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There's A Stat For That

Last Build Date: Sat, 29 Jul 2017 09:57:09 +0000


NBA: Wiggins or Love?

Fri, 25 Jul 2014 15:50:00 +0000

Should the "win now" Cavs trade Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Love?  As Michael Smith and Jemele Hill would say - "the numbers say yes".  On average, players as accomplished as Love at age 25 (as measured by Win Shares) are better players than number-one draft picks over the next five years.  Even when using a ten-year horizon, the Kevin Love type player is more valuable than the Andrew Wiggins type.  The graphs below are based on small sample sizes, but are still informative.  The Kevin Love group included 24 players and the Andrew Wiggins group included 32.  Some of the number-one picks were excluded because they are still active and haven't had a chance to play five years yet - Anthony Davis, Blake Griffin, Anthony Bennett, Greg Oden, among others.

On average, it takes the Wiggins type player 4 to 7 years to become a more valuable player than the Kevin Love type.

Stats from Basketball Reference.(image)

The '84 Draft is Better Than '96 and '03.

Tue, 10 Jun 2014 03:27:00 +0000

'96 is the closest thing to '84; and there are several classes deeper than '03.  2003 was top heavy and overrated.


NBA Playoffs: Another Sign of Miami's Greatness

Tue, 29 Apr 2014 15:49:00 +0000


The Longevity of Tim Duncan's Excellence

Fri, 25 Apr 2014 15:08:00 +0000

Nate Silver wrote an article comparing Tim Duncan's longevity and excellence to that of other NBA greats. As usual, his article was creative and informative. However, I think it rewarded players who either started their respective careers at an early age or played a few years too long - two great ways to accumulate win shares.  If WinShares per 48 minutes is used, the rankings look a little different.  Here's my tweak to his table using the same 10 players he used:

Here's my version using the universe of players who played at least 2000 minutes through age 24 and from age 33 onward:


The Most Competitive NBA Playoffs (Since 1984)

Tue, 22 Apr 2014 19:07:00 +0000

Stats: Basketball Reference



Skip Bayless' CPZero May Be Too Harsh

Tue, 22 Apr 2014 01:11:00 +0000

Maybe "pure" point guards just don't win the championship as the best player on the team.  Only Magic has done it (40 Ast% & best player on team) over the last 30 years. Table is not conclusive, but is revealing.  

Stats from Basketball Reference.(image)

Napier and Giffey Can Make History

Mon, 31 Mar 2014 19:25:00 +0000

If Connecticut wins the national championship, they will become the only two players in the 64-team era to win a national championship game as a freshman and as a senior.

Stats From:

Sports Reference

Wichita State: The Toughest Potential Path To The Final Four?

Wed, 19 Mar 2014 18:37:00 +0000

Wichita State’s tough region has drawn a lot of attention during this tourney season.  It’s potentially one of the toughest paths a 1-seed has had to go through to get to the Final Four.  Is it the hardest?  If not, what unfortunate team has had a tougher bracket than this?  The tables in the post are an attempt to discover what number one seed has had the toughest potential road to the Final Four.  To find “Potential Bracket Toughness” (PBT), I used the SRS of select teams in the 1-seed’s region.  SRS is a measure of a team’s average margin of victory adjusted for strength of schedule; it’s not a perfect stat, but it is one of the best available.  The teams used to calculate the PBT were the best teams the 1-seed was likely to face on the way to the Final Four, basically a chalk bracket.  The PBT is calculated by averaging:  the higher of two SRSs of the 8-seed and 9, the 4 and 5, and the 2 and 3. The calculation is: (Max(8-seed SRS, 9-seed SRS) + Max(4-seed SRS, 5-seed SRS) + Max(2-seed SRS, 3-seed SRS)) divided by 3. When using this stat alone, Wichita State’s bracket proves to be the toughest since 1985, the first year of the 64-team tournament.  Wichita State’s PBT was 21.1, as shown in the table below: However, using this measure does not take into account how the 1-seed’s bracket compares to the other 3 regions.  Further development of PBT leads to another measure – Relative PBT.  It’s a simple measure that compares the average PBT of the four 1-seeds and to the PBT of the 1-seed in question.  For example, if a team’s PBT is 20.0 and the average PBT of the four 1-seeds is 18.0, then the Relative PBT equals 2.0. When using this measure, Wichita State’s bracket is not the toughest ever, but it’s still in the top 10: Wichita State’s bracket may not be as historically tough as it looks, but I seriously doubt that the other 1-seeds would switch places with them. That’s just my gut feeling. Good luck Shockers! BTW, here are the easiest potential paths to the Final Four: Stats from Sports Reference [...]

The Predictive Ability of the Wooden Award

Fri, 14 Mar 2014 19:05:00 +0000

4-Year Average used because it takes about that long for the the NCAA roster of players to completely turn over.


NBA: Kevin Love's Historic Playoff Drought

Wed, 19 Feb 2014 18:39:00 +0000

How often has a player as good as Kevin Love (according to PER) missed the playoffs in every one of his first 5 seasons? The tables below show all the players since 1979-80 who have played at least 9,000 minutes and registered a 20+ PER through their first 5 seasons in the NBA. The minutes cutoff was based on Kevin Love’s 9,187 minutes played through his first 5 seasons. The only other comparable player (again, based on PER) to miss the playoffs in all of his first 5 seasons was Elton Brand, with the Bulls and Clippers from 2000-2004. In Kevin Love’s defense, almost half the guys on this list teamed with another player with a PER at or near 20. Kevin Love has never teamed with a player of that caliber. Kevin is one of my favorite players, but his playoff drought is still historic. This topic was brought to my attention by the Max & Marcellus show on 710 ESPNLA during their discussion with Henry Abbott.

Kevin Love played at a time when it may have been harder to make the playoffs as a lottery pick coming into the league. Maybe the lottery teams were better in the 80s and 90s, I haven't studied it. By no means is this table conclusive, but it shows a trend.






NBA: Most Productive Guard Types (Composite)

Sun, 15 Sep 2013 16:38:00 +0000

The graph confirms what I and most fans think about guard types - High Shooting/High Passing guards have the most offensive win shares at 8.6; mathematically it should work that way.  A main takeaway from the graph is that LS/HP guards (5.0) were slightly more productive than HS/LP guards (4.7). I was surprised that MS/MP guards (4.5)  were less productive than both LS/HP and HS/LP.  That says to me that a team would rather have an above average scorer or passer - even if the player is weak in the other category - than an MS/MP player.


Stats From: Basketball Reference(image)

NBA: Most Productive Guard Types (2009-10)

Sun, 08 Sep 2013 17:54:00 +0000

2008-09   2010-11

Stats From: Basketball Reference(image)

NBA: Most Productive Guard Types (2008-09)

Sun, 08 Sep 2013 06:00:00 +0000

2007-08  2009-10

Stats From: Basketball Reference(image)

NBA: Most Productive Guard Types (2007-08)

Sun, 08 Sep 2013 05:19:00 +0000

2006-07  2008-09

Stats From: Basketball Reference(image)

NBA: Most Productive Guard Types (2006-07)

Sun, 08 Sep 2013 04:39:00 +0000

2005-06   2007-08

Stats From: Basketball Reference(image)

NBA: Most Productive Guard Types (2005-06)

Sat, 07 Sep 2013 14:53:00 +0000

2004-05   2006-07

Stats From: Basketball Reference(image)

NBA: Most Productive Guard Types (2004-05)

Fri, 30 Aug 2013 01:30:00 +0000

2003-04   2005-06

Stats From: Basketball Reference(image)

NBA: Most Productive Guard Types(2003-04)

Sat, 24 Aug 2013 17:12:00 +0000

2002-03   2004-05

Stats From: Basketball Reference(image)