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View Full Version : A look statistically at the Pacers 2011-12 season



mattie
08-05-2012, 04:34 AM
Using 82games I wanted to post just a few statistics of the Pacers season just for fun and also to hopefully destroy a few common myths on this board.

According to 82games, George Hill was the best defender on the team.

His opponent PER was 12.2 on the season.

Of course to completely understand statistics we have to at least try to understand why the numbers show what they show. I think a big reason Hill had the best defensive numbers is not only is he a good defender of course, but the majority of the season he was playing with the second unit and had to defend lesser talent. I think that has a lot to do with it. It is worth noting though, that he does play good defense. I think he got a lot of criticism because he happend to have trouble with Jameer in the playoffs because it wasn't the best matchup for Hill, but he played well all season.

Who came in second? Danny Granger. Danny's opponent PER was 12.4 on the season.

Danny opponent PER was slightly higher (not as good) than Luol Deng's Opponent PER. I'm noting Deng because a lot of people love to rave about his defense, which is not entirely misplaced, but it can give us perspective. Danny Granger is a good defender folks. He had the best defense out of all the starters this past season. And yes that includes Paul George. One more comparison is Kobe Bryant who gave up an opponent PER of 12.4 as well this season.

I think we all know that Paul George will be a great defender. He is not one now however. He can't go through screens* and has given up some huge points to guys like JJ Reddick this season. That is not a mark of a great defender. We like to rave about Paul's defense because he can play excellent on the ball defense but he lacks two important ingredients that make a great defender: strength and the ability to get through screens.



The rest of the starters' opponent PER during the season:

Hibbert: 15.0
West: 15.2
George: 14.2

According to simple rating (via 82games) in descending order the best players on the Pacers were as follows:

Danny Granger: 7.5
Roy Hibbert: 5.1
Paul George 4.3
David West 3.9
George Hill 2.3

Here is 82 games explanation of simple rating:


The main components of the 'Simple Ratings' are a production measure (a variant of John Hollinger's PER rating) for a player's own stats versus the counterpart player on the other team while he is on the court, as well as a simple on court/off court plus minus.

Simple rating cannot be used as a concrete rating system but I think it does give us a pretty good idea on who was the most effective during the season. I think this gives us a pretty good idea on who was the best player on the Pacers and where the rest of the starters fall in line. Though this shouldn't be a surprise, I must emphasize that despite what some on this board say, Danny Granger is the best player on this team. He is the best scorer and defender among the starters.

For fun, here is a random list of players that had a lower simple rating than Danny Granger this season:

Paul Pierce
M. Gasol
Josh Smith
Harden
Aldridge
Westbrook
'Melo


* Paul is NOT having trouble getting through screens because he's playing the two. Guess who sets screens for teams? Big men. Doesn't matter if he's defending the two or three, the same guy is setting a screen! Paul is having trouble getting through screens because he sucks at getting through screens not because he's defending OJ Mayo instead of Rudy Gay!

I'm going to add more stats to this and complete this post tomorrow but halfway through I remembered I haven't slept in a long time and I'm about to pass out. I can't hardly function. I'm certain there are many spelling and grammatical errors. I'll fix them. Just let me allow my brain to recuperate.

kidthecat
08-05-2012, 05:09 AM
Very interesting.

This adds some more credence to my own observations. Danny, although some seem unwilling to believe it, is a pretty good defender. He may not portray effort all the time, but it's definitely there, if that makes sense. And now that DC is gone, I'm sure Danny and the rest will not have to help on defense so much.

Also, about PG, he definitely needs to figure out how to get through screens better. It's the only explanation how he looks amazing on guys like Kobe but gets destroyed by off-ball guys like Reddick.

Richard_Skull
08-05-2012, 09:46 AM
Cool post, enjoy ones like this.

One could argue that Danny's defense numbers were better the PG's because PG took on the better offensive player.

BobbyMac
08-05-2012, 09:58 AM
I enjoy threads like this very much.

TinManJoshua
08-05-2012, 11:52 AM
Danny can't shut down Lebron so he's a terrible defender and I'm going to have to assume that 82games is a site full of hacks and number-distorters.

PacersHomer
08-05-2012, 12:15 PM
If you look at Hill's stats on mysynergysports.com, his offensive stats are pretty great. 53rd in points per possession, 11th in PPP as the pick & roll ball handler, and 66th in PPP in transition.

yoadknux
08-05-2012, 12:25 PM
Granger is an above average defender, when he's willing to defend. And he was pretty willing last season. He had to, he lost his offensive touch.

I would not look into that simple rating too much. Ryan Anderson has like +10, which puts him at the top 10 list in the league.

The really interesting stat is actually from the 'clutch' department, where Granger was ranked 6th in the league last season during ''4th quarter or overtime, less than 5 minutes left, neither team ahead by more than 5 points''.

http://www.82games.com/1112/CSORT11.HTM

Ace E.Anderson
08-05-2012, 12:29 PM
I've always argued that Danny is a good defender, he just lacks focus off the ball from time to time. On the ball however, he rarely gets blown by, and he picks up a decent amount of blocks for a SF that isn't particularly über athletic. Of course others will debate it, but DG can play good D as long as he remains focused.

Good post here, some interesting numbers for sure

joew8302
08-05-2012, 12:49 PM
I am waiting for vnzla81 and olblu to get on here and tell us how dumb these numbers are and how anyone who likes Granger is overrating him.

mattie
08-05-2012, 01:56 PM
I am waiting for vnzla81 and olblu to get on here and tell us how dumb these numbers are and how anyone who likes Granger is overrating him.

I have olblu on my ignore list so I don't think he can see this thread.

Eleazar
08-05-2012, 01:57 PM
I don't think there was ever really any serious doubt that Granger is the best player on the team, from anyone who is rational. I believe the debate is about who is more important to the team between Granger and Hibbert.

I was looking through the stats back near the end of the season, and there are a lot of stats there that fly in the face of common perception on this board.

xIndyFan
08-05-2012, 02:47 PM
I have olblu on my ignore list so I don't think he can see this thread.

IIRC, the ignore button only keeps you from seeing him. not the other way around.

CJ Jones
08-05-2012, 05:39 PM
Nice work MAttie, but simple rating seems like a terrible way to judge a player. Hollinger's PER is bad enough as it rewards inefficient chuckers like Danny while hardly taking into account a players defense, evident by Hollinger ranking Rajon Rondo 21st among PGs right behind great players like Jerryd Bayless, Sessions, Jarret Jack, Dragic and one spot ahead of Jordan Farmar :laugh:. Add that to on/off court, which is one of the most useless stats in the game IMO, (there's sooo many holes in that stat if you're using it to rank players) and you get an interesting yet nearly worthless statistic called simple rating.

I do like the clutch stat Yoadknux brought up, though. Now that's impressive.

edit: also, Danny is not our best defender. No advanced stat you can dig up can make me believe he's better than Paul. People that matter (coaches) obviously agree or they wouldn't have voted for Paul to be on the all defensive team over Danny. Our very own coach claims Paul's one of the top 5 most versatile defenders in the league, yet mattie wants us to believe Danny's our best defender? I don't think so

Derek2k3
08-05-2012, 09:58 PM
Nice work MAttie, but simple rating seems like a terrible way to judge a player. Hollinger's PER is bad enough as it rewards inefficient chuckers like Danny while hardly taking into account a players defense, evident by Hollinger ranking Rajon Rondo 21st among PGs right behind great players like Jerryd Bayless, Sessions, Jarret Jack, Dragic and one spot ahead of Jordan Farmar :laugh:. Add that to on/off court, which is one of the most useless stats in the game IMO, (there's sooo many holes in that stat if you're using it to rank players) and you get an interesting yet nearly worthless statistic called simple rating.

I do like the clutch stat Yoadknux brought up, though. Now that's impressive.

edit: also, Danny is not our best defender. No advanced stat you can dig up can make me believe he's better than Paul. People that matter (coaches) obviously agree or they wouldn't have voted for Paul to be on the all defensive team over Danny. Our very own coach claims Paul's one of the top 5 most versatile defenders in the league, yet mattie wants us to believe Danny's our best defender? I don't think so

Paul may be versatile, but in no way is he our best defender. The guy gets lost all the time, gives up wide open shots, leaves his feet, and cannot get through screens.

I attribute that to inexperience. However, anyone who watched the Orlando series saw how much Paul regressed. Really struggled.

Please don't take this as me trying to blindly bash PG, I love the guy/think he's going to do great things. I just think his defensive abilities are overstated due to his length/quickness giving him the ability to get some great steals. I expect him to have a huge year defensively in 12-13.

CJ Jones
08-05-2012, 11:11 PM
Paul may be versatile, but in no way is he our best defender The guy gets lost all the time, gives up wide open shots, leaves his feet, and cannot get through screens.

I attribute that to inexperience. However, anyone who watched the Orlando series saw how much Paul regressed. Really struggled.

Please don't take this as me trying to blindly bash PG, I love the guy/think he's going to do great things. I just think his defensive abilities are overstated due to his length/quickness giving him the ability to get some great steals. I expect him to have a huge year defensively in 12-13.

I'm sorry... I just can't figure how this is even debateable? If Danny's better, can you explain to me why 2 opposing coaches voted Paul George for the all defensive team while none voted for Danny? I think their votes have more clout than Hollinger's defensive PER or any poster's opinion here on PD.

Danny's really good, but he's not better nor did he have a better season last year than Paul did defensively. I'd put Danny 3rd or 4th on my list.

Roy's still probably the most important player on the defense. Hopefully he continues to improve... he's already pretty damn good.

cgg
08-05-2012, 11:17 PM
I'm sorry... I just can't figure how this is even debateable? If Danny's better, can you explain to me why 2 opposing coaches voted Paul George for the all defensive team while none voted for Danny? I think their votes have more clout than Hollinger's defensive PER or any poster's opinion here on PD.

Danny's really good, but he's not better nor did he have a better season last year than Paul did defensively. I'd put Danny 3rd or 4th on my list.

Roy's still probably the most important player on the defense. Hopefully he continues to improve... he's already pretty damn good.

Well it is by position, so they weren't exactly completing against each other or against the same people.

mattie
08-06-2012, 02:43 AM
You've been quoted a few times in this thread CJ so I feel like I should save you some time.

I at least for the moment put you on ignore. No ill will is intended, I have just come to the conclusion that you and I discussing basketball is an entire waste of time. You do not respond to reason or facts (on the particular topic at hand). You've come to the conclusion that Paul George is great defensively, that he absolutely cannot play the other wing position and that Danny Granger cannot play defense. You've made up your mind. No amount of evidence can change what you believe. There is mounting evidence from every advanced statistic site on the web that refutes your beliefs. I'm not going to gather information from every site, and write a long, careful post refuting everything you believe. It will change absolutely nothing. Sure, our collective audience will learn something, but our endless argument will only exasperate me. I have better things to do with my time.

If Paul came out this season starting at two and then put out averages of 30 and 10, you'd still say he can't play two. If every guard in the league scored 40 a game against him you'd still say he's a great defender. If half way through the season he had to take over the SF position because of a Granger injury and responded with a pedestrian 13 points per game on 37% shooting, you'd still argue that was his best position. What's the point?

I'm not suggesting you're dumb. Or you're not a good person. You probably are. Most likely you're a better person than me. I'm a ****ing *******. It has become increasingly clear however, that for unknown reasons you see Paul George a certain way, and you see Granger a certain way. Whatever it is that influences your opinion has skewed your perception of any and all statistics that should enlighten us upon the matter.

In a month or so I'm sure neither of us will find this particular topic interesting enough to discuss. I'll then take you off ignore and I'm sure we can comment on any other topic. I may even learn something from you. Who knows. Anywho, at this time this guy has decided to no longer argue over the same topic over and over with you.

:)

Edit - By the way this isn't one of those "oh haha you responded to me anyways, you can't help but respond!" moments. I wanted to let you know so you didn't continue to initiate responses from me when I have no intentions of the sort. I think you're probably a pretty decent fellow so you deserve the common courtesy. The only other guy I put on ignore was olblu and until now I never informed him. I didn't because he's a troll and never deserved any sort of mutual respect from me.

CJ Jones
08-06-2012, 09:46 AM
I'm a ****ing *******.

I agree.


Well it is by position, so they weren't exactly completing against each other or against the same people.

Good point. That's why it's silly for mattie to just look at opponents PER and declare Danny the teams best defender because of it. It's just a tool to use when evaluating a player, not the spoken word like he leads us to believe. EVen Hollinger admits PER is an unreliable way to gage a players defense, yet he uses that flawed stat to try and prove his point. For a guy who loves to use advanced statistics, he sure does have a hard time understanding them.

Damn good writer though...

Ace E.Anderson
08-06-2012, 10:08 AM
I think it's pretty easy to just LOOK at the games and determine Danny and Paul have varying strengths and weaknesses when it comes to defense. Paul is better being on the ball against smaller, quicker, guards because he can utilize his length advantage while being able to match them in the speed department. He struggles mightily getting through screens, and guarding players off the ball; which is kind of weird because he is able to get so many steals and deflections as well.

Danny is a better defender against more natural 3's and a lot of 4's. I've just never understood the notion that DG is an awful defender. He's pretty strong and at times even physical. He doesn't allow a player to get good post position. Danny's problems on the ball lie when he's facing an advanced ball-handler. Danny will gamble for a steal which compromises his position and allows a player to get a good shot off. Also, it depends on how the refs are calling the game. If they're "letting them play" then Danny can take advantage of his strength, and hide his lack of quickness against wings. But if they're calling the game close, it's a much different ball game.

Paul is getting more recognition for being a better defender because it's impressive for such a young player to be so dedicated defensively. It's not often that a team places a 21 yr old wing on the opposing teams best player. Danny has a lot more responsibility offensively, so it'd be crazy to ask him to guard the other team's best perimeter player. (which often times he wouldn't be able to do anyways)

IDK if Danny is our best defender or if its PG right now, it honestly depends on the match-up.

Once Paul learns to get through screens and he gains more experience, he'll be far and away the best defender on the team, and one of the best in the league. Not many players at his size, have the speed, quickness and length he possesses.

Edit: I watched a few games from the Heat series, (namely games 2,3,4) Paul played pretty good defense on Wade, but played even better D against Lebron--albeit in short stretches. (Remember that block George had on Lebron from behind?! Lol Bron isn't used to that happening to him :laugh:)

Pacer Fan
08-06-2012, 10:31 AM
I don't care who is better between Danny and Paul by a defensive statistical point. They both bring different abilities at a high level and together they make one of the best wing duos in the league.

pacergod2
08-06-2012, 10:44 AM
Nice post Anderson...

Danny is definitely the more efficient, stronger defender, who makes few mistakes. PG is much quicker, has better quick-twitch hops, and is better laterally. They are exactly what they are. Danny has been around the block and doesn't make many dumb mistakes. For every great play PG makes, he makes a mental mistake. That comes with youth. So does the athleticism.

We are lucky to have two very good defenders on the wings. I think adding Gerald Green will help our wing defense. He seems to be way more mature than when he got in the league, and that bodes well on the defensive end of the ball. Especially with his athleticism and length. Our team has tremendous length across all postitions, and that sets us up well to defend at a high level. That is the way our team was constructed. I think we will see a much better David West. He looked a step slow at the beginning of last year, which was to be expected. I think he looked more fluid on both sides of the ball by the end of the year. I think West will improve tremendously for us defensively. Ian is a fantastic defender and is long. He is a great complimentary player for both Hibbert and West. I love having a great defensive team. It should be what we hang our hat on. That and efficient offense. When you look at it, our team needs to strive to play mistake free basketball on both sides of the court. To be honest, I could care less who is the best defender on our team, it is more about how we mesh defensively as a unit. How do our skill sets match-up with other teams' strengths. I think having Danny and PG on the wings is tremendous, because it gives us flexibility to cover so many other teams' strengths. They seem to be better together tahn individually, and we will see that more and more as PG matures his game.

Like Homey the Clown said, "Can't we all just get along?".

CJ Jones
08-06-2012, 08:42 PM
Like Homey the Clown said, "Can't we all just get along?"

I've got nothing against mattie, he's just been a condescending prick towards me since I joined the site so I like to dish it back occasionally. It's funny how he always ends our conversations by lying, putting words in my mouth, and then spewing hyperbole... but he never actually disproves what I have to say.

If I'm way off base here, and mattie's stats truly are a rock solid way to judge a players performance, then by all means feel free to correct me. I admit I'm fairly new to advanced stats.

I shouldn't say on/off court is worthless. It does help show that a player's important to the team, but it doesn't prove anything other than that. There's many variables that come into play that skew the stat. For instance... how the coach subs players (5 in 5 out like vogel or staggered like the Heat), bench strength, and minutes played all factor in.

I don't mind PER so much even though it's mainly an offensive stat, and it rewards inefficient high volume shooters like Danny, but when you combine these two to get simple rating. I fail to see much value in that. If I'm wrong, though, I'd be happy to be put in place by one of you advanced stat gurus out there.