Which players/teams/concepts have you changed your mind on in the past 5 years?

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Which players/teams/concepts have you changed your mind on in the past 5 years? 

Post#1 » by fpliii » Tue Jun 1, 2021 8:59 pm

Haven't been on here much since 2016, so I'm wondering which players, teams, and concepts you have changed your mind on in that span? How have they changed?

It's also perfectly fine if you haven't changed your mind at all. I'll post a bit later on.
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Re: Which players/teams/concepts have you changed your mind on in the past 5 years? 

Post#2 » by Blazers-1977 » Tue Jun 1, 2021 9:13 pm

One huge one is the idea that Centers are no longer important in the NBA . In 2016 I thought the center Postion was all but dead and we wouldn’t have any post dominant players left .


Well the past 3 years have proven me wrong as Jokic and Embiid have both shown that having a dominant big man is still important and this is true for Anthony Davis and the lakers as well . The main reason I think now that the center Postion was dead in 2016 was we were in the transition stage for centers and now they have transitioned into being really good in the post but good shooters as well
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Re: Which players/teams/concepts have you changed your mind on in the past 5 years? 

Post#3 » by Jaivl » Tue Jun 1, 2021 9:30 pm

Kareem (+)
Erving (-) - in large part thanks to you!

And, well, Durant, but that's another whole different story.
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Re: Which players/teams/concepts have you changed your mind on in the past 5 years? 

Post#4 » by Doctor MJ » Tue Jun 1, 2021 9:34 pm

fpliii wrote:Haven't been on here much since 2016, so I'm wondering which players, teams, and concepts you have changed your mind on in that span? How have they changed?

It's also perfectly fine if you haven't changed your mind at all. I'll post a bit later on.


Hey fpliii! Good to see your handle, how you doin?

Well the past 5 years have seen ORtg's skyrocket in a way they just weren't before.

Compared to 5 years ago league average ORtg has gone up by 5.9.

When was the NBA's league average last 5.9 lower than it was in '15-16? '77-78.

So what has this changed in my mind? Well it's made me see new ceilings of effectiveness as possible that I never thought would be possible.

It's also made lose patience with the folks I'd been debating about what we now call "pace & space" going back to the Suns of '04-05. It's now definitively clear that everyone who thought this offensive approach was a gimmick and that the real way to play offense was to grind it out was as wrong as you could possibly be, and that the most notable people in that group were NBA coaches who had been holding back progress in the NBA for generations.

When I encounter people now who talk like this it's very difficult to play the "nice persuader" as I can't help but think that if they were actually at all open-minded they'd have been persuaded long ago.

If this sounds like I'm grumpier than I used to be, yes I am, and I don't really like it about myself, but it's also driven by stuff in society that's a lot more important than basketball. The throughline though is cognitive dissonance getting tied to identity such that people feel like admitting that someone else taught them a thing is essentially ego death, which is apparently a worse thing than actual death given our political climate.

Beyond this I'll note that a big trend in the past half decade is that the best players seem to be coming from outside of the American player development system. There was a lot of premature hype about this back in the Darko Milicic days, but now it's actually happened.

Pertaining to this along with the fact college coaches are often much more retrograde than even NBA coaches, and their kid's 3-point line, were I a major prospect I'd err on the side of avoiding playing college at all. Probably better to play in the G-league or Europe. Definitely not how I felt 5 years ago.
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Re: Which players/teams/concepts have you changed your mind on in the past 5 years? 

Post#5 » by Cavsfansince84 » Tue Jun 1, 2021 10:13 pm

Harden to some degree. I think he is probably good enough to be the best player on a title team but I'm not sure winning a title with the Nets will actually prove it unless they win with Kyrie going mentally awol or something.
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Re: Which players/teams/concepts have you changed your mind on in the past 5 years? 

Post#6 » by Texas Chuck » Tue Jun 1, 2021 10:15 pm

Always good to see a legend back on the board.

Not much change in concepts for me because I've tried really hard to never get married to ideas like PG defense doesn't matter, bigs must be great defenders regardless of what they contribute offensively, etc.... There are multiple ways to win and multiple ways for players to contribute. Dame and Kidd can both be high impact players just as Jokic and Gobert are arguably the highest 2 impact players this season. You can win playing bully ball like the Lakers and Sixers or you can win with incredible team play like Utah or Phoenix.

I never would have guessed a team could play offense to the caliber of last year's Mavs playing around a 2nd year guy with some significant holes in his offensive game and largely mediocre talent around him--even with an offensive genius coaching. Nor would I have guessed that their efficiency record would immediately be beaten by multiple teams the very next year.



Player I've probably changed the most on would be Chris Paul and in a favorable way. I know I risk running afoul of Doc after right above me he indicates a firm belief that Paul doesn't play in an optimal fashion, but I've now seen Paul on 4 teams in short order and how much better he made all of them and how they suffered when he left. I think a lot of the arguments against him are largely narrative in nature and that yes he's controlling, but he's also pretty much always right.
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Re: Which players/teams/concepts have you changed your mind on in the past 5 years? 

Post#7 » by falcolombardi » Tue Jun 1, 2021 11:19 pm

Doctor MJ wrote:
It's now definitively clear that everyone who thought this offensive approach was a gimmick and that the real way to play offense was to grind it out was as wrong as you could possibly be, and that the most notable people in that group were NBA coaches who had been holding back progress in the NBA for generations.

When I encounter people now who talk like this it's very difficult to play the "nice persuader" as I can't help but think that if they were actually at all open-minded they'd have been persuaded long ago.

The throughline though is cognitive dissonance getting tied to identity such that people feel like admitting that someone else taught them a thing is essentially ego death, which is apparently a worse thing than actual death given our political climate.

Beyond this I'll note that a big trend in the past half decade is that the best players seem to be coming from outside of the American player development system.

Pertaining to this along with the fact college coaches are often much more retrograde than even NBA coaches, and their kid's 3-point line, were I a major prospect I'd err on the side of avoiding playing college at all. Probably better to play in the G-league or Europe.



i think is more nostalgia and cultural inertia that causes people to push back against new trends. basketball thought used to be empírica

right or wrong people sustained their views on empirism, so once people came with a a more scientific method (at some extent) approach they were changing the whole way to even look at basketball,

it was a total paradigm change that made people feel threatened when thinghs understoof as obvious truths were no longer so obvious, and big changes to stats quo always case blowback

as far the ncaa thingh is very true, if you thinl about it. europe system with profesional teans having academias for rough players is much more productive to develop talent that money strained public school can do

is why soccer players come from them rather thsn from school teams, usa sheer population advantage an amount of athletea playing basketball is the reason it still produces the most talent
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Re: Which players/teams/concepts have you changed your mind on in the past 5 years? 

Post#8 » by giordunk » Wed Jun 2, 2021 6:12 am

5 years ago was 2016. I think in that time there was this whole idea of it was a Golden State style small ball team or bust, but as we look at this post Warriors landscape it's still very clear that talent + a good team is the most important.

As someone else pointed out earlier, we had lived in this "ohh there are no more dominant big men" era for the longest time but guys like Jokic and Embiid are probably two of the most talented Centers we've ever seen (we're just talking about physical talents and things they can do on the court, not a deep dive into their talent (although there are already several posters making cases for them).

I'm all in on empowerment of athletes, I think this is just me getting older and having more empathy, but when I first started watching basketball it was really just a commodity. I love being able to enjoy the entire product of the NBA and seeing players produce their own content and narratives, rather than just being personalities painted by sports media.

Never thought the NBA's development league would pan out to anything but very proud of the progress the NBA has been making. I'm all for taking away from how exploitative the NCAA was and would love to see more young guys exploring overseas and the G League, making basketball a better global product. I think in the long run it's better for the NCAA as well as we get more guys in the NCAA that are actually there to stay at least two years and develop with the program.
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Re: Which players/teams/concepts have you changed your mind on in the past 5 years? 

Post#9 » by Odinn21 » Wed Jun 2, 2021 6:56 am

fpliii wrote:Haven't been on here much since 2016, so I'm wondering which players, teams, and concepts you have changed your mind on in that span? How have they changed?

It's also perfectly fine if you haven't changed your mind at all. I'll post a bit later on.

Hello there mate. Very glad to see you again.
I was a different message board when we shared some discussions. Made it to here.

Data-ball got really really big in the last few years. The number of tracked observations and data just insanely bigger now. Not publicly available data but the teams really focused on getting good data analysts and making use of the internet age.
That translated into higher offensive efficiency. The league wants higher scoring numbers and the officiating is more lenient and less disruptive than before. It's good for flow of the game, the game is less disrupted by foul calls and free throws. There's more ball and body flow but less straight up strength challenge kind of plays.

Personally, I don't like defensive end getting limited like this for higher scoring numbers. I liked the games in 97-105 ppg range better than this 112 ppg league.
The lack of calls on moving screens and some restricted area stuff is getting my nerves. The way I see it the league do not force its rules and goes against them directly on executional level. In that '95-'05 time frame, it was too much defense. Then there was a move towards for more offense. But it never stopped. Now, it's too much offense.

I and Doctor MJ disagree on this. He recognizes the better analytical tools as the major reason for this hyper-efficient offensive era. I recognize the league's desire for high scoring games letting ruling and officiating going rampant. Both are true but we see it differently from different perspectives. Just stating that my point of view is something pretty much up to debate.

With all these, the traditional big man archetype is dead. It's been dead for a while now but we got the certification of it. Big men dominating the league is not a dead concept. But in a historical sense, the game is too changed to draw enough similarities between new generation of big men (Jokic and Embiid right now) and the classical archetype (Duncan, O'Neal, Olajuwon, and so on).
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: Which players/teams/concepts have you changed your mind on in the past 5 years? 

Post#10 » by falcolombardi » Wed Jun 2, 2021 5:53 pm

one of my biggest changes in how i understand basketball is the value i atribute to certain skillsets

i am lower on scoring, even high volume amd efficient scoring but higher on playmaking/generating offense for teammates

this has made me be lower on the likes of durant but higher on the likes of harden or peak westbrook.

ben taylor was my first dip into "analytical" basketball beyond the usual clichés. and for a while my opinion were mostly on Line with his but lots of reading opiniones. specially this board changed that

now i value "floor raiser" high usage stars a lot more and lower usage/higher portability or ceilinh raising less. with my go to example being how the "low portability" magic led better/higher ceiling offenses thsn the "more portable" lower usage bird despite high talent teams like lakers snd celtics in the 80's theorically being where someone like bird should be advantage over magic

now while i recognize off ball portability/impact importance, i still value the ability to impact the game on ball and carry a big offensive load and impact more

and unlike steve kerr. i see morey esque "offensive engine on ball + shooters and defenders" as the most reliable championship build strategy for teams who dont have the luxury of ultra stacked rosters like durant warriors. heliocentrism being the best option for modern teams

in my view, i see "floor raisers" as more valuable now since the kind of ultra stacked teams where "this superstar uses the ball too much" is a concern are gonna be offensive powerhoues by default, fit or not, portability or not

if there is a team where you are concerned by lebron, harden or doncic high usage then that team is so stacked offensively that it doesnt really matter cause they are gonna wreck anyway
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Re: Which players/teams/concepts have you changed your mind on in the past 5 years? 

Post#11 » by No-more-rings » Wed Jun 2, 2021 7:58 pm

I think at least one thing for me, I've gotten better at understanding that numbers don't always match a player's impact or importance to their team's success. I think I've come to appreciate more how great guys like Dirk and KG were. To my original point, Dirk rarely put up massive box score numbers, but his RAPM was pretty consistently elite from 02-11, and he had the team success to match it. You can say similar things about Nash. I've always had Kobe as better than Dirk, but now I'm not really sure much separates them aside from one had better teammates and coaching. Dirk may even be slightly better for primes. I still don't think KG is as good as Duncan in a vacuum, but there are plenty of scenarios especially today where you can make him the focal point and he'd have comparable or better value.

I used to think offense could mostly be measured by points and assists but it's certainly not that simple. Someone like Dirk or Reggie Miller weren't strong passers but they were adequate enough where the attention they drew would create opportunities anyway.
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Re: Which players/teams/concepts have you changed your mind on in the past 5 years? 

Post#12 » by No-more-rings » Wed Jun 2, 2021 8:14 pm

Cavsfansince84 wrote:Harden to some degree. I think he is probably good enough to be the best player on a title team but I'm not sure winning a title with the Nets will actually prove it unless they win with Kyrie going mentally awol or something.

Harden's probably an example of someone who's numbers sort of exceeded his actual impact. His playoff struggles are a bit overblown, but he likely gets a little too much credit for how good the Rockets were those years. For a guy who was seen as a consensus top 3-5 in the league most years of his prime he definitely underwhelms in impact stuff like RAPM, etc.
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Re: Which players/teams/concepts have you changed your mind on in the past 5 years? 

Post#13 » by fpliii » Fri Jun 11, 2021 7:20 am

Sorry, took some time to come back to this. I won't cite specific players or teams for now, focusing more on concepts -

Value More:
• Opportunity creation/playmaking ability. If a player is unable to both draw defensive attention and get the ball into the hands of open teammates, I think it severely limits his offensive utility. There are a lot of great players who have the ability to draw doubles but can't make more than just the most obvious passes, and I think this limits the ceiling of team offenses.
• Perimeter defense. I don't think you can afford to have any bad defenders on legitimate title contenders. I'm much less likely to forgive guards and wings who aren't willing to switch, chase players around screens, or recover. Effort is extremely important here, perhaps equally as important as length and lateral quickness.
• Bad shot-making ability. If someone is able to make difficult shots (long 2's, deep 3's, post) at a high relative rate and force opposing defenders to respect the shot, that really opens up your team's offense. To be clear, this doesn't mean all bad shots are worth taking - it just means the players who can make these shots consistently have tremendous value.

Value Less:
• Traditional rim protection. You absolutely do not want to cede the baskets with the highest EV, however I am moving away from valuing interior defense from your traditional goliath center types especially given the comeback of the floater. I do think rim protection from small-ball centers and lengthy forwards is extremely valuable.
• Rebounding specialist big men. I have never been a box score acolyte, however due to my historically pro-big man bias I have been enamored by centers and power forwards who gobble up boards. The defensive possession isn't complete until the rebound is secured—sure—however unless you have one guy who stands out as a tremendous outlet passer you probably want a team rebounding strategy. The ability to box out however is extremely important.
• Slow, poor-shooting PnR ball-handlers. I am increasingly of the opinion that if a guy is ball dominant and needs screens to attack the rim, he probably is distorting your offense in a bad way. If your non-PG ball-handler either cannot pull up with minimal space or blow by a defender on his own, the half-court is going to become really congested really fast.
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Re: Which players/teams/concepts have you changed your mind on in the past 5 years? 

Post#14 » by 70sFan » Fri Jun 11, 2021 7:40 am

fpliii wrote:• Slow, poor-shooting PnR ball-handlers. I am increasingly of the opinion that if a guy is ball dominant and needs screens to attack the rim, he probably is distorting your offense in a bad way. If your non-PG ball-handler either cannot pull up with minimal space or blow by a defender on his own, the half-court is going to become really congested really fast.

Do you have anyone particular in mind here?
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Re: Which players/teams/concepts have you changed your mind on in the past 5 years? 

Post#15 » by HeartBreakKid » Fri Jun 11, 2021 7:55 am

Concepts? Nope. I don't believe there is any wrong or right way to be good at basketball, and I've always been under the impression that talent is primarily what dictates concepts.

Teams....hm....none come to mind. I suppose I am lower on the 2015 Warriors than I was a few years ago. More so because they didn't really beat any team I thought was that good. 2016 follow up didn't help.

Players - certainly. I'm more comfortable ignoring consensus and now have less trouble ranking players who are more defensive oriented against offensive players. I also have a better appreciation from pre merger players - Chamberlain, West and Robertson. Before I somewhat pigeon held them to narratives or subconsciously figured players with one rings can't be THAT good.

I've never been pro ring argument, but I am even more further removed from believing in it now than before. I've started to realize how many all time greats played with other all time greats, which really makes the concept of "this guy won and this guy didn't" seem ridiculous.
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Re: Which players/teams/concepts have you changed your mind on in the past 5 years? 

Post#16 » by Fundamentals21 » Fri Jun 11, 2021 2:46 pm

5 years is a long time…

73 games. Curry changed my perspective on the NBA. I was more of a supporter of era and timelines and didn’t believe things like this were made for 2016, but I was wrong. I wonder if we get to see 50 PPG too? Bradley Beal?

Wouldn’t mind a bit more 70’s - I think in the 70’s a different team was winning the title this year. I wonder if we get to see this in the NBA again. Makes things more interesting.

Began watching international games - I love international ball as it is so complex. There are a 100+ international players in the NBA as well as big names like Luka/Jokic. Have to note USA still dominates the world frontier as a team (138-5 olympic record is ridiculous). On the other hand, there are some pretty passionate countries out there like Lithuania, where basketball’s practically a religion. Got to learn some new names in world basketball as well.

Good to see datball always expanding - so many +/- sites now. I really think someone should come up with a defensive FG%. Boxscore is poor on defensive stats.

LeBron kept making the NBA finals - LeBron made an absurd number of NBA finals in his career. I think everyone here lost their sanity at some point. Most were actually thinking he would get past the Suns this year too, though I don’t blame them for it.

The new boys - Good crop of Luka, Mitchell, Murray, Tatum, etc. ZION is an interesting guy to follow and has some serious legend potential. I wonder how Trae Young’s career goes as well.

All time lists - I haven’t changed much of this. Though I don’t know where to place Curry and Durant.

Presti is the best GM - I actually keep watching him and wonder how he comes up with all that he comes up with. He’s actually a really strong GM even though he doesn’t have a championship.
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Re: Which players/teams/concepts have you changed your mind on in the past 5 years? 

Post#17 » by Texas Chuck » Fri Jun 11, 2021 2:50 pm

fpliii wrote:Sorry, took some time to come back to this. I won't cite specific players or teams for now, focusing more on concepts -

Value More:
• Opportunity creation/playmaking ability. If a player is unable to both draw defensive attention and get the ball into the hands of open teammates, I think it severely limits his offensive utility. There are a lot of great players who have the ability to draw doubles but can't make more than just the most obvious passes, and I think this limits the ceiling of team offenses.

Value Less:
• Traditional rim protection. You absolutely do not want to cede the baskets with the highest EV, however I am moving away from valuing interior defense from your traditional goliath center types especially given the comeback of the floater. I do think rim protection from small-ball centers and lengthy forwards is extremely value.


These interest me the most. The first one in light of Doc's comments in a different thread where he was way down on Dirk in comparison with Jokic and one of the things he cited was Jokic' playmaking.

I've always taken Dirk's "obvious passes" as part of his value. He was basically never passing guys open or making cross court passes or anything beyond I've drawn a double and I'm decisive in beating the double and hitting the man I'm supposed to and then trusting that teammate to make the open shot or the extra pass.

And its not like Dallas had bad offenses. They had consistently strong offenses centered on Dirk. But you seem to agree with Doc's contention that despite that not being that long ago, that Dirk-centric offenses might be obsolete? Never imagined that would be the perception but now two smart guys seem to be saying it.


Then on traditional rim protection. Outside of Draymond, the most valuable defensive players this season were Gobert, Embiid, Capela, and Turner. I think even Simmons falls short of them as do guys like Mikal and Thybulle. I'd want to see the numbers on floaters, but my guess is those are still relatively "bad" shots as far as expected return. How many guys shoot even 50% on floaters? According to Harwood Paroxysm only 5 players exceed that mark making it mostly a bad shot. And one of those is Tyus Jones and another is Shake. Only really Haliburton, Luka, and Clarkson are primary guys exceeding that threshold. Anyway just some food for thought.

I think I've gone the opposite way from you. I'm even more convinced in the value of these elite traditional rim protectors especially those like listed above who aren't limited to just drop like a Brook Lopez who remains elite at the rim but can be exposed. Or what Luka just did to Zubac.
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Re: Which players/teams/concepts have you changed your mind on in the past 5 years? 

Post#18 » by fpliii » Fri Jun 11, 2021 3:48 pm

70sFan wrote:Do you have anyone particular in mind here?

I actually didn't, however there are a lot of players who came into the league from the mid 90s through the mid 00s who can neither consistently (and quickly) pull up for a jumper after an opening nor blow past a defender (even guys with average lateral quickness and decent length) on their own.

Texas Chuck wrote:These interest me the most. The first one in light of Doc's comments in a different thread where he was way down on Dirk in comparison with Jokic and one of the things he cited was Jokic' playmaking.

I've always taken Dirk's "obvious passes" as part of his value. He was basically never passing guys open or making cross court passes or anything beyond I've drawn a double and I'm decisive in beating the double and hitting the man I'm supposed to and then trusting that teammate to make the open shot or the extra pass.

And its not like Dallas had bad offenses. They had consistently strong offenses centered on Dirk. But you seem to agree with Doc's contention that despite that not being that long ago, that Dirk-centric offenses might be obsolete? Never imagined that would be the perception but now two smart guys seem to be saying it.


Then on traditional rim protection. Outside of Draymond, the most valuable defensive players this season were Gobert, Embiid, Capela, and Turner. I think even Simmons falls short of them as do guys like Mikal and Thybulle. I'd want to see the numbers on floaters, but my guess is those are still relatively "bad" shots as far as expected return. How many guys shoot even 50% on floaters? According to Harwood Paroxysm only 5 players exceed that mark making it mostly a bad shot. And one of those is Tyus Jones and another is Shake. Only really Haliburton, Luka, and Clarkson are primary guys exceeding that threshold. Anyway just some food for thought.

I think I've gone the opposite way from you. I'm even more convinced in the value of these elite traditional rim protectors especially those like listed above who aren't limited to just drop like a Brook Lopez who remains elite at the rim but can be exposed. Or what Luka just did to Zubac.

Playmaking - I didn't really have Dirk in mind, but this is something that's forced me to reevaluate Hakeem (a player I have historically been extremely high on) as well. I guess the way I'm thinking about it (I want to say Ben has suggested this before?) is kind of similar to UZR for baseball (I view defensive rotations/recovery similarly). The baseline expectation should be that players make all obvious passes. Both missing obvious opportunities, and making nonobvious opportunities are noteworthy. As an aside, I am not 100% sold on Jokic. He isn't an exceptional bad shotmaker like a Dirk or Hakeem, and he isn't a great defender. But he is a special passer. I can't judge him yet.

Big Man Defense - I wrote that a bit late at night so it might not have been super coherent, but I think the re-emergence of the floater is just another reason why I'm not really confident in a big man's intimidation at the rim, especially if he's not mobile. The ability to pull up also neutralizes this type of defender. I was a bit impressed by that block by Gobert late in the first game, I'd like to watch him more closely to see how often he blocks shots from range. In particular I think that rim protection not only from Green types, but guys with a body type like Durant or Giannis, really allows a team to be more versatile on defense.

I'm trying to confront my own extant biases. Hopefully I'm not overcompensating for them or being too much of a contrarian here.
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Re: Which players/teams/concepts have you changed your mind on in the past 5 years? 

Post#19 » by fpliii » Today 5:42 am

Sidebar - I also have more issues with RAPM than I used to, if I'm being honest. Terrific idea in theory, but I'm very skeptical about the single-year sample size given multicollinearity. Issue is that player roles change after more than one year, so multi-year introduces more headaches. I think the offense-defense separation is also dicey (one of the biggest examples of this is how steals contribute more positively to ORAPM than to DRAPM iirc). We also don't really have analytical error margins. It was never meant to be used as a straight ranking metric obviously, but at this point I think it makes the most sense to use it as a rough indicator of whether a guy is generally impactful over a multi-year sample and passes the smell test or is just a box score stacker.
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Re: Which players/teams/concepts have you changed your mind on in the past 5 years? 

Post#20 » by Zarozzor » Today 6:26 am

Players

Higher
Tim Duncan
Kevin Garnett
Hakeem Olajuwon
Steve Nash

Lower
Wilt Chamberlain
Magic Johnson
Larry Bird
Kobe Bryant

Teams

Higher
1991 Chicago Bulls
2014 San Antonio Spurs
2018 Golden State Warriors

Lower
1972 Los Angeles Lakers
2008 Boston Celtics
2013 Miami Heat

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