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Re: [APBR_analysis] Re: Pace and another huge can of worms

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  • John Craven
    ... From: HoopStudies To: Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2002 9:53 AM Subject: [APBR_analysis] Re: Pace ...
    Message 1 of 30 , Jan 30, 2002
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "HoopStudies" <deano@...>
      To: <APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2002 9:53 AM
      Subject: [APBR_analysis] Re: Pace


      > John --
      >
      > The pace that I typically calculate is team possessions or
      >
      > FGA - OR + TO + 0.4*FTA
      >
      > Calculate it using both the offensive and defensive team stats, then
      > average. The two estimates are usually within 1-2% of each other and
      > I've checked the estimate against games I've scored. In theory, a
      > team and its opponents have the same number of possessions in each
      > game (+ or -2 and this + or - usually balances out over the season).
      >
      > I use that for creating "Offensive Ratings" and "Defensive Ratings",
      > which are just Points scored and allowed per 100 possessions,
      > respectively. Fortunately, my relative rankings are almost identical
      > to yours so we're doing something similar. By my methodology,
      > Milwaukee, LA, Dallas, then Utah were top offenses last year. My top
      > 5 D's were almost the same, with Sacramento in there, but in
      > different order (though all of them were _very_ similar). Bob
      > Chaikin has another way of estimating possessions.

      Interesting way of doing things. I think the primary reason why there's any
      difference at all between our two methods (other than the fact that you use
      FGA where I use FGM+OR+DR) is that you calculate the total per 100
      possessions where I use the raw points scored per "average game (211.656
      possessions). The reason I chose to do this was that some teams, due to
      rebounding and not turning the ball over, get more possessions per game than
      their opponents do. Last year's Lakers, for example, had the ball 103.19
      times for every 100 opponent possessions. OTOH, the Bucks only had 98.31
      possessions per 100 for their opponents. That's not a huge difference, but
      it is an advantage due the Lakers for reasons other than luck.

      The other reason for the slight difference (as well as a possible reason why
      I have some teams with more possessions than others) might be that you don't
      include offensive rebounds where I do. The way I figured it was, a
      possession could end one of these ways:

      - Made field goal
      - Missed field goal, followed by a rebound
      - Turnover
      - Personal foul

      Just curious, how did you rate players last year? I have a fairly complex
      system that's still a little buggy, but here's everybody who was, according
      to my methodology, worth 10 wins or more to their team in 2000-2001:

      Tim Duncan 12.55
      Shaquille O'Neal 12.11 (he actually had a higher per-game rating than
      Duncan, but Duncan played in all 82 games where Shaq did not)
      Karl Malone 11.83
      Steve Francis 11.56
      Jason Kidd 11.54
      Dirk Nowitzki 11.37
      Ray Allen 11.22
      Kevin Garnett 10.93
      John Stockton 10.87 (also the most efficient player in the league on a
      per-minute basis)
      Allen Iverson 10.71
      Tracy McGrady 10.55
      David Robinson 10.34
      Chris Webber 10.28
      Vince Carter 10.28
      Shawn Marion 10.19
      Gary Payton 10.03
      Kobe Bryant 10.03

      >
      > You can also do things like compensate for how teams slack off
      > because they're involved in blowouts. That starts to get at why the
      > Lakers' D improved so much in the playoffs, but, as you say, they
      > turned it on then. (See Toying With 'Em at
      > http://www.rawbw.com/~deano/articles/aa052097.htm or They Say Defense
      > Wins Championships at
      > http://www.rawbw.com/~deano/articles/aa082197.htm)

      Hmm... the blowout thing is interesting... I tried to stay away from
      standard deviations and the like because one thing that I think is important
      for basketball stats while they're still in their infancy is simplicity. The
      other reason was that, to be honest, figuring things out by individual games
      would have drastically increased the amount of time I spent on the project.

      Just curious... when you're looking at individual players, how do you
      control for the Bad Team Effect (that is, the way that a Mike Bibby can
      average 8 assists on a crappy team like Vancouver, but has trouble getting 5
      a night when he's on a team that isn't built around his less-than-stellar
      ballhandling skills)? I have a modifier for "team defense" that mostly ends
      up uniformly driving totals of players on really bad teams down; since it's
      based on the difference between Team Wins (my own Tendex-ish rating) and
      Expected Wins (based on my own permutation of baseball's Pythagorean
      Theorem), it can bring individual performances on good teams up, too. This
      method is probably too pat for some, but how else can you factor in defense
      when the league keeps track of very few defense-related statistics?

      John Craven

      >
      > The method I use for pace (and other things) is explained here:
      >
      > http://www.rawbw.com/~deano/estabmthf.html
      >
      > Dean Oliver
      > Journal of Basketball Studies
      >
      >
      >
      > --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "John Craven" <john1974@u...> wrote:
      > > One thing that's always bothered me is that when people talk about
      > the best
      > > and worst offensive and defensive teams in the league, they nearly
      > always
      > > rank them by raw points scored for and against. Sometimes this is a
      > valid
      > > method, but not always - teams like the Mike Fratello Cavaliers are
      > bound to
      > > be overrated by this method, while teams like the George Karl
      > Seattle
      > > Supersonics (see my bias? ;) ) will be perennially underrated. Last
      > year, I
      > > observed that the Sacramento Kings really weren't half-bad on D,
      > even though
      > > they give up a lot of points per game, whereas Chicago wasn't even
      > close to
      > > average defensively.
      > >
      > > If you've ever watched the Kings play, you know that they like to
      > push the
      > > ball upcourt. Chicago last year did not. The net result is,
      > Sacramento had a
      > > ton more possessions (and opponent possessions) than did Chicago.
      > Think of
      > > this like park factors in baseball: just as some teams (the
      > Rockies, for
      > > instance) will have skewed hitting and pitching numbers because of
      > the park
      > > they play in, so will some teams in basketball have skewed offense
      > and
      > > defense numbers because of how fast they like to play.
      > >
      > > Without further ado, here are the top 5 and bottom 5 teams in pace:
      > >
      > > Top 5 (1000 = average)
      > > 1. Golden State 1049
      > > 2. Detroit 1046
      > > 3. Sacramento 1045
      > > 4. Orlando 1034
      > > 5. Dallas 1017
      > >
      > > The two most average-paced teams last year were Boston (999) and
      > Cleveland
      > > (1001).
      > >
      > > Bottom 5
      > > 1. New York 943
      > > 2. Miami 950
      > > 3. Portland 973
      > > 4. Charlotte 974
      > > 5t. Utah 977
      > > 5t. San Antonio 977
      > >
      > > You'll notice that the Knicks and Heat slowed things down more than
      > any
      > > single team sped things up. Overall, the bottom 5 pretty uniformly
      > have good
      > > defensive reputations; #7 (Chicago with a 978) is the first that
      > does not.
      > > Conversely, all five teams on the top of the list had reputations
      > for
      > > playing matador d, which isn't entirely true if you adjust for pace:
      > >
      > > Top 10 teams, Pace-Adjusted Opp. PPG
      > > 1. Philadelphia 90.2
      > > 2. San Antonio 90.5
      > > 3. Phoenix 91.1
      > > 4. Miami 91.2
      > > 5. New York 91.3
      > > 6. Sacramento 91.8
      > > 7. Charlotte 92.2
      > > 8. Detroit 93.0
      > > 9. Orlando 93.3
      > > 10. Indiana 93.5
      > >
      > > Anyone who saw a lot of Philly last year knows that that #1 ranking
      > is
      > > accurate. Interestingly enough, a number of slow-paced teams (San
      > Antonio,
      > > New York, Miami) are still prominently featured. The biggest
      > surprise is
      > > Phoenix at #3. Some may be surprised that the Lakers aren't on the
      > list; all
      > > I have to say is, the team that played in the playoffs was not the
      > same one
      > > who played most of the season, defensively speaking. Let's take a
      > look at
      > > the worst 10:
      > >
      > > Bottom 10
      > > 29. Washington 99.2
      > > 28. Chicago 98.8
      > > 27. New Jersey 97.8
      > > 26. Denver 97.8
      > > 25. Vancouver 97.2
      > > 24. Golden State 96.8
      > > 23. Boston 96.7
      > > 22. Houston 96.6
      > > 21. Cleveland 96.5
      > > 20. Seattle 96.5
      > >
      > > Not surprisingly, these are some of the worst franchises in the
      > league. The
      > > only playoff team to make the list is Boston, though they only made
      > it in
      > > because of the weak East; most years, 36 wins isn't going to be
      > enough to do
      > > it. The only two teams with winning records on the list are Houston
      > and
      > > Seattle, and both are pretty far down it. The top offenses are a
      > bit more
      > > surprising:
      > >
      > > Top 10 Pace-Adjusted Offenses
      > > 1. Milwaukee 99.9
      > > 2. Utah 99.4
      > > 3. LA Lakers 99.3
      > > 4. Houston 99.0
      > > 5. Dallas 98.8
      > > 6. San Antonio 98.4
      > > 7. Portland 98.1
      > > 8. Toronto 97.5
      > > 9. Sacramento 97.4
      > > 10. Minnesota 96.8
      > > (Seattle was #11 with 96.6)
      > >
      > > 2 of the top 3 teams should surprise no one. In fact, the Lakers
      > being
      > > ranked so high should answer the question of how they won so many
      > games
      > > despite an average defense. But Utah? Yeah. Think about it.
      > Stockton and
      > > Malone are getting older, but they're still like clockwork, and
      > last year
      > > they had a third guy, Donyell Marshall, in the mix. They like to
      > slow things
      > > way down, but when they don't turn the ball over much and make a
      > lot of
      > > their shots. All the top 10 teams had plus-.500 records, and only
      > one
      > > (Houston) missed the playoffs. And they were the only top-10
      > offense team
      > > that was also on the bottom-10 defense list (Seattle just missed
      > out on that
      > > "honor").
      > >
      > > The worst 10:
      > > 29. Golden State 88.2
      > > 28. Chicago 89.5
      > > 27. Atlanta 90.4
      > > 26. Detroit 91.3
      > > 25. Vancouver 91.4
      > > 24. Cleveland 92.3
      > > 23. Washington 92.6
      > > 22. New Jersey 92.7
      > > 21. LA Clippers 93.0
      > > 20. Indiana 93.3
      > >
      > > Again, the worst offensive teams in the league were also, by and
      > large, the
      > > worst teams in the league. None of these guys reached .500. Indiana
      > came the
      > > closest to making the playoffs; not surprisingly, they were only
      > the 10th
      > > worst offense, and they had the 10th best defense to boot. With the
      > possible
      > > exception of the Clippers, none of these names should be
      > surprising. Chicago
      > > had the 2nd worst offense and 5th worst defense; that's the recipe
      > for
      > > losing 65 games, folks.
      > >
      > > Questions? Comments?
      > >
      > > John Craven
      >
      >
      >
      > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
      > APBR_analysis-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
      >
      >
      >
      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      >
      >
      >
    • HoopStudies
      ... then ... and ... season). ... Ratings , ... identical ... top ... there s any ... you use ... (211.656 ... due to ... game than ... 103.19 ... 98.31 ...
      Message 2 of 30 , Jan 30, 2002
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        --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "John Craven" <john1974@u...> wrote:
        > > John --
        > >
        > > The pace that I typically calculate is team possessions or
        > >
        > > FGA - OR + TO + 0.4*FTA
        > >
        > > Calculate it using both the offensive and defensive team stats,
        then
        > > average. The two estimates are usually within 1-2% of each other
        and
        > > I've checked the estimate against games I've scored. In theory, a
        > > team and its opponents have the same number of possessions in each
        > > game (+ or -2 and this + or - usually balances out over the
        season).
        > >
        > > I use that for creating "Offensive Ratings" and "Defensive
        Ratings",
        > > which are just Points scored and allowed per 100 possessions,
        > > respectively. Fortunately, my relative rankings are almost
        identical
        > > to yours so we're doing something similar. By my methodology,
        > > Milwaukee, LA, Dallas, then Utah were top offenses last year. My
        top
        > > 5 D's were almost the same, with Sacramento in there, but in
        > > different order (though all of them were _very_ similar). Bob
        > > Chaikin has another way of estimating possessions.
        >
        > Interesting way of doing things. I think the primary reason why
        there's any
        > difference at all between our two methods (other than the fact that
        you use
        > FGA where I use FGM+OR+DR) is that you calculate the total per 100
        > possessions where I use the raw points scored per "average game
        (211.656
        > possessions). The reason I chose to do this was that some teams,
        due to
        > rebounding and not turning the ball over, get more possessions per
        game than
        > their opponents do. Last year's Lakers, for example, had the ball
        103.19
        > times for every 100 opponent possessions. OTOH, the Bucks only had
        98.31
        > possessions per 100 for their opponents. That's not a huge
        difference, but
        > it is an advantage due the Lakers for reasons other than luck.

        No time to answer everything right now, but I do want to clarify one
        thing.

        The term possession gets used very loosely. I define it as the time
        between when one team gets the ball and the opponent gets the ball.
        It's a definition, no arguing allowed. That is what makes it equal
        for two teams in a game, a VERY useful thing. This means that a team
        throws up 3 bricks, gets 3 offensive rebounds, and makes the 4th
        shot -- that is 1 possession. I designate everything within that
        a "play". So it is 1 possession and 4 plays. Plays need not be
        equal. Teams get offensive rebounds to maximize the number of plays
        they have.

        If you define points per 100 possessions, you are characterizing
        offensive rebounds as part of the team's offense (duh). If you
        define points per 100 plays, you are saying that offensive rebounds
        are not part of the offense, but are something separate (there are 3
        kingdoms: offense, defense, and rebounding). That may be useful
        sometimes. I do calculate a Play %, or the chance that a team scores
        on a play. I could calculate the points per 100 plays, but don't
        often do that (because the play% is useful in some of my calculations
        and points per 100 plays is mostly duplicative).

        I hope that clarifies things. Your definition of pace means that all
        that frantic offensive rebounding adds to pace and I think it's all
        part of one possession. It's a matter of definition and what I'm
        really hoping to accomplish here is a clarification of terminology.

        My stats for last year can be downloaded as a (huge) PDF file from

        http://www.rawbw.com/~deano/jobsstats_01.PDF

        Individual win-loss records, net points, etc.

        >
        > The other reason for the slight difference (as well as a possible
        reason why
        > I have some teams with more possessions than others) might be that
        you don't
        > include offensive rebounds where I do. The way I figured it was, a
        > possession could end one of these ways:
        >
        > - Made field goal
        > - Missed field goal, followed by a rebound
        > - Turnover
        > - Personal foul
        >
        > Just curious, how did you rate players last year? I have a fairly
        complex
        > system that's still a little buggy, but here's everybody who was,
        according
        > to my methodology, worth 10 wins or more to their team in 2000-2001:
        >
        > Tim Duncan 12.55
        > Shaquille O'Neal 12.11 (he actually had a higher per-game rating
        than
        > Duncan, but Duncan played in all 82 games where Shaq did not)
        > Karl Malone 11.83
        > Steve Francis 11.56
        > Jason Kidd 11.54
        > Dirk Nowitzki 11.37
        > Ray Allen 11.22
        > Kevin Garnett 10.93
        > John Stockton 10.87 (also the most efficient player in the league
        on a
        > per-minute basis)
        > Allen Iverson 10.71
        > Tracy McGrady 10.55
        > David Robinson 10.34
        > Chris Webber 10.28
        > Vince Carter 10.28
        > Shawn Marion 10.19
        > Gary Payton 10.03
        > Kobe Bryant 10.03
        >
        > >
        > > You can also do things like compensate for how teams slack off
        > > because they're involved in blowouts. That starts to get at why
        the
        > > Lakers' D improved so much in the playoffs, but, as you say, they
        > > turned it on then. (See Toying With 'Em at
        > > http://www.rawbw.com/~deano/articles/aa052097.htm or They Say
        Defense
        > > Wins Championships at
        > > http://www.rawbw.com/~deano/articles/aa082197.htm)
        >
        > Hmm... the blowout thing is interesting... I tried to stay away from
        > standard deviations and the like because one thing that I think is
        important
        > for basketball stats while they're still in their infancy is
        simplicity. The
        > other reason was that, to be honest, figuring things out by
        individual games
        > would have drastically increased the amount of time I spent on the
        project.
        >
        > Just curious... when you're looking at individual players, how do
        you
        > control for the Bad Team Effect (that is, the way that a Mike Bibby
        can
        > average 8 assists on a crappy team like Vancouver, but has trouble
        getting 5
        > a night when he's on a team that isn't built around his less-than-
        stellar
        > ballhandling skills)? I have a modifier for "team defense" that
        mostly ends
        > up uniformly driving totals of players on really bad teams down;
        since it's
        > based on the difference between Team Wins (my own Tendex-ish
        rating) and
        > Expected Wins (based on my own permutation of baseball's Pythagorean
        > Theorem), it can bring individual performances on good teams up,
        too. This
        > method is probably too pat for some, but how else can you factor in
        defense
        > when the league keeps track of very few defense-related statistics?
        >
        > John Craven
        >
        > >
        > > The method I use for pace (and other things) is explained here:
        > >
        > > http://www.rawbw.com/~deano/estabmthf.html
        > >
        > > Dean Oliver
        > > Journal of Basketball Studies
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "John Craven" <john1974@u...> wrote:
        > > > One thing that's always bothered me is that when people talk
        about
        > > the best
        > > > and worst offensive and defensive teams in the league, they
        nearly
        > > always
        > > > rank them by raw points scored for and against. Sometimes this
        is a
        > > valid
        > > > method, but not always - teams like the Mike Fratello Cavaliers
        are
        > > bound to
        > > > be overrated by this method, while teams like the George Karl
        > > Seattle
        > > > Supersonics (see my bias? ;) ) will be perennially underrated.
        Last
        > > year, I
        > > > observed that the Sacramento Kings really weren't half-bad on D,
        > > even though
        > > > they give up a lot of points per game, whereas Chicago wasn't
        even
        > > close to
        > > > average defensively.
        > > >
        > > > If you've ever watched the Kings play, you know that they like
        to
        > > push the
        > > > ball upcourt. Chicago last year did not. The net result is,
        > > Sacramento had a
        > > > ton more possessions (and opponent possessions) than did
        Chicago.
        > > Think of
        > > > this like park factors in baseball: just as some teams (the
        > > Rockies, for
        > > > instance) will have skewed hitting and pitching numbers because
        of
        > > the park
        > > > they play in, so will some teams in basketball have skewed
        offense
        > > and
        > > > defense numbers because of how fast they like to play.
        > > >
        > > > Without further ado, here are the top 5 and bottom 5 teams in
        pace:
        > > >
        > > > Top 5 (1000 = average)
        > > > 1. Golden State 1049
        > > > 2. Detroit 1046
        > > > 3. Sacramento 1045
        > > > 4. Orlando 1034
        > > > 5. Dallas 1017
        > > >
        > > > The two most average-paced teams last year were Boston (999) and
        > > Cleveland
        > > > (1001).
        > > >
        > > > Bottom 5
        > > > 1. New York 943
        > > > 2. Miami 950
        > > > 3. Portland 973
        > > > 4. Charlotte 974
        > > > 5t. Utah 977
        > > > 5t. San Antonio 977
        > > >
        > > > You'll notice that the Knicks and Heat slowed things down more
        than
        > > any
        > > > single team sped things up. Overall, the bottom 5 pretty
        uniformly
        > > have good
        > > > defensive reputations; #7 (Chicago with a 978) is the first that
        > > does not.
        > > > Conversely, all five teams on the top of the list had
        reputations
        > > for
        > > > playing matador d, which isn't entirely true if you adjust for
        pace:
        > > >
        > > > Top 10 teams, Pace-Adjusted Opp. PPG
        > > > 1. Philadelphia 90.2
        > > > 2. San Antonio 90.5
        > > > 3. Phoenix 91.1
        > > > 4. Miami 91.2
        > > > 5. New York 91.3
        > > > 6. Sacramento 91.8
        > > > 7. Charlotte 92.2
        > > > 8. Detroit 93.0
        > > > 9. Orlando 93.3
        > > > 10. Indiana 93.5
        > > >
        > > > Anyone who saw a lot of Philly last year knows that that #1
        ranking
        > > is
        > > > accurate. Interestingly enough, a number of slow-paced teams
        (San
        > > Antonio,
        > > > New York, Miami) are still prominently featured. The biggest
        > > surprise is
        > > > Phoenix at #3. Some may be surprised that the Lakers aren't on
        the
        > > list; all
        > > > I have to say is, the team that played in the playoffs was not
        the
        > > same one
        > > > who played most of the season, defensively speaking. Let's take
        a
        > > look at
        > > > the worst 10:
        > > >
        > > > Bottom 10
        > > > 29. Washington 99.2
        > > > 28. Chicago 98.8
        > > > 27. New Jersey 97.8
        > > > 26. Denver 97.8
        > > > 25. Vancouver 97.2
        > > > 24. Golden State 96.8
        > > > 23. Boston 96.7
        > > > 22. Houston 96.6
        > > > 21. Cleveland 96.5
        > > > 20. Seattle 96.5
        > > >
        > > > Not surprisingly, these are some of the worst franchises in the
        > > league. The
        > > > only playoff team to make the list is Boston, though they only
        made
        > > it in
        > > > because of the weak East; most years, 36 wins isn't going to be
        > > enough to do
        > > > it. The only two teams with winning records on the list are
        Houston
        > > and
        > > > Seattle, and both are pretty far down it. The top offenses are a
        > > bit more
        > > > surprising:
        > > >
        > > > Top 10 Pace-Adjusted Offenses
        > > > 1. Milwaukee 99.9
        > > > 2. Utah 99.4
        > > > 3. LA Lakers 99.3
        > > > 4. Houston 99.0
        > > > 5. Dallas 98.8
        > > > 6. San Antonio 98.4
        > > > 7. Portland 98.1
        > > > 8. Toronto 97.5
        > > > 9. Sacramento 97.4
        > > > 10. Minnesota 96.8
        > > > (Seattle was #11 with 96.6)
        > > >
        > > > 2 of the top 3 teams should surprise no one. In fact, the Lakers
        > > being
        > > > ranked so high should answer the question of how they won so
        many
        > > games
        > > > despite an average defense. But Utah? Yeah. Think about it.
        > > Stockton and
        > > > Malone are getting older, but they're still like clockwork, and
        > > last year
        > > > they had a third guy, Donyell Marshall, in the mix. They like to
        > > slow things
        > > > way down, but when they don't turn the ball over much and make a
        > > lot of
        > > > their shots. All the top 10 teams had plus-.500 records, and
        only
        > > one
        > > > (Houston) missed the playoffs. And they were the only top-10
        > > offense team
        > > > that was also on the bottom-10 defense list (Seattle just missed
        > > out on that
        > > > "honor").
        > > >
        > > > The worst 10:
        > > > 29. Golden State 88.2
        > > > 28. Chicago 89.5
        > > > 27. Atlanta 90.4
        > > > 26. Detroit 91.3
        > > > 25. Vancouver 91.4
        > > > 24. Cleveland 92.3
        > > > 23. Washington 92.6
        > > > 22. New Jersey 92.7
        > > > 21. LA Clippers 93.0
        > > > 20. Indiana 93.3
        > > >
        > > > Again, the worst offensive teams in the league were also, by and
        > > large, the
        > > > worst teams in the league. None of these guys reached .500.
        Indiana
        > > came the
        > > > closest to making the playoffs; not surprisingly, they were only
        > > the 10th
        > > > worst offense, and they had the 10th best defense to boot. With
        the
        > > possible
        > > > exception of the Clippers, none of these names should be
        > > surprising. Chicago
        > > > had the 2nd worst offense and 5th worst defense; that's the
        recipe
        > > for
        > > > losing 65 games, folks.
        > > >
        > > > Questions? Comments?
        > > >
        > > > John Craven
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
        > > APBR_analysis-unsubscribe@y...
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
        http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        > >
        > >
        > >
      • John Craven
        ... From: HoopStudies To: Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2002 11:38 AM Subject: [APBR_analysis] Re: Pace and
        Message 3 of 30 , Jan 30, 2002
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          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "HoopStudies" <deano@...>
          To: <APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2002 11:38 AM
          Subject: [APBR_analysis] Re: Pace and another huge can of worms


          > --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "John Craven" <john1974@u...> wrote:
          > > > John --
          > > >
          > > > The pace that I typically calculate is team possessions or
          > > >
          > > > FGA - OR + TO + 0.4*FTA
          > > >
          > > > Calculate it using both the offensive and defensive team stats,
          > then
          > > > average. The two estimates are usually within 1-2% of each other
          > and
          > > > I've checked the estimate against games I've scored. In theory, a
          > > > team and its opponents have the same number of possessions in each
          > > > game (+ or -2 and this + or - usually balances out over the
          > season).
          > > >
          > > > I use that for creating "Offensive Ratings" and "Defensive
          > Ratings",
          > > > which are just Points scored and allowed per 100 possessions,
          > > > respectively. Fortunately, my relative rankings are almost
          > identical
          > > > to yours so we're doing something similar. By my methodology,
          > > > Milwaukee, LA, Dallas, then Utah were top offenses last year. My
          > top
          > > > 5 D's were almost the same, with Sacramento in there, but in
          > > > different order (though all of them were _very_ similar). Bob
          > > > Chaikin has another way of estimating possessions.
          > >
          > > Interesting way of doing things. I think the primary reason why
          > there's any
          > > difference at all between our two methods (other than the fact that
          > you use
          > > FGA where I use FGM+OR+DR) is that you calculate the total per 100
          > > possessions where I use the raw points scored per "average game
          > (211.656
          > > possessions). The reason I chose to do this was that some teams,
          > due to
          > > rebounding and not turning the ball over, get more possessions per
          > game than
          > > their opponents do. Last year's Lakers, for example, had the ball
          > 103.19
          > > times for every 100 opponent possessions. OTOH, the Bucks only had
          > 98.31
          > > possessions per 100 for their opponents. That's not a huge
          > difference, but
          > > it is an advantage due the Lakers for reasons other than luck.
          >
          > No time to answer everything right now, but I do want to clarify one
          > thing.
          >
          > The term possession gets used very loosely. I define it as the time
          > between when one team gets the ball and the opponent gets the ball.
          > It's a definition, no arguing allowed. That is what makes it equal
          > for two teams in a game, a VERY useful thing. This means that a team
          > throws up 3 bricks, gets 3 offensive rebounds, and makes the 4th
          > shot -- that is 1 possession. I designate everything within that
          > a "play". So it is 1 possession and 4 plays. Plays need not be
          > equal. Teams get offensive rebounds to maximize the number of plays
          > they have.
          >
          > If you define points per 100 possessions, you are characterizing
          > offensive rebounds as part of the team's offense (duh). If you
          > define points per 100 plays, you are saying that offensive rebounds
          > are not part of the offense, but are something separate (there are 3
          > kingdoms: offense, defense, and rebounding). That may be useful
          > sometimes. I do calculate a Play %, or the chance that a team scores
          > on a play. I could calculate the points per 100 plays, but don't
          > often do that (because the play% is useful in some of my calculations
          > and points per 100 plays is mostly duplicative).
          >
          > I hope that clarifies things. Your definition of pace means that all
          > that frantic offensive rebounding adds to pace and I think it's all
          > part of one possession. It's a matter of definition and what I'm
          > really hoping to accomplish here is a clarification of terminology.

          Sure. The primary reason I decided not to include offensive rebounds in my
          conception of possessions is that often (I have no idea what the percentage
          is) they result in the ball being kicked out to the PG and an entirely new
          play being called. If I could, I'd lump putback attempts in with made field
          goals, but I can't.

          >
          > My stats for last year can be downloaded as a (huge) PDF file from
          >
          > http://www.rawbw.com/~deano/jobsstats_01.PDF
          >
          > Individual win-loss records, net points, etc.
          >
          > >
          > > The other reason for the slight difference (as well as a possible
          > reason why
          > > I have some teams with more possessions than others) might be that
          > you don't
          > > include offensive rebounds where I do. The way I figured it was, a
          > > possession could end one of these ways:
          > >
          > > - Made field goal
          > > - Missed field goal, followed by a rebound
          > > - Turnover
          > > - Personal foul
          > >
          > > Just curious, how did you rate players last year? I have a fairly
          > complex
          > > system that's still a little buggy, but here's everybody who was,
          > according
          > > to my methodology, worth 10 wins or more to their team in 2000-2001:
          > >
          > > Tim Duncan 12.55
          > > Shaquille O'Neal 12.11 (he actually had a higher per-game rating
          > than
          > > Duncan, but Duncan played in all 82 games where Shaq did not)
          > > Karl Malone 11.83
          > > Steve Francis 11.56
          > > Jason Kidd 11.54
          > > Dirk Nowitzki 11.37
          > > Ray Allen 11.22
          > > Kevin Garnett 10.93
          > > John Stockton 10.87 (also the most efficient player in the league
          > on a
          > > per-minute basis)
          > > Allen Iverson 10.71
          > > Tracy McGrady 10.55
          > > David Robinson 10.34
          > > Chris Webber 10.28
          > > Vince Carter 10.28
          > > Shawn Marion 10.19
          > > Gary Payton 10.03
          > > Kobe Bryant 10.03
          > >
          > > >
          > > > You can also do things like compensate for how teams slack off
          > > > because they're involved in blowouts. That starts to get at why
          > the
          > > > Lakers' D improved so much in the playoffs, but, as you say, they
          > > > turned it on then. (See Toying With 'Em at
          > > > http://www.rawbw.com/~deano/articles/aa052097.htm or They Say
          > Defense
          > > > Wins Championships at
          > > > http://www.rawbw.com/~deano/articles/aa082197.htm)
          > >
          > > Hmm... the blowout thing is interesting... I tried to stay away from
          > > standard deviations and the like because one thing that I think is
          > important
          > > for basketball stats while they're still in their infancy is
          > simplicity. The
          > > other reason was that, to be honest, figuring things out by
          > individual games
          > > would have drastically increased the amount of time I spent on the
          > project.
          > >
          > > Just curious... when you're looking at individual players, how do
          > you
          > > control for the Bad Team Effect (that is, the way that a Mike Bibby
          > can
          > > average 8 assists on a crappy team like Vancouver, but has trouble
          > getting 5
          > > a night when he's on a team that isn't built around his less-than-
          > stellar
          > > ballhandling skills)? I have a modifier for "team defense" that
          > mostly ends
          > > up uniformly driving totals of players on really bad teams down;
          > since it's
          > > based on the difference between Team Wins (my own Tendex-ish
          > rating) and
          > > Expected Wins (based on my own permutation of baseball's Pythagorean
          > > Theorem), it can bring individual performances on good teams up,
          > too. This
          > > method is probably too pat for some, but how else can you factor in
          > defense
          > > when the league keeps track of very few defense-related statistics?
          > >
          > > John Craven
          > >
          > > >
          > > > The method I use for pace (and other things) is explained here:
          > > >
          > > > http://www.rawbw.com/~deano/estabmthf.html
          > > >
          > > > Dean Oliver
          > > > Journal of Basketball Studies
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "John Craven" <john1974@u...> wrote:
          > > > > One thing that's always bothered me is that when people talk
          > about
          > > > the best
          > > > > and worst offensive and defensive teams in the league, they
          > nearly
          > > > always
          > > > > rank them by raw points scored for and against. Sometimes this
          > is a
          > > > valid
          > > > > method, but not always - teams like the Mike Fratello Cavaliers
          > are
          > > > bound to
          > > > > be overrated by this method, while teams like the George Karl
          > > > Seattle
          > > > > Supersonics (see my bias? ;) ) will be perennially underrated.
          > Last
          > > > year, I
          > > > > observed that the Sacramento Kings really weren't half-bad on D,
          > > > even though
          > > > > they give up a lot of points per game, whereas Chicago wasn't
          > even
          > > > close to
          > > > > average defensively.
          > > > >
          > > > > If you've ever watched the Kings play, you know that they like
          > to
          > > > push the
          > > > > ball upcourt. Chicago last year did not. The net result is,
          > > > Sacramento had a
          > > > > ton more possessions (and opponent possessions) than did
          > Chicago.
          > > > Think of
          > > > > this like park factors in baseball: just as some teams (the
          > > > Rockies, for
          > > > > instance) will have skewed hitting and pitching numbers because
          > of
          > > > the park
          > > > > they play in, so will some teams in basketball have skewed
          > offense
          > > > and
          > > > > defense numbers because of how fast they like to play.
          > > > >
          > > > > Without further ado, here are the top 5 and bottom 5 teams in
          > pace:
          > > > >
          > > > > Top 5 (1000 = average)
          > > > > 1. Golden State 1049
          > > > > 2. Detroit 1046
          > > > > 3. Sacramento 1045
          > > > > 4. Orlando 1034
          > > > > 5. Dallas 1017
          > > > >
          > > > > The two most average-paced teams last year were Boston (999) and
          > > > Cleveland
          > > > > (1001).
          > > > >
          > > > > Bottom 5
          > > > > 1. New York 943
          > > > > 2. Miami 950
          > > > > 3. Portland 973
          > > > > 4. Charlotte 974
          > > > > 5t. Utah 977
          > > > > 5t. San Antonio 977
          > > > >
          > > > > You'll notice that the Knicks and Heat slowed things down more
          > than
          > > > any
          > > > > single team sped things up. Overall, the bottom 5 pretty
          > uniformly
          > > > have good
          > > > > defensive reputations; #7 (Chicago with a 978) is the first that
          > > > does not.
          > > > > Conversely, all five teams on the top of the list had
          > reputations
          > > > for
          > > > > playing matador d, which isn't entirely true if you adjust for
          > pace:
          > > > >
          > > > > Top 10 teams, Pace-Adjusted Opp. PPG
          > > > > 1. Philadelphia 90.2
          > > > > 2. San Antonio 90.5
          > > > > 3. Phoenix 91.1
          > > > > 4. Miami 91.2
          > > > > 5. New York 91.3
          > > > > 6. Sacramento 91.8
          > > > > 7. Charlotte 92.2
          > > > > 8. Detroit 93.0
          > > > > 9. Orlando 93.3
          > > > > 10. Indiana 93.5
          > > > >
          > > > > Anyone who saw a lot of Philly last year knows that that #1
          > ranking
          > > > is
          > > > > accurate. Interestingly enough, a number of slow-paced teams
          > (San
          > > > Antonio,
          > > > > New York, Miami) are still prominently featured. The biggest
          > > > surprise is
          > > > > Phoenix at #3. Some may be surprised that the Lakers aren't on
          > the
          > > > list; all
          > > > > I have to say is, the team that played in the playoffs was not
          > the
          > > > same one
          > > > > who played most of the season, defensively speaking. Let's take
          > a
          > > > look at
          > > > > the worst 10:
          > > > >
          > > > > Bottom 10
          > > > > 29. Washington 99.2
          > > > > 28. Chicago 98.8
          > > > > 27. New Jersey 97.8
          > > > > 26. Denver 97.8
          > > > > 25. Vancouver 97.2
          > > > > 24. Golden State 96.8
          > > > > 23. Boston 96.7
          > > > > 22. Houston 96.6
          > > > > 21. Cleveland 96.5
          > > > > 20. Seattle 96.5
          > > > >
          > > > > Not surprisingly, these are some of the worst franchises in the
          > > > league. The
          > > > > only playoff team to make the list is Boston, though they only
          > made
          > > > it in
          > > > > because of the weak East; most years, 36 wins isn't going to be
          > > > enough to do
          > > > > it. The only two teams with winning records on the list are
          > Houston
          > > > and
          > > > > Seattle, and both are pretty far down it. The top offenses are a
          > > > bit more
          > > > > surprising:
          > > > >
          > > > > Top 10 Pace-Adjusted Offenses
          > > > > 1. Milwaukee 99.9
          > > > > 2. Utah 99.4
          > > > > 3. LA Lakers 99.3
          > > > > 4. Houston 99.0
          > > > > 5. Dallas 98.8
          > > > > 6. San Antonio 98.4
          > > > > 7. Portland 98.1
          > > > > 8. Toronto 97.5
          > > > > 9. Sacramento 97.4
          > > > > 10. Minnesota 96.8
          > > > > (Seattle was #11 with 96.6)
          > > > >
          > > > > 2 of the top 3 teams should surprise no one. In fact, the Lakers
          > > > being
          > > > > ranked so high should answer the question of how they won so
          > many
          > > > games
          > > > > despite an average defense. But Utah? Yeah. Think about it.
          > > > Stockton and
          > > > > Malone are getting older, but they're still like clockwork, and
          > > > last year
          > > > > they had a third guy, Donyell Marshall, in the mix. They like to
          > > > slow things
          > > > > way down, but when they don't turn the ball over much and make a
          > > > lot of
          > > > > their shots. All the top 10 teams had plus-.500 records, and
          > only
          > > > one
          > > > > (Houston) missed the playoffs. And they were the only top-10
          > > > offense team
          > > > > that was also on the bottom-10 defense list (Seattle just missed
          > > > out on that
          > > > > "honor").
          > > > >
          > > > > The worst 10:
          > > > > 29. Golden State 88.2
          > > > > 28. Chicago 89.5
          > > > > 27. Atlanta 90.4
          > > > > 26. Detroit 91.3
          > > > > 25. Vancouver 91.4
          > > > > 24. Cleveland 92.3
          > > > > 23. Washington 92.6
          > > > > 22. New Jersey 92.7
          > > > > 21. LA Clippers 93.0
          > > > > 20. Indiana 93.3
          > > > >
          > > > > Again, the worst offensive teams in the league were also, by and
          > > > large, the
          > > > > worst teams in the league. None of these guys reached .500.
          > Indiana
          > > > came the
          > > > > closest to making the playoffs; not surprisingly, they were only
          > > > the 10th
          > > > > worst offense, and they had the 10th best defense to boot. With
          > the
          > > > possible
          > > > > exception of the Clippers, none of these names should be
          > > > surprising. Chicago
          > > > > had the 2nd worst offense and 5th worst defense; that's the
          > recipe
          > > > for
          > > > > losing 65 games, folks.
          > > > >
          > > > > Questions? Comments?
          > > > >
          > > > > John Craven
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          > > > APBR_analysis-unsubscribe@y...
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
          > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          >
          >
          >
          > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          > APBR_analysis-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          >
          >
          >
          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          >
          >
          >
        • Michael K. Tamada
          ... [...] Brian Harper has a useful terminology here: the Dean O definition of a possession he calls a major possession . I.e. all the offensive rebounds
          Message 4 of 30 , Jan 30, 2002
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            On Wed, 30 Jan 2002, HoopStudies wrote:

            > No time to answer everything right now, but I do want to clarify one
            > thing.
            >
            > The term possession gets used very loosely. I define it as the time
            > between when one team gets the ball and the opponent gets the ball.
            > It's a definition, no arguing allowed. That is what makes it equal
            > for two teams in a game, a VERY useful thing. This means that a team

            [...]

            Brian Harper has a useful terminology here: the Dean O definition of a
            possession he calls a "major possession". I.e. all the offensive rebounds
            still count as part of the possession. The John Craven definition is a
            "minor possession"; missing a shot means a lost possession and getting an
            offensive rebound means a new possession has started.

            Both definitions have their uses.

            > If you define points per 100 possessions, you are characterizing
            > offensive rebounds as part of the team's offense (duh). If you
            > define points per 100 plays, you are saying that offensive rebounds
            > are not part of the offense, but are something separate (there are 3
            > kingdoms: offense, defense, and rebounding). That may be useful
            > sometimes. I do calculate a Play %, or the chance that a team scores

            Yes, I think there's two areas where the "minor possession" is useful: if
            we want to start looking at rebounding as separate from the other aspects
            of basketball, e.g. to calculate the value or importance of rebounding,
            compared to offense or defense. And to get a potentially better or at
            least more pure measure of a team's offensive and defensive capabilities:
            sometimes an offensive rebound means that the team gets to (really, has
            to) re-set its offense and run a play again and try to score. If a team
            is really bad at that offense, but really good at offensive rebounding,
            its overall offense (in terms of major possessions) might look okay, but
            this measure would hide the team's woeful "true" or "isolated" offense,
            which is hidden by its great offensive rebounding.

            Some people would say that offensive rebounding IS a part of offense, and
            the team truly is okay overall. After all, it is scoring in the end,
            thanks to its offensive rebounds.

            But much of the analysis that we do involves continually cutting finer and
            finer divisions into the data. It's not just "offense", it's "offense"
            and "rebounding" (and of course defense). And needless to say,
            "rebounding" is not just rebounding, it's truly two different things:
            "offensive rebounding" and "defensive rebounding". And there are even
            finer rebounding distinctions to be made: the team rebounds and deadball
            rebounds that we talked about last week, rebounds off of missed FTAs vs
            rebounds off of missed FGAs, etc. etc. Finer and finer.

            When it comes to overall, summary, bottom line measures, then of course we
            do want single measures which combine all the elements. The hierarchy
            might be something like this:

            1. First level: one stat. Power Rating (or whatever we want to call the
            one single overall measure of how good a team is).

            2. Second level: two stats. "Offense" and "defense" using the "major
            possession" measure.

            3. Third level: three or four stats, depending on how you choose to
            count. "Offense" and "defense" and "rebounding". But rebounding can,
            be divided into "offensive rebounding" and "defensive rebounding" (though
            one can average them to get an overall rebounding percentage if one
            wants). At this third level we'd use the "minor possession" measure.

            4. Fourth level: pretty much anything goes. Start subdividing between
            fastbreaks and halfcourt, or assisted vs unassisted FGs (as we've been
            doing this week), or inside and outside, or starters vs bench, or whatever
            subdivision of stats we wanted to look at.


            Brian Harper's terminology helps us distinguish between "major" and
            "minor" possessions. What we need is a terminology to distinguish between
            "offense" at the second vs the third level, as well as "defense" at the
            2nd vs 3rd levels. Something like

            "major offense" vs "minor offense" or
            "overall offense" vs "pure offense" or
            "OFF" vs "off" or
            "2nd level offense" vs "3rd level offense"
            "total offense" vs "isolated offense"

            or something.

            [...]

            > I hope that clarifies things. Your definition of pace means that all
            > that frantic offensive rebounding adds to pace and I think it's all
            > part of one possession. It's a matter of definition and what I'm
            > really hoping to accomplish here is a clarification of terminology.

            This is where we might be able to decide what a better measure of pace is.
            If there are a lot of "major possessions", then clearly that's a fast game
            pace. What if there are a lot of "minor possessions," without an
            unusually high number of major possessions (in other words a game with a
            lot of missed shots and offensive rebounds). Would we call that a
            fast-paced game?

            I think the answer depends on the extent to which those minor possessions
            simply were guys attempting tip-ins, or follow-up layins. Vs. where a guy
            like Rodman brings down the offensive rebound and immediately passes to a
            teammate, who then has to create a shot or pass or dribble ... in other
            words, is initiating what in game pace terms really should count as a new
            offensive possession.

            My impression is that most offensive rebounds lead pretty quickly to
            follow shots, as opposed to ones where the team gets the off. rebound and
            uses up 10 or 20 seconds on the shot clock before getting its next shot.
            So that might argue in favor of using major possessions as a measure of
            game pace.

            On the other hand, those tip-ins and follow shots really are real true
            shots, they do represent a flurry of activity on the court. So I could
            still be made to think that minor possesions measure how much activity is
            going on on the court.


            --MKT
          • HoopStudies
            Major Possessions vs Minor possessions or Possessions vs Plays I don t really care beyond the simplicity of the latter. I just think it is useful to
            Message 5 of 30 , Jan 30, 2002
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              "Major Possessions" vs "Minor possessions"

              or

              "Possessions" vs "Plays"

              I don't really care beyond the simplicity of the latter. I just
              think it is useful to distinguish between the two things.

              MikeT's points about when things get used are certainly well-thought
              out. I have generally taken a "tiered approach" to evaluating
              players myself. Though I see his point about what do we call a game
              with few possessions but lots of plays -- fast or slow -- I think
              I'll not strain my brain with that one for a while.

              Whatever happened with Brian Harper, by the way? His site hasn't
              been updated in a long time and I haven't heard from him either in
              years.

              Dean Oliver
              Journal of Basketball Studies


              --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "Michael K. Tamada" <tamada@o...> wrote:
              >
              >
              > On Wed, 30 Jan 2002, HoopStudies wrote:
              >
              > > No time to answer everything right now, but I do want to clarify
              one
              > > thing.
              > >
              > > The term possession gets used very loosely. I define it as the
              time
              > > between when one team gets the ball and the opponent gets the
              ball.
              > > It's a definition, no arguing allowed. That is what makes it
              equal
              > > for two teams in a game, a VERY useful thing. This means that a
              team
              >
              > [...]
              >
              > Brian Harper has a useful terminology here: the Dean O definition
              of a
              > possession he calls a "major possession". I.e. all the offensive
              rebounds
              > still count as part of the possession. The John Craven definition
              is a
              > "minor possession"; missing a shot means a lost possession and
              getting an
              > offensive rebound means a new possession has started.
              >
              > Both definitions have their uses.
              >
              > > If you define points per 100 possessions, you are characterizing
              > > offensive rebounds as part of the team's offense (duh). If you
              > > define points per 100 plays, you are saying that offensive
              rebounds
              > > are not part of the offense, but are something separate (there
              are 3
              > > kingdoms: offense, defense, and rebounding). That may be useful
              > > sometimes. I do calculate a Play %, or the chance that a team
              scores
              >
              > Yes, I think there's two areas where the "minor possession" is
              useful: if
              > we want to start looking at rebounding as separate from the other
              aspects
              > of basketball, e.g. to calculate the value or importance of
              rebounding,
              > compared to offense or defense. And to get a potentially better or
              at
              > least more pure measure of a team's offensive and defensive
              capabilities:
              > sometimes an offensive rebound means that the team gets to (really,
              has
              > to) re-set its offense and run a play again and try to score. If a
              team
              > is really bad at that offense, but really good at offensive
              rebounding,
              > its overall offense (in terms of major possessions) might look
              okay, but
              > this measure would hide the team's woeful "true" or "isolated"
              offense,
              > which is hidden by its great offensive rebounding.
              >
              > Some people would say that offensive rebounding IS a part of
              offense, and
              > the team truly is okay overall. After all, it is scoring in the
              end,
              > thanks to its offensive rebounds.
              >
              > But much of the analysis that we do involves continually cutting
              finer and
              > finer divisions into the data. It's not just "offense",
              it's "offense"
              > and "rebounding" (and of course defense). And needless to say,
              > "rebounding" is not just rebounding, it's truly two different
              things:
              > "offensive rebounding" and "defensive rebounding". And there are
              even
              > finer rebounding distinctions to be made: the team rebounds and
              deadball
              > rebounds that we talked about last week, rebounds off of missed
              FTAs vs
              > rebounds off of missed FGAs, etc. etc. Finer and finer.
              >
              > When it comes to overall, summary, bottom line measures, then of
              course we
              > do want single measures which combine all the elements. The
              hierarchy
              > might be something like this:
              >
              > 1. First level: one stat. Power Rating (or whatever we want to
              call the
              > one single overall measure of how good a team is).
              >
              > 2. Second level: two stats. "Offense" and "defense" using
              the "major
              > possession" measure.
              >
              > 3. Third level: three or four stats, depending on how you choose
              to
              > count. "Offense" and "defense" and "rebounding". But rebounding
              can,
              > be divided into "offensive rebounding" and "defensive rebounding"
              (though
              > one can average them to get an overall rebounding percentage if one
              > wants). At this third level we'd use the "minor possession"
              measure.
              >
              > 4. Fourth level: pretty much anything goes. Start subdividing
              between
              > fastbreaks and halfcourt, or assisted vs unassisted FGs (as we've
              been
              > doing this week), or inside and outside, or starters vs bench, or
              whatever
              > subdivision of stats we wanted to look at.
              >
              >
              > Brian Harper's terminology helps us distinguish between "major" and
              > "minor" possessions. What we need is a terminology to distinguish
              between
              > "offense" at the second vs the third level, as well as "defense" at
              the
              > 2nd vs 3rd levels. Something like
              >
              > "major offense" vs "minor offense" or
              > "overall offense" vs "pure offense" or
              > "OFF" vs "off" or
              > "2nd level offense" vs "3rd level offense"
              > "total offense" vs "isolated offense"
              >
              > or something.
              >
              > [...]
              >
              > > I hope that clarifies things. Your definition of pace means that
              all
              > > that frantic offensive rebounding adds to pace and I think it's
              all
              > > part of one possession. It's a matter of definition and what I'm
              > > really hoping to accomplish here is a clarification of
              terminology.
              >
              > This is where we might be able to decide what a better measure of
              pace is.
              > If there are a lot of "major possessions", then clearly that's a
              fast game
              > pace. What if there are a lot of "minor possessions," without an
              > unusually high number of major possessions (in other words a game
              with a
              > lot of missed shots and offensive rebounds). Would we call that a
              > fast-paced game?
              >
              > I think the answer depends on the extent to which those minor
              possessions
              > simply were guys attempting tip-ins, or follow-up layins. Vs.
              where a guy
              > like Rodman brings down the offensive rebound and immediately
              passes to a
              > teammate, who then has to create a shot or pass or dribble ... in
              other
              > words, is initiating what in game pace terms really should count as
              a new
              > offensive possession.
              >
              > My impression is that most offensive rebounds lead pretty quickly to
              > follow shots, as opposed to ones where the team gets the off.
              rebound and
              > uses up 10 or 20 seconds on the shot clock before getting its next
              shot.
              > So that might argue in favor of using major possessions as a
              measure of
              > game pace.
              >
              > On the other hand, those tip-ins and follow shots really are real
              true
              > shots, they do represent a flurry of activity on the court. So I
              could
              > still be made to think that minor possesions measure how much
              activity is
              > going on on the court.
              >
              >
              > --MKT
            • Michael K. Tamada
              ... That s fine, but what do we call a teams offensive efficiency on possessions vs offensive effiency on plays ? I think you ve already mentioned that
              Message 6 of 30 , Jan 31, 2002
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                On Wed, 30 Jan 2002, HoopStudies wrote:

                > "Major Possessions" vs "Minor possessions"
                >
                > or
                >
                > "Possessions" vs "Plays"

                That's fine, but what do we call a teams' offensive efficiency on
                "possessions" vs offensive effiency on "plays"? I think you've already
                mentioned that you call the latter Play% or something like that, which is
                fine as an abbreviation but not so good as a name for it.

                [...]

                > Whatever happened with Brian Harper, by the way? His site hasn't
                > been updated in a long time and I haven't heard from him either in
                > years.

                He's very active on a Sonics email list and a Mariners email list (and
                maybe a Seahawks and a UW Husky football email list for all I know, but
                I'm not on any Seahawks email lists and the Husky list that I subscribe
                too is moribund). I don't know what the story with his website is -- I
                assume you're referring to the "NBAStatSite -- the Hidden Game" website?
                One of his partners in that website, Gary Scott Simon, still pops up in
                rec.sport.basketball.pro. However I hardly read r.s.bb.pro anymore.


                --MKT
              • mikel_ind
                ... John, I think you have very nice methods. Partly I say this because your rankings are pretty close to mine. I use effective game pace (points and
                Message 7 of 30 , Feb 5, 2002
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                  --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "John Craven" <john1974@u...> wrote:
                  >.....here's everybody who was, according
                  > to my methodology, worth 10 wins or more to their team in 2000-2001:
                  >

                  John, I think you have very nice methods. Partly I say this because
                  your rankings are pretty close to mine. I use "effective game pace"
                  (points and rebounds for and against the team) to modify the stats,
                  as well as hybridize per-game and per-minute rates.

                  So, here are my 2001 ratings, next to yours (I factored mine to
                  achieve a similar scale):

                  > Tim Duncan 12.55 13.17 Shaq
                  > Shaquille O'Neal 12.11 12.62 Malone
                  > Karl Malone 11.83 12.55 Duncan
                  > Steve Francis 11.56 12.03 Garnett
                  > Jason Kidd 11.54 11.29 Nowitzki
                  > Dirk Nowitzki 11.37 11.19 Pierce
                  > Ray Allen 11.22 11.16 McGrady
                  > Kevin Garnett 10.93 10.88 Carter
                  > John Stockton 10.87 10.80 Allen
                  > Allen Iverson 10.71 10.73 Webber
                  > Tracy McGrady 10.55 10.72 D Robinson
                  > David Robinson 10.34 10.66 Stackhouse
                  > Chris Webber 10.28 10.49 Walker
                  > Vince Carter 10.28 10.40 Stockton
                  > Shawn Marion 10.19 10.32 Payton
                  > Gary Payton 10.03 10.32 Francis
                  > Kobe Bryant 10.03 10.26 Marion
                  > 10.24 Iverson
                  > > 9.98 Wallace
                  > 9.87 Kidd
                  > 9.82 Abdur-Rahim
                  > 9.81 Andre Miller
                  > 9.75 Kobe

                  I used Duncan's 12.55 rating for 82 games as my standard of
                  translation, so his is the same on both our lists.

                  It looks as though you rank guards higher than I do, and you may be
                  considering strength-of-schedule (i.e., West is best), which I have
                  not done.

                  Having seen several other lists, I have far fewer disagreements with
                  yours -- and no major problems with it.


                  >..... one thing that I think is
                  important
                  > for basketball stats while they're still in their infancy is
                  simplicity.

                  I could not agree more. User-friendly stats!


                  Mike Goodman
                • mikel_ind
                  That last post certainly was hard to read. This is a bad place to try to post in columns, as all spaces are compressed to a single space. Anyway, I did notice
                  Message 8 of 30 , Feb 5, 2002
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                    That last post certainly was hard to read. This is a bad place to
                    try to post in columns, as all spaces are compressed to a single
                    space.

                    Anyway, I did notice what was the big difference between my rankings
                    and John Craven's. My list had Paul Pierce pretty high up, where his
                    didn't include Pierce at all, nor Antoine Walker or Stackhouse.

                    These 3 guys played for very bad teams last season. This seems to
                    disqualify members of such teams from consideration as great players,
                    in these equivalent-wins (or individual-wins) methods.

                    What I wonder is, does anyone have a wins-based evaluation method
                    that dates back several years? If so, are players like Pierce
                    considered "bad" players as long as their team is bad, and then
                    suddenly become "good" players at the moment their team improves (or
                    they move to a better team)?

                    Mike Goodman

                    p.s. If you hit "Reply", a post will appear with columns restored.
                  • HoopStudies
                    ... rankings ... his ... players, ... (or ... I don t have it with me here at work, but I have been doing wins- based stuff for a long time and it shows this
                    Message 9 of 30 , Feb 5, 2002
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                      --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "mikel_ind" <msg_53@h...> wrote:
                      > That last post certainly was hard to read. This is a bad place to
                      > try to post in columns, as all spaces are compressed to a single
                      > space.
                      >
                      > Anyway, I did notice what was the big difference between my
                      rankings
                      > and John Craven's. My list had Paul Pierce pretty high up, where
                      his
                      > didn't include Pierce at all, nor Antoine Walker or Stackhouse.
                      >
                      > These 3 guys played for very bad teams last season. This seems to
                      > disqualify members of such teams from consideration as great
                      players,
                      > in these equivalent-wins (or individual-wins) methods.
                      >
                      > What I wonder is, does anyone have a wins-based evaluation method
                      > that dates back several years? If so, are players like Pierce
                      > considered "bad" players as long as their team is bad, and then
                      > suddenly become "good" players at the moment their team improves
                      (or
                      > they move to a better team)?

                      I don't have it with me here at work, but I have been doing wins-
                      based stuff for a long time and it shows this kind of change for
                      supporting cast kind of players -- the Steve Kerr's of the world who
                      are valuable on good teams, but not so valuable on poor teams. By my
                      numbers last year, Pierce was one of the best players in the league,
                      with a win-loss record of 12.2-4.5. Kobe, for comparison, was 11.6-
                      3.4. Those are some very solid numbers.

                      Another example I think of as an interesting one was Mitch Richmond.
                      I consistently had him winning a lot of games for Sacramento, then he
                      tanked upon being traded to Washington. That was weird.

                      I had Andre Miller at 8.9-5.1 last year. McDyess was 8.6-4.3.
                      Stackhouse was 10.0-8.3. Jamison was 6.2-10.5. AWalker was 7.7-10.1.

                      I think Miller's record may be typical for win-loss records of very
                      good players on bad teams. The reason is defense. Miller and Pierce
                      and Kobe are not the kind of players who can completely turn around a
                      defense, make it good. Only big men can really do that (and maybe
                      Jason Kidd).

                      Also, if you have a team that wins only 15 games, it doesn't make
                      sense to have one player on that team who wins 16 games like a Shaq
                      or a Jordan or Duncan do. Those guys make winning teams. Elton
                      Brand, though a good player, clearly doesn't add more than the 15
                      wins that Chicago had last year; it's impossible. My first cut was
                      an addition of 6 wins by Brand. I frankly am coming to believe that
                      it was more like 9 wins, but that's all a little theoretical right
                      now. And it always seems strange to me if someone contributes more
                      than half of his team's wins (especially since the Bulls are on pace
                      to beat 15 wins this year). It's hard to argue that even Jordan ever
                      won half his team's games when he was scoring 35 ppg and the Bulls
                      were winning only 40 games. Actually, Jordan should be a very good
                      example of what MikeG was asking for. I don't have all my info in
                      front of me (again), but

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

                      shows that Jordan was 19.4-0.7 in 1988. I don't think the Bulls were
                      that good that year, maybe 40-42 (help?). So, sure, it is indeed
                      very possible for win-based ranking methodologies to show stars (or
                      superstars in this case) on mediocre teams.

                      Dean Oliver
                      Journal of Basketball STudies

                      >
                      > Mike Goodman
                      >
                      > p.s. If you hit "Reply", a post will appear with columns restored.
                    • HoopStudies
                      ... who ... my ... league, ... Let me back up a little here. I do see some variation for even good players who change teams IF the team defense of the two
                      Message 10 of 30 , Feb 5, 2002
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                        > > What I wonder is, does anyone have a wins-based evaluation method
                        > > that dates back several years? If so, are players like Pierce
                        > > considered "bad" players as long as their team is bad, and then
                        > > suddenly become "good" players at the moment their team improves
                        > (or
                        > > they move to a better team)?
                        >
                        > I don't have it with me here at work, but I have been doing wins-
                        > based stuff for a long time and it shows this kind of change for
                        > supporting cast kind of players -- the Steve Kerr's of the world
                        who
                        > are valuable on good teams, but not so valuable on poor teams. By
                        my
                        > numbers last year, Pierce was one of the best players in the
                        league,
                        > with a win-loss record of 12.2-4.5. Kobe, for comparison, was 11.6-
                        > 3.4. Those are some very solid numbers.
                        >

                        Let me back up a little here. I do see some variation for even good
                        players who change teams IF the team defense of the two teams are
                        different. Most players do not have significant effects on team
                        defense, big men being the exception (and apparently Jason Kidd and
                        maybe MJ). Offensively, stars don't really change much from team to
                        team. Role players can, but don't necessarily. Defensively, it's a
                        mixed bag. And since I don't calculate wins and losses as an
                        explicit rating method (usual Bill James-like disclaimer: I don't
                        believe in one number for overall ratings of players), they are just
                        meant to reflect a player's contribution to his team. They are a
                        pseudo-measurement, not an overall rating. Because they are pseudo-
                        measurements, they are not subjective and, hence, a bit more
                        predictable and meaningful than stupid awards.

                        Pierce, by the way, is a pretty unusual player. His win-loss record
                        has been above 0.500 since entering the league, a star-like quality.
                        5.9-1.8 as a rookie. 8.5-4.5 as a 2nd year guy. 12.2-4.5 last
                        year. He's a good but not great defender. You put him on one of
                        these poor defensive teams (like Cleveland) and they may get a little
                        better defensively. They should get better offensively.

                        > Also, if you have a team that wins only 15 games, it doesn't make
                        > sense to have one player on that team who wins 16 games like a Shaq
                        > or a Jordan or Duncan do. Those guys make winning teams. Elton
                        > Brand, though a good player, clearly doesn't add more than the 15
                        > wins that Chicago had last year; it's impossible. My first cut was
                        > an addition of 6 wins by Brand. I frankly am coming to believe
                        that
                        > it was more like 9 wins, but that's all a little theoretical right
                        > now. And it always seems strange to me if someone contributes more
                        > than half of his team's wins (especially since the Bulls are on
                        pace
                        > to beat 15 wins this year).

                        This is an interesting case. The Clips are better with Brand. The
                        Bulls are better without Brand. So how good is Brand? Context
                        sensitive.

                        > It's hard to argue that even Jordan ever
                        > won half his team's games when he was scoring 35 ppg and the Bulls
                        > were winning only 40 games. Actually, Jordan should be a very good
                        > example of what MikeG was asking for. I don't have all my info in
                        > front of me (again), but
                        >
                        > http://www.rawbw.com/~deano/articles/JordanvsOlaj.html
                        >
                        > shows that Jordan was 19.4-0.7 in 1988. I don't think the Bulls
                        were
                        > that good that year, maybe 40-42 (help?). So, sure, it is indeed
                        > very possible for win-based ranking methodologies to show stars (or
                        > superstars in this case) on mediocre teams.

                        OK. I'm back home and the Bulls were 50-32 in 1988. In 1987, the
                        Bulls were 40-42 and Jordan was 17.3-3.7. That's about as close to
                        half a team's wins I can quickly find. Jordan scored 37 ppg with
                        Oakley and John Paxson as principal surrounding cast. With Pippen
                        and Grant around the following year, the team D got a little better
                        and Jordan's O got a little more efficient (his FG% went from 48% to
                        54%). Was Jordan a better player in 1988 than in 1987 because his
                        win-loss record was better, because his offensive and defensive
                        numbers improved? Hell, I don't know. I don't really care. It was
                        obvious that he would improve both an offense and a defense. If the
                        Lakers offered me Magic Johnson at the time for Jordan, would I have
                        taken it? I guess we'll never know....

                        Dean Oliver
                        Journal of Basketball Studies
                      • Michael K. Tamada
                        ... I think it depends on how were define contributes ; see below. ... The 19.4-0.7 won-loss record for Jordan I am okay with. From your article, it appears
                        Message 11 of 30 , Feb 5, 2002
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                          On Tue, 5 Feb 2002, HoopStudies wrote:

                          > Also, if you have a team that wins only 15 games, it doesn't make
                          > sense to have one player on that team who wins 16 games like a Shaq
                          > or a Jordan or Duncan do. Those guys make winning teams. Elton
                          > Brand, though a good player, clearly doesn't add more than the 15
                          > wins that Chicago had last year; it's impossible. My first cut was
                          > an addition of 6 wins by Brand. I frankly am coming to believe that
                          > it was more like 9 wins, but that's all a little theoretical right
                          > now. And it always seems strange to me if someone contributes more
                          ^^^^^^^^^^^
                          > than half of his team's wins (especially since the Bulls are on pace
                          > to beat 15 wins this year). It's hard to argue that even Jordan ever

                          I think it depends on how were define "contributes"; see below.

                          > won half his team's games when he was scoring 35 ppg and the Bulls
                          > were winning only 40 games. Actually, Jordan should be a very good
                          > example of what MikeG was asking for. I don't have all my info in
                          > front of me (again), but
                          >
                          > http://www.rawbw.com/~deano/articles/JordanvsOlaj.html
                          >
                          > shows that Jordan was 19.4-0.7 in 1988. I don't think the Bulls were
                          > that good that year, maybe 40-42 (help?). So, sure, it is indeed
                          > very possible for win-based ranking methodologies to show stars (or
                          > superstars in this case) on mediocre teams.

                          The 19.4-0.7 won-loss record for Jordan I am okay with. From your
                          article, it appears to be based on a solid notion of looking at a player's
                          offensive and defensive ratings, comparing those to what teams of similar
                          off. and def. ratings would achieve in won-loss terms, and calling that
                          the player's won-loss record. I have no problem with that.

                          But I don't think Jordan's 19.4-0.7 won-loss record can be regarded as
                          being on the same measurement scale as the Bulls' 40-42 record (actually
                          they were 50-32 in 1988, but that doesn't matter). Nor can Brand's 6 or 9
                          individual victories be compared to the Bulls' total of 15.

                          We can calculate the Bulls' individual won-loss records in 1988, but we
                          cannot say that the sum of those won-loss records should equal 40-42 (or
                          50-32), nor can we say that 19.4 is almost half of 40. Those are apples
                          and oranges.

                          If we do want to claim that those 19.4 individual wins can be directly
                          compared to the team's 40 or 50 wins, we are imposing an overly simplistic
                          model upon how a team's record is determined by its players production.
                          Implicitly, it requires that the model be: Bulls Wins == sum of Jordan's
                          wins + Pippen's wins + Grant's wins + etc. etc. And that equation is
                          almost certainly an incorrect one for determining how individual players,
                          when put on a team, determine the team's won-loss record. It is extremely
                          unlikely that the correct model is a simple linear sum.

                          And if it is not a simple linear sum, then we can't directly compare
                          Jordan's 19.4 wins to the Bulls' 40 or 50 wins.


                          An analogy: if someone gets a 1400 SAT score, and such students usually
                          get 3.6 GPAs in college, we cannot say that the student's college GPA is
                          3.6/1400 = .0026 of their SAT score. Well we can say it, but it's not a
                          useful calculation. Nor is it useful to say that Brand or Jordan
                          contributed to half of their teams totals, based on their individual
                          won-loss stats.


                          It's much the same problem that you've pointed out with linear weights
                          systems: much of the world is not linear. If 10% of Microsoft's costs
                          are spent on systems analysts, can we claim that systems analysts
                          contribute to 10% of Microsofts production? It's not a useful ratio (the
                          second one I mean; the 10% of costs figure is useful for analyzing costs);
                          if Microsoft cut its systems analysts roster in half, would its production
                          fall by half? If it doubled its roster, would its production double? No
                          and no. Nor can we say that Jordan's 19.4 wins are about half of the
                          Bulls 40 wins.

                          Yet another way of looking at it: divvying up the 40 wins and saying that
                          so-and-so is responsible for x of them is an exercise doomed to failure.
                          How many of the 40 wins were due to Jordan, Pippen, etc.? After we finish
                          divvying them up, we then better ask: wait, how many wins would the Bulls
                          have had if they didn't have a coach? And for that matter an equipment
                          manager, ticket takers, stadium maintenance, etc.

                          Just as we can't look at Microsoft's sales of x million pieces of software
                          and say "Bill Gates produced y million pieces of software, Steve Ballmer
                          produced z million of them, the new programmer they hired produced w of
                          them, etc." That linear divvying up of production is not how the
                          production function works. Nor can a team's wins be linearly divvied up
                          among its players.


                          What we CAN do with players is try to estimate their MARGINAL value: how
                          many wins did they contribute compared to how many player X would have
                          contributed (where X could be a player that Jordan was traded for, or a
                          chosen comparison player, or a replacement level player if we could agree
                          on what the replacement level is, or whatever). And the 19.4 wins and 0.7
                          losses might be good estimates of that marginal value.

                          BUT: there is no requirement that the sum of players' marginal wins
                          equate to the team's total wins. Only with (in economics terms) "constant
                          returns to scale" -- e.g. a simple linear sum -- would that happen.

                          The marginal values can often be well-approximated by linear methods.
                          But at extreme values even the marginal wins can't be interpreted
                          literally, or in a linear fashion. Does adding Jordan add 19 wins to a
                          team's total? Could be, in the case of the 2002 Wizards compared to 2001.
                          But if we're looking at the 1972 69-13 Lakers, it is mathematically
                          impossible that adding Jordan to their roster would add 19 wins to their
                          total.

                          Similarly, if Jordan were to play for a really bad team that won only 15
                          games, would we say that subtracting Jordan from that team would cause
                          them to decrease their win total by 19?

                          Yet 19.4-0.7 might still be quite a good measure of Jordan's prowess. But
                          we can't interpret that 19.4 figure as one that can be directly compared
                          to the Bulls' 40 wins, or 15 wins, or 69 wins, or whatever their total is.
                          We can say that Jordan "contributed" 19.4 wins at the margin, but that
                          does not literally mean that he would add 19 victories to a team's total.
                          Wizards, maybe yes. 1972 Lakers no.


                          Non-linearity. Individual won-loss records can be a fine way of
                          measuring players' production, but the jump from those individual won-loss
                          records to the team's actual won-loss record is not a simple one. Team
                          stats are a complex function of the stats of the individual players. Not
                          a simple linear sum.

                          And therefore Brand's, or Jordan's, individual victories cannot be
                          directly compared to their team's victories.


                          --MKT
                        • HoopStudies
                          ... won-loss ... Team ... players. Not ... Whether or not the theoretical analysis is ok, it is tempting to do exactly this because the sum of individual
                          Message 12 of 30 , Feb 5, 2002
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                            --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "Michael K. Tamada" <tamada@o...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Non-linearity. Individual won-loss records can be a fine way of
                            > measuring players' production, but the jump from those individual
                            won-loss
                            > records to the team's actual won-loss record is not a simple one.
                            Team
                            > stats are a complex function of the stats of the individual
                            players. Not
                            > a simple linear sum.
                            >
                            > And therefore Brand's, or Jordan's, individual victories cannot be
                            > directly compared to their team's victories.

                            Whether or not the theoretical analysis is ok, it is tempting to do
                            exactly this because the sum of individual win-loss records does
                            almost always come very close to the team win-loss total. I agree
                            that the model is simplistic. The fact that the sum is the team
                            total is why I call it a pseudo-measurement. There is a reality
                            check on it to some degree. And the model for getting there is
                            simple. Eh. Whatevah.

                            In terms of predictions, individual win-loss records don't work,
                            despite my hopes nearly 15 years ago. I have actually come close to
                            proving that it is theoretically impossible to have a simple number
                            that allows you to predict a team's win-loss record with that player
                            in place of another. Even the net points stuff I have, which comes
                            closer. It is practically impossible to remove context. Your 69-13
                            Laker team is a good example, I think, reflecting how context is
                            important in making predictions. Or consider a team that wins by 10
                            ppg. Replace a player who contributes net 1 ppg with one who
                            contributes net 6 ppg is very unlikely to make that team win by 15
                            ppg because the team doesn't need the extra 5 ppg to win. Very
                            context sensitive.

                            Anyway, we can find reasons to discard EVERY single number we
                            calculate here. Individual win-loss records are simple scans of
                            contribution that do sum to the team total, giving them a reality
                            check that linear weights do not have. I like that conceptually. I
                            don't claim it's predictive (why I pointed out the Brand conundrum),
                            but no one is putting forth any way to make those predictions.
                            Unfortunately.

                            Dean Oliver
                            Journal of Basketball Studies
                          • Michael K. Tamada
                            ... [...] ... If simple includes linear yes, models that are that simple will not work. ... Yes, diminishing marginal returns, and other non-linearities
                            Message 13 of 30 , Feb 5, 2002
                            • 0 Attachment
                              On Wed, 6 Feb 2002, HoopStudies wrote:

                              > --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "Michael K. Tamada" <tamada@o...> wrote:
                              > >
                              > > Non-linearity. Individual won-loss records can be a fine way of
                              > > measuring players' production, but the jump from those individual
                              > won-loss
                              > > records to the team's actual won-loss record is not a simple one.

                              [...]

                              > despite my hopes nearly 15 years ago. I have actually come close to
                              > proving that it is theoretically impossible to have a simple number

                              If "simple" includes "linear" yes, models that are that simple will not
                              work.

                              > that allows you to predict a team's win-loss record with that player
                              > in place of another. Even the net points stuff I have, which comes
                              > closer. It is practically impossible to remove context. Your 69-13
                              > Laker team is a good example, I think, reflecting how context is
                              > important in making predictions. Or consider a team that wins by 10
                              > ppg. Replace a player who contributes net 1 ppg with one who
                              > contributes net 6 ppg is very unlikely to make that team win by 15
                              > ppg because the team doesn't need the extra 5 ppg to win. Very
                              > context sensitive.

                              Yes, diminishing marginal returns, and other non-linearities abound.

                              > Anyway, we can find reasons to discard EVERY single number we
                              > calculate here. Individual win-loss records are simple scans of

                              I hope I made it clear that I was not criticizing the individual won-loss
                              records as measures of player quality, nor as measures of marginal
                              contributions to wins.

                              > contribution that do sum to the team total, giving them a reality
                              > check that linear weights do not have. I like that conceptually. I

                              This is the part that is troublesome. It's nice that they sum to the team
                              total, but on the whole I think that doesn't really tell us much about the
                              validity of the model. With suitable normalization, most or at any
                              rate many rating schemes could be made to have sums which come close to
                              adding up to the team's win total.

                              > don't claim it's predictive (why I pointed out the Brand conundrum),

                              I suspect it's part of the data-fitting problem in statistics. When we
                              have a set of data, it's pretty easy to come up with a model that fits
                              that data set really well. But such models usually perform poorly when
                              used to make actual predictions on out-of-sample data (i.e. real world
                              predictions).

                              Good predictive models are very hard to create. Just ask any economist to
                              try to predict when the next recession will come. Or any geologist when
                              the next big earthquake will hit Los Angeles.

                              > but no one is putting forth any way to make those predictions.
                              > Unfortunately.

                              Yes, part of the Holy Grail again: how do individual players' qualities
                              (and statistics measuring those qualities) combine into determining the
                              team's outcome? A problem that is difficult enough in baseball and harder
                              still in basketball.


                              --MKT
                            • mikel_ind
                              ... The Bulls are better without Brand is only half a comment. ...than they would be if they still had him ? or ...than they were when they had him ? One
                              Message 14 of 30 , Feb 6, 2002
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                                --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "HoopStudies" <deano@r...> wrote:
                                >
                                >...... The Clips are better with Brand. The
                                > Bulls are better without Brand. So how good is Brand? Context
                                > sensitive.

                                "The Bulls are better without Brand" is only half a comment.

                                "...than they would be if they still had him"?

                                or "...than they were when they had him"?

                                One might imagine that 10-36 is a better mark than 15-67, but the
                                Bulls' average score is 85.7-94.4, compared to 87.5-96.6 last year.
                                No significant change in the scoring.

                                Ron Artest is suddenly a star this year. Brad Miller and Marcus
                                Fizer are suddenly serious players. Mercer and Hoiberg have dropped
                                off, but Anthony has come along, with Oakley, while nobody
                                significant has been dumped.

                                With the coaching change, I would agree "the Bulls are better"; but
                                with Brand they might actually be contending.
                              • HoopStudies
                                ... year. ... dropped ... Speculation. Would Fizer and Artest and Miller have suddenly improved with Brand there? (I don t think Artest is a star, but
                                Message 15 of 30 , Feb 6, 2002
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                                  --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "mikel_ind" <msg_53@h...> wrote:
                                  > >...... The Clips are better with Brand. The
                                  > > Bulls are better without Brand. So how good is Brand? Context
                                  > > sensitive.
                                  >
                                  > "The Bulls are better without Brand" is only half a comment.
                                  >
                                  > "...than they would be if they still had him"?
                                  >
                                  > or "...than they were when they had him"?
                                  >
                                  > One might imagine that 10-36 is a better mark than 15-67, but the
                                  > Bulls' average score is 85.7-94.4, compared to 87.5-96.6 last
                                  year.
                                  > No significant change in the scoring.
                                  >
                                  > Ron Artest is suddenly a star this year. Brad Miller and Marcus
                                  > Fizer are suddenly serious players. Mercer and Hoiberg have
                                  dropped
                                  > off, but Anthony has come along, with Oakley, while nobody
                                  > significant has been dumped.
                                  >
                                  > With the coaching change, I would agree "the Bulls are better"; but
                                  > with Brand they might actually be contending.

                                  Speculation. Would Fizer and Artest and Miller have "suddenly"
                                  improved with Brand there? (I don't think Artest is a star, but
                                  haven't fully looked at his numbers.) Maybe Brand was a negative
                                  influence, keeping down the hopes of these guys. It's a plausible
                                  story, if just because Brand was getting all the touches.

                                  The only thing that is clear is that it wasn't that hard to make up
                                  for Brand's loss; they didn't drop to a 4 win franchise and it's hard
                                  to name any 15 win team that got worse by losing its "best player".

                                  DeanO
                                • HoopStudies
                                  ... conceptually. I ... the team ... about the ... close to ... I agree that normalization can make anything work and that is cheating. The normalization I
                                  Message 16 of 30 , Feb 6, 2002
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                                    --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "Michael K. Tamada" <tamada@o...> wrote:
                                    > > contribution that do sum to the team total, giving them a reality
                                    > > check that linear weights do not have. I like that
                                    conceptually. I
                                    >
                                    > This is the part that is troublesome. It's nice that they sum to
                                    the team
                                    > total, but on the whole I think that doesn't really tell us much
                                    about the
                                    > validity of the model. With suitable normalization, most or at any
                                    > rate many rating schemes could be made to have sums which come
                                    close to
                                    > adding up to the team's win total.

                                    I agree that normalization can make anything work and that is
                                    cheating. The normalization I do is only on the "games" that
                                    individuals play. I make that sum to 82 because there is no real
                                    concept of what consists of an "individual game". The indiv win%
                                    comes directly from the way James does it in baseball.

                                    Dave Berri obviously had another method where the win sum was about
                                    the team total. His results were different than mine. There are a
                                    lot of rating schemes that can sum to the team's total. The
                                    justification for using them is the process in which they were
                                    developed. If you like Berri's theory, you can use his. At least he
                                    makes an attempt to relate individual performance to team success. I
                                    just personally don't like some aspects of how he does it. I don't
                                    particularly like the determination of "individual games" in my
                                    method, but I like it overall better than Berri's. And that's all
                                    there is (maybe -- I think Craven has something, but I don't know the
                                    process).

                                    >
                                    > > don't claim it's predictive (why I pointed out the Brand
                                    conundrum),
                                    >
                                    > I suspect it's part of the data-fitting problem in statistics.
                                    When we
                                    > have a set of data, it's pretty easy to come up with a model that
                                    fits
                                    > that data set really well. But such models usually perform poorly
                                    when
                                    > used to make actual predictions on out-of-sample data (i.e. real
                                    world
                                    > predictions).
                                    >
                                    > Good predictive models are very hard to create. Just ask any
                                    economist to
                                    > try to predict when the next recession will come. Or any geologist
                                    when
                                    > the next big earthquake will hit Los Angeles.
                                    >

                                    Or ask a hydrogeologist like me when predicting how contaminants
                                    migrate through groundwater. The best thing you can do is provide
                                    ranges of realistic estimates, based on a rigorous process using as
                                    much data as possible and using as much physics about the
                                    interactions as possible. You can do better.

                                    DeanO
                                  • mikel_ind
                                    ... For that matter, would Mercer and Hoiberg have slipped, with Brand still there? ... Artest s standardized rates are (thru 23 games): 18.9 pts, 6.5 reb, 3.6
                                    Message 17 of 30 , Feb 6, 2002
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                                      --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "HoopStudies" <deano@r...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > Speculation. Would Fizer and Artest and Miller have "suddenly"
                                      > improved with Brand there?

                                      For that matter, would Mercer and Hoiberg have slipped, with Brand
                                      still there?

                                      >(I don't think Artest is a star, but
                                      > haven't fully looked at his numbers.)

                                      Artest's standardized rates are (thru 23 games):
                                      18.9 pts, 6.5 reb, 3.6 ast, 3.1 steals, 2.9 TO, .9 blocks
                                      .516 combined shooting

                                      The 3.1 steals rate leads the league by a large margin (2nd is
                                      Iverson at 2.4)

                                      > Maybe Brand was a negative
                                      > influence, keeping down the hopes of these guys.
                                      > It's a plausible
                                      > story, if just because Brand was getting all the touches.

                                      I was never discouraged by having a great player on my team, so I
                                      don't fathom this thinking.

                                      > The only thing that is clear is that it wasn't that hard to make up
                                      > for Brand's loss;

                                      If 15 wins is good enough, I guess.

                                      >they didn't drop to a 4 win franchise and it's hard
                                      > to name any 15 win team that got worse by losing its "best
                                      player".
                                      >
                                      > DeanO

                                      The "regression to the mean" principle would suggest that any 15-win
                                      team is almost certain to improve, no matter how you mix it up.
                                    • Michael K. Tamada
                                      On Wed, 6 Feb 2002, HoopStudies wrote: [...] ... This is one of the extreme cases where the nonlinearities become important. If we measure players by their
                                      Message 18 of 30 , Feb 6, 2002
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                                        On Wed, 6 Feb 2002, HoopStudies wrote:

                                        [...]

                                        > The only thing that is clear is that it wasn't that hard to make up
                                        > for Brand's loss; they didn't drop to a 4 win franchise and it's hard
                                        > to name any 15 win team that got worse by losing its "best player".

                                        This is one of the extreme cases where the nonlinearities become
                                        important. If we measure players by their individual wins and losses and
                                        furthermore require that those sum to 15, then no Bull can appear to be
                                        as highly productive as Jordan was with his 19 individual wins.

                                        But in situations such as these where we're looking at won-loss
                                        percentages, it's probably a better idea to look at odds instead of
                                        probabilities, or even the logarithm of odds (known as a logit
                                        transformation). Things may become linear with respect to odds or to
                                        logits, which are non-linear with respect to probabilities.

                                        Two examples: odds ratios are what's behind the log5 method for
                                        predicting win probabilties that some mathematician friend introduced Bill
                                        James to.

                                        And here's an example of how logits could be applied: For the 15-67 Bulls
                                        is ln(15/67) ~ -1.50. (Their odds of winning were 15/67 = .22, and their
                                        probability of winning of course was 15/82 = .18.)

                                        If we were lucky and life were relatively simple, Elton Brand's
                                        contributions to the Bulls might be linear with respect to a logit, e.g.
                                        subtracting him from the Bulls and replacing him with a pretty much
                                        useless (for this year) high school player might hurt the Bulls to the
                                        tune of -0.4 logits. For a team that had been 15-67, the new logit would
                                        be -1.9, the new odds would be exp(-1.9) = .13, the new probability would
                                        be .13/(.13+1) = .13, and the number of victories would be 10.7. So
                                        losing Brand would cost the Bulls about 4 victories (which could of course
                                        be counteracted by increased production from Artest, etc. -- another
                                        non-linearity that we'd have to deal with).

                                        Adding Brand to the Clippers, assuming that the other players' didn't
                                        change (probably not a good assumption, non-linearities again), would help
                                        them by +.4 logits. So their 31-51 2001 team, which had had a logit of
                                        -.50, now has a logit of -.10, and therefore odds of .90, probability of
                                        .475, and 39 wins. So Brand adds 8 wins to the Clips, in contrast to the
                                        loss of 4 wins by the Bulls. (Obviously some of the Clips' wins would
                                        therefore have to come at the expense of some team other than the Bulls,
                                        non-linearity again.)


                                        That's a nice simple yet non-linear model: Brand's quality measure stays
                                        constant at .4 logits, but that translates into 4 marginal victories for
                                        the Bulls and 8 marginal victories for the Clippers.

                                        Unfortunately, this all assumes that (a) the logit function is the correct
                                        functional form and (b) that the other players' production stays constant
                                        (and of course there will be other roster changes which add even further
                                        complications).

                                        Life is undoubtedly not so simple, so I'm not claiming that that model
                                        will actually work in terms of predictive value.


                                        One thing which I've been meaning to try for years but never gotten around
                                        to however is to use this kind of model to look just at rebounding. It's
                                        a smaller, simpler task than trying to model offenses, defenses, or team
                                        wins. It's clearly going to be a non-linear process: if Tim Duncan gets
                                        added to the Spurs and replaces ... who'd he replace, Carl Herrera?
                                        Anyway, if Herrera was getting 4.5 rebounds per game and Duncan gets 12
                                        per game, it is clearly not correct to predict that the Spurs will gain an
                                        additional 7.5 rebounds per game. Some of Duncan's rebounds will come at,
                                        so to speak, the expense of teammates. Yet he clearly should cause some
                                        improvement to the Spurs' rebounding. I wonder if odds or logit measures
                                        could be used so that players' rebounding quality stays constant even
                                        though their teammates' and team's rebounds may change.

                                        Such a measure wouldn't meet the "David Wesley" test that alleyoop2
                                        suggested: we know that players' rebound stats will change when they
                                        change positions (centers get more than power forwards, thanks to their
                                        inside position). But it might pass the Greg Anthony test: a good
                                        rebounder going to different teams or having different teammates (maybe
                                        Dennis Rodman, maybe Vin Baker) might end up with a constant rebounding
                                        score using these models, even though his rebounds-per-48-minutes would
                                        change.


                                        --MKT
                                      • HoopStudies
                                        ... up ... hard ... player . ... losses and ... to be ... Some of my final thoughts (before I go absolutely insane from working on too many things at the same
                                        Message 19 of 30 , Feb 6, 2002
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                                          --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "Michael K. Tamada" <tamada@o...> wrote:
                                          > > The only thing that is clear is that it wasn't that hard to make
                                          up
                                          > > for Brand's loss; they didn't drop to a 4 win franchise and it's
                                          hard
                                          > > to name any 15 win team that got worse by losing its "best
                                          player".
                                          >
                                          > This is one of the extreme cases where the nonlinearities become
                                          > important. If we measure players by their individual wins and
                                          losses and
                                          > furthermore require that those sum to 15, then no Bull can appear
                                          to be
                                          > as highly productive as Jordan was with his 19 individual wins.
                                          >

                                          Some of my final thoughts (before I go absolutely insane from working
                                          on too many things at the same time).

                                          1. I like playing devil's advocate. It was clear that Brand was the
                                          best Bull last year and that he is at least a good player. His loss
                                          was easily replaced because shaking up a bad team just helps improve
                                          things. You add noise to your team when you make big changes to
                                          raise it out of the consistent stinkhole that it resides in. No
                                          offense to Chicagoans intended. It is hard to see how the Bulls
                                          would be much better than their current record if Brand were

                                          2. It is possible, though unlikely, for your hypothetical situation
                                          to occur, where a Jordan with 19 wins plays on a team with 15 wins.
                                          This is because I do not normalize to constrain the sum to 15, nor
                                          did I develop the individual games to make the wins sum to the right
                                          number.

                                          3. Thanks for the info on logits. Saves me from reading about them
                                          in some bori..., err, fun economics book! They do illustrate the
                                          effect that definitely occurs in basketball, where one player is more
                                          beneficial for one team than for another. I'm not convinced that
                                          logits are the right functional form or how I'd use them yet. But
                                          it's good to understand them well enough to consider it as I continue
                                          research. Haven't seen the log5 method. Where is it?

                                          4. If basketball were simple, none of us would be discussing this.

                                          5. Where is Bob Chaikin? He has his simulation program that can be
                                          used to determine the effect of replacing Brand with other guys. I'd
                                          be curious to hear what it says.

                                          Gotta go have cake.

                                          DeanO



                                          > But in situations such as these where we're looking at won-loss
                                          > percentages, it's probably a better idea to look at odds instead of
                                          > probabilities, or even the logarithm of odds (known as a logit
                                          > transformation). Things may become linear with respect to odds or
                                          to
                                          > logits, which are non-linear with respect to probabilities.
                                          >
                                          > Two examples: odds ratios are what's behind the log5 method for
                                          > predicting win probabilties that some mathematician friend
                                          introduced Bill
                                          > James to.
                                          >
                                          > And here's an example of how logits could be applied: For the 15-
                                          67 Bulls
                                          > is ln(15/67) ~ -1.50. (Their odds of winning were 15/67 = .22, and
                                          their
                                          > probability of winning of course was 15/82 = .18.)
                                          >
                                          > If we were lucky and life were relatively simple, Elton Brand's
                                          > contributions to the Bulls might be linear with respect to a logit,
                                          e.g.
                                          > subtracting him from the Bulls and replacing him with a pretty much
                                          > useless (for this year) high school player might hurt the Bulls to
                                          the
                                          > tune of -0.4 logits. For a team that had been 15-67, the new logit
                                          would
                                          > be -1.9, the new odds would be exp(-1.9) = .13, the new probability
                                          would
                                          > be .13/(.13+1) = .13, and the number of victories would be 10.7. So
                                          > losing Brand would cost the Bulls about 4 victories (which could of
                                          course
                                          > be counteracted by increased production from Artest, etc. -- another
                                          > non-linearity that we'd have to deal with).
                                          >
                                          > Adding Brand to the Clippers, assuming that the other players'
                                          didn't
                                          > change (probably not a good assumption, non-linearities again),
                                          would help
                                          > them by +.4 logits. So their 31-51 2001 team, which had had a
                                          logit of
                                          > -.50, now has a logit of -.10, and therefore odds of .90,
                                          probability of
                                          > .475, and 39 wins. So Brand adds 8 wins to the Clips, in contrast
                                          to the
                                          > loss of 4 wins by the Bulls. (Obviously some of the Clips' wins
                                          would
                                          > therefore have to come at the expense of some team other than the
                                          Bulls,
                                          > non-linearity again.)
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > That's a nice simple yet non-linear model: Brand's quality measure
                                          stays
                                          > constant at .4 logits, but that translates into 4 marginal
                                          victories for
                                          > the Bulls and 8 marginal victories for the Clippers.
                                          >
                                          > Unfortunately, this all assumes that (a) the logit function is the
                                          correct
                                          > functional form and (b) that the other players' production stays
                                          constant
                                          > (and of course there will be other roster changes which add even
                                          further
                                          > complications).
                                          >
                                          > Life is undoubtedly not so simple, so I'm not claiming that that
                                          model
                                          > will actually work in terms of predictive value.
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > One thing which I've been meaning to try for years but never gotten
                                          around
                                          > to however is to use this kind of model to look just at
                                          rebounding. It's
                                          > a smaller, simpler task than trying to model offenses, defenses, or
                                          team
                                          > wins. It's clearly going to be a non-linear process: if Tim
                                          Duncan gets
                                          > added to the Spurs and replaces ... who'd he replace, Carl Herrera?
                                          > Anyway, if Herrera was getting 4.5 rebounds per game and Duncan
                                          gets 12
                                          > per game, it is clearly not correct to predict that the Spurs will
                                          gain an
                                          > additional 7.5 rebounds per game. Some of Duncan's rebounds will
                                          come at,
                                          > so to speak, the expense of teammates. Yet he clearly should cause
                                          some
                                          > improvement to the Spurs' rebounding. I wonder if odds or logit
                                          measures
                                          > could be used so that players' rebounding quality stays constant
                                          even
                                          > though their teammates' and team's rebounds may change.
                                          >
                                          > Such a measure wouldn't meet the "David Wesley" test that alleyoop2
                                          > suggested: we know that players' rebound stats will change when
                                          they
                                          > change positions (centers get more than power forwards, thanks to
                                          their
                                          > inside position). But it might pass the Greg Anthony test: a good
                                          > rebounder going to different teams or having different teammates
                                          (maybe
                                          > Dennis Rodman, maybe Vin Baker) might end up with a constant
                                          rebounding
                                          > score using these models, even though his rebounds-per-48-minutes
                                          would
                                          > change.
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > --MKT
                                        • Ed Weiland
                                          ... The Bulls appeared to be headed toward 10-12 wins tops early in the season. Then two things improved the team dramatically. Bill Cartwright took over as
                                          Message 20 of 30 , Feb 7, 2002
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                                            --- HoopStudies <deano@...> wrote:
                                            > --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "mikel_ind" <msg_53@h...>
                                            > wrote:
                                            > > >...... The Clips are better with Brand. The
                                            > > > Bulls are better without Brand. So how good is
                                            > Brand? Context
                                            > > > sensitive.
                                            > >
                                            > > "The Bulls are better without Brand" is only half
                                            > a comment.
                                            > >
                                            > > "...than they would be if they still had him"?
                                            > >
                                            > > or "...than they were when they had him"?
                                            > >
                                            > > One might imagine that 10-36 is a better mark than
                                            > 15-67, but the
                                            > > Bulls' average score is 85.7-94.4, compared to
                                            > 87.5-96.6 last
                                            > year.
                                            > > No significant change in the scoring.
                                            > >
                                            > > Ron Artest is suddenly a star this year. Brad
                                            > Miller and Marcus
                                            > > Fizer are suddenly serious players. Mercer and
                                            > Hoiberg have
                                            > dropped
                                            > > off, but Anthony has come along, with Oakley,
                                            > while nobody
                                            > > significant has been dumped.
                                            > >
                                            > > With the coaching change, I would agree "the Bulls
                                            > are better"; but
                                            > > with Brand they might actually be contending.
                                            >
                                            > Speculation. Would Fizer and Artest and Miller have
                                            > "suddenly"
                                            > improved with Brand there? (I don't think Artest is
                                            > a star, but
                                            > haven't fully looked at his numbers.) Maybe Brand
                                            > was a negative
                                            > influence, keeping down the hopes of these guys.
                                            > It's a plausible
                                            > story, if just because Brand was getting all the
                                            > touches.
                                            >
                                            > The only thing that is clear is that it wasn't that
                                            > hard to make up
                                            > for Brand's loss; they didn't drop to a 4 win
                                            > franchise and it's hard
                                            > to name any 15 win team that got worse by losing its
                                            > "best player".

                                            The Bulls appeared to be headed toward 10-12 wins tops
                                            early in the season. Then two things improved the team
                                            dramatically. Bill Cartwright took over as coach and
                                            Ron Artest returned.

                                            Under Bill they're 7-13 with a 89.8-93.2 point diff.
                                            Hardly a threat to the Lakers (even though they swept
                                            that season series. Figure those odds), but definitely
                                            out of the stinkhole. Artest has played like a star. I
                                            wouldn't go so far as to call him a star just yet. He
                                            plays in such a frenzied style that he can be
                                            extremely erratic. I suspect he has a serious slump in
                                            him before the season ends.

                                            As for Brand, there's little doubt in my mind that
                                            this would be a team on the fringes of the EC playoffs
                                            had Brand stuck around. That said, I have to say that
                                            I do like the deal the Bulls made. A solid, usable PF
                                            is something that's pretty easy to find. Not one of
                                            Brand's calibre, but one that a team can get by with.
                                            Tyson Chandler has a chance to be a special player. It
                                            may take another year or two, but the talent is
                                            obvious. I've don't think I've ever seen a player this
                                            tall who was as athletic.

                                            Ed Weiland

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                                          • HoopStudies
                                            ... You ve said this before. Given how rarely the Bulls are on TV, it s no surprise I haven t seen him, but I am really curious, though. Who do you think he
                                            Message 21 of 30 , Feb 7, 2002
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                                              --- In APBR_analysis@y..., Ed Weiland <weiland1029@y...> wrote:
                                              > Tyson Chandler has a chance to be a special player. It
                                              > may take another year or two, but the talent is
                                              > obvious. I've don't think I've ever seen a player this
                                              > tall who was as athletic.

                                              You've said this before. Given how rarely the Bulls are on TV, it's
                                              no surprise I haven't seen him, but I am really curious, though. Who
                                              do you think he is most similar to? Most people say "tall"
                                              and "athletic" and they are referring to Kevin Garnett. Is that
                                              realistic?

                                              Dean Oliver
                                              Journal of Basketball Studies
                                            • McKibbin, Stuart
                                              Imagine a taller, faster David Robinson with no offensive game. ... From: deano@rawbw.com Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2002 9:27 AM To:
                                              Message 22 of 30 , Feb 7, 2002
                                              • 0 Attachment
                                                Imagine a taller, faster David Robinson with no offensive game.

                                                -----Original Message-----
                                                From: deano@...
                                                Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2002 9:27 AM
                                                To: APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com; deano@...
                                                Subject: [APBR_analysis] Re: nice methods


                                                --- In APBR_analysis@y..., Ed Weiland <weiland1029@y...> wrote:
                                                > Tyson Chandler has a chance to be a special player. It
                                                > may take another year or two, but the talent is
                                                > obvious. I've don't think I've ever seen a player this
                                                > tall who was as athletic.

                                                You've said this before. Given how rarely the Bulls are on TV, it's
                                                no surprise I haven't seen him, but I am really curious, though. Who
                                                do you think he is most similar to? Most people say "tall"
                                                and "athletic" and they are referring to Kevin Garnett. Is that
                                                realistic?

                                                Dean Oliver
                                                Journal of Basketball Studies



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                                              • Michael K. Tamada
                                                ... I m curious too. I ve only seen him once, in the LA Pro Summer League (actually I think it was called the Dada Summer League this past summer). At that
                                                Message 23 of 30 , Feb 7, 2002
                                                • 0 Attachment
                                                  On Thu, 7 Feb 2002, HoopStudies wrote:

                                                  > --- In APBR_analysis@y..., Ed Weiland <weiland1029@y...> wrote:
                                                  > > Tyson Chandler has a chance to be a special player. It
                                                  > > may take another year or two, but the talent is
                                                  > > obvious. I've don't think I've ever seen a player this
                                                  > > tall who was as athletic.
                                                  >
                                                  > You've said this before. Given how rarely the Bulls are on TV, it's
                                                  > no surprise I haven't seen him, but I am really curious, though. Who
                                                  > do you think he is most similar to? Most people say "tall"
                                                  > and "athletic" and they are referring to Kevin Garnett. Is that
                                                  > realistic?

                                                  I'm curious too. I've only seen him once, in the LA Pro Summer League
                                                  (actually I think it was called the Dada Summer League this past summer).
                                                  At that point he was extremely raw and the two crossroads for him that I
                                                  saw led to (a) Kevin Garnett and (b) Brad Sellers. It was absolutely too
                                                  early to tell which way he would end up.

                                                  People who have seen him more often, throughout the season, are in a much
                                                  better position to evaluate. But unless he starts making some obvious
                                                  Kobe-type teenage strides, it could easily be 3-4 years before we know
                                                  where he'll end up. Or maybe it'll only take 1-2 years as Ed Weiland
                                                  says.


                                                  --MKT
                                                • Michael K. Tamada
                                                  ... I deleted the email, but I think someone asked about Bill James log5 method . That s simply his name for his formula (not as well known but much
                                                  Message 24 of 30 , Feb 7, 2002
                                                  • 0 Attachment
                                                    On Wed, 6 Feb 2002, Michael K. Tamada wrote:

                                                    > Two examples: odds ratios are what's behind the log5 method for
                                                    > predicting win probabilties that some mathematician friend introduced Bill
                                                    > James to.

                                                    I deleted the email, but I think someone asked about Bill James' "log5
                                                    method". That's simply his name for his formula (not as well known but
                                                    much cleverer than his Pythagorean formula) for calculating the expected
                                                    win probability when, say, a 75% win-probability team plays a 25%
                                                    win-probability team. I don't know where the log or the 5 comes from, but
                                                    the formula can be derived from standard probability formulas, I think
                                                    with a small assumption about functional form thrown in.

                                                    The really fantastic more general version of the formula is for situations
                                                    which are not inherently 50-50 balanced, such as batters' probability of
                                                    getting a hit against a pitcher. Someone told me that version can also be
                                                    derived from probability theory, but I haven't been able to do it.

                                                    Despite the name, the formulas use odds ratios, not logarithms. Actually
                                                    come to think of it I don't think Bill James put the formulas in terms of
                                                    odds ratios, he used probabilities. But the formulas are much simpler
                                                    and cleaner when cast in odds terms.


                                                    --MKT


                                                    P.S. For those who are interested, the formulas.

                                                    First, odds are calculated from probabilities by this definition:

                                                    odds = p/(1-p)

                                                    e.g. a 75% probability is equivalent to 75/25 = 3:1 odds.


                                                    The log5 formula says to find the probability of Team A beating Team B,
                                                    look at Team A's odds of winning (based on their overall won-loss record,
                                                    or whatever source of probability estimates you want to use), call those
                                                    OddsA. Call Team B's odds OddsB.

                                                    Then Team A's odds of winning against Team B are simply OddsA/OddsB.

                                                    Example: if A wins 75% of the time, and B wins 25% of the time, then
                                                    intuitively Team A should have an extremely high probability of beating
                                                    Team B, we're talking Sacramento Kings vs Chicago Bulls. Their respective
                                                    odds are 3 and 1/3, so Team A's odds of beating Team B are 3/(1/3) = 9.

                                                    9:1 odds convert into a 90% probability, using the inverse of the odds
                                                    definition: p = (odds/(1+odds).


                                                    Next, the more general version of the formula, let's use a baseball
                                                    example: a .333 hitter faces a pitcher who gives up hits at a .333 rate.
                                                    What is the expected probability that the batter will get a hit?
                                                    Intuitively, it's going to be a lot larger than .333, because we're
                                                    clearly talking about an ace hitter and a bad pitcher here.

                                                    Because the overall odds (overall meaning throughout baseball) of getting
                                                    a hit are not 1:1 (the probability is not 50-50, unlike teams' won-loss
                                                    records), we need a third parameter: the overall odds of getting a hit.
                                                    Let's assume that on average, batters hit .280. So their typical odds are
                                                    .280/.720 = .389, lets call this OddsO for overall odds.

                                                    The .333 hitter's odds, let's call them OddsH, are .333/.667 = .500. For
                                                    the pitcher, we need to look at his odds of success (not his odds of
                                                    giving up a hit); the pitcher gets batters out .667 of the time so his
                                                    odds of success are .667/.333 = 2, let's call the pitcher's odds OddsP.

                                                    The log5 formula for the batter's odds of getting a hit are

                                                    (OddsB/OddsP)/OddsO

                                                    i.e. the same formula, but divided by the overall odds, OddsO.

                                                    In our example this is (.500/2)/.389 = 9/14 = .643.

                                                    Converting that into probabilities, the batter has a .643/(1+.643) = .391
                                                    probability of getting a hit.


                                                    Obviously these are general, overall calculations. There may be
                                                    individual quirks in the matchup that cause one player or team to do
                                                    unusually well or poorly against certain opponents (Bulls vs Lakers this
                                                    season, although that's probably a random fluke).


                                                    Bill James said in one of his Baseball Abstracts that he got these
                                                    formulas from a mathematician friend, but I have not seen a complete
                                                    citation or derivation of them.




                                                    --MKT
                                                  • Ed Weiland
                                                    ... Garnett is probably a stretch. One spin on draft day tried to sell Chandler and Curry as a future Shaq-Garnett tandem, which is pretty ridiculous, IMO. I
                                                    Message 25 of 30 , Feb 8, 2002
                                                    • 0 Attachment
                                                      --- "Michael K. Tamada" <tamada@...> wrote:
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > On Thu, 7 Feb 2002, HoopStudies wrote:
                                                      >
                                                      > > --- In APBR_analysis@y..., Ed Weiland
                                                      > <weiland1029@y...> wrote:
                                                      > > > Tyson Chandler has a chance to be a special
                                                      > player. It
                                                      > > > may take another year or two, but the talent is
                                                      > > > obvious. I've don't think I've ever seen a
                                                      > player this
                                                      > > > tall who was as athletic.
                                                      > >
                                                      > > You've said this before. Given how rarely the
                                                      > Bulls are on TV, it's
                                                      > > no surprise I haven't seen him, but I am really
                                                      > curious, though. Who
                                                      > > do you think he is most similar to? Most people
                                                      > say "tall"
                                                      > > and "athletic" and they are referring to Kevin
                                                      > Garnett. Is that
                                                      > > realistic?
                                                      >
                                                      > I'm curious too. I've only seen him once, in the LA
                                                      > Pro Summer League
                                                      > (actually I think it was called the Dada Summer
                                                      > League this past summer).
                                                      > At that point he was extremely raw and the two
                                                      > crossroads for him that I
                                                      > saw led to (a) Kevin Garnett and (b) Brad Sellers.
                                                      > It was absolutely too
                                                      > early to tell which way he would end up.

                                                      Garnett is probably a stretch. One spin on draft day
                                                      tried to sell Chandler and Curry as a future
                                                      Shaq-Garnett tandem, which is pretty ridiculous, IMO.
                                                      I doubt Chandler will ever develop Garnett's
                                                      all-around game. He just doesn't seem to have the same
                                                      personality. He seems more like a Webber/Barkley type
                                                      personality-wise. That being an OK guy who sometimes
                                                      rubs folks the wrong way. Not exactly an MJ when it
                                                      comes to leadership. That's just my initial take on
                                                      him though. I could easily be way off the mark here. I
                                                      was concerned about Chandler being another Brad
                                                      Sellers at first too. I doubt that will happen.
                                                      Chandler is more athletic than Sellers and he doesn't
                                                      play soft. Reckless yes, but not soft.

                                                      Comparing him to other guys who skipped college in
                                                      their rookie years, right now his offense comes up
                                                      short compared to Garnett, Kobe and T-Mac. It seems
                                                      that most of Chandler's points come from put backs,
                                                      alley-oops and other high percentage shots. He's said
                                                      to have good range, but I've yet to see it during a
                                                      game. He also commits a ton of turnovers. On defense
                                                      he looks pretty good. He uses his height and quickness
                                                      very well. He does get burned on occasion, but that's
                                                      to be expected from any rookie, let alone one straight
                                                      from the preps. Also, he doesn't look completely
                                                      overmatched, as Jonathan Bender did his first couple
                                                      of seasons. Most of Chandler's problems seem to come
                                                      from being tentative on the court. That's a common
                                                      problem with rooks and it usually corrects itself in
                                                      time.

                                                      As far as comparing him to one guy, I would say
                                                      Stuart's assessment "A taller, quicker David Robinson
                                                      with no offense" is about as accurate as any. I
                                                      suppose the more pessimistic types would call him a
                                                      Brad Lohaus who can jump.

                                                      > People who have seen him more often, throughout the
                                                      > season, are in a much
                                                      > better position to evaluate. But unless he starts
                                                      > making some obvious
                                                      > Kobe-type teenage strides, it could easily be 3-4
                                                      > years before we know
                                                      > where he'll end up. Or maybe it'll only take 1-2
                                                      > years as Ed Weiland
                                                      > says.

                                                      Keeping in mind of course that Ed Weiland is just a
                                                      fan and possibly an overly optimistic one at that, one

                                                      might be better off trusting the experts here. Since
                                                      Chandler has moved into the starting lineup, I'm
                                                      guessing he'll get about 1000 more minutes this
                                                      season. At season's end we should have a better idea
                                                      of what he's going to become.

                                                      Ed Weiland




                                                      __________________________________________________
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                                                    • lk_maxwell
                                                      I hate to mention this, but can we change the Subject of the posts when the topic changes? I personally don t have too much of an interest in Tyson Chandler,
                                                      Message 26 of 30 , Feb 8, 2002
                                                      • 0 Attachment
                                                        I hate to mention this, but can we change the Subject of the posts
                                                        when the topic changes?

                                                        I personally don't have too much of an interest in Tyson Chandler,
                                                        but I would love to read more about the mathmatical methods used
                                                        here. Changing the subject prevents everyone from reading through
                                                        irrelevant material.

                                                        Thanks,

                                                        LKM

                                                        --- In APBR_analysis@y..., Ed Weiland <weiland1029@y...> wrote:
                                                        >
                                                        > --- "Michael K. Tamada" <tamada@o...> wrote:
                                                        > >
                                                        > >
                                                        > > On Thu, 7 Feb 2002, HoopStudies wrote:
                                                        > >
                                                        > > > --- In APBR_analysis@y..., Ed Weiland
                                                        > > <weiland1029@y...> wrote:
                                                        > > > > Tyson Chandler has a chance to be a special
                                                        > > player. It
                                                        > > > > may take another year or two, but the talent is
                                                        > > > > obvious. I've don't think I've ever seen a
                                                        > > player this
                                                        > > > > tall who was as athletic.
                                                        > > >
                                                        > > > You've said this before. Given how rarely the
                                                        > > Bulls are on TV, it's
                                                        > > > no surprise I haven't seen him, but I am really
                                                        > > curious, though. Who
                                                        > > > do you think he is most similar to? Most people
                                                        > > say "tall"
                                                        > > > and "athletic" and they are referring to Kevin
                                                        > > Garnett. Is that
                                                        > > > realistic?
                                                        > >
                                                        > > I'm curious too. I've only seen him once, in the LA
                                                        > > Pro Summer League
                                                        > > (actually I think it was called the Dada Summer
                                                        > > League this past summer).
                                                        > > At that point he was extremely raw and the two
                                                        > > crossroads for him that I
                                                        > > saw led to (a) Kevin Garnett and (b) Brad Sellers.
                                                        > > It was absolutely too
                                                        > > early to tell which way he would end up.
                                                        >
                                                        > Garnett is probably a stretch. One spin on draft day
                                                        > tried to sell Chandler and Curry as a future
                                                        > Shaq-Garnett tandem, which is pretty ridiculous, IMO.
                                                        > I doubt Chandler will ever develop Garnett's
                                                        > all-around game. He just doesn't seem to have the same
                                                        > personality. He seems more like a Webber/Barkley type
                                                        > personality-wise. That being an OK guy who sometimes
                                                        > rubs folks the wrong way. Not exactly an MJ when it
                                                        > comes to leadership. That's just my initial take on
                                                        > him though. I could easily be way off the mark here. I
                                                        > was concerned about Chandler being another Brad
                                                        > Sellers at first too. I doubt that will happen.
                                                        > Chandler is more athletic than Sellers and he doesn't
                                                        > play soft. Reckless yes, but not soft.
                                                        >
                                                        > Comparing him to other guys who skipped college in
                                                        > their rookie years, right now his offense comes up
                                                        > short compared to Garnett, Kobe and T-Mac. It seems
                                                        > that most of Chandler's points come from put backs,
                                                        > alley-oops and other high percentage shots. He's said
                                                        > to have good range, but I've yet to see it during a
                                                        > game. He also commits a ton of turnovers. On defense
                                                        > he looks pretty good. He uses his height and quickness
                                                        > very well. He does get burned on occasion, but that's
                                                        > to be expected from any rookie, let alone one straight
                                                        > from the preps. Also, he doesn't look completely
                                                        > overmatched, as Jonathan Bender did his first couple
                                                        > of seasons. Most of Chandler's problems seem to come
                                                        > from being tentative on the court. That's a common
                                                        > problem with rooks and it usually corrects itself in
                                                        > time.
                                                        >
                                                        > As far as comparing him to one guy, I would say
                                                        > Stuart's assessment "A taller, quicker David Robinson
                                                        > with no offense" is about as accurate as any. I
                                                        > suppose the more pessimistic types would call him a
                                                        > Brad Lohaus who can jump.
                                                        >
                                                        > > People who have seen him more often, throughout the
                                                        > > season, are in a much
                                                        > > better position to evaluate. But unless he starts
                                                        > > making some obvious
                                                        > > Kobe-type teenage strides, it could easily be 3-4
                                                        > > years before we know
                                                        > > where he'll end up. Or maybe it'll only take 1-2
                                                        > > years as Ed Weiland
                                                        > > says.
                                                        >
                                                        > Keeping in mind of course that Ed Weiland is just a
                                                        > fan and possibly an overly optimistic one at that, one
                                                        >
                                                        > might be better off trusting the experts here. Since
                                                        > Chandler has moved into the starting lineup, I'm
                                                        > guessing he'll get about 1000 more minutes this
                                                        > season. At season's end we should have a better idea
                                                        > of what he's going to become.
                                                        >
                                                        > Ed Weiland
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > __________________________________________________
                                                        > Do You Yahoo!?
                                                        > Send FREE Valentine eCards with Yahoo! Greetings!
                                                        > http://greetings.yahoo.com
                                                      • alleyoop2
                                                        Fine idea on the topic change. Regarding Chandler, I see him as a 7 1 Ralph Sampson. Like Sampson, he has intriguing physical skills, including something of a
                                                        Message 27 of 30 , Feb 8, 2002
                                                        • 0 Attachment
                                                          Fine idea on the topic change.

                                                          Regarding Chandler, I see him as a 7'1" Ralph Sampson. Like Sampson,
                                                          he has intriguing physical skills, including something of a jumper,
                                                          and makes a lot of athletic plays, but has no post game and a strange
                                                          allergy to defensive rebounds.

                                                          I saw Chandler play 3 games in Oregon as a high schooler. Some of you
                                                          brought it up before, but what struck me is that he didn't seem to
                                                          have that disposition to dominate. One team put a 6'3" football
                                                          player on him and the guy totally got under Chandler's skin; his team
                                                          was actually lucky to even win the game.

                                                          That made me think he didn't have the maturity to leap to the NBA,
                                                          but perhaps I was wrong on that. He's certainly been better than the
                                                          other high schoolers, although I believe his first year numbers will
                                                          end up short of what Garnett and T-Mac did.






                                                          --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "lk_maxwell" <lk_maxwell@h...> wrote:
                                                          > I hate to mention this, but can we change the Subject of the posts
                                                          > when the topic changes?
                                                          >
                                                          > I personally don't have too much of an interest in Tyson Chandler,
                                                          > but I would love to read more about the mathmatical methods used
                                                          > here. Changing the subject prevents everyone from reading through
                                                          > irrelevant material.
                                                          >
                                                          > Thanks,
                                                          >
                                                          > LKM
                                                          >
                                                          > --- In APBR_analysis@y..., Ed Weiland <weiland1029@y...> wrote:
                                                          > >
                                                          > > --- "Michael K. Tamada" <tamada@o...> wrote:
                                                          > > >
                                                          > > >
                                                          > > > On Thu, 7 Feb 2002, HoopStudies wrote:
                                                          > > >
                                                          > > > > --- In APBR_analysis@y..., Ed Weiland
                                                          > > > <weiland1029@y...> wrote:
                                                          > > > > > Tyson Chandler has a chance to be a special
                                                          > > > player. It
                                                          > > > > > may take another year or two, but the talent is
                                                          > > > > > obvious. I've don't think I've ever seen a
                                                          > > > player this
                                                          > > > > > tall who was as athletic.
                                                          > > > >
                                                          > > > > You've said this before. Given how rarely the
                                                          > > > Bulls are on TV, it's
                                                          > > > > no surprise I haven't seen him, but I am really
                                                          > > > curious, though. Who
                                                          > > > > do you think he is most similar to? Most people
                                                          > > > say "tall"
                                                          > > > > and "athletic" and they are referring to Kevin
                                                          > > > Garnett. Is that
                                                          > > > > realistic?
                                                          > > >
                                                          > > > I'm curious too. I've only seen him once, in the LA
                                                          > > > Pro Summer League
                                                          > > > (actually I think it was called the Dada Summer
                                                          > > > League this past summer).
                                                          > > > At that point he was extremely raw and the two
                                                          > > > crossroads for him that I
                                                          > > > saw led to (a) Kevin Garnett and (b) Brad Sellers.
                                                          > > > It was absolutely too
                                                          > > > early to tell which way he would end up.
                                                          > >
                                                          > > Garnett is probably a stretch. One spin on draft day
                                                          > > tried to sell Chandler and Curry as a future
                                                          > > Shaq-Garnett tandem, which is pretty ridiculous, IMO.
                                                          > > I doubt Chandler will ever develop Garnett's
                                                          > > all-around game. He just doesn't seem to have the same
                                                          > > personality. He seems more like a Webber/Barkley type
                                                          > > personality-wise. That being an OK guy who sometimes
                                                          > > rubs folks the wrong way. Not exactly an MJ when it
                                                          > > comes to leadership. That's just my initial take on
                                                          > > him though. I could easily be way off the mark here. I
                                                          > > was concerned about Chandler being another Brad
                                                          > > Sellers at first too. I doubt that will happen.
                                                          > > Chandler is more athletic than Sellers and he doesn't
                                                          > > play soft. Reckless yes, but not soft.
                                                          > >
                                                          > > Comparing him to other guys who skipped college in
                                                          > > their rookie years, right now his offense comes up
                                                          > > short compared to Garnett, Kobe and T-Mac. It seems
                                                          > > that most of Chandler's points come from put backs,
                                                          > > alley-oops and other high percentage shots. He's said
                                                          > > to have good range, but I've yet to see it during a
                                                          > > game. He also commits a ton of turnovers. On defense
                                                          > > he looks pretty good. He uses his height and quickness
                                                          > > very well. He does get burned on occasion, but that's
                                                          > > to be expected from any rookie, let alone one straight
                                                          > > from the preps. Also, he doesn't look completely
                                                          > > overmatched, as Jonathan Bender did his first couple
                                                          > > of seasons. Most of Chandler's problems seem to come
                                                          > > from being tentative on the court. That's a common
                                                          > > problem with rooks and it usually corrects itself in
                                                          > > time.
                                                          > >
                                                          > > As far as comparing him to one guy, I would say
                                                          > > Stuart's assessment "A taller, quicker David Robinson
                                                          > > with no offense" is about as accurate as any. I
                                                          > > suppose the more pessimistic types would call him a
                                                          > > Brad Lohaus who can jump.
                                                          > >
                                                          > > > People who have seen him more often, throughout the
                                                          > > > season, are in a much
                                                          > > > better position to evaluate. But unless he starts
                                                          > > > making some obvious
                                                          > > > Kobe-type teenage strides, it could easily be 3-4
                                                          > > > years before we know
                                                          > > > where he'll end up. Or maybe it'll only take 1-2
                                                          > > > years as Ed Weiland
                                                          > > > says.
                                                          > >
                                                          > > Keeping in mind of course that Ed Weiland is just a
                                                          > > fan and possibly an overly optimistic one at that, one
                                                          > >
                                                          > > might be better off trusting the experts here. Since
                                                          > > Chandler has moved into the starting lineup, I'm
                                                          > > guessing he'll get about 1000 more minutes this
                                                          > > season. At season's end we should have a better idea
                                                          > > of what he's going to become.
                                                          > >
                                                          > > Ed Weiland
                                                          > >
                                                          > >
                                                          > >
                                                          > >
                                                          > > __________________________________________________
                                                          > > Do You Yahoo!?
                                                          > > Send FREE Valentine eCards with Yahoo! Greetings!
                                                          > > http://greetings.yahoo.com
                                                        • HoopStudies
                                                          ... introduced Bill ... James log5 ... but ... expected ... from, but ... think ... situations ... probability of ... also be ... Actually ... terms of ...
                                                          Message 28 of 30 , Feb 8, 2002
                                                          • 0 Attachment
                                                            --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "Michael K. Tamada" <tamada@o...> wrote:
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            > On Wed, 6 Feb 2002, Michael K. Tamada wrote:
                                                            >
                                                            > > Two examples: odds ratios are what's behind the log5 method for
                                                            > > predicting win probabilties that some mathematician friend
                                                            introduced Bill
                                                            > > James to.
                                                            >
                                                            > I deleted the email, but I think someone asked about Bill
                                                            James' "log5
                                                            > method". That's simply his name for his formula (not as well known
                                                            but
                                                            > much cleverer than his Pythagorean formula) for calculating the
                                                            expected
                                                            > win probability when, say, a 75% win-probability team plays a 25%
                                                            > win-probability team. I don't know where the log or the 5 comes
                                                            from, but
                                                            > the formula can be derived from standard probability formulas, I
                                                            think
                                                            > with a small assumption about functional form thrown in.
                                                            >
                                                            > The really fantastic more general version of the formula is for
                                                            situations
                                                            > which are not inherently 50-50 balanced, such as batters'
                                                            probability of
                                                            > getting a hit against a pitcher. Someone told me that version can
                                                            also be
                                                            > derived from probability theory, but I haven't been able to do it.
                                                            >
                                                            > Despite the name, the formulas use odds ratios, not logarithms.
                                                            Actually
                                                            > come to think of it I don't think Bill James put the formulas in
                                                            terms of
                                                            > odds ratios, he used probabilities. But the formulas are much
                                                            simpler
                                                            > and cleaner when cast in odds terms.
                                                            >

                                                            Things are coming together for me. I didn't know the method was
                                                            called log5. I called them matchup probabilities and use them a lot
                                                            myself. I can't say that I could quite derive the formula either (it
                                                            always seemed that the league average had to be some sort of prior
                                                            probability, if you framed it in a Bayes perspective). James said he
                                                            got the formula from Dallas Adams. I asked him once about a citation
                                                            and he didn't give me a specific one, so I spent some time looking
                                                            for it in math/stat journals and couldn't find it there.

                                                            >
                                                            > --MKT
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            > P.S. For those who are interested, the formulas.
                                                            >

                                                            Or I've got them documented at

                                                            http://www.rawbw.com/~deano/methdesc.html#matchup

                                                            Dean Oliver
                                                            Journal of Basketball Studies
                                                          • Michael K. Tamada
                                                            ... [...] ... I found a sort of citation at http://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/19980728kushner.html Apparently Bill James first published the formula in
                                                            Message 29 of 30 , Feb 9, 2002
                                                            • 0 Attachment
                                                              On Fri, 8 Feb 2002, HoopStudies wrote:

                                                              > --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "Michael K. Tamada" <tamada@o...> wrote:

                                                              [...]

                                                              > > Despite the name, the formulas use odds ratios, not logarithms.
                                                              > Actually
                                                              > > come to think of it I don't think Bill James put the formulas in
                                                              > terms of
                                                              > > odds ratios, he used probabilities. But the formulas are much
                                                              > simpler
                                                              > > and cleaner when cast in odds terms.
                                                              > >
                                                              >
                                                              > Things are coming together for me. I didn't know the method was
                                                              > called log5. I called them matchup probabilities and use them a lot
                                                              > myself. I can't say that I could quite derive the formula either (it
                                                              > always seemed that the league average had to be some sort of prior
                                                              > probability, if you framed it in a Bayes perspective). James said he
                                                              > got the formula from Dallas Adams. I asked him once about a citation
                                                              > and he didn't give me a specific one, so I spent some time looking
                                                              > for it in math/stat journals and couldn't find it there.

                                                              I found a sort of citation at

                                                              http://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/19980728kushner.html

                                                              Apparently Bill James first published the formula in his 1981 Baseball
                                                              Abstract (I didn't buy my first one until 1983 and stupidly gave it away
                                                              as a present). It sounds as though he came up with the formula himself,
                                                              and Dallas Adams provided empirical rather than theoretical evidence in
                                                              favor of the formula.

                                                              In essence, James' log5 measures of team quality are simply half the
                                                              team's winning odds. This permits him to use an additive formula for
                                                              calculating expected win probabilities -- if Team A has log5 value "Alog5"
                                                              and Team B has "Blog5", then in James' formula, Team A's probability of
                                                              winning is Alog5/(Alog5+Blog5).

                                                              The author of the article in the URL, James Kushner, points out the log5
                                                              is simply equal to W/2L, where W is the team's wins and losses.

                                                              What these guys are all missing is that "W/2L" is in fact one-half the
                                                              team's odds of winning, and that things become simpler still when
                                                              you use odds instead of probabilities. I mean you can't beat a formula
                                                              like OddsA/OddsB; that's even simpler than the formula above. Or to put
                                                              it another way, the "2" in "W/2L" is redundant.

                                                              I've written to Bill James a couple of times about using odds ratios (he
                                                              once asked readers for a formula for measuring home field advantage, and I
                                                              sent him essentially the formula that DeanO has on his website, and I
                                                              pointed out how this all flows simply and naturally from looking at odds
                                                              ratios), but never got a reply.


                                                              There was apparently discussion of "Dallas Adams formula" in 1997 on the
                                                              SABR listserv -- see

                                                              http://www.pacificnet.net/~sroney/SABR-L/index97.html


                                                              but I couldn't access the listserv archives, presumably because I'm not a
                                                              member of SABR.



                                                              --MKT
                                                            • Michael K. Tamada
                                                              On Fri, 8 Feb 2002, Ed Weiland wrote: [...] ... Yeah, the starting, and the accompanying minutes should have two benefits: he ll presumably learn more and
                                                              Message 30 of 30 , Feb 9, 2002
                                                              • 0 Attachment
                                                                On Fri, 8 Feb 2002, Ed Weiland wrote:

                                                                [...]

                                                                > might be better off trusting the experts here. Since
                                                                > Chandler has moved into the starting lineup, I'm
                                                                > guessing he'll get about 1000 more minutes this
                                                                > season. At season's end we should have a better idea
                                                                > of what he's going to become.

                                                                Yeah, the starting, and the accompanying minutes should
                                                                have two benefits: he'll presumably learn more and faster,
                                                                and we observers will get a much better sense of how he's
                                                                developing.

                                                                And I think in cases like this, first-hand observations
                                                                such as the ones you've made are necessary. Those of us from
                                                                afar can only look at his stats, which will probably be lousy.
                                                                But for a 19-year old rookie, lousy stats have to be expected,
                                                                it what's you see him doing or not doing on the court that is
                                                                probably a better forecast of his future.


                                                                --MKT
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