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2004 was highly unstable

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  • Dean Oliver
    I m now doing a rather full style evaluation of teams, looking at the numbers that define how they play -- not how well they play, but how they play. In
    Message 1 of 8 , May 29, 2004
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      I'm now doing a rather full "style evaluation" of teams, looking at
      the numbers that define how they play -- not how well they play, but
      how they play. In doing this, it seems that there was a lot of
      turnover in style this past season. Qualitatively, it seems that I
      can find things that teams changed in many many cases.

      Atlanta got a new leading scorer.
      Boston completely changed.
      Chicago made a big trade mid-season.
      Cleveland got a new superstar and supporting cast.
      Dallas acquired a couple new guys.
      Denver got a new star and a bunch of new players.
      Detroit didn't change much until they acquired Rasheed.
      Golden St. lost their big star.

      etc.

      It turns out that roster stability in 2004 was the 2nd lowest in
      history using a measure of how many players play similar minutes on
      the same team. On average, only about 62% of minutes were reclaimed
      in 2004.

      This is making it a bit difficult to do the comparisons I wanted.
      Basically, only New Jersey kept the same personnel from 2003. And,
      fortunately for what I'm doing, they actually changed coaches.

      But I found this lack of stability remarkable. I haven't thought
      about why that might have happened, but I figured I'd ask you guys to
      think about it. And in doing so, I'm wondering if you can identify
      what the other highly unstable year was (it was in the last 10).
      There are a few neat economic things coming out of this.

      DeanO

      Dean Oliver
      Author, Basketball on Paper
      http://www.basketballonpaper.com
      "Oliver goes beyond stats to dissect what it takes to win. His breezy
      style makes for enjoyable reading, but there are plenty of points of
      wisdom as well. This book can be appreciated by fans, players,
      coaches and executives, but more importantly it can be used as a text
      book for all these groups. You are sure to learn something you didn't
      know about basketball here." Pete Palmer, co-author, Hidden Game of
      Baseball and Hidden Game of Football
    • John Hollinger
      ... We did? When s he getting here? It s funny because I was thinking the same thing as I was going through players for the book (i.e. wow, a lot of guys got
      Message 2 of 8 , May 29, 2004
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        > Atlanta got a new leading scorer

        We did? When's he getting here?


        It's funny because I was thinking the same thing as I was going
        through players for the book (i.e. "wow, a lot of guys got traded
        this year"). I'm glad you systematically backed it up. I think the
        luxury tax is definitely a big player, combined with the fact that
        the salary cap no longer automatically goes up every year. Thus, a
        lot more contract shuffling is necessary to keep teams from taking on
        inordinate expenses.

        I'll guess the other unstable year was the year after the lockout,
        1999-2000.



        --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "Dean Oliver" <deano@r...>
        wrote:
        >
        > I'm now doing a rather full "style evaluation" of teams, looking at
        > the numbers that define how they play -- not how well they play, but
        > how they play. In doing this, it seems that there was a lot of
        > turnover in style this past season. Qualitatively, it seems that I
        > can find things that teams changed in many many cases.
        >
        > Atlanta got a new leading scorer.
        > Boston completely changed.
        > Chicago made a big trade mid-season.
        > Cleveland got a new superstar and supporting cast.
        > Dallas acquired a couple new guys.
        > Denver got a new star and a bunch of new players.
        > Detroit didn't change much until they acquired Rasheed.
        > Golden St. lost their big star.
        >
        > etc.
        >
        > It turns out that roster stability in 2004 was the 2nd lowest in
        > history using a measure of how many players play similar minutes on
        > the same team. On average, only about 62% of minutes were reclaimed
        > in 2004.
        >
        > This is making it a bit difficult to do the comparisons I wanted.
        > Basically, only New Jersey kept the same personnel from 2003. And,
        > fortunately for what I'm doing, they actually changed coaches.
        >
        > But I found this lack of stability remarkable. I haven't thought
        > about why that might have happened, but I figured I'd ask you guys
        to
        > think about it. And in doing so, I'm wondering if you can identify
        > what the other highly unstable year was (it was in the last 10).
        > There are a few neat economic things coming out of this.
        >
        > DeanO
        >
        > Dean Oliver
        > Author, Basketball on Paper
        > http://www.basketballonpaper.com
        > "Oliver goes beyond stats to dissect what it takes to win. His
        breezy
        > style makes for enjoyable reading, but there are plenty of points of
        > wisdom as well. This book can be appreciated by fans, players,
        > coaches and executives, but more importantly it can be used as a
        text
        > book for all these groups. You are sure to learn something you
        didn't
        > know about basketball here." Pete Palmer, co-author, Hidden Game of
        > Baseball and Hidden Game of Football
      • Dean Oliver
        ... With Shareef gone, you had Rasheed for a day, but Stephen Jackson led the team. ... That s what I would have first guessed, but no. Before then. I m not
        Message 3 of 8 , May 29, 2004
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          --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "John Hollinger"
          <alleyoop2@y...> wrote:
          > > Atlanta got a new leading scorer
          >
          > We did? When's he getting here?
          >
          >

          With Shareef gone, you had Rasheed for a day, but Stephen Jackson led
          the team.

          > It's funny because I was thinking the same thing as I was going
          > through players for the book (i.e. "wow, a lot of guys got traded
          > this year"). I'm glad you systematically backed it up. I think the
          > luxury tax is definitely a big player, combined with the fact that
          > the salary cap no longer automatically goes up every year. Thus, a
          > lot more contract shuffling is necessary to keep teams from taking on
          > inordinate expenses.
          >
          > I'll guess the other unstable year was the year after the lockout,
          > 1999-2000.
          >

          That's what I would have first guessed, but no. Before then. I'm not
          sure why yet.

          DeanO

          Dean Oliver
          Author, Basketball on Paper
          http://www.basketballonpaper.com
          "Excellent writing. There are a lot of math guys who just rush from
          the numbers to the conclusion. . .they'll tell you that Shaq is a real
          good player but his team would win a couple more games a year if he
          could hit a free throw. Dean is more than that; he's really
          struggling to understand the actual problem, rather than the
          statistical after-image of it. I learn a lot by reading him." Bill
          James, author Baseball Abstract


          >
          >
          > --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "Dean Oliver" <deano@r...>
          > wrote:
          > >
          > > I'm now doing a rather full "style evaluation" of teams, looking at
          > > the numbers that define how they play -- not how well they play, but
          > > how they play. In doing this, it seems that there was a lot of
          > > turnover in style this past season. Qualitatively, it seems that I
          > > can find things that teams changed in many many cases.
          > >
          > > Atlanta got a new leading scorer.
          > > Boston completely changed.
          > > Chicago made a big trade mid-season.
          > > Cleveland got a new superstar and supporting cast.
          > > Dallas acquired a couple new guys.
          > > Denver got a new star and a bunch of new players.
          > > Detroit didn't change much until they acquired Rasheed.
          > > Golden St. lost their big star.
          > >
          > > etc.
          > >
          > > It turns out that roster stability in 2004 was the 2nd lowest in
          > > history using a measure of how many players play similar minutes on
          > > the same team. On average, only about 62% of minutes were reclaimed
          > > in 2004.
          > >
          > > This is making it a bit difficult to do the comparisons I wanted.
          > > Basically, only New Jersey kept the same personnel from 2003. And,
          > > fortunately for what I'm doing, they actually changed coaches.
          > >
          > > But I found this lack of stability remarkable. I haven't thought
          > > about why that might have happened, but I figured I'd ask you guys
          > to
          > > think about it. And in doing so, I'm wondering if you can identify
          > > what the other highly unstable year was (it was in the last 10).
          > > There are a few neat economic things coming out of this.
          > >
          > > DeanO
          > >
          > > Dean Oliver
          > > Author, Basketball on Paper
          > > http://www.basketballonpaper.com
          > > "Oliver goes beyond stats to dissect what it takes to win. His
          > breezy
          > > style makes for enjoyable reading, but there are plenty of points of
          > > wisdom as well. This book can be appreciated by fans, players,
          > > coaches and executives, but more importantly it can be used as a
          > text
          > > book for all these groups. You are sure to learn something you
          > didn't
          > > know about basketball here." Pete Palmer, co-author, Hidden Game of
          > > Baseball and Hidden Game of Football
        • Kevin Pelton
          ... Hmm. The way you say before then makes me think it s not my guess either, which was the lockout season. My rationale was (and this works for 99-00 as
          Message 4 of 8 , May 29, 2004
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            > That's what I would have first guessed, but no. Before then. I'm
            > not sure why yet.

            Hmm. The way you say "before then" makes me think it's not my guess
            either, which was the lockout season.

            My rationale was (and this works for 99-00 as well) that a big part
            of this year's turnover was due to a relative power vacuum. I think
            that before the Spurs broke through to take last year's
            championship, there was a certain feeling league-wide of Lakers
            inevitability -- even the Spurs, of course, were hedging slightly
            for last year's free agency when they won the championship.

            This year, I think a team like Minnesota in the West saw their shot
            to break through. Sacramento and Dallas had to keep up with the
            additions made by the Lakers, Minnesota, and San Antonio by making
            their own changes.

            In the East, there's been a power vacuum for some time, and the
            ability of teams like the Nets and Pistons causes East teams, as I
            see it, to believe they're only one good summer away from contention.

            I think the power vacuum also means there's a lot more frustration
            when teams don't live up to expectations, leading to a lot of the
            coaching turnover.

            The quality of this rookie class and the amount of cap room and
            number of high-profile free agents certainly came into play.
          • Mikey Stewart
            This is a pretty plausible theory. If it were true, wouldn t it be the case that there was high stability during the Bulls run? I certainly felt a sense of
            Message 5 of 8 , May 29, 2004
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              This is a pretty plausible theory. If it were true, wouldn't it be the
              case that there was high stability during the Bulls' run? I certainly
              felt a sense of Jordanian inevitability then. So following Kevin's
              theory, my guess would be 94-95, or the years immediately before and
              after.


              On Sat, 29 May 2004, Kevin Pelton wrote:

              > > That's what I would have first guessed, but no. Before then. I'm
              > > not sure why yet.
              >
              > Hmm. The way you say "before then" makes me think it's not my guess
              > either, which was the lockout season.
              >
              > My rationale was (and this works for 99-00 as well) that a big part
              > of this year's turnover was due to a relative power vacuum. I think
              > that before the Spurs broke through to take last year's
              > championship, there was a certain feeling league-wide of Lakers
              > inevitability -- even the Spurs, of course, were hedging slightly
              > for last year's free agency when they won the championship.
              >
              > This year, I think a team like Minnesota in the West saw their shot
              > to break through. Sacramento and Dallas had to keep up with the
              > additions made by the Lakers, Minnesota, and San Antonio by making
              > their own changes.
              >
              > In the East, there's been a power vacuum for some time, and the
              > ability of teams like the Nets and Pistons causes East teams, as I
              > see it, to believe they're only one good summer away from contention.
              >
              > I think the power vacuum also means there's a lot more frustration
              > when teams don't live up to expectations, leading to a lot of the
              > coaching turnover.
              >
              > The quality of this rookie class and the amount of cap room and
              > number of high-profile free agents certainly came into play.
              >
              >
              > Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
              > ADVERTISEMENT
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              >
              > * Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
              >
              >
            • Dean Oliver
              ... Close enough that I ll say that the most unstable season in terms of personnel was 96-97. Just under 62% of minutes were reclaimed. Last year, it was
              Message 6 of 8 , May 30, 2004
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                --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, Mikey Stewart <mlstewar@f...> wrote:
                > This is a pretty plausible theory. If it were true, wouldn't it be the
                > case that there was high stability during the Bulls' run? I certainly
                > felt a sense of Jordanian inevitability then. So following Kevin's
                > theory, my guess would be 94-95, or the years immediately before and
                > after.

                Close enough that I'll say that the most unstable season in terms of
                personnel was '96-97. Just under 62% of minutes were reclaimed. Last
                year, it was just over 62%. Prior to 1996-97, only 5 of 20 years were
                even under 70%. Since then, only 2003 was over 70%. Personnel are
                moving a lot, either from team to team or in and out of lineups. I
                haven't really investigated where this all comes from. One thing I
                know happened around that time -- more high school kids began entering
                the league. KG was right before that and Kobe was that year. The
                rookie salary cap was introduced in 1995 and I remember noting back in
                1996:

                http://www.rawbw.com/~deano/articles/youth.html

                (note huge spike in first chart, a chart I'd love to update) that the
                league was looking more unstable.

                I'm guessing that there are other factors, but this one seems about
                right, timing-wise.

                DeanO

                Dean Oliver
                Author, Basketball on Paper
                http://www.basketballonpaper.com
                When basketball teams start playing Moneyball, this is the book
                they'll use!


                >
                >
                > On Sat, 29 May 2004, Kevin Pelton wrote:
                >
                > > > That's what I would have first guessed, but no. Before then. I'm
                > > > not sure why yet.
                > >
                > > Hmm. The way you say "before then" makes me think it's not my guess
                > > either, which was the lockout season.
                > >
                > > My rationale was (and this works for 99-00 as well) that a big part
                > > of this year's turnover was due to a relative power vacuum. I think
                > > that before the Spurs broke through to take last year's
                > > championship, there was a certain feeling league-wide of Lakers
                > > inevitability -- even the Spurs, of course, were hedging slightly
                > > for last year's free agency when they won the championship.
                > >
                > > This year, I think a team like Minnesota in the West saw their shot
                > > to break through. Sacramento and Dallas had to keep up with the
                > > additions made by the Lakers, Minnesota, and San Antonio by making
                > > their own changes.
                > >
                > > In the East, there's been a power vacuum for some time, and the
                > > ability of teams like the Nets and Pistons causes East teams, as I
                > > see it, to believe they're only one good summer away from contention.
                > >
                > > I think the power vacuum also means there's a lot more frustration
                > > when teams don't live up to expectations, leading to a lot of the
                > > coaching turnover.
                > >
                > > The quality of this rookie class and the amount of cap room and
                > > number of high-profile free agents certainly came into play.
                > >
                > >
                > > Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
                > > ADVERTISEMENT
                > > click here
                > > [rand=471423952]
                > >
                > >
                _______________________________________________________________________________
                > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                > > * To visit your group on the web, go to:
                > > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/APBR_analysis/
                > >
                > > * To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                > > APBR_analysis-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                > >
                > > * Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
                Service.
                > >
                > >
              • Kevin Pelton
                ... Well, that s completely off from my theory. I think free agency/salary-cap space must have a lot to do with it. I remember that year being simply unreal in
                Message 7 of 8 , May 30, 2004
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                  > Close enough that I'll say that the most unstable season in terms
                  > of personnel was '96-97. Just under 62% of minutes were
                  > reclaimed. Last year, it was just over 62%.

                  Well, that's completely off from my theory. I think free
                  agency/salary-cap space must have a lot to do with it. I remember
                  that year being simply unreal in terms of the free agents out there -
                  - Shaq, Jordan, GP, Juwan Howard coming immediately to mind.
                  Hardaway, Mourning (who both re-signed).

                  A number of those guys, like Payton and Howard, signed seven-year
                  deals (I can't recall if that was the max length back then, as it is
                  now), so they became free agents again ... last summer. I think
                  that's a lot of the connection.

                  > Prior to 1996-97, only 5 of 20 years were even under 70%. Since
                  > then, only 2003 was over 70%. Personnel are moving a lot, either
                  > from team to team or in and out of lineups.

                  That's interesting, since Steven Schulman, writing for Rob Neyer,
                  just wrote a column at ESPN.com indicating that the longest-tenured
                  MLB players with teams were no longer tenured in 1975 (his sample
                  year) than now. It would be interesting to do that study for the
                  NBA, and see whether the difference is as apparent at the extremes
                  as it is overall.

                  http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?
                  columnist=neyer_rob&id=1810761
                • dan_t_rosenbaum
                  One would guess that with all of the coaching turnover, there would be a lot of player turnover as well. I don t know if that happened in 1996-97, as well.
                  Message 8 of 8 , May 31, 2004
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                    One would guess that with all of the coaching turnover, there would
                    be a lot of player turnover as well. I don't know if that happened
                    in 1996-97, as well.

                    But that begs the question, since both forms of turnover might be
                    related.

                    At least for the player turnover, I also would suspect the luxury
                    tax played a role. In addition to typical player turnover, there
                    was a number of player moves that were due almost entirely to luxury
                    tax concerns.

                    --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "Dean Oliver" <deano@r...>
                    wrote:
                    >
                    > I'm now doing a rather full "style evaluation" of teams, looking at
                    > the numbers that define how they play -- not how well they play,
                    but
                    > how they play. In doing this, it seems that there was a lot of
                    > turnover in style this past season. Qualitatively, it seems that I
                    > can find things that teams changed in many many cases.
                    >
                    > Atlanta got a new leading scorer.
                    > Boston completely changed.
                    > Chicago made a big trade mid-season.
                    > Cleveland got a new superstar and supporting cast.
                    > Dallas acquired a couple new guys.
                    > Denver got a new star and a bunch of new players.
                    > Detroit didn't change much until they acquired Rasheed.
                    > Golden St. lost their big star.
                    >
                    > etc.
                    >
                    > It turns out that roster stability in 2004 was the 2nd lowest in
                    > history using a measure of how many players play similar minutes on
                    > the same team. On average, only about 62% of minutes were
                    reclaimed
                    > in 2004.
                    >
                    > This is making it a bit difficult to do the comparisons I wanted.
                    > Basically, only New Jersey kept the same personnel from 2003. And,
                    > fortunately for what I'm doing, they actually changed coaches.
                    >
                    > But I found this lack of stability remarkable. I haven't thought
                    > about why that might have happened, but I figured I'd ask you guys
                    to
                    > think about it. And in doing so, I'm wondering if you can identify
                    > what the other highly unstable year was (it was in the last 10).
                    > There are a few neat economic things coming out of this.
                    >
                    > DeanO
                    >
                    > Dean Oliver
                    > Author, Basketball on Paper
                    > http://www.basketballonpaper.com
                    > "Oliver goes beyond stats to dissect what it takes to win. His
                    breezy
                    > style makes for enjoyable reading, but there are plenty of points
                    of
                    > wisdom as well. This book can be appreciated by fans, players,
                    > coaches and executives, but more importantly it can be used as a
                    text
                    > book for all these groups. You are sure to learn something you
                    didn't
                    > know about basketball here." Pete Palmer, co-author, Hidden Game
                    of
                    > Baseball and Hidden Game of Football
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