some comparisons among
      these unnamed players to see who is least offensive -- also like
      online dating.

      So here is the lineup:

      PlyrID oreb ast tov fg% ft% ast/to fta/fga
      1 2.8 2.6 3.1 0.485 0.784 0.83 0.48
      2 3.2 2.6 2.6 0.489 0.670 0.98 0.34
      3 3.4 2.7 3.1 0.505 0.687 0.86 0.42
      4 3.4 3.7 3.1 0.500 0.777 1.20 0.49
      5 3.9 3.2 3.0 0.476 0.708 1.10 0.39
      6 2.3 3.3 2.8 0.524 0.751 1.20 0.50
      7 3.2 2.4 2.9 0.495 0.690 0.83 0.42
      8 3.5 3.2 3.3 0.491 0.761 0.97 0.47
      9 3.2 3.0 3.0 0.499 0.618 1.01 0.47
      10 3.2 2.4 2.9 0.495 0.690 0.83 0.42
      11 2.0 2.7 3.2 0.503 0.750 0.83 0.39
      12 2.9 4.0 2.9 0.497 0.694 1.40 0.47
      13 2.5 2.6 2.9 0.509 0.802 0.90 0.35
      14 2.9 2.0 2.8 0.507 0.626 0.69 0.43
      15 2.9 3.5 2.9 0.492 0.620 1.21 0.38
      16 2.8 3.7 2.9 0.501 0.732 1.25 0.57
      17 3.3 2.7 2.8 0.511 0.735 0.99 0.62
      18 2.1 2.9 2.5 0.495 0.630 1.16 0.39

      with the stats that reflect on a player's efficiency shown. Clearly,
      a shooting percentage is important. Assists, offensive rebounds, and
      turnovers are also elements of being an efficient offensive player.

      Now find Tim Duncan.

      Could be any of them. They all look pretty decent. But among the
      players here are such offensive forces as Antonio McDyess, Corliss
      Williamson, Danny Manning, Billy Owens, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, and
      Elton Brand. Offensive forces??? You decide.

      Also among this list are stats for some stars -- David Robinson, Karl
      Malone, Charles Barkley. But I would add that the years shown are
      some of their worst ones, not their MVP years.

      Across this list, the individual offensive ratings (points produced
      per 100 possessions) really don't range higher than about 109 or
      lower than about 101, which is the range Duncan's been in. The
      league average over the years shown above has been between about 100
      and 106. The best offensive players around typically are up over
      110-115. These guys are better than average, but not "extremely
      good".

      I looked at a similar group to that above (eliminating Billy Owens
      and Corliss Williamson because they didn't score as many points per
      game as the others) and, in order to avoid dealing with individual
      rating systems (points divided by shots really isn't very accurate
      since it ignores important factors above), I simply looked at the
      TEAM performance in terms of Offensive Rating:

      Points*100/(FGA-OR+TOV+0.4*FTA)

      Well, for all these players who are roughly equivalent offensively
      with Tim Duncan, the average TEAM offensive rating (they should be
      making their team good, shouldn't they?) was 0.6 points BELOW
      average. Granted, Duncan's teams have generally been above average
      -- about 2-4 points, but they were almost the same way when Robinson
      alone was in San Antonio.

      Duncan scores a lot of points. So does Iverson, so did Dominique
      Wilkins, so did Ron Harper with the Clippers -- does that mean that
      they are dominant offensively? No. Duncan is a good offensive
      player, but not in the same class as Kareem Abdul-Jabaar (whose
      offensive ratings were around 113 even when the league was much
      tougher defensively), which has been the point all along. The fact
      that Duncan does well as the main offensive weapon is
      impressive, but Kareem did better as the main offensive weapon. So
      does Shaq. David Robinson was more efficient back in the early-mid
      '90's. Karl Malone, too. Charles Barkley. Nowitzki looks like he's
      going to be better offensively. Francis, too. Webber and Garnett
      are like Duncan -- defensive monsters and good offensively.

      >
      > I took last season's individual statistics for Duncan, and for
      > opposing players in the western conference (whose teams played San
      > Antonio 4 times in the regular season). I listed only those
      players
      > who averaged at least 10 points per game. I compared Duncan's
      > shooting in those 4 games to opponents' shooting in those same 4
      > games.

      Problem with the comparison is that you mix Duncan's defense with his
      offense. There is no dispute that Duncan is a great overall player,
      a leading MVP candidate. The dispute is whether it's due to his
      defense or offense. The comparison below doesn't clear that up. A
      better test would be to look at offensive stats (pts, fg%,
      ft%, tov, ast) against common opponents.

      > Where scoring efficiency is defined as ScoEf = Pts/(FGA*2+FTA), I
      > have listed Duncan among the 10+ PPG scorers from each opponent.
      >
      > Opponent PPG ScoEf SE*PPG*2
      > DAL
      > Duncan 22.2 .524 24.7
      > Nowitzki 21.0 .579 24.3
      > Finley 23.5 .503 23.6
      > Nash 14.0 .609 17.0
      > Howard 14.0 .389 10.9
      >
      > Now this last column is a crude estimate of 'scoring ability',
      since
      > it factors in both total points and shooting efficiency. It does
      > not, however, include minutes, so 'scoring specialists' are not
      going
      > to rate as highly as guys who get more minutes.

      I created a stat 13 years ago about like this, but I found that you
      had to weight the efficiency value a lot more in order to get
      reasonable correlation with team offensive #'s, the standard I used
      for comparison. Basically (translating what I did to your stats), my
      formula had ppg*ScoEf^4 (that is ScoEf raised to the 4th power).
      Frankly, I don't use the stat because it doesn't really mean
      anything.
    • Mike Goodman
      ... stories ... Is this some world-class comedy, or what? ... Clearly, ... and ... The element most obviously missing is actual production. While these
      Message 2 of 5 , Sep 27, 2001
        --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "Dean Oliver" <deano@t...> wrote:
        > Let's take personality out of this. After all, personality gave us
        > people like Dennis Rodman and Don King. Removing personality gives
        > us people like Pamela Anderson -- a much better person, we can all
        > agree.
        >
        > So no names here. We'll just swap stats and some interesting
        stories
        > -- kinda like online dating -- then make some comparisons among
        > these unnamed players to see who is least offensive -- also like
        > online dating.

        Is this some world-class comedy, or what?

        > So here is the lineup:
        >
        > PlrID oreb ast tov fg% ft% ast/to fta/fga
        > 1 2.8 2.6 3.1 0.485 0.784 0.83 0.48
        > 2 3.2 2.6 2.6 0.489 0.670 0.98 0.34
        .....
        > 18 2.1 2.9 2.5 0.495 0.630 1.16 0.39
        >
        > with the stats that reflect on a player's efficiency shown.
        Clearly,
        > a shooting percentage is important. Assists, offensive rebounds,
        and
        > turnovers are also elements of being an efficient offensive player.
        >
        > Now find Tim Duncan.
        >
        > Could be any of them. They all look pretty decent. But among the
        > players here are such offensive forces as Antonio McDyess, Corliss
        > Williamson, Danny Manning, Billy Owens, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, and
        > Elton Brand. Offensive forces??? You decide.

        The element most obviously missing is actual production. While these
        tidbits tell something about the way they get their points, they miss
        the main course, which is actual points produced.
        Kind of like evaluating a restaurant meal by its flavor, without
        regard for the quantity.

        > Also among this list are stats for some stars -- David Robinson,
        Karl
        > Malone, Charles Barkley. But I would add that the years shown are
        > some of their worst ones, not their MVP years.
        >
        > Across this list, the individual offensive ratings (points produced
        > per 100 possessions) really don't range higher than about 109 or
        > lower than about 101, which is the range Duncan's been in. The
        > league average over the years shown above has been between about
        100
        > and 106. The best offensive players around typically are up over
        > 110-115. These guys are better than average, but not "extremely
        > good".

        I have to admit, I have never understood what is the absolute
        significance of 'possessions'. The fact that one guy passes on the
        shot, and the next guy takes the shot, generally means that both guys
        agree the 2nd guy has the better shot.
        So Steve Kerr may have had a scoring efficiency of .625, and Michael
        Jordan may have been at .550, and we all know Kerr is not the scorer
        that Jordan is. The ability to get a shot off is quite a bit more
        valuable than shot selection, sometimes. That is why Sprewell,
        Finley, and Jalen Rose get 40 minutes a game: because you need that
        guy on the floor who can always get off a decent shot.


        ...> Duncan scores a lot of points. So does Iverson, so did
        Dominique
        > Wilkins, so did Ron Harper with the Clippers -- does that mean
        that
        > they are dominant offensively? No. Duncan is a good offensive
        > player, but not in the same class as Kareem Abdul-Jabaar (whose
        > offensive ratings were around 113 even when the league was much
        > tougher defensively),

        I have to take exception here. The league was much tougher
        defensively when games were 112-110, than now, when 92-90 is more
        common?

        >...which has been the point all along. The fact
        > that Duncan does well as the main offensive weapon is
        > impressive, but Kareem did better as the main offensive weapon.

        Put Duncan today on the 1980-90 Lakers, and I would not be a bit
        surprised to see him scoring 30 a game, shooting 55% from the field.
        We know he can outrun all the centers in the league today. Add
        several fast-break dunks to his fabulous half-court game...

        > So
        > does Shaq. David Robinson was more efficient back in the early-mid
        > '90's. Karl Malone, too. Charles Barkley. Nowitzki looks like
        he's
        > going to be better offensively. Francis, too. Webber and Garnett
        > are like Duncan -- defensive monsters and good offensively.
        >
        > >
        > > I took last season's individual statistics for Duncan, and for
        > > opposing players in the western conference >

        > Problem with the comparison is that you mix Duncan's defense with
        his
        > offense. There is no dispute that Duncan is a great overall
        player,
        > a leading MVP candidate. The dispute is whether it's due to his
        > defense or offense. The comparison below doesn't clear that up. A
        > better test would be to look at offensive stats (pts, fg%,
        > ft%, tov, ast) against common opponents.

        At this point, I invoke the Joe Dumars principle. In the 1989
        Finals, you could say coming in that James Worthy and Magic Johnson
        were the best scorers in the series. Yet in the warfare that ensued,
        unsung Mr. Dumars proved to be the guy most capable of getting a shot
        and making it.
        Now Dumars may have overachieved, but the point is that defense has
        much to do with offense. Some guys just wilt under defensive
        pressure. Such pressure extends to both ends of the court: Playing
        defense takes much energy that could be used for offense; frustrating
        your man's offense makes him vulnerable defensively ...

        Dean, you lean toward dividing player-effectiveness into offense and
        defense, with many factors in each one. I talk
        about 'scoring', 'passing', 'rebounding' (not distinguishing ORB and
        DRB). Maybe your goals are more comprehensive, or even applicable.

        As for correlation with team success, this is definitely an
        intriguing avenue; I feely admit, when I total a team's talent (as
        measured by me), I don't get a team ranking compatible with their
        success rate (Denver looks better than NY).
        So I blame it on coaching. Easy!
      • Dean Oliver
        ... these ... miss ... Exactly. I would also say that neither flavor nor quantity translate perfectly well from one team to the next. So making predictions
        Message 3 of 5 , Sep 27, 2001
          >
          > The element most obviously missing is actual production. While
          these
          > tidbits tell something about the way they get their points, they
          miss
          > the main course, which is actual points produced.
          > Kind of like evaluating a restaurant meal by its flavor, without
          > regard for the quantity.

          Exactly.

          I would also say that neither flavor nor quantity translate
          perfectly well from one team to the next. So making predictions
          about how a player will perform when trading places is an inexact
          science.

          I would also say that the bigger difference in evaluation of players
          comes not with superstars like Duncan, but with middle of the road
          players or role players.

          >
          > I have to admit, I have never understood what is the absolute
          > significance of 'possessions'. The fact that one guy passes on the
          > shot, and the next guy takes the shot, generally means that both
          guys
          > agree the 2nd guy has the better shot.
          > So Steve Kerr may have had a scoring efficiency of .625, and
          Michael
          > Jordan may have been at .550, and we all know Kerr is not the
          scorer
          > that Jordan is. The ability to get a shot off is quite a bit more
          > valuable than shot selection, sometimes. That is why Sprewell,
          > Finley, and Jalen Rose get 40 minutes a game: because you need
          that
          > guy on the floor who can always get off a decent shot.
          >

          No question there. I will reiterate what I've said before, offensive
          ratings or efficiency stats are NOT overall ratings. I frankly don't
          believe in an overall rating. Doesn't mean I don't like to look at
          what you calculate. I just won't believe it over any other rating I
          see out there.

          >
          > ...> Duncan scores a lot of points. So does Iverson, so did
          > Dominique
          > > Wilkins, so did Ron Harper with the Clippers -- does that mean
          > that
          > > they are dominant offensively? No. Duncan is a good offensive
          > > player, but not in the same class as Kareem Abdul-Jabaar (whose
          > > offensive ratings were around 113 even when the league was much
          > > tougher defensively),
          >
          > I have to take exception here. The league was much tougher
          > defensively when games were 112-110, than now, when 92-90 is more
          > common?

          Offensive efficiencies were lower or the same in the '70's. Pace was
          much higher.
        • Dean Oliver
          I had to head out the door before getting to this last thing... ... Your system and just about every linear weights system (as I label all these that add
          Message 4 of 5 , Sep 27, 2001
            I had to head out the door before getting to this last thing...

            > As for correlation with team success, this is definitely an
            > intriguing avenue; I feely admit, when I total a team's talent (as
            > measured by me), I don't get a team ranking compatible with their
            > success rate (Denver looks better than NY).
            > So I blame it on coaching. Easy!

            Your system and just about every "linear weights" system (as I label
            all these that add positives and subtract negatives) do tend to have
            this problem. They don't capture the defensive teams very well, which
            is NY (and Miami and probably Philly), and overrate the offensive
            teams (I really don't think too highly of Antonio McDyess). Even
            Heeren's system, which compensates for pace, doesn't do defense
            justice, as far as I'm concerned. Defense is just underweighted in
            the formula because there just aren't as many defensive stats kept
            (dreb+stl+blk is often less than pts+oreb+ast-errors). Defense is the
            biggest thing that players like Duncan, Mourning, Webber, Garnett
            provide (though they all provide some O, too). Defense is why Mutombo
            and Ratliff are in the league (and they do it very well). But that
            contribution is hard to measure. I feel like my stuff captures it a
            little better, if just because it doesn't combine offense and defense.
            But it is really hard to say how many points per game Mutombo or
            Ratliff defense is worth. And, frankly, defense is due a lot to
            coaching....

            Also, I would add that I have tried hard and will continue to try hard
            to determine the trade-off between "production" and "efficiency". I
            have looked to see whether increased player production means lower
            efficiency. We believe it must happen, but it's hard to see. For
            instance, I would have expected David Robinson's efficiency to be
            helped by not having to score as much due to Duncan's presence.
            Hasn't been the case. Ron Harper, on the other hand, was made more
            efficient by playing with Jordan. Heck, I think everyone who played
            with Jordan got more efficient -- in part because they took smarter
            shots or only smart shots. But it has really been hard to see the
            effect with stars or even pretty good players. Shouldn't every player
            shoot a little better and pass a little better when they're surrounded
            by better players? I'd like to show that "efficiency" rise with the
            simultaneous "production" decline, but it is hard to do. My methods
            are complex, but if someone wants to just look at FG% as a function of
            % of team shots while on the court -- useful stuff. (Hmm, maybe
            Shawn Kemp was an example of getting less efficient because of losing
            his good teammates. But Baker didn't exactly get better by going to
            Seattle.)

            Dean Oliver
            Journal of Basketball Studies
          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.