Greatest Peaks series (Thinking Basketball/Ben Taylor)

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Re: Greatest Peaks series (Thinking Basketball/Ben Taylor) 

Post#501 » by freethedevil » Wed Jan 13, 2021 8:28 pm

DSMok1 wrote:
freethedevil wrote:
DQuinn1575 wrote:
Even in 2002, where Eddie Jones has 2 of the 3 years's best results?
2015, where all 3 years someone other than a big had the best single year?
Real quick I get 10 bigs and 12 non-bigs as having best single year - it can be noisy, but you would expect it to be 70-80% bigs if this always showed bigs being better.
I'm not arguing bigs in general aren't more valuable, and have the highest numbers, but this doesnt look like it supports the conclusions being drawn,

I just explained to you that single year is noisy and your response is to....keep brining up single year rapm?


Post the three year stuff. Off your list, its very very clear that the vast majoirty of the "rapm" dpoy's are going to big men given its the big men who have multiple years in a row at the top, while the non bigs fall off from one year to the next which supporting my conclsion that big men are more valuable.

Just going off whose at the top, a multui-year list(aka, stablized) would go something like
1. Mutembo
2. Mourning
3. Wallace
4. Eddie Jones
5. Dwight Howard
6. Unclear but lets just give it to a non big for kicks
7. Kawhi or Draymond
8. Gobert

Save for at best three stretches(one of those featuring a goat level all time wing in kawhi), the big man is clearly on top. If you want to use single year, then you're going to have to use somethign which is regressed like PIPM.

Going off that....

2020. Giannis
2019. Gobert
2018 Gobert
2017 Draymond
2016 Draymond
2015 Draymond
2014 KG
2013 Marc Gasol
2012 Dwight
2011 Dwight
2010 Dwight
2009 Lebron(was KG before he got injured)
2008 KG
2007 Tim Duncan
2006 Wallace
2005 Duncan
2004 Walllace




It would seem that, when you either a. use suitable sample sizes or B.use deritatives that are less noisy, bigs do indeed rule in defense.


I used 5 year average RAPM stints for developing BPM. Here's what it looks like at the top:

Code: Select all

╔══════╦═══════════════════════════╦═══════╗
║ Rank ║       Player - Era        ║ DRAPM ║
╠══════╬═══════════════════════════╬═══════╣
║    1 ║ Kevin Garnett 2007-11     ║ 5.6   ║
║    2 ║ Tim Duncan 2002-06        ║ 4.8   ║
║    3 ║ LeBron James 2007-11      ║ 4.7   ║
║    4 ║ Ben Wallace 2002-06       ║ 4.6   ║
║    5 ║ Andre Iguodala 2012-16    ║ 4.6   ║
║    6 ║ Tim Duncan 1997-01        ║ 4.1   ║
║    7 ║ Rasheed Wallace 1997-01   ║ 4.1   ║
║    8 ║ Dikembe Mutombo 1997-01   ║ 4.0   ║
║    9 ║ Paul George 2012-16       ║ 4.0   ║
║   10 ║ Luol Deng 2007-11         ║ 3.8   ║
║   11 ║ Jason Collins 2002-06     ║ 3.8   ║
║   12 ║ Doug Christie 2002-06     ║ 3.7   ║
║   13 ║ Kevin Garnett 2002-06     ║ 3.6   ║
║   14 ║ Dwight Howard 2007-11     ║ 3.5   ║
║   15 ║ Tim Duncan 2007-11        ║ 3.4   ║
║   16 ║ LeBron James 2012-16      ║ 3.3   ║
║   17 ║ Eddie Jones 2002-06       ║ 3.3   ║
║   18 ║ Chris Paul 2012-16        ║ 3.2   ║
║   19 ║ Lamar Odom 2007-11        ║ 3.2   ║
║   20 ║ Shane Battier 2002-06     ║ 3.2   ║
║   21 ║ Andrew Bogut 2007-11      ║ 3.2   ║
║   22 ║ Metta World Peace 2007-11 ║ 3.1   ║
║   23 ║ Danny Green 2012-16       ║ 3.1   ║
║   24 ║ Marc Gasol 2012-16        ║ 2.9   ║
║   25 ║ Paul Pierce 2007-11       ║ 2.9   ║
╚══════╩═══════════════════════════╩═══════╝


Most of those names make sense, though even at a 5 year interval there is some noise.

Noise? What noise? You're telling me dray isn't iggy's ball boy?

Also it suggests lebron is good. So we know it passes the sniff test :wink:

Edit: the data's a little off. I am alerting you on the request of they who provided the data
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Re: Greatest Peaks series (Thinking Basketball/Ben Taylor) 

Post#502 » by DSMok1 » Wed Jan 13, 2021 8:34 pm

I just went back and corrected my data--please update your quote with the correct values. Accidentally filtered a bunch of data out of the list... Yes, Draymond was accidentally filtered out. Along with KG's later years...

EDIT: Here's the corrected data:

Code: Select all

╔══════╦═══════════════════════════╦═════╦═══════╗
║ Rank ║       Player - Era        ║ MPG ║ DRAPM ║
╠══════╬═══════════════════════════╬═════╬═══════╣
║    1 ║ Kevin Garnett 2007-11     ║  34 ║ 5.6   ║
║    2 ║ Kevin Garnett 2012-16     ║  24 ║ 5.4   ║
║    3 ║ Tim Duncan 2002-06        ║  37 ║ 4.8   ║
║    4 ║ LeBron James 2007-11      ║  39 ║ 4.7   ║
║    5 ║ Ben Wallace 2002-06       ║  37 ║ 4.6   ║
║    6 ║ Andre Iguodala 2012-16    ║  31 ║ 4.6   ║
║    7 ║ Draymond Green 2012-16    ║  25 ║ 4.4   ║
║    8 ║ David Robinson 1997-01    ║  32 ║ 4.3   ║
║    9 ║ Metta World Peace 2002-06 ║  35 ║ 4.1   ║
║   10 ║ Tim Duncan 1997-01        ║  39 ║ 4.1   ║
║   11 ║ Rasheed Wallace 1997-01   ║  35 ║ 4.1   ║
║   12 ║ Dikembe Mutombo 1997-01   ║  36 ║ 4.0   ║
║   13 ║ Paul George 2012-16       ║  34 ║ 4.0   ║
║   14 ║ Scott Burrell 1997-01     ║  17 ║ 4.0   ║
║   15 ║ Bruce Bowen 2007-11       ║  26 ║ 3.9   ║
║   16 ║ Larry Sanders 2012-16     ║  22 ║ 3.9   ║
║   17 ║ Eric Bledsoe 2012-16      ║  27 ║ 3.9   ║
║   18 ║ Shawn Marion 1997-01      ║  32 ║ 3.8   ║
║   19 ║ Luol Deng 2007-11         ║  37 ║ 3.8   ║
║   20 ║ Jason Collins 2002-06     ║  26 ║ 3.8   ║
║   21 ║ Chuck Hayes 2007-11       ║  21 ║ 3.8   ║
║   22 ║ Tony Allen 2012-16        ║  26 ║ 3.7   ║
║   23 ║ Thabo Sefolosha 2012-16   ║  24 ║ 3.7   ║
║   24 ║ Doug Christie 2002-06     ║  33 ║ 3.7   ║
║   25 ║ Kevin Garnett 2002-06     ║  39 ║ 3.6   ║
║   26 ║ Shawn Bradley 1997-01     ║  27 ║ 3.6   ║
║   27 ║ Omer Asik 2007-11         ║  12 ║ 3.6   ║
║   28 ║ Manu Ginobili 2002-06     ║  27 ║ 3.6   ║
║   29 ║ Tony Allen 2007-11        ║  19 ║ 3.5   ║
║   30 ║ Dwight Howard 2007-11     ║  37 ║ 3.5   ║
╚══════╩═══════════════════════════╩═════╩═══════╝
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Re: Greatest Peaks series (Thinking Basketball/Ben Taylor) 

Post#503 » by freethedevil » Wed Jan 13, 2021 8:44 pm

DSMok1 wrote:I just went back and corrected my data--please update your quote with the correct values. Accidentally filtered a bunch of data out of the list... Yes, Draymond was accidentally filtered out. Along with KG's later years...

Too late iggy was the real mvp all along. :rock:
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Re: Greatest Peaks series (Thinking Basketball/Ben Taylor) 

Post#504 » by Doctor MJ » Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:15 pm

freethedevil wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:
Odinn21 wrote:I think it's quite forgotten that the first several DPoY awards were rewarded to guards, and those results were not outliers leading in each year. Guards in general were more favoured.

If we separate as guards/wings vs. forwards/bigs;
1983; 26-22 guards led the vote.
1984; 46-30 guards led the vote.
1985; 44-34 guards led the vote. (Eaton was the only non-guard winner from '83 to '88)
1986; 35-22 guards led the vote.
1987; 55-23 guards led the vote.
1988; 58-22 guards led the vote.

Until Olajuwon and Ewing joined Eaton and Bol, guards were more favoured than bigs in DPoY votes.

Precisely.

All DPoYs from the guard era should not be taken seriously. The basketball world knew better for decades before that and the fact they didn’t give the award to big men from the start is astonishingly damning to the voters.

None of that means Michael Cooper (or MJ) wasn’t great at their job, but the votes were absurd.


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Most egreious miss since thn has been what...kawhi winning dpoy over draymond?


For the actual DPOY, perhaps, which is another way of saying they don't screw up like that any more.

That said, remember in 2015 when the players made a whole thing for voting for their own awards because they knew so much better than journalists, and then proceeded to give Deandre Jordan their DPOY? Definitely egregious, and ironic given that they went with a big man.
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Re: Greatest Peaks series (Thinking Basketball/Ben Taylor) 

Post#505 » by freethedevil » Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:21 pm

Doctor MJ wrote:
freethedevil wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:Precisely.

All DPoYs from the guard era should not be taken seriously. The basketball world knew better for decades before that and the fact they didn’t give the award to big men from the start is astonishingly damning to the voters.

None of that means Michael Cooper (or MJ) wasn’t great at their job, but the votes were absurd.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Most egreious miss since thn has been what...kawhi winning dpoy over draymond?


For the actual DPOY, perhaps, which is another way of saying they don't screw up like that any more.

That said, remember in 2015 when the players made a whole thing for voting for their own awards because they knew so much better than journalists, and then proceeded to give Deandre Jordan their DPOY? Definitely egregious, and ironic given that they went with a big man.

Historians tell better history than "those who were there". People who study the game have a better grasp on what leads to winning than those who don't. I'm sure if a basketball player was to do all the reseatch 'blog bois' do they'd have really isnightful takes on holistc goodness. Most basktball players tho, the vast majority even don't feel inclined to(and fair enough, theya re very very successfull people), but the issue comes when peple who feel they automatically are qualified to act like historians, tell historians their well researched isnights are useless because they "were there."

Draymond' preaching to the choir about how "experts" don't have buisness talking really represents my issue with how atheletes are treated. Ultimately they're just performers. If a musucian told music critics they're asshats who don't know ****, they'd get flak for it. If a director did it, they'd get flak for it. Draymond does it? YES, WHOOO!
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Re: Greatest Peaks series (Thinking Basketball/Ben Taylor) 

Post#506 » by Doctor MJ » Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:00 pm

VanWest82 wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:Why stop there? Dude, I'm not "going" anywhere, I'm just analyzing a bizarre event in NBA history. If seeing that the '80s DPOYs was dominated by guards doesn't strike you as strange, you're not thinking hard enough.

Also, Bill Russell played more like Giannis than a Lopez Bro, and I'm not just talking about proficiency. I mean that he played "horizontal game" big man defense emphasizing court coverage rather than camping out by the hoop.


Yeah, I'm not actually suggesting Giannis didn't deserve DPOY. It's this idea that just because a player isn't a big or a full time rim protector he should effectively be excluded from DPOY discussion that I don't agree with.

RE your guys' conspiracy theory about voter bias toward small players during that period, let's take a closer look. Let's start by acknowledging that awards like DPOY and MVP have almost always been a "best player on the best team" discussion. Let's also try and put ourselves in their shoes and work with the info that they were working with at the time (e.g. best defensive teams were the ones that allowed the least points, pace be damned).


Calling someone wrong is not the same thing as saying they were part of a conspiracy, despite what the modern internet tends to believe. ;)

Big men had dominated NBA defense since "big men" first came into existence, hence the goaltending rule.
People know from the '40s through the '70s that the best defenders in the world are big men.
Then when they made a DPOY award in the '80s they give the award to guards for the first few years.
And then after that they go back to giving all the big defensive love to big men.

It's not anything weird to ask: Why the aberration in the '80s? That's what everyone looking into NBA history should immediately ask the moment they look at the awards.

I like that you laid out things year by year, so I'll talk about those things, but I do think I should say this up front:

There is a truth that the early '80s wasn't dominated by serious defensive bigs the way the eras before and after were, and that makes the early DPOYs a big more defensible.

But by the time Eaton comes into his own in the mid-80s, that should have been the end of all that. Instead after they gave it to Eaton once, it was like they decided to give "lifetime achievement awards" to guys like Cooper. (I love me some Coop, but Eaton owned the latter half of the decade in terms of NBA defense.)

I'm un-spoilering your stuff on the first year of the DPOY and I'm going to speak to that year because I think laying that out makes plain the issues.

I'm not planning to take the time to analyze every year at this time in this thread.

VanWest82 wrote:82/83 - Moncrief
Top 5 defenses (PPG allowed): 1. Knicks, 2. Bullets, 3. Suns, 4. Bucks, 5. Hawks.
Top 5 Voting: 1. Moncrief, 2. Rollins, 3. (tie) Cheeks, Cooper, Bird, Jones.

When you go through Knicks, Bullets, and Suns rosters from that year it's hard to say any of them had obvious candidates. Maybe Bill Cartwright? Rick Mahorn? Was DJ or Nance the MVP of the 83 Suns D? Next up is Moncrief who was the heart and soul of the Bucks defense. Rollins definitely had a good claim as the anchor of the 5th stingiest Hawks defense. He led the league in blocks that year. He also only played 30 mpg. It was a really close vote. Who were the dominant big defenders that were left off? Eaton's Jazz were 5th from the bottom on points allowed. Bobby Jones's inclusion even though his stats didn't jump off the page would seem to indicate voters had a pretty good idea of who the good defenders were; Bird's inclusion perhaps less so.


Okay, so I'll say again that you do have something of a point relating to the early '80s being a weaker era for bigs.

Next I want to specifically note the PPG allowed thing. You're absolutely right that that's what people were looking at back then if they were looking at team defense at all, but when I talk about people back then not knowing what they were doing, that's the case in point, isn't it? No one competent today would use that stat.

The Nets were the actual best defense in the league by DRtg, and to my knowledge not only did no Net get any DPOY votes - not even from Nets media - they didn't even get anybody All-D.

I think it's worth noting that the really telling story of both this year and the previous was that with Buck Williams arrival on the Nets, they became an ultra-elite defensive team. And of course, Buck would later be on several All-D teams and be credited with turning the ultra-soft Blazers' defense around.

But back then, despite the fact the media was giving Buck MVP votes, nary a blip on the DPOY front. Why? Because they had no freaking idea what they were doing, but they lacked sufficient defensive data analysis ability to be competent by modern standards, and they were being heavily influenced by reputation.

Maybe Squid deserved the award more than Buck - not saying that's impossible at all - but I think it's basically a given that none of those voters understood that the Nets actually had the best defense in the league, and had they understood it, Buck probably gets DPOY votes to go along with the MVP votes.

Sometimes I'm overly harsh in my language about people from the past. I don't really think everybody back then was an idiot, but I'm just really sick of people talking like someone like me can't know better than people back then when everyone on these boards has lived through the data revolution and the paradigm shifts that have followed. I remember what it was like 15 years ago being shouted down when I (and others) pointed out the trends that now dominate the sport, and I just have a lot less patience for old school assumptions, and not just because "I was right", but because the paradigm shifts really should have occurred back in the '80s if these people actually understood how to analyze a field and identify how to optimize it.

I'm not saying that all you need to understand this stuff is data of course, tons of people in the stats space without any basketball common sense, but as someone with a leg in both worlds, it's pretty obvious what people were missing and so when they made choices (and votes) that scream "WTF", I'm not likely to assume that they knew something magical simply because they were getting paid to know things. I think it's important to try to understand where they were coming from, and sometimes you become aware of something important you as a person from the future couldn't see first hand, but there were very clear blindspots they had back then.

Here's what I'll also say about Jordan's defense:

Jordan won the DPOY after whining about not winning it the year before.

Cooper got the DPOY in no small part because Magic & company lobbied for him as he'd been a great man defender for years, and as Cooper's campaign built, Jordan was telling the press "Look at his stats, he's not doing that much", because unlike Jordan the gambler trying to get steals and blocks every chance, Cooper was actually trying to play man defense consistently well to allow Magic to go for the steals.

I think it quite likely that this essentially amounted to the next year being "MJ's turn" to win DPOY. The grand irony is that he was right that Cooper shouldn't have gotten the award, but if Cooper had been properly rated, then Jordan doesn't get a DPOY either.
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Re: Greatest Peaks series (Thinking Basketball/Ben Taylor) 

Post#507 » by Doctor MJ » Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:11 pm

freethedevil wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:
freethedevil wrote:Most egreious miss since thn has been what...kawhi winning dpoy over draymond?


For the actual DPOY, perhaps, which is another way of saying they don't screw up like that any more.

That said, remember in 2015 when the players made a whole thing for voting for their own awards because they knew so much better than journalists, and then proceeded to give Deandre Jordan their DPOY? Definitely egregious, and ironic given that they went with a big man.

Historians tell better history than "those who were there". People who study the game have a better grasp on what leads to winning than those who don't. I'm sure if a basketball player was to do all the reseatch 'blog bois' do they'd have really isnightful takes on holistc goodness. Most basktball players tho, the vast majority even don't feel inclined to(and fair enough, theya re very very successfull people), but the issue comes when peple who feel they automatically are qualified to act like historians, tell historians their well researched isnights are useless because they "were there."

Draymond' preaching to the choir about how "experts" don't have buisness talking really represents my issue with how atheletes are treated. Ultimately they're just performers. If a musucian told music critics they're asshats who don't know ****, they'd get flak for it. If a director did it, they'd get flak for it. Draymond does it? YES, WHOOO!


Agree with your thesis in general.

Now that said, what's absolutely the case is that a historian only understands the situation better than the historical participants if he can make a reasonable claim to understand what the historical participants saw. The fact you know things they don't doesn't mean they didn't know things you don't.

But when it comes to historical DPOY, I think we know how they were thinking pretty well, and we can see the gaps in their knowledge. As I said in my other post: You can argue Squid deserved the 1983 award, but is it really a coincidence that the best defensive team in the league got no accolades given that by non-advanced metrics (which are biased by pace) they don't look like the best defensive team? Unlikely.
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Re: Greatest Peaks series (Thinking Basketball/Ben Taylor) 

Post#508 » by 70sFan » Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:14 pm

Goudelock wrote:
70sFan wrote:Excellent post and I think it's a great summary for this topic. We should move on and give Hakeem's video more love because it's amazing :)


I thought the Hakeem having iffy shot-selection was a great point that most people kind of gloss over. For all of Hakeem's spins and beautiful footwork, he also took a lot of low-percentage turnarounds. I have to wonder if he could've been an even better player had he taken smarter shots.

Then again, Taylor showed that Hakeem's efficiency didn't really drop all that much in the playoffs. So at least in terms of scoring, Olajuwon's game was similar to Kobe's. They took way too many tough shots, but neither suffered much drop off when it came to efficiency come playoff time.

Kobe's comparison is excellent on many levels. Hakeem never reachd all-time great scoring level in RS, but he did better than most when defense game planned against him and took away easy shots.
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Re: Greatest Peaks series (Thinking Basketball/Ben Taylor) 

Post#509 » by Odinn21 » Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:22 pm

70sFan wrote:
Goudelock wrote:
70sFan wrote:Excellent post and I think it's a great summary for this topic. We should move on and give Hakeem's video more love because it's amazing :)


I thought the Hakeem having iffy shot-selection was a great point that most people kind of gloss over. For all of Hakeem's spins and beautiful footwork, he also took a lot of low-percentage turnarounds. I have to wonder if he could've been an even better player had he taken smarter shots.

Then again, Taylor showed that Hakeem's efficiency didn't really drop all that much in the playoffs. So at least in terms of scoring, Olajuwon's game was similar to Kobe's. They took way too many tough shots, but neither suffered much drop off when it came to efficiency come playoff time.

Kobe's comparison is excellent on many levels. Hakeem never reachd all-time great scoring level in RS, but he did better than most when defense game planned against him and took away easy shots.

Curious about their success rate with those hard shots. I always thought of Bryant as a bad shot selector. He tried to make so many and so unnecessary hard shots. IMHO, he tried a bit too hard to be the hero. But I didn't that kind of impression from Olajuwon under Rudy T's coaching. Maybe that's on not watching Olajuwon night in and night out at the time. I got to watch Bryant like that but not quite of Olajuwon.
The issue with per75 numbers;
36pts on 27 fga/9 fta in 36 mins, does this mean he'd keep up the efficiency to get 48pts on 36fga/12fta in 48 mins?
The answer; NO. He's human, not a linearly working machine.
Per75 is efficiency rate, not actual production.
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Re: Greatest Peaks series (Thinking Basketball/Ben Taylor) 

Post#510 » by sansterre » Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:23 pm

Doctor MJ wrote:
VanWest82 wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:Jordan won the DPOY after whining about not winning it the year before.

Also, he was the best defender on the team that allowed the fewest points per game, which gave some plausible deniability.
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Re: Greatest Peaks series (Thinking Basketball/Ben Taylor) 

Post#511 » by Doctor MJ » Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:31 pm

70sFan wrote:
Goudelock wrote:
70sFan wrote:Excellent post and I think it's a great summary for this topic. We should move on and give Hakeem's video more love because it's amazing :)


I thought the Hakeem having iffy shot-selection was a great point that most people kind of gloss over. For all of Hakeem's spins and beautiful footwork, he also took a lot of low-percentage turnarounds. I have to wonder if he could've been an even better player had he taken smarter shots.

Then again, Taylor showed that Hakeem's efficiency didn't really drop all that much in the playoffs. So at least in terms of scoring, Olajuwon's game was similar to Kobe's. They took way too many tough shots, but neither suffered much drop off when it came to efficiency come playoff time.

Kobe's comparison is excellent on many levels. Hakeem never reachd all-time great scoring level in RS, but he did better than most when defense game planned against him and took away easy shots.


Something I'll note is that there are 2 guys who are tied for the lead for most 30 point games in one post-season:

Jordan in '92
Olajuwon in '95

Both did it 16 times in 22 games.
Perimeter players in general dominate the list, making Olajuwon even more of a stand out.
Olajuwon's Rockets did it with a better playoff ORtg, and this was despite facing some fierce defenses along the way.

Only caveat being that they were using ahead-of-its time spoke & wheel offense at a time with a short 3-point line, but that's quibbling.

I think with Hakeem, I see a guy who if you could capture all of his best career play and put it all in one body at the same, you've got a GOAT peak candidate to be sure.

The struggle with Hakeem is that it really doesn't look to me like he was having utterly insane impact all through his career. He was always outstanding, but it has to be acknowledged that his is a career whose most salient moments show him reaching a level he wasn't always at. How to judge this? How to judge this given that he came from Africa and was learning as he went even more than most?
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Re: Greatest Peaks series (Thinking Basketball/Ben Taylor) 

Post#512 » by freethedevil » Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:36 pm

Doctor MJ wrote:
70sFan wrote:
Goudelock wrote:
I thought the Hakeem having iffy shot-selection was a great point that most people kind of gloss over. For all of Hakeem's spins and beautiful footwork, he also took a lot of low-percentage turnarounds. I have to wonder if he could've been an even better player had he taken smarter shots.

Then again, Taylor showed that Hakeem's efficiency didn't really drop all that much in the playoffs. So at least in terms of scoring, Olajuwon's game was similar to Kobe's. They took way too many tough shots, but neither suffered much drop off when it came to efficiency come playoff time.

Kobe's comparison is excellent on many levels. Hakeem never reachd all-time great scoring level in RS, but he did better than most when defense game planned against him and took away easy shots.


Something I'll note is that there are 2 guys who are tied for the lead for most 30 point games in one post-season:

Jordan in '92
Olajuwon in '95

Both did it 16 times in 22 games.
Perimeter players in general dominate the list, making Olajuwon even more of a stand out.
Olajuwon's Rockets did it with a better playoff ORtg, and this was despite facing some fierce defenses along the way.

Only caveat being that they were using ahead-of-its time spoke & wheel offense at a time with a short 3-point line, but that's quibbling.

I think with Hakeem, I see a guy who if you could capture all of his best career play and put it all in one body at the same, you've got a GOAT peak candidate to be sure.

The struggle with Hakeem is that it really doesn't look to me like he was having utterly insane impact all through his career. He was always outstanding, but it has to be acknowledged that his is a career whose most salient moments show him reaching a level he wasn't always at. How to judge this? How to judge this given that he came from Africa and was learning as he went even more than most?

sample size and all, but as far as 30 game+ swowy stretches go, 88 hakeem is basically only rivalled by 75 kareem and 09-10 Lebron.
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Re: Greatest Peaks series (Thinking Basketball/Ben Taylor) 

Post#513 » by Heej » Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:07 am

VanWest82 wrote:Heej, I thought your post was very eloquent.

Where I think you run into problems is when you start saying because ____ was player archetype ____ then we know he can only be ____. That kind of stuff serves purpose as a general guide but ultimately it has to be about what actually happened on the court. We don't get to wash away the performances because we're "historians of the game" who have modelled what we think certain guys looked like in terms of impact in relation to other guys who sort of fit the same profile that we maybe know a little more about.

Also, if we're saying Steph's "gambler-style" offensive game is a valid comparison to MJ's "gambler-style" defense then we're effectively saying MJ is in the conversation for greatest defenders ever, which I don't agree with btw, but all that example proves is you can play the game in a fashion that isn't deemed technically sound and still have an impact greater than virtually everyone else.

I'll take lead from sansterre and try a cross sport comparison. Bobby Orr was the greatest defenseman in NHL history. Few would dispute that. He was the first defenseman who'd routinely lead the rush past the opposing blue line and into enemy territory. Guys generally didn't do that back then (and still don't) because it can get everyone out of position and open you up to rush advantages in the other direction. He was the biggest gambler in the game; except, he was so brilliant as an offensive defenseman that he not only overcame those risks but became the most impactful player in the league precisely because he was taking and hitting on them. Sadly, Orr blew out his knee and sports medicine just wasn't the same back then. But no one is saying "well actually Orr really wasn't that effective and all those MVPs and wins weren't really a good representation because he was a gambler and we've simulated vs. other defenseman gamblers and so we know no one is as good as they seem playing that style." You'd get laughed out of the room. Sometimes we just have to accept that some guys are different and don't work in conventional models.

I don't know much about hockey but I appreciate the example. That being said, there's no way to tell anything from hockey because the shapes of archetypes are probably rather different; and from what I understand from other posters in this thread, bringing Bobby Orr in as a comparison to Jordan as a defender appears to be preposterous lol.

I've already outlined that I think Jordan is the best example of his archetype, which is what you're getting at. What you're not grasping is that he's fallen prey to the downsides of it plenty enough time for it to show up in Ben's film analysis as a definitive aspect of the overall shape of his game.

As for the Steph Curry point, you kind of completely whiffed on what I was trying to get across so I'm not sure what to respond to you in regards to that outside of just asking you to re-read what I wrote lol.

I do sympathize with your points about the mental pressure Jordan created from swooping in, but everyone that hoops knows that it's far less threatening to play against guys that do that once you're prepared for it and anticipate that action coming.

I can accept that some guys can transcend the models, I just don't think Jordan was one of those guys to be completely honest. He missed enough for it to limit his ceiling and the mental pressure he created was also limited against high IQ teams who simply would have been mentally prepared for his particular kind of defensive onslaught.

If Jordan had been willing to play the yellow light more often he would've been a better defender for it. And if there ever was a guy that was just the ultimate gambler and hit on steals every time because of supernatural anticipation, I would then turn and ask why wouldn't he just use that supernatural anticipation to be the perfect yellow light against the defense and always be in the prime spot to constrict their offense every second on the floor? As that still produces more long-term value than playing the robber.

As for the Hakeem video. I love that others saw the Kobe parallel immediately because that's the first thing I thought as well. I really loved the segment about different sports informing his game. Feel like we need to get back to that more in an age of hyper-specialization of athletes.
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Re: Greatest Peaks series (Thinking Basketball/Ben Taylor) 

Post#514 » by VanWest82 » Thu Jan 14, 2021 1:32 am

Heej wrote:I don't know much about hockey but I appreciate the example. That being said, there's no way to tell anything from hockey because the shapes of archetypes are probably rather different; and from what I understand from other posters in this thread, bringing Bobby Orr in as a comparison to Jordan as a defender appears to be preposterous lol.


I don't think we're going to get very far with your other comments but I did want to address this one. I grew up watching MJ in the 80s with my dad. He was a big hockey fan so I'd watch hockey with him, and he'd watch basketball with me. His favorite player was Bobby Orr, and he was actually the one who initially made the comparison something like 35 years ago.

He pointed out obvious stuff like both guys being vastly superior athletes but the thing that stuck with me, and what caused him to make the comp was opposing teams of both players seemingly being afraid to the bring the ball/puck up on their side of the court/ice. They were both such threats to blow up the play that it just wasn't worth it, and even then both guys would regularly swoop in out of nowhere and get a steal anyway or cause the problem that led to a turnover, bad shot, etc. It was that high risk / high reward playmaker strategy that stood out to him.

I haven't met too many hockey fans more knowledgeable than my dad. You couldn't talk to him about anyone over Orr. He'd even argue Orr over Gretzky. You probably don't need to know hockey to think that's nuts. But he thought MJ was on Orr's level, both stylistically and as a performer. We had this discussion lots. Perhaps this isn't the best PC board argument but with respect to the people in here claiming they know one way or the other on MJ/Orr, I'm going with my dad on this one.
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Re: Greatest Peaks series (Thinking Basketball/Ben Taylor) 

Post#515 » by VanWest82 » Thu Jan 14, 2021 4:01 am

Doctor MJ wrote:There is a truth that the early '80s wasn't dominated by serious defensive bigs the way the eras before and after were, and that makes the early DPOYs a big more defensible.

But by the time Eaton comes into his own in the mid-80s, that should have been the end of all that. Instead after they gave it to Eaton once, it was like they decided to give "lifetime achievement awards" to guys like Cooper. (I love me some Coop, but Eaton owned the latter half of the decade in terms of NBA defense.)

I think one of the issues with Eaton specifically is he tore up his knee in 85 playoffs and didn't quite look like the same guy after that. Clearly he was still highly effective but that visible decline surely weighed on the minds of voters. One could argue he also got a lifetime achievement award in 89 as a diminished version of himself on a better version of the Jazz that had some pretty darn good HOF defenders in their athletic primes.

Next I want to specifically note the PPG allowed thing. You're absolutely right that that's what people were looking at back then if they were looking at team defense at all, but when I talk about people back then not knowing what they were doing, that's the case in point, isn't it? No one competent today would use that stat.

Sure, but I thought you were alleging little guy bias (anti-big bias?). I'm not sure I understand how only looking at ppg factors into that.

The Nets were the actual best defense in the league by DRtg, and to my knowledge not only did no Net get any DPOY votes - not even from Nets media - they didn't even get anybody All-D.
Spoiler:
I think it's worth noting that the really telling story of both this year and the previous was that with Buck Williams arrival on the Nets, they became an ultra-elite defensive team. And of course, Buck would later be on several All-D teams and be credited with turning the ultra-soft Blazers' defense around.

But back then, despite the fact the media was giving Buck MVP votes, nary a blip on the DPOY front. Why? Because they had no freaking idea what they were doing, but they lacked sufficient defensive data analysis ability to be competent by modern standards, and they were being heavily influenced by reputation.

Maybe Squid deserved the award more than Buck - not saying that's impossible at all - but I think it's basically a given that none of those voters understood that the Nets actually had the best defense in the league, and had they understood it, Buck probably gets DPOY votes to go along with the MVP votes.

Right. Those Nets teams also had Michael Ray Richardson and some other pretty solid defenders IIRC. In regards to reputation, I don't see that as such a big issue. Buck Williams eventually developed his reputation as a good defender. Do you see many rookies making all nba or all defense in other years with non-traditional defensive stats (edit: 2nd year)? NBA typically makes guys earn it. I'm ok with that. I expect if we go back and look a lot of these DPOY winners/candidates were pretty incredible defenders before they started getting DPOY votes too.

Sometimes I'm overly harsh in my language about people from the past. I don't really think everybody back then was an idiot, but I'm just really sick of people talking like someone like me can't know better than people back then when everyone on these boards has lived through the data revolution and the paradigm shifts that have followed. I remember what it was like 15 years ago being shouted down when I (and others) pointed out the trends that now dominate the sport, and I just have a lot less patience for old school assumptions, and not just because "I was right", but because the paradigm shifts really should have occurred back in the '80s if these people actually understood how to analyze a field and identify how to optimize it.

It's not that you can't know better than someone who lived it but let's understand we're all amateurs here. We may be the 1% of amateurs but none of us are out there working for NBA teams or doing our thesis on NBA history. I'd also argue that as much as you're feeling like the old guard is telling you that you don't know, the loudest voices are typically coming from the other direction which is something that tends to happen in most things (because youth), especially now with so much information at our fingertips. Every little punk with an ipad is an expert, etc.

Just think about all the stuff you know about current NBA that probably won't be part of the discourse in 25 years. Guys will be looking back on Rudy Gobert and saying "WTF that guy should've won DPOY every year!" and you'll have to say, "well yeah, he did except we saw him get played off the court in the playoffs for defensive reasons, not once but twice..." And they'll say, "oh yeah, Harden was a beast. He should've won MVP every year! Look at those numbers!" and you'll have to say, "well yeah, but he played for this guy named D'Antoni who let his stars do what they wanted, and because Harden was kinda selfish he just ISO'd and ISO'd and ISO'd, and it never really worked that well in the playoffs so it got harder to justify..." People of course can find all this out if they do extensive research, but almost no one does and not all these explanations are found on bballref. I'm sure you can think of more niche examples.

Here's what I'll also say about Jordan's defense:

Jordan won the DPOY after whining about not winning it the year before.

Cooper got the DPOY in no small part because Magic & company lobbied for him as he'd been a great man defender for years, and as Cooper's campaign built, Jordan was telling the press "Look at his stats, he's not doing that much", because unlike Jordan the gambler trying to get steals and blocks every chance, Cooper was actually trying to play man defense consistently well to allow Magic to go for the steals.

I think it quite likely that this essentially amounted to the next year being "MJ's turn" to win DPOY. The grand irony is that he was right that Cooper shouldn't have gotten the award, but if Cooper had been properly rated, then Jordan doesn't get a DPOY either.

I'm sure you've answered this before but why did you chose the username Doctor MJ?

Also, logically the next DPOY candidate for discussion is Rodman. He was a non-big, non-rim protecting guy. I'm curious about your thoughts on his DPOY.
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Re: Greatest Peaks series (Thinking Basketball/Ben Taylor) 

Post#516 » by Doctor MJ » Thu Jan 14, 2021 4:53 am

VanWest82 wrote:Heej, I thought your post was very eloquent.

Where I think you run into problems is when you start saying because ____ was player archetype ____ then we know he can only be ____. That kind of stuff serves purpose as a general guide but ultimately it has to be about what actually happened on the court. We don't get to wash away the performances because we're "historians of the game" who have modelled what we think certain guys looked like in terms of impact in relation to other guys who sort of fit the same profile that we maybe know a little more about.

Also, if we're saying Steph's "gambler-style" offensive game is a valid comparison to MJ's "gambler-style" defense then we're effectively saying MJ is in the conversation for greatest defenders ever, which I don't agree with btw, but all that example proves is you can play the game in a fashion that isn't deemed technically sound and still have an impact greater than virtually everyone else.

I'll take lead from sansterre and try a cross sport comparison. Bobby Orr was the greatest defenseman in NHL history. Few would dispute that. He was the first defenseman who'd routinely lead the rush past the opposing blue line and into enemy territory. Guys generally didn't do that back then (and still don't) because it can get everyone out of position and open you up to rush advantages in the other direction. He was the biggest gambler in the game; except, he was so brilliant as an offensive defenseman that he not only overcame those risks but became the most impactful player in the league precisely because he was taking and hitting on them. Sadly, Orr blew out his knee and sports medicine just wasn't the same back then. But no one is saying "well actually Orr really wasn't that effective and all those MVPs and wins weren't really a good representation because he was a gambler and we've simulated vs. other defenseman gamblers and so we know no one is as good as they seem playing that style." You'd get laughed out of the room. Sometimes we just have to accept that some guys are different and don't work in conventional models.


I have to object here.

The lessen to take away from Orr was not that his gambling never backfired, but that on the whole it worked out enough to have (extremely) positive impact.

Whether you're talking about the greatest defensemen in the history of hockey by a massive margin, or Larry Hughes, when you "go for it", sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't.

And as analysts, if we want to get anywhere, we need to not shut our eyes to the cost that comes with the benefit just because the benefit makes it all worthwhile. Noticing the good and the bad doesn't make everything cancel out, it allows you to focus on that actual action which causes the impact rather than just hyping the holistic.
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Re: Greatest Peaks series (Thinking Basketball/Ben Taylor) 

Post#517 » by VanWest82 » Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:12 am

Doctor MJ wrote:The lessen to take away from Orr was not that his gambling never backfired, but that on the whole it worked out enough to have (extremely) positive impact.


Not only did I not say that, I basically said the opposite. The whole point of the comparison was to show another example of a guy who played a high risk style that led to some mistakes but was ultimately so successful in doing so as to be known as one of the greatest ever, just like MJ.
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Re: Greatest Peaks series (Thinking Basketball/Ben Taylor) 

Post#518 » by Doctor MJ » Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:36 am

VanWest82 wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:The lessen to take away from Orr was not that his gambling never backfired, but that on the whole it worked out enough to have (extremely) positive impact.


Not only did I not say that, I basically said the opposite. The whole point of the comparison was to show another example of a guy who played a high risk style that led to some mistakes but was ultimately so successful in doing so as to be known as one of the greatest ever, just like MJ.


But you're still in the same conversation where you earlier complained about Taylor bringing up anything negative about Jordan's defense. Taylor talking about how Jordan played and the pros and cons of it was not the same as him saying Jordan was not successful.
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Re: Greatest Peaks series (Thinking Basketball/Ben Taylor) 

Post#519 » by Doctor MJ » Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:04 am

VanWest82 wrote:I think one of the issues with Eaton specifically is he tore up his knee in 85 playoffs and didn't quite look like the same guy after that. Clearly he was still highly effective but that visible decline surely weighed on the minds of voters. One could argue he also got a lifetime achievement award in 89 as a diminished version of himself on a better version of the Jazz that had some pretty darn good HOF defenders in their athletic primes.


Okay, but do you realize the guy who won the DPOY the next year was on one of the worst defenses in the league, and they didn't become good again until he was gone?

Not saying you shouldn't bring up the Eaton stuff, but if the voters back then knew what they were doing, they shouldn't have been voting for Alvin Robertson. Why did they? Because he stole the ball more than anyone else in recorded NBA history that year. He broke a record, and got attention for it.

VanWest82 wrote:
Next I want to specifically note the PPG allowed thing. You're absolutely right that that's what people were looking at back then if they were looking at team defense at all, but when I talk about people back then not knowing what they were doing, that's the case in point, isn't it? No one competent today would use that stat.

Sure, but I thought you were alleging little guy bias (anti-big bias?). I'm not sure I understand how only looking at ppg factors into that.


I'm just pointing out more reasons why we know they didn't know what they were doing back then on top of what I've already pointed out.

I'll also say that I wouldn't use the phase "anti-big bias" because I wouldn't want to imply there was an agenda - it wasn't a conspiracy, it was ignorance and simplistic narrative.

VanWest82 wrote:Right. Those Nets teams also had Michael Ray Richardson and some other pretty solid defenders IIRC. In regards to reputation, I don't see that as such a big issue. Buck Williams eventually developed his reputation as a good defender. Do you see many rookies making all nba or all defense in other years with non-traditional defensive stats (edit: 2nd year)? NBA typically makes guys earn it. I'm ok with that. I expect if we go back and look a lot of these DPOY winners/candidates were pretty incredible defenders before they started getting DPOY votes too.


So now you're saying it's okay that they got it wrong because you want rookies to be underrated? C'mon man, you don't need to try to rebut everything. It's okay to just listen earnestly without either agreeing or rebutting.

VanWest82 wrote:It's not that you can't know better than someone who lived it but let's understand we're all amateurs here. We may be the 1% of amateurs but none of us are out there working for NBA teams or doing our thesis on NBA history. I'd also argue that as much as you're feeling like the old guard is telling you that you don't know, the loudest voices are typically coming from the other direction which is something that tends to happen in most things (because youth), especially now with so much information at our fingertips. Every little punk with an ipad is an expert, etc.

Just think about all the stuff you know about current NBA that probably won't be part of the discourse in 25 years. Guys will be looking back on Rudy Gobert and saying "WTF that guy should've won DPOY every year!" and you'll have to say, "well yeah, he did except we saw him get played off the court in the playoffs for defensive reasons, not once but twice..." And they'll say, "oh yeah, Harden was a beast. He should've won MVP every year! Look at those numbers!" and you'll have to say, "well yeah, but he played for this guy named D'Antoni who let his stars do what they wanted, and because Harden was kinda selfish he just ISO'd and ISO'd and ISO'd, and it never really worked that well in the playoffs so it got harder to justify..." People of course can find all this out if they do extensive research, but almost no one does and not all these explanations are found on bballref. I'm sure you can think of more niche examples.


Listen:

I'm not trying to say you should ignore people who voted for things in the 1980s.

I'm specifically pointing out all the things that a modern analyst needs to use to be competent in evaluating the game relative to others today that they didn't know about back then.

It's fine for you to say I don't know everything, but that's not something to use to rebut a specific valid point. Flat out, you should not be swallowing any of these old DPOY votes without trying to understand what they did and what they did not use to come to the conclusions they did.

Now, perhaps you're just concerned over my flippant tone, and I get that if you are. Just know I'm not a kid. I've been around the block enough to understand that every sub-culture of expertise has blindspots at any point in time that allow them to be ripe for paradigm shifts, and thus when you look back historically already knowing what those paradigm shifts were, you can generally reverse engineer a lot of the consensus narrative within your own head. And once you can do that, it's not hard to think about how they would have shifted in their thought if they knew particular things we're ware of now.

VanWest82 wrote:I'm sure you've answered this before but why did you chose the username Doctor MJ?

Also, logically the next DPOY candidate for discussion is Rodman. He was a non-big, non-rim protecting guy. I'm curious about your thoughts on those ones.


Ah, well:

It's a reference to Doctor J, as well as Jordan and Magic. Those were my 3 faves growing up.

I was also in grad school at the time, and those are my initials. ftr, left after the masters degree, so I'm a bit sheepish about the name if I'm honest, but I never bothered to change it to something less presumptuous.

Re: Rodman. Quite the player. Probably at his best defensively on the Pistons, though may have peaked overall in Chicago.

I respect the hell out of the Pistons defense, particularly in the playoffs, and while I think it's important to note that the defense was built around a big man in Laimbeer, I don't object to Rodman being singled out as the best defender on that team, and in particular during his DPOY years.

I will say that this was a team that was elite on defense for reasons other than shotblocking which is part of what allows Rodman to stand out, but that the truth is that the Pistons' defense was a team effort with an outstanding defensive coaching staff, and thus I think it unlikely that Rodman had as much defensive impact as the top defensive big men.

In '89-90, when Rodman won his first DPOY, this to me is a case where aside from the fact that the voters may have wanted to reward a Piston after they won their first championship, they also were almost certainly influenced by pace.

The Pistons allowed less PPG than any other team because they played at the 2nd slowest pace in the league, but the team with the best DRtg was Houston, led by Olajuwon. I expect I'd give Dream the award.

In the next year, I expect I'd give the nod to David Robinson, who led the best defense and played more minutes than Rodman as well.

I do want to be clear that I'm not utterly refusing to consider Rodman or Jordan or Moncrief as potential DPOYs. But the fact that the '80s DPOY votes were so guard-oriented year after year speaks to something more broad that I just think we have to keep in mind. It's flat out weird that they voted as they did in that era and then changed to a big
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Re: Greatest Peaks series (Thinking Basketball/Ben Taylor) 

Post#520 » by VanWest82 » Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:28 am

Doctor MJ wrote:
VanWest82 wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:The lessen to take away from Orr was not that his gambling never backfired, but that on the whole it worked out enough to have (extremely) positive impact.


Not only did I not say that, I basically said the opposite. The whole point of the comparison was to show another example of a guy who played a high risk style that led to some mistakes but was ultimately so successful in doing so as to be known as one of the greatest ever, just like MJ.


But you're still in the same conversation where you earlier complained about Taylor bringing up anything negative about Jordan's defense. Taylor talking about how Jordan played and the pros and cons of it was not the same as him saying Jordan was not successful.


No. Again, my issue wasn't that Taylor criticized MJ - he criticized his shot selection too and you don't hear me saying anything about that. My problem was that he did it so disproportionately wrt defense as to leave the viewer with an inaccurate representation of what was actually happening. He was overly critical, but worse - I thought he missed the boat in a fundamental way. Some of the misses like the ones he showed look really bad but most of his misses weren't actually that detrimental because he was still able to recover or it resulted in lesser shooters getting the open look, etc. The hits OTOH which vastly outnumbered the misses resulted in turnovers and fast break opportunities and guys beating themselves because they were freaked out about him - like the old adage about good shot blockers where sometimes their deterrent factor is just as important as the actual blocked shot. It's like he tried to apply traditional defensive theory to the analysis but forgot to account for the fact that it's MJ. It doesn't matter if you thought that surprise double or ball swipe or rotation from the weakside wasn't warranted or was too big of a risk if the end result was that the play got blown up. Taylor left us with the impression that these higher risk plays were something of a 50/50 proposition for him or maybe a little better with similar risk/reward and I just think don't agree with that at all. Not in MJ's case anyway.

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