Who’s the Best Mid-Range Shooter 2012-2013 Edition

Okay, so I haven’t been writing much but that’s because I’ve got at least 5 projects going on at work and I’m heading it all up by myself because I’m a control freak idiot.

I’m working on this basketball stuff as fast as I can. Now that the Houston Rockets’ playoffs have ended, partly due to the fact that they have ZERO power forwards, I wonder, how hard is it to find a rebounding long 2 shooter?

So I decided to make a few thresholds.
1. 40% on long 2’s are the cutoff point.
2. In the past 3 years, you must have have hit above this in order to be included.

The exact methodology will be at the end of this article but here’s the gist.

How much FG% per Mid-Range Shot id each player have? And since every shot attempt has a different adjustment, I adjusted/normalized for it (People that take 2 shots have higher raw numbers than people that take 5 shots).

Since adjusting it 3 times(once every year) is highly volatile, I also did a 3 year average that adjusted only once. This way, a player wouldn’t be penalized too heavily for an injury year as long as they shot well overall.

brand 11.09 4.50 1.76 3.09
bass 9.35 5.17 1.45 1.35
west 8.76 5.53 1.30 2.09
garnett 6.82 7.13 1.27 1.11
jason smith 11.61 4.10 1.16 1.61
marc gasol 14.41 3.23 1.08 1.08
dirk 5.50 8.97 1.02 1.06
durant 6.55 6.97 0.94 0.84
bosh 7.19 6.33 0.84 0.53
henderson 7.51 5.87 0.72 0.84
melo 5.34 7.83 0.29 0.34
bryant 5.18 8.33 0.28 0.18
lbj 7.07 6.23 0.28 0.40
horford 9.12 5.13 0.23 1.12
duncan 8.01 5.57 0.23 1.34
jefferson 6.21 6.63 0.18 0.50
lma 4.76 8.73 0.04 0.32
boozer 7.24 5.70 -0.22 0.57

The conclusions were pretty good.

Here’s the thing in color

Screen Shot 2013-05-06 at 2.19.12 AM

————-The JUICY PART————–

1. Brand and West are the best of the bunch. Their production has dropped significantly but they are still much better. Bass might actually be still improving in this area. Judging by this bracket, Elton Brand might be a better buy since even a drop next year still sees him as better than the rest.

2. Kevin Garnett is a historically great volume shooter. And has been historically.

3. Jason Smith and Marc Gasol are the same types of shooter. They actually don’t shoot enough Mid Range Shots to be significantly predictable. They might be good one year and terrible the next. the variance between 4 and 5 shots taken per game is SIGNIFICANT. Those that take 5 shots and over are much more predictable.Namely, I wouldn’t trade for Jason Smith and expect him to hit those Mid-Range shots for you.

4. Dirk is the probably one of the best mid range shooters in the game. The 1.00 variance means he takes a lot and he hits a lot. He is slightly worse than KG.

5. The next group is Henderson, Durant, and Bosh. Henderson is a SG, I know but he takes a bunch of midrange shots. I felt i had to include him as a second string comparison.

6. melo, bryant, lbj, jefferson, lma are terrible at the long 2. In the case of bryant, he’s been bad at the long 2 for some time quite a while. When the two adjusted numbers are as close together as it is with Melo, it’s really not an injury season that plagues Melo. It’s just a volume shooting at a low percentage. He’s def. shot worse than his peers injury or no injury. LMA and Jefferson have a bit of variance which indicate injury but even in their best form they weren’t spectacular.

Duncan and Horford really fell off the map. They used to be considerably much better. This indicates a permanent drop in mid-range production.

Boozer is just terrible. He’s all over the place.


In conclusion, if you want someone to space the floor, it’s West, Brand and Brandon Bass.

The NBA geek has their 3 stats lined up for you to choose.

West and Brand are old but even on their worst days, they’ve been better than Bass on his best. But Bass is 25 years old and he’ll have more effective minutes in him.

West will be more expensive and it can be argued that Brand is actually BETTER than him.

The best scenario would be to grab Brand and Bass for 1 year + 1 year team option.

*******(how to calculate)*******************


filter to midrange shots. I did a lot of this manually. I can hold a lot of information in my head and just write down all the outliers. Copy down 20 or so people who take a lot of shots and have a >40% fg rate.

Raw Ranking is calculated by taking the Mid Range FG% and dividing it by FGA. It’s basically FGM/FGA^2.  You basically get smaller FG% number to work with.

Next is to create a Bracket Raw Ranking. Guys that take 10 shots with 40% accuracy would be 40/10 or 4.00 Raw Rank.

So if you have a 5.00 Raw Rank taking 10 shots, you would minus it by 4 and get a 1.00 Ranking which is pretty good (Kevin Garnett good).

One of the problems with NBA stats is that they do not do it by a per 48 minute basis. That might skew the results a bit.


NBA November News!

The new NBA season starts off with a bang.

Every month (or week, depending on the news), I’ll post the most interesting things that I think aren’t discussed.

Some surprising things.

Each POINT will have a follow up idea.

POINT 1: NYK. Wages of Wins placed New York ahead of everyone in the east in their projections. Small sample size but judging by the initial New York dominance, their projections seem to be spot on. But the Knicks were so dysfunctional last year! What happened?

Turns out, Ronnie Brewer is really really good. I SQLed >.150WP48 pure shooting guards, required them play at least 1400 minutes, while still being available for the 2012-13 season.

Here is the list of shooting guards ranked by their tiers.

Always consistent GREAT: Wade, Brewer

Mostly RECENTLY consistent GREAT: Thabo Sefolosha, Ray Allen, Mike Dunleavy, Harden, Landry Fields.

Stopped BEING CONSISTENTLY GREAT A LONG TIME AGO: Kobe, Brandon Roy, Shane Battier, Mike Miller, Manu Ginobili

CONSISTENTLY GOOD ENOUGH GUYS: JJ Reddick, Jason Richardson, Delonte West, Keith Bogans

NEW AND GREAT: Harden, Landry Fields


*You can do what I did by grabbing the data here.*

So by grabbing Jason Kidd, Felton and Prigioni, they’ve got ample production at the PG spot through all 48 minutes of the game, unlike last year where the dropoff from Lin to Bibby was painfully apparent.

Brewer and JR SMith at shooting guard means consistent production as well. Brewer, from my data, has been good for the past 4 years. Obviously he isn’t as great as Wade, but he’s just as consistent and PRODUCES in the upper echelon of SGs. And some nights, JR Smith might even show up to play. Cuz he’s random like that.

I haven’t seen the other positions yet but I’m sure Glen Grunwald has filled the roster in the same fashion.

POINT 2: The MAGIC.Why are you making a big deal out of the first few games? Small sample size much? Yes yes.

I know. But it’s interesting to predict stuff. Like how everyone in the world predicted the Magic to lose a lot of games. But it seems the rest of the eastern league has imploded. There’s a lot to be said about chemistry. Maybe Glen Davis’ charm is greater than his girth. Eh. Still, I don’t see how the Magic can keep winning. They just aren’t good.


What a great trade by Morey. Wouldn’t it be cool if someone predicted all this Rockets movement? Oh wait. I did. 6 hours before the actual TRADE.

In the post I wrote that I considered Harden to be a top tier SG in the league. He did take the crown away from Wade last year and the data all points to him having another phenomenal statline this year. I’m bullish. There is a terribly short list of good shooting guards in the league. The cliff that divides Wade and Harden from the rest is a vast chasm.

Shaq and Charles Barkley blame the Princeton Offense for Laker woes. Well, Coach Nick of Bballbreakdown(no relation) posted a great video about it. Go watch it. I feel the same way he does. I love watching the Princeton Offense. It works.


Next Week: Eastern Conference General Manager Draft and Trade Grades!

Big Draft Winners

Who were the big draft winners?

Here’s the list of top draftees

Its hilarious that Arturo uses the version 1 of the Win Score system while everything on the site espouses using Reb Adj. Win Score. He probably doesn’t want to rewrite all that logic again. I understand the laziness.

So I’ve made my own.

Before you read ahead, go look at Anthony Davis below and then come up back to this paragraph.

POS = Position. If they play the 3 and the 4, It might read 3.5

PRAWS40 = Position and Rebound Adjusted Win Score Over 40 Minutes. The % AVG  prefix indicates the column will be based on %s and Averages usually based on the positional average.

For Example, Anthony Davis has 2.36 [%avgPRAWS40] which means he’s 2.36x better than your average NCAA player.

TREND means from seasons 2010-2011, did he grow, stay the same or decline? Since Davis is a freshman, he stayed the same obviously.

It’s all color coded. The Dark Brown means spectacular. The Green means good. The Yellow means Excellent %s. The Red is a Danger Flag.

The following are all the Drafted and Undrafted Prospects of 2012. I don’t know where the official list is so I just downloaded a bunch of files and cobbled together a generated “Hey I’m in the Draft” list. As usual, i filtered players by 20 mins+ per game played, 10 games+.

Why did I choose these Stats? It’s based on Ian Levy’s work on similarity scores. These are the 7 stats that transfer 75%+ to the NBA from college. I will link to his full work when he’s completed it. He doesn’t work on research after the season’s over apparently. Neither do I but once wages of wins did their color coded thing, I felt I had to flatter them a bit by copying them.

*Keep in mind that a PRAWS40 of 7 is the NBA average.

The first page is where the best 2 YEAR AVERAGES of PRAWS40 is at.

  • Yellow Flags:
    Anthony Davis, Mosley, Jae Crowder, Dominique Sutton( I dont know where he came from either.), Tony Mitchell, Orlando Johnson, Henson, Beal.
    -Notice how Jae has a lot of steals and Sutton gets to the free throw line.
  • The Brown Blocks:
    Anthony Davis, Denmon, Lillard, Sanders, Zeller. There all twice as good as your average player. Someone needs to pick up Sanders.
  • The All Green:
    Ken Horton. The best overall player. Consistently +3.  Undrafted. Shame.
  • The Young and Deadly:
    Davis( You again? go away.), Lillard, Sullinger, Henson, Beal, Jenkins. Anyone want to stop giving the Celtics the best picks? Seriously? Rondo wasn’t enough?

The Reason why I’ve spent so much time here is that there are quite a few analytical gems here. The Mavericks, the Spurs, and the Magic obtained the best 3 guys in the draft. Mosley isn’t really versatile at all so I understand why you might shy away from him. for his 6’7′ height, you’d want some shooting ability—and you can tell by his ft% that he has the worst shot known to man. But the guy is a monster. Eats babies, spits out men.

If I had to grade draft picks on youth and ability, it would go in this order: Hornets, Blazers, Celtics, Bucks, Wizards, Hawks. So the Celtics, as a playoff team, really stole the friggin Young and Deadly draft.

As you can see, there are a bunch of Undrafted NAs up there. I think it’s unfair.

  • Mosley is a beast. Put him on Lebron or something. Hire a shooting coach for him. The guy actually IMPROVED from last year!
  • Horton is good at everything. He’s consistent. He shoots well. He rebounds. He assists. #HortonLives
  • Crowder and Lillard are the only two who are still improving significantly year to year. Go Blazers! Rooting for the Spurs is like rooting for the Flash to win the 100km sprint.
  • Sutton is 25 and has an injury flag. He’s not great. Sometimes, you just need a bruiser. Eli Holman got shot in college. Eh.

Now to critizize NBA teams.

  • Miles is old, stagnated growth. Indiana, what are you thinking. I’m glad Hibbert is leaving you. I’m glad Bird left you. Bah. (F GRADE)
  • Jenkins is a Junior, he’s growing, but he’s still just a +1 with no defensive capabilities. Don’t you know that shooting well in college means less than nothing in the nba?
  • Beal is awesome sauce. I’m glad he was the 2nd pick…wait? what? he wasn’t? What the f—?
  • I love Zeller. But Cleveland, you do realize your big man pick can’t block shots, right? I’ve written this before. This is the worst year for centers. Why waste your pick on a center? In Cleveland’s case, why waste multiple picks on one? Mavericks just robbed the crap out of Cleveland. So sad.

Now to criticize myself.

I actually ranked Drew Gordon highly in the beginning. But the charts disagree, Too many red flags. At the very least you should have the average number of steals as your peers do. Should I keep backing Chris Johnson? Feels foolhardy.  Then again, why gamble on Johnsons and Gordons when Horton is still available for purchase? Why, GMs? WHYYYYY?

[TIER 1] Davis, Horton, Crowder


  • The Yellow Flags:
    Draymond Green (Hi i’m an older version of Royce White!), Cunningham (I gets to the FT Line!)
  • Brown Blocks:
    Bernard, Hamilton, Barton.
  • The All Green:
    Will Barton, MKG
  • The Young And Average:
    MKG, T. Robinson, D. Waiters, A. Moultrie, J. Lamb, T. Jones, W. Barton, T. Ross, J. Cunningham,

What can we get from this? Bernard James is 26 years old and Mark Cuban is a genius for drafting a productive player who’ll instantly be a crowd favorite. Everyone loves a soldier.

Jared Cunningham is a pretty good buy. A Junior that could easily spike up from 7 to 10. Others have. His charts are fairly green with the only glaring spot being his rebounding. Hamilton isn’t a bad lower round pick either. He’s a senior but look at the FT line. He gets there and he makes it. Very transferable to the NBA. Carve out a decent bench career.

Will Barton! Young, defensive, Growing–this guys is pretty great. Trailblazers gonna kick some arse. They’ve done some amazing drafting this year.

The young guns were listed in order of greatness. I think MKG will outshine T Rob. I get the feeling that the sophomores that haven’t jumped production yet will require the full 3-4 years to get better. That includes the Terrences, Scott, waiters, lamb, green, Cunningham, Hummel, and Moultrie.

With the 2nd pick, which of the 3 would you choose? Beal, MKG, or T Rob? I’d have chosen the person who’s fighting for his sister. T Robinson will try harder than most guys his age. He’s got a kid to raise.

Beal is the natural though. High production, shooter’s confidence to withstand the crushing despair of NBA Scoring, the defensive stats to rely on to help win games, and YOUTH!

But the one who was picked was MKG. Just looking at his production, I feel like he doesn’t have enough to make a big difference immediately, nor equipped with the right tools to learn quickly. I feel like he’s going to need his entire rookie contract to reach his full potential. It’s incredibly hard to criticize this tier since Young And Average necessitates predicting growth. Their all good enough to gamble on. I would probably have held off on Jeremy Lamb.

[TIER 2]: Will Barton, Thomas Robinson, (Terrence..Ross? maybe?)

Maybe I should have paginated this. In any case, in this page, we’re looking for GROWTH and YOUTH. These guys have inconsistent careers so they need to show they can improve.

  • The Standouts:
    Kevin Jones, Andrew Nicholson, Scott Machado.  I know James Brocato likes KJ, but look at all those Red Flags. Let’s go with Scott Machado. Nicholson…went to the Magic? The Magic have a decent FO. Theoretically, Nicholson could replace Andersen. Theoretically.
  • The Young And Deadly:
    The Young and Toothless:
    Moe Harkless, Meyers, White. Lol. look at these scores. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry that they all got drafted. The Blazers knew what they were doing with Meyers though. Best positional flags out of the bunch. Did I mention that 7 is the NBA average. It’s GREAT that ROYCE plays like a point guard. But he should really play the other aspects of basketball too. Like winning.

Now to criticize the Draft Choices:

 Bucks: Yeah. I know you don’t like Monta Ellis. I’m glad you  found another defense-lacking streaky SG to backup your defense-challenged streaky SG. Good job, Hammond. Why must I be fans of teams that are so damaged?

NOLA: Yeah, good pick. Wow. I messed up the rebound coloring. the %TOT is rebounds. 50% less Rebounds is not GREEN folks. I’m a moron. Much like the Hornets for picking Darius Miller.

 RAPTORS: Quincy Acy. Average Production. Inconsistent. And OLD. Good job Raptors. That was sarcasm.

[TIER 3]  Scott Machado +2/+91%, Andrew Nicholson +1.5/+38%
prediction: Machado = Starter PG, Nicholson, Bench PF

At first, I thought the Denver Nuggets front office were morons for choosing Quincy Miller. Turns out their just morons for picking 2 foreigners.

But there are no real bad flags for Quincy. For a freshman, this isn’t bad.

I’m just going to dive right into it here. Because we’ve got a lot of stupid picks here.

    • Marshall has 5 flags.
    • Barnes is somehow a Top 10 Pick based on the fact that he gets to the free throw line a lot? He has the worst production outside of Austin Rivers.
    • Drummond can’t shoot free throws.
    • PJ3 : Presti, you moron. I had such high hopes for you.
    • Ezeli: Lol. a 3. that’s a -4 guys. He’s 66% of an average center in one of the worst draft years for centers. Golden State, you are awesome.
    • Lol. Miami is just trolling with Justin Hamilton. Is there a decree that if you’re young and tall, you get picked no matter what? Robert Sacre is an awesome pick for the Lakers! In Bizarro world.
    • DJO. ONce again, the Mavs have robbed another NBA team. Enjoy DJO, Lakers. I’m counting the days when the Lakers become the new definition of dysfunctional franchise. Right now, that mantle belongs to the Knicks.  (I’m actually a huge fan of Grunwald and of the Knicks. Romantically. In the sense that I think Camelot is an allegory for world peace. And that Excalibur is a living embodiment of hope.) That’s TWICE the mavericks have sold off junk picks to another team.

It looks like Detroit Pistons’ Kim English safe bet and Drummondic gamble is leading the way here. Kendall Marshall following close behind as the next Steve Nash. Unfortunately, they are all doomed. See you next year, guys.

[TIER 4] Marshall, Quincy Miller (This is an awful Tier to be on.)


Ooh. Pistons take another winner in Khris Middleton. I don’t even have to research him to know that he’s going to have an injury next year. No one has those scores, plays SF, and smiles like a goat without an injury. I made up that goat part.

Wroten! Mr. Get To The Line! Except you can’t shoot free throws…A -3 Freshman can improve, right? Actually, Wroten might. Lots of green flags.

Tyshawn Taylor! Portland just used you to rob the heck out of the Nets. How do you feel? Great.

Austin Rivers! Mr. 10th Pick!. How’s that -4 treating you?

I didn’t want to be so snarky but all these picks are horrible. That Austin Rivers picks is just terrible. Marquis Teague may be the worst pick in the draft.

Gar Forman of the Bulls, I salute you for picking somoen with less production than Austin Rivers. It is quite an achievement.

[TIER 5 PICK: Wroten]

******P.S. The %Total Rebounds all all GREEN. I know. It’s a logic error. I’m too lazy to fix it.

Based on the amount of greens, i’d say the Mavericks and the Blazers clearly won the draft of 2012.

How did my Predictions For the 2012 Draft Do?

Here’s my old predictions

  1. Hornets: PICK 1, PICK 10 (most likely trade pick#10)
    Anthony Davis, Lillard, Waiters
    Actual: Anthony Davis, Austin Rivers
    I was right about the fact that they were gonna grab a PG. Waiters and Lillard were both taken so…eh.
  2. Bobcats: PICK 2
    Actual: MKG
    Rob Cho. I thought he might be analytical and use numbers…Ah well. I was totally wrong here.
  3. Wizards: PICK 3
    Barnes – Because the Wizards don’t care about boxscore production.
    Actual: Beal
    Wow, kudos to the Wizards. They are usually morons.
  4. Cavaliers: PICK 4
    T. Robinson – Because the Cavs like picking people that have upsides but are slightly below average.
    Actual Pick: Dion Waiters.
    No friggin way. Young with upsides, and slightly above average. I wonder if Kyrie Irving’s injuries are more serious than first surmised…
  5. Kings – PICK 5
    Henson – Henson is friends with one of the NBA Kings’ player. Technically it shouldnt be henson but some  average player that can play the 3 for the Kings. Sullinger maybe. I don’t know about this one. Henson is actually a pretty good pick.
    Actual: Thomas Robinson
    Eh. Once you get the first 4 picks wrong, the rest are gonna be bad. I blame the Cavs. Seriously? Dion Waiters?
  6.  Blazers – PICK 6, PICK 11
    Michael Kidd Gilchrist or Damien Lillard. I think they’ll pick Lillard up first. But it could aslo be MKG. 
    Actual: Damian Lillard
    Finally got one right.
  7. The Warriors – PICK 7
    just got Bogut (PF/C) but he’s injury prone. Just like everyone on that stupid team. If they are smart, they’ll get Will Barton. If they are getting what they need, they’ll get Zeller. I think they’ll be getting Zeller.
    Actual: Barnes
    I was totally off the mark.
  8.  Raptors – PICK 8
    The data says Terrence Jones but my heart says they’ll pick up Lillard or MKG. Their choice depends on the Blazers. I don’t think they’ll get Waiters, despite the rumors.
    Actual: Terrence Ross.
    I may have gotten my Terrences mixed up. Eh. I’ll say I missed it.
  9. *Detroit– PICK 9
    Drummond – The Kings in Pick 5 might get Drummond (that Kings GM guy loves to gamble). But I think he’ll fall to Detroit. Because Detroit loves underperforming picks. A lot.
    Actual: Drummond
    Goold old Detroit. You can always depend on them to make the wrong move.
  10. *Hornets – Pick 10
    Lillard, Waiters
    Actual: Austin Rivers.
    Lillard, Waiters were taken, so they got Rivers. Eh. I give myself a half mark.
  11. *Pick 13 Goes the Suns
    Waiters or Marshall
    Actual: Kendall Marshall
  12. Pick 12 goes to the Rockets. Pick 14 goes to the Bucks. I predicte PJ3 for Bucks.
    Actual: Rockets got Lamb.  Morey is a -.94 on the SmartyScore. Lamb is a +.35. Sigh.
    Acutal: Bucks get John Henson. Meniscus tear for PJ3. Eh. I wouldn’t have picked Henson anyways. Henson is actually good . I’d thought Hammond might be an idiot and pick Meyers or Fab. But he just traded for the Dalembert Center. I pegged Henson to be higher on the draft list anyways.
    I was completely wrong.

I just got rocked.

  PIck Actual Predicted POS Team                        
1 Anthony Davis Anthony Davis PF New Orleans Hornets                        
2 Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Beal SF Charlotte Bobcats                        
  3 Bradley Beal Barnes SG Washington Wizards                        
  4 Dion Waiters Thomas Robinson SG Cleveland Cavaliers                        
  5 Thomas Robinson Henson PF Sacramento Kings                        
  6 Damian Lillard Damian Lillard PG Portland Trail Blazers                         
  7 Barnes Zeller, Meyers SF Golden State Warriors                        
  8 Terrence Ross Terrence Jones SG Toronto Raptors                        
  9 Andre Drummond Andre Drummond C Detroit Pistons                        
  10 Austin Rivers Dion Waiters, Lillard PG New Orleans Hornets                        
  11 Meyers Leonard x C Portland Trail Blazers                        
  12 Jeremy Lamb x SG Houston Rockets                         
  13 Kendall Marshall Kendall Marshall PG Phoenix Suns

I was wrong about Henson and Zeller being in the top 13. I’d thought the lack of a center would push zeller up despite his age. I guess the top drafts are always young and average.  I was only right about 4 of the top 13. Very bad showing. At least Henson was pick 14…

Next year, i’m making a list of the young and average as that seems to be the only list worth a toot to most GMs. I should have known that Terrence Ross might get picked up because of the UCONN connection.

Good old predictable Detroit Pistons. You obviously knew that they were going to pick someone unworthy. Their GM gambles with picks constantly.

I’ll have to fiddle with my prediction model a little. Add in some hype factors as well as the fact that the Cavaliers are generally out of their mind.

30% prediction rate is baaaaaad.

Production You Can’t Count On

This Project is on the Backburner

This post is going to be big.

From here on in, I think every single post I make will probably be based on this post. It’s so big, I think a question/answer format is the best way since linear progression is the best way to explain everything.

  1.  Why Was Bballpants Created?
    To show the forums what I thought was right. So they could see the proper methodology.
  2. What is the proper methodology?
    The proper method is to be able to test your predictions and generate a % correct. Reproducible, easily understandable and testable.Ed Weiland got it right with Lin (small stat sample). He focuses on positions. A Point guard should finish at the hoop, and steal. A Power Forward, should finish, get to the free throw line, Block and Rebound. He cherry picks those stats and ranks them accordingly.

    Wagesofwins, D. Berri, Arturo Galleti, James brocato, nerdnumbers, thenbageek, miami-heat-list , they get it done with Wins Produced/Win Score (large data sets). Wins Produced focus on Efficiency, points, steals, rebounds, assists, regardless of position. As such, it is much better than Ed Weiland’s method when you have to consider multiple players of different positions who CAN play multiple positions.

    Ian Levy of Hickoryhigh.com uses brute force per stat renderings. He’ll take the entire college stat line and compare it stat by stat to another person’s college stat. His similarity scores are wrong but useful. His main goal isn’t prediction but understanding which stats are important. The very wrongness of the Similarity Scores, and the accurateness of wagesofwins.com and Ed Weiland means that some stats ARE MORE important!

  3. What Stats are More Important?

    Ian Levy of Hickoryhigh.com did an amazing article for Probasketball.
    Read the article. It’s good. The main chocalate pudding of his article lies below:

    1. Ast/40 _ 0.877
    2. Blk/40 _ 0.875
    3. OReb/40 _ 0.859
    4. FGA _ 0.838
    5. DReb/40 _ 0.836
    6. 3PTA/FGA _ 0.827       Translation: How many times do you attempt a three or a fg?
    7. Stl/40 _ 0.750
    8. FT% _ 0.714
    9. PF/40 _ 0.656
    10. 3PT% _ 0.622
    11. FTA/40 _ 0.544
    12. TO/Pos _ 0.530
    13. Pts/40 _ 0.370
    14. TO/Pos _ 0.530
    15. USG% _ 0.276
    16. Min/G _ 0.118

    That’s the transferability rate of NBA skills. I’m going to group them by highest to lowest probability of transfer.-Production You Can Count on, the title of Ian Levy’s article, means Assists, Blocks, Rebounds, Steals and FT% are all highly transferable positive skills.

    The shooter’s mentality transfers very well too. People that like to shoot threes, shoot a lot of threes! The corollary to this is that shooter’s mentality and behavior transfers over to the NBA for good or bad.

    Production YOU CAN’T Count on! is the inference I made from his USG, Min, Pts, and 3pt%

    You can’t count on scoring. You can’t count on shooting. it’s barely 50%. If you apply usage and minutes, you get an even lower scoring coefficient. It turns into 33% or some such. You have to be really great at shooting before anyone can consider you to be a shooting guard. If you can’t count on points, so why include them so prominently in top algorithms?
    Why does Ed Weiland prioritize it in his 2PP% favoring?

    Maybe we should de-prioritize scoring! Counter-intuitive isn’t it? After all, the NBA is a ‘make buckets’ league. Maybe the reason why Ed and Wins Produced are so prognosticatory is because they prioritize the right stats. Rebounds, Steals, Assists, and Blocks are 75%+ transferable!

  4. What Are You Suggesting?

    I suggest we extend Ian Levy’s complete work to its logical conclusion. Before we apply the Wins Produced formula to a college player’s stats, we adjust those same stats for NBA transferability. Only 75% of draftees keep their FT%  in the NBA. So why don’t we multiply there FT% by 75%? We also do the same for Rebounds, Assists, and [Blank] as well!

    The real doozy would be the points. We’ll have to halve it.

    A Win Score (simplified Wins Produced) ranking list would also be incredibly interesting.

So, What Are The Conclusions?

How do we test this theory? I’m going to use this and map the first 4 NBA years of every draft from 2000 to 2008. Then I’m going to record their career NBA average in terms of WP48 and WP. Then I’ll take  those college stats and apply the appropriate % decreases so as to mimic their stat decreases when they reach the NBA. Then I’ll rig a WP/WP48 matrix with those college stats and see how closely it fits with their career.

Hopefully, this will be as accurate as predicting college to NBA WP48 as WP48 is to NBA wins.

*** The immediate conclusion from this is that Schedule Strength is meaningless. Your points are going to increase due to a weaker schedule  but only 33% of the draft will bring their 2PP% to the NBA. So why bother with schedule strength. You might get better stats across the board? The free throw line is the same in Division I as it is in Division 2. There are still 100 Possessions per game. And if the pacing is slower in the lower conferences, doesn’t that counteract the increased scoring?
I’ve actually done a pace adjusted win score list and a totally unadjusted win score list. The difference (eyeballing) seems negligible. We’re talking decimals.

*** Ian Levy’s isn’t working on his NBA Skill Probability work until next year, I think. He has to complete the entire stat gamut before Wins Produced can be calculated.
*** I’m not sure I should have  posted this without the completed data. But my memory is bad, and posting up the idea might actually help someone else do it. Or light a fire up Ian Levy’s ass to complete his stat projections. 🙂

Predicting the Lottery Team Picks.

I just finished creating Two Tables.

The first table is called “GM SmartyScore”

It has all the lottery teams and their respective GMs along with their respective draft choices.

I take those draft choices and create an average. On average, how far below the NBA average (WS40) do the lesser GMs pick?

Some of the Lottery GMs are so new that they can’t be added.

But here’s the preliminary results. Starting from worst to best.

  • Pacers, Bulls, Wizards are the worst. On the average of 10 draft choice, they regularly pick 1.5 Points Under the NBA average. The Pacers are actually the worst among the three. When they pick good, they pick okay. When they pick bad, it’s abysmally bad.
  • The Pistons are next. Not only are the Pistons almost as bad as the Wizards, their GM has been with them since 1999. Granted, he did help win a championship. He’s probably got the biggest leash known to man. “Oh, I made a draft mistake? Speak to my championship ring.”
    Still, he’s had over 27 draft choices. If we’re talking millions per draft choice, he’s cost the owner a pretty penny. He is the worst, longest tenured, Head Draft Guy.
  • For 10 draft choices, John Hammond has, on average, picked players 1 point below average. He’s had some really great ones. Oddly enough, he trades out the good ones, and the ones he keep turn out incredibly bad. In fact, as production goes, he has the most horriblest picks. It’s just that he has some foreign gems that counterbalance his score somewhat. -1 rating.
  • Daryl Morey does his own data, and yet he’s just as bad as the Bucks.
  • The Cavs don’t know how to pick if they don’t have the top 5 draft picks. It’s that simple. I don’t know how you have a -.33 when you have Kyrie Irving and only 4 draft choices.
  • The Kings, Raptors and the Nets are a wash. They average Bench player type choices.

The Warriors Blazers and Bobcats are too newly formed to have any historical data. Their GMs are barely 6 months old. Awww. Cootchey cootchey koo!

The full chart can be found here.

As time goes on I will be adding the Non-Lottery Top Tier Teams, like the Spurs, Heat, etc etc.


Okay, the second table is built off of the GM Smarty Score.

I collected all the draft workouts, and paired them with the GM Smarty Score. Depending on who’s closer to the GM Smarty Score and the youth of the draft pick, that becomes the predicted Pick.

  1. Hornets: PICK 1, PICK 10 (most likely trade pick#10)
    Anthony Davis, Lillard, Waiters
  2. Bobcats: PICK 2
  3. Wizards: PICK 3
    Barnes – Because the Wizards don’t care about boxscore production.
  4. Cavaliers: PICK 4
    T. Robinson – Because the Cavs like picking people that have upsides but are slightly below average.
  5. Kings – PICK 5
    Henson – Henson is friends with one of the NBA Kings’ player. Technically it shouldnt be henson but some  average player that can play the 3 for the Kings. Sullinger maybe. I don’t know about this one. Henson is actually a pretty good pick.

  6.  Blazers – PICK 6, PICK 11
    Michael Kidd Gilchrist or Damien Lillard. I think they’ll pick Lillard up first. But it could aslo be MKG. Depending on how much leeway Rich Cho Neil Olshey has. (Update: lol. I got the GM wires crossed. Thank you, sportsfanatic613, for the correction)
  7. The Warriors – PICK 7
    just got Bogut (PF/C) but he’s injury prone. Just like everyone on that stupid team. If they are smart, they’ll get Will Barton. If they are getting what they need, they’ll get Zeller. I think they’ll be getting Zeller.
  8.  Raptors – PICK 8
    The data says Terrence Jones but my heart says they’ll pick up Lillard or MKG. Their choice depends on the Blazers. I don’t think they’ll get Waiters, despite the rumors.
  9. Detroit- PICK 9
    Drummond – The Kings in Pick 5 might get Drummond (that Kings GM guy loves to gamble). But I think he’ll fall to Detroit. Because Detroit loves underperforming picks. A lot.

  10. PICK 10 goes to the Hornets, PICK 11 goes to the Blazers.
    The best part is PICK 12 which goes to the Bucks. If the Bucks don’t fail the analysis, they should be picking a center. I doubt Zeller will fall to them so their shortlist would be Stutz, Meyers and Fab Melo. Their GM Smarty Score is -1.1. And that’s exactly what Fab Melo is. But if they pick him, I’ll probably punch a wall. I am a closet Bucks fan.
  11. Pick 13 Goes the Suns.
    Waiters will probably slot in here.

The entire TABLE is here. Every link on that list goes to the website that explains the workout that player has done with that respective team. It’s funny how GMs ask players to work out for them despite the fact that the GM can’t possibly draft that guy. A lot of hometown heroes preening for the camera.

Whew, I’m tired.

My twitter account is banned so…I’m probably going to post this up on…my head.

Researching Robustly for a Post Takes A Long Time

Sorry about the lack of posting.But my twitter account got suspended.

I’ve been working on the twitter thing instead of some of my ideas for posts. But the twitter thing is taxing. Twitter automates the suspension of accounts but uses REAL people to resolve suspension disputes.

That means I’m probably in a giant queue of DMV-like doom. I couldn’t read basketball tweets about the NBA Finals, and I’ll probably miss the NBA draft too.

I could make a new account but I’m really tired. And angry. But mostly tired. Instead, I’m gonna build up some long range articles and wait for the twitter account to get unfrozen. Also, my RSS Reader (Reeder) got entirely messed up due to a Google Reader change. Linking to articles is 10x more difficult without RSS searching out the name for me. I’ll link more when it comes back online. You’ll just have to take my word, for now.

Here’s some articles I’m working on. Some of these are long term projects.

1. Durant and Harden. Who’s better?

This will actually be a positional comparison. Using the Wins Produced formula (See Research), I’ll assign a percentage value. For instance, Durant is great at scoring so what percentage of scoring efficiency affects Durant’s wp48 score.

Let’s say Durant averages 2x as good as Harden in scoring, and let’s say scoring is 20% of wins produced. And let’s say Durant hypothetically does everything else average. Harden scores 10 on avg while Durant scores 20. So 20 is 20% of 100.

Durant 20/80

Harden 10/40

He would have to be twice as good in rebounds over Durant to catch up. Etc Etc. Or a mixture thereof. I’m still fiddling with the math. Most stats have a limiter. Scoring Per Possession. Steals and Rebounds Over Personal Fouls (What % of Personal Fouls come from Defense? Probably a a majority. So research that coefficient or just do an average of the personal fouls collected by the top 30 ball thieves. I’m thinking taking charges or fouling on purpose is a minor part of a person’s game. Should not be a significant coefficient. .)

Hopefully by the end, I’ll have some thresholds. How much scoring per possession is enough to counteract being deficient in everything else? Technically, you don’t even need Harden and Durant for these questions/answers but the idea originated from that quandary. (Wagesofwin Podcast Link)

2. On The Different Statistical Models

Basketball Prospectus’ Kevin Pelton uses WARP.

Wagesofwins’ dberri uses Wins Produced.

Basketball Reference uses Win Shares.

What is the difference between these 3? Have they attacked their own models to see what their prediction rates are?

I was reading Ed Weiland the other day and he has a theory that high 2PP% and a high STL count should be the main factors in determining a PG draft prospect. I think Ian Levy did a thing where he implies that Scoring skills don’t translate well at all from the NCAA to the NBA. That fits with common perception but I’d like Levy to actually pump out the data. I’d LIKE to see his NBA Skill Transfer Analysis done on a per position basis. Maybe shooting guards have a higher percentage of their FT% or 3PP% transfer over to the NBA. My own small dataset shows that most good FT% shooters have good 3PP% in the NBA/NCAA. It’ll be wild if there was a correlation between NCAA FT% and NBA 3PP%. (But I’m not gonna say it because I’d like to get the code crunched through at least 12 years of Data (3 4-yr draft cycles. It’s important not to include the rookie year. Arturo did a data crunch showing that 9 out of 200 top NBAers have had a good rookie year. Or some ridiculously low number. Don’t quote me.) .

I really don’t think Ed Weiland has tested against his own theory robustly. I mean, he got Lin right but then again, so did Wins Produced. People sometimes get so in love with their idea they don’t want to do the hard work of breaking it down. Like PER. Oh god, I hate PER.

3. What are the biggest gambles in the draft?

I’d like to do this one first. Hopefully before the draft. Drummond, Eli Holman, Hummel etc.

The methodology would be to use Ian Levy’s (Hickory-high.com) Similarity Score method to see who these people are similar to. I will be taking fg% and all shooting % out of the equation. This is a pure leap of faith that shooting doesn’t translate at all in the NBA with the notable exception of FT%. This work has also been done by Ian Levy.

4. How good is your team’s Head Draft Guy?

This one is the furthest along as I’m only doing the Lottery Teams. What is the average win score or wins produced per draft pick they’ve chosen? I’ve already done some of this in the Research section. Note to all: Basketball-reference.com stats use winshares. The results are a bit wonky with winshares. I want to do one with the more familiar Wins Produced but that requires more work as I’d have to calc it myself.

The purpose would be to predict the player a GM would most likely pick. A GM who normally picks Bench-level players would probably pick another Bench-level player. The problem with this approach is that the sample sizes for many of these lottery teams are small. Neil Olshey has 0 draft history with the Blazers but he has a few with the Clippers. There’s a lot of wikipediaing for “Was Olshey responsible for 200X’s draft for the X team?” Hard to code for that kind of logic. Time intensive, which is why I plan to do it for just the Lottery teams. Will probably do a top tier team like the spurs and the thunder for control purposes.

Basically, the mission of this blog is to expand on other people’s work.

***P.S. How sick was that Heat/Thunder game!

***PPS How sick was Mark Cuban’s interview on First Take! I wonder if Thunder would have won if they played zone. Lebron’s outside the paint jumper was 16% or some such. Then again, Lebron barely took any of those. He either shot 3s or went to the hoop (rmdr: Link to Ken’s shot chart). Dude is a monster.