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View Full Version : Mark Cuban is taking on the Stat Heads at WoW: Is Kaman worth it?



Chronz
09-06-2012, 12:22 PM
http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/49667/mark-cuban-pipes-up-for-chris-kaman




It's not news that stat-geeky owner Mark Cuban has spent a lot of money on Chris Kaman, a center who is generally abhorred by advanced stats.

What's new is that Cuban's taunting and generally mixing it up with stat geeks who would dare to challenge his decision.

The conversation (which is served with a spicy side dish of "how dare you question Dirk Nowitzki?") is playing out now in the comments of the Wages of Wins blog.

The whole thing began innocently enough, with Ari Caroline sharing a tidy chart of NBA centers who are really effective but don't get a lot of minutes (Omer Asik, Kosta Koufos, Anderson Varejao, Chris Andersen, etc.) with a note about centers who are very ineffective but play quite a few minutes. The star of this second list was the default star of what was once supposed to be a big free-agent offseason for the Mavericks: Kaman.

So it should come as no surprise that Cuban arrived guns a-blazin'. He announces his arrival by trashing Wins Produced, the core of Wages of Wins' work: "Im not a huge fan of WP for the NBA, but its still fun to read the craziness you guys post."


Do you guys think Kaman is better than any of the following centers:

Anderson Varejao
Chris Andersen
Kosta Koufos
Omer Asik
Ben Wallace
Tiago Splitter
Greg Stiemsma

Vikingfan84
09-06-2012, 12:31 PM
None of them are better than Kaman.

koreancabbage
09-06-2012, 12:33 PM
yes. Kaman is

Heatcheck
09-06-2012, 12:33 PM
not noticeably.

shep33
09-06-2012, 12:36 PM
Maybe Asik because his defense is on par with Kaman at this point, but even that's a stretch

justinnum1
09-06-2012, 12:37 PM
^ are you saying kaman is as good defensively as asik it?

Chronz
09-06-2012, 12:37 PM
Maybe Asik because his defense is on par with Kaman at this point, but even that's a stretch

We dont know much about Asik at this point but I think its safe to say hes a better defender than Kaman.

AndyfromNeptune
09-06-2012, 12:52 PM
Any player can be more efficient in limited minutes..play Chris Anderson for 48 minutes and see what happens to your team's offense

wordup45
09-06-2012, 12:59 PM
None of those centers will ever come close to seasons Kaman has had. He's been slowed by injuries. Ben Wallace is the only one on that list to have any great success. The others have experienced some to none.

Mave1002
09-06-2012, 01:03 PM
Definitely. Kaman will be back in form this year, alongside Dirk.

That's the German frontline, eh?

15-11-3/night.

Chronz
09-06-2012, 01:11 PM
Any player can be more efficient in limited minutes..
Then why arent they ?


play Chris Anderson for 48 minutes and see what happens to your team's offense
Why 48 MPG?

YoungOne
09-06-2012, 01:25 PM
all they say is we need to see asik(and others) play 25-30 mpg to see if he is really as good as his per 36min stats might imply.

NYKnicks4511
09-06-2012, 01:29 PM
Definitely. Kaman will be back in form this year, alongside Dirk.

That's the German frontline, eh?

15-11-3/night.

Wow. I mean, I'm not saying it can't happen, but that's kind of a stretch. I think a double-double even is a stretch for him at this point, considering he hasn't played major minutes in a few years.

ghettosean
09-06-2012, 01:51 PM
Kaman is a complete weirdo but he's definately better than all the players mentioned by the OP.

rapjuicer06
09-06-2012, 02:29 PM
All them are better next to Dirk...

JNA17
09-06-2012, 04:16 PM
What does World of Warcraft have to do with Kamen?

ChiSox219
09-06-2012, 04:55 PM
Varejao is super underrated by many, he's an excellent defender, kills the glass, and has way more offensive impact than anyone gives him credit for

Losoway
09-06-2012, 06:52 PM
kaman is good for the first 20 games then he is injured

SteveNash
09-06-2012, 10:20 PM
Does WP still consider Landry Fields a top 10 player?

Cracka2HI!
09-06-2012, 10:57 PM
Kaman is very inefficient but at the top of his game he can do a lot more on offense than all of those players. I haven't really figured out efficiency #'s when it comes to post players. Some guy like DeAndre Jordan are far more efficient than Kaman but Kaman has far more offensive skill. Hell DJ shoots like 60% but he is obviously terrible on offense. I doubt Kaman has much left in the tank on defense. I wouldn't be surprised to see him put up decent offensive numbers as far as basic stats go, but I doubt he much left.

LTBaByyy
09-06-2012, 11:56 PM
Kaman is only 30 lol people swear they think he is 39 or 40

Cracka2HI!
09-07-2012, 01:07 AM
Kaman is only 30 lol people swear they think he is 39 or 40

He was slow and inefficient in his prime. Not that's he's old, he's just big and has been hurt a lot and is past his prime.

John Walls Era
09-07-2012, 01:14 AM
So its small sample size, ok stats vs large sample size, mediocre stats. How can you even compare the 2 at this moment in time? I mean if I get the field vs Kaman, I'll bet on the field to be better next year if they're given minutes, but its impossible to compare Kaman to them.

NoahH
09-07-2012, 01:51 AM
At this point in their careers, none of those centers are as good as Kaman.

b@llhog24
09-08-2012, 01:46 PM
Varejao is super underrated by many, he's an excellent defender, kills the glass, and has way more offensive impact than anyone gives him credit for

Agreed, I'd take Andy over him.


Kaman is very inefficient but at the top of his game he can do a lot more on offense than all of those players. I haven't really figured out efficiency #'s when it comes to post players. Some guy like DeAndre Jordan are far more efficient than Kaman but Kaman has far more offensive skill. Hell DJ shoots like 60% but he is obviously terrible on offense. I doubt Kaman has much left in the tank on defense. I wouldn't be surprised to see him put up decent offensive numbers as far as basic stats go, but I doubt he much left.

Ignoring supporting casts, DJ is already far ahead of where Kaman was when he was 23 if you factor in defense of course. But offensively? I'm not sure where I stand on that issue in regards to Caveman and DJ, but with a gun to my head I would pick Jordan because generally it's better to have a player that knows his limitations and takes efficient shots rather than being one of the worst chuckers that the game has ever seen in Kaman. A 98 Career ORTG? :puke:


Rk Player Season Age G MP PER TS% eFG% ORB% DRB% TRB% AST% STL% BLK% TOV% USG% ORtg DRtg OWS DWS WS WS/48
1 DeAndre Jordan 2011-12 23 66 1798 16.4 .626 .632 13.2 23.0 18.1 1.5 0.9 6.2 16.0 11.9 119 102 3.2 2.4 5.6 .150
2 Chris Kaman 2005-06 23 78 2560 15.0 .570 .523 8.9 24.5 17.0 5.0 0.9 3.2 17.7 17.9 104 101 1.8 4.3 6.1 .114

topdog
09-08-2012, 02:09 PM
What does World of Warcraft have to do with Kamen?

Insert ugly joke here <-

Kaman is a better offensive player than the guys on the efficiency list, but I think it is a reasonable question to ask as to whether you would prefer a center who does a bit more in the rebounding and defense department and not so much on offense. They may serve a better role.

Chronz
09-08-2012, 02:15 PM
Kaman is very inefficient but at the top of his game he can do a lot more on offense than all of those players.
Agreed.


I haven't really figured out efficiency #'s when it comes to post players. Some guy like DeAndre Jordan are far more efficient than Kaman but Kaman has far more offensive skill.
I made a thread on the subject of choosing between efficient but limited scorers vs chuckers. I compared Kaman vs Tyson Chandler but it works for DJ here too.

They say it depends on the make up of your team. The way I see it, the highly efficient guy is closer to being a championship caliber player. Just look at how differently Blake played his rookie year with Kaman vs with DJ, both his and the teams offensive rating was better off with the pairing of Blake+DJ vs Kaman. Sometimes skill can get in your way, you end up taking more shots than you really should. Kaman is like that, on those rare nights where hes actually at his best, then hes obviously helping the team in ways DJ simply cant. Come playoff time its a gamble one way or another, Kaman has the higher ceiling currently, DJ has 1 year to impress.



Hell DJ shoots like 60% but he is obviously terrible on offense.
Hes terrible 1 on 1, but he moves well and finishes with the best of them so thats already a valuable skill he holds over Kaman offensively.



I doubt Kaman has much left in the tank on defense. I wouldn't be surprised to see him put up decent offensive numbers as far as basic stats go, but I doubt he much left.
Should be interesting seeing Kaman/Brand back together.

sunsfan88
09-08-2012, 07:27 PM
All them are better next to Dirk...

What's so funny about your sig? Its all true...:rolleyes:

IndyRealist
09-08-2012, 07:59 PM
So are we taking Chris Kaman vs. Omer Asik to the be litmus test for WP?

Mark Cuban in one breath praised WoW for their analysis of Jae Crowder and in the next dismisses their analysis of Chris Kaman.

Two words: Confirmation Bias.

Chronz
09-08-2012, 11:20 PM
So are we taking Chris Kaman vs. Omer Asik to the be litmus test for WP?

Mark Cuban in one breath praised WoW for their analysis of Jae Crowder and in the next dismisses their analysis of Chris Kaman.

Two words: Confirmation Bias.

What do you make of his argument about why centers always do better with the Mavs than most project

IndyRealist
09-09-2012, 01:33 AM
Chandler's best statistical year was '04-'05 when he averaged 17 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per 48 minutes. Last year was also good, as he had an uptick in his steals while lowering his fouls and turnovers. Yes, Chandler's shooting efficiency increased with Dallas, but it wasn't drastically better than he had in seasons past AND his low usage limits how much his FG% really boosts impact.

Dampier's best statistical year was '03-'04, when posted career highs in points and rebounds per 48 while keeping his fouls down. Dampier had a significant drop off when he joined the Mavs

Brendan Haywood was better prior to being traded to the Mavs than he ever has been in Dallas. His TS% droppe 5.6% the year after he was traded. Offensive and defensive rebounding and blocks all down, fouls up.

So the trend is actually, Mark Cuban targets good, undervalued centers....and then ruins them.

I'd also like to point out that the article ends with the Devin Harris for Jason Kidd trade, and how Cuban predicted it when stat-heads panned the trade. Wages of Wins didn't. WP LOVES Jason Kidd, and has always said Devin Harris was meh.

In fact, WP loved Dirk for the most part (he peaked in WP in '06-'07 when he actually used to rebound). And Shawn Marion. And Delonte West. And Jason Terry. In general, WP loves players Mark Cuban picks. Just not Chris Kaman.

Kaman is a statistician's nightmare: low effeciency + high usage, slightly below average rebounding, high turnovers. He had a dreadful 47.8% TS last year. But looking at no other stats, Kaman averaged 1.03 PPS last season, while the average center averaged 1.27. Kaman's value is as a scorer, yet you're giving up a fifth of your points on those shots by having Kaman take them as opposed to an AVERAGE center. Given his 21 shots per 48 minutes played, you're spoting the other team a point every 9 minutes
Kaman plays. That's over 3 points per game, just on poor shots. And he's been in a steady decline since '05-06.

So, Cuban's moves generally align with Wins Produced. He's made ONE major move that didn't, and he threw WP under the bus.

IndyRealist
09-09-2012, 02:24 AM
So I just read the ENTIRE thread where Cuban was posting about WP. In a nutshell, he said that system matters, and that WP doesn't capture on an individual level things like drawing double teams, etc. All true. But WP does capture it in aggregate for the team (double team = higher percentage shot = more made FG's). And WP does a better job of distributing credit than other systems, in my opinion. Per Cuban, the APM model they use can accruately predict good lineups with 3 years of data in their system. The catch is, IN THEIR SYSTEM. They have to hold onto a player for 3 years before they find the optimum lineups with him. That's around half of the average NBA career.

He also says their system always picks good players, but not every good player. And he completely glosses over the fact that Brendan Haywood, Tyson Chandler, and Erick Dampier were all good players BEFORE they came to the Mavs. He pretty much takes all the credit for their success. In one sentence he calls Brendan Wright a star, then mocks the idea that he should have taken some of Dirk's minutes.

It's the "Sunk Cost Fallacy". Dirk's on the decline and Wright's on the rise but Cuban can't admit his decision was wrong. And he'll likely continue that same thought process next season, "doubling down" on his mistake rather than concede that he should choose differently.

He also uses the conventional wisdom argument, in that WP ranked Tyson Chandler higher than Dirk, yet no NBA GM would lose Dirk to get Chandler. If conventional wisdom was always correct, then what's the point in paying lots of money to statisticians to come up with intricate models? Just do whatever conventional wisdom says. That's "argument from authority", another fallacy that states that because someone is put in a position of authority or considered an "expert", that they must be right. No GM would have traded Devin Harris for Jason Kidd, except the one that did.