(Points + Rebounds + Steals + ½Assists + ½Blocked Shots – Field Goal Attempts – Turnovers - ½Free Throw Attempts - ½Personal Fouls) / Minutes = Win Score per Minute

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Baketball Razzies, Part 1 of a few

With the news that the Celtics may be dumping ol' Bassy Telfair, I decided to do the first part of a post I've been sitting on for a week, trying to get finished.

This was inspired by Bill Simmons, the Sports Guy, who wrote: 'I wish the NBA had the equivalent of the Razzie Awards so Dunleavy could win "Worst Coach of the Year."' So we'll give him his wish, whether he reads it or not, and we'll try to use Win Score as justification for the nominees and winners.

Without further ado, the Basketball Razzies, part one:

Worst Player of the Year


Sebastian Telfair - PG - Boston Celtics

Telfair has got to be the biggest disappointment of the year. Expectations were high when the trade was made that allowed Portland to get Brandon Roy. Not only did Telfair fail to meet expectations, but he managed to perform worse in almost every major category than his career averages, which were dismal to begin with.

Do we start with the 37% FG shooting, including 29% from behind the arc? Or maybe the anemic totals of 2.8 assists and 1.4 rebounds per game. Telfair's Position Adjusted Win Score per minute comes out to -0.110, meaning that, like the others on this list, he actually took away wins while he was on the court. Of course, since the Celtics ended up in the lottery, this was actually a good thing this year.

Replacement: Chad Ford (ESPN Insider required) argues that the Celtics should hang on to Bassy and try to get something in a trade, saying "giving up an asset like Telfair for nothing only hurts the Celtics". However, that is not true. If the Celtics would have dropped Telfair before the season that would have allowed Rajon Rondo and his (approx.) 0.161 WP48 more time as his natural 1 spot. Delonte West could have split the rest of the time with Rondo, and the Celtics would have been a lot better this year. The Celts should drop Telfair like he's hot, because you know Doc Rivers wouldn't be able to resist playing him, and I hear the Celtics plan to try to be a good basketball team next year.

Adam Morrison - F - Charlotte Bobcats

It's not nice to hate on rookies. I know this, but there's just no getting around it. Morrison played way too many minutes for a guy contributing such a large amount to the failure of his team. Some of the highlights include his 38% FG shooting, 130 turnovers and three rebounds a game. Not much rebounding for a guy who claims to be 6'8". He managed over the year to get a position-adjusted Win Score of -401!

Replacement: The Bobcats should probably be going with Matt Carroll at SG, Gerald Wallace at SF, and Sean May at PF. Each of those players managed to be above average at their position and should be on the floor much more than Morrison.

Jason Collins - C - New Jersey Nets

I have a soft spot in my heart for the baby-faced Collins, having dealt with years of his brother somehow making a place on Jerry Sloan's roster. But how the Nets even made the playoffs with Collins playing the way he has this year is a testament to how good Jason Kidd and yes, even Vince Carter have been this year. Collins shot 36%, a shocking number when you consider that most of his shots should be taken close to the rim. And how a supposed seven-footer can only average 4 rebounds in 23 minutes a game is beyond comprehension. Add to that a Shaqian 46% on free throws and a paltry .5 blocks per game and you've got a PAWS/min of -0.137 and a player only a brother could love.

Replacement: Looks like the only viable chance for a replacement would just be to send out Josh Boone and see what happens. The Nets' big men have all been less than stellar, but Boone managed to play better than average (an estimated .122 WP48), and deserves a chance to try to perform that well in extended minutes.

Antoine Walker - F - Miami Heat

You wonder why the Miami Heat aren't nearly as good this year as last? It's not all just injuries. Let's compare Walker shooting drop from last year to this one.

FG% 3P% FT%
05-06 .435 .358 .628
06-07 .397 .275 .438

So why is he playing half of every game? It's not for his shooting, and heaven knows it's not for his defense or 4 rebounds per game. If someone can figure this out, please let me know. A PAWS/min of -0.122 isn't helping his case either.

Replacement: I guess part of the reason may be that Udonis Haslem is a bit undersized for PF. But they've got to put him out there at PF and let Dorell Wright, Jason Kapono and James Posey fight for the SF minutes.

And The Winner Is---

Jason Collins, congratulations!

I couldn't bear to give it to Morrison, being just a rookie. I'm sure he reads this blog, and I don't want to crush the spirits of such a young man. Telfair played terrible, but didn't have as many minutes as the rest. As for Walker, at least he passes well for a big man. I just couldn't find anything justifying the time Collins spent on the court. Poor shooting, poor rebounding, a ton of fouls. I think New Jersey would have a lot better chance in this Toronto series if they would let loose with Josh Boone. Well, maybe next year.

So what do you think? Did I make the right choice? Any names I missed (By the way, the requirements to be in this category were 1500 minutes played. I'll be doing Worst Supporting Player later on.)

Friday, April 20, 2007

Here come the playoffs!

The matchups have been set, the dates laid out, and we're finally ready for the first round of the NBA Playoffs. Here's hoping there are a few good series, to keep the first round from feeling like an eternity.

If you want to join in the fantasy game, you'll need to sign up and pick your team before the first game starts on Saturday. At that point I'll be turning off the ability to change your team. To qualify for the "big prize" and the admiration of your fellows, you'll need to have no more than 20 players on your team. Looks like we've got about a dozen teams set up so far, should be a fun time watching the results.

I'm gonna throw some predictions out there just for fun. As with March Madness, I'm terrible at this, but I like to do it anyway.

Western Conference:
Dallas def. Golden State in 6
Phoenix def. LA Lakers in 5
San Antonio def. Denver in 5
Utah def. Houston in 7

Dallas def. Utah in 6
Phoenix def. San Antonio in 7

Phoenix def. Dallas in 6

Eastern Conference:
Detroit def. Orlando in 4
Cleveland def. Washington in 4
Toronto def. New Jersey in 6
Chicago def. Miami in 7 (yeah, that's right)

Chicago def. Detroit in 7
Cleveland def. Toronto in 6

Chicago def. Cleveland in 6

Phoenix def. Chicago in 5

For some reason, I just really like Chicago this year. I know they've been inconsistent, but when they play well, they play really well. So after looking at this, I think we're almost guaranteed a Dallas/Miami final again. Oh well, we'll see.

How about you? What team do you have good feelings about for no rational reason? What teams do you see in the Finals? Enjoy the playoffs.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Good news, everyone!

I'm pleased to announce that I've received a sizable donation from a user who wishes to remain anonymous. This donation is large enough that I will be able to purchase a domain name and move the site over to its own hosting. It will pay for a few months of service as well. I'm extremely grateful and excited for this development.

I'll be using the next few months to revamp the site and move it over to the new hosting. While the location of the stats site will change, this blog won't, so be sure to check back here for updates on new features and to know when the site gets moved.

I'll probably also send out an email to those that sign up for the fantasy game just to let you know when we have completely moved over to the new site. Don't worry, I promise you won't be getting a lot of spam from me. I'll only use your email addresses to send you site updates 2-3 times a year.

As for the fantasy game, we've got almost a dozen entries so far, I think it will be really interesting to watch the scores as the playoffs progress. So if you haven't signed up yet, please do so. I had someone ask about a possible prize, and I can't really offer anything this year except for maybe a shout-out and a link to the site of your choice (within reason, of course). And of course you'll have the praise and respect of your peers, a prize that is beyond any mere dollar amount.

Anyway, thanks again to the Wages of Wins Blog for advertising this little game, and I hope you all enjoy it. Please continue to send ideas and features you'd like to see in the future. I have a list of all the requests, and will be spending the off-season working on them. Enjoy the playoffs!

Monday, April 9, 2007

A Brewer and a Fisher

OK, some fantasy game news, plus a rant that you can feel free to skip. As far as the fantasy game, you should now be able to sign up, login, and choose your team. Let me know if you come up against any bugs, anything confusing, etc. I haven't set the limits yet, but here are my general thoughts:

1. Each person chooses 20 players
2. Points are gained through all rounds of the playoffs, based on Win Score
3. Total points gained are simply the total Win Score for each player added together

So you would have to look at which players are going to go far in the playoffs, which will get a lot of time, which will play best. I think the first few players are no-brainers, but after that it could get interesting based on which team you think will go far.

Anyway, please leave comments on how things are working. It's still very rough, but the playoffs start in about week, so I wanted to get it out there.

Note: the following rant was written yesterday, before the last Jazz loss. It applies even more with Fisher's latest PAWS/min of -0.267, and Brewer only seeing 5 minutes of action.

I hate to put another Utah post on here, but I just gotta rant. The Jazz and the Houston Rockets are in a race for home court advantage in their first-round playoff series, and the Jazz have just finished up a pathetic performance against Golden State and extended their losing streak to four.

Granted, streaks happen. Good teams lose a few in a row. Bad teams win. No big deal. But it gets more aggravating the closer we come to the playoffs, especially knowing this could cost the team home court against the Rockets. Winning playoff games in Houston? Not a trivial task.

As much as I love Jerry Sloan and the way he coaches, there is one thing he does that drives me insane, and that is how he always gives veteran players the benefit of the doubt over rookies. Sometimes it seems like he doesn't even consider talent level when doing so.

Now, Derek Fisher is a fantastic person. I respect him, I like him, I'm even glad he is on the Jazz, because I think his knowledge and experience has helped Deron Williams advance quicker than he may have otherwise done. But the man is killing the Jazz on the court. Killing them.

He's shooting under 39% on the year, 33% in the past month. He's been playing a lot of shooting guard, and I'd like someone to explain to me why a 32-year old man who is 6'1" is guarding the likes of Kobe Bryant and Michael Redd. Fisher's WP48(approx.) is -0.015. Negative!

This would all make sense if there were no other options. But there is a 22-year old, 6 foot 7 inch option sitting on the bench. Sometimes this option sits on the bench ALL. GAME. LONG. It's Ronnie Brewer. He's shooting 52% on the year, and has an approximate WP48 of .139.

We can go over all the arguments against giving minutes from Fish to Brewer. He's inexperienced. His stats came in garbage minutes. He can't sustain over more playing time. He doesn't know how to defend the superstars. He's just a rookie!

Fine. But we'll never know until he gets more time, right? Hopefully the last two games are signs of the future. Brewer played 18 and 33 minutes, garnering PAWS/min of .282 and .138. Unfortunately, those were negated by Fisher's 31 and 29 minutes with PAWS/min of -.113 and -.215, and the Jazz lost both games.

If I were in charge here (and luckily I'm not) the main lineup would be Williams, Brewer, Kirilenko(or Millsap when Andrei is injured), Boozer and Okur. Fisher would only get in the game for the 10-12 minutes Deron Williams is resting. Then the Jazz could maximize his leadership and teamwork skills while minimizing his effect on the court.

Monday, April 2, 2007

An Alliterative Take on Position Adjustment

Well, it's back to the grind this week, and though I've mainly been working on the fantasy game (to try to get it out well before the playoffs begin), I've also added a small tweak to the player listings. In trying to accurately decide what position a particular player plays, I've taken some information from 82games.com. On that site, they show each player's position percentage played. For example, through the year, Tracy McGrady has played 38% of the Rockets' available minutes at shooting guard, and 25% of the available minutes at small forward. The page also shows McGrady using "0%" of the available minutes at power forward.

To calculate a particular player's position adjustment, I first add a tweak factor of 0.5% to each number. I have found that this does a very good job of reaching 100% for each position on the team. This leaves McGrady's percentages at 38.5% SG, 25.5% SF and 0.5% PF. I extrapolate those numbers to 100%, so for McGrady it would be 59.7% SG, 39.5% SF and .8% PF. Then I take the position adjustments found by regression in The Wages of Wins and calculate a position adjustment. (Scroll down to "Calculating PAWS").

Tracy McGrady
SG 59.7% .128 .076416
SF 39.5% .152 .06004
PF 0.8% .215 .00172

McGrady's new position adjustment is .138, which I think accurately reflects that he plays both shooting guard and small forward, but plays more minutes at shooting guard.

I have shared these thoughts with David Berri, and he seems to be receptive into this way of getting a player's position adjustment. The key is making sure that this automated method gives results that are close enough to the manual method of allocating out a team's minutes by hand. If any of you notice any results that seem strange to you, please leave a comment on this posting, and I'll take a look at them. It's possible that my scripts have missed a player here or there, or that the results are off. But hopefully this will be a good step to making this site closer to representing the Wins Produced formula accurately, so I can positively portray a particular player's position played plus produce a perfecter portrayal of a player's per-game production. Perhaps.