- ... The big intangibles are in the defense, as far as I m concerned. But I would also point out that the Celtic defense fell apart after 1986 (Walton left andMessage 1 of 4 , Mar 9 2:43 PMView Source--- In APBR_analysis@y..., harlanzo@y... wrote:
> It is tough to evaluate DJ because he apparently has theThe big intangibles are in the defense, as far as I'm concerned.
> dreaded "intangibles" label where we know he played with winners and
> we are pretty sure that good karma should be worth something but the
> numbers just don't bear it out.
But I would also point out that the Celtic defense fell apart
after 1986 (Walton left and the other forwards got old).
DJ's defense is not the kind that works without the help of
big guys (unlike Jordan's defense, for example)..... Offensive
intangibles that I'm trying to make tangible are primarily the fact
that teams could not lay off him to double team -- but I think that is
relatively minor compared to other players at his position (more
important if you want to be a pain and say that Jerome Kersey had
similar efficiency numbers so substitute him).
>Not true. There are plenty of prolific scorers who come out pretty
> Evaluating DJ next to prolific scorer like Westphal invariably
> results in the scorer winning the statistical evaluation. However,
negative by my count (Stackhouse, A. Walker, Marbury normally, Ron
Harper in his early years, Iverson in past years, Tom Chambers several
times). Their "intangible benefit" then becomes whether they create
opportunities for others with all their shots (something I am starting
> DJ has some impressive accomplishments on his resume. The bestthat
> player on a championship team (granted it was a marginal team and he
> may not actually be better than Sikma) and as a solid contributor on
> the revered 80s Celtics. These accomplishments may have a value
> is not wholly reflected in statistics.Sikma was better. That Sonic team was, by many people's take, a very
odd champion. I think they started out the season 5-13.... Being a
starter on a championship team, especially the 4th or 5th scorer,
should not be over-rated either.
> As for the DJ's role on the Celtics, I remember as a kid being
> favorably impressed with DJ's defense and passing on the celtics.
> was clear that they did not need him to score 25 a game. Indeed,had
> you placed Westphal (at or near peak value) on those celts itto
> probably would not have been as efficient to run the bulk of the
> scoring thru him rather than Bird and Herman Munster Mchale. So it
> is possible to argue that DJ's ability to fill a niche had a value
> the celtics in excess of what westphal could have given them.Just by saying that Bird, McHale, and Parish were the focuses of that
team, I think it (properly) minimizes the value of DJ. What DJ was
doing for that team, a few other guards could have done. Ainge kind
of did it on his own, too. The Celtics won a title before he got
there. Basically, the Celtics did not want a starting PG who shot too
much and wasn't careful with the ball. They didn't need a great
creator like a Stockton or Magic or Cheeks or Mark Jackson or Terry
Porter, though any of them would have done equally well or better.
Isiah Thomas is a little more questionable -- as good as he was --
because he did shoot a lot and wasn't the best at it. Derek Harper
was a very similar type of guard. So was Nate McMillan. DJ wasn't a
spectacular player. I certainly would not consider him a Hall of
Famer, even though the 66 ranking Mike gave is suggestive of the Hall.
I actually worry that Mike's ranking overweights the playoffs in this
case because DJ had the privilege of playing with Bird, McHale, and
> So how then to reflect this value? I have toyed with the idea ofaward
> creating a system called "karma points" that add extra value to
> players on winning teams to adjust formulas. (This really just an
> extended version of what others of you have done when you might
> points to a player making an all-defensive team for example). YouThe way I have interpreted players like DJ is that they don't detract
> can award points for significant contributions of complementary
> players on playoff bound and championship caliber teams. This is of
> course potentially arbitrary in application. Indeed, the formula
> might bear out that aaron mckie is too close in value to stackhouse
> or that avery johnson or eric snow have a value over marbury.
from a good team and they have the ego to accept that. Ron Harper
turned out that way, though who would have suspected it with all his
awful shooting early on in his career. Give Harper/DJ karma points
for their championships, but they still contribute a net of about
20-50 pts/season with his best teams (or 1-2 extra wins) and are
pretty replaceable (not easily because they _are_ starters, but
Journal of Basketball Studies
- I was surprised when I saw an article lamenting the omission of Dennis Johnson from the NBA alltime Top 50. I certainly did not predict any statisticalMessage 2 of 4 , Mar 24 4:18 PMView SourceI was surprised when I saw an article lamenting the omission of
Dennis Johnson from the NBA alltime Top 50. I certainly did not
predict any statistical evaluation could place him near that level.
DJ played among talented players in all 3 of his NBA locations, and
he was instrumental in each case, as Robert says, by deferring to
the "real stars" of those teams. Part of the reason DJ enhanced each
team he played for was that he was the ultimate player who would do
whatever was most needed.
A bigger scorer with the Suns, but a bigger playmaker with the Celts,
I seem to remember him taking, and making, an inordinate number of
buzzer-beaters, with the shot-clock winding down. And his playoff
numbers were generally superior to his regular seasons'.
Why are K.C. Jones and Bill Bradley in the Hall, except that they
were major contributors to champions? They took care of the ball,
and did what they had to do.
DJ played 13 productive seasons, and 16% of his minutes were in
postseason (only Magic, Bird, Jordan, and Pippen, are higher).
Oddly, his biggest numbers were in Phoenix, where his 3 playoff
outings were very brief.
I was not a fan of Dennis Johnson, until he had proven over and over
that he could hit the big shot as regularly as any member of those
great Celtic teams of the '80s.
You can add playoff numbers into the regular season numbers, thus
giving credit to players on good teams: if you are getting big
minutes with better players around you, you must have something going
on. You might even assign greater value to postseason minutes; I do
this by adding the square root of the regular season totals to the
square root of the playoff totals.
The average player (good player, not scrub), plays 90% of his minutes
in the reg. season, and 10% in the postseason: a 9:1 ratio. So, on
average, only 1/10 of a player's lifetime production shows up in the
"games that count".
Comparing square roots, however, changes the 9:1 ratio to a 3:1
ratio, and so 1/4 of a typical player's career might be his playoff
record. This sounds about right to me.
Magic, Bird, Jordan, Pippen, Russell, Shaq, West, McHale, Worthy,
Horace Grant, Mikan, DJ, and Sam Jones, played 15-18% of their
minutes in playoff competition; and as such, their playoff careers
count, in my system, between 28-33% of their totals.
Very few players in history consistently did better in postseason;
but the ones who have, increase the worth of their playoff minutes,
in estimating their careers. Jordan, Hakeem, Russell, Elvin Hayes,
Rick Barry, Isiah, Reggie Miller, Cowens, Worthy, Mikan, and others
excelled at the increased level of competition, over their careers.
> > So how then to reflect this value? I have toyed with the idea ofan
> > creating a system called "karma points" that add extra value to
> > players on winning teams to adjust formulas. (This really just
> > extended version of what others of you have done when you mightYou
> > points to a player making an all-defensive team for example).
> > can award points for significant contributions of complementaryof
> > players on playoff bound and championship caliber teams. This is
> > course potentially arbitrary in application. Indeed, the formulastackhouse
> > might bear out that aaron mckie is too close in value to
> > or that avery johnson or eric snow have a value over marbury.detract
> The way I have interpreted players like DJ is that they don't
> from a good team and they have the ego to accept that. Ron Harperhis
> turned out that way, though who would have suspected it with all
> awful shooting early on in his career. Give Harper/DJ karma points
> for their championships, but they still contribute a net of about
> 20-50 pts/season with his best teams (or 1-2 extra wins) and are
> pretty replaceable (not easily because they _are_ starters, but
> Dean Oliver
> Journal of Basketball Studies