RE: [APBR_analysis] Re: The most important stat that nobody seems to use! (PER differential)
- -----Original Message-----
From: Kevin Pelton [mailto:kpelton08@...]
Sent: Monday, May 03, 2004 9:42 PM
>You could, of course, outplay the opponent at four positions butYeah, the best (or worst) example of this kind of head-to-head thinking
>lose because the disparity at the other was so dramatic. That's why
>I can't stand those "head-to-head" matchups people do when
>previewing games (At least in the context of "who's better?" -- I
was when the Blazers made it to the Finals against the Bulls -- was
that 1992? Anyway, it was before the Bulls were clearly the dynasty
of the 1990s, but after it was clear that they were a very good team.
On Usenet (not much to the WWW in those days), the "Blazerz R00l" fans
touted their team before the finals started, and how Portland would
win because it had superior matchups. They recognized that Jordan >
Drexler, but Drexler was probably the 2nd best shooting guard in the
league at that time, so they tried to rationalize this matchup by
saying that the differential was small.
They usually conceded that Pippen > Kersey, but at the time, the
discrepancy did appear to be small.
And then it was easy to say that Duckworth > Cartwright, Buck Williams >
Horace Grant, and a clear Porter > Paxson. Bench? Chicago had BJ
Armstrong and Stacy King, but Portland could counter with Cliff Robinson
and Danny Ainge. Bench advantage Portland, on paper.
There was an endless stream of analyses similar to above, with Portland
fans deluding themselves into thinking that the matchups made the teams
close, or maybe even favoring Portland.
The reality of course was far different. Chicago was a much better
TEAM than Portland (not that Portland was bad, or played bad team
ball; it's just that Chicago was better). The individual matchups
were not what determined who won; it was the team play on the floor.
Chicago could afford to have a big negative differential with their
PG Paxson, because (a) with Jordan and Pippen running the offense, they
didn't need him to do much of what a standard PG does anyway and (b)
regardless of how much Paxson got outshone by other PGs, the Bulls'
strategy was to play smothering team defense and take their opponents
out of their offense, keep the game close, and let Jordan win it for
them in the end. All they needed from Paxson was for him to contribute
to the team defense and be a 3-point threat.
I still maintain that Chicago didn't have a huge amount of talent; they
of course had one of the best players in history in Jordan, and a very
good player in Pippen, and after that just a number of good decent players
but no superstars. But what Chicago could do was play very well as a
team, play great team defense that disrupted their opponents, and of
course have Jordan as their ace in the hole. Talentwise I don't think
they stand up to the Celtics and Lakers of the 1980s or the Celtics
of the 1960s, but in terms of team play they were right up there
with any dynasty.
Another example: what were Jordan's and Payton's PERs in the 1996
Finals? Jordan had some hot games early but after Payton started
guarding him, Jordan's FG% plummeted and I believe his TOs went
way up too. For the whole series, I'll bet Payton's PER wasn't
too far behind Jordan's. But the Bulls didn't win by having
their players outperform their counterparts 1-on-1, nor in 1996
did they even rely on Jordan having an overwhelming differential
against his opponent. They relied on team play, especially team
defense, double teaming Payton to force the ball out of his hands.
And with Nate McMillan injured, the Sonics offense fizzled once
that happened. Thus players with what I bet were seemingly
poor PER differentials such as McMillan were key; ditto Harper
for the Bulls, when he had to sit out games their team defense
>From: "mrintp2000" <shzys@...>Isn't zone played some in the NBA? Don't players play a variety of matchups
>Subject: [APBR_analysis] The most important stat that nobody seems to use!
>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
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.
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