The discussion of the analysis of basketball through objective evidence, especially basketball statistics.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:26 pm 

Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:53 am
Posts: 44

Each player is ranked according to individually estimated contribution, or Value Share.

My original concept of Value Shares is based on linear weights including Rosenbaum's Alternate Win Score. However after analyzing the advanced tracking stats from recent season I adopted my own weights. Because the metric still seemed to lack, especially in measuring individual defensive effectiveness, through my research I've implemented my own adjustments, most importantly to factor in defensive value not captured in the box score.

The Value Shares formula is a counting stat with a high correlation with wins (I can bore you with the details in a later post), it comprises of other details including my own recalculated Usg%, but significant adjustments are the reassessed box stats.

The first reassessment is the time period regulation, which covers among others things the change in pace, generally from decade to decade although I made some adjustments to mirror major NBA rule changes. It's fundamentally impossible to even start with comparing players across from different time periods without first forming a neutral period to serve as the common denominator. Generally, RPG, FTA in the 60s is higher than it is today, possibly due to pace. I didn't get into the "why" much, although there are very good explanations there. I simply took account of the league averages. The most important feature of the time period regulations, is of course which time period do I denominate all the box stats? In concluding my research, I found the early 90s to be the most neutral time period in NBA history to this point. By neutral I mean, the league averages and pace were fairly moderate, and "top-to-bottom" there was generally high level play from all positions.

That brings me to my next reassessment, the league quality adjustment. There are many factors that have affected the NBA quality of competition in my estimation: Expansion, Demographics, Rule Changes, etc. In my selection of the 90s as the most neutral period, the rules in particular allowed for a more balanced game. The lane dimensions compared to the early 60s, physicality compared to today's NBA (hand-checking, defending around screens, etc.), Rules governing offensive/defensive play in the paint, all allowed for a more quality game. If you were a poor defensive player, you were more likely to get exposed and exploited, if you were a great offensive talent, you were more likely to showcase your skill. In measuring League Quality, I used my original value share outcomes, which were based on Arturo Galleti's position adjustments.


*I applied a second pace adjustment to allocate the time period factor to each specific team's pace
*I prorated the adjusted box stats for strike-shortened seasons
*All Season stats totals include post season stats.
*I made slight adjustments in 2pt FG, FGA for pre-3pt NBA periods
*I made slight adjustments for Assists totals for pre-NBA/ABA merger seasons, it's my belief that scorekeepers were less generous during these periods
*70s ABA league quality = 60s NBA league quality
*Used multiple statistical models to estimate unavailable Box Stats
*GP are calculated as Total Minutes/36 = GP

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... oI/pubhtml

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:12 pm 

Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 2:09 am
Posts: 269
i broke down your first 80 or so in ranking by position - it's nice to see players known for outstanding defense ranked high, like larry nance, ben wallace, gary payton, jason kidd, sidney moncrief, scottie pippen, etc...

have to wonder though about someone like russell westbrook ranking 4th among PGs, as he has played through just the age of 28, yet sidney moncrief ranking just 9th among SGs, when from the ages of 23-28 he was likely the 2nd best SG next to only jordan...

there seems to be some factor for longevity somewhere in your rankings, but for peak value i would rank the likes of bobby jones, shawn marion, and maurice cheeks higher...

PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:19 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:02 am
Posts: 3816
Location: Asheville, NC
Defense is a priority in this list, certainly relative to my own list. In order of D-rell/MikeG rankings, these stand out:
mg    D-r    alltime rank
147    30   Ben Wallace
189    53   Sidney Moncrief
220    64   Andrei Kirilenko
691   205   Bo Outlaw
402   125   Jimmy Butler
_89    28   Elton Brand
589   186   Tree Rollins
324   109   Gerald Wallace
115    40  LaMarcus Aldridge
414   145   Andre Drummond
229    82   Anthony Davis
226    81   Alvin Robertson
148    54   Marcus Camby
712   262   Michael Cage
286   106   Greg Monroe
It's always nice to see players ranked highly; but then they have displaced a lot of more renowned players.
These guys don't fare so well:
mg    D-r    alltime rank
40   2173   Bob Cousy
35    933   Dolph Schayes
100  1338   Tom Heinsohn
157  1610   Vern Mikkelsen
127  1123   Paul Arizin
128  1020   Larry Foust
174  1352   Ed Macauley
200  1510   Bill Sharman
49    354   George Mikan
180  1288   Harry Gallatin
297  1987   Joe Graboski
25    154   Bob Pettit
33    198   John Havlicek
12     71   Bill Russell
79    465   Neil Johnston
Old timers really get no respect. Russell ranks below Alvan Adams. Cousy is below Adam Morrison!

Meanwhile, these are either within 1% or one rank on our lists:
D-r    mg    ranks alltime
1       1   LeBron James
2       2   Michael Jordan
4       3 Kareem AbdulJabbar
6       5   Tim Duncan
10      9   Magic Johnson
11     10   Kevin Garnett
15     14   Julius Erving
25     26  Russell Westbrook
55     56   Dan Issel
39     39   Artis Gilmore
257   257   Pete Maravich
261   262   Elden Campbell
382   384   Kurt Thomas
438   436   Mike Dunleavy
459   465   Benoit Benjamin
495   492   Wally Szczerbiak
548   544   Rick Mahorn
608   601   Nick Collison
644   641   Roy Hinson
662   668   Wesley Person
673   672   John Block
738   745   Kevin Gamble
739   741   Courtney Lee

PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:11 am 

Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 2:09 am
Posts: 269
Defense is a priority in this list

if so then players like bobby jones (all-D 1st team 8 straight years, quite efficient on offense) would rank higher than 18th among PFs (or SFs), C mark eaton better than 250th overall, and PG done buse better than 278th overall...

on the contrary i think an attempt has been made to include defense in some manner outside of steals, blocks, and def rebs, which is nice to see in a greatest players list...

maurice cheeks ranking much higher than steve nash (and higher than isiah thomas) makes perfect sense when you consider cheek's excellent defense. also sidney moncrief and alvin robertson ranking higher than george gervin...

but still more can be done - dennis rodman is ranked 126th but zach randolph 94th. the former was both a dominant defender and a dominant rebounder (all-D 1st team 8 straight seasons, the greatest rebounder of his generation) that played major minutes on 5 title teams, what has the latter done (never an efficient scorer, never a very good to excellent defender) to be listed among the top 100?...

the low ranking for bill russell is definitely an eye-opener considering his defense and titles, but looking at it objectively the fact is his scoring per minute was well below that of the league average C while he played, and his shooting just average for a C. yet should still be ranked higher...

but all-in-all one of the better greatest players lists, especially considering a few thousand players are listed...

but then they have displaced a lot of more renowned players

that need displacement...

Old timers really get no respect

agreed, but understandable considering the lack of statistics in a listing based on stats...

PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:35 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:02 am
Posts: 3816
Location: Asheville, NC
but then they have displaced a lot of more renowned players

that need displacement...
Should Neil Johnston rank in this company?
458 Cliff Levingston
459 Benoit Benjamin
460 Jim Brewer
461 Ersan Ilyasova
462 Kermit Washington
463 Latrell Sprewell
464 Lonnie Shelton
465 Neil Johnston
466 Gar Heard
467 Darryl Dawkins
468 Kris Humphries
469 Brevin Knight
470 Scott Wedman
471 John Williams
(not HotRod)

Would Bob Pettit outplay most of these guys, over the long and short haul?
142 Tyson Chandler
144 Bill Walton
145 Andre Drummond
147 Antonio McDyess
154 Bob Pettit
155 Rasheed Wallace
156 Elmore Smith
159 Zydrunas Ilgauskas
162 HotRod Williams

Here's Havlicek territory:
181 Dale Davis
182 Otis Thorpe
183 Derrick Coleman
184 Thaddeus Young
185 Danny Manning
190 Dale Ellis
193 Luol Deng
196 Tom Gugliotta
198 John Havlicek
200 Cedric Maxwell
201 Kiki Vandeweghe
202 Draymond Green
203 P.J. Brown
204 Greg Ballard
205 Bo Outlaw
207 Metta WorldPeace
211 Christian Laettner
I think it's worthwhile to consider the possibility that yesteryears' superstars would not make any splash in today's NBA. But there are the issues of innovation, circumstances, etc.
Would Kris Humphries lead the 1955 NBA in scoring, rebounds, and .fg%? In Chuck Taylors?

PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:07 am 

Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 2:09 am
Posts: 269
Should Neil Johnston rank in this company? Would Bob Pettit outplay most of these guys, over the long and short haul? Here's Havlicek territory:

no question players of the 1960s/50s got short shrift in this particular greatest players list - but again, what is the purpose of a list like this?...

to elicit discussion...

kudos to this listing for trying try to account for defense outside of steals, blocks, and def rebs. so it falls short with the oldtimers - then let's improve on it...

from 52-53 to 57-58 (6 years) neil johnston (just 6-8 in height but played C) lead the nba in minutes played, points, 2pt FG% (>3000 minutes played), FTAs, and was 2nd in rebounds. yes there were just 8-10 teams and only 276 players - but that's still a dominant and impressive run for any one player, especially considering he played C at 6-8 against the likes of 7-0 walt dukes, 6-11 chuck share, 6-11 ray felix, 6-10 george mikan, 6-9 larry foust, 6-9 clyde lovellette, and 6-9 arnie risen...

many associate bob pettit with the 1950s but the fact is he played close to 1/2 of his career minutes in the 1960s, and from 60-61 to 64-65 (5 years) scored the 4th most points (behind only chamberlain, robertson, and baylor), attempted the 3rd most FTAs (behind only chamberlain and robertson), and grabbed the 3rd most rebounds (behind only chamberlain and russell) - all while playing against the likes of chamberlain, russell, nate thurmond (who some consider as great a defender as russell), walt bellamy, wayne embry (6-8, 270 lb, as strong and muscular as they came back then), et al. more often than bigs play against each other today because of there being far fewer teams back then...

I think it's worthwhile to consider the possibility that yesteryears' superstars would not make any splash in today's NBA

if i told you that a scrawny 6-5 and 225 lb PF/SF from the 1960s could dominate today's big men with his scoring would you believe me? how about a 5-11 and 150 lb PG from the 1970s? a 6-5 and 210 lb SF from the 1980s? how about elgin baylor, tiny archibald, and adrian dantley? you don't think they would score today like they did back then?...

i don't think there is any question players like chamberlain, russell, baylor, pettit, thurmond, bellamy, et al. could all play today and be stars just like they were back then. anyone seriously doubt that a healthy young nate thurmond could hassle a prime shaq just like olajuwon, drob, or ben wallace did?...

and for all those who say the game was different back then and that the players of yesteryears were not the athletes of today, i say watch as much video of back then as you can, because you will be impressed:




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9Gbb9_ ... d2&index=5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngg3owcJl1g - 1965-66

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aECiYc ... MzaCDuvnd2 - 1966-67

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwCmKvH ... MzaCDuvnd2 - 1967-68

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0v9_aiX ... MzaCDuvnd2 - 1968-69



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFTY-6sk3iA - bob pettit

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjNS_oYE92E - elgin baylor

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMXF9QOd1BE - walt bellamy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkzRjMC1ZpI - gus johnson

as i watch these videos i don't see any john "hotplate" williams or out of shape jared sullingers out there...

what i see is alot of players with ripped musculature - the game pace in the early 1960s was much faster than today, teams scoring 115-119 pts/g while shooting worse, i.e. there were far more team possessions per game and alot more running, and players had to be in top shape. these guys were athletes...

even in the mid-to-late 1950s teams were scoring 99-115 pts/g on average with far worse shooting meaning far more team possessions and more running - these guys were in top shape...

and many could easily play today (although most would be in their 80s or 90s if still around)...

PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 3:12 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:02 am
Posts: 3816
Location: Asheville, NC
... so it falls short with the oldtimers - then let's improve on it...
That's one issue, but it's hard to quantify relative strength of distant eras.
The more puzzling situation is that within an era, there are inconceivable rankings.
Bob Cousy ranks #2173, which is better than just 28 players who are listed. All those below him are old-timers also. But these guys rank above him, played in the same era, and were also guards:
player     Min    Pts    Reb   Ast   TS%  PER  WS/48
B Cousy   30165  16960  4786  6955  .446  19.8  .139

C Noble    9212   3276  1075  1344  .384   9.5 -.005
W Skoog    9193   2800  1133   903  .429  10.9  .075
Baechtold  8256   3123  1009   685  .463  13.1  .086
Pep Saul   6219   2152   683   596  .427   9.8  .060
C Devlin   4025   1496   449   446  .426  11.7  .046

Cousy has more pts, reb, and ast than the lot of them combined.
In playoffs, he has >twice the pts and reb, 3x the ast.
What's going on here?

PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 4:25 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2014 8:47 pm
Posts: 14
As others have pointed out, some of the results are beyond ridiculous so it'd be interesting to see more info on this "Values Shares" metric.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:43 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:44 pm
Posts: 236
Very simple method of averaging career MVP shares rank and WS rank (includes ABA, and is for players drafted after MVP vote era, except for Pettit who came in league a year before so I included him). From a "sniff test" perspective does a reasonable job - the top 20 are the exact 20 who were voted in RealGM project

1   Kareem-Abdul Jabbar   2
2   Michael Jordan   2.5
3   Lebron James   4.5
4   Karl Malone   5.5
5   Wilt Chamberlain   6.5
6   Tim Duncan   7.5
7   Shaquille O'Neal   9.5
8   Bill Russell   12.5
8   Julius Erving   12.5
10   Kevin Garnett   13
11   Magic Johnson   14
11   Kobe Bryant   14
11   David Robinson   14
14   Moses Malone   14.5
15   Larry Bird   15.5
15   Oscar Robertson   15.5
17   Dirk Nowitzki   17.5
18   Charles Barkley   18.5
19   Hakeem Olajuwon   19.5
20   Jerry West   22.5
21   Bob Pettit   25.5
22   Chris Paul   26
23   Artis Gilmore   28
24   Steve Nash   30
25   Kevin Durant   31
26   Rick Barry   32
27   Patrick Ewing   37
28   Jason Kidd   38
29   Gary Payton 39
30   Dwight Howard   40.5
31   Dan Issel   42.5
32   Clyde Drexler   43
33   Scottie Pippen   48
34   Dominique Wilkins   49.5
35   George Gervin   51
36   Dwyane Wade   51.5
37   Elgin Baylor   52.5
38   John Stockton   53.5
39   Elvin Hayes   55
40   Robert Parish   58
41   Allen Iverson   58.5
42   Wes Unseld   59
43   Bob Lanier   59.5
44   Zelmo Beaty   61.5
45   Chauncey Billups   62.5
45   John Havlicek   62.5
47   James Harden   65.5
48   Alonzo Mourning   66.5
49   Paul Arizin   68
50   Tracy McGrady   68

Hakeem > Malone is a near unanimous nowadays, Hakeem is typically rated top 9 or 10 and Malone around 14-15. Hakeem is 20th in WS, 19th in MVP. Malone is 3rd in WS, 8th in MVP. Malone does better in late 90s RAPM. Could we have this wrong?

PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:30 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:02 am
Posts: 3816
Location: Asheville, NC
Are playoffs not considered at all here?
Olajuwon was only stupendous in postseasons, where Mailman was spotty. It's a subjective call how important you think that is, but it's surely got to be something.

Very high rankings for Erving, Gilmore, Barry, Issel, Gervin, and Zelmo Beaty! -- makes me think ABA is considered equal to NBA.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:10 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:44 pm
Posts: 236
Yes ABA was weighted equally to NBA hence some players like Beaty and Issel getting bumps. The list is literally just WS rank and MVP share rank averaged, there is no extra analysis attempted

PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:55 pm 

Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 2:09 am
Posts: 269
erving - did not play in the nba until age 26, yet was likely the best SF in the league the decade of 7677-8586. all-NBA 1st team 5 times, including in 82-83 at the age of 32/33, all-NBA 2nd team twice, including in 83-84 at the age of 33/34 (larry bird played PF his first few years in the league)...

gilmore - did not play in the nba until the age of 27, yet for the next decade of 7677-8586 was likely the 3rd best C in the league behind only jabbar and malone. that decade scored the 3rd most points, grabbed the 2nd most rebounds, and blocked the 4th most shots among all Cs. oh - and scored 21.8 pts/40min shooting 60% on 2s - over those 10 years...

gervin - did not play in the nba until age 24, yet scored 2000+ more points than any other nba player the decade of 7677-8586. was all-NBA 1st team 5 straight years 7778-8182, all-NBA 2nd team in 7677 and 8283...

issel - did not play in the nba until the age of 28, yet over the next 9 years of 7778-8586 (ages 28-36) scored the 7th most points among all nba players. scored 22 pts/g from the ages of 31-35. granted this came on the nuggets all-offense no-defense teams, but the fact is those 5 years denver ranked just 11th in the league in shooting from the floor, yet issel was 3rd best among Cs in offensive efficiency those 5 years (behind only jabbar and gilmore) because he committed so few turnovers for a high scoring C...

so based just on just their nba stats all four above should rank high in an all-time nba list...

PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:40 am 

Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:02 am
Posts: 3816
Location: Asheville, NC
ABA numbers are higher than NBA for most players who were in both leagues. Of those mentioned above, Gervin is a notable exception, and he was just entering his prime when the leagues merged.
Gilmore   Min   PER   WS/48   BPM
ABA     17449   23.5   .226   5.6
NBA     29685   20.2   .174   3.3
Issel     Min   PER   WS/48   BPM
ABA     19442   21.8   .186   2.0
NBA     22342   21.0   .177   1.9
Erving     Min   PER   WS/48   BPM
ABA     16550   26.4   .217   9.2
NBA     28677   22.0   .178   5.1
Beaty     Min   PER   WS/48   BPM
ABA     11328   21.5   .203   
NBA     18348   17.1   .152   
Issel got out of Gilmore's shadow, and his NBA stats were solid if somewhat inflated in Denver.
These others had WS/48 much higher in ABA. If we reduce those to their NBA WS/48, we get different rankings and totals.
WS :     ABA   NBA     Tot    Rk  adjABA  adjTot  Rk2
Gilmore 82.2  107.6   189.8   10    63.3   170.9   18
Erving  74.8  106.3   181.2   13    61.4   167.7   19
Issel   75.3   82.4   157.7   22    71.7   154.1   24
Beaty   47.9   58.1   106.0   70    35.9    94.0   93
The OP -- Neutralized Stats ranking -- considers the '70s ABA to be equivalent to '60s NBA. Apparently it's broken down by decades that way.
Evidence seems to indicate that the 1975-76 ABA was just about equivalent to the NBA of the same time.

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