Advanced Stats and Dennis Rodman

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Advanced Stats and Dennis Rodman 

Post#1 » by Johnny Kilroy » Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:55 am

i've always felt rodman was not just a HOFer, but an all-time great. my opinion was that people criticized him because they didn't accept him, or thought he was complete garbage offensively. you know, the four on five on offense and you don't need to guard him comments. again, i felt either these people hated him, or do not have the intellectual capacity to observe the game of basketball beyond solely focusing on who is scoring the points.

anyone who has observed his career will point out that in reality, he was talented enough to be a pretty good scorer. he was just too good not to be. what most don't realize is that he hated scoring more than most players hate playing defense. it wasn't part of his image. it wasn't who he wanted to be. it's not like he was ben wallace, who used every iota of the limited offensive ability he had. rodman could have been a 15 ppg scorer, maybe even peaked at 20 ppg if he committed himself to it. that's not what he was about though, and it never hurt his teams because that was never what his teams needed. the other important thing here is that there is alot more to offensive ability than just scoring. you don't have to score many points to make a significant impact on your team offensively. when rodman came to the bulls, some questioned how he would function in the triangle, which is arguably the most difficult offense to learn in NBA history. most players (assuming they are even capable of comprehending the triangle) need two years to fully understand it. tex winter claimed rodman picked up the triangle faster than anyone in all his years teaching it, notoriously saying it took him just one practice to "get it". winter also raved about rodman's bball iq and passing ability, going as far as stating that rodman threw the best chest passes he's ever seen. kerr, beuchler, jordan, pippen would constantly talk about the added wrinkles rodman gave the bulls offensively.

if you asked the opinion of rodman's teammates, coaches and opponents, the theme is pretty much the same. this guy was one of the greatest players ever. yet there are plenty of casual fans and even media around the world, who claim he was nothing more than a very good role player, even some feeling he was undeserving of the HOF.

so what is the lesson in all this? listen to the people who know the game. if the greatest players and coaches in nba history call dennis rodman a legend, take their word for it.

still don't agree? need further proof? what you find may upset you even more.

i wasn't always big on advanced stats. to this day i still despise PER and most hollinger related formulas which i believe are over-hyped to make money for ESPN. but i am learning that many advanced stats are free from personal touches, way more informative than hard stats, and can provide a solid backing to ideas that are sometimes difficult to substantiate on paper.

now, i am still a neophyte to advanced stats. i took a few statistics courses in college, so i get it, but like all things i'm sure there is alot more to really understanding its meaning than some basic background checks. i'm asking the advanced stats gurus for their interpretation on the following, because if even just half of what i have learned is true, dennis rodman is more than a HOFer, he is undoubtedly one of the very best players to ever step on a basketball court. this is from benjamin morris of skeptical sports. maybe he is a renowned statistician, maybe he's incompetent. that's why i'm asking you for your input. just a warning, this is a long read, so i'll give some highlights.

-rodman dominated rebounding percentage more than anyone has ever dominated any major stat
-we can expect someone of rodman's caliber to show up once every 400 years
-even the second best rebounder in nba history, was not even close to being in rodman's league
-rodman has the highest MOV of any player since 1986
-rodman's teams were SIGNIFICANTLY better offensively WITH him in the lineup, even after DISCOUNTING his offensive rebounding (unbelievable)
-rodman has the greatest win percentage differential in nba history (even more incredible since this is impossible to achieve when you play on already great teams)
-rodman's x-factor (difference between MOV-predicted and actual win percentage differential) greater than anyone who ever played
-the top 5% of players with the best differentials make the HOF. depending on which differential used, rodman is in the 98th to 99.98th percentile
-his differentials are statistically significant well beyond the 99th percentile of confidence.
-depending on the metric, rodman is the 2nd to 8th greatest player ever
-his average metrics across the board rank second only to shaq
-somehow, his advanced stats suggest he is even more valuable than his already other-worldly win differentials indicate
-focusing on defense and rebounding made rodman infinitely more valuable than he would be if he welcomed himself to scoring too, no matter how many points he scored
-dennis rodman is probably more valuable than michael jordan; at worst he is equally as valuable

these results are shocking, and while no one would agree with all of them, they appear to be free from bias and based purely on advanced analytics. while i always thought rodman was an all-time great, i never thought there would be numbers saying he is possibly the greatest player ever. i am sure plenty of people think this is preposterous, and many wouldn't even have him in the top 50. in reading this, i have become even more acceptive of advanced stats, since they help to perpetuate the otherwise opinionated belief of myself and many that rodman was truly legendary. but i'm also wondering about the validity of advanced analytics, when all signs point to rodman being the GOAT (at least on current sample sizes). does the outcome of this study confirm that rodman's value was as good as it gets, or just make a complete joke of the matter? or somewhere in between?

http://skepticalsports.com/?page_id=1222
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Re: Advanced Stats and Dennis Rodman 

Post#2 » by D.Brasco » Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:11 am

Johnny Kilroy wrote:i've always felt rodman was not just a HOFer, but an all-time great. my opinion was that people criticized him because they didn't accept him, or thought he was complete garbage offensively. you know, the four on five on offense and you don't need to guard him comments. again, i felt either these people hated him, or do not have the intellectual capacity to observe the game of basketball beyond solely focusing on who is scoring the points.

anyone who has observed his career will point out that in reality, he was talented enough to be a pretty good scorer. he was just too good not to be. what most don't realize is that he hated scoring more than most players hate playing defense. it wasn't part of his image. it wasn't who he wanted to be. it's not like he was ben wallace, who used every iota of the limited offensive ability he had. rodman could have been a 15 ppg scorer, maybe even peaked at 20 ppg if he committed himself to it.


Okay i'm sorry this is where i stopped reading. I hate unfounded statements. There is nothing to say rodman could have ever approached 20ppg.
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Re: Advanced Stats and Dennis Rodman 

Post#3 » by BattleTested » Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:21 am

Rodman was a great, underrated player. Possibly the most versatile defender ever besides Russell in his time with Detroit and a perfect 3rd option on a team like the Bulls. You're taking it a bit far though.
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Re: Advanced Stats and Dennis Rodman 

Post#4 » by Johnny Kilroy » Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:21 am

D.Brasco wrote:
Johnny Kilroy wrote:i've always felt rodman was not just a HOFer, but an all-time great. my opinion was that people criticized him because they didn't accept him, or thought he was complete garbage offensively. you know, the four on five on offense and you don't need to guard him comments. again, i felt either these people hated him, or do not have the intellectual capacity to observe the game of basketball beyond solely focusing on who is scoring the points.

anyone who has observed his career will point out that in reality, he was talented enough to be a pretty good scorer. he was just too good not to be. what most don't realize is that he hated scoring more than most players hate playing defense. it wasn't part of his image. it wasn't who he wanted to be. it's not like he was ben wallace, who used every iota of the limited offensive ability he had. rodman could have been a 15 ppg scorer, maybe even peaked at 20 ppg if he committed himself to it.


Okay i'm sorry this is where i stopped reading. I hate unfounded statements. There is nothing to say rodman could have ever approached 20ppg.


it came from the pistons. they knew he could score. chuck daly said he wanted him to score more and to try it out in summer league. he averaged 36 ppg. but he wouldn't bring that mentality with zeke and joe. i know, it was summer league. but everywhere he went his coaches thought he could become a decent offensive player. you could see it in the detroit days. he just always de-emphasized it. you should read the rest of the article.
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Re: Advanced Stats and Dennis Rodman 

Post#5 » by Stephen Colbert » Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:25 am

Johnny Kilroy wrote:i've always felt rodman was not just a HOFer, but an all-time great. my opinion was that people criticized him because they didn't accept him, or thought he was complete garbage offensively. you know, the four on five on offense and you don't need to guard him comments. again, i felt either these people hated him, or do not have the intellectual capacity to observe the game of basketball beyond solely focusing on who is scoring the points.

anyone who has observed his career will point out that in reality, he was talented enough to be a pretty good scorer. he was just too good not to be. what most don't realize is that he hated scoring more than most players hate playing defense. it wasn't part of his image. it wasn't who he wanted to be. it's not like he was ben wallace, who used every iota of the limited offensive ability he had. rodman could have been a 15 ppg scorer, maybe even peaked at 20 ppg if he committed himself to it. that's not what he was about though, and it never hurt his teams because that was never what his teams needed. the other important thing here is that there is alot more to offensive ability than just scoring. you don't have to score many points to make a significant impact on your team offensively. when rodman came to the bulls, some questioned how he would function in the triangle, which is arguably the most difficult offense to learn in NBA history. most players (assuming they are even capable of comprehending the triangle) need two years to fully understand it. tex winter claimed rodman picked up the triangle faster than anyone in all his years teaching it, notoriously saying it took him just one practice to "get it". winter also raved about rodman's bball iq and passing ability, going as far as stating that rodman threw the best chest passes he's ever seen. kerr, beuchler, jordan, pippen would constantly talk about the added wrinkles rodman gave the bulls offensively.

if you asked the opinion of rodman's teammates, coaches and opponents, the theme is pretty much the same. this guy was one of the greatest players ever. yet there are plenty of casual fans and even media around the world, who claim he was nothing more than a very good role player, even some feeling he was undeserving of the HOF.

so what is the lesson in all this? listen to the people who know the game. if the greatest players and coaches in nba history call dennis rodman a legend, take their word for it.

still don't agree? need further proof? what you find may upset you even more.

i wasn't always big on advanced stats. to this day i still despise PER and most hollinger related formulas which i believe are over-hyped to make money for ESPN. but i am learning that many advanced stats are free from personal touches, way more informative than hard stats, and can provide a solid backing to ideas that are sometimes difficult to substantiate on paper.

now, i am still a neophyte to advanced stats. i took a few statistics courses in college, so i get it, but like all things i'm sure there is alot more to really understanding its meaning than some basic background checks. i'm asking the advanced stats gurus for their interpretation on the following, because if even just half of what i have learned is true, dennis rodman is more than a HOFer, he is undoubtedly one of the very best players to ever step on a basketball court. this is from benjamin morris of skeptical sports. maybe he is a renowned statistician, maybe he's incompetent. that's why i'm asking you for your input. just a warning, this is a long read, so i'll give some highlights.

-rodman dominated rebounding percentage more than anyone has ever dominated any major stat
-we can expect someone of rodman's caliber to show up once every 400 years
-even the second best rebounder in nba history, was not even close to being in rodman's league
-rodman has the highest MOV of any player since 1986
-rodman's teams were SIGNIFICANTLY better offensively WITH him in the lineup, even after DISCOUNTING his offensive rebounding (unbelievable)
-rodman has the greatest win percentage differential in nba history (even more incredible since this is impossible to achieve when you play on already great teams)
-rodman's x-factor (difference between MOV-predicted and actual win percentage differential) greater than anyone who ever played
-the top 5% of players with the best differentials make the HOF. depending on which differential used, rodman is in the 98th to 99.98th percentile
-his differentials are statistically significant well beyond the 99th percentile of confidence.
-depending on the metric, rodman is the 2nd to 8th greatest player ever
-his average metrics across the board rank second only to shaq
-somehow, his advanced stats suggest he is even more valuable than his already other-worldly win differentials indicate
-focusing on defense and rebounding made rodman infinitely more valuable than he would be if he welcomed himself to scoring too, no matter how many points he scored
-dennis rodman is probably more valuable than michael jordan; at worst he is equally as valuable

Stopped reading.
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Re: Advanced Stats and Dennis Rodman 

Post#6 » by Johnny Kilroy » Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:27 am

BattleTested wrote:Rodman was a great, underrated player. Possibly the most versatile defender ever besides Russell in his time with Detroit and a perfect 3rd option on a team like the Bulls. You're taking it a bit far though.


i'm not calling him top 10 material or anything like that. i've just always felt that somewhere along the lines, he was an all-time great. i would have been surprised if any statistical analysis had him in the top 50. so to see this, even for me, was very surprising. so many people here place so much emphasis on advanced stats, so i just want to hear what they think about it.
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Re: Advanced Stats and Dennis Rodman 

Post#7 » by SVictor » Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:36 am

Stephen Colbert wrote:
Johnny Kilroy wrote:-dennis rodman is probably more valuable than michael jordan; at worst he is equally as valuable

Stopped reading.


Same here.
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Re: Advanced Stats and Dennis Rodman 

Post#8 » by D-Wags#13 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:42 am

SVictor wrote:
Stephen Colbert wrote:
Johnny Kilroy wrote:-dennis rodman is probably more valuable than michael jordan; at worst he is equally as valuable

Stopped reading.


Same here.

Probably the better choice since your reading comprehension skills seem lacking. The OP didn't say Rodman was better or at least as valuable as MJ. He just said that advanced stats might give that impression but he's clearly pointing out that observations are more that just stats.
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Re: Advanced Stats and Dennis Rodman 

Post#9 » by BruceO » Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:47 am

I'm a big rodman fan, (picture on profile) and in high school patterned my game around him till i became an aggresive scorer and tried to combine both those aspects. Rodman was a dominant rebounder and led the league for years, best defender and this requires energy and bbiq, and his teams records improved hugely when he came on board. There has been no prospect that comes close to being able to do what he did. The only part of his game lacking was offense but with everything he gave them teams didn't mind
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Re: Advanced Stats and Dennis Rodman 

Post#10 » by Johnny Kilroy » Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:50 am

SVictor wrote:
Stephen Colbert wrote:
Johnny Kilroy wrote:-dennis rodman is probably more valuable than michael jordan; at worst he is equally as valuable

Stopped reading.


Same here.

it's not my opinion. it's the results of the study. this is why i'm seeking comment from people educated in advanced stats. there are so many staunch supporters of analytics; they would at least read it before dismissing it, to do otherwise would suggest that advanced stats have no credibility at all. if you read the study you would at least understand the science behind that statement, and while the author doesn't personally believe that dennis is better than mj, the research implies that he is harder to replace.
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Re: Advanced Stats and Dennis Rodman 

Post#11 » by SVictor » Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:34 am

I know, but I won't pay attention to any study that states that.
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Re: Advanced Stats and Dennis Rodman 

Post#12 » by parapooper » Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:01 am

I don't get why people have to give these dismissive one-liner responses when someone makes a post with some content for a change and asks genuine questions.

I am no expert either but the most commonly used advanced stats are probably PER, win shares and adjusted plus-minus. These are the things people think of when they hear "advanced stats" and they do not show Rodman as GOAT at all. I would say he is actually one of the players most underrated by advanced stats.

According to PER Rodman sucks, which shows that this particular stat is really not very useful for comparing very different players mostly because it is extremely correlated with usage - and Rodman's usage was very low.

WS/48 does a much better job and has Rodman at 94th all time, 83rd when we leave out his two old age seasons.

Plus-minus data is unfortunately only available after 2002 or so, which is why the guy whose block is referenced used missed games to calculate similar with-without data. His problem, as he acknowledges, is that he does not have decent samples for that because basically noone misses a significant number of games evenly distributed over their career.
He also admits that Rodman actually has a big advantage in this calculation because he missed probably more games than any other player due to reasons other than health and age, which makes his games surrounding his absence better and makes it harder for teams to compensate for his sudden absence especially since sudden lack of rebounding is probably harder to compensate than lack of shooting, which automatically has to be replaced. So when the best rebounder of all time suddenly takes a game off for disciplinary reasons that would be expected to cause problems.
When the writer of that analysis combined numbers from Bird, Magic and MJ (because their sample sizes were too small) he did get clearly better numbers than for Rodman. His argument for taking Rodman over them is that Rodman provides more per $ of salary and per used possession. The salary argument is irrelevant to a GOAT discussion since it does not really speak to the quality of the player. He has good data behind his "more wins produced per possession" argument but that number is of course distorted by the fact that Rodman used so few possessions and so all his defensive and intangible contributions over a game are assigned to fewer possessions and his contribution per possession would be absolutely certain to do go down with each additional shot he takes.

So he makes a great case that Rodman is among the most valuable players of all time to have on your team but while his per-possession and per-$ contribution may be GOAT his per-game contribution, which is the one that really matters in a GOAT discussion is not IMO.
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Re: Advanced Stats and Dennis Rodman 

Post#13 » by mysticbb » Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:23 am

Johnny Kilroy wrote:it's not my opinion. it's the results of the study. this is why i'm seeking comment from people educated in advanced stats. there are so many staunch supporters of analytics; they would at least read it before dismissing it, to do otherwise would suggest that advanced stats have no credibility at all. if you read the study you would at least understand the science behind that statement, and while the author doesn't personally believe that dennis is better than mj, the research implies that he is harder to replace.


It was read before and even discussed. The argumentation is biased, it is pretty obvious, which makes it really sad, because I know how much effort someone has to put into such analysis.

Let me start with saying that Dennis Rodman seems to be underrated by a lot of people. He was a great player and deserved to be in the HOF, I have no doubt about that. He had great impact on the game and really improved his team while playing.

But, when we look at a couple of things, we will see how the author of those articles is giving misleading information, because he doesn't figure in a couple of important things. Let me start with the rebounding aspect. From 1991 to 1998 Rodman was leading the league in TRB% in each season. He had 17.7 ORB%, 33 DRB% and overall 25.4 TRB%. Those are AWESOME numbers, if we ignore context. Let us take a look at the numbers for the playoffs during the same timespan: 15.9 ORB%, 27.6 DRB% and 21.6 TRB%. Still great numbers, but obviously clearly worse than his regular season numbers. Why? Well, Rodman had the tendency to pad his rebounding stats in the regular season against weaker teams, while ignoring defensive assignments and fighting his teammates for rebounds. All that was eliminated during the playoffs and his numbers took a hit. We can see that in the All-Time ranking. During the regular season Rodman is listed 2nd in ORB%, 3rd in DRB% and 1st in TRB% (by 2.5 percentage points, that is the difference between the 2nd placed Howard and the 12th placed Duncan!). During the playoffs that becomes 3rd in ORB%, 6th in DRB% and 3rd in TRB% (1.8 below the 1st placed Howard). We are seeing a big difference here. Especially when we look at the defensive rebounding part, during the regular season he is clearly ahead of Duncan or Garnett, but in the playoffs they are all basically tied. Now imagine, Rodman brings his value via rebounding, what does that say about him, if that value is matched by players like Duncan or Garnett who both are also great defenders and obviously clearly better offensive players?

Another point is the comparison between games with and without a player. Rodman had the weird ability to miss more road games than home games. So, his team was at a huge disadvantage due to having a road-heavy schedule in comparison to having more home games with Rodman. In 1997 for example, the Bulls had 16 road games during those 27 missed games by Rodman. If we adjust their scoring margin for strength of schedule and HCA, we are ending up with 9.1 vs. 11.5 in terms of SRS. That gives us the impression that the Bulls lost 2.4 points by losing due to Rodman missing games. BUT Rodman also had the ability to miss games when other important players or his backup were missing games. In 1997 Kukoc was also injured when Rodman was out. If we look at the 12 games with Kukoc instead of Rodman we are getting 11.0 SRS. So, Rodman over Kukoc made about 0.5 points.

So, the high difference between the team performance in games with Rodman and without Rodman is also caused by a difference in terms of strength of schedule, HCA and other injured players.

The last point which needs to be considered is the offcourt issues Rodman caused, which effected the outcome of games. Take the 1995 Spurs for example, when Rodman refused to guard Horry on the perimeter leading to multiple open 3pt shots for Horry including the later neck-breaker in game 6. The Spurs one year later without Rodman played as good as in 1995 with him.

That all needs to be taken into account when making a judgement about a player. We can use advanced stats in order to get a way better impression about the impact a player had, but we also have to use them correctly. Not adjusting for opponents, HCA and injuries is giving here a misleading impression about Rodman's value on the court. Nonetheless Rodman was a high impact player, but his offcourt issues he caused can't be ignored when we make an overall judgement about a player. Rodman also only had 5 fully healthy season without any other problems. So, for a lot of seasons you couldn't count on him, which also should be considered in any sort of All-Time ranking.
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Re: Advanced Stats and Dennis Rodman 

Post#14 » by Johnny Kilroy » Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:14 pm

thanks mystic. this is the type of response i was looking for.
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Re: Advanced Stats and Dennis Rodman 

Post#15 » by parapooper » Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:29 pm

ditto, that was really interesting
Too bad there is no actual +/- data from back then. Would be nice if someone would pay a few unemployed people to watch the games (or read play-by-plays if those exist) from back then and update that info..
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Re: Advanced Stats and Dennis Rodman 

Post#16 » by ElGee » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:19 pm

Trying to gauge his rebounding effect: http://www.backpicks.com/2012/02/10/den ... ng-effect/
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Re: Advanced Stats and Dennis Rodman 

Post#17 » by Chicago76 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:33 pm

I always struggle with Rodman. He is definitely a Hall of Fame player in terms of the impact he had within the context of the teams he played w/--which is all that's really important. I'm not sure if he's a Hall of Fame talent though.

His offensive skill set (what resembled one anyway) was entirely redundant on those deep Pistons teams, the Bulls, and even the Spurs. He very easily could have contributed elsewhere offensively, but with that would come some rebounding and defensive decline. How much we'll never know.

If there is one guy in the history of basketball I would love to see a four factor +/- on, it's Rodman. All we have to go on is simple w/ and w/out Ortg and Drtg, which is tricky for all of the reasons mentioned in that blog post: home/away, teammate injuries, opponent quality, etc.

One of the things that people run the risk of doing conceptually is double counting his defense vs. defensive rebounding and his lack of offense vs. offensive rebounding. The blog post didn't do it, but to address:

BTW-My numbers don't exactly match up to the blogs, but the fundamental truth probably holds...

Rodman-in vs. hurt: +3.23 ORB and +1.61 DRB. Assume EV or ORB and DRB are 0.79 and 0.28, and that's a net impact of +3.01 pts.

The problem is that part of the reason for the higher ORBs is Rodman's crappy offense, which led to more missed FGAs per 48 min. I didn't run the full defensive #s, but I think it's safe to say that a big part of his DRB increase is as a result of his good defense resulting in more misses.

Controlling for rate, he's +5.59% ORB and +2.72% DRB, or a +2.2 pt impact. 0.9 of his ORBs are coming thanks to the fact that he's a bad offensive player and the O misses more shots when he's on the court. And it was also brought up that Kukoc wasn't playing for many of Rodman's missed games. Had Kukoc not missed those game, I'm assuming that there would have been even fewer missed baskets to collect when Rodman was off.

Again, I just point this out because I often see (not here or on the blog) double credit being given to both is D and the raw rebounding increase, which is double dipping, IMO.

All of these things would make it very, very interesting to see discrete +/- issues on the defensive and offensive end of the court for Rodman.

FWIW, if the Kukoc SRS impact was correctly eliminated on this thread, and Rodman's true impact in SRS is +0.5, that equates roughly to +1.85 wins per 82 game season. This was derived from looking at the WP of teams over the past 25-30 years in the SRS range of 0.4 to 0.6. Avg WP is +2.25% over .500.

5 starters bringing that level of production to a team is a +2.5 SRS team, which win about 48 games. Maybe they took their foot off the gas a lot w/ Rodman, so dominance doesn't show up in SRS. Assume 0.8 to 1.0 SRS for all 5 "Rodman level" starters. Teams w/ an SRS of 4 to 5 generate roughly 54 wins per 82 game season. That feels kind of light to me. Throw some random low level HOFers and hall of very good guys on the court w/ that Bulls bench and tell me if they feel like a 54 win team. Pick any of the following by position at random for the starting 5:

PG-DJ, Cheeks
SG-Dumars, Miller, Richmond
SF-Dantley, English. Worthy
PF-Webber, Cummings, etc
C-don't even make it a good defensive C..take a Smits type

Any combo feels like 60+ wins to me.

That's the problem w/ Rodman for me. If you slice it one way (Ortg Drtg on-off), he looks like a world beater. Look at his rebounding and D versatility and he does too. Then you look at it from a different angle and he doesn't look so special.
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Re: Advanced Stats and Dennis Rodman 

Post#18 » by Dr Positivity » Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:26 pm

I know it's unscientific but say you have a choice between like, a Kobe-Rodman combo and Kobe-Pau, or Bird-McHale vs Bird-Rodman. Can someone in good faith say they'd prefer the Rodman pairing of those choices? I can't. And playing beside a superstar offensive perimeter player is basically the best possible fit for Rodman, if he's the #2 to a guy who needs offensive more such as Robinson or Ewing it becomes an even more questionable fit. Also I'm just taking into account skillset and quality of player here, if you add Rodman's extra mental baggage it becomes even harder to justify preferring him as the #2 banana to guys around the fringe top 50 of all time. He might be the best "3rd best guy on my team" players of all time but the chances of him getting into that situation are incredibly small

He's HOF and a top 70-80 player ever, but I rank him around Mutumbo
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-Kees-
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Re: Advanced Stats and Dennis Rodman 

Post#19 » by -Kees- » Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:41 am

I love the praise for Rodman, I love the guy, always have. There's no doubt in my mind he's the best rebounder to ever play, and he was consistently the best defender in the league during his early years. Another thing I don't think anyone has mentioned is that his offensive rebounds contribute a ton to his offense. Sure it's 4 on 5 when the ball has yet to be shot, but if you take all of your guys and put them on 4 players, leaving Rodman open, he will get the offensive rebound. Rodman's offense was mostly his rebounding, it gave his teams more possessions, without taking them away with shots.

The other point I want to make is the difficulty of the tasks that certain players do. There is a lot that goes on with rebounding, and some players contribute, some players don't, some players box out, some don't. My point is that it varies more, not every player is committed. Not saying that everyone is committed to stopping a player or scoring the ball, but there are a lot more. Basically, I think scoring may be a harder task than rebounding, and there is also more variables with rebounding that can affect numbers more IMO. Things like stat padding, stealing rebounds from teammates and other things people have mentioned Rodman doing just can't be done as much so quietly with scoring. Like if you're scoring, your team will do better because the score is going up, but if you rebound 10 in 1 quarter, it looks good on paper, but it's harder to see a direct impact in the score or wins-losses.

^Its hard to explain, but it's like the difference between Jordan and Rodman. If Rodman rebounds more its awesome, but it doesnt directly impact the score, but if Jordan scores a ton, efficiently, his team will be better. My point is that more people are committed to stopping a scorer because it affects the score directly, so it's harder than other tasks.

So sure, Rodman is the best rebounder, but he's not on Jordan's level because even though they both dominate a category, the one Jordan (or some other star, Bird, Kareem, ect) is doing is harder to accomplish.
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Re: Advanced Stats and Dennis Rodman 

Post#20 » by Chicago76 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:58 am

Dr Mufasa wrote:I know it's unscientific but say you have a choice between like, a Kobe-Rodman combo and Kobe-Pau, or Bird-McHale vs Bird-Rodman. Can someone in good faith say they'd prefer the Rodman pairing of those choices? I can't. And playing beside a superstar offensive perimeter player is basically the best possible fit for Rodman, if he's the #2 to a guy who needs offensive more such as Robinson or Ewing it becomes an even more questionable fit. Also I'm just taking into account skillset and quality of player here, if you add Rodman's extra mental baggage it becomes even harder to justify preferring him as the #2 banana to guys around the fringe top 50 of all time. He might be the best "3rd best guy on my team" players of all time but the chances of him getting into that situation are incredibly small

He's HOF and a top 70-80 player ever, but I rank him around Mutumbo


The problem is that he doesn't really fit the traditional championship building mode when you think of duos because his offense is so weak. You can't really build with him that way in the traditional sense.

The value there is in doing things at an exceptional level that are difficult to find that fit well from a chemistry standpoint (on the court) with 4 other teammates. He doesn't need touches, and he gives you probably a 5 pt increase in ORB rates and stellar D. All a team needs is one very good to excellent offensive player, one good to very good and another good offensive player to pick up the usage slack. Luckily it's not too tough to find a scoring SF to go with either a top flight SG or a big that pretty much addresses the usage issue.

A similar scenario would be looking at a really efficient scorer who doesn't do much else like a Miller. You can criticize him for average D, weak rebounding, and passing, but he does something very important that is fairly easy to build around: he shoots extraordinarily well w/ good scoring production on relatively few shots. If you plug in a defensive big and some capable offense around that (again, not tough to find), you've got a very good team.

Compare those skill profiles to a guy who does a lot, scores inefficiently and plays average to below avg D like a McGrady. It's tough to create incremental efficiency benefits with a guy like that on the floor because his fingerprints are basically all over the team.

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