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MacFitz92
03-04-2010, 10:06 AM
UPDATE: The Miami Heat are now lower than the Mavs after they BEAT the Lakers. Dallas did not play. So the Heat are better, then they beat LA, now they are worse?

John Hollinger, as many of you know, is often known for his power ranking calculation. Right now he has the Miami Heat(30-31) over the Dallas Mavericks(41-21) as the Mavs have a 9 game winning streak. Not to mention the Mavs have the #2 seed in the West as of now, whereas the Heat are fighting for a spot in the East. Any sensical NBA follower would disagree, barring any homers out there.

The shocking thing is, this guy works for ESPN. What do you guys think, does this guy even deserve a job?

Link:
http://espn.go.com/nba/hollinger/powerrankings

Hawkeye15
03-04-2010, 10:10 AM
not a big fan of his team rankings/analysis, but he is an excellent player evaluator, and his PER calculation is one of the strongest rating systems out there imo

KnicksorBust
03-04-2010, 10:12 AM
His rankings are purely based on metrics. Apparently the Mavericks have been winning a lot of close games while the Heat have had a few blow out wins. Point differential is often an incredible indicator of a teams success and postseason success. I like him.

TheKing23
03-04-2010, 10:15 AM
Yeah, it's pretty crazy how the Bucks and Heat are above the Mavs but it's purely based on numbers and an equations system... Take it with a pinch of salt.

MacFitz92
03-04-2010, 10:15 AM
His rankings are purely based on metrics. Apparently the Mavericks have been winning a lot of close games while the Heat have had a few blow out wins. Point differential is often an incredible indicator of a teams success and postseason success. I like him.

Hmm, I still don't see how the Bucks and Heat are above the Mavs, thats non sensible.

steveshane67
03-04-2010, 10:19 AM
His rankings are purely based on metrics. Apparently the Mavericks have been winning a lot of close games while the Heat have had a few blow out wins. Point differential is often an incredible indicator of a teams success and postseason success. I like him.

umm, dal margin +2.26, mia margin +.72
both have the same SOS

thats the thing with all these metrics. sure they seem good, but many times a lot of them dont pass the eye test.

bill simmons called hollinger out last year for something similar, i forget the exact scenario but hollinger had someone like the magic ranked #1 over the lakers

MacFitz92
03-04-2010, 10:21 AM
umm, dal margin +2.26, mia margin +.72
both have the same SOS

thats the thing with all these metrics. sure they seem good, but many times a lot of them dont pass the eye test.

bill simmons called hollinger out last year for something similar, i forget the exact scenario but hollinger had someone like the magic ranked #1 over the lakers

Exactly, I am shocked right now. Obviously Hollinger hates the Mavs. In an interview, he said the Mavs could never do anything in the playoffs. I can't wait to prove him wrong.

Hellcrooner
03-04-2010, 10:23 AM
I would like to see him being a Gm and see if all his stats work as good as Daryl Moneys seem to be working.

But i dont really trust that much his analisis

Blackjack24
03-04-2010, 10:33 AM
See, the issue really is-- if his stats showed the same thing everyone believed... they'd be dismissed as having nothing new to offer. And when they show something surprising, they're dismissed because they're not what everyone seems to agree on.

For the record, Hollinger's power rankings aren't his best work. But his playoff odds are better- he's nailed the champ a couple of years running, at least one of which required him to pick a team without the best record [Spurs 3 years ago, even though they were not the league's best record team.] Still, even there, Dallas is one of the weaker contenders.

twoearl
03-04-2010, 10:49 AM
See, the issue really is-- if his stats showed the same thing everyone believed... they'd be dismissed as having nothing new to offer. And when they show something surprising, they're dismissed because they're not what everyone seems to agree on.

For the record, Hollinger's power rankings aren't his best work. But his playoff odds are better- he's nailed the champ a couple of years running, at least one of which required him to pick a team without the best record [Spurs 3 years ago, even though they were not the league's best record team.] Still, even there, Dallas is one of the weaker contenders.

I think John is severly ovverated. Any decent NBA fan dosen't need some statistical formula to tell them who is better than who. This is for accoutants and auditors. I dont need some formula to tell me who is going to win the championship, that's easy, the team with the best players always wins. How hard is that?

Hellcrooner
03-04-2010, 10:50 AM
I think John is severly ovverated. Any decent NBA fan dosen't need some statistical formula to tell them who is better than who. This is for accoutants and auditors. I dont need some formula to tell me who is going to win the championship, that's easy, the team with the best players always wins. How hard is that? :eyebrow:

2004........1994...............just two examples...

twoearl
03-04-2010, 11:10 AM
:eyebrow:

2004........1994...............just two examples...

lol. I'll give you 2004, but that Houston team that won in 94 was better than NY. Hakeem is a top 5 PF/C of all time and that also had Horry, Sam cassel, and Kenny smith c'mon.

Ewing was great but that's pretty much all they had.

So out of the 4000 nba champions, you give one example and that discredits the overwhelming majority?

TxRangersP1
03-04-2010, 11:16 AM
ESPN people are douche bags 1310 the ticket is were its at.

king4day
03-04-2010, 11:21 AM
His rankings are purely based on metrics. Apparently the Mavericks have been winning a lot of close games while the Heat have had a few blow out wins. Point differential is often an incredible indicator of a teams success and postseason success. I like him.

Exactly.
... I can't tell you how many times, in his chats, he has to defend himself on this.
It has nothing to do with what team is better than another. Otherwise you'd have Utah ahead of Phoenix.

wileyisTOFU
03-04-2010, 11:30 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8Ul3NP6tKQ&feature=related

Double_R
03-04-2010, 11:34 AM
umm, dal margin +2.26, mia margin +.72
both have the same SOS

thats the thing with all these metrics. sure they seem good, but many times a lot of them dont pass the eye test.

bill simmons called hollinger out last year for something similar, i forget the exact scenario but hollinger had someone like the magic ranked #1 over the lakers

I don't he called him out for that seeing that the Magic had beaten the Lakers twice and were in the top 5 or so in offense and defense, and they made it to the Finals while beating the Cavs and Celtics, so I think your splitting hairs on that one.

Swashcuff
03-04-2010, 11:37 AM
NO! that guy's team power rankings are absolutely horrible. I mean c'mon the Heat were playing horrible and yet still they are above the NBA's hottest team. Does he think this is 05-06? Sigh Hollinger power rankings deserve a HUGE :facepalm:

magichatnumber9
03-04-2010, 11:44 AM
You can't take power ranking seriously what so ever. If you go into a power ranking link looking for validation you will be disappointed regardless.

DenButsu
03-04-2010, 12:19 PM
Yes, Hollinger deserves a job.

He also deserves a readership that at least makes an honest attempt to understand the methodologies he uses in generating PER/Power Rankings/etc. before they criticize him because they don't like the results.

ManRam
03-04-2010, 12:20 PM
His rankings are usually fishy but his attempts are valiant. I'd love to see him make rankings not based solely on stats and metrics to compliment the ones that are.

With that said, he doesn't deserve to be fired for having the Heat over the Mavericks. It's okay Maverick fans. Deep breaths. It's just someone's metric based rankings. It means nothing.

His player analysis is much more impressive/significant.

That tiny margin of victory is probably their downfall. A win is a win, unless you are looking at everything in a statistical world like he is.

Sixerlover
03-04-2010, 12:24 PM
Just because the results aren't to the liking of everyone doesn't mean that he isn't deserving of a job. He isn't using his opinion in his rankings they are statistical.

MJ-BULLS
03-04-2010, 12:27 PM
I don't think he deserves to be fired.

never been a fan of his, he does have some good articles sometimes. but his rankings are atrocious at times and suck.

Avenged
03-04-2010, 12:51 PM
Can't say one thing that's not negative of the Dallas Mavericks nowadays because their fan base quickly jumps the gun. We get it, you're the best. One guy doesn't agree, move on.

Ethix11
03-04-2010, 12:59 PM
Wade just came back from injury and the Heat have one of the easiest schedules going forward after one of the hardest

Jamiecballer
03-04-2010, 01:11 PM
John Hollinger, as many of you know, is often known for his power ranking calculation. Right now he has the Miami Heat(30-31) over the Dallas Mavericks(41-21) as the Mavs have a 9 game winning streak. Not to mention the Mavs have the #2 seed in the West as of now, whereas the Heat are fighting for a spot in the East. Any sensical NBA follower would disagree, barring any homers out there.

The shocking thing is, this guy works for ESPN. What do you guys think, does this guy even deserve a job?

Link:
http://espn.go.com/nba/hollinger/powerrankings

You do understand it's a formula right?

Raph12
03-04-2010, 01:21 PM
If the Mavs make the Finals or even WCFs, instead of getting their ***** handed to them in the 2nd round, maybe they'll be taken more seriously.

Cool007
03-04-2010, 01:55 PM
Never liked that nerd and never will.

He is all about stats instead of watching games and it doesn't factor in trades/injury/etc - it;s all about stats and his own retarted theories.

abe_froman
03-04-2010, 01:55 PM
Can't say one thing that's not negative of the Dallas Mavericks nowadays because their fan base quickly jumps the gun. We get it, you're the best. One guy doesn't agree, move on.

this.

Chronz
03-04-2010, 01:56 PM
His rankings are usually fishy but his attempts are valiant. I'd love to see him make rankings not based solely on stats and metrics to compliment the ones that are.
Thats what Marc Stein is for.

Chronz
03-04-2010, 01:57 PM
Never liked that nerd and never will.

He is all about stats instead of watching games and it doesn't factor in trades/injury/etc - it;s all about stats and his own retarted theories.
He watches and attends more games than either of us. He admits the systems flaws but he usually explains how theyve effected the team ratings in his per diems.

So really now, is that the best you got?

JNA17
03-04-2010, 01:59 PM
Does Hollinger deserve a job? Yeah at McDonalds. Maybe he can somehow calculate his numbers by showing how a regular McDonalds cheese burger is better then a Big Mac.

Does Hollinger deserve a job at ESPN? IMO he should have been fired a long time ago. But then with ESPN now a days, he fits in perfectly.

abe_froman
03-04-2010, 02:40 PM
Never liked that nerd and never will.

He is all about stats instead of watching games and it doesn't factor in trades/injury/etc - it;s all about stats and his own retarted theories.

says the man who cites PER his sig :clap: :laugh2:

Hawkeye15
03-04-2010, 02:55 PM
Most do not understand how Hollinger uses his metrics, and how his equations work.
Now, that being said, I agree, that come playoff time, the Mavs are in trouble. They play to the level of their competition, which great teams do not. Are there occasional bad teams that just have a good teams number? Sure. But in general, a team with a very low point margin won't last long.
And there is no way, none, that the Heat are as good as the Mavs.

steveshane67
03-04-2010, 03:06 PM
[/B]

I don't he called him out for that seeing that the Magic had beaten the Lakers twice and were in the top 5 or so in offense and defense, and they made it to the Finals while beating the Cavs and Celtics, so I think your splitting hairs on that one.

i dont remember 100% for sure what he wrote or podcasted.... but what i think i remember is bill simmons saying how can hollinger have team A as the power ranked #1 ahead of the lakers when the lakers have by far the best record, point B, point C, while team A doesnt. if thats not calling someone out, i dont know what is

steveshane67
03-04-2010, 03:09 PM
Just because the results aren't to the liking of everyone doesn't mean that he isn't deserving of a job. He isn't using his opinion in his rankings they are statistical.

we all understand your point, but the point people are tyring to make is HIS STATISTICS FOR POWER RANKING SUCK, if they say the mavs ~40-20 in the west, are worse than the heat ~.500 in the east.

i dont know about you, but most ppl view the power rankings as a sliding scale of what team is better than another, thus if team A is ranked higher than team B in the power ranking, team A should be better than team B. MIAMI IS NOT BETTER THAN DALLAS

steveshane67
03-04-2010, 03:13 PM
Wade just came back from injury and the Heat have one of the easiest schedules going forward after one of the hardest

the power rankings have to do with games played to date, if hollinger could predict the future, hed be on wall st right now

FYI
Dallas, 3rd hardest SOS, has a harder schedule than Miami, thus making your point false

http://espn.go.com/nba/stats/rpi/_/sort/SOS

ldc62
03-04-2010, 04:08 PM
I rather have Bill Simmons as a GM then him... just as long as Simmons isn't running one of my fav. teams. Ditto with Barkley.

td0tsfinest
03-04-2010, 04:09 PM
I don't like John Hollinger. Never a big fan of his but I don't want him to lose a job.

But he still sucks.

ChiSox219
03-04-2010, 04:22 PM
I like Hollinger, he's one of the best major media sports writers around and the only time I disagree with him is on minor issues, nothing like Tim Legler picking Monta Ellis as an all-star.

Don't forget that the power rankings use a formula and I believe it factors in the entire season, which includes the Mavs without Caron/Haywood.

Also, you all underrate DWade.

Draco
03-04-2010, 05:46 PM
Well.. even Kevin Pritchard referenced PER as a tool he uses.

DenButsu
03-04-2010, 08:36 PM
I rather have Bill Simmons as a GM then him... just as long as Simmons isn't running one of my fav. teams. Ditto with Barkley.

Wow, really? You honestly think Barkely is a better basketball analyst/evaluator of player talent/etc. than Hollinger? Yikes.

DenButsu
03-04-2010, 09:09 PM
Never liked that nerd and never will.

He is all about stats instead of watching games and it doesn't factor in trades/injury/etc - it;s all about stats and his own retarted theories.

:laugh2: Yeah, you really know all about him, don't you?

Hint: About 4 times a week he live-chats on ESPN and/or twitter live from a game. He definitely attends more games than any PSD poster - unless there's a small minority here with rich parents or are rich enough themselves to afford season tickets and attend every game of their team - and he absolutely, positively attends more games of a wider variety of teams than any PSD poster possibly could.

He's also the first to acknowledge that there are limitations to his statistical formulas, and whenever he writes up player/team breakdowns, he always uses a combination of statistical analysis and direct observation of basketball.

Most of the people who hate Hollinger because they think he's "just a stat geek" are wrong. And most of the ire of people who hate Hollinger because they don't like the results of his formulas would be better off hating numbers themselves.

DenButsu
03-04-2010, 09:11 PM
Okay, here's a brief visual summary of this thread (hastily created using Paint):

http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/10/hollinger.png

jlee3936
03-04-2010, 09:49 PM
lol i saw a thread on dallasbasketball.com that had his espn insider article posted and everyone, of course, was ripping on hollinger and rightfully so. one guy made a good point in saying that any statistician, especially espn's proclaimed "nba mad scientist" should NEVER use the phrase "freakishly good fortune" in referring to the mavs' ability to win close games (15-5 in games decided by 5 pts or fewer). a statistician claiming luck for a team is like an atheist believing in adam and eve. he could have easily referred to the fact that we have two of the i believe top 8 or 6 (not sure) 4th qtr scorers in the league. there are even 4th qtr efficiency stats available on certain websites. instead he refused to give the mavs credit where it was due, and his article proves he is anti-mavs and always has been. he also flip flops here and there in his article when comparing stats from the whole season, the last 25%, and the their at the time 8-game win streak.

so my answer is no, he does not deserve a job, especially on espn. maybe something like yahoosports would be a better place for him.

oh and another guy on db.com had a theory that he raves about the cavs, lakers, nuggets, and magic so their fans will view his page. however, he has hated on the mavs so long that no one likes him so the only way he can get page views from mavs fans is by hating on them. pretty good theory imo.

DenButsu
03-04-2010, 09:59 PM
Yeah. Conspiracy theories are always really solid.

But don't worry. Mavs fans will always have their fanboy rep at ESPN in Marc Stein.

JJ_JKidd
03-04-2010, 10:43 PM
John Hollinger, as many of you know, is often known for his power ranking calculation. Right now he has the Miami Heat(30-31) over the Dallas Mavericks(41-21) as the Mavs have a 9 game winning streak. Not to mention the Mavs have the #2 seed in the West as of now, whereas the Heat are fighting for a spot in the East. Any sensical NBA follower would disagree, barring any homers out there.

The shocking thing is, this guy works for ESPN. What do you guys think, does this guy even deserve a job?

Link:
http://espn.go.com/nba/hollinger/powerrankings

He hates every team that JKidd plays in. When Kidd was with the Nets, he said that the Raps would beat the Nets. Turned out to be the opposite w/Kidd averaging a triple double throughout the series.

I dont mind this guy. Hes a nonsense. He throws his stat stuff around and thinks its cool. Hes trying to be relevant. I really am not affected by his articles. THEY ARE A TOTAL NONSENSE. BTW I understand statistics I am an economist so I fully understand his stat things. But I still think its absurd.

Who would seriously put the Heat and the Bucks ahead of the Mavs at this moment??

quiksilver2491
03-04-2010, 11:11 PM
Too much stupidity in one thread for me to handle. There is probably about 10-20 posts in this thread I could have responded to with a great argument but it seems the more and more I read on the more I realize it's hopeless to change a rock's opinion. I'll try to explain as well as possible.

Power rankings only measure how good a team is based on how they PLAYED not on what they ACTUALLY accomplished so why would any team's record be relevant? The Mav's have won a lot of close games so there not really "dominating" the competition as it would appear with their flashy win streak. If your looking for a measure of a team records there is a thing called "standings" that you should check out, other wise team record isn't going to strictly determine power ranking.

BTW, Hollinger probably watches more pure game film in a single NBA season then any of you could watch in 5 years. Sure he loves his statistics and metrics but he doesn't just throw them out there without any rationale, he always will thoroughly explain how and why he does what he does. Only a truly ignorant person can fool themselves into believing that their knowledge is any where near that of Hollinger's. When you can earn a living analyzing basketball your opinions might carry some more validity, otherwise your just another fan of the NBA.

MacFitz92
03-04-2010, 11:37 PM
You do understand it's a formula right?

If a formula has the Bucks and the Heat both above the 9 game winning streak Mavs, then its obviously a bad formula.

And yes, I know it is a formula. He should have his formula re-modeled, because something isn't right there.

Do I necesarilly think he should be fired? No. But, you can't go around saying the hottest team in the NBA, right after a big trade, is 14th behind a couple .500 teams. And my point is, this guy is from ESPN. ESPN, being the biggest sports channel in the world, has to say something to this guy.

MacFitz92
03-04-2010, 11:41 PM
Too much stupidity in one thread for me to handle. There is probably about 10-20 posts in this thread I could have responded to with a great argument but it seems the more and more I read on the more I realize it's hopeless to change a rock's opinion. I'll try to explain as well as possible.

Power rankings only measure how good a team is based on how they PLAYED not on what they ACTUALLY accomplished so why would any team's record be relevant? The Mav's have won a lot of close games so there not really "dominating" the competition as it would appear with their flashy win streak. If your looking for a measure of a team records there is a thing called "standings" that you should check out, other wise team record isn't going to strictly determine power ranking.

BTW, Hollinger probably watches more pure game film in a single NBA season then any of you could watch in 5 years. Sure he loves his statistics and metrics but he doesn't just throw them out there without any rationale, he always will thoroughly explain how and why he does what he does. Only a truly ignorant person can fool themselves into believing that their knowledge is any where near that of Hollinger's. When you can earn a living analyzing basketball your opinions might carry some more validity, otherwise your just another fan of the NBA.

Like I said before. There is no excuse as being one of ESPN's top guys when it comes to NBA Power Rankings, and have the Bucks and Heat above them. Formula or not, that is quite frankly ludacris.

DenButsu
03-04-2010, 11:57 PM
Like I said before. There is no excuse as being one of ESPN's top guys when it comes to NBA Power Rankings, and have the Bucks and Heat above them. Formula or not, that is quite frankly ludacris.

All you're really saying is that you disagree with the (current) outcome of his power rankings formula.

But you're not demonstrating any knowledge of how that formula works.

And you're not providing any reasonable criticism of his methodology other than "I don't like the outcome".

So while it's fine for you to dislike Hollinger, you're really not providing any substantive reason for why, other than your desire to see the Mavs ranked higher. (Speaking of which, if I were a Mavs fan, instead of complaining about it, I'd be curious as to the reason why and, maybe, asking Hollinger to explain it. He's pretty responsive to those sorts of questions).

So until you provide a better argument as to what, exactly, you think is problematic with his rankings methodology, this conversation can't move beyond: "You don't like him? Okay, you don't like him."

-----

Separately, Ludacris is a rapper.

Ethix11
03-05-2010, 12:52 AM
Ethix11:Wade just came back from injury and the Heat have one of the easiest schedules going forward after one of the hardest


the power rankings have to do with games played to date, if hollinger could predict the future, hed be on wall st right now

FYI
Dallas, 3rd hardest SOS, has a harder schedule than Miami, thus making your point false

http://espn.go.com/nba/stats/rpi/_/sort/SOS

I couldnt be any clearer but iŽll try this again.. The Heat only have 6 opponents remaining on their schedule that are above .500. (Chicago twice, Toronto, Orlando, San Antonio, & Atlanta. All teams weŽve beaten this season.)

Dallas has 12. Theres only 20 games left and to THIS point, The Heat have had one of the toughest schedules. Now comes the easy stretch in our season.

FYI
Hollinger uses SOS as part of his overall calculation, thus making your point false

MacFitz92
03-05-2010, 10:25 AM
Damn, Heat are now below. Which I agree with, but it changed after they beat LA :facepalm:

save the knicks
03-05-2010, 11:29 AM
you guys do relies that there are some very successful franchises who use methods similar to Hollingers

Sly Guy
03-05-2010, 12:08 PM
he deserves his job. Because even if you disagree with the way he does it [by trying to reduce basketball to number crunching], at least he, unlike all of his peers at ESPN, follows a set pattern in his categorization of teams and players in the NBA.

I'd rather have him do number crunching I don't agree with than some lamewad spewing crap about teams he hasn't seen play all season, basing his analysis on speculation and bias.

Avenged
03-05-2010, 12:25 PM
Damn, Heat are now below. Which I agree with, but it changed after they beat LA :facepalm:

Who cares about his formula, don't look too into it.

save the knicks
03-05-2010, 12:26 PM
I'd rather have him do number crunching I don't agree with than some lamewad spewing crap about teams he hasn't seen play all season, basing his analysis on speculation and bias.

I like Charles Barkley for this exact reason.

masalex1205
03-05-2010, 12:32 PM
yall chill out, its purely statistical analysis

pebloemer
03-05-2010, 12:49 PM
I read through the thread and wanted to comment on many posts, but there are too many to note.

Does Hollinger deserve a job?

Absolutely!

Name me one other ESPN writer that offers a similar way at looking at the game of basketball?

Do people really want to read the same opinions, same types of articles etc etc all the time?

Hollinger has found a unique way of looking at the game and he is able to recognize the flaws in his own formulas. In a lot of ways, he writes articles that no one else on ESPN could write. It is nice and refreshing to read a perspective other than the "run of the mill" story.

If you are looking at his power rankings in the same manner as Marc Stein's than you are not understanding his method for creating the power rankings. His power rankings simply rank teams based on a formula of OBJECTIVE factors. If you have a problem with it, instead of whining on a PSD site, why not look into those factors and see what he's omitted in his formula? Or where the context of his formula doesn't add up to the current reality of the team?

For example, Hollinger looks at the trends of a team over the course of the season. Stein follows more recent trends combined with overall record. Perhaps Stein's method would be better suited to evaluate the quality of the Dallas Mavericks over the last 9 games. That doesn't mean Hollinger's information is useless. It is just a different way of looking of analyzing the success of the team.

Hollinger's method has flaws, sure. But lets not all pretend that other writers ways of looking at the game are flawless.

ishouldbeagm
03-05-2010, 12:59 PM
PER is a terrible stat, it disregards defense completely, it gives players who play a few minutes or unimportant minutes more hype than they deserve, and is says players who shoot terrible percentages are great players.

Sly Guy
03-05-2010, 07:32 PM
I like Charles Barkley for this exact reason.

the scary thing is, so do I. haha

DenButsu
03-05-2010, 09:48 PM
PER is a terrible stat, it disregards defense completely, it gives players who play a few minutes or unimportant minutes more hype than they deserve, and is says players who shoot terrible percentages are great players.

The part in bold is just factually wrong.

The part about the minutes is why we analyze PER numbers rather than blindly accepting them as an end-all-be-all.

For example, from Hollinger's player stats list right now:


RK PLAYER GP MPG TS% PER
1 LeBron James, CLE 62 39 .610 31.87
2 Dwyane Wade, MIA 58 35.9 .551 27.68
3 Tim Duncan, SAS 55 32.2 .563 26.51
4 Chris Bosh, TOR 53 36.4 .598 26.36
5 Chris Paul, NOR 38 38.7 .599 26.16
6 Kevin Durant, OKC 60 39.6 .601 25.23
7 Dwight Howard, ORL 62 35.1 .632 24.11
8 Greg Oden, POR 21 23.9 .647 23.31
9 Carmelo Anthony, DEN 48 37.8 .556 23.04
10 Kobe Bryant, LAL 57 38.8 .546 23.00

It's just as obvious to any analyst who advocates the use of PER as it is to you that Greg Oden is not a top 10 player in the NBA. And you won't find a single one who would claim otherwise. What they would say, though, is that in his 24 mpg through 21 games this season, Oden played some very efficient basketball. Because at the end of the day, PER is just what it says it is: "Player Efficiency Rating". That's why it's "PER", and not "AFMOBPQITNBA" ("Absolute Final Measurement of Basketball Player Quality in the NBA"). It's just a tool, among many tools, that measures something. As things stand now, it probably remains as the closest thing to a single stat that sums up a player's overall performance, but not even its strongest advocates would claim that it's even close to perfect, or that it will never get supplanted by something better in the future. So for now, it's precisely as useful as one's understanding of it.