View Full Version : plus minus

02-01-2004, 02:20 PM
how reliable is the plus minus stat?

my interest was piqued because i saw that harrington had a team low rating of -13 in the boston game, despite scoring 27 points. and it's not just because he was in the game longer; artest played more minutes, and he had a rating of +3.

in fact, harrington has pretty much consistently scored low in plus minus throughout the season. the guys who have the best ratings are in fact the starters, all 5 of them. does it have something to do with them playing together all the time?

i've seen the term 5-player plus minus on the board sometimes. what is it, how do you calculate it, and is it more accurate than the team plus minus?

02-01-2004, 02:33 PM
Plus minus is heavily dependent upon who certain players generally play with.

Al is often on the court with the bench and so his plus/minus is going to be lower than the starters who are on the floor together.

It is a stat that I will on rare occassions glance at, but I don't put much stock in the stat.

I judge players by watching the game, and AL is the 3rd most valuable player on the Pacers team, I don't care what his plus/minus might indicate.

02-01-2004, 03:05 PM
I think individual +/- stats are meaningless, worthless wastes of time.

HOWEVER, I do feel that 5-man +/- can be telling, as that tells you how the TEAM performs.

02-01-2004, 03:13 PM
The only statistic that matters is the # of wins versus the # of losses.

02-02-2004, 11:09 AM
I think individual +/- stats are meaningless, worthless wastes of time.

HOWEVER, I do feel that 5-man +/- can be telling, as that tells you how the TEAM performs.

so what is 5 man +/-? care to enlighten me? and how is it calculated?

02-02-2004, 12:09 PM
Team plus/ minus is similar to Bruno's plus-minus, but it addresses UB's point that plus/ minus is a team, not an individual stat. It is essentially all the detailed W's and L's that eventually add up to final score.

What I've done is break down the play-by-play sheet by five man rotations, and calculate those plus/ minuses. In other words, Rick's first substitution is usually Al at the five-minute mark. So I'll take the plus minus of JT, RM, RA, JF and JO. Then I'll take the plus minus of JT, RA, AL, JF and JO, etc. The results can be wildly different from Bruno's results individual results - especially for a guy like Kenny Anderson. When he was starting, he was both at the top of the plusses and at the bottom of the minuses, depending on who he was playing with. In other words, Kenny's play didn't consistenly impact whether we were winning or not.

Also, it was very obvious early in the season both from watching the games and looking at the five man plus/ minus that our "preseason starting lineup" of KA, RM, RA, JO and SP was an awful combination of players. Those that remember my posts will remember that particular lineup was very deep into the minuses and Rick quickly sent Pollard to the bench.

I'm way, way, way, way behind on season-to-date results, and obviously my previous posts were lost in the "fire." I'll run some stats for the games this week and get them posted, and you can decide if you think they're more meaningful than Bruno's or not (obviously I do or I wouldn't take the time to right a MS Access program to help me track them.) But I'm so far behind now that season-to-date just isn't going to happen guys, sorry. :(

02-03-2004, 10:18 AM
well thanks for the info. sounds like a lot of work :D

i just want a way to quantify those things that the usual stats don't show. a player like foster, for instance, whose contributions don't seem to show very well. i guess for basketball experts, they can tell who is effective or not just by looking at the games. but my own knowledge is quite sparse really, so quantitative tools are a great help.

carlisle is said to be big on stats too, i wonder which measures he uses most? but then he probably has a lot more numbers available than what a casual fan can get his hands on...