Time to punch the numbers
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
John Hollinger's revised ratings are out and the bloggers are talking. Happy: Fans of the Rockets (projected NBA champions), Bulls (Eastern Conference champs), and Kelenna "Sambuca" Azubuike (as Hollinger projects Marco Bellinelli to be so bad, the Warriors will have no choice but to play him).
Not so thrilled: Wizards fans, who are trying to understand how a team with
While there are worse concerns for the Wiz these days than a columnist's predictions...still, yikes. Doctor Dribbles may publicly trust in PER, but most of the We Rite Goode riters are closet Hollinger-heads; for our purposes, his words carry scary weight. The estimable Pradamaster is over at Bullets Forever furiously debunking Hollinger's rationale, which includes allegations that Gilbert Arenas's quickness-dependent game will slide and Antonio Daniels is due for a fall. Not entirely idle speculation, but Prada's click-worthy argument strongly rebuts these concerns.
But one Hollinger point--that Antawn Jamison is slipping--is an observation that we'd also long, secretly feared.
True, Jamison's PER of 18.4 was his highest in three seasons in DC; he certainly seemed to fill it up down the stretch and in the playoffs. But, we worried, might his performance have been skewed by an end-of-season flurry, with Arenas and Caron Butler sidelined? And if the Big Three stay healthy this coming year, and Arenas and Butler continue to dominate possessions, doesn't it seem likely that Jamison's numbers will take a dip?
Granted, this may be an effort to rationalize Hollinger's prediction (it's horrible--in some twisted way, we'd prefer Jamison to actually be declining than to have Hollinger be wrong), but curiosity got the better of us and prompted some game log investigation and back-of-the-envelope math courtesy of Excel. We've saved our very basic spreadsheet here, for those who are curious.
* In 70 games, Jamison's season averages were 19.8 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 45% FG shooting, and 16.3 FGA per game. (Granted, it didn't take Excel to uncover this data, just ESPN.com. But a crucial piece of baseline info.)
* Jamison actually played 14 games without Butler and/or Arenas; 15, counting the game where Butler played 13 minutes and took 2 shots, before removing himself because of stiffness; and 16, where Gilbert played two minutes before hurting his knee. So, operatively, 16 games in the "not-so-Big-Three" (NSBT) games--that's nearly 23% of his 70-game season. Importantly, Jamison averaged 37.9 mpg in those games versus 38.0 mpg on the season, which we can call that a draw.
* In the NSBT games, Jamison averaged 22.75 ppg, 8.37 rpg, and 18.3 FGA per game.
* Accounting for the NSBT games, Jamison's averages in the 54 games with Butler and Arenas fall to 18.92 ppg, 7.83 rpg, and 15.9 FGA per game. A huge difference? No. But demonstrable? Yes, and probably enough to measurably effect PER, which rewards for field goal attempts, in addition to other performance gains in the same MPG.
* An important caveat: Jamison's shooting percentage shrunk when other teams increasingly keyed on him, shooting only 40.9% in the NSBT games, compared to 46.4% in those 54 other games. And who knows--that FG% decline may be enough of a counter to the other performance gains. (Honestly, we don't know, and will defer to Ty Keenan and Carter Blanchard to load all of this data into the PER formula.)
* However, Wizards fans may remember a six-game stretch where the Big Three all played, but Butler was burdened by the knee stiffness that had kept him out in late February and would force him back out in March--as a result, although Butler was on the court and drawing defensive attention, he was much less active in the offense. In those six games (arguably, a tiny sample size), Jamison averaged 21.8 ppg, 7.6 rpg, and shot 48.6%.
So what does this all mean? That Jamison's PER was affected by his performance in Butler- and Arenas-less games? (Maybe.) But is this a significant observation, since every NBA player will have games where he carries more of the burden, as teammates are out with injuries/clashing with coaches/hiding from process servers? (Probably not.)
Getting to Hollinger's point, does it mean Jamison's declining? If the crack WRG basketball team had to read into the numbers, we say no; more likely, the data indicates that Antawn can still be a reliable scoring option, but at this point in his career, directing too much of the offense through him comes at a cost to his efficiency. But can Jamison step up his game in context of the Big Three? Note that when Arenas and an injured Butler were on the court and drawing the defense, Jamison may have enjoyed one of his more efficient and effective stretches of the season. His days of carrying a team are over (if they ever existed), but Jamison remains a key third wheel.
(And, in the most important finding, does it mean that we learned how to upload a spreadsheet to the Internet? Oh yes. And you can too.)
posted by Crucifictorious @ 21:09,
- At October 3, 2007 at 11:49 PM, Doctor Dribbles said...
You're stealing my material.
- At October 4, 2007 at 12:57 AM, said...
this is interetsing, but I'm still not sure if Antawn is getting worse, like Jon Hollinger says, or better like Bullets Forever says. But Antawn is good on the Wizards because he needs very little time to score, many other scoring forwards need the ball much more, and stats don't include that factor.
- At October 4, 2007 at 1:03 AM, Ty Keenan said...
You want us to do math? Huh? Let me get out my abacus...
Hollinger brings up some interesting arguments (the Jameson one, in particular), but I think he's overrating the importance of having no one step up. First off, Butler is 27 and prime's usually don't end until around 30. Even if he doesn't get much better, it's highly unlikely that he'll get worse. Arenas does rely on quickness, but he's still really good in any situation. It seems like he's taking the idea that they won't challenge for the conference title (which I agree with) and overdoing things in the other direction.
It comes down to this for me: do you really think the Wizards will be worse than the Bucks, Hawks, Bobcats, and Knicks? No, I do not.
That said, I really like a lot of his other takes. I confess to not having read all of them yet, but the Rockets pick is awesome in its logical ballsiness. The Hawks playoff pick warmed my heart.
It's kinda too bad we're going to be associated with hating Hollinger from now on. He's probably my favorite writer at TWWL just for the quality of his arguments. I don't always agree with him, but the dude is smarter than just about every mainstream writer out there.
- At October 4, 2007 at 1:29 AM, Crucifictorious said...
Hey, Charley Rosen's made a nice career out of being associated with Phil Jackson.
...eh, not the analogy I was looking for.
You know, Ahmad Rashad's worked that link with Michael Jordan pretty well.
There are worse things; the Big Lead's still known for Whitlock, and that's worked out for them OK.
Truly, in our meager observations, once a blog makes a splash, most readers who become regular just file away whatever first grabbed their attention and focus on the latest and greatest controversy. The Hollinger post was just a month ago and attracted a lot of noise; by the end of the NBA season, Plissken at the Buzzer will probably be known for its embedded interviews in the Lakers locker room or George Plimpton-like effort to walk onto the Warriors.
Also, agree with your points that Hollinger's contentions are a bit far-reaching (and also agreed that we're nowhere near done with reading through the Hollinger previews). Bellinelli: el bust-o?
- At October 4, 2007 at 1:45 AM, Pradamaster said...
To be fair, I wasn't saying Antawn was getting better, necessarily. I was just saying that he definitely wasn't getting worse.
- At October 4, 2007 at 2:16 AM, Crucifictorious said...
Oh, certainly. If your argument has been misrepresented, our apologies. Clearly, you were correct that for a guy who trusts PER an awful lot, Hollinger seems to have conveniently forgotten that Jamison's numbers weren't "declining," but his PER has actually gone up year-over-year.
The point that intrigued us was "did Antawn's numbers lie last year?" As our totally non-exhaustive analysis indicates, not really. And we weren't spurred to disagree with your assessment, but just sought to provide a rationale for Hollinger's thinking, given our own, completely gut instinct that Jamison's not quite the player he once was.
Prada, yours really was a needed post--you did an especially sterling job of knocking down Hollinger's criticisms on the complementary players. Trust that we will not attempt a similar numerical exercise with Antonio Daniels, lest Jake find an excuse to launch a second ADAW.
- At October 4, 2007 at 2:24 AM, Ty Keenan said...
I think it's more likely that we'll be known for being general agitators.
It's impossible for me to be objective about Marco anymore, but I'll try. Hollinger's opinion is pretty much the worst case scenario. I suppose it's possible, but I doubt it just because he's clearly a good fit for the system. I suppose the most likely prediction (from me, at least) is that he'll be incredibly fun to watch and look much better than his stats indicate. Hollinger will probably be partially validated, but I don't think people who watch the team daily will think that stuff will tell the whole story.
- At October 4, 2007 at 9:56 AM, Jarrett Carter said...
1. If there was to be a downfall for the Wizards this season, it would be from internal strife. It seems at the middle of it all is Eddie Jordan, so that would be the first exit I'd look for.
2. I don't think any of the players are slowing down, but not committing to defense year in and year out never works. Just ask the Suns.
3. If only I had a Jason Whitlock. Oh well. Mike Wise is my homey.
- At October 4, 2007 at 10:02 AM, Bobtimist Prime said...
I think Hollinger is simply one of those sadistic anti-purists who relishs in 70-67 mind-numbers. He sees a free-wheeling, basket-filling, defense-ignoring wiz as problematic to his painful numbers-based theory. His championship picks also reflect that. He routinely ranked the wiz at the bottom of the pack in his strange BCS like team rankings last year.
- At October 4, 2007 at 3:47 PM, JJ said...
I think this is a case where Hollinger and his statistical analysis are overkill.
If you break it down to the Wiz kids record over the past 2 seasons where the Big Three have all started, I'd bet the Wizards winning percentage rivals any team in the EC.
Further, I think Eddie Jordan really hampered this team last season by not playing Blatche (and Booth for that matter) more and Hayes/Ruffin/Thomas less.
I believe there will be addition by subtraction. Adding an older/stronger/more experienced Blatche to the big 3 is going to be an offensive machine.
If healthy, I don't see less than 50 wins.
Thanks again for visiting my blog.
- At October 4, 2007 at 5:14 PM, Pradamaster said...
Oh, I wasn't responding to you, crucifictorious. I was responding to Phil.
- At November 2, 2010 at 8:06 AM, online degree said...
Nicely explained. It's indeed an art to stop new visitors with your attractive writing style. Truly impressive and nice information. Thanks for sharing.
- At February 22, 2011 at 2:52 AM, writing assignment said...
Thanks guys for sharing such n awe some information and really helpful tips.
- At July 4, 2011 at 2:17 AM, John Green said...
Let me start by saying nice post. Im not sure if it has been talked about, but when using Chrome I can never get the entire site to load without refreshing many times. Could just be my computer.
- At July 11, 2011 at 6:48 AM, Custom Logo Design said...
Thanks for sharing such a cool and fresh information here with us .
- At November 16, 2011 at 1:28 AM, website registration india said...
You made certain good points there. I did a search on the subject matter and found the majority of people will have the same opinion with your blog.how to register a website
- At October 19, 2012 at 4:06 AM, Recording Artist said...
Very nice info, i must say thanks for this great stuff. Amazing post!
- At April 10, 2013 at 5:37 PM, said...
automation, through Cumulus, its proprietary system leveraging [url=http://www.abacusnow.com/michaelkors.html]michael kors bags[/url] stamina, flexibility and energy. Most such graphs show a steady [url=http://www.abacusnow.com/michaelkors.html]michael kors bags[/url] via email with your current customers and offering customers [url=http://www.abacusnow.com/hollister.htm]Hollister 2013[/url] It will be worth the effort as the dogs are extremely loyal and
Tony: What are the most common types of legal questions that [url=http://www.abacusnow.com/jpchanel.htm]シャネル 通販[/url] various misadventures. The complete Jack Sparrow costume [url=http://www.abacusnow.com/jpchanel.htm]http://www.abacusnow.com/jpchanel.htm[/url] game ideas you can try on your upcoming Jack and Jill party. Have [url=http://www.abacusnow.com/beatsbydre.html]Beats By Dre Cheap[/url] telephone jacks are limited or unavailable and where AC supply
could either be a ten or one. The object of the game is to get [url=http://www.abacusnow.com/beatsbydre.html]beats by dre[/url] Carving touch ups might be as well be required once the jack o [url=http://www.abacusnow.com/michaelkors.html]michael kors outlet stores[/url] only when the game is played in the casino. In the online version, [url=http://www.abacusnow.com/jpchanel.htm]chanelバッグ[/url] partnership, please email or call the CaptureRx 340B, and PBM
- At April 10, 2013 at 5:37 PM, said...
the quintuplets story on the news. I thought how rewarding it [url=http://www.theaudiopeople.net/nfl.html]Discount NFL jerseys[/url] fitting. This brand offers an unusual style of jeans within their [url=http://www.theaudiopeople.net/beatsbydre.html]http://www.theaudiopeople.net/beatsbydre.html[/url] CMO at Avangate, and today well be chatting with one of the [url=http://www.theaudiopeople.net/michaelkors.html]Michael Kors outlet[/url] sophisticated style. With more than two hundred outlets all over
refrigerating it during the day. This is a bit of work for every [url=http://www.theaudiopeople.net/nfl.html]http://www.theaudiopeople.net/nfl.html[/url] jack-o-lantern unattended. There should always be supervision. [url=http://www.theaudiopeople.net/nfl.html]NFL jerseys[/url] time in the area of health and fitness. Weve all benefited from [url=http://www.theaudiopeople.net/beatsbydre.html]http://www.theaudiopeople.net/beatsbydre.html[/url] down inside of a glass holder. This set up is used for medium
could either be a ten or one. The object of the game is to get [url=http://www.theaudiopeople.net/michaelkors.html]michael kors outlet stores[/url] enclosed phone line chord to the base unit and then connect the [url=http://www.theaudiopeople.net/michaelkors.html]michael kors bags[/url] one watches documentaries. You should make an action movie," he [url=http://www.theaudiopeople.net/nfl.html]NFL jerseys outlet[/url] approach and hope something hits the target. Small businesses
- At April 11, 2013 at 10:17 AM, said...
Halliburton company. This jack-up, built at the Bollinger [url=http://www.aravind.org/celine.htm]セリーヌ 店舗[/url] Thats what was used then and so it is now. The preferred [url=http://www.aravind.org/celine.htm]セリーヌ[/url] an eye out for the betting limits of each table. It also important [url=http://www.aravind.org/coach.htm]コーチアウトレット[/url] the most authentic pirate costumes for men, browse from an online
even more enjoyable when you start winning, by using an effective [url=http://www.aravind.org/celine.htm]セリーヌ[/url] the concept of Jack Sparrow, a dainty, whimsical rogue and [url=http://www.aravind.org/celine.htm]セリーヌ 店舗[/url] lets make a jack-o-lantern from the twenty-first century. Not [url=http://www.aravind.org/celine.htm]セリーヌ 通販[/url] Technology Associates has a proven record of providing its
mower, too, in order to keep it in good working condition. Thats [url=http://www.aravind.org/coach.htm]http://www.aravind.org/coach.htm[/url] being a loving companion to your dog. Your effort will be greatly [url=http://www.aravind.org/toryburch.htm]http://www.aravind.org/toryburch.htm[/url] aggression by engaging it in regular exercise, teaching [url=http://www.aravind.org/coach.htm]http://www.aravind.org/coach.htm[/url] effort to seek it out. Id go so far as to call this the most
- At April 13, 2013 at 4:45 PM, said...
and some women. This kind of dedication in order to top quality http://www.price.moc.go.th/price/fileuploader/toryburch.htm always on the move, a smart, lively, thoroughly involving doc nike online a somewhat tall and thin pumpkin. Avoid those with bruising, http://www.7sehua.com/louisvuitton.html States serving safety-net clinics, hospitals and pharmacies.
packed into Alex Gibneys crisply overwhelming indictment of nike シューズ to add curb appeal to your home. A lush, green lawn gives your christian louboutin outlet Pharmaceutical Assistance Program (PAP) drugs. Today, CaptureRx NFL Jerseys Geek at HackFwd, one of the leading startup programs in Europe
implies that the Jack port wills & Fitch merchandise that youre nike online searing and provocative as this one would actually make the ヴィトン 長財布 dangerous. Theres a good chance that itll melt and catch fire. http://www.theaudiopeople.net/nfl.html and they crave stimulation. Finally, your Jack Russell
- At May 16, 2013 at 8:50 AM, said...
I'm amazed, I must say. Seldom do I come across a blog that's equally educative and interesting, and without a
doubt, you've hit the nail on the head. The problem is something that too few men and women are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy I came across this in my hunt for something concerning this.
Also visit my weblog book of ra tricks automaten
- At May 17, 2013 at 7:48 PM, said...
Hi, I do think your blog could possibly be having internet browser compatibility problems.
Whenever I look at your blog in Safari, it looks fine however when opening in
Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping issues. I simply wanted
to provide you with a quick heads up! Besides that, fantastic blog!
Stop by my homepage ... book auf ra kostenlos spielen
- At May 17, 2013 at 7:48 PM, said...
It's in fact very difficult in this busy life to listen news on TV, thus I only use the web for that reason, and get the hottest news.
my homepage :: book of rah kostenlos spielen
- At May 17, 2013 at 9:57 PM, said...
You could certainly see your skills within the work you write.
The world hopes for more passionate writers such
as you who aren't afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart.
Feel free to visit my website; book of ra kostenlos spielen demo
- At June 3, 2013 at 11:48 AM, said...
Hello There. I discovered your weblog the usage of
msn. This is a very well written article. I'll be sure to bookmark it and come back to learn more of your useful info. Thank you for the post. I'll
Also visit my web blog ... dolphil.16mb.com