who was the best player in 1999?

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who was the best player in 1999? 

Post#1 » by falcolombardi » Tue Sep 14, 2021 3:35 am

i low key think it may be David robinson? but duncan and shaq are obvious choices too
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Re: who was the best player in 1999? 

Post#2 » by Odinn21 » Tue Sep 14, 2021 4:18 am

One of Duncan and O'Neal.
One could make a case for Robinson since he was such a beast on per poss basis and that translated into massive +/- footprint. But Duncan was the workhorse of the team. Duncan played 7.6 minutes per game more than Robinson (540 in total over a 50 game season + 17 game playoffs). It's easier to pick your minutes to capitalise on when you're not the workhorse of the team.
Also Mourning definitely deserves a mention.
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: who was the best player in 1999? 

Post#3 » by Dutchball97 » Tue Sep 14, 2021 6:30 am

Not an easy one to pick imo. On a per possession basis I do think D-Rob was probably the best player in the league. PI RAPM has him pretty confidently at number 1, his WS/48 was the highest in the league and his BPM was tied for 2nd with Karl Malone and only 0.4 behind Shaq. He didn't play as many minutes though and the award voters did not take kindly to that, he was 12th in MVP voting and somehow even ended up not making the All-NBA team at all (even though he probably should've been third team instead of Hakeem). In the first round and WCF it was a pick'em between D-Rob and Duncan who was the best player for the Spurs but Robinson only played 28 mpg against the Lakers and was also pretty clearly outperformed by Duncan in the finals.

Alonzo Mourning definitely deserves a mention as he was a part of the 3-way MVP race with Duncan and Malone as well as being voted in as the 1st team All-NBA center ahead of Shaq. If he had a somewhat better team around him that allowed him to make it out of the first round I think he'd have a very solid case.

Shaq and Malone both had very strong regular seasons and good showings in the first round. Stockton did not have his best post-season and Kobe of course wasn't the elite player yet he'd become from 01 onwards so Shaq and Malone surely did it much more on their own than the twin towers on the Spurs or the more committee based Blazers and Knicks. That said they both got eliminated in the second round in a way that leaves a bit of a sour taste. Mourning's team lost in the play-offs despite his great performance but I'm not sure you can say that for either Shaq or Malone.

Duncan was still up there in the regular season as shown by him being a very close and competitive 3rd in MVP voting, All-NBA 1st team and 3rd in WS. His play-off run is what makes the difference to me in a similar vein as it did in 2007 imo. The dominant finals performance was against the Knicks without Ewing though and in half the series it wasn't even clear if he was clear who the best Spur was so I guess I'm being pretty heavily influenced by his showing against the Lakers especially. Sweeping another MVP candidate with your second best player playing significantly less than he did any other series is hard to ignore.

Just like in 2007 I don't think this was a strong year for the top talent and Duncan wouldn't have been the best player the years before and after with a similar performance but we only have the performances in these specific seasons to choose from and by process of elimination I do think Duncan held up the best.
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Re: who was the best player in 1999? 

Post#4 » by feyki » Tue Sep 14, 2021 8:31 am

Robinson has no case over Duncan that year. Just look at the postseason, two different caliber impact players. I'd say Shaq, but he was not much good against the Spurs as usual. Still would pick Shaq due to his impact difference against the average.
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Re: who was the best player in 1999? 

Post#5 » by Owly » Tue Sep 14, 2021 3:19 pm

feyki wrote:Robinson has no case over Duncan that year. Just look at the postseason, two different caliber impact players.

Unfortunate phrasing there.

Playoffs '99
Robinson on: 20.3
Robinson on-off: 35
Robinson off: -14.7
Duncan on: 10.4
Duncan on-off: -3.6
Duncan off: 14

On-off always noisy, single year playoffs moreso (but on same team, and very substantial gaps.). Still even just box-wise the Reference rate composites are split but roughly equal, Duncan played more so has a case (if reliant on this measure) for most valuable, but "different caliber" isn't supported.

As I say limited, uneven samples in playoffs but if playoff "impact" is one's bag, without a great deal of expertise, I'd be surprised if there were many with greater signals of impact than '99 Robinson
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Re: who was the best player in 1999? 

Post#6 » by HeartBreakKid » Tue Sep 14, 2021 3:55 pm

feyki wrote:Robinson has no case over Duncan that year. Just look at the postseason, two different caliber impact players. I'd say Shaq, but he was not much good against the Spurs as usual. Still would pick Shaq due to his impact difference against the average.


Hm? Outside of Duncan averaging more points, their boxscore stats are nearly identical. If you didn't mean boxscore, then what do you mean by look at their stats - Robinson had better impact stats likely because he played better defense.

Despite Robinson playing way less minutes, he felt pretty much as devastating as Duncan (and produced a comparable amount tangibility). That was certainly the perception at the time as well. The whole Robinson is sub servant to Duncan thing is a narrative that grew much later.
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Re: who was the best player in 1999? 

Post#7 » by mitchco » Wed Sep 15, 2021 5:06 am

Gary Payton had a fine season that year.
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Re: who was the best player in 1999? 

Post#8 » by feyki » Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:01 am

Owly wrote:
feyki wrote:Robinson has no case over Duncan that year. Just look at the postseason, two different caliber impact players.

Unfortunate phrasing there.

Playoffs '99
Robinson on: 20.3
Robinson on-off: 35
Robinson off: -14.7
Duncan on: 10.4
Duncan on-off: -3.6
Duncan off: 14

On-off always noisy, single year playoffs moreso (but on same team, and very substantial gaps.). Still even just box-wise the Reference rate composites are split but roughly equal, Duncan played more so has a case (if reliant on this measure) for most valuable, but "different caliber" isn't supported.

As I say limited, uneven samples in playoffs but if playoff "impact" is one's bag, without a great deal of expertise, I'd be surprised if there were many with greater signals of impact than '99 Robinson


HeartBreakKid wrote:
feyki wrote:Robinson has no case over Duncan that year. Just look at the postseason, two different caliber impact players. I'd say Shaq, but he was not much good against the Spurs as usual. Still would pick Shaq due to his impact difference against the average.


Hm? Outside of Duncan averaging more points, their boxscore stats are nearly identical. If you didn't mean boxscore, then what do you mean by look at their stats - Robinson had better impact stats likely because he played better defense.

Despite Robinson playing way less minutes, he felt pretty much as devastating as Duncan (and produced a comparable amount tangibility). That was certainly the perception at the time as well. The whole Robinson is sub servant to Duncan thing is a narrative that grew much later.



Duncan played with 23/3 compared to DROB's 15/2,5 in that playoffs, huge volume gap there's between them. Duncan had more than %30 offensive load in that playoffs, DROB's offensive load was not more than %23.

I wouldn't even compare these two impact levels. Of course, it's because of Duncan's defensive impact being close to Robinson. Otherwise, it's not like I don't care other aspects of the bball.
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Re: who was the best player in 1999? 

Post#9 » by Owly » Wed Sep 15, 2021 5:13 pm

feyki wrote:
Owly wrote:
feyki wrote:Robinson has no case over Duncan that year. Just look at the postseason, two different caliber impact players.

Unfortunate phrasing there.

Playoffs '99
Robinson on: 20.3
Robinson on-off: 35
Robinson off: -14.7
Duncan on: 10.4
Duncan on-off: -3.6
Duncan off: 14

On-off always noisy, single year playoffs moreso (but on same team, and very substantial gaps.). Still even just box-wise the Reference rate composites are split but roughly equal, Duncan played more so has a case (if reliant on this measure) for most valuable, but "different caliber" isn't supported.

As I say limited, uneven samples in playoffs but if playoff "impact" is one's bag, without a great deal of expertise, I'd be surprised if there were many with greater signals of impact than '99 Robinson


HeartBreakKid wrote:
feyki wrote:Robinson has no case over Duncan that year. Just look at the postseason, two different caliber impact players. I'd say Shaq, but he was not much good against the Spurs as usual. Still would pick Shaq due to his impact difference against the average.


Hm? Outside of Duncan averaging more points, their boxscore stats are nearly identical. If you didn't mean boxscore, then what do you mean by look at their stats - Robinson had better impact stats likely because he played better defense.

Despite Robinson playing way less minutes, he felt pretty much as devastating as Duncan (and produced a comparable amount tangibility). That was certainly the perception at the time as well. The whole Robinson is sub servant to Duncan thing is a narrative that grew much later.



Duncan played with 23/3 compared to DROB's 15/2,5 in that playoffs, huge volume gap there's between them. Duncan had more than %30 offensive load in that playoffs, DROB's offensive load was not more than %23.

I wouldn't even compare these two impact levels. Of course, it's because of Duncan's defensive impact being close to Robinson. Otherwise, it's not like I don't care other aspects of the bball.

I don't know what "played with" numbers mean, I'm guessing it's a raw points assists slashline. If that is where you're at then my guess is this isn't worth discussing further.
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Re: who was the best player in 1999? 

Post#10 » by Odinn21 » Wed Sep 15, 2021 5:31 pm

Dutchball97 wrote:PI RAPM has him pretty confidently at number 1

Which dataset you have? In the dataset I have (rs+ps) Mourning is #1, O'Neal is #2, Robinson is #3 and R. Wallace is #4. Got curious about your dataset.

---

By the way, it's very hard to say a player is the best in the league when he plays 33.1 minutes a game and has a teammate playing 40.5 minutes a game.
The highest minutes Robinson played in the playoffs was 41.4 minutes and Duncan averaged 43.1 minutes over 17 games.

I'm sure no one would call that kind of low mins player if such thing was happening now right in front of our eyes.
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: who was the best player in 1999? 

Post#11 » by Dutchball97 » Wed Sep 15, 2021 5:49 pm

Odinn21 wrote:
Dutchball97 wrote:PI RAPM has him pretty confidently at number 1

Which dataset you have? In the dataset I have (rs+ps) Mourning is #1, O'Neal is #2, Robinson is #3 and R. Wallace is #4. Got curious about your dataset.


It was a link you posted funnily enough but I think I was mistaken in it being PI RAPM. It was this one: http://web.archive.org/web/20150418170333/http://stats-for-the-nba.appspot.com/ratings/1999.html

I'm gonna be honest all these different stats with nearly identical names are doing my head in.
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Re: who was the best player in 1999? 

Post#12 » by Odinn21 » Wed Sep 15, 2021 5:55 pm

Dutchball97 wrote:
Odinn21 wrote:
Dutchball97 wrote:PI RAPM has him pretty confidently at number 1

Which dataset you have? In the dataset I have (rs+ps) Mourning is #1, O'Neal is #2, Robinson is #3 and R. Wallace is #4. Got curious about your dataset.


It was a link you posted funnily enough but I think I was mistaken in it being PI RAPM. It was this one: http://web.archive.org/web/20150418170333/http://stats-for-the-nba.appspot.com/ratings/1999.html

I'm gonna be honest all these different stats with nearly identical names are doing my head in.

:lol: :lol:

It's Engelmann's earlier work, yeah.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ZW5UBk5BwcrEhh4mEsWl_H1Y9QGTaMPaT4v6dSEIBIo/
This is the one I usually refer to when talking about RAPM.
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: who was the best player in 1999? 

Post#13 » by Dutchball97 » Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:02 pm

Odinn21 wrote:
Dutchball97 wrote:
Odinn21 wrote:Which dataset you have? In the dataset I have (rs+ps) Mourning is #1, O'Neal is #2, Robinson is #3 and R. Wallace is #4. Got curious about your dataset.


It was a link you posted funnily enough but I think I was mistaken in it being PI RAPM. It was this one: http://web.archive.org/web/20150418170333/http://stats-for-the-nba.appspot.com/ratings/1999.html

I'm gonna be honest all these different stats with nearly identical names are doing my head in.

:lol: :lol:

It's Engelmann's earlier work, yeah.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ZW5UBk5BwcrEhh4mEsWl_H1Y9QGTaMPaT4v6dSEIBIo/
This is the one I usually refer to when talking about RAPM.


Yeah I assumed the other one was a more covenient year by year view of the same thing but not quite it seems :lol:
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Re: who was the best player in 1999? 

Post#14 » by No-more-rings » Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:15 pm

Duncan or Shaq. Even if people think Drob was more valuable on a per minutes basis than Duncan, the fact is Duncan played 7.6 more minutes in the regular season and 7.8 more in the playoffs. People going to act like that doesn't mean anything? On/off, RAPM etc doesn't account for minutes played, and apparently people don't realize that when just slinging these things around.
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Re: who was the best player in 1999? 

Post#15 » by Texas Chuck » Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:33 pm

No-more-rings wrote:On/off, RAPM etc doesn't account for minutes played, and apparently people don't realize that when just slinging these things around.


You can't honestly believe that people don't know the difference between the on/off family of stats and a basic recording of how many minutes a player plays.

Always fair to questions conclusions and methodology used to reach them, but this feels needlessly reductive and more an attempt to belittle than debate, no?
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Re: who was the best player in 1999? 

Post#16 » by sansterre » Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:40 pm

Texas Chuck wrote:
No-more-rings wrote:On/off, RAPM etc doesn't account for minutes played, and apparently people don't realize that when just slinging these things around.


You can't honestly believe that people don't know the difference between the on/off family of stats and a basic recording of how many minutes a player plays.

Always fair to questions conclusions and methodology used to reach them, but this feels needlessly reductive and more an attempt to belittle than debate, no?

Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but I read the original post as making a fair point.

Player A has a +9.0 BPM and plays 2.5k minutes
Player B has a +7.5 BPM and plays 3.5k minutes

On a per-minute basis player A is the better player. But Player B may actually provide more value, right?
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Re: who was the best player in 1999? 

Post#17 » by Texas Chuck » Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:57 pm

sansterre wrote:
Texas Chuck wrote:
No-more-rings wrote:On/off, RAPM etc doesn't account for minutes played, and apparently people don't realize that when just slinging these things around.


You can't honestly believe that people don't know the difference between the on/off family of stats and a basic recording of how many minutes a player plays.

Always fair to questions conclusions and methodology used to reach them, but this feels needlessly reductive and more an attempt to belittle than debate, no?

Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but I read the original post as making a fair point.

Player A has a +9.0 BPM and plays 2.5k minutes
Player B has a +7.5 BPM and plays 3.5k minutes

On a per-minute basis player A is the better player. But Player B may actually provide more value, right?


I'm not arguing who is better/providing more value. Simply saying dismissing the other side of an argument by using a term like "slinging around" and asserting they don't even understand minutes played seems beneath all of us.

I thought I made it crystal clear that a debate on conclusions/methodology was always fair game. Since I literally said that. :D
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Re: who was the best player in 1999? 

Post#18 » by jalengreen » Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:57 pm

No-more-rings wrote:Duncan or Shaq. Even if people think Drob was more valuable on a per minutes basis than Duncan, the fact is Duncan played 7.6 more minutes in the regular season and 7.8 more in the playoffs. People going to act like that doesn't mean anything? On/off, RAPM etc doesn't account for minutes played, and apparently people don't realize that when just slinging these things around.



my understanding was that RAPM regressed all points to 0 with lower volume players being pulled more, so it did factor in volume. could be wrong though
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Re: who was the best player in 1999? 

Post#19 » by Owly » Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:59 pm

sansterre wrote:
Texas Chuck wrote:
No-more-rings wrote:On/off, RAPM etc doesn't account for minutes played, and apparently people don't realize that when just slinging these things around.


You can't honestly believe that people don't know the difference between the on/off family of stats and a basic recording of how many minutes a player plays.

Always fair to questions conclusions and methodology used to reach them, but this feels needlessly reductive and more an attempt to belittle than debate, no?

Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but I read the original post as making a fair point.

Player A has a +9.0 BPM and plays 2.5k minutes
Player B has a +7.5 BPM and plays 3.5k minutes

On a per-minute basis player A is the better player. But Player B may actually provide more value, right?

Sure (even leaving aside trust in BPM). But the point that idea that "people don't realize" about minutes ... so far as I can see every citation of impact has come with a minutes caveat.
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Re: who was the best player in 1999? 

Post#20 » by feyki » Thu Sep 16, 2021 6:43 am

Yes, more than minutes; how many possesions played matters lot. That's why I ranked playoffs so highly, just one example:

2017 and 2018 Lebron in the playoffs - 11,4 BPM per 100, 88 Poss per game, 10,1 BPM per game

2012 and 2013 Lebron in the seasons - 11,3 BPM per 100, 72 Poss per game, 8,1 BPM per game

. I don't care about BPM but I'm trying to tell something really matters when evaluating the players.
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