Blog Entry

Your Philadelphia 76ers- According to

Posted on: January 3, 2010 4:43 am
Edited on: January 3, 2010 1:44 pm
Here are some interesting statistics that show which players make the most impact on the team.

In terms of both offensive production and production by the man they guard, there are only 4 players that help the team more than they hurt it:

Allen Iverson (+4.9)- He's provided a short run for the Sixers since his arrival, however this small sampling of games probably doesn't represent his true defense. Right now 82games has his opponent production allowed as the highest on the team (11.2). Just from watching the games alone, one cannot avoid to notice how many times the man he guards will blow right by him.

Lou Williams (+4.4)- He has the greatest offensive production on the team (22.2), while his defense has been average (17.8). This has been a breakout season so far for the quick 23 year old. While shooting well in small spurts last season, Lou has finally played consistent basketball and is shooting a cool 48% from the field. He's a versatile scorer, who is great at fighting through contact and taking the ball to the rim as well as stepping back for the jump shot.

Andre Iguodala (+5.2)- Besides the small sampling of AI's stats, Iguodala is the best defensive player for the team by far, with opponent production extremely low (15.3) and the third highest offensive production on the team (20.4). Most of his offense comes from fadeaway jumpshots created in 1-on-1 play and not from alley-oops or dunks on fast breaks like they had in the past.

Marreese Speights (+2.5)- He has the second greatest offensive production on the team (25.7) and it's no surprise. He's having a breakout season in only his second year in the league. He has a well developed game with a slew of post moves learned over the summer in his arsenal, as well the patented 15 foot jump shot he's had since his Florida days. However, he is lacking defensively as he allows the greatest amount of oppenent production by anyone else who contributes regularly to this team (23.2).

Here is another list of players who help the team in terms of intangibiles. This is a simple +/- statistic that measures the time when on the court as opposed to being off the court. For the Sixers, there are only 3 players who help the team more than they hurt it:

Allen Iverson (+8.7)- While I believe the other statistic is somewhat of a fluke, I believe this one has some merit. Iverson brings a lot to the team in terms of intangibles. He is great at providing help defense and is great at finding players open, as he is the best passer on the team. Also, he is the only vocal leader on the team.

Lou Williams (+6.3)- While it's great to see a player put up big numbers, it's also nice to know that he actually helps the team win games as opposed to some guys who put up good numbers but don't help the team at all. Gilbert Arenas, for example, is +1.2 in production but -3.2 in terms of the score change during the times he plays and the times he sits, meaning, the Wizards are better without Gilbert Arenas. Yeah, I said it.

Elton Brand (+3.4)- Brand has had somewhat of an inconsistent year, but is finally starting to show some promise after returning from two major injuries. He brings a lot of intangibles in terms of physical play on defense and ability to hit clutch shots. I think Brand is a winnner deep down. However, it will take a team effort for a turnaround of this franchise.

Thaddeus Young and Jrue Holiday also fall into this category, but their numbers are too close to zero to count them as making a positive impact in terms of intangibles.

Here are some players who didn't make these lists and suprisiningly (or not surprisingly) hurt the team more than they help it:

Thaddeus Young (-3.0 production)- While a great inside scorer with a vast array of post moves, Young lacks greatly on the defensive end. As a result, he allows one of the highest opponent productions on the team (18.0). While he is both lanky and athletic, his lack of physical play in the paint, hurts Young defensively. As a result, he's hurt the team more than he's helped it.

Jason Kapono (-6.7 production)- He's a one-dimensional player offensively that can't defend or rebound despite his size. He really shouldn't be playing in this league until he learns how to defend.

Jrue Holiday (-8.5 production)- While still only 19 years old, Holiday has been on the bad end of some great shooting performances that are difficult for any guard to defend. One performance against Mike Bibby has severely hurt his defensive production (19.4). However, as he matures he will gradually become better at contesting shots. Also, his offensive game is limited to driving to the basket as he fails to make jump shots on a regular basis.

Marreese Speights (-3.1 +/- differential)- While Speights is great at putting up numbers offensively, his lack of defense and lack of physical play on the boards, as pointed out by Elton Brand, have hurt the team. However, he is still in his second year and has a while to mature.

Jason Smith (-13.5 production)- While limited offensively, Smith still has a lot to learn defensively.

Now here are the % of the game a player's minutes take up (I listed some of the more surprising figures):

Allen Iverson (13%)- While sitting a lot of the games early on, Iverson is playing more and more and is playing a lot better as a result.

Lou Williams (40%)- While this number may be reduced due to injury, Williams is one of the best players on the team in terms of scoring and intangibles, and yet he loses minutes to the likes of Jrue Holiday and Willie Green (who is about neutral in terms of production). Compare this to 74% of the minutes played by Gilbert Arenas.

Andre Iguodala (83%)- While putting up great production numbers, Iguodala has by far the greatest number of minutes played. There's no denying he's been the most valuable player so far. However, he has a negative +/- rating (most likely because he plays the most minutes on a losing team). However, this begs the question whether or not he plays too much. As a point of reference, LeBron James plays 80% of the game for the Cavs.

Marreese Speights (25%)- This is another surprising number considering the amount of production he's put in offensively. Unfortunately Samuel Dalembert (-1.1 production) plays 51% of the minutes at his position.

Thaddeus Young (77%)- While not playing terribly defensively, there's no question that Young hurts the team more than he helps it. With the next figure I'm about to show, you will question why Young continues to get so many minutes.

Elton Brand (57%)- While his production isn't a whole lot better than Young's, his intangibles are noticably greater (+3.4 vs +.6). This begs the question why a proven veteran who gets paid a whole lot more isn't playing more than an inconsistent 3rd year player who's still learning how to play defense.

Jason Kapono, Jrue Holiday, and Jason Smith (29, 27, and 21%)- It's certainly interesting that 2 of the 3 players who hurt the team more than they help it (with 3 of the worst +/- differentials on the team) play more than Marreese Speights, who clearly helps the team.

The message I'm trying to get across here is that Jordan's rotations are clearly hurting the team. Players like Jason Kapono or Jrue Holiday can play 20 minutes one night and then less than 10 minutes the next. Jordan needs to create a much better rotation that values defense with guys like Elton Brand and not offense with guys like Jason Kapono. It's not a coincidence that the Jordan coached Wizards were reputed to be the worst defensive team in the league.

Also, if you look at the top 5 man floor rotations, you'll notice that the second lineup that we play the most contains both Thaddeus Young at power forward and Samuel Dalembert at center. This lineup, besides the lineup which features Willie Green as the point guard and Jason Kapono at small forward, allows for the greatest disparity between eFG% and eFGA% at (-11%). The lineup which produces the greatest disparity for us (+8.2%), we only play the 4th most minutes. This lineup contains Elton Brand at power forward and Marreese Speights at center. It's interesting how much better defensively Young plays at small forward as opposed to power forward. Another interesting thing to note is how all of the lineups Iverson plays in have a positive difference between eFG% and eFGA%. Another thing I want to say is how two lineups with identical front courts (Iguodala, Young, Dalembert) have a rebounding percentage disparity between 49.5% and 61%. The only difference between these lineups is that Allen Iverson plays shooting guard as opposed to Willie Green. I believe the reason for this is the lack of consistency from Samuel Dalembert. Dalembert is a guy who can't motivate himself, so with a vocal leader like Iveson, Dalembert will play much more physically underneath the basket. I believe this is one of the reasons why Samuel Dalembert had that monster game, in Iverson's return against the Nuggets, by producing 6 or so blocks and a ton of rebounds.

Category: NBA

Since: Aug 16, 2009
Posted on: January 28, 2010 6:29 pm

Your Philadelphia 76ers- According to

This goes to show how stats, if used correctly, can be used to predict how teams play pretty accurately.

Since: Aug 16, 2009
Posted on: January 28, 2010 6:28 pm

Your Philadelphia 76ers- According to

Well I seem to be right about most of my predictions:

  1. The Sixers are 8-12 with AI and 7-19 without him.
  2. Samuel Dalembert looks like a changed man with Iverson in the lineup.
  3. Elton Brand currently starts over Thaddeus Young.
  4. Willie Green, Jason Smith, and Jason Kapono have played significantly less.
  5. However, Speights continues to play less and less minutes and he's playing worse as a result. (my one mistake)

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