Blogging on the road and some Fanservice

Posted on 12/17/2010 by


After a very intense and long work week learning the ins and outs of my new job, today I’ve been driving all day visiting plants . In fact by the end of today i’ll have been on the road for eight hours.  Why should you care about this? Well as I sit here on the public Wi-fi at a Subway three hours from my house (and two hours and a half from my office), I’ve got what I think are three brilliant pieces planned (and two of them actually have tables made and ready).

Sadly, you’re going to have to wait a while for them (around 700 words is my limit before the sandwich artists start looking at me funny). The first will be a historical perspective on rookies. Afterwards, I’m doing a piece on roles players and “chemistry” (assisted by Nerd Numbers) . Finally, will be a revisit and revision of an old favorite.

Trust me, I think you’ll enjoy them.

Now in the interim I have a few things that I think you’ll enjoy.First a podcast featuring some statheads talking b-ball.

Second is an awesome,awesome piece from Alex at Sports Skeptic.

Yes, I liked it so much I'm breaking out a double Wheaton

Finally a reader HU asked:

Does WOW analysis take into account opp. shooting %? As in, how would WOW analysis conclude on a player who shoots 60% with 15 board per 36m but gives up a 100% shooting percentage and 50 PP36m from his opp. counterpart (and just to prove that he is not helping teammates’ defense, he only hangs out in the attacking half of the court)?
You probably have already covered this and I missed it but just wanted to ask. I noticed opponents shoot a really low AdjFG% versus some players (Rondo, Lebron, Camby, Shaq, etc) and terrific versus others (all of the Wizards – I assume bad coaching, Bargnani, Beasley, etc)

For an answer, I’m breaking out some old school work.

Back in the day, I took a quick pass at calculating Wins Produced adjusted by Individual defense.The main driver was the assertion that David Lee is a bad defensive player and his wins produced are inflated

All numbers are taken from 82

First off some math explanations:

Full detail here

WP48 = PlayersProductivity(PROD48)– MATE48(Team Blk & Asst Adjustment)-DEFTM48 (Defensive Team Adjust)-RelAdjP48(Average of the first three terms for players playing the same position) +.099

The main term that could be said to drive defensive error is RelAdjP48 (the position adjustment). This term assumes that the player in question is facing average production at his position every night. This is very obviously not the case. Good defensive players can tend to be undervalued in our analysis. By calculating the Prod48 for a players average opponent we should be able to adjust for a players good or bad defensive skills. Given the rush nature of this exercise, I used the Celtics as a baseline to assure total wins produced remained the same. I ended up with an adjusted position adjustment equal to my calculated WP48 for the average opponent +.07. When I have the time to complete the entire league for 2009-2010, I will refine the adjustment

Here’s my adjusted table for a few players of Note. Of the players I looked at here’s the ten best defenders:

  1. Kevin Durant
  2. Dirk Nowitzki
  3. LeBron James
  4. Dwyane Wade
  5. Kobe Bryant
  6. Dwight Howard
  7. Carmelo Anthony
  8. Brandon Roy
  9. Gerald Wallace
  10. Derrick Rose

Of note, Pau Gasol is a perfectly average defender. Of the Players who might be involved in transactions that I looked at:

Joe Johnson & Amare are both better than average defenders. As for David Lee? He’s the worst in that list above but the story is not quite that simple. 82games claims that he used 72% of the Knicks minutes at C and only 3% at PF. If I work out his opponent’s numbers by position:

PosAdj_P48 Actual OppAdjP48 (PF) Actual OppAdjP48 (C)

David Lee 0.406 0.307 0.519

He is clearly a much better defender as a power forward than as a Center. A sign and trade to a team with a true center (say the Phoenix Suns) would benefit him greatly.

For the handmade version of this (or something very similar) go to Courtside Analyst to see Ty’s wonderful work (where you go for the Stats and stay for the ambiance).

This is something, I will be revisiting (once the game by game dataset & tool that Andres and I are working on is done).  After all, we all need projects.

Image courtesy of

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