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Race to the MVP pt. III

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Post#406 Re: Race to the MVP pt. III
Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:36 pm by rcontador

MisterWestside wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:I suppose I'd like to hear you speak more on Durant.

His raw +/- has absolutely skyrocketed compared to last year. What is your explanation for how this has happened?


He's playing the best ball of his career (which is both something I stated several times already and is an impressive feat given his already stellar track record); AND the talented, reigning 6th man/starter-to-be is not on the bench to "steal" his +/- thunder. Pun intended. And if Harden were still in OKC, posters here wouldn't be talking about this.


You have to stop making this argument. It is nonsensical.

A strong bench is very unlikely to reduce raw +/-, because +/- only measures what happens when a player is *on* the court.

(A strong bench could reduce on/off differential, though.)
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Post#407 Re: Race to the MVP pt. III
Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:52 pm by GSP

Im looking at basketballreference right now at Durants ws48 is 0.300. I never looked into the stat before but what does it exactly measure? Why is it so incredibly high this year compared to others which were at least explainable?
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Post#408 Re: Race to the MVP pt. III
Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:57 pm by MisterWestside

rcontador wrote:(A strong bench could reduce on/off differential, though.)


Whoops. I did mean on-off; didn't pick up the error there when I edited the post.

It's a damn nitpick on your part, though. The fact is that lineups matter and how the coach uses the roster matters, no matter if its on-off, +/-, etc. Durant has been stellar; he's also not been part of the bone-headed lineups Brooks has put him in during the '12 season.
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Post#409 Re: Race to the MVP pt. III
Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:58 pm by peja drobnjak

lots of counting stats at high efficiency combined with only losing one in every five games
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Post#410 Re: Race to the MVP pt. III
Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:21 pm by JordansBulls

GSP wrote:Im looking at basketballreference right now at Durants ws48 is 0.300. I never looked into the stat before but what does it exactly measure? Why is it so incredibly high this year compared to others which were at least explainable?

The interesting thing about the stat is that it has only been done 8 times where a player finished .3000 or greater in WS/PER 48 minutes while a 30.00 PER or greater has been done 16 times.
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Post#411 Re: Race to the MVP pt. III
Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:25 pm by kamelion4291

JordansBulls wrote:
GSP wrote:Im looking at basketballreference right now at Durants ws48 is 0.300. I never looked into the stat before but what does it exactly measure? Why is it so incredibly high this year compared to others which were at least explainable?

The interesting thing about the stat is that it has only been done 8 times where a player finished .3000 or greater in WS/PER 48 minutes while a 30.00 PER or greater has been done 16 times.


One is highly dependent on team performance while the other is less so. Individual greatness will allow someone to consistently break 30 PER whereas 0.300 ws/48 will require the entire unit to function accordingly.
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Post#412 Re: Race to the MVP pt. III
Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:08 pm by Mark K

Hero wrote:The way LeBron is playing, he doesn't need the best record to win. If he beats KD in the head to head again, then it's his for sure.


Head to head is irrelevant if they continue to be 5 games back on OKC.

Miami may not even finish with the best record out East at this point.
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Post#413 Re: Race to the MVP pt. III
Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:23 pm by TwentyOne920

KingCuban wrote:
Hero wrote:The way LeBron is playing, he doesn't need the best record to win. If he beats KD in the head to head again, then it's his for sure.


Head to head is irrelevant if they continue to be 5 games back on OKC.

Miami may not even finish with the best record out East at this point.


They've never done so since LeBron joined, fwiw.
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Post#414 Re: Race to the MVP pt. III
Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:28 pm by Mark K

TwentyOne920 wrote:They've never done so since LeBron joined, fwiw.


Which is a joke in itself if we're being real.

If Miami doesn't get the first seed this season, with the East being so damn poor, then he is not the MVP.

Its that simple for me.

If they do, and they can get some ground on OKC, then its a 50-50 pick, but right now, Durant is the clear leader imo.
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Post#415 Re: Race to the MVP pt. III
Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:06 am by Doctor MJ

MisterWestside wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:I suppose I'd like to hear you speak more on Durant.

His raw +/- has absolutely skyrocketed compared to last year. What is your explanation for how this has happened?


He's playing the best ball of his career (which is both something I stated several times already and is an impressive feat given his already stellar track record); AND the talented, reigning 6th man/starter-to-be is not on the bench to "steal" his on-off thunder. Pun intended. And if Harden were still in OKC, posters here wouldn't be talking about this.

I have Durant at number 1, and if the playoffs started today I'd give him the award. I also think it's not as large of a gap between him and the others as it's made out to be.

EDIT: changed from on-off to +/-. +/- presents its own significant set of issues though; great players can be stuck playing with crap playrs or crap-fitting players and not have a high +/- despite playing good basketball. Durant spent a lot of minutes in '12 playing in some curious Brooks lineups that weren't exactly effective.


Okay, started to feel weird to take issue with you given that you're making some good moderate statement. Perhaps I was too reactionary before.

I find it hard to completely grasp where you're coming from though. Unless you though Durant had no business being considered a superstar before, him going through a considerable improvement puts him at such a high level it's weird to me you'd feel really any confidence about his limitations. I mean obviously the guys not going to lead the league in blocked shots any time soon, but the truly transcendant players are on a level where it's really hard to list out every way in which they have impact.

Re: Harden "steal" on/off Thunder. The whole reason why I'm using raw +/- data here is to render this issue moot. Harden on the Thunder had great raw +/-, he left, now Durant's +/- is far, far better than it was before. A particular causality should not be assumed, but by definition Harden's mere presence wouldn't make Durant's raw +/- seem unimpressive.

Re: More on +/-. I use the spectrum of +/- stats. The issues you talk about are virtually all dealt with when you add adjusted +/- into the mix. The one issue that remains...if it actually is a statistical issue...is that a player is going to have his +/- ratings affected by the quality of the fit. It's never been clear to me though that that is a bug. I see it as a feature.

If Melo can't actually have real impact even with major talent around him except with the particular type of fit that we've happened to see this year, well then he certainly shouldn't have been looked upon as an MVP candidate before. One can argue that the finickiness of the fit means he should NEVER be an MVP candidate, but in a conversation relating to Durant, I've yet to hear anyone seriously suggest that his game wouldn't be extremely valuable pretty much everywhere. Quite frankly his lack of reliance on on-ball dominance makes his game more portable than someone like LeBron.
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Post#416 Re: Race to the MVP pt. III
Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:10 am by Doctor MJ

SideshowBob wrote:http://www.nba.com/mvp-ladder/2012-13/index.html

Harden's now in their top 5.


People aren't going to believe I'm saying this but:

I think Kobe's performance is getting seriously underrated if Harden is rated above him. LOVE Harden, can't wait to see how good he can get, and he's clearly a Top 10 guy, but Kobe's more impressive.

Funny how it all works. The last couple years Kobe gets overrated because he plays seriously off from his norm but the team remains good and he gets MVP voting love, this year the dude is doing pretty much everything you could ask in an injury apocalypse but people take it as a given that someone on a team that weak shouldn't get MVP voting love.
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Post#417 Re: Race to the MVP pt. III
Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:12 am by Doctor MJ

Benedict_Boozer wrote:
TheKingOfVa360 wrote:
He's not going to win the MVP with the 4th or 5th best record in the NBA. KD is in the lead by a huge margin.


You would think that's the case, but NBA.com just posted their rankings and Lebron is #1.

I think what hurts KD is OKC is just not a high profile team in the media, and Durant is not the media whore that Lebron is. So the lack of drama and media interest just doesn't get him the same press clippings and I think it hurts his MVP momentum.


I actually think this is all about LeBron's narrative. After last year even the most die hard skeptic had to admit that LeBron was clearly the best player in the land. To go right back and give the MVP to someone else this year then makes people feel stupid. Doesn't mean Durant can't win, but the move away from LeBron if it happens will be gradual.
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Post#418 Re: Race to the MVP pt. III
Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:27 am by Doctor MJ

Pimpwerx wrote:It's not about being loved. Lebron is just plain doing more for the Heat than Durant is for the Thunder. People love stating that it's not about the best player in the league, it's about the most valuable one. Well, Lebron is having arguably a better season than Durant, and no part of Miami's struggles have anything to do with Lebron. He brings it every single night, and is always competing to get his teammates involved, while also shouldering a heavy load on scoring and defense. The importance of the standings are overblown every year, because one year some salty voters wanted to punish Lebron. He won it pretty handily last season, despite note even winning his conference. Ball don't lie. He'll get his due if he continues to play like he's played this first half of the season. PEACE.


I really feel bothered by a specific phrase you said. Not that it's crazy, I just feel like it's something that can drive you down a wrong path. Basically:

LeBron's doing "more", and none of the Heat's struggles are about LeBron.

If by "more" you mean that LeBron's the offenses on-ball guy, and thus has a bigger role on playmaking, you're absolutely right. There is however a real tendency to overrate on-ball over off-ball. The reality is that if I can is a good enough shooter, and tough enough to alter his shot, he's going to have an absolutely lethal effect simply by the gravity he induces on the court. The defense has to contort itself like a pretzel just to limit the damage.

An on-ball guy certainly presents his own gravity, not saying off-ball is inherently greater, however the passive effect of the off-ball guy is sometimes considerably greater. Even when Durant is on the opposite of the half-court form the ball just standing there, the defense has to see him as essentially on the 3rd base because his shooting is so SO good. LeBron's dangerous off ball, but not THAT dangerous.

So how do you factor in passive impact like that? I really don't think there's anyway you can do it objectively without some form of data analysis, and it's pretty much a given that most of the time you'll underrate such a player if you don't use that analysis and instead think of the two players in terms of which is actively doing "more".

The reality we've seen this year, whether it be due to coasting or not, is that LeBron's team with him on the court is doing a lot worse than it's ever done since he entered his "best in the game" prime, and he's doing this on a team where there are other guys who can take over the alpha offense role if he's not there. He's still amazing, but the mere fact that when he's on the court everyone else gets out of his way and let's him showcase all his skills, does not make him necessarily more valuable than everyone else in the league.

In this case, this year, we happen to have one guy who is really having everything work for him in Durant, and to me it's pretty clear that relegates LeBron to the #2 spot for the moment. Though even as I say this, I won't consider Durant the best player in the game until I see this continue unchanged through the playoffs.
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Post#419 Re: Race to the MVP pt. III
Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:32 am by Doctor MJ

GSP wrote:Im looking at basketballreference right now at Durants ws48 is 0.300. I never looked into the stat before but what does it exactly measure? Why is it so incredibly high this year compared to others which were at least explainable?


Well like PER it's a stat that weights a bunch of different things together. The inspiration behind it would be basically trying to allocate credit for wins, though it's not quite that literal. It comes up weights for different stats based on their correlation with team success. Offensively I'd be inclined to say it works a lot like PER but tends to value efficiency a bit more and volume a bit less when it comes to scoring. Defensively it also factors in how good the team defense is in addition to the individual defensive stats.

Also for the record, while the average PER is 15, the average WS is 0.1.
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Post#420 Re: Race to the MVP pt. III
Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:52 am by Hero

KingCuban wrote:
Hero wrote:The way LeBron is playing, he doesn't need the best record to win. If he beats KD in the head to head again, then it's his for sure.


Head to head is irrelevant if they continue to be 5 games back on OKC.

Miami may not even finish with the best record out East at this point.



If OKC finishes with the best record in the west and the Heat with the best record in the west with the Heat being just a couple games behind, will it really matter that much? Hard to tell. To me it seems to depend a lot on what the mainstream guys and especially the ABC/ESPN/TNT guys say...based on the last few years.

As much as I don't trust this Heat team to do well in the regular season, the East is just so weak.
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Post#421 Re: Race to the MVP pt. III
Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:29 am by MisterWestside

Doctor MJ wrote:I find it hard to completely grasp where you're coming from though. Unless you though Durant had no business being considered a superstar before, him going through a considerable improvement puts him at such a high level it's weird to me you'd feel really any confidence about his limitations. I mean obviously the guys not going to lead the league in blocked shots any time soon, but the truly transcendant players are on a level where it's really hard to list out every way in which they have impact.


Yeah. Let's start over, because you're actually getting this a bit backwards with how I view Durant :)

Durant has been a bonafide MVP candidate since 2010, and the league's 2nd best player since '10 ('11 was actually a "down" year by his standards, but I'm not going season by season here). He also hasn't led the league in +/- in those seasons. I viewed him as a transcendent talent with or without him dominating the league in +/-, because I keep in mind all of the significant quirks that come with the important but NOT infallible +/- family. He's playing his best all-around season in '13 and some of this is certainly reflected by his high +/-, but if I wasn't holding seasons with lower +/- numbers against Durant I wasn't going to use them to boost his candidacy. I still factor them in, of course. I'm just also keeping other metrics and what I watch on the gametape in mind.

Re: Harden "steal" on/off Thunder. The whole reason why I'm using raw +/- data here is to render this issue moot. Harden on the Thunder had great raw +/-, he left, now Durant's +/- is far, far better than it was before. A particular causality should not be assumed, but by definition Harden's mere presence wouldn't make Durant's raw +/- seem unimpressive.


Right, which is why I edited my post to reflect this.

Re: More on +/-. I use the spectrum of +/- stats. The issues you talk about are virtually all dealt with when you add adjusted +/- into the mix. The one issue that remains...if it actually is a statistical issue...is that a player is going to have his +/- ratings affected by the quality of the fit. It's never been clear to me though that that is a bug. I see it as a feature.


Not "virtually". You can do a good job of filtering out things, but multicollinearity can muck up any +/- metric including RAPM; and at the end of the day the context of team dynamics, roster, and coaching is STILL important to factor in analysis. I'm not saying that this is a "bug", but simply that the stats aren't impervious to differences in context nor do they account for all of it.

Quite frankly his lack of reliance on on-ball dominance makes his game more portable than someone like LeBron.


On-ball/off-ball all depends on your roster. I want nothing to do with an off-ball player if my team is already stocked with shooters, but they aren't adept at putting the ball on the floor or setting up others.
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Post#422 Re: Race to the MVP pt. III
Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:46 am by TwentyOne920

Durant with a new career high of 52, 21 of which came at the line.

Who has had the most FTAs in a game this season?
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Post#423 Re: Race to the MVP pt. III
Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:48 am by fallacy

TwentyOne920 wrote:Durant with a new career high of 52, 21 of which came at the line.

Who has had the most FTAs in a game this season?


Harden had 19 in one game and leads the NBA at 10 a game, but it's probably Dwight


EDIT: Dwight had 22 once
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Post#424 Re: Race to the MVP pt. III
Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:49 am by QPR

Missed a lot of very makeable shots (by his standards anyway) too, but stayed with it. The game-winner over Marion was just insanely good, against very good defense.
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Post#425 Re: Race to the MVP pt. III
Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:51 am by fallacy

apparently Durant had the first 50 point game of the season
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