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View Full Version : Danny Granger for MVP?



jhondog28
01-07-2009, 03:01 PM
Rob Peterson
NBA.com

http://www.nba.com/2009/news/features/rob_peterson/01/07/mvp.mailbag.20080107/index.html

Just thought it brings up an interesting debate whether a player on a losing team could be the leagues MVP. In the past Alex Rodriguez has come to mind, but that was in a different sport. I would think the player would have to have insane numbers ina season for this to happen.

MillerTime
01-07-2009, 03:04 PM
LOL I just posted this about 5 min ago http://www.pacersdigest.com/apache2-default/showthread.php?t=43698

Major Cold
01-07-2009, 03:05 PM
No way he should be in the running unless we not only make it to the playoffs, but have a top 5 seed. This is laughable. Caron Butler for president.:devil:

Kuq_e_Zi91
01-07-2009, 03:08 PM
Paul Pierce for best player in the world.

Out of curiosity, has somebody ever won MVP before they were even an all-star?

count55
01-07-2009, 03:08 PM
As a Danny Granger fan, I feel compelled to post this before one of the rock-throwers does:

The Pacers are 2-1 in games that Danny missed this year, and went to double OT in the third.

The wins were against the Nets (without Devin Harris) and the Sixers (without Elton Brand). The loss was the Clips. It's not like they were playing spectacular competition, but it does negate the point that "Lee" was trying to make.

Love Danny to death, but he's not an MVP candidate.

jhondog28
01-07-2009, 03:16 PM
LOL I just posted this about 5 min ago http://www.pacersdigest.com/apache2-default/showthread.php?t=43698

LOL sorry Miller normally it tells me when something has already been posted about it. My bad dude.

MillerTime
01-07-2009, 03:18 PM
LOL sorry Miller normally it tells me when something has already been posted about it. My bad dude.

Its all good

Hicks
01-07-2009, 03:22 PM
I'll echo count in saying that I love Danny, but this isn't even a debate. He's not an MVP candidate.

Unclebuck
01-07-2009, 05:14 PM
I would never consider a player an MVP candidate unless his team is one of the best in the NBA. The object is to win - stats really mean nothing.

Right now I would vote for Lebron James - not because of his stats, but because right now the Cavs have the best record in the NBA.

Picking MVP is really simple to me, I just look at the best 5 or 6 teams - look for the best player on those teams and decide. Last year in a lot of ways it come down to Kobe of Paul and because the lakers won more games I would have voted for Kobe

Sollozzo
01-07-2009, 05:43 PM
Yeah, Jordan averaged like 37 points in 86-87, but the Bulls just won 40 games. Obviously, he didn't win MVP.

This year the MVP is Lebron's to lose. Unless the Cavs have a downward spiral (unlikely), I see it being a runaway win for him.

Sure Kobe deserved the MVP for last season, but I think that vote was also a recognition for his 8 or so outstanding seasons before that. I think there will be a similar case for LBJ this year. He will no doubt deserve the MVP for his 08-09 performance, but I think it will also be a recognition for his previous 5 years of outstanding basketball.

Putnam
01-07-2009, 05:54 PM
I would never consider a player an MVP candidate unless his team is one of the best in the NBA. The object is to win - stats really mean nothing.

Aw, it hurts my feelings to read, "stats really mean nothing."

Could we say, rather, that a player's stats mean more in the context of a winning team -- especially a championship-winning team -- than in the context of a team that produces little more than the player's performance?

Or, his team's W/L record is one very important measure of a player's performance, and looking at a player's stats without considering his team isn't a complete or meaningful way of assessing him?

ChicagoJ
01-07-2009, 06:06 PM
For winning basketball, stats really do mean nothing.

No matter which metric you use, or which complex formula you devise, if you show me a player trying to improve his team's winning % by focusing on a stat or formula, I'll show you a misguided player.

Box scores are extremely deceiving.

rexnom
01-07-2009, 06:22 PM
I agree about Danny but I don't think it's totally fair to dismiss a player because he's not on one of the top teams. In 2005-2006 Kobe Bryant led a terrible Lakers team to 45 wins. They almost beat the Suns in the first round as a seven seed. I thought he deserved the MVP easily(although Steve Nash got it instead). Without Kobe Bryant, that was a 15-20 win team. Maybe. If the Pacers were around .500 or a few games above, I think Danny would have gotten serious MVP consideration given that we are not a .500 team (especially without Mike).

Naptown_Seth
01-07-2009, 07:24 PM
Aw, it hurts my feelings to read, "stats really mean nothing."

Could we say, rather, that a player's stats mean more in the context of a winning team -- especially a championship-winning team -- than in the context of a team that produces little more than the player's performance?

Or, his team's W/L record is one very important measure of a player's performance, and looking at a player's stats without considering his team isn't a complete or meaningful way of assessing him?

Ahem

W L RECORD IS A STAT ITSELF.

Sheesh. Kudos for Putty wading in there, but Buck and Jay are stubborn ones, a few of the many.

How many players have won an MVP without first making an AS team - that's a stat.
How many players win MVP from a losing team - stat.
How many players are on the Pacers roster - stat.

How many words are in this post - stat.


Stats are fine, misuse of stats are the problem many of you are actually concerned with.

Naptown_Seth
01-07-2009, 07:26 PM
Box scores are extremely limited, simplistic and lose much of the subtlety of what actually happened in the game.
Fixed. ;)

ChicagoJ
01-07-2009, 08:47 PM
But there is no causal relationship between any individual player stat or metric and winning/losing.

If you care about who puts up the best stats for a fantasy league, that's fine.

The statistics are the outcome of playing the game. Yeah, you can sometimes tell that a player did some things well or poorly, but you still can't make a connection to winning and losing without introducing the W/L variables into the stat (thus, a causality problem.)

rexnom
01-07-2009, 09:30 PM
But there is no causal relationship between any individual player stat or metric and winning/losing.

If you care about who puts up the best stats for a fantasy league, that's fine.

The statistics are the outcome of playing the game. Yeah, you can sometimes tell that a player did some things well or poorly, but you still can't make a connection to winning and losing without introducing the W/L variables into the stat (thus, a causality problem.)
I'd like to see some sort of correlative algorhythm or metric developed to see how individual success relates to team wins. If there is a certain kind of formula for individual success (e.g. a player scores above 20ppg but it's not more than 20% of that team's points) which translates to team success.

count55
01-07-2009, 09:45 PM
Statistics are a tool. They provide some information, but absolutely positively need context. They can be overemphasized, but to reject them as meaningless is just as big of a sin.

In the context of MVP, it is certainly reasonable to provide significant weight to wins and losses. However, statistics can be very useful in helping to understand what happened in a game, how a player plays, indicate both a player and a team's strengths and weaknesses. Statistics are not deceiving, they are simply an incomplete picture.

As an example, prior to the Denver game, the Pacers were giving up 104.9 points on .456 shooting. Today, these are considered atrocious numbers. On a lark, I had decided to check out some stats from the '80's. I first decided to look at the 1986 Celtics, primarily because I always considered them one of the best teams of my lifetime. Much to my surprise, they had given up 104.7 points on .461 shooting. However, in 1986, those represented the third lowest Opp PPG and the lowest OPP FG% in the league. (This season, they would be good for 5th highest and 10th highest.)

I've always believed that data and statistics should be used very judiciously. However, I've also always believed that they must be used. They are the tangible numbers that help us understand our intangible impressions.

I end this meandering with quotes I consider apropos:


Any virtue carried to an extreme becomes a vice.


Statistics are often used as a drunk uses a lightpole...for support, rather than illumination.

Shade
01-07-2009, 09:53 PM
Not a chance.

Maybe if we were 22-12, rather than 12-22.

Putnam
01-07-2009, 10:14 PM
Thanks to Seth for picking up the gauntlet.

Now, when Count says

Statistics are a tool. They provide some information, but absolutely positively need context...he is right. a context is needed, and that context can easily be provided with more data. It's not enough to look at players' scoring averages. We agree. Bu we could take that same information and put it into context by graphing a second dimension of team W/L. then you would have 4 quadrants: high scorers on winning teams; high scorers on losing teams; low scorers on winning teams; low scorers on losing teams. There would still be some nebulousness, but there would be a lot of clarity, too. It is best to be in the 1st cell, worst to be in the 4th one. Further clarification could come with further data.

The defect that both J and Buck are deploring is concluding too much from a given amount of information. We all agree that that is wrong. Stats often don't means what somebody carelessly interprets them to mean. But they never mean nothing.


The statistics are the outcome of playing the game.

But they are also the inputs that determine that outcome. (I'm not sure if both statements are compatible or not.)


there is no causal relationship between any individual player stat or metric and winning/losing.

You are still thinking of Anthony Johnson's 41 in the playoffs, aren't you?

.

BillS
01-08-2009, 11:03 AM
The statistics are the outcome of playing the game.


But they are also the inputs that determine that outcome. (I'm not sure if both statements are compatible or not.)

No, stats are <i>measurements</i> of actions that take place during the game. Whether you are measuring the right things has nothing to do with the validity of the measurements themselves.

And that is why you can't just take somebody's numbers and plug them into an equations. First, you probably don't have all of the inputs, second is that you don't have all the ways the inputs interact.

In this case, clearly individual player collected statistics are important in determining an MVP. However, the overriding input is that the team has to be at least contending if not the top team in the league for the player numbers to be taken into account.

duke dynamite
01-08-2009, 11:04 AM
LOL I just posted this about 5 min ago http://www.pacersdigest.com/apache2-default/showthread.php?t=43698
Of course you did...lol

Dr. Goldfoot
01-08-2009, 12:03 PM
No, stats are measurements of actions that take place during the game.


Rebounds, points, steals, blocks, turnovers, FG%, FT's, fouls etc are all stats and they certainly determine the outcome of the game.

ChicagoJ
01-08-2009, 12:03 PM
But they are also the inputs that determine that outcome. (I'm not sure if both statements are compatible or not.)

I don't think so. The outcome is, Did Team A outscore Team B?
There is no cause-and-effect between an individual stat and won-loss record. When Wilt averaged 50 ppg, did his team win all the time? No. When Wilt led the league in assists (just to prove he could do it), did his team win all the time? No. Rebounds? No.

No. No. No. No. No.

In economics, we talk about leading indicators, concurrent indicators, and trailing indicators. There are no individual player leading or concurrent indicators to predict a team's wins and losses. The entire (and well accepted notion) that a player can put up big stats on a losing team should make this a no-brainer. We'll call it the Clark Kellogg effect. He calls it a stat-sheet-stuffer with a straight face (even though he's referring to himself, of course.) And every losing team has to have a "leading scorer", right? (And for Will Galen's sake, every team, no matter how bad the roster, has a "starting PG" - even if the player sucks as a PG and couldn't start for any other team in the league.) So you are left relying on trailing indicators, which don't even tell you who played well or not, they just tell a few things that were measured along the way that may or may not be useful.

When I was younger, I used to like the A/TO ratio for PGs. Until I figured out that a PG could play 40+ minutes, have three assists to one turnover (thus, an outstanding ATO ratio) but ONLY HAVE THREE ASSISTS!! Yeesh, what did the guy spend thirty-six minutes doing out there with the ball?? Nothing? Or did his teammates just miss opportunities? Or does he shoot too much? Or, as it turns out, ATO doesn't actually tell us very much.


You are still thinking of Anthony Johnson's 41 in the playoffs, aren't you?.

:D

One of the worst playoff performances I've ever seen. In a team context, of course. Clearly he did shoot the ball pretty well on the way to a crushing defeat.

ChicagoJ
01-08-2009, 12:07 PM
Rebounds, points, steals, blocks, turnovers, FG%, FT's, fouls etc are all stats and they certainly determine the outcome of the game.

Let's start with the first one.

Explain how you can look only at rebounds and predict the winner of a game?

Again, trailing indicators don't "determine" the outcome of a game. You might be able to use them to help explain what already happened, or you might not.

How many times has the team with more offensive rebounds, more defensive rebounds, and/or more total rebounds lost the game? dozens? hundreds? perhaps thousands of times?

Dr. Goldfoot
01-08-2009, 12:19 PM
Why is everybody so extreme? Are you saying the team that "wins" the most out of the stats doesn't win the games? Rebounds influence the outcomes of games.


P.S.

12 games in the NBA last night. The team with the most rebounds went 9-3. The three loses were all decided on last second shots including the Pacers game.

Unclebuck
01-08-2009, 12:33 PM
I just think you learn very little about a game, a team or a player by just reading the stats and watching the highlights on ESPN or NBATV. You have to watch the game. That is my thing.

I watch a ton of NBA basketball and not just Pacers games, I watch several games a night on LP. But I still never really know a player until he is on the Pacers roster - until I watch him every game. I also feel like I get to know a player very well after the Pacers play his team in the playoffs - but the 1 game in the regular season - not really at all.

Do stats tell me how a player helps out on defense, do stats tell me how a player plays at the end of games, or when they get tired, or when they get double teamed or have a great defender on them, stats don't tell me a players demeanor or how he reacts when things aren't going well for him or his team. Do stats tell me if a player is only interested in winning - no - or whether he is a good teammate? no. I could go on and on - but there is a reason why scouts go see a team or player in person - and don't just scout a player based upon stats. (i also learn a lot more watching a game in person than just watching on TV

Shade
01-08-2009, 12:44 PM
I agree with UB. Stats don't tell the whole tale. Sometimes, they don't even tell most of the tale. And they're far too easy to manipulate.

naptownmenace
01-08-2009, 01:27 PM
Man, this thread is all over the place.

As far as the topic and the article posted is concerned, of course Granger's not MVP worthy. The article said as much and explained the reasons for not being worthy very well.

However, I'm still encouraged by the fact that Danny was even mentioned in the same sentence as the word MVP and that people recognize that he is one of those really good players on a bad team.

OrganizedConfusion
01-08-2009, 01:31 PM
I know we don't like stats, but check this out:

Danny's True Shooting % (.588) is higher than:
Kobe Bryant (.576)
Brandon Roy (.574)
Dirk Nowitzki (.566)
Vince Carter (.564)
Kevin Durant (.559)
Kevin Garnett (.556)
Jason Richardson (.554)
Caron Butler (.552)
Michael Redd (.546)

and a host of other stars. True Shooting Percentage is metric that factors a player's performance at the free-throw line and considers their efficiency on all types of shots.

It's clear that he's a more efficient scoring option than the FG% shows.

count55
01-08-2009, 01:38 PM
I feel compelled to address this due to the high percentage of posts where I use statistics of some sort. I am struggling with the back and forth.

Stats, by themselves, are the classic illustration of the old adage that a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing. Over the past decade, with the advent of the Internet, faster and more powerful computers, fantasy sports, and guys like Billy Beane and John Hollinger, the misuse (and abuse) of statistics has grown exponentially.

However, I must unequivocally state that "stats mean nothing" is simply wrong-headed. They are a part of the full picture, and ignoring them is every bit as damaging as relying on them too heavily. What you see can be just as misleading as statistics, and it is every bit, if not more, subjective.

Stats, when properly used, can provide a great deal of depth and color to your understanding of what is happening. This is how I try to use them. I believe there is no such thing as "the perfect stat", which is why I always try to peel the onion. I have spent the last 16 years of my life as a financial-operations analyst/business manager. I live the numbers (the stats), and the numbers I use and the decisions I make from them have very real impact on peoples lives and livelihoods. I have witnessed the damage done by the misuse of numbers and the damage done by the refusal to use the numbers.

Forgive me, but I must admit that I am taking some of this assault on statistics somewhat personal. I can't help but think that some of the repudiations of stats, particularly as posted by members for whom I have a good deal of respect, are, by extension, repudiations and rejections of much of the work that I have done and the contributions that I had hoped to be making to this board.

Despite my stat heavy posting history, I have always made the utmost effort to keep statistics in the proper context. Just yesterday, I visited the Miami Heat board on RealGM so that I could get the people who watch the Heat to help me understand some trends I was seeing regarding Michael Beasley's production. I am not always successful, I do at least try to acknowledge when I might be slipping into the "lies, damn lies, and statistics" category. While I do the work I do mostly for my own edification and curiosity, I would hate to think that it is being rejected out of hand.

Anyway, I was simply hoping we could bring this conversation back in from the opposite poles and more towards the middle.

BTW, the only player I can think of that ever deserved MVP primarily on the strength of numbers was Mike Schmidt's MVP year in 1986. The Phils did have a winning record, but they finished 21.5 games behind the Mets and didn't make the playoffs...and had the Phillies not had winning record, I probably would've balked even with his numbers.

ChicagoJ
01-08-2009, 02:01 PM
I can move back to the middle.

For basketball, you can use stats to support an argument that is based on something other than stats - an observation or trend, etc.

But if stats are the basis for your opinion, (again for basketball) then something is probably wrong. I use statistics as support all the time outside of basketball. But with basketball, I try very hard to not use statistics in forming certain opinions as they are too easily manipulated. If they are easily manipulated, then they are not likely to have a strong correlation.

What I am specifically focused on, though, is that the connection between statistics and winning/losing is not solid nor legitimate. That is not an appropriate use. Using stats to determine "most valuable" (under the assumption that most valuable has something to do with winning and losing, as opposed to "most outstanding player") is just a fallacy.

You can use them all you want to argue in support of an opinion. Such and such is a better scorer or rebounder, etc. But to connect that to winning and losing just doesn't hold together at all.

And for me, I don't care much about the "who is better" debate. Who helps their team win? That's what I'm interested in.

count55
01-08-2009, 02:10 PM
And for me, I don't care much about the "who is better" debate. Who helps their team win? That's what I'm interested in.

I'm not fond of player comparisons, either. Player analogies are inexact, and they too often lead to arcane arguments that are at best, tangential, at worst, too far off topic.

That's why I put caveats on my PR analysis, noting that I was being intentionally arbitrary. I wasn't trying to say so and so was "better", merely trying to get some history to help frame some expectations, and to try to help me understand or improve my opinions of drafts and draft picks.

Unclebuck
01-08-2009, 03:36 PM
"stats mean nothing" is hyperbole. But one of my pet peeves is that fans (no one here) who never watch the actual games, just look at the box scores and stats and think they have a good idea as to what is going on.

Count55, if you watch most of the games and use stats to backup your points/theroies - nothing wrong with that - that is what I try to do. I'll think of a point I'll want to make during a game, then I'll use some stats to confirm my point and present it here in this forum.

ChicagoJ - I am in complete agreement with you on this issue

Naptown_Seth
01-08-2009, 05:24 PM
But there is no causal relationship between any individual player stat or metric and winning/losing.

If you care about who puts up the best stats for a fantasy league, that's fine.

The statistics are the outcome of playing the game. Yeah, you can sometimes tell that a player did some things well or poorly, but you still can't make a connection to winning and losing without introducing the W/L variables into the stat (thus, a causality problem.)
What I'm getting at though is that "stats" are simply a recorded measure of some events that did in fact occur.

The problem isn't any stat, per se, it's always the application and the quality of effort to introduce circumstances to the measure. Two cars may go the same speed, brake as quickly and so on and you can't deny those facts. But that doesn't mean you can't still like one over the other.

I find that stats and the complaints about them do more to DEFINE HOW YOU FORM YOUR OPINION. For example, if I say "best guy is guy who scores the most points" then you counter perhaps with "what about rebounds". What has happened is that we are realizing that there is more to it than just points.

So when you take it much further and continue this back and forth of stat development and then critique, what you are really doing is defining what it takes to win games. You are improving the quality of your opinion and getting a deeper understanding of the sport.


And as we all know there is a tough problem with being unable to easily measure some aspects of the sport. For example, I've toyed with the idea of "scoring" a game myself, where I assign points for positive or negative plays by players. I would take each possession and give a point or two if you helped your team score or ended the other team's possession.

Of course the problem right off is defining what is a good play and how much more valuable one type of play is over another. But technically if you resolved those issues then your final stat result would be "correct" and have a lot of value.


Ultimately we already have one team stat that is pretty good at this, and that's "score". Of course we all know that some teams are better than their record or better on a given night than the final score would indicate, we've all said those things or heard them said.

Score only wins because it is defined as the final goal statistic. If it was "team with most rebounds wins" then it would be a different game, but still one you could technically play.



"stats mean nothing" is hyperbole. But one of my pet peeves is that fans (no one here) who never watch the actual games, just look at the box scores and stats and think they have a good idea as to what is going on.I totally agree with this. I defend stats for getting this bashing as if all those various opinions on who or what is best is somehow much more accurate.

Where the problem comes in is when someone will trot out a number as if that is the end-all, be-all. But it would be even worse if someone just gave their opinion and said that was the end-all, be-all. At least I can argue with a number and counter it with my own stats.

What's the counter for "I think he's the greatest"? "I think you are wrong". Boy, that's a thrilling debate. ;)



When I was younger, I used to like the A/TO ratio for PGs. Until I figured out that a PG could play 40+ minutes, have three assists to one turnover (thus, an outstanding ATO ratio) but ONLY HAVE THREE ASSISTS!!So it turns out Jay is on our side after all. He used one stat to prove that another stat is not the only stat of value. All stats are qualified. The Win-Loss record stat is qualified. You go 4-0 vs the four worst teams, is that better than going 2-2 vs the four best teams? Are you telling me that there is a flaw with the W-L stat which the entire sporting world is based on?

Naptown_Seth
01-08-2009, 05:28 PM
I'm not fond of player comparisons, either. Player analogies are inexact
Pippen = Granger called and said for you to shut it!
:p

ChicagoJ
01-08-2009, 06:33 PM
The Win-Loss record stat is qualified. You go 4-0 vs the four worst teams, is that better than going 2-2 vs the four best teams? Are you telling me that there is a flaw with the W-L stat which the entire sporting world is based on?

In football, yes. The schedules are not balanced among all teams.

Over any particular four game stretch of the season, sure.

Over 82 games, it all washes out.