Detroit Pistons Stock Market Analysis

Discussion in 'Pistons and NBA' started by TaS, Sep 21, 2006.

  1. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    I finally took a look at the history of the Pistons franchise. I charted each year's winning percentage from 1948 to 2005. When it is in graph form, it is a little easier to see patterns.

    Here is what I noticed:
    • There tends to be about 14 years between extreme crashes (1948 .367)(1965 .275)(1979 .195)(1993 .244)(2007 ???)
    • We are currently on a streak of 5 consecutive seasons without a winning % setback, which is the most in Pistons' History.
    • There have only been 2 periods in history where the team has had more than 2 consecutive winning seasons; the Bad Boys (9), and the current team (5).
    • There appears to be natural mini-cycles that have a 7 year span. These mini cycles present a clear pattern, but have distinct abberation points that deviate from that pattern for certain years. 1997-98 is a year that stands out as worse than it should have been. 1974-75 and 1975-76 also look like they should have been better.
    So I looked at the history to see what made those years stand out, if anything.

    1974-75: This was the year that Bill Davidson bought the team. Dave Bing and Don Adams held out at the beginning of the season.

    1975-76: Pistons traded Bing for Kevin Porter, who then injured his knee and missed 3/4 of the season. The Pistons fired their coach and hired Herb Brown.

    1997-98: Pistons traded Theo Ratliff, Aaron McKie, and Otis Thorpe (!!!). Coach Collins was fired, and we got Gentry.


    What can all this tell us about the next 5 years? To me, it looks like the natural cycle of team building is not on our side. We will need to find undiscovered talent, or have one of our prospects turn into another Tayshaun Prince, or else salaries will pile up, talent will leave, and we'll be in rebuilding mode.

    Of course, this is not revolutionary. We all know that is a danger. But seeing the graph makes me realize that Joe will have a battle on his hands to maintain. If he succeeds, it will be historic.

    Attached Files:

  2. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    That is some slick work TaShawn. You got PM.
  3. BillLaimbeer

    BillLaimbeer All-Star 4x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    TaShawn, you should post your graph. Sounds interesting.
  4. TheeTFD

    TheeTFD All-Star

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    With 15 teams in each div. you would expect 15 year cycles. I guess we are doing about norm.
  5. lurker

    lurker First Round Draft Pick

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    Except that some franchises are poorly run and squander high draft picks year after year while never getting out of the first round of the playoffs even in their best years. Their ineptitude limits the general level of competition and allows the franchises that are better run to come back into contention in much shorter cycles.

    Great topic, TaShawn.
  6. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    Usually, there is a little bit of voodoo involved with reading graphs. Humans find patters in random data... and see faces in random patterns. However, I believe this is a structured environment that has a natural cycle. In other words, if you are a GM and you play the team building game optimally, you are going to either 1) purposefully rebuild or 2) be forced to rebuild every so often.

    The reason you would rebuild on purpose is because you get rewarded for losing with high draft picks. High draft picks tend to out-perform their contracts because they are capped. The reason that you would be forced to do it is because once you run out of draft picks, you have to depend on 1) resigning players for less than their fair value, 2) snatching free-agents at opportune times on the cheap (like Bonzi Wells right now), or 3) tricking other GM's like Isiah into a sucker trade. These happen once in a while, but are not sustainable in the long run. So, eventually, luck runs out and the team has to go through a couple of years in the cellar. So, if the NBA changed some of the rules... like put all teams in the lottery each year, unlimited contract amounts for rookies, allowed everyone to be a free agent, etc., then the natural cycle would be different... or maybe even non-existant.

    Now, the way you manage this process with the current rules as a GM depends on what you are trying to optimize. The Braves had a formula that kept them near the top for a prolonged period of time. However, this strategy sacrificed greatness in the process. It depended heavily on investment in minor league prospects and internal development. They had to avoid putting all their eggs in one basket salary-wise. If you are trying to optimize the # of Championships in the long-run (like Joe D), then I'm arguing that you have to build to a peak and then destroy violently. Otherwise, you get trapped in no-man's-land like the Lions with Barry Sanders, or the Grant Hill teal Pistons. Too good to get draft picks, but not good enough to win it all.

    Now, to be clear, I'm not saying all teams go through this same cycle. But I am saying that if their GM manages it perfectly, if they have no derailing injuries, and they don't get exceedingly lucky or unlucky, then there should be a natural occilation. I think that if you look through the noise of the data, it's shadow can be seen here.

    So, let's hope the Pistons figure out a way to improve without a #2 pick or a Ben Wallace type underpaid player. Zeke needs to bail us out.
  7. jammertime

    jammertime Starter 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    Great work TaShawn. Nice research!
  8. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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  9. Winless Wonders

    Winless Wonders Starter Forum Donor

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    Wow!! Nice Analysis. I wonder how the Pistons win % compares to some other contenders in the East. I would imagine that Detroit would come in second to Chicago durning the 90's era but I would be curious if another teams median win percentage was higher. I would conclude from this that while that team was somewhat sucessful perhaps they did not have enough talent to get to the next level. Then you could look for the winning percentage drop off and then analize what changed. From that you could conclude whether a headcoaching change or the addition or loss of a free agent impacted the winning percentage of that team.

    I would also be interested to see how our chart matches up to some of our rivals in the west LA and San Antonio. I would imagine over the last 4 years both Detroit and San Antonio would be peaking at the same time but it would be interesting to see the pattern as one team rises and another team rises. Facinating stuff!!
  10. TheeTFD

    TheeTFD All-Star

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    Nice thumbnail work.
    I think if you averaged all those years together you would get an overall org. success rate. Or nonsuccess rate. I think over their entire span the Lakers would be the best.
  11. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    I think that the overall win% came out to a little bit less than .500. If you take the modern era (I say after 1970), then it rises. Same with 1980-present. Basically, the more recent the timeframe, the better the %.

    Maybe I'll throw the Lakers on as an overlapping graph to see how they correlate.
  12. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    This is the ultimate bump (back from the dead).

    Looks like I called the bubble too soon, which is usually the case. I'll have to update the graph to incorporate the last 5 years.

    Maybe the Pistons are just mirroring the housing prices? An overlaid chart with housing prices might be in order. Or maybe the drop in housing prices stressed Joe out and caused him to mismanage the Pistons?

    The argument here is whether the decline was natural forces stemming from the unsustainable nature of a salary cap environment with the highest draft picks going to the worst teams or due to errors and omissions by the GM. Or a combo.
  13. TheeTFD

    TheeTFD All-Star

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    I think BLaim left in '92 then Zeke in '93 which would explain the schizoid/manic W/L swings.
    Geez I wonder what the graph looks like after CB left.

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