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Putnam
02-12-2010, 09:20 AM
This was in Mike Wells' article yesterday:

Second-year guard Brandon Rush has been inconsistent, but has shown potential. He's averaging 8.7 points and 4.1 rebounds. Hopes were high after he averaged 18.3 points and shot 55 percent from the field in the final 10 games last season.

This is from a few days ago:

Coach Jim O'Brien can't talk about the second-year swingman without looking flustered or throwing up his arms in annoyance.

What does "inconsistent" mean? I'm asking this because, when you look at the numbers, Rush is no more inconsistent than the rest of the team. This chart shows, for each player, their season high in scoring, their low (which is zero for everybody but Granger and Price) and their average. I included only games in which the player played five minutes or more.


http://i971.photobucket.com/albums/ae193/Putnam7777/image001-2.gif



This shows that every player is inconsistent. Most people are deceived by the average into thinking that the player will consistently score that number. But it ain't necessarily so.

This next chart shows the standard deviation for scoring for each player. (Standard Deviation is the range below and above the average into which about 2/3rd of all the player's games fall.) A larger number means less consistency.


http://i971.photobucket.com/albums/ae193/Putnam7777/image002-2.gif


Rush's standard deviation for scoring is in the middle. And it is worth noting that some of the players with the least deviation are those who haven't played much or who never score much at all.



OK, so what does Wells mean by repeatedly saying Rush is "inconsistent"? My numbers show that he isn't notably inconsistent in scoring. His defense is pretty good. If he is inconsistent in defense, it is because he wavers between very good and merely good. That's not worth fussing about on a team that is not consistently good overall at defending.

Wells has not said Rush has made an "inconsistent effort" or that he has played "an inconsistent role" on the team. He does say that Rush is unemotional, but unemotional does not mean inconsistent.

What does all this talk mean?




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Unclebuck
02-12-2010, 09:37 AM
I take it to mean simply - that he is inconsistantly aggressive in his play.

sportfireman
02-12-2010, 10:02 AM
http://www.pacersdigest.com/showthread.php?t=50775&highlight=rush

Anthem
02-12-2010, 10:04 AM
I take it to mean simply - that he is inconsistantly aggressive in his offense.
Fixed.

Ozwalt72
02-12-2010, 10:25 AM
It's interesting because, from what I've seen, when he gets the ball early in the shot clock he is much more aggressive. That's one big change I think Ive noticed since he has been playing better. He touches the ball early and looks to do something with it.

PacerGuy
02-12-2010, 10:43 AM
Rush is inconsistent?
consistently so....


I think it is better to see Rush as "Steady" in his production, but "Inconsistent" in his aggression & growth. Rush's problem is he is vanilla on a "flavorless" team. People want "Banana Fosters, Moose Tracks, & White Chocolate Raspberry", but what they do not realize is that every team, every ice cream needs is a solid base & foundation of vanilla.
Don't get me wrong, I like flavors too, & in time I think Rush will add swirls, but I always want, & we will always need our "steady" vanilla

Putnam
02-12-2010, 10:49 AM
sportfireman, I know there was a previous thread on this. But that thread wandered about quite a bit and most posts assumed the OP was true and went into explaining it.

My figures show that Rush's output isn't particularly inconsistent when measured as points. (I also looked at a couple of other measures and got the same kind of middling result. His standard deviations are not remarkably large in any category.

The topic here is whether Wells' statement is even true in any sense at all. Trophy disputed it in the earlier thread:


No one on this team is being consistent. He's probably been our best consistent scorer than anyone else.



Wells has certainly failed to make clear what he means by consistent. In fact, he almost contradicts with himself by calling Rush unemotional.


So I'm asking opinions about what the phrase means -- if anything -- when applied to Rush.



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JayRedd
02-12-2010, 11:04 AM
I take it to mean simply - that he is inconsistantly aggressive in his play.

This.

Sometimes he catches and tries to do something with the ball. Other times he makes swing passes or catches-and-shoots open jumpers all game.

I bet his "dribbles taken in a game" stat varies a ton from night to night (and week to week).

As nice as it is that he's actually making open jump shoots since December ended, it's not like his increased scoring average has come from him being aggressive and getting into the paint off the bounce a lot more. (At least not a lot more every night.) His 10.3 ppg in January vs his 8.4 ppg in November can largely be attributed to his going from 1.3 made threes per game to 1.8 made threes per game.

That's the extra 1.5 ppg anyway.

Maybe he is getting the extra 0.4 ppg by creating his own shot ... and in fact that would make sense with what I'm seeing qualitatively -- just about one nice drive to the hoop and 2-point finish every 4 games.

Just by hitting open jumpers and playing decent D, he's worthy of being out there on the floor, so I'm not trying to say anything really negative about his play since the calendar flipped to 2010 ... just saying that he's not a doing a ton differently than before aside from making shots that he was inexplicably missing in November and December. He hasn't had some sort of offensive epiphany about finding new ways to score.

EDIT: Also, just look at his FGA per game. That shows you a lot about his inconsistent aggressiveness.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/players/4475/gamelog;_ylt=Ai5Icf5gPAMArLtJoZ_iTZ3YPaB4

count55
02-12-2010, 11:32 AM
This.

Sometimes he catches and tries to do something with the ball. Other times he makes swing passes or catches-and-shoots open jumpers all game.

I bet his "dribbles taken in a game" stat varies a ton from night to night (and week to week).

As nice as it is that he's actually making open jump shoots since December ended, it's not like his increased scoring average has come from him being aggressive and getting into the paint off the bounce a lot more. (At least not a lot more every night.) His 10.3 ppg in January vs his 8.4 ppg in November can largely be attributed to his going from 1.3 made threes per game to 1.8 made threes per game.

That's the extra 1.5 ppg anyway.

Maybe he is getting the extra 0.4 ppg by creating his own shot ... and in fact that would make sense with what I'm seeing qualitatively -- just about one nice drive to the hoop and 2-point finish every 4 games.

Just by hitting open jumpers and playing decent D, he's worthy of being out there on the floor, so I'm not trying to say anything really negative about his play since the calendar flipped to 2010 ... just saying that he's not a doing a ton differently than before aside from making shots that he was inexplicably missing in November and December. He hasn't had some sort of offensive epiphany about finding new ways to score.

EDIT: Also, just look at his FGA per game. That shows you a lot about his inconsistent aggressiveness.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/players/4475/gamelog;_ylt=Ai5Icf5gPAMArLtJoZ_iTZ3YPaB4

Also, the article was spurred by the way Rush had played recently. Through January 13th, Rush had averaged 7.4 pts with a standard deviation of 4.7, basically having about 2/3's of his games being within +/- 64% of his average.

Since then, he's kept the stddev of 4.7, but increased his scoring to 12.3 pts, so the ratio drops to 38% of his average.

But, more to the point, I think it's a comment on the fact that nobody inside the organization - players, coaches, management, Brandon - can figure out what makes him tick.

Consider this from Tom Lewis:

http://www.indycornrows.com/2010/2/12/1307116/pacers-news


Morway mentioned the team's goal of having 7-8 solid assets in place and then being able to use the cap space available by 2011 to fill in other players they need. By solid he didn't mean, All-Star but guys who could play various roles, give the team depth. Mark Patrick asked how many of those 7-8 the team had right now and he quickly reeled off Danny Granger, Roy Hibbert, A.J. Price and Tyler Hansbrough talking about the young players needing to continue developing. He hedged a bit when discussing Brandon Rush, but eventually said they plan to keep him around. Not exactly a glowing endorsement. Morway also included Dahntay Jones, listing a bunch of little things he brings to the team, not all on the court. Dahntay will have two years left on his deal at that time.

I think Wells was trying to write a feel good piece about how Rush had played lately, but when he asked around about why, the answers probably ranged from "beats me" to "****, I don't know."

The idea that this is a response to a poor locker room/coaching situation would carry a lot more weight if this hadn't been a pretty regular complaint about Brandon when he was at Kansas.