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Thread: Article about recent Pacers moves (Warning: Stats)

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    Tyrant maragin's Avatar
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    Default Article about recent Pacers moves (Warning: Stats)

    http://dberri.wordpress.com/2008/06/...s-lose-a-star/

    Check out the original article for additional statical info and how those stats were derived.
    -----------------

    Did the Pacers Lose a Star?

    June 29, 2008 · 10 Comments

    Although the deal is not official, it’s been widely reported that the Indiana Pacers and Toronto Raptors completed a trade prior to the 2008 draft. The Toronto Raptors will get six-time All-Star Jermaine O’Neal. The Indiana Pacers are adding four non-stars: T.J. Ford, Rasho Nesterovic, Maceo Baston and the draft rights to Roy Hibbert.

    The general rule of thumb in the NBA is that the team that gets the All-Star in a trade is the team that comes out ahead. This rule is consistent with the idea of “Bobby Layne Rigidity”, offered by Walter Neale in a 1964 article (appearing in the Quarterly Journal of Economics and titled: “The Peculiar Economics of Professional Sports”). According to Neale - as the name Bobby Layne Rigidity implies — a team cannot replace one good quarterback with two poor signal callers.

    Likewise, it’s difficult in the NBA to substitute a collection of non-stars for one star player. As noted previously in this forum, the Pareto Principle appears to hold in the NBA. In other words, roughly 80% of wins are produced by 20% of the talent. Consequently, when a team loses a major wins producer, it tends to suffer.

    Losing an Unproductive Star
    Of course there is one exception to this story. If the player in question is an “unproductive star”, then the issue of Bobby Layne Rigidity goes away. For example, the 76ers lost Allen Iverson - a “star” player who is not quite as productive as popular perception indicates - and actually improved.
    Similarly, one suspects the Pacers loss of Jermaine O’Neal should also lead to additional victories. To see this, let’s first consider the career of J. O’Neal.

    As Table One indicates, once upon a time J. O’Neal was an above average player, but not a “star”. Although NBA Efficiency still indicates he is above average, Wins Produced tells a different tale.

    This is what I said about O’Neal last January.
    When we look at O’Neal’s career we don’t see a major star. His career WP48 [Wins Produced per 48 minutes] is above average, but a mark of 0.143 (prior to the 2007-08 season) pales in comparison to the top players in the game. Still, O’Neal has generally been a good player and he did lead his team in Wins Produced for three seasons.

    What makes O’Neal “good” is his ability to get rebounds and block shots. Shooting efficiency, though, has been a consistent problem. Except for the 2002-03 season - again, his best year - O’Neal has always been below average with respect to getting his shots to go in the basket.

    And this season the inefficient scoring issue has worsened. In addition, O’Neal is now below average on the boards. As a consequence, his overall productivity is now well below the average mark.

    As noted, these were my words in January. And these were the same words I used when I noted that J. O’Neal is the most overpaid player in the game.

    With respect to shooting efficiency, rebounds, steals, and turnovers, J. O’Neal is below average. So although he’s still taking and blocking shots, his overall contribution is below par.

    The Pacers in 2007-08 and 2008-09
    Once we realize that J. O’Neal is not quite as productive as his star status suggests, this trade looks much better for Indiana. The team is losing a player whose wins production was in the negative range last season. And in return, the Pacers are getting Ford (WP48 of 0.160 last season), Nestrovic (WP48 of 0.104 last season), and Baston (WP48 of 0.161 in very limited minutes last season). Plus the Raptors gave up their first round pick in 2008 (Hibbert). Put it all together, and the Pacers look like a better team after this move.

    It’s important to remember that - despite an underperforming O’Neal - the Pacers were not a terrible team in 2007-08.

    Table Two indicates that this team’s Wins Produced (based on the team’s efficiency differential) summed to 37 wins. Had the Pacers won this many games the team would have been tied with the Hawks for the last spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs (Indiana actually finished one game back). Adding a very productive point guard and a serviceable center to this roster, while losing a player who didn’t produce any wins last year, has to help the Pacers return to the post-season.

    And we have to remember that in addition to the O’Neal trade, the Pacers also acquired Jarrett Jack (0.098 WP48 last season) in a draft day trade that also netted guard Brandon Rush. Given these moves, the Pacers will now have the following collection of above average veterans in the rotation: T. J. Ford, Mike Dunleavy, Troy Murphy, and Jeff Foster. In addition, the Pacers have three more players who are right around average (Danny Granger, Jack, and Nesterovic). If Rush and Hibbert can come in and produced positive wins (not above average, just greater than zero), the Pacers should definitely improve.

    I should note that Erich Doerr - who has done an excellent job of using Win Score to evaluate the 2008 NBA Draft - is also very positive about the moves the Pacers made around the draft.

    The best Win Score draft goes to the Indiana Pacers for picking up solid players in Brandon Rush and Roy Hibbert. Both are NBA-ready and excellent Win Score prospects. Along with their trades, the Pacers are primed to pass .500 this season and are a franchise on the upswing.

    If the analysis Doerr and I offer is to be believed, the Pacers are right now strong candidates to return to the post-season in 2009. Of course we will know more when the roster of the Pacers - and every other team - is finalized. At this point, though, the evidence suggests that losing O’Neal was a good move for the Pacers.

    Does this mean that this trade is bad for the Raptors? I will try and answer that question in my next post. And that answer is not as clear as one might think.
    - DJ

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    Default Re: Article about recent Pacers moves (Warning: Stats)

    This is a good analysis of the trade. I can only hope that this team will continue to improve and be an above .500 team.
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    Default Re: Article about recent Pacers moves (Warning: Stats)

    Nice find maragin. Maybe we will have someone make it from the ballot this year.
    Last edited by duke dynamite; 06-30-2008 at 05:59 PM. Reason: on not from

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    Pacer Junky Will Galen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Article about recent Pacers moves (Warning: Stats)

    Quote Originally Posted by duke dynamite View Post
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    Nice find maragin. Maybe we will have someone make it on the ballot this year.
    We had players on the ballot last year.

    I bought the book, 'Wages of wins,' because I think they are on to something, however I didn't want to do all the math for each player so it was a waste of money.

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    Default Re: Article about recent Pacers moves (Warning: Stats)

    Quote Originally Posted by Will Galen View Post
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    We had players on the ballot last year.

    I bought the book, 'Wages of wins,' because I think they are on to something, however I didn't want to do all the math for each player so it was a waste of money.
    I should have made it clearer, but I meant that someone actually make the team that was on the ballot.

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    Default Re: Article about recent Pacers moves (Warning: Stats)

    Quote Originally Posted by maragin View Post
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    ...the Pacers will now have the following collection of above average veterans in the rotation: T. J. Ford, Mike Dunleavy, Troy Murphy, and Jeff Foster. In addition, the Pacers have three more players who are right around average (Danny Granger, Jack, and Nesterovic).
    Nice article, but did he rank Murphy as above average and Granger as around average? IDK, but IMO Murphy is a below average starter and Granger is slightly above average.

    In any event, this article echoes what has been clear for a long, long time. JO is overpaid and overrated because he is inefficient on offense. OTOH, he is a good defensive player. With injuries, he is now arguably one of the most overpaid players in the NBA. ...although I suppose Tinsley is up there somewhere too. That's a lot of money to waste...

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    Default Re: Article about recent Pacers moves (Warning: Stats)

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueNGold View Post
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    With injuries, he is now arguably one of the most overpaid players in the NBA. ...although I suppose Tinsley is up there somewhere too. That's a lot of money to waste...
    Don't worry...It's not like our new $8.5 million PG has a cogenital spine disorder or anything. That would be scary.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Article about recent Pacers moves (Warning: Stats)

    Very interesting...

    I admit, while still a JO fan I began to see him more as a shot blocker and rebounder than a scorer. Even I've knocked him for his poor scoring efficiency. Still, he was the only real scoring threat this team had in the post which was one of the biggest reasons I wanted the Pacers to keep him for atleast one more season. At least now I feel alittle bit better knowing mgmt was able to make some improvements without giving up the farm. We'll see just how good the trades were for the Pacers come late December. If they're above .500 and going strong by Christmas, I'll give Larry Legand all the credit he deserves for doing a masterful job during the off-season.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Article about recent Pacers moves (Warning: Stats)

    Some of you may be glad to here, that based on Win Score, Bayless does not project to be a productive pro. And, as the article alluded to both Hibbert and Rush do project to be productive players. I'll try to find the link.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Article about recent Pacers moves (Warning: Stats)

    I hope they're right, but I wouldn't hang my hat on anything Wages of Wins comes up with.

    WoW has a pretty significant statistical flaw in the model they use. They reward made shots and penalizes misses, which seems straightforward enough and accurate. The problem is they give full credit to the rebounder for a rebound but there is no deduction for team aspects. We see it all the time in games: a defensive rebound is a product of team defense, and when a 10 rebound a game guy is lost, his team doesn't become 10 rebounds worse. A good example of overrating rebonders is Jeff Foster, as much as I like him.

    Per minute, Foster rated 2% more productive than Amare Stoudemire, 6% more productive than Tyson Chandler, and 28% more productive than Yao last year--all because statisically, rebonding is overrated in their analysis. WoW also made the argument that Dennis Rodman was more valuable than Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen on the latter Bulls champions. That should tell you everything you need to know about WoW.

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    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Article about recent Pacers moves (Warning: Stats)

    Quote Originally Posted by joeshmoe View Post
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    Some of you may be glad to here, that based on Win Score, Bayless does not project to be a productive pro. And, as the article alluded to both Hibbert and Rush do project to be productive players. I'll try to find the link.
    http://www.draftexpress.com/article/...-Preview-2932/

    Be careful...Draft Express has a caveat:

    Jerryd Bayless: 0.6 PAWS/40

    Up front, some analysts will dispute Win Scores point guard ratings. Compared with other metrics, such as PER, there are distinct discrepancies in PG ratings. When looking at Win Scores ratings of PG prospects, similar disagreements appear against many prospect ranking lists. Current mock drafts have Jerryd Bayless as a consensus top 6 pick, while his collegiate .6 PAWS/40 does not stand out.

    While Bayless is young and may improve, his turnover rates and weak rebounding suggest that he’ll likely not pan out to the all star guard many predict.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Article about recent Pacers moves (Warning: Stats)

    Thanks, that is what I was looking for.

    ...but didn't Bayless play primarily the two?

    After losing Bayless I prefer to highlight the next paragraph...that his turnover rates and weak rebounding suggest that he'll likely not panout to the all star guard many predict.

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    Default Re: Article about recent Pacers moves (Warning: Stats)

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueNGold View Post
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    Nice article, but did he rank Murphy as above average and Granger as around average?
    You're right. I think the statement is tied to the Wins per 48 minutes statistic. You probably remember that Granger's +/- was also low last season. He played more minutes than anyone else, and he was on the floor during a lot of the tough stretches against the opponent's starters.

    Granger is our iron man, and that translates to low performance statistics on a team with a losing record. It's no bad reflection on his ability or personal performance.
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  14. #14

    Default Re: Article about recent Pacers moves (Warning: Stats)

    Also, on the site there is a graph, which adjusts the win scores according to strength of competition. Usually, a players win score goes down considerably when the strength of competition goes up. Rush's score stood out because it did not go down, and it may have gone up.

    (I just spent ten minutes looking for the graph before giving up. The graph also says that it was pessimistic about Bayless's chances and with other prospects too. They were most optomistic of Love and Beasley. It's links from the article somewhere)

    EDIT: found the link
    Last edited by joeshmoe; 06-30-2008 at 10:11 PM.

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    White and Nerdy Anthem's Avatar
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    Default Re: Article about recent Pacers moves (Warning: Stats)

    Quote Originally Posted by joeshmoe View Post
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    ...but didn't Bayless play primarily the two?
    You'd think so, based on this board.

    But no, he played PG in college.
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