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The most important stat that nobody seems to use! (PER differential)

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  • mrintp2000
    I ve read a lot of the discussion about the PER and many people seem to correctly regard it as the best way to measure a players production. But even better,
    Message 1 of 34 , May 3, 2004
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      I've read a lot of the discussion about the PER and many people seem
      to correctly regard it as the best way to measure a players
      production. But even better, is to measure a player production vs. his
      opposing player. This way, defense is correctly valued by the stats
      without an overemphasis on creating defensive stats that don't exist
      or overvaluing unimportant stats. Allow me to illustrate with an
      example...

      Stromile Swift has a high PER of 18.6 when he plays the PF position.
      Impressive, but less impressive when you see that his opposing PF has
      a PER of 18.0. This equates to a modestly impressive .6 PER
      differential.
      http://www.82games.com/03MEM13C.HTM

      Now in a similar number of minutes at the PF spot Chris Bosh has a low
      PER of 13.7, while his opponents were 12.8. This also works out to a
      modestly impressive .8 PER differential.
      http://www.82games.com/03TOR16C.HTM

      Why is this so important? Because Swift and Bosh played about equally
      well versus their opponents. Swift had better production and worse
      defense, ultimately it's a wash. If we had just looked at PER we would
      have wrongly assumed that Swift had a much better season.

      I call this the PER differential. The best players in the L are at the
      top of course-

      Name Diff
      Garnett 16.7
      Duncan 16.1
      Shaq 14.6
      Ming 12
      Allen 11.2
      Kobe 10.2
      Kirlenko 9

      What really proves the tremendous value of the PER differential is the
      correlation between team PER differential and winning percentage. You
      guys have to forgive me, I have no stats background (just years of
      watching hoops) so I can't give you a number on the correlation. But
      check this out, here are the top teams ranked by PER differential
      during the regular season. (done just before season end so these
      numbers may have changed slightly-taken from 82games.com)

      Team Diff
      Spurs 13.3
      Wolves 12.3
      Pistons 11
      Pacers 9.5
      Kings 9.5
      Lakers 8.8

      And the worst?

      Team Diff
      Tragic -13.5
      Bulls -12.4
      Hawks -12.3
      Wizards -9.7
      Clips -7.6

      I got these by adding up the net differentials at each position. Let
      me know if it isn't clear how I arrived at these numbers.

      THESE NUMBERS PROVE THAT THE BEST WAY TO BUILD A WINNING TEAM IS WITH
      PLAYERS WHO GIVE YOU THE HIGHEST PER DIFF AT THEIR RESPECTIVE
      POSITIONS! The caveat of course is that they play enough minutes. This
      also proves why a good bench is so important. If a bench player comes
      in and gets lit up he's lowering his teams PER differential.

      Who are some unsung heroes when it comes to PER differential? (%M at
      P) this means % of teams minutes they played at the position I have
      them listed under.

      P (%M at P) Diff
      SG Mason 14 8.5
      PG Boykins 27 7.8
      SF Posey 28 6.5
      C Haywood 37 6
      PF Cardinal28 5.6

      Am I suggesting that this starting five (if health and supported by a
      decent bench) would win 50+ games? Absolutely! Worrying about whether
      a team is offensive or defensive is silly and misses the point, which
      is simply to be better than your competition!

      The PER differential also allows you to tell which positions a player
      is most effective at. Some guys are equally effective at 2 positions,
      like Duncan at C and PF. Other guys are much less effective when
      playing out of position, like when Cardinal plays the 3.

      I have made an excel spreadsheet for most of the players in the L
      ranking PER Diff, I could email it to someone...

      Oh yeah, the PER differential even demonstrates how bad everyones
      least favorite player 'Toine truly is. His PER at the PF spot is 16.0
      but the opposing PF is 19.5. A PER differential of -3.5, and proof
      that he shouldn't be allowed on the basketball court!
    • Daniel Dickey
      ... Isn t zone played some in the NBA? Don t players play a variety of matchups in a game? Isn t it often hard to classify what position a player really plays
      Message 34 of 34 , May 7, 2004
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        >From: "mrintp2000" <shzys@...>
        >Reply-To: APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com
        >To: APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com
        >Subject: [APBR_analysis] The most important stat that nobody seems to use!
        >(PER differential)
        >Date: Mon, 03 May 2004 23:11:09 -0000
        >
        >I've read a lot of the discussion about the PER and many people seem
        >to correctly regard it as the best way to measure a players
        >production. But even better, is to measure a player production vs. his
        >opposing player. This way, defense is correctly valued by the stats
        >without an overemphasis on creating defensive stats that don't exist
        >or overvaluing unimportant stats. Allow me to illustrate with an
        >example...

        Isn't zone played some in the NBA? Don't players play a variety of matchups
        in a game?

        Isn't it often hard to classify what position a player really plays (let
        alone the position he defends)?

        Don't get me wrong - the PER differential can give SOME insight. But we
        need to remember the limitations.

        I can promise you that Reggie Miller's low opposing SG PER can be greatly
        attributed to Ron Artest (and maybe a few others). That's the type of thing
        I'm talking about.

        Dan D.

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