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  • schtevie2003
    Okay, so it isn t as big as the LeBron James story, but one game in and the preseason hype about a rejuvenated Vin Baker is confirmed. Just wondering, from
    Message 1 of 14 , Oct 31, 2003
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      Okay, so it isn't as big as the LeBron James story, but one game
      in and the preseason "hype" about a rejuvenated Vin Baker is
      confirmed. Just wondering, from Professor Oliver and the
      Seattleites, what the comment has been out in Sonics land? In
      the jaded Boston market there is guarded optimism, which
      might translate to euphoria in less cynical regions.
    • john1974@u.washington.edu
      ... Vin s looked like he s come back for a game or two before, and has then regressed into getting frustrated easily on the offensive end and committing
      Message 2 of 14 , Oct 31, 2003
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        On Fri, 31 Oct 2003, schtevie2003 wrote:

        > Okay, so it isn't as big as the LeBron James story, but one game
        > in and the preseason "hype" about a rejuvenated Vin Baker is
        > confirmed. Just wondering, from Professor Oliver and the
        > Seattleites, what the comment has been out in Sonics land? In
        > the jaded Boston market there is guarded optimism, which
        > might translate to euphoria in less cynical regions.

        Vin's looked like he's "come back" for a game or two before, and has then regressed into getting frustrated easily on the offensive end and committing stupid fouls on the defensive end. He's also come back to camp "in shape" before; not this in shape, mind you, but IIRC his last season in Seattle he reported only around 10 pounds heavier than his playing weight his first season in town (when he was an All-Star). While I really do wish the guy luck, let's wait at least 20 games to really say for sure if he's back.

        On a related note, is there ANY precedent of this happening before in basketball? i.e. a guy going from All-Star to below-average player back to All-Star again over the course of 5 years... ISTR Tom Gugliotta going through something similar, but IIRC it was something like one bad year in his case.

        John Craven
      • Kevin Pelton
        ... John basically summarizes the Seattle consensus on Vin. We ve believed he s been back too many times and been burned to have anything but complete and
        Message 3 of 14 , Oct 31, 2003
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          --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, john1974@u... wrote:
          > Vin's looked like he's "come back" for a game or two before, and
          > has then regressed into getting frustrated easily on the offensive
          > end and committing stupid fouls on the defensive end. He's also
          > come back to camp "in shape" before; not this in shape, mind you,
          > but IIRC his last season in Seattle he reported only around 10
          > pounds heavier than his playing weight his first season in town
          > (when he was an All-Star). While I really do wish the guy luck,
          > let's wait at least 20 games to really say for sure if he's back.

          John basically summarizes the Seattle consensus on Vin. We've
          believed he's been back too many times and been burned to have
          anything but complete and total pessimism.

          In 2001-02, we basically believed he was back for three months. It
          wasn't until Baker went out with the dislocated toes - and the team
          took off without him - that cynicism and doubt began to creep back in.

          If Vin is a capable scorer, that wouldn't really surprise me. Other
          than 2000-01, when he was just abysmal, that hasn't really been the
          problem. But I'm going to need to see some quality rebounding,
          defense, and effort to be sold on this really being a new Vin.
        • john1974@u.washington.edu
          I just picked up Bill James book Win Shares yesterday, and one thing that struck me is that he apparently found a way to quantify defense fairly effectively
          Message 4 of 14 , Oct 31, 2003
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            I just picked up Bill James' book "Win Shares" yesterday, and one thing that struck me is that he apparently found a way to quantify defense fairly effectively for baseball players using only the stats that have been available for time immemorial. That got me to thinking... is there a way of figuring this out for basketball, and if not, what would we need to do to statistically separate the Tracy McGradys of the world from the Bruce Bowens? I'll just put out a bunch of (random) ideas and see what sticks, I guess...

            - The statistical line: Unfortunately, I don't think that there's much we can do here. It's conventional wisdom that a below-average man-to-man defender like Brent Barry or, to go back a few years, Chris Mullin, can accumulate a lot of steals by playing the passing lanes effectively. Obviously, this is part of defense, but it's not the whole thing. When I was trying to come up with my own rating method a couple years back, I looked at steals to determine if teams that stole the ball a lot also got a lot of unforced turnovers. Based on that (admittedly small) group, there didn't seem to be much of any correlation.

            It's also an item of conventional wisdom that really great shotblockers alter as many shots as they block. However, for that same season at least, opponents' unblocked shot percentages were right about the same for teams that got a lot of blocks as teams that didn't. Maybe effective field goal percentage would shed some more light on the situation, but I kind of doubt it, since I would think that a Ben Wallace or Tim Duncan would cause more 3-pointers to be shot, not less.

            Finally, I couldn't find much of any correlation between personal fouls and defense either. I'm somewhat loathe to even look for correlations between other stats, as in just about every other case there would be some spurious factor affecting things.

            - Applying team defense to individual players in a fashion similar to the way James did for baseball teams in "Win Shares." This is, in retrospect, essentially what I did when I came up with Wins Created a couple years ago. When putting that together, I found out when I was done that a couple teams - San Antonio in particular - had too few wins by my system, and a few really, really bad ones had way too many. So I pro-rated Wins Created so that each team would have as many wins on their roster as would be expected by the Pythagorean Won-Lost record (my version, anyway, which overall does a pretty good job historically of predicting actual wins).

            The result was great for those teams that were under-rated or rated just fine by the system, but I'd be remiss if I didn't admit that I didn't feel completely okay about the effect on under-rated teams. For Vancouver in particular, this system appeared to turn Mike Bibby into Jason Williams - a prescient grading, considering the trade that occurred that offseason, but is it, in retrospect, a terribly accurate one? Yes, I think that Bibby got terribly overrated the year before last. No, I still don't think that he's that great of a player. But is he *really* only at the level of Jason Williams, who is maybe the 20th best point guard in the league?

            I think that a big part of the problem with this is that a system like this, although I am convinced of its overall value, has a tendency to underrate good or average defenders on bad teams and overrate bad defenders on good teams. In the prior example Sacramento got a slight bump in their ratings, but Vancouver as a team got pushed WAY down. Well, in watching the games, I would estimate that Sacramento won slightly more than their offensive stats dictated they should have won (I should point out here that the available defensive stats were also included - I'm just calling this adjustment "team defense" because this seems to be largely what's missing) because of the work of Doug Christie and to a lesser extent Chris Webber and Vlade Divac. Jason Williams was a terrible defender that year.

            Vancouver, on the other hand, lost a lot of games in part because Bibby and SAR were asked to play too large of a role in the team's offense given their ability (which did show up in the stats before pro-rating, to some extent) but also because outside of those two and Michael Dickerson nobody on the squad could play worth a damn. I can live with the slight boost J-Will gets because it's a fairly rare occurrence on mediocre to good teams, but is it really fair to downgrade Bibby because he didn't absolutely dominate on a horrible team?

            Now that I've spent a bunch of time ripping apart my ideas, I want to defend them to some degree. I do think that, all other things being equal, we should assume that a guy who averages 15 points on 45% shooting for a team that gives up 6 fewer pace-adjusted points than the league average is a better defender and therefore better player than a guy who does the same for a team that gives up points at the league average. That was, I think, where this system was at its best, and where this kind of system could work with some tweaking.

            - Plus/minus - I really, really like 82games.com, but maybe not for the same reason other folks in here do. Ever since George Karl put Kendall Gill in his doghouse during the 1994-95 season for having the worst plus-minus on the team (actually, Bill Cartwright's was worse, but he played even less than Gill in crunch time) I've thought this stat was grossly overrated in general and too dependent on context for individuals. Now that somebody's taken the time to parse all this out, I can see this to be true. I know for a fact that Greg Ostertag wasn't the 7th best player in the league last season; I wish I had access to ALL the lineups the Jazz used and not the top 20 so I could prove that he wasn't even the most valuable player on the team, but even so... take a look at his per-36 stats (I prefer per-36 to per-48 because they are more easily understandable) compared to his opponents' numbers:

            Ostertag: 8.1 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 1.1 APG, 52.1 EFG%, 2.0 TO, 2.7 BPG, 4.4 PF
            Opposing Centers: 12.3 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 1.6 APG, 46.9 EFG%, 2.3 TO, 1.6 BPG, 4.2 PF

            Just for comparison's sake, here are Jerome James' stats:

            James: 13.1, 10.2, and 1.3; 47.8%, 3.6, 3.6, and 7.8(!)
            Opponents: 12.2, 8.0, and 2.0; 45.9%, 2.3, 1.5, and 4.7.

            James had a problem last year with fouls and turnovers, and Ostertag did shoot the ball a little better when he got it, but is that worth the 5-point difference in scoring and extra block every 39 minutes or so? Defensively, they're pretty even. I'd rate James slightly ahead based on the rebounds and the field goal percentage, but you could go either way. Is Ostertag REALLY so good at setting picks and drawing defenders away from his teammates that he's light years better than James, or for that matter Kobe Bryant, Jason Kidd, and Paul Pierce (all of whom he rated ahead of by Roland Ratings)? No way.

            On top of that, I have a healthy bit of skepticism about these stats because I don't know how the 82games.com guy compiled them. I know this is kind of unfair, but the box is closed, I can't see into it, and I don't know whether it's filled with gold or duck feathers.

            I haven't commented on Dean's system because, well, I don't know how he does it. Anyway, that's, like, all I got. Any comments?

            John Craven
          • schtevie2003
            ... and ... offensive ... also ... mind you, ... 10 ... town ... We ve ... have ... months. It ... team ... back in. ... Other ... been the ... rebounding, ...
            Message 5 of 14 , Oct 31, 2003
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              --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "Kevin Pelton"
              <kpelton08@h...> wrote:
              > --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, john1974@u...
              wrote:
              > > Vin's looked like he's "come back" for a game or two before,
              and
              > > has then regressed into getting frustrated easily on the
              offensive
              > > end and committing stupid fouls on the defensive end. He's
              also
              > > come back to camp "in shape" before; not this in shape,
              mind you,
              > > but IIRC his last season in Seattle he reported only around
              10
              > > pounds heavier than his playing weight his first season in
              town
              > > (when he was an All-Star). While I really do wish the guy luck,
              > > let's wait at least 20 games to really say for sure if he's back.
              >
              > John basically summarizes the Seattle consensus on Vin.
              We've
              > believed he's been back too many times and been burned to
              have
              > anything but complete and total pessimism.
              >
              > In 2001-02, we basically believed he was back for three
              months. It
              > wasn't until Baker went out with the dislocated toes - and the
              team
              > took off without him - that cynicism and doubt began to creep
              back in.
              >
              > If Vin is a capable scorer, that wouldn't really surprise me.
              Other
              > than 2000-01, when he was just abysmal, that hasn't really
              been the
              > problem. But I'm going to need to see some quality
              rebounding,
              > defense, and effort to be sold on this really being a new Vin.

              Yeah, I haven't really looked at big picture that closely. Of course
              what is most conspicuous is his reduced weight and the story is
              that he has more lift and explosiveness so his mid-range jumper
              is back in the mix (is not being blocked, that is). As for defense, I
              am only presuming that it is back, as if it wasn't, he wouldn't be
              playing - such is Coach O'Brien. As for rebounding, not sure, but
              the fun fact here is the high school kid they drafted is supposedly
              far and away the best rebounder (as documented in intra-squad
              scrimmages). But when his future will be, there is no real word.
            • Michael Tamada
              ... From: john1974@u.washington.edu [mailto:john1974@u.washington.edu] Sent: Friday, October 31, 2003 8:32 AM ... I forwarded an article about Baker from the
              Message 6 of 14 , Oct 31, 2003
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                -----Original Message-----
                From: john1974@... [mailto:john1974@...]
                Sent: Friday, October 31, 2003 8:32 AM

                >On Fri, 31 Oct 2003, schtevie2003 wrote:
                >
                >> Okay, so it isn't as big as the LeBron James story, but one game
                >> in and the preseason "hype" about a rejuvenated Vin Baker is
                >> confirmed. Just wondering, from Professor Oliver and the
                >> Seattleites, what the comment has been out in Sonics land? In

                I forwarded an article about Baker from the _Boston Globe_ to one
                of the Sonic email lists; the response was tepid, mainly I think
                because Sonics fans have quickly "moved on" to get away from the
                memory of Baker, and because Allen's ankle surgery is probably
                crowding out most other thoughts these days. I don't think there's
                that much ill will left among Sonics fans, just a desire to forget
                about Vin. The main comment that I had was the same as JohnH's:
                wait and see.

                >Vin's looked like he's "come back" for a game or two before, and has then regressed into getting >frustrated easily on the offensive end and committing stupid fouls on the defensive end. He's
                >also come back to camp "in shape" before; not this in shape, mind you, but IIRC his last season >in Seattle he reported only around 10 pounds heavier than his playing weight his first season in >town (when he was an All-Star). While I really do wish the guy luck, let's wait at least 20
                >games to really say for sure if he's back.
                >
                >On a related note, is there ANY precedent of this happening before in basketball? i.e. a guy
                >going from All-Star to below-average player back to All-Star again over the course of 5 years...

                If Vin does come back to All-star form, that would be the canonical example of what the original Comeback Player of the Year" award was supposed to reward. Except because true dramatic comebacks like that are so rare, the award turned into a sort of "who's improved the most over last season" award -- indeed, didn't it literally morph into the current "Most Improved Player" award?

                Hmm, the NBA Guide only lists MIPs back to 1986, and doesn't list any Comeback Player awards at all. I remember Gus Williams winning the CP award in 1982, after sitting out all of the 1981 season. That was one of the awards which caused people to realize that the CP Award was getting silly and not going to the type of comeback players originally envisioned.

                >ISTR Tom Gugliotta going through something similar, but IIRC it was something like one bad year >in his case.

                Yeah, Gugs went from a 17ppg player to a 3-teams-in-one-year 12 ppg and then the next year back to 16ppg and later a 21ppg All-star with the TWolves.

                I thought Penny Hardaway might have a chance, but it doesn't look like he'll get back to the heights he once commanded.

                ISTR that Steve Mix, though he never became an All-star, went from a starter to nowheresville to a potent scorer off the bench.

                Spencer Haywood never regained his all-star status, but his career had some notable ups and downs.

                And of course there's Bill Walton, who though never becoming a bad player certainly became below average in terms of total production, from MVP to the injury list to 6th Man of the Year.

                It's looking bleak, but Grant Hill might still have a chance.

                Except for Gugs and Mix, drugs and/or injuries and/or alcoholism and depression in Baker's case all played a role in these ups and downs.


                Oh some other ones I thought of, and checked on basketballreference.com: Bernard King had some ups and downs, due mainly to injuries. Michael Ray Richardson went from 18ppg with the Knicks to two seasons of 13 ppg before rejuvenating to 20ppg with the Nets.

                Paul Silas is a candidate, albeit due to a somewhat anomalous career year: from a promising 13ppg, 12 rpg player with the St Louis Hawks, he had three seasons of 9-13ppg before exploding for 17.5ppg and an all-star berth with the Suns. Then he settled back into being the typical non-scoring Paul Silas.

                Ah, how about Tom Owens: 15ppg in 1975 in the ABA. 6, 4, and 10 ppg in the ABA and NBA. Then 18.5ppg in 1979 when he had to step in for Walton.

                Bobby Jackson went from an 12ppg rookie to three seasons of 5-7ppg, then 11ppg, and then the 15ppg we saw last season.

                None of these examples match the Vin Baker example in terms of combined longevity of nadir and all-star/all-pro height of accomplishment -- but then Vin Baker hasn't yet achieved such a comeback either.


                --MKT
              • John Hollinger
                Best one I can think of is Michael Ray Richardson, but he was only a dog for two years, not five. I think the key is that there is a specific reason that Baker
                Message 7 of 14 , Oct 31, 2003
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                  Best one I can think of is Michael Ray Richardson, but he was only a
                  dog for two years, not five.

                  I think the key is that there is a specific reason that Baker
                  performed badly: He was drunk. With that out of the way, hopefully he
                  can play more consistently.



                  --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, john1974@u... wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > On Fri, 31 Oct 2003, schtevie2003 wrote:
                  >
                  > > Okay, so it isn't as big as the LeBron James story, but one game
                  > > in and the preseason "hype" about a rejuvenated Vin Baker is
                  > > confirmed. Just wondering, from Professor Oliver and the
                  > > Seattleites, what the comment has been out in Sonics land? In
                  > > the jaded Boston market there is guarded optimism, which
                  > > might translate to euphoria in less cynical regions.
                  >
                  > Vin's looked like he's "come back" for a game or two before, and
                  has then regressed into getting frustrated easily on the offensive
                  end and committing stupid fouls on the defensive end. He's also come
                  back to camp "in shape" before; not this in shape, mind you, but IIRC
                  his last season in Seattle he reported only around 10 pounds heavier
                  than his playing weight his first season in town (when he was an All-
                  Star). While I really do wish the guy luck, let's wait at least 20
                  games to really say for sure if he's back.
                  >
                  > On a related note, is there ANY precedent of this happening before
                  in basketball? i.e. a guy going from All-Star to below-average player
                  back to All-Star again over the course of 5 years... ISTR Tom
                  Gugliotta going through something similar, but IIRC it was something
                  like one bad year in his case.
                  >
                  > John Craven
                • john1974@u.washington.edu
                  ... This is where I disagree. I mean, I know he turned alcoholic and depressed in Seattle (who doesn t? but that s another topic entirely), but I disagree that
                  Message 8 of 14 , Oct 31, 2003
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                    On Fri, 31 Oct 2003, John Hollinger wrote:

                    > Best one I can think of is Michael Ray Richardson, but he was only a
                    > dog for two years, not five.
                    >
                    > I think the key is that there is a specific reason that Baker
                    > performed badly: He was drunk. With that out of the way, hopefully he
                    > can play more consistently.

                    This is where I disagree. I mean, I know he turned alcoholic and depressed in Seattle (who doesn't? but that's another topic entirely), but I disagree that all that needs to happen to get Baker back to All-Star status is for him to not drink anymore. He's 31 now, and it's been 5 years since he had a legitimate All-Star season. Lots of All-Star caliber players simply "lose it" between 26 and 31 for no reason other than age; it's entirely possible that during this malaise Baker has simply lost a step due to age and won't get it back.

                    Michael Tamada confirmed for me what I'd already thought; a guy being good, then falling off for an extended period of time, then being good again is pretty much unprecedented. Drinking is certainly not unprecedented. Recovering from alcoholism isn't either. The only successful examples of this I can think of are in baseball (Dennis Eckersley, Tim Wakefield to some extent, although his fall and rebirth was due to the knuckler, not drink), and baseball players simply are not subject to the same rigors that basketball players are.

                    I hate to jinx him in this way, but I keep thinking of Shawn Kemp when I hear about Vin's renewed intensity. Kemp also started drinking alone in Seattle and also saw his career tank at about the same time. Of course, he fell a lot further than Baker ever did, but he's never come within 100 miles of the established play - forget about the promise - he showed under George Karl and his first year in Cleveland.

                    John Craven
                  • wimpds
                    Tangential point, but I didn t think any of his years in Cleveland were really that bad. It was in Portland where he really stunk it up. ... when I hear about
                    Message 9 of 14 , Oct 31, 2003
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                      Tangential point, but I didn't think any of his years in Cleveland
                      were really that bad. It was in Portland where he really stunk it
                      up.

                      --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, john1974@u... wrote:
                      >

                      > I hate to jinx him in this way, but I keep thinking of Shawn Kemp
                      when I hear about Vin's renewed intensity. Kemp also started
                      drinking alone in Seattle and also saw his career tank at about the
                      same time. Of course, he fell a lot further than Baker ever did, but
                      he's never come within 100 miles of the established play - forget
                      about the promise - he showed under George Karl and his first year
                      in Cleveland.
                      >
                      > John Craven
                    • john1974@u.washington.edu
                      ... I got the years mixed up. He was off in 97-98, recovered nicely in 99, and was terrible in 99-2000. And yes, I would say that a forward who shoots 41.7%
                      Message 10 of 14 , Oct 31, 2003
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                        On Sat, 1 Nov 2003, wimpds wrote:

                        > Tangential point, but I didn't think any of his years in Cleveland
                        > were really that bad. It was in Portland where he really stunk it
                        > up.

                        I got the years mixed up. He was off in 97-98, recovered nicely in 99, and was terrible in 99-2000. And yes, I would say that a forward who shoots 41.7% from the field and doesn't have lots of 3s to pull up his effective percentage is terrible. Even if he does manage to score 18 a night.

                        John Craven

                        >
                        > --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, john1974@u... wrote:
                        > >
                        >
                        > > I hate to jinx him in this way, but I keep thinking of Shawn Kemp
                        > when I hear about Vin's renewed intensity. Kemp also started
                        > drinking alone in Seattle and also saw his career tank at about the
                        > same time. Of course, he fell a lot further than Baker ever did, but
                        > he's never come within 100 miles of the established play - forget
                        > about the promise - he showed under George Karl and his first year
                        > in Cleveland.
                        > >
                        > > John Craven
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
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                        >
                      • Mike G
                        ... general and too dependent on context for individuals. Now that somebody s taken the time to parse all this out, I can see this to be true. I know for a
                        Message 11 of 14 , Oct 31, 2003
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                          --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, john1974@u... wrote:
                          ....
                          > - Plus/minus - ... I've thought this stat was grossly overrated in
                          general and too dependent on context for individuals. Now that
                          somebody's taken the time to parse all this out, I can see this to
                          be true. I know for a fact that Greg Ostertag wasn't the 7th best
                          player in the league last season ...
                          > On top of that, I have a healthy bit of skepticism about these
                          stats because I don't know how the 82games.com guy compiled them. I
                          know this is kind of unfair, but the box is closed, I can't see into
                          it, and I don't know whether it's filled with gold or duck feathers.


                          Too much coffee, John ?

                          My hangup with 82games is, first, that we see ratings like the
                          Ostertag phenomenon; and second, while he/they claim to have an
                          alternate set of +/- numbers that are adjusted to the competition --
                          lineup vs. lineup scores (I guess) -- they don't reveal them.

                          Ostertag is probably sitting on top of a statistical anomaly heap of
                          mitigating factors. Here's my suspicion:

                          --He is never asked to carry the bulk of the offense or the defense;
                          i.e., he's never one of the primary scorers in the game, and always
                          has defensive help. Maybe Sloan doesn't want him to get frustrated
                          and foul out.

                          --His backup is terrible or nonexistant. If Malone had to play
                          center, probably the offense and defense suffered.

                          So, I'm still hoping Roland et al have the actual numbers that will
                          sort these features out from the general background of "in"
                          vs. "out" -- which doesn't tell us a whole lot after all.
                        • doc319
                          ... a starter to nowheresville to a potent scorer off the bench. Mix actually did play in one All-Star Game, but your basic point is correct. ... and
                          Message 12 of 14 , Oct 31, 2003
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                            >
                            > ISTR that Steve Mix, though he never became an All-star, went from
                            a starter to nowheresville to a potent scorer off the bench.

                            Mix actually did play in one All-Star Game, but your basic point is
                            correct.


                            > Except for Gugs and Mix, drugs and/or injuries and/or alcoholism
                            and depression in Baker's case all played a role in these ups and
                            downs.
                            >
                            >
                            > Oh some other ones I thought of, and checked on
                            basketballreference.com: Bernard King had some ups and downs, due
                            mainly to injuries. Michael Ray Richardson went from 18ppg with the
                            Knicks to two seasons of 13 ppg before rejuvenating to 20ppg with
                            the Nets.


                            The NBA did have a Comeback Player of the Year award for a time, but
                            phased it out because it kept going to guys who alternated
                            appearances in the All-Star game with stints in rehab (i.e.,
                            Richardson and I think King after some early career alcohol/legal
                            troubles (his later comeback from a devastating ACL injury to become
                            the first player with a reconstructed knee to play in an All-Star
                            game was quite inspiring and worthy of the original spirit of the
                            award, but as you mentioned the award had morphed into MIP by that
                            time). The NBA did not fancy having an award that drew more attention
                            to high profile players struggling with drugs, etc. Needless to say,
                            the winners of that shortlived award are not mentioned in current NBA
                            Guides. I am pretty sure Gus Williams won it the year after he sat
                            out in a contract dispute ('82), King took the honors the year after
                            alcohol/legal troubles ('81) and Richardson ('85?) won it before he
                            became the first drug addict banned for life by the NBA. I think the
                            award was only around for four years or so and there may have been
                            one other drug/alcohol related winner besides King and Richardson
                            before the NBA shifted the emphasis to Most Improved.
                          • wimpds
                            ... Cleveland ... it ... 99, and was terrible in 99-2000. And yes, I would say that a forward who shoots 41.7% from the field and doesn t have lots of 3s to
                            Message 13 of 14 , Oct 31, 2003
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                              --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, john1974@u... wrote:
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > On Sat, 1 Nov 2003, wimpds wrote:
                              >
                              > > Tangential point, but I didn't think any of his years in
                              Cleveland
                              > > were really that bad. It was in Portland where he really stunk
                              it
                              > > up.
                              >
                              > I got the years mixed up. He was off in 97-98, recovered nicely in
                              99, and was terrible in 99-2000. And yes, I would say that a forward
                              who shoots 41.7% from the field and doesn't have lots of 3s to pull
                              up his effective percentage is terrible. Even if he does manage to
                              score 18 a night.
                              >

                              I agree with you on the valuation of the years relative to each
                              other, but perhaps relative to the rest of the league. Not a lot of
                              3's, but he was still among the best in the league at getting to the
                              line in 99-00. Being the best player on a 32 win team might not be
                              the highlight of his career, but there certainly was a big drop off
                              after that season. For what it's worth, here is where I have Kemp's
                              rank in the league by season:

                              2003 kemp,shawn 144
                              2002 kemp,shawn 224
                              2001 kemp,shawn 196
                              2000 kemp,shawn 31
                              1999 kemp,shawn 14
                              1998 kemp,shawn 19
                              1997 kemp,shawn 22
                              1996 kemp,shawn 6
                              1995 kemp,shawn 10
                              1994 kemp,shawn 8
                              1993 kemp,shawn 12
                              1992 kemp,shawn 19
                              1991 kemp,shawn 31
                              1990 kemp,shawn 105
                            • john1974@u.washington.edu
                              ... Heh. Too little, I guess... ... Malone did play center a little bit, and the Jazz did kind of suck when they did so. That being said, I think you can trace
                              Message 14 of 14 , Nov 1, 2003
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                                On Sat, 1 Nov 2003, Mike G wrote:

                                > Too much coffee, John ?

                                Heh. Too little, I guess...

                                >
                                > My hangup with 82games is, first, that we see ratings like the
                                > Ostertag phenomenon; and second, while he/they claim to have an
                                > alternate set of +/- numbers that are adjusted to the competition --
                                > lineup vs. lineup scores (I guess) -- they don't reveal them.
                                >
                                > Ostertag is probably sitting on top of a statistical anomaly heap of
                                > mitigating factors. Here's my suspicion:
                                >
                                > --He is never asked to carry the bulk of the offense or the defense;
                                > i.e., he's never one of the primary scorers in the game, and always
                                > has defensive help. Maybe Sloan doesn't want him to get frustrated
                                > and foul out.
                                >
                                > --His backup is terrible or nonexistant. If Malone had to play
                                > center, probably the offense and defense suffered.

                                Malone did play center a little bit, and the Jazz did kind of suck when they did so. That being said, I think you can trace Ostertag's fake high score to two things:

                                - He was usually on the court when both Stockton and Malone were, and
                                - There's one lineup that was used around 1.5% of the time (50 minutes or so the entire year) that had Ostertag in it and neither S nor M that for some reason really outscored their opponents, I'm guessing because it was so strange coming from that team that people had no idea how to match up against it. The lineup, Jackson-Cheaney-Kirilenko-Padgett-Ostertag, strikes me two ways: quick (compared to what the Jazz normally run, anyway) and garbage time-ish.

                                >
                                > So, I'm still hoping Roland et al have the actual numbers that will
                                > sort these features out from the general background of "in"
                                > vs. "out" -- which doesn't tell us a whole lot after all.

                                Another problem I saw was with Vlad Radmanovic of the Sonics. Now, I am a big Vlad fan, but he was NOT the best player on the Sonics last year, and the team was probably right to draft another 4 to push him this year (as it turns out, said 4 will miss the season, but you get the idea). Radmanovic played a lot when the Sonics started out 8-2, didn't play much when they went 15-28, and then started to play a bunch again when they finished the season 18-12. Some of that improvement is due to Rad playing better in the 2nd half of the season, but most of it has nothing to do with him and he just had the good luck to lose his job right when things went really rough.

                                John Craven
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