Monday, September 10, 2007

People Hate Statistics Part II

It was bound to happen. The J.R. Smith jock sniffers at Free Darko hopped on board the "L.O.L." (thanks, Matt) movement. We are all aware that bench players don't play 40, or even 48 minutes. It doesn't mean that they don't play better than some starters when they do get some burn. Is there a pseudo-intellectual term for context?

I'm stealing a line from an old Fire Joe Morgan post, but people need to understand that it is impossible to quantify the contributions of an athlete over the course of a season (or even a game) in your head. PER doesn't, and shouldn't jibe with your opinions of every player in the NBA. If it did, you would be the greatest basketball mind of all time. The lunkheads at Free Darko aren't that.

11 Comments:

Blogger MC Welk said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:25 PM  
Blogger Hot Shit College Student said...

Yes, I did. Thanks.

12:31 PM  
Blogger MC Welk said...

So what do you have to say about Kirk Hinrich being ranked #75 overall in PER? If he played no D, only gambling for steals, and had worse rebounding teammates he could climb a little closer to everybody's PERty little buddy, Chris Paul.

12:42 PM  
Anonymous Matt, your friendly Bulls Blogger said...

Man, FD is really a pile of ass some (most) times. Ironically, J.R. Smith rates pretty well in PER.

Minutes-adjustment doesn't mean if a player grabs 17reb/40 he would (and should) be playing that much to get 17 rebounds. It's that in the limited minutes such a player recieves he produces like someone who gets 17rebounds in 40 minutes.

And their idea that per-minute production doesn't extrapolate for more playing time doesn't hold water, because as Hollinger has (actually) researched it holds that for most players they're production does stay close even with more minutes. No, not all the time. (Nobody says it's all the time, why do people have to keep bringing up that it doesn't happen all the time.)

This argument is tiresome. Some think they're being progressive by challenging PER by questioning the context, while simultaneously ignoring context themselves. Knickerblogger was writing about PER 4 years ago for chrissakes.

12:57 PM  
Blogger Hot Shit College Student said...

Chris Paul is better than Kirk Hinrich. There isn't that big of a difference in career rebounding either.

1:02 PM  
Anonymous Matt, your friendly Bulls Blogger said...

Actually, I wrote about it last year so I can abstain from the whole 'discussion'. Sweet.

2:18 PM  
Anonymous TZ said...

Obviously, I'm on the other side of Shoals and SB5K on this argument -- I think per-min stats are key, as are pace-adjusted, standardized, etc. -- but all this isn't fair. What in that FD post was way wrong? That PER overrates some players? That PER doesn't capture contributions from guys like Battier, Bowen? We KNOW this stuff; why are we mad someone on the other side of the aisle says it?

Again, I think per-min stats are far more valuable than FD gives them credit for. And I think metrics are far more a promising investigation than a spreading dystopia. But I'm sure how what they've written is wholly controversial, especially to the point of name-calling. (And I'm the guy they're responding to.)

(Of course, I don't aim or attempt to speak for everyone interested in stats. I'm just taken aback here.)

2:54 PM  
Anonymous Matt, your friendly Bulls Blogger said...

What in that FD post was way wrong? That PER overrates some players? That PER doesn't capture contributions from guys like Battier, Bowen? We KNOW this stuff; why are we mad someone on the other side of the aisle says it?

You said it: the fact that we know this stuff, it's been said, and yet some posts come out every so often to say it yet again like nobody's ever brought it up (let alone the author of the method itself)...it's frustrating (in the realm of which basketball blog posts can be frustrating).

Name-calling isn't completely necessary but I don't have to value their opinions just because they can have them.

3:02 PM  
Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:19 PM  
Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

here is a new post that gets rid of dust

4:21 PM  
Blogger Hot Shit College Student said...

I'll name call all I want, unless I get a written apology for last year's J.R. Smith commentary. Have you seen that guy's shot chart? Yuck.

Everyone has said it. Advanced metrics (especially PER) have been out of the bag for a while. These aren't newfangled nerd toys, they're accurate representations of what happened on a basketball court. Some bloggers are proving to be just as bad as the ink-stained sportswriters who feel they are excellent judges of heart and grit, and this numbers hocus pocus isn't something to be trusted or relied on.

5:35 PM  

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