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Re: the Bad Team Effect

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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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