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Re: [APBR_analysis] Re: the Bad Team Effect

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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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