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Re: nice methods

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 of 30 , Feb 5, 2002
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              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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 of 30 , Feb 7, 2002
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                                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 15 of 30 , Feb 7, 2002
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                                  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 16 of 30 , Feb 7, 2002
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                                    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 17 of 30 , Feb 8, 2002
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                                      --- "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 18 of 30 , Feb 8, 2002
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                                        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 19 of 30 , Feb 8, 2002
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                                          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 20 of 30 , Feb 8, 2002
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                                            --- 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 21 of 30 , Feb 9, 2002
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                                              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 22 of 30 , Feb 9, 2002
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                                                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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