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View Full Version : Stats vs Value: How do you determine a teams best player?



Chronz
08-04-2016, 04:34 PM
So if a player is his teams most productive and efficient player, while also being their most indispensable, its about as clear cut a decision for his superiority as it can get(Stats+Value=Impact IMO). However, there are certain scenarios where the team suffers more by the loss of a technically less productive player.

Ill give you 2 primary examples:



Steve Nash vs Amare/Marion in Phoenix 2005

We all know how controversial Nash's MVP's were but there is very little to deny his value to the team, as they more than doubled their win total from the year prior (62 Wins). Still, by just about all boxscore barometers, Amare graded as the better player in 2005 with Marion being about his equal as well. So what are the individual stats missing? Well the points in Nash's favor are how his teammates played with/without him.

That 62 Win team went 2-5 without Nash in 05, fair or not, the same way many feel KG lost his MVP with how the Celtics continued winning without him, many felt Nash snagged his MVP in those 5 losses. Now its abit unfair to blame Marion+Amare for staying healthy but we did see how the loss of Amare would influence the team the next year when they still won 54 games.

We also saw Amare go from Nash to playing in the same system in NY only with Felton feeding him, while he remained a star, he wasn't quite the same efficient beast (117 ORTG vs 109) although tbf, he declined soon thereafter thanks to the load he suddenly had to carry.


Various +/- analysis shows that Prime Nash had the highest influence on his teams offense than anyone over the past 16 years. Raw +/- has Nash as the most influential player of the 3 throughout their tenure together, sometimes by a staggering amount. Multiple year looks at their RAPM also depict Nash as the teams best player.


--- Its interesting to note that Nash eventually DID become his teams most productive and influential player, it was actually the one year I felt he should have been MVP but it went to the guy he took it from the year prior in Dirk, funny how life works sometimes.




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Example #2: Tmac vs Yao Ming

Same story here, aside from year 1 when they were relative equals statistically, every other year the stats have depicted Yao as the teams best player for the same reasons as Amare, basically he take and makes a high% of shots, with decent rebounding and low turnover rates while not having to create much for their teammates. Maybe we underrate passers in these stats but I like to think it has more to do with how they control the flow of the game rather than just high ast numbers.

In their first 3 seasons together, the team was 13-39 without Tmac. When Yao went down with an injury during the Rockets 22 game winning streak, the tally had dropped to 19-46 without Tmac and 162-83 with him and this is with Yao missing much of those games, as shown by the fact that the team extended their already impressive winning streak by 10 games without Yao and that was a declining Tmac.


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To me what the stats miss out on Tmac/Nash is that they are a threats to shoot, slash and pass and that triple threat always opens up the floor for others. Its a big reason why Yao cites Tmac as a reason for growth as a player and why despite having the offense all to himself, Yao is actually at his most productive when Tmac is on the floor, yet Yao doesn't help Tmac to the same degree. Obviously the team was winning at an elite rate when both were together (75-80% IIRC) the team could only survive the loss of 1 player, and it wasn't Tmac.


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The Nash-Amare relationship might be easier to *****, but between Yao and Mac, how do you decide?

lol, please
08-04-2016, 07:51 PM
I don't get the "stats vs value" part.

Stats give us an accurate measure of his production in the past, efficiencies, and impact on the floor. This is then used as a factor when determining value, along with intangibles/unquantifiables.

Chronz
08-04-2016, 08:32 PM
I don't get the "stats vs value" part.

Stats give us an accurate measure of his production in the past, efficiencies, and impact on the floor. This is then used as a factor when determining value, along with intangibles/unquantifiables.
Think of it as value to a team, like if you take this player out, the team loses so and so games, take the more productive player out and somehow the team loses less games.

In other words, Amare was the teams most individually productive player, but Nash was both their actual MVP and the most valuable to his team in terms of wins/losses/efficiency gains. Maybe Im not understanding what you're saying but I do have another way of explaining it. Just want to hear peoples thoughts first.

JasonJohnHorn
08-04-2016, 09:31 PM
I always thought Nash's third year with the team was the year he was most deserving of the MVP.

But yeah... this is why it's so hard to compare positions. If you have a good shooting night, you can make up for missing your defensive center, say. However, if you are missing your primary ball handler, who is going to run your offense? You will have more turnover, lower percentages, ect, ect.

In the short term, you can make up for missing your leading rebounder/scorer, because other guys can do those things. You might even be able to make up for a missing defensive anchor. But in the short term, it is much harder to make up for a missing playmaker. In a seven game series, the playmaker might be easier to compensate for than a center, but for one game against one team, the playmaker is harder to make up for.


I think an ideal example of this is Blake and Chris Paul. Both are great players and MVP candidates, and the team performs decently without each, but much better with each. Who is better? I think CP3 is, but it's close.


The term 'best player' is tricky though. Do you mean 'most valuable'? 'Most skilled'? Best stats? I think, in general, point guards are more skilled than most other positions, and certainly more skilled than most centers. But centers, in the past, have had a larger overall impact because they are the defensive anchors, and leading rebounders, and also often efficient and scorers. However, that is because their shots are taken within meter of the basket.

Stats can be misleading, but wins are a pretty good measure.

Chronz
08-04-2016, 10:05 PM
If it makes it easier, I guess you could think of value as "replacement value" to his team but I was trying to convey more of an intangible quality with that.

JAZZNC
08-06-2016, 04:25 PM
It's kinda how I always felt that even though Malone got all the awards etc. that Stockton was the best and most important player on those Jazz teams. There was never really any way to compare who was missed more since neither ever missed any time but I just feel that Stockton was the more valuable player. He put up killer stats as well but wasn't a "scorer" so people dismiss his impact IMO.

ewing
08-06-2016, 04:43 PM
i pick the cutest one

TheMightyHumph
08-06-2016, 06:46 PM
Question.

Why do you have to determine a team's best player?

lol, please
08-06-2016, 07:28 PM
Question.

Why do you have to determine a team's best player?

Well, there is value in determining the value contributed from each player on the team, and from that data we can derive which of those players contributes more value than others. The latter you can argue is less useful than the former, but the former is something every team and analyst is expected to do.

Scoots
08-06-2016, 11:16 PM
I don't get the "stats vs value" part.

Stats give us an accurate measure of his production in the past, efficiencies, and impact on the floor. This is then used as a factor when determining value, along with intangibles/unquantifiables.

Try this, Draymond's box score stats don't come close to describing his "value" to the team. The Warriors don't win a title or 73 games without Green or Curry, but Curry shows up in the stats a lot more. I'm NOT saying Green is better or more valuable than Curry ... just using them to illustrate the difference between stats and value

JasonJohnHorn
08-06-2016, 11:32 PM
It's kinda how I always felt that even though Malone got all the awards etc. that Stockton was the best and most important player on those Jazz teams. There was never really any way to compare who was missed more since neither ever missed any time but I just feel that Stockton was the more valuable player. He put up killer stats as well but wasn't a "scorer" so people dismiss his impact IMO.

I don't say this to be dismissive about Malone, because I respect him as a player and before Malone and Garnett and Dirk came on the seen, I had him ranked as the best PF to ever play the game (in a dead heat with Barkley). But I have to wonder how much more success Stockton would have seen had he played with Duncan or Garnett instead of Malone, or even a lesser power forward who was less selfish. I say 'less selfish', but I want to stress that I don't think Malone was a terribly selfish player, but at the same time, you see a guy like Duncan, who could have easily averaged 27-30 a game for a decade in his prime, was very eager to involve his teammates, and Garnett, who could have easily been averaging 25 a game for a stretch of ten years or so, was likewise eager to share and involve others. Malone himself has said that in his early years he was more concerned with his personal stats than he should have been.

I felt like Malone was chasing personal history a lot of the time. Chasing Kareem. Trying to position himself ahead of Barkley. The early Jazz teams didn't have the supporting cast around Stockton/Malone/Eaton, and by the time they did have supporting players, they usually had a hole in the middle (Ostertag seemed like a nice guy, but he can't compete with Hakeem, Shaq and D-Rob-though his team did beat all three one year).

If Malone (and this is on Sloan too) had pushed the ball out to Hornacek and Stockton more, like Hakeem did with his spot-up 3-pt shooters, would that team have been better?

I just would have liked to see Stockton in a different situation to see what he could have accomplished. We see what Nash did, for instance, but whatever Nash did well, Stockton did even better, and could play defense to boot.

Still... it was such a joy to watch Stockton and Malone.

Scoots
08-08-2016, 10:07 AM
I don't say this to be dismissive about Malone, because I respect him as a player and before Malone and Garnett and Dirk came on the seen, I had him ranked as the best PF to ever play the game (in a dead heat with Barkley). But I have to wonder how much more success Stockton would have seen had he played with Duncan or Garnett instead of Malone, or even a lesser power forward who was less selfish. I say 'less selfish', but I want to stress that I don't think Malone was a terribly selfish player, but at the same time, you see a guy like Duncan, who could have easily averaged 27-30 a game for a decade in his prime, was very eager to involve his teammates, and Garnett, who could have easily been averaging 25 a game for a stretch of ten years or so, was likewise eager to share and involve others. Malone himself has said that in his early years he was more concerned with his personal stats than he should have been.

I felt like Malone was chasing personal history a lot of the time. Chasing Kareem. Trying to position himself ahead of Barkley. The early Jazz teams didn't have the supporting cast around Stockton/Malone/Eaton, and by the time they did have supporting players, they usually had a hole in the middle (Ostertag seemed like a nice guy, but he can't compete with Hakeem, Shaq and D-Rob-though his team did beat all three one year).

If Malone (and this is on Sloan too) had pushed the ball out to Hornacek and Stockton more, like Hakeem did with his spot-up 3-pt shooters, would that team have been better?

I just would have liked to see Stockton in a different situation to see what he could have accomplished. We see what Nash did, for instance, but whatever Nash did well, Stockton did even better, and could play defense to boot.

Still... it was such a joy to watch Stockton and Malone.

Kids today just don't know how violent and mean a PG can be setting screens. We see PG screens but they are just to slow people down a little ... Stockton ROCKED guys crossing at the high post to free up Malone, and he did it year after year after year without missing games. Magic was more fun and could do more, but Stockton was the best pure PG.

PowerHouse
08-08-2016, 01:34 PM
Kids today just don't know how violent and mean a PG can be setting screens. We see PG screens but they are just to slow people down a little ... Stockton ROCKED guys crossing at the high post to free up Malone, and he did it year after year after year without missing games. Magic was more fun and could do more, but Stockton was the best pure PG.

Who is a 6'1 170lb guy going to "rock"? Mugsy Bogues/Spud Webb sure but anybody else? Nah.

I am old enough to remember watching Stockton but not 80s version. I dont remember him slamming guys that hard.

Chronz
08-08-2016, 01:38 PM
Question.

Why do you have to determine a team's best player?

To distribute glory. Not all rings are created equal

PowerHouse
08-08-2016, 01:45 PM
To distribute glory. Not all rings are created equal

Wait a minute. You mean to tell me Robert Horry is not better than Kobe?

You learn something new everyday.

Chronz
08-08-2016, 02:56 PM
Wait a minute. You mean to tell me Robert Horry is not better than Kobe?

You learn something new everyday.
Who ever looked at Horry's teams and wondered to themselves if he was the driving force or their best player? You I guess, but I would hope you understood basketball better. Still, I aim to educate, may you continue learning.

PowerHouse
08-08-2016, 03:54 PM
Who ever looked at Horry's teams and wondered to themselves if he was the driving force or their best player? You I guess, but I would hope you understood basketball better. Still, I aim to educate, may you continue learning.

Im shocked that you of all people actually missed my sarcasm there. I thought I laid it out pretty thick.

Chronz
08-09-2016, 09:59 AM
Im shocked that you of all people actually missed my sarcasm there. I thought I laid it out pretty thick.
Sarcasm can still be insulting, I felt you insulted the thread sarcastically so I insulted that post sarcastically. You're obviously not that person but you pretended to be here.

PowerHouse
08-09-2016, 10:09 AM
Sarcasm can still be insulting, I felt you insulted the thread sarcastically so I insulted that post sarcastically. You're obviously not that person but you pretended to be here.

The intent was to back you up on your reply to mighty H, sarcastically of course.

Chronz
08-09-2016, 12:02 PM
Dang. Ur right, I missed it

valade16
08-09-2016, 02:47 PM
I don't say this to be dismissive about Malone, because I respect him as a player and before Malone and Garnett and Dirk came on the seen, I had him ranked as the best PF to ever play the game (in a dead heat with Barkley). But I have to wonder how much more success Stockton would have seen had he played with Duncan or Garnett instead of Malone, or even a lesser power forward who was less selfish. I say 'less selfish', but I want to stress that I don't think Malone was a terribly selfish player, but at the same time, you see a guy like Duncan, who could have easily averaged 27-30 a game for a decade in his prime, was very eager to involve his teammates, and Garnett, who could have easily been averaging 25 a game for a stretch of ten years or so, was likewise eager to share and involve others. Malone himself has said that in his early years he was more concerned with his personal stats than he should have been.

I felt like Malone was chasing personal history a lot of the time. Chasing Kareem. Trying to position himself ahead of Barkley. The early Jazz teams didn't have the supporting cast around Stockton/Malone/Eaton, and by the time they did have supporting players, they usually had a hole in the middle (Ostertag seemed like a nice guy, but he can't compete with Hakeem, Shaq and D-Rob-though his team did beat all three one year).

If Malone (and this is on Sloan too) had pushed the ball out to Hornacek and Stockton more, like Hakeem did with his spot-up 3-pt shooters, would that team have been better?

I just would have liked to see Stockton in a different situation to see what he could have accomplished. We see what Nash did, for instance, but whatever Nash did well, Stockton did even better, and could play defense to boot.

Still... it was such a joy to watch Stockton and Malone.

I think it was actually the opposite side of this coin. Stockton was a lot like Nash in that he was overly unselfish and didn't realize how great his scoring ability was.

Isiah Thomas actually talked about it, how the goal against the Jazz was to get the ball out of Stockton's hands and that he was too unselfish (of course, Isiah was the opposite, he was too selfish).

Still, I don't think Malone was a detriment to the team or team chemistry (other than maybe his lackluster playoff performances).

Malone IMO is one of the more underrated players ever.

Shlumpledink
08-09-2016, 10:24 PM
I do a very informal analysis of players. I try to consider relative talent, production, and how well that team would do with someone else fulfilling that role.

It relies on a certain level of basketball knowledge but necessitates watching games. Definitely vulnerable to bias as well, but effort must be made to maintain objectivity.

I've been able to predict the last 12 mvps, just because the media is pretty predictable when it comes to picking awards.

europagnpilgrim
08-09-2016, 11:38 PM
Stats and value go hand in hand pretty much

Usage rate is how you determine who is the most or more valuable to a team, along with how opponents scheme to stop a lone superstar or a big 2/3

its well documented you use the better/dominant players at high to extreme rates depending on the overall talent of a team, that's how you determine who is more valuable, the higher usage player(best) is usually the engine to that team, especially if its the PG like a Oscar/Magic/Westbrook/The Answer/CP3/Nash/Stockton who have/had the ball in hand pretty much at will

PG/SG are usually more valuable since they bring the ball up and create for the others(or get buckets) but its a few exceptions out there pertaining to the most dominant Centers of all time, a young Shaq or Dipper are so dominant they are value/impact/stats rolled over like phone minutes

Yao/Stoudamire are nice bigs but no where near the top of the most dominant ever list, while Nash and Tmac where 2 time scoring champ+league mvp(Nash) status which is more valuable when the chips are down and you need a play made in crunch time since they control the game with the ball in they hands

BKLYNpigeon
08-10-2016, 12:35 AM
The NBA game is played roughly in two parts, 50% on Offense and 50% on Defense.

Defense matters! its 50% of your game!
(for example, if Harden is a 48% on Offense, his Defense is like a 15%.)


Defense is hard to equate with stats. Having a lot of Steals and Blocks doesn't really mean much. Plus-Minus stats have holes in it. Theres no stats for Staying in front of your man, Contesting Shots or Helping on the Weakside rotation on Defense.

You know how to tell if you're Value on a team? You watch the f**king game.

Chronz
08-10-2016, 05:11 AM
Stats and value go hand in hand pretty much

Usage rate is how you determine who is the most or more valuable to a team, along with how opponents scheme to stop a lone superstar or a big 2/3
I look at it as more of the stylistic makeup of the player along with the talent of his teammates, of course. While I agreed or respect most of what you laid out, the one bit that irked me was the usage critique. You dont have to have a higher usage to have a higher impact offensively, much less a higher a impact on the game overall. I personally feel Bill Russell and Ben Wallace were their teams best players but they were pretty much afterthoughts offensively. It really depends on the team.

Chronz
08-10-2016, 05:28 AM
The NBA game is played roughly in two parts, 50% on Offense and 50% on Defense.

Defense matters! its 50% of your game!
(for example, if Harden is a 48% on Offense, his Defense is like a 15%.)


Defense is hard to equate with stats. Having a lot of Steals and Blocks doesn't really mean much. Plus-Minus stats have holes in it. Theres no stats for Staying in front of your man, Contesting Shots or Helping on the Weakside rotation on Defense.

You know how to tell if you're Value on a team? You watch the f**king game.
Watching the game has failed you. Its not 50% of the game, for the simple fact that defense isn't even evenly distributed, in terms of importance, among positions. How can defense be half the game when everyone with a brain agrees bigmen are FAR more influential on that end? Its the same fallacy people fall into when they blame CP3 for his teams inability to control the boards.

Defense isn't half the game, if that were the case, guys like Bruce Bowen would be MVP candidates, or at the very least, worthy of more than the pitiful contracts hes signed throughout. You ever heard of anyone taking Lindsey Hunter ahead of Steve Nash? I dont see it.