The Stat Lab

Discussion in 'Pistons and NBA' started by TaS, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. professor

    professor Bench Warmer Forum Donor

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    This may seem obvious, but just exactly how did you define SB and BB for the purposes of the above calculations.

    I know this one. The answer is 15.
     
  2. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    Sorry, should have included that.

    Anytime 3 of the following players were on the floor at the same time:

    Bynum
    Stuckey
    Iverson
    Hamilton
    Afflalo
     
  3. professor

    professor Bench Warmer Forum Donor

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    Ah. That's helpful. Makes me realize that I think of it (without realizing it) as any lineup that puts Tay at the 4 guarding PF's. But clearly, you could have any of those three with, say, Sheed and Amir and it would still be small ball.

    It also raises a question for me that's been nagging at me as I read the general consensus against small ball (I acknowledge that a minority of posters have said they don't think small ball is the problem at all, and that others think that it has its place as a tactic in certain situations). But the thing that's been nagging me is whether some small ball is more equal than other small ball to paraphrase Orwell. And I mean two questions I guess: is all small ball equally small, and also is all small ball equally ineffective? On the first question, obviously, a line up of Hamilton (3), Afflalo (2), Stuckey(1), Sheed, and Kwame, is actually not a very small line up, but it counts as small ball on your definition. Meanwhile, a lineup of Dyess, Jmax, Tay, AI, and Bynum would not be small ball, though it seems to me like it is. As for the comparative ineffectiveness of different small ball lineups (both with each other, but also with different big ball line ups), well i just have no idea. I can imagine the work that would entail, but I wonder if you have any suspicions based on the work you've done so far.
     
  4. Ernie the Slow Adult

    Ernie the Slow Adult All-Star Forum Donor

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    Has there ever been a worse small ball team than the Pistons? I have never seen a small ball team get fewer mis-matches than this group.
     
  5. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    I'm not sure if the lineup of AI/Rip/AA/Sheed/Brown ever happened. I don't remember seeing it.

    But you are right to question the grey area here.

    An interesting breakout would be SB with Tay vs. SB without Tay. I really have no idea which one is more futile.

    The problem with my definition of small ball is that MC only has 2 real backups for Prince at SF, Herrmann and Sharpe. So, the question becomes, does MC have a choice? If he wants to rest Tay, does he have to play SB to do so b/c Herrmann and Sharpe are so ineffective? B/c of this possibility (assuming the premise was true), I would argue that at the very least, SB should ONLY happen in order to rest Tay. Since Prince only sits out 10:30 per game, this should be the upper limit of SB.

    But, let's revisit the premise itself, is Herrmann so bad that can't be trusted to play SF for a single second in order to rest Prince? So far this year, he is dead even at the SF spot. He is barely worse than breakeven at PF. While this is not conclusive, this limited data tells me that he's probably a better alternative than SB.

    Here are just a few other pieces of data that might give a hint to the final conclusion on your question.

    Afflalo is +60 this year when he plays his natural SG position.
    In about half the time, he is -41 when he is forced to play SF.

    Similarly, Dyess is only -13 this year at PF, but he is -43 at C in about half the time.


    Picking cause-effect out of bball correlations can be extremely complicated, but this particular case seems to be approaching the shadow of a doubt type threshold needed to convict.


    Nothing against AI or Rip, but this team might be better off this year if we could switch one of them out for the 50th best PF in the league.
     
  6. Warthog

    Warthog Bench Warmer

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    depends on your definition of SB. to me SB is only having 1 PF/C in the game. so if AA or Rip is playing the 3, but we have 2 bigs, i don't consider that SB (or maybe medium ball...MB haha)
     
  7. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    I agree with you, except that MB has been terrible too.

    It could just be that we aren't very good without Tay in the game. His overall +/- numbers are probably damaged because he is a part of so many fundementally futile lineups.

    Take the last game against Sacremento for example (the game where Brad Miller looked like Wilt Chamberlain). Prince was +19 when he was on the floor with 2 big men and he was -7 when he was supposed to be a big man.

    Same thing with the Milwaukee game. He was +16 with the bigs and breakeven with the midgets.


    I'm actually completely exhausted on this topic. It is no longer interesting, just depressing.
     
  8. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    A more recent update on quarter by quarter performance point differential and starters vs. bench.

    Q1- We rank 7th in the league and are with very good company. In order, it goes: CLE, BOS, ORL, HOU, LAL, SAS, DET... So, whatever we have been doing to start games (SB, Amir, Kwame, whatever) has been working well. This even includes the 39 point fiasco against Houston. We are miles away from the top though, as we are +1.2 and CLE is +5.1, which would be on pace to be 15 points per game better than us.

    Q2- #24th in the league. Not good.

    Q3- #12. So, our starters still do an above average job and have a positive point spread, but not up to our 1st quarter performances. Are the other teams adjusting at halfime?

    Q4- #20 in point spread, but 2nd to last in terms of % of 4th quarters that we come out ahead at 37%. We are tied with the Grizzlies and the Clippers are behind us.

    Here's the strange part though. By the stats above, it is obvious that our starting lineup is playing better than our bench. However, our starters score at the 28th worst rate, at 100.7 points per 100 possessions while our bench scores that highest rate in the NBA at 113.9 points per 100 possessions.

    So, we are still being carried by the defense of our starters and we are still a more effective team at a slower pace and with less scoring in general.

    Moving Hamilton to the bench is likely to widen this gap. By cementing in big ball and removing a scorer from the starting unit, our defense is likely to improve and our scoring will probably drop off a bit. Meanwhile, the bench will score an an even faster rate, but loses AA's defense in exchange for Rip's.

    But just because these 2 things change doesn't necessarily mean it will be better or worse as a whole. We'll have to look at the point spreads once it is established over a decent period of time.
     
  9. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    Fouling:

    AJ. He fouls a lot, obviously. The thought would be that his fouls are limiting his playing time and if he could only find a way to control himself that he'd get more minutes. But how is his playing time really correlated with his fouling?

    Before I get to that part, let's look at an overview of the team.

    # of games fouling out this year:
    AJ- 2 (1 in 35 minutes, 1 in 8 minutes)
    RW- 2
    AM- 2 (1 in only 17 minutes)
    AI- 1
    RH- 1
    RS- 1
    AA- 1 (in only 15 minutes)

    There are a few things to note from this. For all the fouling Amir has done this year, he has only actually fouled out of 2 games, the same as Sheed and Dyess. We all remember the 8 minute foul-out, but Dyess and Afflalo both had disaster games too, so it happens.

    Another thing to note- Dyess has had 4 other games where he quickly committed 5 fouls (16, 23, 23, and 28 minutes). Those were guaransheed 6 foul games if he would have stayed in.

    Stuckey has had 8 games this year with 5 fouls (1 was 18 minutes into a game, 1 was 23 minutes in, and another 28 minutes in).

    But anyways, here's my main point:

    AJ PF's per game/ # minutes he averaged (minutes per foul)
    6 fouls (2 games)/ 21.5 minutes (3.58 m/PF)
    5 fouls (4 games)/ 22.0 minutes (4.40 m/PF)
    4 fouls (14 games)/ 19.3 minutes (4.83 m/PF)
    < 3 fouls (14 games)/ 14.2 minutes (4.73 m/PF)

    So, in general, the more fouls he commits, and the more rapidly he commits them, the more playing time he gets. If it was vise versa, then the games where he was quickly yanked would have been the ones where he was fouling at the fastest rate, but they are not.

    Surprisingly, he has only had 6 games on the season with 5 or more fouls... not for lack of fouling, but because his minutes were restricted.

    Here is my big question: Why is MC bothering to take Amir out of the game due to fouls?

    If Amir is worth playing for 20 minutes when he fouls every 5 minutes or so, then why isn't he worth playing for 30 minutes when he's fouling at the same rate or lower? This is especially perplexing when you consider that MC has no intention of playing Amir at the end of the game. In other words, who cares if he fouls out?

    This theory goes further than Amir. Why is it that Stuckey has 8 games with 5 fouls, but has only been allowed to foul out of 1 game? Why has McDyess been pulled after 5 fouls with low minutes 4 seperate times this year?

    I think that it might be that the conventional method of pulling important players to save them for end game situations has spilled over into the collective consciousness of coaches and now they follow the rules without thinking about them.
    ________________________________________
    Footnote: in researching this, I became fully aware of how rarely TP is fouling-

    He has commited either 0 or 1 foul in 12 of his last 13 games while playing heavy minutes. On the season so far, he has had 29 out of 40 games with either 0 or 1 foul. Only 5 games with 3 fouls and 1 game with 4 fouls. I'm almost willing to guess that he may be on track for some kind of record at the SF position of fewest fouls per minute. Considering what a good defender he is, this is a pretty amazing quality about him and another thing that makes him underrated.
     
  10. BallDon'tLie

    BallDon'tLie All-Star 3x Fantasy Champion

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    It's comforting to know that no matter what time it is or where I am on any given day, Amir Johnson is out there somewhere fouling somebody.
     
  11. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    He's like the Maytag man of fouls. Phone rings, he jumps into action, slamming the washing machine lid and slapping the dryer with the pull out filter.
     
  12. Ernie the Slow Adult

    Ernie the Slow Adult All-Star Forum Donor

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    How bad of a shooter would you have to be for him not to go for your upfake. This would be a great event on All Star Saturday.
     
  13. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    To Resolve the Question- How many games has AJ started and other misc matters.

    We have had 3 different categories of starting lineups this year. 1) with Amir as the starting PF (medium ball), 2) with Kwame as C (big ball), and 3) with Tay at PF (small ball).

    Here's how it went down:

    Opponent- result
    ----------------Amir starting
    IND- W
    WAS- W
    CHA- W
    TOR- W
    NJN- L
    BOS- L (Amir +9)
    SAC- W
    ----------------switch to Kwame
    GSW- W
    LAL- W (KB +11)
    PHO- L
    CLE- W (KB + 5)
    BOS- L (KB +2)
    MIN- L
    NYK- W
    MIL- W (KB left game after 2:49 and AJ replaced him)
    POR- L
    SAS- W (KB -2)
    PHI- L
    NYK- L
    --------------- switch to small ball
    WAS- L
    IND- W
    CHA- W
    WAS- W
    UTA- L
    ATL- L
    CHI- W
    OKC- W
    ----------------switch to Amir
    MIL- W
    ORL- W
    NJN- W
    SAC- W
    -----------------switch to Kwame
    LAC- W
    ------------------switch to Amir
    POR- L (AJ +8)
    -------------------switch to Kwame
    DEN- W
    ------------------switch to Amir
    UTA- L
    ------------------switch to small ball
    OKC- W
    CHA- L
    IND- L
    OKC- L
    NOH- L
    MEM- W
    ------------------switch to Amir
    TOR- W
    DAL- L
    ------------------switch to Kwame
    HOU- L
    ------------------switch to Amir
    MIN- W


    So, with Amir starting, we are 11-5 (56 win pace)
    With Kwame starting, we are 8-7 (44 win pace)
    With small ball starting, we are 6-7 (38 win pace).

    However, that does not tell the whole story because of the strength of schedule issue.

    This year, with Amir, our opponents have a .453 record (so, adjust down to 51 win pace).
    With Kwame Brown, our opponents have a .558 record (adjusts up to 49 win pace).
    With small ball, our opponents have a .379 record (adjusts down to 29 win pace).

    That is a huge difference. .558 is in between Utah and Phoenix
    .379 in in between Minnesota and Indiana.

    Other factors to consider. Amir played a few games without CB/AI/Dyess. Also, both Amir and Kwame started games when Rip was injured. So, small ball didn't have to deal with any of these issues.

    In conclusion, SB sucks worse than I thought, it has only been tried against weak teams, Kwame Brown is underrated, and our record with Amir starting is solid.

    SB has only been tried against 3 teams with > .500 records, and we lost all 3 of those games. On the loss side, SB has lost to a team with a .200 recored and a .239 record.
     
  14. TheeTFD

    TheeTFD All-Star

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    Amir needs to get a lot of fouls out of his system.
     
  15. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    In the interest of accuracy, I'm re-posting this with the corrections that Lee pointed out (Kwame and Amir both started together while Sheed was out with the pinky toe injury).

    Opponent- result
    ----------------Amir starting
    IND- W
    WAS- W
    CHA- W
    TOR- W
    NJN- L
    BOS- L
    SAC- W
    ----------------switch to Kwame
    GSW- W
    LAL- W
    PHO- L
    CLE- W
    BOS- L
    MIN- L
    NYK- W
    MIL- W
    POR- L
    SAS- W
    PHI- L
    NYK- L
    --------------- switch to small ball
    WAS- L
    IND- W
    CHA- W
    WAS- W
    UTA- L
    ATL- L
    CHI- W
    OKC- W
    ----------------switch to Amir
    MIL- W
    ORL- W
    NJN- W
    SAC- W
    -----------------switch to Kwame + Amir (Sheed injured)
    LAC- W
    POR- L
    DEN- W
    UTA- L
    ------------------switch to small ball
    OKC- W
    CHA- L
    IND- L
    OKC- L
    NOH- L
    MEM- W
    ------------------switch to Amir
    TOR- W
    DAL- L
    ------------------switch to Kwame
    HOU- L
    ------------------switch to Amir
    MIN- W


    So, with Amir starting, we are 13-5 (59 win pace)
    With Kwame starting, we are 8-9 (44 win pace)
    With small ball starting, we are 6-7 (38 win pace).

    Strength of schedule considerations:
    This year, with Amir, our opponents have a .435 record (so, adjust down to 51 win pace). same as original post b/c SOS got weaker.
    With Kwame Brown, our opponents have a .561 record (adjusts up to 49 win pace).
    With small ball, our opponents have a .379 record (adjusts down to 29 win pace).
     
  16. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Amir is an idiot. He has absolutely no court sense, and he has absolutely no clue of how to play team defense. He's a liability out there.
     
  17. basketbills

    basketbills All-Star Forum Donor

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    That was highlighted last night when Kelser replayed one of the times Amir got lost on a screen and left KG wide open.
     
  18. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Which would be totally acceptable if he was a 1st year player. But I checked, and he's now a 4th year player. He's rapidly running out of excuses.
     
  19. Warthog

    Warthog Bench Warmer

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    roscoe i am with you. i am dumbfounded by how many people here make excuses for amir.
     
  20. TheeTFD

    TheeTFD All-Star

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    Is he a PF or C and does it make any diff.
    Considering how messed the coaching sit. is it's a wonder he doesn't flagrant more often.
    Maybe he still has Flip on his mind?
    Maybe he's expected to guard the whole piant cause no one else does.
    I'm sure there's more excuses.
     

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