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Thread: can someone explain the whole plus and minus stat?

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    Default can someone explain the whole plus and minus stat?

    i see it mentioned on pacers.com, but not many of the other teams seem to track it. is there a site that collects this for all teams, or is it a unique stat that only the pacers keep?

  2. #2

    Default Re: can someone explain the whole plus and minus stat?

    anyone? basically, a good source for all team's stat in this area, and maybe more of an explanation about what it actually says about a player?

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    Default Re: can someone explain the whole plus and minus stat?

    26, maybe no one really knows the answer, but here is an earlier thread discussing plus and minus stats. Oh, by the way welcome to PD.

    http://www.pacersdigest.com/showthre...ighlight=minus
    You know how hippos are made out to be sweet and silly, like big cows, but are actually extremely dangerous and can kill you with stunning brutality? The Pacers are the NBA's hippos....Matt Moore CBS Sports....

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    Default Re: can someone explain the whole plus and minus stat?

    26, the +/- is a stat used mostly by hockey clubs to determine player effectiveness on the ice. It translates to the NBA well too, just not football or baseball.

    It take the score when a player goes into the game and compares it to the score when said player leaves. for example: Score is 0-0 (Tip off) and the P's jump out to a 6-2 lead. JO comes out, so he gets a +4 for that stretch. Ike goes in for JO, and the team falls down to 8-12, thus Ike gets a -4. JO goes back in, score ends up 22-16, so JO's becomes +10.

    It's a good stat to see team play, but it can be misleading. Garbage timers may be made to look horrid, or bloody amazing. Also, stars on poor teams also look bad, as they are often losing throughout the game, then sit in garbage time when thee lead is slightly reduced. Runs by bench players, which are not uncommon, also skew the stats for all the starters, making them look bad.

    So, basically, like everything else, take it with a grain of salt. Hope that helps.

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    NaptownSeth is all feel Naptown_Seth's Avatar
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    Default Re: can someone explain the whole plus and minus stat?

    What Zoso said, and a lot of that was debated in more detail in the linked thread as well if you want to dig into it further. For now I'll add one simple thing, some people put the pending FTs on the player that was in when the foul happened, others just go straight by what the score literally was when a player came in/left, even if he had nothing to do with the FTs that are about to be made when he enters.


    Anyway, while +/- is up for discussion again, there have been a lot of games since the trade and the +/- is pretty rough on the results of the deal.

    Per48

    Jack 1.6
    Al -1.7
    Dun -3.2
    Troy -4.6

    And this with the huge +/- bump from the Atlanta game factored in. Troy and Dun are into the Tinsley/Granger range of TOTAL negative +/- despite being here for half the number of minutes.

    As problematic as Saras could be, he did leave with a 1.6 and +22 overall. Neither Diogu nor McLeod have had that success yet (but also aren't getting the minutes).

    Diogu has had more success than Powell, but Josh hardly played. Ike has 296 minutes already while Josh only got 64 in his time in Indy. To me the jury was still out on what Josh could do (and he's done fairly well in GS).

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    Default Re: can someone explain the whole plus and minus stat?

    Thanks for the other thread. It had a link to the nba.com area for league wide stats. I'm surprised at how the results stack up for the Pacers. Some players on the bottom I expected, others I didn't think would be so low.

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    Default Re: can someone explain the whole plus and minus stat?

    Quote Originally Posted by dfcx26 View Post
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    Thanks for the other thread. It had a link to the nba.com area for league wide stats. I'm surprised at how the results stack up for the Pacers. Some players on the bottom I expected, others I didn't think would be so low.
    Check out www.82games.com for plus/minus and many other related stat analyses.

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    NaptownSeth is all feel Naptown_Seth's Avatar
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    Default Re: can someone explain the whole plus and minus stat?

    Quote Originally Posted by dfcx26 View Post
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    Thanks for the other thread. It had a link to the nba.com area for league wide stats. I'm surprised at how the results stack up for the Pacers. Some players on the bottom I expected, others I didn't think would be so low.
    And as said in the other thread, the better version of +/-, at least for comparing players on different teams, is the DIFFERENTIAL rather than just the +/-. That stat is simply the regular +/- (how the team did when you were on the court) minus the +/- without you on the court.

    JO starts 0-0
    JO leaves 6-8 (JO gets -2)
    JO returns 8-20 (without JO gets a -10)

    So his differential in that case is +8 (-2 -(-10)) or -2 + 10. That implies (roughly) that JO is more valuable to his team than a player that has a differential of +6 for another team, even if its the team playing and beating the Pacers at the time.


    Again, the issue remains all the other factors - your teammates, your opponents, the situation (blow-out vs close) and so on.

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    Default Re: can someone explain the whole plus and minus stat?

    I don't care if +/- makes the GS trade look like the biggest steal in Pacers history, I think it's a useless, misleading stat. Four other players can drag you down or lift you up without you doing jack. Or, as is more likely the case, whatever good or bad you have done is skewed by what everyone else is doing. It's worthless number-crunching IMHO.

    5-man +/- interests me more, but even then it depends on what the other team is doing as well to make the number. If Ron Artest is guarding Tracy McGrady, but Tracy hits 60% of his shots, then that stat will tell you a lineup with Ron in it has poor production (or at least that night). It probably had a lot more to do with Tracy being on fire than Ron Artest screwing up (though he was probably doing 100 other things that don't show up in the stats, but that's another thread).

    I suppose it's not totally meaningless (thought it feels that way to me), but I wouldn't put much if any stock in it.

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    NaptownSeth is all feel Naptown_Seth's Avatar
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    Default Re: can someone explain the whole plus and minus stat?

    It probably had a lot more to do with Tracy being on fire than Ron Artest screwing up
    Maybe on one night, but ultimately who is responsible for what the other team is able to do on a regular basis besides yourself? What you have done is assume that over and over Ron is getting torched by a "hot" TMac. But if that continues to happen then isn't the lesson that Ron just isn't very good at stopping Tracy?

    On the other hand, if Ron is a great defender (or impacts the game in a positive way overall) then TMac might have a few great games but will ultimately not have a lot of success.

    What else does it mean to be a great defender than to have a majority of your outings resulting in players struggling to score against you. I mean in the end you have to show results that match what you are supposed to be. Otherwise you just aren't doing that job actually.

    That's why the +/- is a pretty interesting stat over a range of games.


    After all, you could use the same argument about ANY stat, including the final score. The Pacers weren't bad over their losing streak, they just kept running into teams playing really well that night. Those scores were "misleading".

    We both know that is less likely than that the Pacers just weren't playing very well. EVERY stat, including scores and W-L records must be qualified and put in context. But that doesn't make them worthless (or of very little value).


    It's true that +/- is always tied to the players around you, but so are all your stats. Just ask any PG that has watched a guy blow a layup and cost him an assist, or a PF that is constantly asked to defend the rim and must go out of defensive rebound position in order to do this.


    Baseball is the biggest stat sport, yet those stats are almost all very situational. Your batting average comes from attempts against all sorts of different pitchers and even pitches. It's the process of compiling the results that gives you the stat.

    And here's what makes the process look valid - players tend to track fairly well from one season to the next statistically. There is variation, but you didn't see Reggie typically go from 40% from 3 to 30% from 3 and then back to 40% in 3 straight seasons.

    FT attempts, assists, all stats tend to stay similar for each player from year to year, despite being compiled from a wildly varying set of situations. This is one reason that the steriod situation started to grab attention in MLB, seeing huge jumps in power numbers. Those were abnormal jumps in most cases.

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    Member Zoso71's Avatar
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    Default Re: can someone explain the whole plus and minus stat?

    I hardly ever look at the plus minus during the season, because it is pretty misleading in the short term. At the end of the year, however, it can be a very valuable tool in evaluating team play.

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    Default Re: can someone explain the whole plus and minus stat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zoso71 View Post
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    I hardly ever look at the plus minus during the season, because it is pretty misleading in the short term. At the end of the year, however, it can be a very valuable tool in evaluating team play.
    I think even over a span of 20 games you get a good read. JO and DA have been at the top almost all year. Granger and Tinsley have struggled most of the year. Al and Jack were blah, but not bad. Dun and Troy have shot right toward the bottom of the list in a hurry, and to no surprise the team has gone in a losing slump at the same time.

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