Do box score stats even matter?

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colts18
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Do box score stats even matter? 

Post#1 » by colts18 » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:58 pm

I've been thinking a lot and you could make a good case that the box score is literally meaningless in evaluating players. I mean assists isn't a great indicator of passing only tells you when the player's teammates make an open shot. Good rebounding could be a result of stealing rebounds from others. Steals/blocks could be an indicator of gambling. Scoring is great but who is to say that the player isn't ballstopping and hurting the offense. The only ones I see could matter are efficiency and usage but that doesn't tell you if the player actually created the shot (Kobe vs. Tyson Chandler for example).
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Re: Do box score stats even matter? 

Post#2 » by blabla » Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:55 pm

They're definitely not completely useless, you just need to be aware that they only tell a part of the story.
It's also good if you know good weights to combine BoxScore stats (like here, made to fit RAPM http://www.thebasketballdistribution.co ... fense.html ) instead blindly assigning 1 point to all "good" actions and -1 to all bad actions like NBA efficiency rating does, or +1287312786312783616 for defensive rebounds like Wins Produced does
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Re: Do box score stats even matter? 

Post#3 » by Doctor MJ » Sun Sep 2, 2012 1:49 am

colts18 wrote:I've been thinking a lot and you could make a good case that the box score is literally meaningless in evaluating players. I mean assists isn't a great indicator of passing only tells you when the player's teammates make an open shot. Good rebounding could be a result of stealing rebounds from others. Steals/blocks could be an indicator of gambling. Scoring is great but who is to say that the player isn't ballstopping and hurting the offense. The only ones I see could matter are efficiency and usage but that doesn't tell you if the player actually created the shot (Kobe vs. Tyson Chandler for example).


I wouldn't say meaningless, but the meaning is certainly less definitive than some think it is.
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Re: Do box score stats even matter? 

Post#4 » by rrravenred » Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:15 pm

Box score stats are a codified product of play. This play can be good or bad (Think: Adrian Dantley or Jose Calderon) and this will only have a limited effect on the Box score numbers themselves. Having said that, it's entirely reasonable to assume a correlation between good play and boxscore statistical production, but you have to be careful how strong you consider the correlation is between team-positive play and the accumulation of positive data points
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Re: Do box score stats even matter? 

Post#5 » by tsherkin » Sun Sep 23, 2012 4:02 pm

Because basketball isn't a sport with discrete events like baseball, numbers always have to have more context as a result.

Look at points, for example.

You need to look at stuff like...

How many shots were taken? How many minutes played? What was the total efficiency of that game? Turnovers? Offensive fouls? Was the player passing at the appropriate times (not just for assists, either)? How were the shots generated? The raw points total doesn't do a ton to enlighten you as to the quality of that player's play, but it's a starting point.

Rebounds are the same thing: what's the Off/Def split? Was he rebounding a lot of his own misses? Did he sacrifice perimeter/help D in order to stay near the rim for defensive boards? How many minutes played? Etc.

Assists have their own value and issues, as do blocks and steals. There are some pretty clear trends, though, and you can fit the raw averages (especially when coupled with certain support stats and context) to get a basic idea of a player's performance from the box score. There's never a substitute for watching the game, but the numbers in tandem with that experience will produce a pretty good idea of the total value of a given performance.

I think a lot of people are often overcome with fascination for large numbers, though. Volume scoring has its down falls and even when it is done efficiently, it's not always the best strategy for a team.
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Re: Do box score stats even matter? 

Post#6 » by ardee » Tue Oct 2, 2012 5:05 pm

So you're saying one should base all one's evaluations of players on on-off stats, considering the PER/Win Shares family is all completely box-score oriented ?

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