# A series of Good Nights

Posted on 01/12/2011 by

And now for something completely different.

What? You were expecting Eric Idle?

I wasn’t sure what to post today and so I decided to take a topic and give a different spin. So I’m going to talk MVP (as promised) but it’s going to be different because rather than looking at the whole season, I’m going to go off and look for a series of good nights.

Let me explain, I felt a little odd yesterday when through the magic of the podcast I discovered that my rankings (done with great care with a perfect blend of maths, excel, a heavy dose of the Basics and powered by NerdNumbers) looked very much like the numbers coughed up by the supercomputers up in Bristol,Conneticut. While it feels oddly cool to hack yet another model (albeit accidently), I felt a little unoriginal.

A little unoriginal can be a good thing though

Today we fix that.

The graph up top is the wins generated for every game played by every player who has played more than 10 games this season. Isn’t that cool? Ok, here’s the rundown for those keeping count at home:

9531 Games in the data set

.059 Wins generated is the average value per player

.165 is the standard deviation

So by those numbers I’d categorize games (and count them) as follows :

 Category Wins Produced for Game Count % Lousy <=-.271 958 10% Bad <=-.106 406 4% Average >-.106 and <.224 6713 70% Good >=.224 1098 12% Great >=.390 356 4%

By these numbers only 16% of all the games played were good to great and only 4% were great.

And this is all well and good but what does this mean for my MVP evaluation? Here’s what I’m going to do, I’m going to assign each player 2 points for a great game, 1 for a good game and dock him a point for a bad night or 2 for a lousy night (and yes Dre you did kick my brain down this path).  MVP will be the player with the Most Points.

By this logic, Chris Paul and Kevin Love are in a dead heat for MVP. Love has the edge in great games (but he also has a lousy one). One interesting thing to look at is the 17 players without bad or lousy games:

 Player Lousy Games Bad Games Average Games Good Games Great Games Games Points LeBron James 18 11 9 38 29 Pau Gasol 18 15 4 37 23 Landry Fields 19 10 6 35 22 Marcus Camby 17 12 5 34 22 Kevin Garnett 15 7 7 29 21 Jason Kidd 24 6 6 36 18 Rajon Rondo 12 9 4 25 17 Kris Humphries 20 12 2 34 16 Joakim Noah 13 8 3 24 14 Nene Hilario 21 8 2 31 12 Mike Dunleavy 24 7 2 33 11 Thabo Sefolosha 32 6 38 6 Ben Wallace 30 4 1 35 6 Josh Childress 23 1 24 1 Vladimir Radmanovic 23 1 24 1 Jamario Moon 20 1 21 1 Antonio McDyess 26 26 0

Here Lebron is clearly the King. If I go the other way (i.e. players with no good or great nights):

 Player Lousy Games Bad Games Average Games Good Games Great Games Games Points Antonio McDyess 26 26 0 Eric Maynor 2 33 35 -4 Goran Dragic 2 29 31 -4 Greivis Vasquez 2 20 22 -4 Baron Davis 1 3 17 21 -5 Shelden Williams 3 1 26 30 -7 Jordan Hill 3 2 23 28 -8 Ryan Hollins 4 19 23 -8 Xavier Henry 4 1 20 25 -9 Will Bynum 4 1 19 24 -9 Chris Duhon 4 1 18 23 -9 Ronnie Price 4 1 17 22 -9 Josh Powell 5 19 24 -10 Sebastian Telfair 5 1 18 24 -11 Jason Maxiell 5 1 17 23 -11 Solomon Jones 7 19 26 -14 Jose Barea 7 1 28 36 -15 Steve Blake 7 1 28 36 -15 Dante Cunningham 6 3 24 33 -15 Willie Green 8 1 22 31 -17
 Category Wins Produced for Game Lousy <=-.271 Bad <=-.106 Average >-.106 and <.224 Good >=.224 Great >=.390

Antonio McDyess shows up here too (oddly enough). And If I look at a topical player?

 Player Lousy Games Bad Games Average Games Good Games Great Games Games Points Carmelo Anthony 3 1 15 7 1 27 2

Let’s maybe save that for later.

So I’m hoping this was somewhat original.

No re-enactments here (Image courtesy of xkcd.com)