Plus/Minus and its relevance

Discussion in 'Pistons and NBA' started by TaS, Nov 30, 2006.

  1. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    After noticing that Darko is leading the Magic in the +/- stat this year, I started to wonder how much this stat means. I have looked at the +/- leader on all NBA teams through the 15-16 game mark in the season. I have only included players who have played for at least 40% of the time.

    My questions are, what do these guys have in common, and is a fluke that Darko finds him self in this grouping?

    Atl- Josh Childress
    Bos- Kendrick Perkins
    Cha- Sean May
    Chi- Ben Gordon
    Cle- Damon Jones
    Dal- Devin Harris
    Den- Melo Anthony
    Det- Chauncey Billups
    GSt- Andris Biedrins
    Hou- Shane Battier
    Ind- Jermaine O'Neal
    LAC- Corry Maggette
    LAL- Lamar Odom
    Mem- Dahntay Jones
    Mia- Dwyane Wade
    Mil- Michael Redd
    Min- Keving Garnett
    NJ- Jason Kidd
    NO- Peja Stoyakavic
    NY- Steve Francis
    Orl- Darko Milicic
    Phi- Dalembert
    Pho- Steve Nash
    Por- Travis Outlaw
    Sac- Ron Artest
    SA- Tim Duncan
    Sea- Rashard Lewis
    Tor- Anthony Parker (Bosh is a close 2nd)
    Uta- Matt Harpring
    Wash- Gilbert Arenas (by a huge margin!)


    Now, I haven't had a chance to watch many of these teams. But a couple surprises that jump out at me (besides Darko) are Matt Harpring, Anthony Parker, Steve Francis, Damon Jones, Sean May, and Kendrick Perkins. All the rest seem like they are either the best player on their team, or else pretty close to it. Can anyone attest to the effectiveness of those surprises? i.e. things they provide that don't show up in the stats. Ben was always a big +/- guy with us even though his stats weren't eye-popping.
  2. TheeTFD

    TheeTFD All-Star

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    Darko isn't leading the Magic in +/-. Those numbers fluctuate nightly.
  3. lazyberbs

    lazyberbs First Round Draft Pick

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    TheeTFD, I think Taysh meant leading them for the season. It can vary each night but for the season, I think.

    Yes, Steve Franchise surprised me.

    Tay, I do wonder how the number of minutes player per game affects the +/-. Like with Dwight playing more minutes than DMC, maybe that lowers the effects on the team.

    I just don't know.
  4. dba

    dba All-Star Moderator 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    I've always struggled to understand what the +/- was telling me. Sometimes I think I understand but then I see Damon Jones or Sam Dalembert at the head of the list and realize I'm clueless.
  5. TheeTFD

    TheeTFD All-Star

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    +/- is is a 48 min. stat. averaged.
  6. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    The + component tells you how the team does when this player is actually on the floor. The - component tells you how they do when that player is on the bench. If you combine them, it is supposed to show your impact. This season, the Magic have outscored their opponents by 64 points while Darko has actually been running around out there doing whatever it is he does.

    A big part of the - number though, depends on how good the rest of your team is compared to the opponents. Since the Magic have a good bench and tend to outscore the opponent's bench, then a player like Dwight Howard will not show a big - component, and this will make his +/- not look as impressive. The Piston's starting five last year all showed huge - components because our bench got killed on a regular basis.

    If you had a large sample size and the +/- between players on the team are not highly correlated, then you can really be sure that the player with the highest +/- is the most valuable. Since most of the cream has risen to the top on the other teams, it seems to be suggesting that the sample size of 15 games is big enough.

    There is a +/- gross and a +/- per game, timeframe, whatever. Darko is also leading in the gross category.
  7. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    But then KG, Arenas, Duncan, Chauncey, Redd, Kidd, etc. all seem to not be affected by playing a lot of minutes.
  8. Lee356

    Lee356 All-Star

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    Damon Jones was one our top plus minus guys the year we had him. Why? An outside shooter who spreads the defense. A very smart player who knows how the offense runs. Not the best defender against guard penetration by any means, but a good all around defender none the less.

    Sam Dalembert, the best defender on Philly. Not that bad on O either. Not much of a surprise at all.

    One big factor on plus minus is who you are out on the floor with. For Orlando, Howard does not play most of the time with the teams best players. Instead, he plays mostly with the starting unit for Orlando which is comprised of players with deficits in one area or another, mostly defense. In contrast, Darko plays mostly with Arroyo, a more solid defensive point guard vs. Nelson, and a better playmaker, and surprisingly, even a steadier outside shot. Plus he plays a lot with Ariza in the game, an excellent defender. In contrast, Howard is saddled with a poor defender in Turk who also has had his shot go missing the whole season so far.
  9. Warthog

    Warthog Bench Warmer

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    not surprised you're high on damon jones and dalembert lol, plus you just mentioned arroyo and defense in the same sentence!!
  10. dba

    dba All-Star Moderator 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    One of my problems is that folks sometimes like to treat the +/- as kind of a unifed field theory of basketball lore. Sort of all you need to know about a player. And as has been posted it probably has more to do with who the player is on the floor with on both sides.

    Anyway, if you had a choice to take any one player from either the Cavs or Sixers, my guess is that Jones and Dalembert wouldn't come up too high on any lists.
  11. Lee356

    Lee356 All-Star

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    Arroyo is 6-3. Thats not bad height for a point guard. He has decent speed and very good footwork. He is quite capable of sticking like glue to a lot of players, and more importantly he tries 100% always. The guy is pure hustle on D, including on the boards. Most of last year, there was no statisical difference between Billups and Arroyo as far as how many points other teams scored while each player was in the game. It widened a little toward the end of his stint with us, but not that much. And compared to the alternative down in Orlando, Jameer Nelson, Arroyo is very good at D.
  12. MotownPride

    MotownPride Starter 2x Fantasy Champion

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    Preach. You speakth grand truth.
  13. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    I think 82games.com has tried to add a lot more statistical data around +/- to create something meaningful.

    Personally, I find the 5 man units quite fascinating. The way certain lineups fail (and the coach still plays them) and others where relatively unremarkable players thrive surrounded by certain personalities and attributes.
  14. dba

    dba All-Star Moderator 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    Agree. The unit based analysis is really interesting.

    I do have the feeling that any +/- measure is a better long term than short term analysis. Fifteen games in may not be enough for it to settle down from game by game weirdness.
  15. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    They also do breakouts of best 2, 3, and 4 man combos as well, which is cool.
  16. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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  17. dba

    dba All-Star Moderator 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    Ok, so the Heat are outscored by their opponent by 3.3 points per 48 minutes when Wade is on the floor. But, they are outscored far worse, by 28 points per 48 minutes when he is off. So he improves the team's differential by 24.3 points when he is on the floor. Given that he is playing 41 minutes a game, basically this is telling us that the Heat stink bigtime.

    I guess that's making the best of a bad situation.
  18. lazyberbs

    lazyberbs First Round Draft Pick

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    dba, I would say that's about right :stirthepot: :stirthepot: !!
  19. TheeTFD

    TheeTFD All-Star

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    Wait a minute, isn't +/- a single stat that shows how effective a player is when he is on the court? Either this players group is out scoring the opponents group or not?
  20. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    TDF-

    "+" is that stat that you are talking about.

    "-" is the stat that shows how good or bad the rest of your team is without that player relative to the competition.

    "+/-" combines the two to show how valuable you are to the team.


    So if your team loses by 5 points everytime that you play the whole game, but they lose by 20 every time you sit out injured... then your team does 15 points better with you than without you. That is your +/- rating.

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