Kings Warriors Basketball
Everybody wants a piece of that Lin.
Or that kickin' new uni.


Hey readers. AnacondaHL here, standing in to bring you the Pacific division preview. Let's get this started.

The Golden State Warriors

Crap.

The Los Angeles Clippers

Crappy Crap.

The Los Angeles Lakers

Crappier than people will expect.

The Phoenix Suns

Less crappy than people will expect, but nevertheless, crap.

The Sacramento Kings

Crap up in this bitch.



...


...ugh, fine, I'll do this properly.

Let's try this a different way. The NBA preseason has come to a close, and without going into a discussion about how well preseason success correlates to regular season records, (oblig link 1, oblig link 2), let's take a look at how the Pacific did:

2010-11 Pacific preseason


Good Lordy. To help me get through this, aside from the multiple Pacificos, I'll be posting Basketball Prospectus' SHOENE projection for each team next to my projection and their standing in the West. Also, don't ask me for the rest of the projections, go spend your $10 on this fantastic read that's well worth it.

The Golden State Warriors

So, due to alphabetic obligations, we unfortunately start with the team with the most questionable SHOENE outlook. Is there a factor in the equation that accounts for an awesome switch back to throwback uniforms?

Well if anything there's some consideration to the coach. With the loss of The winningest coach in NBA history, you'd think the Warriors would be set to repeat or worse their 26-56 2009-10 record. Of course everyone knows that I'm joking, and that Don Nelson leaving is addition via subtraction, and Keith Smart has a chance to prove himself, beyond wacky games with limited rosters.

Throw in the growth of Stephen Curry as a star, and the acquisition of David Lee, the pickup of hard worker Sweet Lou, the room for Reggie Williams and Andris Biedrins to develop (and to hopefully improve his 16.0% FT%), and Monta Ellis ready to chuck it up, and the Warriors could be a surprise team in the West playoffs. And did I mention their pickup of Jeremy Lin? He's Asian! And American! And went to Harvard! Best PR use of an Asian player on an NBA basketball team since not Yi.

Still, I just don't see this squad nearly doubling their win total. David Lee's sieve defense is notorious in the Big Apple, and yet he fits right into their "get the steal or bust" methods. If anything, they've solidified their worst-in-the-league 112.4 points surrendered per game, and may give Toronto a run for their money at worst defensive rating next season.

I'm still jealous of their uniforms though.

SHOENE says: 49-33 (4)
AHL says: 40-42 (12)


The Los Angeles Clippers

Another year looking strong on paper, another year of disappointment. Don't get hyped up on this team as always, they are fighting to stay out of the bottom of the entire West.

Well let's start with the good news. Blake Griffin is looking monsterous. Hulk-esque, if you will. (Bonus YouTube to hype up the 3 Clippers fans).

*Keanu voice* Whoa.

In addition, Eric Gordon's coming off a solid tournament with Team USA. Kaman is Kaman, good for solid numbers. Ryan Gomes was brought in as their utility man. And Baron Davis looks to continue his obligations to this team, while mentoring Eric Bledsoe in the ways of the beard.

And now the bad news, which we all see coming a mile away. Yes, they are the Clippers. Meaning inevitable suck, notable due to inevitable injury. Poor Blake throws himself around the court with reckless disregard, Eric Gordon already seems banged up with a sprained ankle, Baron Davis is Baron Davis (averaging ~63GP per season the past 8 seasons), and Kaman is Kaman (also ~63 GP/season his past 6). That leaves poor Ryan Gomes to hold down the fort with Rasual Butler, Randy Foye, Craig Smith, and DeAndre Jordan. Yea.

Also, Donald Sterling. Still around. Yea. 'Nuff's been said about that.

SHOENE says: 27-55 (15)
AHL says: 24-58 (15)


The Los Angeles Lakers

Our World Champion 5th ringers seem like the team to beat. They dumped Morrison while keeping their championship core, adding PG Steve Blake, SF Matt Barnes, and C Theo Ratliff. They even held onto Mr. Sasha Maria Sharapova.

So why the crappy outlook?

To put it simply: age. Projected team weighted age sits at 30.8, 3rd oldest in the league. Bynum's question marks. Kobe's finger. Artest's crazy. Everything's going downhill with this team. Going from 65 wins in 2008, to an astonishing 57 wins last season thanks to a truckload of Kobe game winners, to what this season?

Well of course the Suns fan in me can't help to expect the best out of the Lakers, and I'd love to chase them out of the postseason in Golden State over Dallas fashion. Additionally, I can see the Lakers doing something amazing for PJax before finally blowing it up. Finally, Kobe seems hungrier than ever for number 6.

But honestly they're going to have to rely on Pau much more (not necessarily a bad thing), and are really one Gasol injury away from dropping to the bottom seeds, hence BP's low outlook on their season. I'm just saying, don't be surprised if they aren't even 2nd seed come April, even in this pathetic division.

SHOENE says: 46-36 (8)
AHL says: 55-27 (1)


The Phoenix Suns

All we needed was to replace Amar''''''e with a solid rebounder who could block some shots and maybe finish at the basket.

Instead we end up with an Atlanta-esque team of SFs. A team of 7 6th men when we needed 3rd-9th.

How did this go so wrong so fast? Was Steve Kerr actually responsible for good decisions, covering for the crapfest Sarver serves? I mean I knew he was bad, but how do you NOT know how to pull off a sign and trade for an actual asset like David Lee, instead of a trade exception I'm sure you're too stupid to know how to use as well?

Anyways, I still think surprising chemistry prevails in this case, as these guys genuinely seem to like each other. Throw in another age defying season by Nash, and the Phoenix medical staff reviving the corpse of Hedo (not to mention Jason Richardson's $14.4 million contract year), and these guys will likely not end up with records as bad as projected. As much as I'd love to see these guys get 50, it seems the West this year will be logjammed at 49-45 wins.

SHOENE says: 37-45 (12)
AHL says: 44-38 (7)


The Sacramento Kings

Rookie 20-5-5.

The steal of the early draft.

The pride of Israeli basketball.

The Super Landry Brothers.

That, uh, bipolarish center guy whose foundation I've actually donated to.

Guys named Beno, Giddens, Pooh, Head, Whiteside, Jason and Mason, Donté (acute accent required!) and Ime Udoka.

Even guys with boring names like Francisco Garcia, Antoine Wright, and Donald Sloan.

And last but not least, but least in some other sense, a gift from the god to our lacktion specialist and Bay Area enthusiast chris, Darnell Lacktion Jackson.

What's not to love about this team? I mean other than a 9th seed upside, multiple character issue risks, and speeding tickets.

SHOENE says: 43-39 (9)
AHL says: 39-43 (13)


Final Verdict for the 2010-11 Pacific Division: Waiting for a bunch of old guys to get injured, funny combinations of names, a couple of first round playoff exits, and Jeremy Lin.


-AnacondaHL

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65 Comments:
Blogger Basketbawful said...
I can't imagine the Warriors coming anywhere close to 49 wins, nor the Lakers winning fewer than 50. But SHOENE seems to have nailed the Clippers.

Anonymous Reignman said...
I feel sorry for Blake Griffin. He's too good to be a Clipper. He must have been a serial killer or a rapist in a previous life.

On a side note: Apparently the league is open for contraction*, with the Bobcats, Grizzlies and Hornets among the small market cities in danger of losing their teams. The Kings, T-Wolves and Raptors don't seem to be in better shape (though the Raps are in one of N.America's largest cities). Amazingly, the Clippers continue to get a pass. Sterling makes sure the team doesn't lose money.

And with all this talk about the league losing money, how is it possible that no one has even suggested getting rid of the WNBA?

*source: http://spurstalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=164474

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Yea, SCHOENE is really off in this division, but most of their other predictions are pretty good and I'd recommend using if you're battling Las Vegas.

Anonymous Barry said...
I would welcome a bad LA season with open arms but I just know that it won't matter come play-offs time. Yeah, Artest is crazy and Kobe is older and hurt and Fisher's a liability and Bynum can't stay healthy...but still.

Gotta agree that the Warriors uni is looking smooth.

Anonymous Stockton said...
Love the fact that LA is 4-2 at home, and 0-0 on the road and still finishes with a 4-3 record.
What, they're testing the stern button on the standings just in case the "3 amigos heat" have a lower record than the lakers??

And since when Barcelona belongs to the western conference?

Anonymous Barry said...
On a different note, I came across this TMac quote that seems oddly fitting nowadays.

"[My] career was sputtering until [I] did a 360 and got headed in the right direction."

Blogger Basketbawful said...
But honestly they're going to have to rely on Pau much more (not necessarily a bad thing...

As well they should. He's probably the team's best player, as much as that will freak some people out. PER and Win Shares (both regular season and playoffs) seem to go in Pau's favor. And frankly, his inside threat is what opens up opportunities for everybody else.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
And with all this talk about the league losing money, how is it possible that no one has even suggested getting rid of the WNBA?

Okay, THANK YOU.

I'm fine with Stern wanting players to take somewhat of a paycut -- it's probably long overdue -- but if they agree to it, then Stern should agree to stop shoveling money into the money pit that is the WNBA.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Reignman - Because the WNBA has a total estimated revenue of $85 million, and supposedly only costs the NBA $8 million a year (pdf source), for some nice PR and expanded market. Think about that in comparison to Eddy Curry's $11,276,863 salary this year.

Barry - It's Kobe's knee too. I know he's a warrior and killer and blah blah all that, but there's just a lot of risk here. SCHOENE is mean since it projects using the careers of similar players at similar ages, which is why Nash's and Kobe's outlier seasons always make it project low for the Suns/Lakers, and why it's seeing a breakout for the New Logo Warriors.

Bawful - That Pau at triangle Point Center was devastating. Ugh. Yes, I'm still pretending that the Suns season ended at Game 4 WCF and nothing happened afterwards.

Blogger Wormboy said...
Relying on Gasol is a good thing for the LAkers. He is their most efficient player by a good margin, should have been Finals MVVP the last two years, and with his good passing he'll make teams pay for it if they key on him. Actually, I see them being better this year if they run plays for Gasol more often, and Kobe scores more on higher percentage shots instead of his patented "contested 1 on 3" J.

PS. Charlie who? And check out Jordan's rookie numbers! That rebounding total from that skinny boy? Yikes.

Blogger tjr said...
Charlie Scott:-

What has he ever done for me?

SCHOENE clearly can't take into account the sheer yawn potential that is Hedo.
Phoeniz season preview:
Robin Lopez either has a break out season or gets injured and the rest of the roster getting by jacking up 3's all season without even hint of an inside presence.

Glad to know I'm not the only one who thought Phoenix should have got Lee.

Blogger chris said...
I have to admit, when I read here that Darnell "Lacktion" Jackson would be a Purple Pauper this year, that news flat out made my weekend.

Thanks.

CHAMPIONSHIP TIME!?!??!

:D

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Because the WNBA has a total estimated revenue of $85 million, and supposedly only costs the NBA $8 million a year (pdf source), for some nice PR and expanded market. Think about that in comparison to Eddy Curry's $11,276,863 salary this year.

Some problems with this. First, it's old information (coming before the 2003 season, according to the text). Second, revenue does not mean profit. Third, that $8 million has likely increased. Some more up-to-date info:

"While some teams do make a profit (and others break even), most of the teams in the WNBA lose money each season. Losses are subsidized by the NBA; in 2003, news surfaced that the NBA spent up to $12 million a year to help pay for the WNBA losses. In 2007, teams were estimated to be losing $1.5 million to $2 million a year."

Yeah, I get that the amounts of money we're talking about seem like chump change to how much is spent on the NBA's losing teams, but Stern is still asking employees to take a pay cut when 1) I haven't heard that he's planning to take one and 2) he clearly intends to keep shoveling money into a pet project regardless of the fact that it has done nothing but lose money for its entire 13-year existence.

Blogger tjr said...
This made me laugh.

If the Clippers/Suns trade Kaman for Hedo they'll win 42 more games.

http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=24usggp

Do it!

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
tjr - I hate you so much.

Anonymous Marc d. said...
Stern would be an idiot if he contracted the Raptors. Not only would it absolutely destroy basketball in Canada, but the Raptors are consistently top 10 in attendance every year.

Blogger Ultra-Misanthrope said...
You think the Warriors are going to win 40 games? Wow, I'll be thrilled if they win 35 with an expectation of maybe cracking 30.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
From the L.A. Times:

"The Lakers aren't sweating with a soft schedule in which 20 of their first 28 games are against non-playoff teams from last season. They don't play a statement game until Miami on Christmas Day, they won't get run up and down the court by the young-and-restless Oklahoma City Thunder until mid-January, and they don't see their old friends, the Celtics, until the end of January."

Anonymous Hellshocked said...
Do not underestimate the effect Don Nelson finally taking a fucking hike will have on the Warriors. I love Stephen Curry but I cringed every time I saw Nelson talking to him in the sidelines. Giving an already defensively challenged rookie a "What's D stand for?" coach is a recipe for disaster. They will be much improved this year.

I don't predict 40 wins because Monta Ellis is still on the team, but if they can trade him for an Anthony Parker type they might actually have a squad.

As for the Clippers...they have a very well balanced team on paper and would probably be a 500 team or better if it weren't for Baron fucking Davis. That fat, lazy fuck will average a layup every 3 weeks, 20% from three, 37% overall field goal percentage, 6 terrible assists (half of which will be accidental alley-oops to Griffin) and continue to be a huge cancer.

Vince Carter gets a lot of shit, but I think Davis should get much more. There is quitting on a team and then there is what Baron Davis has done three times in his career. I'd dump him to the first taker.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
LOL @ "Gasol should have gotten Finals MVP 2 years in a row"

What world are you living in? Did you watch either the series against the Magic or the Celtics?

Kobe averaged 32/5/7 in the Magic series, and BOTH Kobe and Gasol struggled against the Celtics - though Kobe showed up to more games against the Celtics than did Gasol.

Don't let Game 7 fool you.

I HATE stupid blind haters.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
And frankly, his inside threat is what opens up opportunities for everybody else.

It works both ways Bawful, hence why it works. If Kobe wasn't out on the perimeter, teams could just focus on Pau and smother him effectively, while for the Lakers stepping up would be....who? Artest and his crazy threes? Odom and his inconsistency??

Anonymous Karma said...
Gasol showed up for about 4 games in the NBA Finals this year. 1, 2, 3 and 7, while Kobe showed up for literally every game before his bad game 7.

don't let revisionist history fool you; the guy dropped 38 points in Game 5 and was the only reason the Lakers even had a chance to win.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
UPDATE!:
BP has updated their projections and published them taking into account recent waiver drops and injuries. Click me.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I agree with Anonymous. Gasol showed up for the Laker wins, but Kobe showed up for all seven games in that Celtics series. And whenever Bynum was out, Gasol was a complete no-show because Perkins could cover him then, just getting pushed around. It was pathetic.

Funny how when Perkins got hurt, Gasol actually became effective in the fourth quarter.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
BP has updated their projections and published them taking into account recent waiver drops and injuries. Click me.

So...the Lakers will edge out the Purple Paupers for the final playoff spot out West.

Yep. Sounds about right.

Anonymous Azreous said...
"The Lakers aren't sweating with a soft schedule in which 20 of their first 28 games are against non-playoff teams from last season. They don't play a statement game until Miami on Christmas Day, they won't get run up and down the court by the young-and-restless Oklahoma City Thunder until mid-January, and they don't see their old friends, the Celtics, until the end of January."

Ah yes. Another year, another soft Lakers start. At least some things in the league still operate like clockwork.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I have a hard time taking any projection seriously that says the Lakers will win 45 games. Are they assuming Kobe will miss the whole season? Because then that might sound about right.

Anyways just another voice to add to the pro-Kobe MVP side. Kobe hater #1 John Hollinger even wrote a column saying that win or lose Kobe was MVP of the series. He had a bad Game 7 shooting the ball but I mean...so did Gasol! Hell, both teams couldn't shoot to save their lives.

And arguing that Gasol was MVP in the Orlando series...that's just foolishness. Maybe you might get that if you're using WP or some other rebound-centric formula, but in the real world that MVP was never in doubt.

Anonymous dave m said...
Bah. SHOENE'S got one way of looking at it, I've got mine.

http://searchingforslava.blogspot.com

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Azreous said - "Ah yes. Another year, another soft Lakers start. At least some things in the league still operate like clockwork."

Why do people harp on shit like this? That just means the Lakers will have a hard schedule to finish the season. Everyone plays everyone else, this isn't college football where strength of schedule varies. The teams in the East will have an easier schedule than the teams in the West simply because there aren't as many good teams in the East, but other than that everything is the same. LA will have just as hard a schedule as everyone else in the West, same as always. LA had a super-easy schedule to start last year, but look at how it bit them in the ass down the stretch. Quit whining like LA is getting any kind of favoritism.

Who cares if Kobe or Pau should have been the MVP in the Finals the last two years? Both are there and both make the team better. Debating which one makes the team "more better" is totally subjective and pointless.

Also, what kind of predictive method tries to factor in assumed injuries? I've said it before (in regards to PER), but when the advanced stats just don't even come close to showing what the real story is, they should be scrapped and re-calculated. If your end result is way off base, then your formula is flawed. Period. That's how you test if a formula works. You don't just say "well, the math should be right, so results be damned, this is the truth!"

The Lakers had their share of injury issues last year, had no bench and still won 57 games. If they have massive injuries to all kinds of key players then yes, they'll stink, but what team isn't that true of? If you assume the Lakers are about as healthy as they normally are, there's no reason they shouldn't easily have the best record in the West, especially now that they actually have a bench this year. Kobe, Pau, Odom, Bynum and Artest are not old (unless you think 30-32 is old). They're not the Thunder, but also aren't in the twilights of their careers. There's no reason to assume any of them will suffer a freak injury that causes them to miss most of the season. You can say that if Gasol has a major injury it's gonna really hurt the Lakers, and that's true, but Gasol doesn't have much of a history of being hurt and isn't that old, so where does something like that even come from (aside from wishful thinking on the part of someone who hates the Lakers)? Any player in the league can get hurt, even severely, at any time. It's weird to assume it'll happen to the point that you factor it into a preseason preview.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
The Lakers also had an abnormally high number of game wining shots and low margin of victory. Likely not to repeat like that again.

And SCHOENE is actually one of the closest correlations out of all the predicative formulas out there. It looks at similar careers at similar ages and combines it with a player's history.

"Also, what kind of predictive method tries to factor in assumed injuries?"

Uhh, a pretty good one?

"If your end result is way off base, then your formula is flawed. Period. That's how you test if a formula works. You don't just say "well, the math should be right, so results be damned, this is the truth!""

How do you know the end result is flawed? No one's even played one game yet?

A no one is saying results be damned, this is the truth. No one is saying the it is impossible for the Lakers to win again. It is saying that out of 1000 seasons simulated, this was the average result. Jesus Christ Yams where the hell did this irrational rant come from? Get off your high horse, you sound like a fool.

Anonymous DKH said...
Wild Yams: I don't know why you've made that point previously with respect to PER, but you are correct that PER isn't the greatest of stats for predicting season outcomes. Various statistics and their correlation with outcomes can be found at

http://arturogalletti.wordpress.com/2010/07/20/predictive-stats-bad-metrics-correlation-in-the-nba/

For what it's worth, the "wins produced" stat that does correlate highly with actual outcomes suggests that Gasol was overall the most productive (and the most productive per minute) player in the NBA finals:

http://dberri.wordpress.com/2010/06/18/not-so-final-thoughts-on-the-2010-finals/

For fans of the Warriors who question the projections, wins produced also suggests a substantial increase in wins for that team:

http://dberri.wordpress.com/2010/07/14/warriors-stumble-on-50-wins/

Guess we'll see.

Anonymous Azreous said...
Wild Yams said: "LA had a super-easy schedule to start last year"

So you agree then. Good.

As to the rest of your prattle, there's no "whining" and I don't honestly care one way or the other. The Lakers have just seemed to start with an easier schedule than most other teams in the league the past 3-4 seasons. Do things even out? Sure. But it's an observation. Calm down.

So Miami drops two wins in the SCHOENE projections because of Mike Miller's actual injury, but teams like the Lakers and Suns seem to have taken a huge hit based on hypothetical boo-boos. Granted, maybe this ends up being spot on (and as Anaconda said, most of their predictions outside the Pacific seem pretty reasonable), but it seems a little strange right now.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Azreous - Like I said, and how Pelton himself describes it, Nash and Kobe producing well above average for their age makes SCHOENE seem like it's undershooting their predictions.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
One thing to note about the Lakers schedule. Just like the Bulls take their annual "circus" road trip and the Spurs have their annual "rodeo" road trip, the Lakers have problems of their own due to the Grammys. Also since the Staples Center is booked for 3 teams that all have to be moved away from Staples Center, it just exacerbates things.

So it seems as if they front load home games for the Lakers. The flip side to this (as Yams said) is that this comes to bite them in the butt later on. As you can see if you read the Lakers schedule, in February and March the Lakers have a brutal stretch of road games. 14 of 17 games on the road including @Boston, @OKC, @Charlotte (their personal house of horrors), @Portland (their OTHER personal house of horros) @Orlando and then a cute 4 games @San Antonio, @Atlanta, @Miami and @Dallas all in the span of 6 days.

So yeah, when all your hard games all get stuffed together in a short window, it's going to mean that the rest of your schedule is soft. This season will play out exactly like last year's schedule. Lakers will fatten up early even with their stars dealing with injuries (remember Gasol sat out the first chunk of the season last year). In the 2nd half of the season they'll get tired, guys start getting nicked up and they'll spend the whole month on the road. Predictably they'll drop a few games in a row. Then everyone will start with their "LOL THE LAKERS ARE FADING, THEY CAN'T WIN THIS YEAR!" talk. Then when the playoffs start up and they have home court advantage, they'll revert back to normalcy.

Also, another factor that tends to bite the Lakers in the butt. Since they're one of the league's marquee teams, they get booked on Thursday nights a lot. Usually to compensate, the league books them in back-to-backs and 3 games in 4 nights stretches. This year, it's not happening. So at least they get a break there.

Blogger lordhenry said...
I think Yams is getting weary of the "Laker hate" which has kinda gone from cute to conniving. I notice he hasn't posted as much anymore probably becuz he has drawn a lot of ire with his postings.
If anyone deserve ire as a laker fan it is probably me, due to my "Sith Lord" rants which I started to lampoon one of Bawful's own jokes and to amuse some of the others on this site that don't really like the lakers.
Just remember, Yams, it could be worse, I like Brett Farve, and it really seems like these days I'm the only one.

Anonymous Azreous said...
I suppose that fits. Two other projections that seem a bit low at first glance are Boston and Dallas -- but each team features a core built on aging veterans playing at a better-than-expected level. So I guess SCHOENE is consistent in that area.

Blogger Sorbo said...
Speaking of the Lakers and Blake Griffin, here's a sweet dunk from last year over Bawful Null Star DJ Mbenga:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwyZD6HSXZU&NR=1

Even the Lakers announcers laugh at DJ.

Anonymous dave m said...
Numbers crunching, schedules and crystal balls aside, the Lakers have won 5 titles in 10 years. Doesn't matter what anybody writes, caculates, supposes or whines. You win by putting the ball in the basket and keeping the other guys from doing it as often. A coach will 11 rings doesn't hurt.

Anonymous OneZero said...
Bawful,

I miss the old-school man-love pics

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/players/3118/photos;_ylt=Aps7OyNsB5z6KPFxItqofzkdPKB4?slug=a8f27939adb342ecb440a102c3a75637#photoViewer=urn%3Anewsml%3Asports.yahoo%2Cap%3A20050301%3Anba%2Cphoto%2C250c020a269c4abf8b4b9838bd6f108c%3A1


bring it back!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
The reason that win shares correlates so strongly to actual winning is because it's nothing more than a division of statistics in a box score. It just doesn't do a fair job in dividing the credit appropriately.

For example. The metric is based HEAVILY in favor of rebounding. Since we're talking Kobe, he had a nightmare game 7 with the now infamous 6 for 24. His WP48 was actually in the positive at .110, meaning that not only was he producing, he was producing above the average level. Why? 15 rebounds.

But this is one of the problems with WP and WS as INDIVIDUAL stats. How do you divide the credit? We can all agree that the metric makes sense. Rebounds good. Missed shots bad. High A/T ratio good. That's why every year the leader in WP48 is usually someone like Marcus Camby. Someone who has an abnormally high FG% and who gets rebounds. It's one of the damning factors of WP/WP48. It can accurately tell you which team won and WHY they won, it just can't accurately decide who was most responsible.

The fact that bigs tend to be so overrated has led to the metric being renamed "rebound shares" around the internet stats community. It's a neat metric in a lot of ways, but you can't be a strict devotee of what it says on an individual stat basis.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
you gentlemen who just defended Kobe as validly winning the NBA Finals MVP this last year (against the Celtics):

could you please send your arguments to Bill Simmons? i've tried sending him emails on his ESPN page, but my laptop keeps giving me an error message, so they don't get through...

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Weren't those 15 rebounds pretty important though?

A,nyways, win shares are really only useful for comparing seasons across eras. There's too much noise to use game to game, and I hate reading the per 48 version.

If anything, WARP2 does a better job of giving guards sure credit.

Blogger matt said...
I call this trade "Fun with Swingmen"

http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=299994r

Blogger Paul said...
AnacondaHL said
Jesus Christ Yams where the hell did this irrational rant come from? Get off your high horse, you sound like a fool.

Wow! that wasn't nice and really uncalled for.
His rants though temperamental offer very little to almost no amount of -irrational- thinking.
No need for personal attacks if you don't share someone's opinion.

Just like Wild Yams I do think that SHOENE simulator seems a little flawed especially when plugging in the numbers for the Pacific.
That's just my opinion and I'm not about to call anybody a "Fool" for taking SHOENES findings as Gospel.

@everyone else who claims Gasol should've been the MVP either on 2009 or 2010.
I got TWO words for you RECALL BIAS.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
lordhenry - You're right on the money. Very often I feel like I can't say anything even remotely positive about my team without it starting a flamewar or being accused of trolling. Anyone would grow tired of that eventually.

In any event, last spring I turned off my cable so I no longer get any kind of TV feed here at my place. The only thing I was watching on it was Laker games anyway, as I'm not a fan of TV shows in general. This year I'm gonna be trying to catch all the games via streaming or bittorrent (i.e. illegal methods), or going to sports bars I guess. As such I may have to wait a day or two to see games, and may end up missing some entirely, so I might not have much to contribute here this season anyway.

Blogger Bing said...
"His WP48 was actually in the positive at .110, meaning that not only was he producing, he was producing above the average level. Why? 15 rebounds."

This is why he still got the MVP not Pau, he found another way to contribute even when his shooting was ineffective. He's a shooting guard who out-rebounded every other player that day.

Blogger starang said...
I agree with Anaconda...its a mathematical model and the whole premise of the post was simulation/prediction...

I think the more interesting reading would be an explanation, from his own keyboard, of what measure Wild Yams is discounting this "prediction" considering the season hasn't started yet,

AND,

why the hell injuries should not be accounted for in the model? This isn't 2K sports...the NBA has injuries.

Anonymous Stockton said...
I'm not sure of the schedule formula, but teams in the same division play between themselves more, right?
That being said, the Northwest may produce some lousy (for western standards) records. I can't imagine OKL, Utah, Portland and even Denver battling each other!!
The Lakers however, have a $hitty division, so they'll stock some victories there...

Blogger Wild Yams said...
starang - You really want me to explain why I'm skeptical about a mathematical prediction which says the Lakers will be the 8th seed in the West with only 45 wins? Really? I feel like if you really don't know why anyone would be puzzled by such a prediction, then I'd be here forever trying to explain it to you. Instead I think I'll just show you this link and save myself the effort of typing up a long explanation for something which is incredibly obvious. Best of luck in trying to figure out where I'm coming from.

As for the injuries thing, look, I respect AnacondaHL's abilities when it comes to tracking down an arcane math formula which may or may not be accurate about basketball, but I remain skeptical about his psychic abilities when it comes to predicting injuries that haven't happened yet to fully healthy players in their primes. I mean, the guy looked at the back to back defending champions, which are returning every key player from last year's team, all of which are 32 years old or younger (except for Derek Fisher), and which also added real bench support in Steve Blake and Matt Barnes, and he said "Everything's going downhill with this team." I'd guess someone with psychic abilities would be better able to read the present, let alone the future, but maybe that's just me.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
I'm not gonna jump on any of these here dogpiles, but barring major injuries to both Pau and Kobe, the Lakers are a lock for 50+ wins and a top seed (whether first, second, or at an absolute crazy worse, third) in the West. I've watched Phil Jackson work his voodoo for far too long to expect otherwise.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
IT'S JUST A PREDICTION PEOPLE.

I mean, do you all not see that even I think it's 55 wins and top seed? I wrote it in the damn post. Possibly because I'm not Hollinger and I don't think any model is a "gospel".

And Yams, we all appreciate your noble Lakers pariahdom or whatever. Thanks for sharing. QQ.

Honestly fuck the Lakers.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Stockton - It's 16 games in the division, 52 in conference total, so all five teams from any division could sill make it.

Anonymous Matt said...
While it's all well and good to say that none of the core group for the Lakers are that old, the fact is that Kobe's legs have a ton of miles on them and he's had multiple knee surgeries. Plus, Bynum hasn't necessarily shown himself to be an ironman.

I'm not saying that they're destined to get injured, but if Vegas was taking bets on whether or not those two players will both play 75+ games this season, I think it's safe to say that you'd be wise to take the under.

Anonymous JJ said...
I realize I'm going off topic here, but how do you guys feel about the new Bron Bron commercial? Is it bawful or brilliant?

Personally, I thought they did a pretty good job of disguising Bron's whining (at fans) with some tongue-in-cheek humor. Great editing.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
IT'S JUST A PREDICTION PEOPLE.

I hope you know my comment wasn't an attack on you or anybody else. Just sharing my thoughts.

Blogger starang said...
Yams...I got it. Your Laker pride is your source, we all get it. Consider it explained...I just though you had a better one. FYI, everyone on this blog knew your Laker blinders was the source. It was a rhetorical question for an idiot that took a mathematical model way to seriously and got his Laker butt hole bruised for it.

And as I said before...which other stats would you like to remove from the model for your convenience? By your design, the model would predict the Laker every year regardless. Sure, that would be a great model for you...but this isn't for just you.

And again, I must vehemently agree with AHL...FUCK THE LAKERS!

Blogger Paul said...
AnacondaHL said...

IT'S JUST A PREDICTION PEOPLE.

I think you are failing to understand that people was not attacking YOU but simply sharing their opinion about what seems like a very off prediction.


I hope you know my comment wasn't an attack on you or anybody else. Just sharing my thoughts

Kinda sad that even Mr. Bawful has to emphasize that he wasn't personally launching an attack or piling up on you.
Hope you are more relaxed today.

Blogger starang said...
Yams. I apologize for calling you an idiot. It was uncalled for and unneeded to make my point. But as Bawful and AHL were saying, its just a prediction from a model. I too would pick The Rapers for 50+.

I just find it silly to discount the entire thing because your favorite team didn't compute to your likings.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
starang - Honestly it's not just that this flawed formula picked the Lakers to finish with the 8th seed in the West that makes me skeptical of how valid it is, look at some of the other predictions it made:

- Boston will finish with 43 wins, one fewer than the Knicks

- Atlanta will be a lottery team with only 36 wins

- New Jersey and Cleveland will both make the playoffs with 41 and 40 wins, respectively

- Utah will only win 40 games and will be a lottery team

- Phoenix will only win 36 games and be a lottery team

- Minnesota will win 3 more games than the Clippers

Like I said, when the results of a math formula deviate wildly from what common sense tells you, then odds are good that the formula you're using is flawed. Now maybe this stuff will all happen, but I think it's highly unlikely that this will be the case. I know that both you and AnacondaHL want to place stock in it because, as you both said "fuck the Lakers", but I think you're backing the wrong horse here. You're better off just going back to rubbing a rabbit's foot or praying to Zeus or using a voodoo hex or whatever it is you do that the Lakers don't win it again. Cause I'll tell you what, placing stock in such a bizarre formula the way you are with this one isn't ending up making me look like an idiot...

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Okay Yams, we get it. But you have to stop saying stuff like "when the results of a math formula deviate wildly from what common sense tells you, then odds are good that the formula you're using is flawed." because that's just as bogus. Common sense is very often wrong too, and it's the outliers of science and math in history that's been trying to fight it. In basketball for example, everyone and their "common sense" last year had the Suns penciled in to miss the playoffs, but they made the WCF and nearly pushed it to the Finals. Everyone and their "common sense" had Boston's slow finish resulting in an early playoffs exit, but they pushed it to a 1 quarter of a game to win it all. That's the beauty of the models, anything can happen, which is why this is averaged simulations and not really just "bizzare formulas".

If you must, I'll throw you a Lakers bone and share BP's alternate formula, NBAPET, which is way more conservative (while being nicer to crappy teams at getting a chance to be in the playoffs), but has some fun results like the Kings winning 3 of the 10,000 championships. Sadly for you though, no rabbits foot or voodoo required as the Lakers won it all only 16% of the time.

P.S. The Hawks are, in fact, bad.

Anonymous DKH said...
I think it's pretty clear that there are issues with SCHOENE, and everyone acknowledges that, even if they disagree on the extent of the issues. A few more points, though:

1. Atlanta isn't very good. They way overspent on Joe Johnson, and Jamal Crawford isn't as great of a player as he is made out to be. Josh Smith might actually be good, but it wouldn't surprise me if any computer models were unconvinced because he has one good season and 5 crappy to mediocre seasons. Maybe he'll keep it together; maybe he won't. But I can't fault a computer model for being unsure.

2. Cleveland still has pieces. It wasn't LeBron for 61 wins and everyone else was worth zero. Varejao is good. Jamison is competent. Hickson may or may not develop. Jamario Moon, secretly a productive player according to wins produced, will get a good chunk of LeBron's minutes. They may or may not make the playoffs, but that simulation doesn't strike me as that improbable.

3. Replacing a statistical model with "common sense" isn't that effective. Common sense may say to someone that Utah will win more than 40 games, or it may say to me that Utah replaced a productive player (Boozer) with a historically average player (Jefferson), so of course they will win fewer games. But that someone might reply that Jerry Sloan is such a good coach, or Deron Williams such a good point guard, that Jefferson will be more productive. Common sense can say anything.

More effective is to lay out a set of principles for modeling, and if we see a result that doesn't make sense, try to identify an error in the principles or otherwise improve them. AHL, of course, does this above when he talks about how SCHOENE age-adjusts performance and that this may be ineffectively predicting players like Kobe, Nash, or (I assume) Curry. But saying, "these results don't agree with my common sense; therefore, the model is bad" is not an effective criticism.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
DKH - My main point, I suppose is just this: I don't need a formula, any formula, to know what to expect from any team or division for this upcoming season. In fact, a math formula strikes me as a weird place to look when trying to evaluate how good a team looks heading into the year. I don't need math to confirm for me that adding LeBron James and Chris Bosh to Dwyane Wade should equal a lot more wins for the Heat, cause it's patently obvious that this will be the case.

AnacondaHL seems to think that I'd have preferred he use some more Laker-friendly formulas with which to preview the Pacific Division, but that isn't what I want. I'm honestly confused why anyone would want that, but I'm even more confused when after consulting a formula that gives such bizarre results anyone would chose to not only include it in a preview writeup, but would seem to base the entire writeup around it.

I like the idea that basketball is an analog activity, not a digital one, and that there are an infinite number of nuances that can't be formulated into some math scheme which tells us what did or did not happen, or what will or won't happen. The games are played on the court, not on paper, so why is there this sudden insistence over the last few years to staunchly adhere to what the paper is telling us? Call it common sense, instinct or just knowledge of the game, I don't care. I just think that if you watch any sport a lot it really isn't that difficult to see which teams are going to be good and which ones are going to be bad, and you don't need a slide rule to help you figure it out.

Blogger benschon said...
Ime Udoka! He didn't actually crack a roster this year. Let us all have a moment of silence for the NBA's all-time best Nigerian-American forward whose sister is named Mfon.

Blogger Ash said...
Wow. Some of the worst projections I've ever seen on this site. I'll just disregard this post and hope you guys get back to last season's form.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
uh, okay. I'll get right back to last season's form... of accurately foretelling the future?

If you must know, I've changed my stance on the warriors and think they are making the playoffs, despite the horrid D. But why don't you elaborate your opinion on why you think my opinion is so opinionated.

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