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the Bad Team Effect

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  • mikel_ind
    Common belief has it that a player can produce bigger numbers on a bad team than he will on a good team. There are numerous examples at hand: Ron Harper from
    Message 1 of 10 , Feb 2, 2002
      Common belief has it that a player can produce bigger numbers on a
      bad team than he will on a good team. There are numerous examples at
      hand: Ron Harper from Clipps to Bulls, Tony Campbell from Lakers to
      Wolves, for example.

      I compiled 182 instances of players (active in 2001) who were traded
      or otherwise changed teams, and how they performed before and after
      their trade. I had Excel list them by ratio of their 1st and 2nd
      teams' winning pct.

      At one end of the spectrum is Greg Anthony moving from the Knicks to
      the Grizz in '96. At the other end is Mr. Anthony moving from the
      Grizz to the Sonics in '98.

      I divided the 182 trades into 5 levels in this arrangement.
      Anthony's first move is in the "Best-to-worst" group, and his 2nd
      trade is in the "Worst-to-best" category.

      For purposes of comparison, I used my own "standardized" stats, which
      purport to remove the effects of increased minutes, changes in game
      pace, etc. "Eff." refers to "scoring efficiency", a combined
      shooting pct.

      There are 36 players in each group, except the middle group, which
      has 38. Here are average rates for each group:

      Best to Worst (Team 1 - Team 2):
      Tm Pct. Min. Eff. Sco. Reb Ast (TO). Total
      T1 .647 25.9 .524 14.2 5.9 3.6 (2.2) 24.6
      T2 .291 30.8 .505 13.9 6.1 3.9 (2.3) 24.9

      Good to Average:
      Tm Pct. Min. Eff. Sco. Reb Ast (TO). Total
      T1 .610 29.0 .530 16.3 6.8 2.9 (2.1) 27.5
      T2 .508 30.7 .517 15.2 6.8 3.3 (2.2) 26.5

      Average to Average:
      Tm Pct. Min. Eff. Sco. Reb Ast (TO). Total
      T1 .547 28.6 .515 14.5 6.8 3.5 (2.2) 27.0
      T2 .560 29.5 .513 14.3 6.9 3.6 (2.2) 26.2

      Average to Good:
      Tm Pct. Min. Eff. Sco. Reb Ast (TO). Total
      T1 .465 30.2 .534 14.6 7.0 2.9 (2.0) 26.0
      T2 .616 28.4 .533 14.4 6.9 2.6 (1.9) 25.0

      Worst to Best:
      Tm Pct. Min. Eff. Sco. Reb Ast (TO). Total
      T1 .290 31.6 .511 14.8 6.2 4.1 (2.6) 26.7
      T2 .641 28.2 .525 14.9 6.1 3.8 (2.3) 26.1


      The group names are somewhat arbitrary. Going from a 20-win team to
      a 40-win team, or going from a 35-win team to a 70-win team, you
      still are in the "worst to best" group.

      The sample of 182 are current (as of last year) players who changed
      teams, at any time since 1989-90. For players traded midseason, I
      used the last full season with Team 1, and the first full season with
      Team 2. In some cases, there is more than one year between the
      seasons being considered.

      Only players with at least 400 minutes with each team were included.

      I am sure there is some sampling error produced by the selection
      process. Players who were traded and then never had a 400-minute
      season are selected out.


      Mike Goodman
    • HoopStudies
      Mike -- What your stats say to me is that there doesn t appear to be any difference in per minute stats when traded. Is that right? Your measure of shooting
      Message 2 of 10 , Feb 4, 2002
        Mike --

        What your stats say to me is that there doesn't appear to be any
        difference in per minute stats when traded. Is that right? Your
        measure of shooting efficiency implies an improvement with good
        teams, but I think it's important to get some sense of statistical
        significance on that. It speaks to the assertion out there that
        stats are not context sensitive (something I don't believe).

        What I have generally seen (not studied as you did) is that very good
        players don't have statistical changes when changing teams. Less
        than very good players do, sometimes for better, sometimes for
        worse. You have competing effects. Going to a good team can make
        you better by freeing you up for better shots. Or it can make you
        worse because you just can't get any playing time to "get rhythm", as
        they say.

        I'd be curious to get your list of players/teams in each group.


        --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "mikel_ind" <msg_53@h...> wrote:
        > Common belief has it that a player can produce bigger numbers on a
        > bad team than he will on a good team. There are numerous examples
        at
        > hand: Ron Harper from Clipps to Bulls, Tony Campbell from Lakers to
        > Wolves, for example.
        >
        > I compiled 182 instances of players (active in 2001) who were
        traded
        > or otherwise changed teams, and how they performed before and after
        > their trade. I had Excel list them by ratio of their 1st and 2nd
        > teams' winning pct.
        >
        > At one end of the spectrum is Greg Anthony moving from the Knicks
        to
        > the Grizz in '96. At the other end is Mr. Anthony moving from the
        > Grizz to the Sonics in '98.
        >
        > I divided the 182 trades into 5 levels in this arrangement.
        > Anthony's first move is in the "Best-to-worst" group, and his 2nd
        > trade is in the "Worst-to-best" category.
        >
        > For purposes of comparison, I used my own "standardized" stats,
        which
        > purport to remove the effects of increased minutes, changes in game
        > pace, etc. "Eff." refers to "scoring efficiency", a combined
        > shooting pct.
        >
        > There are 36 players in each group, except the middle group, which
        > has 38. Here are average rates for each group:
        >
        > Best to Worst (Team 1 - Team 2):
        > Tm Pct. Min. Eff. Sco. Reb Ast (TO). Total
        > T1 .647 25.9 .524 14.2 5.9 3.6 (2.2) 24.6
        > T2 .291 30.8 .505 13.9 6.1 3.9 (2.3) 24.9
        >
        > Good to Average:
        > Tm Pct. Min. Eff. Sco. Reb Ast (TO). Total
        > T1 .610 29.0 .530 16.3 6.8 2.9 (2.1) 27.5
        > T2 .508 30.7 .517 15.2 6.8 3.3 (2.2) 26.5
        >
        > Average to Average:
        > Tm Pct. Min. Eff. Sco. Reb Ast (TO). Total
        > T1 .547 28.6 .515 14.5 6.8 3.5 (2.2) 27.0
        > T2 .560 29.5 .513 14.3 6.9 3.6 (2.2) 26.2
        >
        > Average to Good:
        > Tm Pct. Min. Eff. Sco. Reb Ast (TO). Total
        > T1 .465 30.2 .534 14.6 7.0 2.9 (2.0) 26.0
        > T2 .616 28.4 .533 14.4 6.9 2.6 (1.9) 25.0
        >
        > Worst to Best:
        > Tm Pct. Min. Eff. Sco. Reb Ast (TO). Total
        > T1 .290 31.6 .511 14.8 6.2 4.1 (2.6) 26.7
        > T2 .641 28.2 .525 14.9 6.1 3.8 (2.3) 26.1
        >
        >
        > The group names are somewhat arbitrary. Going from a 20-win team
        to
        > a 40-win team, or going from a 35-win team to a 70-win team, you
        > still are in the "worst to best" group.
        >
        > The sample of 182 are current (as of last year) players who changed
        > teams, at any time since 1989-90. For players traded midseason, I
        > used the last full season with Team 1, and the first full season
        with
        > Team 2. In some cases, there is more than one year between the
        > seasons being considered.
        >
        > Only players with at least 400 minutes with each team were included.
        >
        > I am sure there is some sampling error produced by the selection
        > process. Players who were traded and then never had a 400-minute
        > season are selected out.
        >
        >
        > Mike Goodman
      • John Craven
        ... From: HoopStudies To: Sent: Monday, February 04, 2002 9:06 AM Subject: [APBR_analysis] Re: the Bad Team
        Message 3 of 10 , Feb 4, 2002
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "HoopStudies" <deano@...>
          To: <APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Monday, February 04, 2002 9:06 AM
          Subject: [APBR_analysis] Re: the Bad Team Effect


          > Mike --
          >
          > What your stats say to me is that there doesn't appear to be any
          > difference in per minute stats when traded. Is that right? Your
          > measure of shooting efficiency implies an improvement with good
          > teams, but I think it's important to get some sense of statistical
          > significance on that. It speaks to the assertion out there that
          > stats are not context sensitive (something I don't believe).
          >
          > What I have generally seen (not studied as you did) is that very good
          > players don't have statistical changes when changing teams. Less
          > than very good players do, sometimes for better, sometimes for
          > worse. You have competing effects. Going to a good team can make
          > you better by freeing you up for better shots. Or it can make you
          > worse because you just can't get any playing time to "get rhythm", as
          > they say.
          >

          Well, I stand corrected... for now, anyway. I'm kind of curious to see how
          the different positions grade out. I completely agree (now) that an Elton
          Brand won't get any worse statistically moving to a better team (and may
          even get better as he's surrounded by teammates who can pass him the ball),
          but what about those Michael Finley-esque 2s and 3s?

          One other thing: I'm not so sure about only ranking players by win
          differential. In the little bit of study I've done of this, the BTE doesn't
          seem to apply to teams that have won more than 30 games or so, and there
          isn't a reciprocal Good Team Effect that I have seen.

          Sounds like something I need to do myself (heh).

          John Craven

          > I'd be curious to get your list of players/teams in each group.
          >
          >
          > --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "mikel_ind" <msg_53@h...> wrote:
          > > Common belief has it that a player can produce bigger numbers on a
          > > bad team than he will on a good team. There are numerous examples
          > at
          > > hand: Ron Harper from Clipps to Bulls, Tony Campbell from Lakers to
          > > Wolves, for example.
          > >
          > > I compiled 182 instances of players (active in 2001) who were
          > traded
          > > or otherwise changed teams, and how they performed before and after
          > > their trade. I had Excel list them by ratio of their 1st and 2nd
          > > teams' winning pct.
          > >
          > > At one end of the spectrum is Greg Anthony moving from the Knicks
          > to
          > > the Grizz in '96. At the other end is Mr. Anthony moving from the
          > > Grizz to the Sonics in '98.
          > >
          > > I divided the 182 trades into 5 levels in this arrangement.
          > > Anthony's first move is in the "Best-to-worst" group, and his 2nd
          > > trade is in the "Worst-to-best" category.
          > >
          > > For purposes of comparison, I used my own "standardized" stats,
          > which
          > > purport to remove the effects of increased minutes, changes in game
          > > pace, etc. "Eff." refers to "scoring efficiency", a combined
          > > shooting pct.
          > >
          > > There are 36 players in each group, except the middle group, which
          > > has 38. Here are average rates for each group:
          > >
          > > Best to Worst (Team 1 - Team 2):
          > > Tm Pct. Min. Eff. Sco. Reb Ast (TO). Total
          > > T1 .647 25.9 .524 14.2 5.9 3.6 (2.2) 24.6
          > > T2 .291 30.8 .505 13.9 6.1 3.9 (2.3) 24.9
          > >
          > > Good to Average:
          > > Tm Pct. Min. Eff. Sco. Reb Ast (TO). Total
          > > T1 .610 29.0 .530 16.3 6.8 2.9 (2.1) 27.5
          > > T2 .508 30.7 .517 15.2 6.8 3.3 (2.2) 26.5
          > >
          > > Average to Average:
          > > Tm Pct. Min. Eff. Sco. Reb Ast (TO). Total
          > > T1 .547 28.6 .515 14.5 6.8 3.5 (2.2) 27.0
          > > T2 .560 29.5 .513 14.3 6.9 3.6 (2.2) 26.2
          > >
          > > Average to Good:
          > > Tm Pct. Min. Eff. Sco. Reb Ast (TO). Total
          > > T1 .465 30.2 .534 14.6 7.0 2.9 (2.0) 26.0
          > > T2 .616 28.4 .533 14.4 6.9 2.6 (1.9) 25.0
          > >
          > > Worst to Best:
          > > Tm Pct. Min. Eff. Sco. Reb Ast (TO). Total
          > > T1 .290 31.6 .511 14.8 6.2 4.1 (2.6) 26.7
          > > T2 .641 28.2 .525 14.9 6.1 3.8 (2.3) 26.1
          > >
          > >
          > > The group names are somewhat arbitrary. Going from a 20-win team
          > to
          > > a 40-win team, or going from a 35-win team to a 70-win team, you
          > > still are in the "worst to best" group.
          > >
          > > The sample of 182 are current (as of last year) players who changed
          > > teams, at any time since 1989-90. For players traded midseason, I
          > > used the last full season with Team 1, and the first full season
          > with
          > > Team 2. In some cases, there is more than one year between the
          > > seasons being considered.
          > >
          > > Only players with at least 400 minutes with each team were included.
          > >
          > > I am sure there is some sampling error produced by the selection
          > > process. Players who were traded and then never had a 400-minute
          > > season are selected out.
          > >
          > >
          > > Mike Goodman
          >
          >
          >
          > 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/
          >
          >
          >
        • mikel_ind
          ... That seems to be largely the case. Interesting to me is how assist rates seem to change. The context has been largely stripped away by the way I keep
          Message 4 of 10 , Feb 4, 2002
            --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "HoopStudies" <deano@r...> wrote:
            > Mike --
            >
            > What your stats say to me is that there doesn't appear to be any
            > difference in per minute stats when traded. Is that right? Your
            > measure of shooting efficiency implies an improvement with good
            > teams, but I think it's important to get some sense of statistical
            > significance on that. It speaks to the assertion out there that
            > stats are not context sensitive (something I don't believe).

            That seems to be largely the case. Interesting to me is how assist
            rates seem to change.

            The context has been largely stripped away by the way I keep track of
            statistics.

            Obviously, if you want to take the minutes-per-game number provided,
            multiply by min/36, you can get a better idea of changes in per-
            game scoring, etc. The minutes are certainly the thing that changes
            most, so per-game numbers do likewise.

            Most bad teams are bad defensively (as good teams tend to be better
            than average defensively); since my "rates" have already had team-
            defensive adjustments (ppg allowed), this context is also removed.

            Finally, my scoring rates have shooting pct factored in. So, by
            factoring it back out, you get closer to a guy's "raw" per-game
            scoring.

            To summarize: going to a worse team increases minutes, increases
            scoring attempts, and reduces shooting pct. Once these are factored
            out, you see the results I posted earlier.

            >
            > What I have generally seen (not studied as you did) is that very
            good
            > players don't have statistical changes when changing teams. Less
            > than very good players do, sometimes for better, sometimes for
            > worse. You have competing effects. Going to a good team can make
            > you better by freeing you up for better shots. Or it can make you
            > worse because you just can't get any playing time to "get rhythm",
            as
            > they say.

            I agree, on the intuitive level. My list mostly consists of average-
            and-better players. The 400-minute qualification excludes players
            who "came out of nowhere" on a deep bench, as well as those
            who "disappeared" when traded to a better team.
            I don't know if this is a major element in a more comprehensive
            survey; I just wanted a decent set of measurements, as well as a
            manageably sized survey.


            Mike G
          • alleyoop2
            You could practically create your own micro-study just with Greg Anthony. I was reading this the other day and then it occurred to me that after this year he
            Message 5 of 10 , Feb 5, 2002
              You could practically create your own micro-study just with Greg
              Anthony. I was reading this the other day and then it occurred to me
              that after this year he will AGAIN be at the top of the good-to-bad
              list when his Portland to Chicago move gets put in.

              To me, there's two good tests for a rating system. One is the David
              Wesley Test - when a guy changes positions so that his points/assists
              rates are altered, he still should rate about the same. The second is
              the Greg Anthony Test - when a guy goes from a good team to a crap
              team or vice versa, he should still rate about the same.

              At the same time, I try to keep in my mind that there's other stuff
              going on between seasons. For example, I have Greg Anthony doing a
              fair amount better this season than a year ago, which would be
              worrying if I hadn't been in Portland last season and known that a)
              his ankle was bothering him all year, and b) in the spirit of last
              season's Portland clubhouse, he openly gave up on the season about
              halfway through, to the point where he stopped doing pre-game work
              that he done religiously for the previous two and a half seasons.

              Anyway, don't mean to ramble, but wanted to share those thoughts with
              the crowd.

              John Hollinger




              --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "John Craven" <john1974@u...> wrote:
              >
              > ----- Original Message -----
              > From: "HoopStudies" <deano@r...>
              > To: <APBR_analysis@y...>
              > Sent: Monday, February 04, 2002 9:06 AM
              > Subject: [APBR_analysis] Re: the Bad Team Effect
              >
              >
              > > Mike --
              > >
              > > What your stats say to me is that there doesn't appear to be any
              > > difference in per minute stats when traded. Is that right? Your
              > > measure of shooting efficiency implies an improvement with good
              > > teams, but I think it's important to get some sense of statistical
              > > significance on that. It speaks to the assertion out there that
              > > stats are not context sensitive (something I don't believe).
              > >
              > > What I have generally seen (not studied as you did) is that very
              good
              > > players don't have statistical changes when changing teams. Less
              > > than very good players do, sometimes for better, sometimes for
              > > worse. You have competing effects. Going to a good team can make
              > > you better by freeing you up for better shots. Or it can make you
              > > worse because you just can't get any playing time to "get
              rhythm", as
              > > they say.
              > >
              >
              > Well, I stand corrected... for now, anyway. I'm kind of curious to
              see how
              > the different positions grade out. I completely agree (now) that an
              Elton
              > Brand won't get any worse statistically moving to a better team
              (and may
              > even get better as he's surrounded by teammates who can pass him
              the ball),
              > but what about those Michael Finley-esque 2s and 3s?
              >
              > One other thing: I'm not so sure about only ranking players by win
              > differential. In the little bit of study I've done of this, the BTE
              doesn't
              > seem to apply to teams that have won more than 30 games or so, and
              there
              > isn't a reciprocal Good Team Effect that I have seen.
              >
              > Sounds like something I need to do myself (heh).
              >
              > John Craven
              >
              > > I'd be curious to get your list of players/teams in each group.
              > >
              > >
              > > --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "mikel_ind" <msg_53@h...> wrote:
              > > > Common belief has it that a player can produce bigger numbers
              on a
              > > > bad team than he will on a good team. There are numerous
              examples
              > > at
              > > > hand: Ron Harper from Clipps to Bulls, Tony Campbell from
              Lakers to
              > > > Wolves, for example.
              > > >
              > > > I compiled 182 instances of players (active in 2001) who were
              > > traded
              > > > or otherwise changed teams, and how they performed before and
              after
              > > > their trade. I had Excel list them by ratio of their 1st and
              2nd
              > > > teams' winning pct.
              > > >
              > > > At one end of the spectrum is Greg Anthony moving from the
              Knicks
              > > to
              > > > the Grizz in '96. At the other end is Mr. Anthony moving from
              the
              > > > Grizz to the Sonics in '98.
              > > >
              > > > I divided the 182 trades into 5 levels in this arrangement.
              > > > Anthony's first move is in the "Best-to-worst" group, and his
              2nd
              > > > trade is in the "Worst-to-best" category.
              > > >
              > > > For purposes of comparison, I used my own "standardized" stats,
              > > which
              > > > purport to remove the effects of increased minutes, changes in
              game
              > > > pace, etc. "Eff." refers to "scoring efficiency", a combined
              > > > shooting pct.
              > > >
              > > > There are 36 players in each group, except the middle group,
              which
              > > > has 38. Here are average rates for each group:
              > > >
              > > > Best to Worst (Team 1 - Team 2):
              > > > Tm Pct. Min. Eff. Sco. Reb Ast (TO). Total
              > > > T1 .647 25.9 .524 14.2 5.9 3.6 (2.2) 24.6
              > > > T2 .291 30.8 .505 13.9 6.1 3.9 (2.3) 24.9
              > > >
              > > > Good to Average:
              > > > Tm Pct. Min. Eff. Sco. Reb Ast (TO). Total
              > > > T1 .610 29.0 .530 16.3 6.8 2.9 (2.1) 27.5
              > > > T2 .508 30.7 .517 15.2 6.8 3.3 (2.2) 26.5
              > > >
              > > > Average to Average:
              > > > Tm Pct. Min. Eff. Sco. Reb Ast (TO). Total
              > > > T1 .547 28.6 .515 14.5 6.8 3.5 (2.2) 27.0
              > > > T2 .560 29.5 .513 14.3 6.9 3.6 (2.2) 26.2
              > > >
              > > > Average to Good:
              > > > Tm Pct. Min. Eff. Sco. Reb Ast (TO). Total
              > > > T1 .465 30.2 .534 14.6 7.0 2.9 (2.0) 26.0
              > > > T2 .616 28.4 .533 14.4 6.9 2.6 (1.9) 25.0
              > > >
              > > > Worst to Best:
              > > > Tm Pct. Min. Eff. Sco. Reb Ast (TO). Total
              > > > T1 .290 31.6 .511 14.8 6.2 4.1 (2.6) 26.7
              > > > T2 .641 28.2 .525 14.9 6.1 3.8 (2.3) 26.1
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > The group names are somewhat arbitrary. Going from a 20-win
              team
              > > to
              > > > a 40-win team, or going from a 35-win team to a 70-win team, you
              > > > still are in the "worst to best" group.
              > > >
              > > > The sample of 182 are current (as of last year) players who
              changed
              > > > teams, at any time since 1989-90. For players traded
              midseason, I
              > > > used the last full season with Team 1, and the first full season
              > > with
              > > > Team 2. In some cases, there is more than one year between the
              > > > seasons being considered.
              > > >
              > > > Only players with at least 400 minutes with each team were
              included.
              > > >
              > > > I am sure there is some sampling error produced by the selection
              > > > process. Players who were traded and then never had a 400-
              minute
              > > > season are selected out.
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > Mike Goodman
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > 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/
              > >
              > >
              > >
            • Michael K. Tamada
              ... These are good tests, but might be overly stringent. I don t know if there are any statistical rating schemes that can accurately correct for position
              Message 6 of 10 , Feb 5, 2002
                On Tue, 5 Feb 2002, alleyoop2 wrote:

                > You could practically create your own micro-study just with Greg
                > Anthony. I was reading this the other day and then it occurred to me
                > that after this year he will AGAIN be at the top of the good-to-bad
                > list when his Portland to Chicago move gets put in.
                >
                > To me, there's two good tests for a rating system. One is the David
                > Wesley Test - when a guy changes positions so that his points/assists
                > rates are altered, he still should rate about the same. The second is
                > the Greg Anthony Test - when a guy goes from a good team to a crap
                > team or vice versa, he should still rate about the same.

                These are good tests, but might be overly stringent. I don't know if
                there are any statistical rating schemes that can accurately correct for
                position changes or changes in team context.

                I actually did do, not a micro-study of Greg Anthony, but a micro-micro
                study of him. This was about 3-4 years ago, when he was with the Sonics,
                just before he went to the Blazers. He spent only one year with the
                Sonics; in November it seemed to me that he was playing awful basketball.
                I finally decided to test this: I started calculating his plus-minus
                rating, as is sometimes done for hockey players. This was just before the
                play-by-play sheets for games were available on the web, so I'd just
                listen to the games, note the score when Anthony came in, and note the
                score when he exited. My subjective notion was that he was costing the
                Sonics a point a minute.

                And the statistics showed that was almost exactly what was happening!
                Payton would come out, Anthony would go in, and whatever the score was,
                for each minute that Anthony was in, the Sonics would fall behind (or have
                their lead shrink) by almost exactly a point.

                Unless the game had garbage time, Payton was playing about 40 minutes a
                game, and Anthony about 8. Imagine what pressure the Sonics faced,
                knowing that with Payton in there, they needed to build at least an 8
                point lead, because when Payton sat and Anthony came in, those 8 points
                would evaporate.

                I don't know what the plus-minus ratings are for other players, but -1
                point per minute has to be about as bad as can be.

                Obviously there are a lot of contaminating factors with plus-minus
                ratings: who were Greg's teammates on the floor? Which 5 players were
                they facing? And compared to Payton, just about any PG is going to be
                looking relatively bad.

                But the plus-minus stat was I think valid for Anthony
                because it confirmed what I was seeing subjectively: Greg Anthony early
                that season was a terrible player, shooting too much, missing way too
                much, and playing bad defense. This was when the Sonics were playing the
                Bob Kloppenburg/George Karl trapping and double-teaming defense. Anthony
                was clueless about the defense, he would just randomly leave his man to go
                over and double-team the ball, creating huge holes in the Sonics defense
                and resulting in easy baskets. Double-team traps were an effective ploy
                for the Sonics (during the regular season that is; they and the Sonics
                usually flopped in the playoffs), but Anthony's double-teams were the
                opposite of effective: instead of putting pressure on the offense he was
                creating holes in the defense.

                But that was Nov. and Dec. and maybe January.

                By mid-season however Greg Anthony was improving. So much so that I
                stopped keeping track of the stat even before the All-star game. By the
                last half of the season he was IMO one of the best backup PGs in the NBA.
                E.g. although he shot only 43%, he shot 42% on 3-pointers, and his overall
                adjusted FG% was 52% and his overall shooting efficiency (including FTs)
                was 54%. Those numbers are especially good when you consider how
                execrable they had been in the first half of the season.


                So there are things that go on beyond simply switching teams from good to
                bad or bad to good. Even within a season, without switching teams or
                positions, a player's stats can change; in the case of Anthony those
                statistical changes reflect a true change in his quality of play.

                Possibly it took Anthony half the season to get used to his new team,
                especially the trapping defense. The LA Times sportswriters say that it
                takes players who join the Lakers at least half a season to get used to
                the triangle offense. But I don't know if it's team switching that
                caused Anthony's bad first half and good second half, or just that
                sometimes players play well and sometimes they don't.


                --MKT
              • mikel_ind
                ... were ... be ... This may be a good example of why the +/- value is sometimes screwy. Payton was carrying the Sonics, basically. The team wasn t the same
                Message 7 of 10 , Feb 5, 2002
                  --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "Michael K. Tamada" <tamada@o...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Obviously there are a lot of contaminating factors with plus-minus
                  > ratings: who were Greg's teammates on the floor? Which 5 players
                  were
                  > they facing? And compared to Payton, just about any PG is going to
                  be
                  > looking relatively bad.

                  This may be a good example of why the +/- value is sometimes screwy.
                  Payton was carrying the Sonics, basically. The team wasn't the same
                  without him. Unless his backup was pretty good (capable of
                  starting), there would be a pronounced difference.

                  Put another way: without Payton, the Sonics sucked; and Anthony was
                  the one guy that was always in when Payton was out.

                  > So there are things that go on beyond simply switching teams from
                  good to
                  > bad or bad to good. Even within a season, without switching teams
                  or
                  > positions, a player's stats can change; in the case of Anthony those
                  > statistical changes reflect a true change in his quality of play.

                  Actually, in 4 of the 5 groups I delineated, players seem to do worse
                  their first year after a trade. Even if they are up to speed by mid-
                  year, the effects of the bad 1st-half will show.

                  The only group that showed improvement upon trading was best-to-worst
                  (team) players, and it was about 1%, and probably attributable to
                  more regular minutes.

                  It looks like Anthony going from Vancouver to Seattle caused his
                  productivity to drop about 10% for the year. (see Sheet 3, column AC)


                  Mike Goodman
                • mikel_ind
                  ... Yep, Anthony is way up from last year, particularly in assists, which have almost tripled (3.0 to 8.1, per-36 min.). ... points/assists ... is ... Anthony
                  Message 8 of 10 , Feb 5, 2002
                    --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "alleyoop2" <alleyoop2@y...> wrote:
                    > You could practically create your own micro-study just with Greg
                    > Anthony. I was reading this the other day and then it occurred to
                    >me
                    > that after this year he will AGAIN be at the top of the good-to-bad
                    > list when his Portland to Chicago move gets put in.

                    Yep, Anthony is way up from last year, particularly in assists, which
                    have almost tripled (3.0 to 8.1, per-36 min.).

                    > To me, there's two good tests for a rating system. One is the David
                    > Wesley Test - when a guy changes positions so that his
                    points/assists
                    > rates are altered, he still should rate about the same. The second
                    is
                    > the Greg Anthony Test - when a guy goes from a good team to a crap
                    > team or vice versa, he should still rate about the same.

                    Anthony is obviously a guy who needs minutes, but not every player
                    fits this mold. He gets assists, when asked to be the PG, and his
                    scoring doesn't suffer.

                    You just never know how a given player will respond to being asked to
                    do more or less. Truck Robinson went from Phoenix to New York and
                    was relieved of his scoring duties (he was playing alongside Bernard
                    King). Truck complained like hell, and basically gave up.

                    Vin Baker's problems cannot be attributed to his going to a better
                    team.

                    Every case is different, and even players who remain in place can
                    suddenly swoon or burst into greatness one year.


                    Mike Goodman
                    > > >
                  • Michael K. Tamada
                    ... It s true that Payton was (and still is) a PG of paramount importance to his team. But not quite as much as you seem to be implying here. Remember, in
                    Message 9 of 10 , Feb 5, 2002
                      On Wed, 6 Feb 2002, mikel_ind wrote:

                      > --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "Michael K. Tamada" <tamada@o...> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > Obviously there are a lot of contaminating factors with plus-minus
                      > > ratings: who were Greg's teammates on the floor? Which 5 players
                      > were
                      > > they facing? And compared to Payton, just about any PG is going to
                      > be
                      > > looking relatively bad.
                      >
                      > This may be a good example of why the +/- value is sometimes screwy.
                      > Payton was carrying the Sonics, basically. The team wasn't the same
                      > without him. Unless his backup was pretty good (capable of
                      > starting), there would be a pronounced difference.

                      It's true that Payton was (and still is) a PG of paramount importance to
                      his team. But not quite as much as you seem to be implying here.
                      Remember, in 1998 the Sonics won 61 games. (Actually, I did not remember
                      this stuff, I had to look it up.) They were therefore not like the Sonics
                      of 2002 and 2001 who are/were a slightly-above .500 team WITH Payton, and
                      much worse than .500 without him. One-man teams do not win 61 games.

                      The 1998 Sonics had a second-team all-NBA power forward, Vin Baker.
                      Detlef Schrempf was just one year off his last all-star year. Dale Ellis,
                      Hersey Hawkins, and Sam Perkins provided role-playing long-distance
                      bombing support.

                      So with any kind of decent backup PG, the Sonics were not a team that
                      would fall one point per minute behind its opposition. In fact, I'd say
                      that without Payton, but with a decent backup PG they were a team that was
                      probably around .500 level, and therefore a backup PG should have about a
                      zero plus/minus rating. Certainly not -1 point per minute, as Greg
                      Anthony had early on.

                      > Put another way: without Payton, the Sonics sucked; and Anthony was

                      That's an accurate description of the Sonics in 2002 and 2001 and for that
                      matter 2000 and 1999 (the year that Baker went bust). But not accurate in
                      1998, when Anthony was there. A more accurate description would be that
                      without Payton, the Sonics were mediocre -- or should have been. But
                      Anthony early in the season was making them suck at a point per minute.

                      > the one guy that was always in when Payton was out.

                      There's more to it than that: that's the way the Sonics (and Anthony)
                      played in the first half of the season, but in the second half Anthony was
                      highly productive. I didn't keep plus/minus stats then but I wouldn't be
                      surprised if he was close to 0 in the second half of the season.



                      --MKT
                    • mikel_ind
                      Michael T: I stand corrected, and henceforth I will either look it up, or leave Sonics commentary to the many Sonics fans in the group. ... that ... But ...
                      Message 10 of 10 , Feb 6, 2002
                        Michael T: I stand corrected, and henceforth I will either look it
                        up, or leave Sonics commentary to the many Sonics fans in the group.

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

                        > On Wed, 6 Feb 2002, mikel_ind wrote:
                        >
                        > > without Payton, the Sonics sucked; and Anthony was
                        >

                        >..... A more accurate description would be
                        that
                        > without Payton, the Sonics were mediocre -- or should have been.
                        But
                        > Anthony early in the season was making them suck at a point per
                        minute.
                        >
                        > > the one guy that was always in when Payton was out.
                        >
                        > There's more to it than that: that's the way the Sonics (and
                        Anthony)
                        > played in the first half of the season, but in the second half
                        Anthony was
                        > highly productive. ...>
                        >
                        > --MKT

                        Anthony played 13 mpg (80 G), Payton played 38 mpg; Nate McMillan
                        even played 279 minutes that year. So GP and Anthony had to be on
                        the floor together for at least 1/3 of the minutes Anthony played.

                        So I was wrong all over.

                        But I do concur that Anthony's year-end stats suggest he was one of
                        the better backup PGs in '98.


                        Mike Goodman
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