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Thread: The Utah Metric: How valuable is player X?

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    The light, not the lie. kester99's Avatar
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    Default The Utah Metric: How valuable is player X?

    Lots of threads on this site focus on the value of JO or any given player to the Pacers. Maybe the stats below will shed some light.

    After the Jazz game, I was surfing the media, and came across an article explaining a tool the Jazz use to evaluate their players. We've all heard JOB talk about the plus/minus for the Pacers players. I've followed that +/- stat myself. It's main problem, to me, is that any player's +/- depends on who was on the floor with him while he was getting his minutes.

    The Utah Jazz use a formula devised by owner Larry Miller to evaluate NBA players' value. The advantage I see here is that to some extent it isolates a player's performance from his teammates'. But it's still a simple enough calculation, and gives some insight on player performance, either as a one-game snapshot, or used as a running average.

    How the Metric is determined: Add up points, rebounds, steals, blocks and assists. Subtract fouls, turnovers and shots taken (FGAs). Divide by minutes played.

    These are Danny Granger's numbers, for example, with a '1st ten games' number, and a column each for games 11 and 12..

    Granger1st 10gm 11gm 12
    Points1781722
    Assists1931
    Boards6069
    Blocks 1311
    Steals1000
    PosSubTot2802733
    Shots1411117
    T/Os2610
    Fouls4033
    NegSubTot2071520
    Minutes3432935
    Index.213.414.371



    Below is the grid for all Pacers players, all 12 games so far. A couple of guys' minutes are so limited that the numbers aren't much use statistically.

    SeasonPositiveNegativeSeason
    Points AssistsBoardsBlocksStealsS'TotShotsT/OFoulsS'TotDiffMins Index
    Granger21723751510340169274624298407.241Granger
    Dunleavy1903174293061551523193113396.285Dunleavy
    O'Neal1323171145253134313820350301.166O'Neal
    Tinsley1449744217304145323621391390.233Tinsley
    Murphy1051756231837792310974212.349Murphy
    Foster77161064921262534101111301.369Foster
    Williams8710303813866132410335188.186Williams
    Daniels72918491126512108725162.154Daniels
    Rush441010167147812674137.029Rush
    Diogu41313126028610441670.229Diogu
    Diener42188127147715692131.015Diener
    Harrison575271671123714439418161.112Harrison
    Owens1037022262 4121034.294Owens
    Graham401005210323.667Graham
    Sims011002002209.000Sims



    This shows a running average for each player. Note Granger's improvement through the last couple of games. Ditto Harrison and some others. I think this might be more interesting as we get further into the season.

    ThruGame 10Game 11Game 12
    Granger.213.228.241
    Dunleavy.288.281.285
    O'Neal.175.166.166
    Tinsley.217.216.233
    Murphy.336.339.349
    Foster.333.351.369
    Williams.143.203.186
    Daniels.174.160.154
    Rush.068.061.029
    Diogu.229.229.229
    Diener.049.015.015
    Harrison.033.072.112
    Owens.294.294.294
    Graham.667.667.667
    Sims-.125.000.000


    This may be a thread only numbers crunchers can love, but I thought there was some value here. And since I've never posted charts like these, I HOPE TO HECK the formatting doesn't all go to s*** . I previewed them, swear I did.
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    International Counter bellisimo's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Utah Metric: How valuable is player X?

    and what would be a realistic number for a good performance?

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    Default Re: The Utah Metric: How valuable is player X?

    I always wondered how the Jazz managed to get their entire team looking like one machine the way they do. I hope Larry Bird is paying attention to this thread.

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    Default Re: The Utah Metric: How valuable is player X?

    This a valuable tool. Thanks for bringing it to this board. By the way, I think it would also be interesting to add a salary component to the stat. Granger, for example, would look even better.

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    The light, not the lie. kester99's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Utah Metric: How valuable is player X?

    What is a good number?

    I did a calculation on a 'team metric'...basically taking total team positives, subtracting total team negs, and dividing by total minutes played by the players. Only have numbers for games 10 thru 12:

    game 10 -- Utah, W 117-97 -- team metric .329
    game 11 -- LA, L 134-114 -- team metric .250
    game 12 -- NOH, W 105-93 -- team metric .325

    I don't think there can be a fixed 'good' number. A low-scoring win could yield worse numbers than a high-scoring loss. It would depend on the other team's performance. The value of the metric would seem to be that it shows one player's strengths relative to the other players...they all played in the same game, so a .187 number for player X in that game when player Y has a .322 tells you something.

    The running average, all games, for the team metric is .224. That would be a good number to compare to the same number for all other teams (I'm not going there). And it should be an indicator of performance.over the course of the season.
    [~]) ... Cheers! Go Pacers!

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    Default Re: The Utah Metric: How valuable is player X?

    That is all well and good, and I don't intend to sound like I'm knocking it, but where in that formula does a player's importance DEFENSIVELY come into play?

    There is a lot more to defense than steals and blocks, you know.

    Seems to me that any "formula" that ignores defense is....well, offensive.

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    The light, not the lie. kester99's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Utah Metric: How valuable is player X?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom White View Post
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    That is all well and good, and I don't intend to sound like I'm knocking it, but where in that formula does a player's importance DEFENSIVELY come into play?

    There is a lot more to defense than steals and blocks, you know.

    Seems to me that any "formula" that ignores defense is....well, offensive.
    I unoffendedly agree. Evidence to the contrary, I am not a stat-hoor. You can never quantify the intangible. For instance, did the leader of the team display a bad attitude and negatively impact morale? Did Granger pick up all those extra fouls (vs Dunleavy) partly because he's tasked to guard the opponent's chief scoring threat (something JOB wouldn't ask Dunleavy to do)?

    It's all relative. It's a quick little down-and-dirty tool, and offer some improvement to the plus/minus. No one publishes deflection stats unfortunately.

    One could view the foul total as a contrary defensive indicator nevertheless. Are you moving your feet, or just slapping as the guy blows by you?
    [~]) ... Cheers! Go Pacers!

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    Pacer Junky Will Galen's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Utah Metric: How valuable is player X?

    Here's the Pacers Plus-Minus for comparison.

    http://www.nba.com/pacers/stats/plus_minus.html



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    Pacer Junky Will Galen's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Utah Metric: How valuable is player X?

    What has the most significance for me though is the five man Lenovo plus/minus stats.

    http://www.nba.com/statistics/lenovo...=9&team=Pacers

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    Default Re: The Utah Metric: How valuable is player X?

    Quote Originally Posted by Will Galen View Post
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    What has the most significance for me though is the five man Lenovo plus/minus stats.

    http://www.nba.com/statistics/lenovo...=9&team=Pacers

    There's a 12-game plus/minus from pacers.com at:

    http://www.nba.com/pacers/news/plus_minus_0708.html

    I don't know why they won't update the other link.

    Yes, I like that Lenovo stat page...again they're behind the curve tho, and only updated thru 11 games...the Chinese gov't bought Lenovo you know. I think that's why.
    [~]) ... Cheers! Go Pacers!

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    Default Re: The Utah Metric: How valuable is player X?

    Larry Miller using that system explains a lot about his relationship with AK.
    "They could turn out to be only innocent mathematicians, I suppose," muttered Woevre's section officer, de Decker.

    "'Only.'" Woevre was amused. "Someday you'll explain to me how that's possible. Seeing that, on the face of it, all mathematics leads, doesn't it, sooner or later, to some kind of human suffering."

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    Default Re: The Utah Metric: How valuable is player X?

    The numbers for the last game, BTW.

    Game 12vs Hornets --
    W 105 - 93


    Points AssistsBoardsBlocksStealsS'TotShotsT/OFoulsS'TotDiffMinsIndex
    Granger221910331703201335.371Granger
    Dunleavy184700291610171237.324Dunleavy
    O'NealDNPDNPDNPO'Neal
    Tinsley18133 02361722211538.395Tinsley
    Murphy233911371615221538.395Murphy
    Foster8313112660281836.500Foster
    Williams2040065106016.000Williams
    Daniels4020174206112.083Daniels
    Rush0000002024-46-.667Rush
    DioguDNPDNPDNPDiogu
    DienerDNPDNPDNPDiener
    Harrison101411176039822.364Harrison
    OwensDNPDNPDNPOwens
    GrahamDNPDNPDNPGraham
    SimsDNPDNPDNPSims
    [~]) ... Cheers! Go Pacers!

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    Pacer Junky Will Galen's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Utah Metric: How valuable is player X?

    Why is just taking a shot a negative? I think that should be missed shots.

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    Default Re: The Utah Metric: How valuable is player X?

    Quote Originally Posted by Will Galen View Post
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    Why is just taking a shot a negative? I think that should be missed shots.
    Points total is one of the factors 'above the line'. Total FGAs are 'below the line' number. Just an efficiency check. Notice that FTAs aren't even factored in. Bottom line I guess is the more points you have, on the fewest attempts, the higher your number.
    [~]) ... Cheers! Go Pacers!

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    Default Re: The Utah Metric: How valuable is player X?

    Kester, this is interesting. Thanks for posting it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom White View Post
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    That is all well and good, and I don't intend to sound like I'm knocking it, but where in that formula does a player's importance DEFENSIVELY come into play?

    There is a lot more to defense than steals and blocks, you know.

    Seems to me that any "formula" that ignores defense is....well, offensive.

    OK, rise to the challenge here. How can or should defense be quantified? Basketball stats do a good job of quantifying offense, but measures of defense are weak.

    The problem is that good basketball defense results in nothing happening -- and nothing cannot be measured. Steals and blocks are the only measures of defense that are collected (unless you want to count defensive rebounds). Other acts of effective defense: shots deflected, shots prevented, passes prevented or delayed or stolen, floor position preempted, etc. are too difficult to measure. We can't know, when an opponent misses, whether he missed because someone got up in his face, or because he missed on his own.

    About the only good measure on defense that could be collected that isn't already is 24-second shot clock violations.

    It seems the best way to get at good defensive performance is with comparative data: us versus them. If we get 40 rebounds and they get only 30, then we outperformed them on the boards. The simple numerical advantage is equally meaningful in a 73-70 game or a 114-111 game. Or it might be better to compare each team's performance against us with their season averages against all teams. Either way, the opposing players' offensive stats are as good a measure of our defense as we can find.

    This could be done on a player-by-player basis, too, but would be a lot of work.
    Last edited by Putnam; 11-23-2007 at 10:08 PM.
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    Artificial Intelligence wintermute's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Utah Metric: How valuable is player X?

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    OK, rise to the challenge here. How can or should defense be quantified? Basketball stats do a good job of quantifying offense, but measures of defense are weak.
    that's why i like plus/minus. it's not perfect, but it gives a good measure of defense. and as someone posted recently, the whole game is just a giant plus/minus anyway.

    individual plus/minus could be terribly misleading though.

    btw, this utah metric that kester brings up sounds similar to hollinger's per (player efficiency rating) and various other derived stats that are floating around.

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    Default Re: The Utah Metric: How valuable is player X?

    Graham should be playing 48 mins.

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    Default Re: The Utah Metric: How valuable is player X?

    Here's the reckoning from the Dallas game, followed by the running average per player for the season. Now I thought JT had a heck of a game...he DID have a heck of a game...but notice the lower rating he gets as a rsult mostly of the number of shots taken.

    Game 13vs Mavs -- W 111 - 107
    Points AssistsBoardsBlocksStealsS'TotShotsT/OFoulsS'TotDiffMinsIndex
    Granger252621361103142236.611Granger
    Dunleavy17041325111618727.259Dunleavy
    O'NealDNPDNPDNPO'Neal
    Tinsley24660238245332641.146Tinsley
    Murphy18180027152522537.135Murphy
    Foster10011002192314742.167Foster
    Williams100301146017718.389Williams
    Daniels51301105016418.222Daniels
    Rush0000000112-22-1.000Rush
    DioguDNPDNPDNPDiogu
    Diener2200043115-17-.143Diener
    Harrison0133073148-111-.091Harrison
    OwensDNPDNPDNPOwens
    GrahamDNPDNPDNPGraham
    SimsDNPDNPDNPSims
    Team542400.225



    ThruGame 10Game 11Game 12Game 13
    Granger.213.228.241.271
    Dunleavy.288.281.285.284
    O'Neal.175.166.166.166
    Tinsley.217.216.233.225
    Murphy.336.339.349.317
    Foster.333.351.369.344
    Williams.143.203.186.204
    Daniels.174.160.154.161
    Rush.068.061.029.014
    Diogu.229.229.229.229
    Diener.049.015.015.007
    Harrison.033.072.112.099
    Owens.294.294.294.294
    Graham.667.667.667.667
    Sims-.125.000.000.000
    [~]) ... Cheers! Go Pacers!

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    Default Re: The Utah Metric: How valuable is player X?

    Personally, I think all these various point systems to determine a players worth is a bunch of crap.

    Interesting to look at sometimes, but still a bunch of crap.
    "Just look at the flowers ........ BANG"

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    NaptownSeth is all feel Naptown_Seth's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Utah Metric: How valuable is player X?

    For those interested, I'm working the per game +/- and 5 man +/- and have just been a bit lazy in getting it posted. I'd like to have it up this weekend or by Monday night. I'll put up the numbers for each game for players, then the top and bottom efforts from 5 man groups (there's typically 20+ 5 man groups each game).

    This way we not only get totals, but also can work trend lines too.

    the whole game is just a giant plus/minus anyway.
    I think it was me that said it. Well I know I said it, I assume my version was the one you saw.

    All stats have holes to them, but no more than the massive holes behind "Poster X thinks player X was good/bad last night." Maybe if the poster is Dick Harter perhaps, but for the motley crew around this joint I think is severely flawed with bias issues.

  21. #21

    Default Re: The Utah Metric: How valuable is player X?

    This stat certainly shows the difference between the Hornets and Mav games. The interesting thing is that it shows an individual's real +/- rather than what the team accomplished while said player was physically present on the court scratching his head. For example JTs 5 TOs canceled his 6 assists. However, the only problem I have with all these stats is whether a basket is equivalent to an assist, block, rebound or steal. It seems to me that points should not count twice as much as a rebound or steal. I also like dividing by minutes rather than projecting to 48 minutes which probably appeals to those who like the mathematical concept of infinity.
    Last edited by speakout4; 11-24-2007 at 05:21 PM.

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    The light, not the lie. kester99's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Utah Metric: How valuable is player X?

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    It seems the best way to get at good defensive performance is with comparative data: us versus them. If we get 40 rebounds and they get only 30, then we outperformed them on the boards. The simple numerical advantage is equally meaningful in a 73-70 game or a 114-111 game. Or it might be better to compare each team's performance against us with their season averages against all teams. Either way, the opposing players' offensive stats are as good a measure of our defense as we can find.

    This could be done on a player-by-player basis, too, but would be a lot of work.
    82games.com takes a shot at doing a more in-depth analysis, with player X compared to the opponent's corresponding position player...at leadst I think that's what they're doing:

    http://www.82games.com/0708/0708IND.HTM
    [~]) ... Cheers! Go Pacers!

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