January 31, 2010

Some thoughts on the Super Bowl

Filed under: Uncategorized — wwinston @ 10:37 pm

Before the  announcement that Freeney may not play, the Colts were favored by 5 points. If we throw out the last 2 regular season games for the Colts and Saints (because they did not give a full effort), we find thet a least squares fit to the game scores tells us that the Colt offesne was 6.2 points better than average and the Colts defense was  4.4 points better than average. The Saints offense was 13.5 points better than average and the Saints defense was .1 points worse than average. The average NFL team scored 21.6 points per game so this analysis would predict

Saints score 21.6 + 13.5 – 4.4 = 30.7 points

and

Colts score 21.6+ 6.2 + .1 = 27.9 points.

So we start with a base prediction of 31-28 Saints based on overall team abilities. How do other factors influence our view about whether the teams will play better or worse than their “full season estimates?” Here is my gut feel.

  • Freeney’s injury will really hurt. I know of no  mathematical way to quantify the effect of his injury, but my gut says this injury makes the Saints offense 3 points better.
  • The Saints feast on turnovers. A turnover costs a team arounf 4 points. Counting the playoffs, the Saints have around a 1 turnover edge per game. I believe (and I guess the betting public does also) that Mannings great ability will neutralize the Siants usual turnover edge. Maybe this costs the Saints 4 points. (say 2 on offense and defense).

With these adjustments I predict Saints 32 Colts 30.

January 25, 2010

Can the Hornets make the Playoffs?

Filed under: Uncategorized — wwinston @ 9:23 am

Almost surely 3 teams with better than .500 records will not make the playoffs in the Western Conference. Since firing coach Byron Scott after a 3-6 start, the Hornets have played much better. Still it looks like they may be one of teams on the outside looking in on April 17.  With better substitution patterns, I believe the Hornets can make the playoffs.

   Obviuously the Hornets’ success is keyed by their great point guard Chris Paul. His Adjusted +/- rating is +8 which means that after adjusting for who Paul has played with and against our best estimate is that he makes an average team 8 points better per 48 minutes. What is really surprising is that unsung rookie Marcus Thornton has been great; Adjusted +/- of  +7 points. Also I do not think the Hornets have noticed the great improvement in Julian Wright’s play (Adjusted +/- of +7).

  Here are some specific recommendations on how the Hornets can improve their performance:

  • When Paul is in with Posey the Hornets play 8 points better than average. When Paul is in with Thornton or Wright the Hornets play 11 points better than average, The rest of the time Paul is in the Hornets play as an average NBA team. It seems like upping Thornton’s and Wright’s minutes would improve the Hornet’s performance.
  • When Paul is out the Hornets (unsuprisingly) play poorly: 7 points worse than average. However, when Paul is out and Collison, Posey , Wright and Thornton are in the Hornets play 24 points better than average. Certainly this combo should be used more with Paul out. The rest of the time Paul is out the Hornets play 11 points worse than average.

Here is a summary of how well the Hornets main lineups play. For example, lineup 1A has played 496 minutes and is only 4 points better than average. (you may ignore the other numbers). Note linupes 1B, 2B, 3B, 8B 11B  2C , and 4C have played great.  All these lineups meet the criteria listed above They should certainly play more minutes. Many of the listed lineups play poorly and deserve fewer minutes.

       ACTUAL    THEORY     OFF     DEF  IMPACT  ZSCORE   SIGMA     PLAYING TIME                             SIMPLE       �
NOH       3.76 (    2.51    4.48    1.98   17.52    0.61    5.46)  496.31 minutes  145 appearances     1 A      2.80       29 $
D. Brown      Okafor        Paul          Stojakovic    West          28.96 years      10434_NOH_2010

NOH      -4.30 (  -11.26   -1.47    9.79  -30.11   -1.39    3.95)   97.48 minutes   30 appearances     2 A     -8.86      -18 $
D. Brown      Collison      Okafor        Stojakovic    West          28.50 years      10314_NOH_2010

NOH      -2.63 (    4.03    0.31   -3.72   18.43    0.79    6.33)   83.83 minutes   20 appearances     3 A     -5.15       -9 $
Okafor        Paul          Peterson      West          Wright        27.24 years      25024_NOH_2010

NOH     -18.51 (    4.43    1.74   -2.69   -9.30    0.18    5.25)   53.99 minutes   21 appearances     4 A    -27.56      -31 $
D. Brown      Okafor        Paul          Songaila      Stojakovic    29.47 years       3266_NOH_2010

        ACTUAL    THEORY     OFF     DEF  IMPACT  ZSCORE   SIGMA     PLAYING TIME                             SIMPLE       �
NOH      25.08 (   -1.06   -1.47   -0.41   -3.54    0.04    5.61)   42.54 minutes   33 appearances     1 B     20.31       18 $
D. Brown      Okafor        Paul          Posey         West          29.04 years       8898_NOH_2010

NOH      32.71 (    6.01    6.96    0.94   15.82    0.65    6.01)   40.60 minutes   29 appearances     2 B     33.10       28 $
Collison      Posey         Songaila      Thornton      Wright        26.48 years      22024_NOH_2010

NOH       8.26 (   10.36    5.87   -4.49   45.45    1.61    5.55)   39.53 minutes   28 appearances     3 B     10.93        9 $
Paul          Posey         Songaila      Thornton      West          28.28 years      13952_NOH_2010

NOH      -5.57 (  -14.83   -7.43    7.40  -51.16   -1.96    3.51)   36.55 minutes   16 appearances     4 B     -9.19       -7 $
D. Brown      Collison      Okafor        Posey         West          28.58 years       8778_NOH_2010

NOH      -5.44 (    4.60    2.04   -2.56   36.69    1.01    6.73)   33.39 minutes   25 appearances     5 B    -11.50       -8 $
Okafor        Paul          Posey         Thornton      West          27.36 years      12992_NOH_2010

NOH     -42.31 (  -20.77  -15.93    4.84  -35.86   -2.39    5.92)   32.43 minutes   19 appearances     6 B    -31.08      -21 $
Armstrong     B. Brown      Posey         Songaila      Stojakovic    29.55 years       3589_NOH_2010

NOH     -24.39 (   -9.17   -3.92    5.25  -10.93   -1.00    5.83)   30.03 minutes   14 appearances     7 B    -28.77      -18 $
Collison      Okafor        Posey         Thornton      West          26.90 years      12872_NOH_2010

NOH       6.79 (    8.17    7.99   -0.18   57.75    1.57    6.46)   28.53 minutes   16 appearances     8 B     15.14        9 $
Okafor        Paul          Stojakovic    Thornton      West          27.28 years      14528_NOH_2010

NOH     -30.66 (   -3.41   -0.09    3.32   -2.17   -0.39    5.23)   27.80 minutes   15 appearances     9 B    -31.08      -18 $
Collison      Posey         Songaila      Thornton      West          27.82 years      13832_NOH_2010

NOH     -42.15 (  -14.88  -17.09   -2.21  -79.49   -2.83    8.04)   27.60 minutes   16 appearances    10 B    -27.83      -16 $
Armstrong     Collison      Posey         Songaila      Thornton      26.97 years       5641_NOH_2010

        ACTUAL    THEORY     OFF     DEF  IMPACT  ZSCORE   SIGMA     PLAYING TIME                             SIMPLE       �
NOH      34.17 (    6.52   -0.70   -7.22    9.87    0.57    6.54)   26.78 minutes   17 appearances    11 B     32.27       18 $
Okafor        Paul          Posey         Songaila      Thornton      27.87 years       5824_NOH_2010

        ACTUAL    THEORY     OFF     DEF  IMPACT  ZSCORE   SIGMA     PLAYING TIME                             SIMPLE       �
NOH     -34.58 (  -22.69  -13.19    9.50   -9.04   -1.96    5.69)   25.27 minutes   19 appearances     1 C    -30.39      -16 $
Armstrong     B. Brown      Posey         Stojakovic    West          29.05 years      10757_NOH_2010

NOH      51.54 (   13.93   11.83   -2.10   66.51    2.17    5.01)   24.76 minutes   16 appearances     2 C     50.41       26 $
Paul          Songaila      Stojakovic    Thornton      West          28.20 years      15488_NOH_2010

NOH      11.08 (   -4.45    3.78    8.23   33.55    0.22    5.72)   21.51 minutes   16 appearances     3 C     13.39        6 $
B. Brown      Okafor        Paul          Stojakovic    West          27.82 years      10436_NOH_2010

NOH      40.34 (   12.07    9.26   -2.81   90.00    2.55    5.39)   21.23 minutes   16 appearances     4 C     36.18       16 $
Paul          Posey         Stojakovic    Thornton      West          28.42 years      14976_NOH_2010

January 21, 2010

What Ails the Magic?

Filed under: Uncategorized — wwinston @ 10:21 am

The Magic appear to have the deepest roster in the league. They have superstar center Dwight Howard. Yet recently they have been struggling. Why?

    Let’s look at the effectiveness of the lineups the Magic use most often. For example, lineup 2A plays .14 points worse (per 48 minutes)  than average and has been outscored by 18 points in 15o minutes. This is the current starting lineup and it has not done well. But look at lineup 6A. The only different between 2A and 6A is Williams replaces Nelson at the point. Yet 6a is more than 40 points better than 2A. If  the Magic want to start Barnes that is fine, but then Williams should start. Why not make the following sequence of good lineups be the primary lineups used?

I believe that with their great flexibility the Magic will by the end of the season have more good lineup combinations than any other team in the East, and will be tough to beat.

Carter Barnes Howard Williams Lewis (6A +45 rating)

Carter Howard Lewis Nelson Pietrus (3A +15 rating)

Andersen Pietrus Redick Williams Gortat (7A +21 rating)

Andersen Barnes Howard Nelson Redick  (4A +56 rating).

These 4 lineups utilize 9 players. Of course, foul trouble can render this strategy impossible in some games, but these lineups play great and deserve more time. At the least do not play 2A more than the other, better lineups!

     ORL       8.74 (   12.91    3.73   -9.18   28.49    1.47    7.52)  273.89 minutes   83 appearances     1 A      3.15       18 $
Carter        Howard        Lewis         Pietrus       Williams      29.88 years      10824_ORL_2010

ORL      -0.14 (   11.79    4.41   -7.39   21.53    1.20    8.12)  150.56 minutes   50 appearances     2 A     -5.74      -18 $
Barnes        Carter        Howard        Lewis         Nelson        29.02 years       1610_ORL_2010

ORL      15.31 (    3.61   -6.57  -10.18   11.99    0.48    7.61)   69.45 minutes   34 appearances     3 A     15.21       22 $
Carter        Howard        Lewis         Nelson        Pietrus       28.64 years       3656_ORL_2010

ORL      55.55 (   15.36    8.76   -6.60   40.45    1.86    5.54)   63.29 minutes   26 appearances     4 A     55.36       73 $
Anderson      Barnes        Howard        Nelson        Redick        25.79 years       5187_ORL_2010

ORL       5.19 (    4.18    1.50   -2.68   10.63    0.45    7.80)   60.70 minutes   25 appearances     5 A     -1.58       -2 $
Barnes        Howard        Lewis         Nelson        Redick        27.54 years       5698_ORL_2010

ORL      44.63 (   21.09   14.71   -6.38   38.03    2.18    7.54)   48.47 minutes   28 appearances     6 A     36.64       37 $
Barnes        Carter        Howard        Lewis         Williams      30.26 years       8778_ORL_2010

ORL      21.27 (   -1.84   -0.93    0.91  -11.48   -0.41    5.32)   46.55 minutes   27 appearances     7 A     27.84       27 $
Anderson      Gortat        Pietrus       Redick        Williams      27.01 years      14369_ORL_2010

ORL       8.09 (   16.48    8.09   -8.39   47.42    2.12    4.58)   44.83 minutes   29 appearances     8 A      6.42        6 $
Anderson      Howard        Pietrus       Redick        Williams      26.65 years      14401_ORL_2010

ORL     -15.49 (    4.41    3.08   -1.33   20.92    0.72    7.72)   42.97 minutes   16 appearances     9 A    -26.81      -24 $
Barnes        Bass          Howard        Nelson        Redick        26.39 years       5190_ORL_2010

ORL       4.56 (   24.66   19.07   -5.59   56.95    2.84    4.28)   40.11 minutes   27 appearances     1 B      9.57        8 $
Anderson      Barnes        Howard        Redick        Williams      27.03 years      12355_ORL_2010

ORL      -1.63 (    5.30    0.83   -4.47   17.59    0.72    7.23)   39.39 minutes   26 appearances     2 B     -3.66       -3 $
Howard        Lewis         Pietrus       Redick        Williams      28.40 years      14912_ORL_2010

ORL     -36.26 (   -1.29    2.96    4.25    6.04   -0.06    5.86)   33.78 minutes   16 appearances     3 B    -35.52      -25 $
Anderson      Barnes        Gortat        A. Johnson    Redick        27.62 years       4259_ORL_2010

ORL      -6.19 (  -12.79   -6.61    6.18  -31.02   -1.54    6.20)   32.27 minutes   17 appearances     4 B      1.49        1 $
Bass          Gortat        Pietrus       Redick        Williams      27.62 years      14372_ORL_2010

ORL      10.92 (   17.03   11.98   -5.05   64.94    2.48    5.09)   31.77 minutes   19 appearances     5 B     16.62       11 $
Anderson      Barnes        Howard        A. Johnson    Redick        27.26 years       4291_ORL_2010

ORL      22.23 (   13.46    7.62   -5.84   46.01    1.82    7.85)   28.99 minutes   21 appearances     6 B     18.21       11 $
Barnes        Carter        Howard        A. Johnson    Lewis         30.49 years        714_ORL_2010

ORL     -15.60 (   -4.61    4.37    8.98  -21.48   -0.83    7.73)   27.75 minutes   17 appearances     7 B     -1.73       -1 $
Barnes        Bass          Gortat        Redick        Williams      28.00 years      12326_ORL_2010

ORL       0.31 (   12.65    4.89   -7.77   39.81    1.70    7.55)   25.64 minutes   20 appearances     8 B     -5.62       -3 $
Carter        Howard        Lewis         Redick        Williams      29.41 years      12872_ORL_2010

ORL       9.51 (   13.73   10.65   -3.08   15.81    1.20    7.64)   25.55 minutes   17 appearances     9 B      5.64        3 $
Barnes        Howard        Lewis         Pietrus       Williams      29.26 years      10818_ORL_2010

January 20, 2010

Can the Rockets Make the Playoffs?

Filed under: Uncategorized — wwinston @ 9:43 am

The Rockets have done surprisingly well without all star Yao Ming. Their problem is teams like Memphis and the Thunder have greatly improved, and this greatly reduces the chance that the Rockets can make the playoffs.

     The Rockets top 9 players are (by Adjusted +/- ratings) very close in ability.   In limited time we have Andersen (+5 rating) as their best player (on a per minute basis) and the disapointing Ariza (-3 rating) as the worst of their rotation players.

      We have another measure of player ability called Impact Rating. Impact rating works like Adjusted +/- except we look at how a team’s chance of winning the game changes when a pkayer is in and out of the game. To see the difference between a rating based on points and a rating based on chance of winning a game, suppose the Rockets are dowm by 20 points with 3 minutes to go and cut the lead to 5 points. This comeback would really help the Adjusted +/- of the players on the court for the Rockets, but would have little influence on their Impact rating. This is because the chance of the Rockets winning the game changed from say 2% to 0% in this 3 minutes spurt.

    When we look at the Impact Ratings for the Rockets it becomes clear who drives the Rockets success and failure on the court.

  • Scola 34% Impact,  Landry +19%, and Andersen +27% drive the Rockets success.
  • Ariza -18% and Hayes -18% drive their lack of success.

          We can also look at the Rockets key Impact players during the last 7 games:

  • Scola, Landry and Andersen’s Impact ratings are virtually the same as their full season ratings.
  • Hayes -45% has had much worse Impact while Lowry has had a -35% Impact. Ariza has a -25% Impact.

Our metric indicates  Lowry, Hayes and Ariza have recently been the primary culprits costing the Rockets games .

Here are some more comments on the Rockets:

  • With Lowry and Brooks as the backcourt the Rockets play 5 points per game better than an average NBA team. The rest of the time the Rockets play like an average NBA team,
  • In 29 minutes the trio of Hayes Lowry and Budinger filled out with a choice from Landry Scola, Battier and Ariza has played an amazing: 57 points better than average per 48 minutes (in 29 minutes.) These combos certainly deserve more time.
  • Andersen has been great in his limited minutes. The Rockets should experiment to see if he can maintain his effectiveness over a few more minutes.
  • Andersen +14 Adjusted +/- Rating in 4th quarter has been great in 4th quarter while Hayes (-13 Adjusted 4th Quarter +/-) has played poorly. To the Rockets credit Andersen plays more in 4th quarter than any other quarter and Hayes plays less in 4th quarter than any other quarter.
  • Interestingly, Budinger is great in the 1st and 3rd quarters but mediocre in the 2nd and 4th quarters.
  • Landry, on the other hand plays his best in 1st and 4th quarters , but poorly in the 2nd and 3rd quarters.

Here is a look at the effectiveness of the Rocket’s primary lineups.

For example, lineup 1A in 631 minutes plays only 1 point better than average.  Lineup 1A has lost by 33 points but is above average because this lineup faces tough opponents. Lineup 2A with Landry for Hayes is much better than 1A but plays less. 3A, 11A and 12A are great (all have Brooks, Lowry and Landry) and definitely deserve more PT. As a matter of fact the trio of Brooks, Landry and Lowry filled out with players excluding Hayes and Scola has played 14 points better than average in 255 minutes. This is the Rockets at their best.

       ACTUAL    THEORY     OFF     DEF  IMPACT  ZSCORE   SIGMA     PLAYING TIME                             SIMPLE       �
HOU       1.10 (    1.27   -0.76   -2.04   -1.57   -0.07    2.37)  631.53 minutes  181 appearances     1 A     -2.51      -33 $
Ariza         Battier       Brooks        Hayes         Scola         27.40 years       4238_HOU_2010

HOU       9.18 (    2.45    3.72    1.27   35.00    0.76    2.25)  132.40 minutes   89 appearances     2 A      4.35       12 $
Ariza         Battier       Brooks        Landry        Scola         27.35 years       4366_HOU_2010

HOU      19.96 (    9.96   10.78    0.82   32.54    1.34    2.11)   98.63 minutes   59 appearances     3 A     20.93       43 $
Andersen      Brooks        Budinger      Landry        Lowry         25.23 years        793_HOU_2010

HOU      -3.17 (    8.29    6.91   -1.37   22.92    1.02    2.04)   96.63 minutes   53 appearances     4 A     -2.48       -5 $
Andersen      Battier       Budinger      Landry        Lowry         26.50 years        789_HOU_2010

HOU      10.65 (    3.88    3.10   -0.78    9.50    0.44    2.95)   95.45 minutes   56 appearances     5 A     13.08       26 $
Andersen      Ariza         Budinger      Landry        Lowry         25.14 years        787_HOU_2010

HOU     -19.28 (   -0.20    2.45    2.65   15.64    0.19    1.75)   65.26 minutes   53 appearances     6 A    -19.12      -26 $
Ariza         Budinger      Landry        Lowry         Scola         25.17 years       4882_HOU_2010

HOU       1.60 (    2.40    2.68    0.28   20.02    0.46    2.25)   57.07 minutes   39 appearances     7 A     -1.68       -2 $
Ariza         Brooks        Landry        Lowry         Scola         25.84 years       4874_HOU_2010

HOU      -3.12 (    0.23    0.91    0.68  -16.15   -0.36    2.32)   51.78 minutes   29 appearances     8 A     -3.71       -4 $
Ariza         Battier       Brooks        Hayes         Landry        26.72 years        398_HOU_2010

HOU       2.40 (    0.73   -1.18   -1.91   10.40    0.14    1.86)   51.22 minutes   33 appearances     9 A      1.87        2 $
Ariza         Battier       Landry        Lowry         Scola         27.11 years       4870_HOU_2010

HOU       0.75 (    6.48    3.33   -3.16   13.89    0.71    3.10)   48.67 minutes   31 appearances    10 A      2.96        3 $
Andersen      Ariza         Brooks        Landry        Lowry         25.81 years        779_HOU_2010

        ACTUAL    THEORY     OFF     DEF  IMPACT  ZSCORE   SIGMA     PLAYING TIME                             SIMPLE       �
HOU      16.92 (    2.69    0.68   -2.01  -18.21   -0.23    2.27)   44.11 minutes   42 appearances    11 A     10.88       10 $
Ariza         Battier       Brooks        Landry        Lowry         26.17 years        782_HOU_2010

HOU      19.44 (   10.89    7.14   -3.75   27.31    1.29    1.98)   42.70 minutes   22 appearances    12 A     23.61       21 $
Andersen      Battier       Brooks        Landry        Lowry         27.17 years        781_HOU_2010

        ACTUAL    THEORY     OFF     DEF  IMPACT  ZSCORE   SIGMA     PLAYING TIME                             SIMPLE       �
HOU       9.02 (    4.81   -0.54   -5.35    4.27    0.39    2.95)   38.51 minutes   24 appearances     1 B      9.97        8 $
Andersen      Ariza         Battier       Landry        Lowry         27.08 years        775_HOU_2010

HOU      -2.92 (   -0.44   -5.67   -5.22  -26.17   -0.69    1.95)   36.71 minutes   23 appearances     2 B     -3.92       -3 $
Ariza         Battier       Hayes         Lowry         Scola         27.16 years       4742_HOU_2010

January 19, 2010

Fixing the Bulls

Filed under: Uncategorized — wwinston @ 10:24 am

The Bulls are in a tough fight for the 8th and final Eastern Conference playoff slot. Can they do better? Let’s look at how some 4 man combos play

  • Deng Hinrich Noah Rose no Miller 408 min +2 (2 points better than average per 48 min)
  • Deng Hinrich Noah Salmons no Miller 198 min +4
  • Deng Hinrich Rose Salmons no Miller 149 min +3
  • Deng Noah Rose Salmons no Miller 553 min -1
  • Hinrich Noah Rose Salmons 173 min +0.
  • Deng Miller Salmons Hinrich 160 min +18

The quartet of Deng Miller Salmons Hinrich (with Gibson, Noah, Thomas or Rose) is  great for the Bulls. They should use it more.

   Another major problem for the Bulls is that they play poorly (19 points worse than average per 48 minutes) when Deng is out. Fortunately there are two decent lineups to play when Deng is out. Both the lineups below rest Deng and play at about an average NBA level.

  • Hinrich, Johnson, Miller Salmons and Thomas
  • Gibson, Hinrich, Miller Rose and Salmons.

Some Thoughts on the NBA’s Best Player

Filed under: Uncategorized — wwinston @ 8:47 am

Based on all games through MLK Day, the three best players by Adjusted +/- ratings are Dirk, LeBron, and DWade in a virtually dead heat. After adjusting for the abilities of their opponents and teammates all three players rate 23 points per game better than an average player. The greatly improved KD is 4th (+18 points.)

  Of course, I will be criticized for not having Kobe at the top of our list. Kobe is a great player (his Adjusted +/- is 12 points per game better than an average player), but due to the fact he has much better teammates than Dirk, LeBron and DWade , I think many people overestimate Kobe’s abilities.   For the algebraically minded reader, here is an analysis of why Kobe (based on play this year)  is probably not  25 points better than an average player.

    With Kobe in the Lakers have played 11 points better than average.  65% of the time Kobe is in with Artest, 67% of the time he is in with Odom and 49% of the time he is in with Gasol. Thus on average Kobe is on the court with 1.8 of these excellent players and 2.2 other (not so good players).

Let’s assume Gasol, Artest and Odom average 5 points better than average (this is consistent with their past abilities and our estimates from this year). Then

(Kobe ability)+ 1.8(average ability of RA, PG and LO) + 2.2(Average ability of other Lakers) = 11

Let’s put in Kobe ability = +25 . Then we get

25 +1.8(5) +2.2(Average ability of other Lakers) = 11

or Average ability of other Lakers is around -10 points. There is no way the other Laker players are this bad.  Farmar, Fisher, Bynum, Brown, Walton and Mbenga may not be superstars, but they are just not this bad.

Well let’s suppose that RA, PG and LO are just average players. Then for Kobe to be 25 points better than average we  must have

25 + 1.8(0) +2.2(Average ability of other Lakers) = 11

or Average ability of other Lakers = -6 points.

Estimating other Lakers to be 6 points below an average player seems plausible. Therefore, if you want to believe Kobe is as good as Dirk, LeBron, or DWade, you should believe that Odom, Gasol and Artest (together) are of average ability. If you believe that, fine. I don’t believe that PG, RA and LO are average players!

January 18, 2010

Updated NFL Playoff Odds

Filed under: Uncategorized — wwinston @ 10:36 am

Using the  great USA TODAY Sagarin ratings we played out the rest of the NFL playoffs. Here are the chances of various outcomes

  • 63% chance Colts win AFC; 37% chance Jets win AFC.
  • 64% chance Saints win NFC; 36% chance Vikings win NFC
  • 33% chance Colts win Super Bowl, 33% chance Saints win Super Bowl; 17% chance Jets win Super Bowl; 17% chance Vikings win Super Bowl.

January 15, 2010

A Happy New Year for the Knicks?

Filed under: Uncategorized — wwinston @ 4:24 pm

The Knicks have surged amazingly since a 3-14 start. Since then the Knicks have played 4 points better than an average NBA team and they have a great shot at making the playoffs.

      By the boxscore (as measured by Hollinger’s PER ratings) David Lee (PER of 21) is the Knicks star. This just is not true. Jared Jeffries (with a horrible PER of 9 and Gallinari (PER of 16) as well as Chandler (PER of 14) and Robinson (PER of 17) have all been bigger contirbutors to the Knicks amazing surge. For the months of December and January here are estimated Adjusted +/- for some key Knicks:

  • Jeffries +13
  • Gallinari +14
  • Robinson  +9
  • Chandler +8
  • Lee 0

Gallo’s +14 rating indicates that after adjusting for who he played with and against in January, we estimate Gallo has played 14 points better than an average NBA player.

    To justify these estimates look at the following stats for the Knicks last 21 games.

  • With Gallo and Jeffries in the Knicks are 14 points better per game than an average NBA team.
  • The rest of the time the Knicks are 4 points worse than an average NBA team.

For example, when Lee, Gallo and Jeffries are on the floor the Knicks play 15 points better than average; the rest of the time Lee plays the Knicks are average.

   So how can Jeffries with his miserable PER rating of 9 be an effective player? The answer is Jeffries is great on defense. For the season Jeffries has an Adjusted +/- Defensive rating of  -11. This indicates that after adjusting for who he plays with and against, Jeffries causes the Knicks to give up 11 points less per game than an average defender. Bos score states are heavily weighted towards offense, so PER misses Jeffries’ great D.

  In all fairness Adjusted +/- is highly influenced by the coaches’ ability to put together sensible lineups. This is why a player may be traded and go from a good  Adjusted +/- to a medicore Adjusted +/-. But we believe Adjusted +/- gives us a good way to measure a player’s contribution to a team based on how the team used him.

January 14, 2010

Making the Wolves Howl Again

Filed under: Uncategorized — wwinston @ 7:57 pm

The Minnesota Timberwolves have a terrible 8-32 record. Several disappointed Wolves fans and readers of this blog have asked me to analyze the Wolves. I believe the Wolves can be much better. Let’s look at the Adjusted +/- ratings of several key Wolves.

·        Gomes +9 and Love +13 have been great. Again an Adjusted +/- of +13 for Love means our best estimate is that Love makes the Wolves 13 points better per 48 minutes than an average NBA player. This estimated adjusts for who Love plays with and against.

·        Sessions with a -1 rating is much better than Flynn (-9 rating). Flynn has a poor +9 defense rating, which means we believe Flynn on the court causes the Wolves to yield 9 more points per game than the Wolves would yield if he were replaced by an average defender.

·        Hollins (-13 rating) and Pavlovic (-14 rating) have killed the Wolves. With Hollins in the Wolves are 19 points worse per game than an average team and with Pavlovic in the Wolves are 15 points worse than an average team.

Let’s look at the Wolves lineups that play most often:

We see for example, that lineup 2A (with Hollins and Flynn) is poor. This lineup plays 22.79 points per game worse than average in 112 minutes. The other poor lineups (1B 4B and 5B) also have Hollins or Pavlovic in or Flynn at point guard. On the other hand, lineups 6A, 2B, 3B , 6B, 1C and 2C are great but do not play much. The Wolves should certainly play these lineups more. Note Sessions plays in all but one of these good lineups. My personal favorite lineup is 3B,; Gomes Sessions and Love on the court together. In the 68 minutes with these 3 in (with Flynn and Hollins) out the Wolves play 30 points better than average!!

How to read numbers: First lineup played 2.05 points worse than average per game (1st number) in 241.61 minutes. In Raw +/- this lineup lost by 17 points (last number). Other numbers are not very important.

       ACTUAL    THEORY     OFF     DEF  IMPACT  ZSCORE   SIGMA     PLAYING TIME                             SIMPLE      

MIN      -2.05 (   -5.82    1.63    7.45   -7.83   -0.70    7.94)  241.61 minutes   81 appearances     1 A     -3.38      -17 $

Brewer        Flynn         Jefferson     Love          Wilkins       24.20 years      17938_MIN_2010

 

MIN     -22.79 (  -16.70   -8.69    8.01  -30.64   -1.94    8.49)  111.63 minutes   37 appearances     2 A    -27.95      -65 $

Brewer        Flynn         Gomes         Hollins       Jefferson     24.45 years        690_MIN_2010

 

MIN      -4.86 (   -8.56   -1.35    7.20  -28.42   -1.30    6.86)  108.28 minutes   34 appearances     3 A    -10.64      -24 $

Brewer        Flynn         Gomes         Jefferson     Wilkins       25.40 years      16946_MIN_2010

 

MIN       4.03 (    3.99    1.13   -2.86   18.58    0.46    7.77)   82.93 minutes   31 appearances     4 A     -4.63       -8 $

Brewer        Flynn         Gomes         Jefferson     Pecherov      24.22 years       4658_MIN_2010

 

MIN       5.73 (    7.68    6.66   -1.02   15.04    0.54    8.73)   51.13 minutes   30 appearances     5 A      2.82        3 $

Brewer        Flynn         Gomes         Jefferson     Love          23.67 years       1586_MIN_2010

 

MIN      14.02 (    2.58    1.21   -1.37    5.35    0.10    6.36)   43.24 minutes   31 appearances     6 A     19.98       18 $

Brewer        Jefferson     Love          Sessions      Wilkins       24.76 years      26114_MIN_2010

 

        ACTUAL    THEORY     OFF     DEF  IMPACT  ZSCORE   SIGMA     PLAYING TIME                             SIMPLE      

MIN     -16.76 (   -3.00    0.24    3.25   10.44   -0.16    6.72)   38.73 minutes   17 appearances     1 B    -17.35      -14 $

Brewer        Ellington     Flynn         Gomes         Jefferson     23.83 years        570_MIN_2010

 

MIN      25.77 (  -12.31   -8.03    4.28  -34.25   -1.65    8.98)   37.98 minutes   17 appearances     2 B     17.69       14 $

Brewer        Flynn         Gomes         Hollins       Jawai         24.10 years        434_MIN_2010

 

MIN      44.47 (   18.75    6.66  -12.09   40.04    1.76    6.10)   31.78 minutes   22 appearances     3 B     42.29       28 $

Ellington     Gomes         Jefferson     Love          Sessions      23.89 years       9768_MIN_2010

 

MIN     -52.19 (  -30.20  -13.72   16.48  -53.52   -3.18    5.09)   26.30 minutes   21 appearances     4 B    -54.75      -30 $

Brewer        Flynn         Hollins       Jefferson     Wilkins       24.98 years      17042_MIN_2010

 

MIN     -40.96 (   -4.20    2.35    6.55    2.86   -0.46    9.14)   26.18 minutes   18 appearances     5 B    -42.16      -23 $

Ellington     Jefferson     Love          Pavlovic      Sessions      23.65 years      11784_MIN_2010

 

MIN      30.20 (   10.35    7.08   -3.27   26.86    0.97    8.56)   25.50 minutes   22 appearances     6 B     30.12       16 $

Ellington     Flynn         Gomes         Jefferson     Love          23.32 years       1592_MIN_2010

 

MIN       2.97 (   -9.05   -4.11    4.94  -36.08   -1.39    8.33)   25.24 minutes   19 appearances     7 B      1.90        1 $

Jawai         Pavlovic      Pecherov      Sessions      Wilkins       25.42 years      30976_MIN_2010

 

        ACTUAL    THEORY     OFF     DEF  IMPACT  ZSCORE   SIGMA     PLAYING TIME                             SIMPLE      

MIN      48.99 (   -6.94   -0.64    6.30  -17.73   -1.07    8.24)   22.58 minutes   13 appearances     1 C     51.01       24 $

Ellington     Gomes         Jefferson     Pavlovic      Sessions      24.85 years      10792_MIN_2010

 

MIN      45.41 (   12.39    0.71  -11.68   31.76    1.26    5.43)   20.17 minutes   10 appearances     2 C     38.08       16 $

Brewer        Gomes         Jefferson     Pecherov      Sessions      24.79 years      12834

Is the Magic Gone in Orlando?

Filed under: Uncategorized — wwinston @ 10:25 am

Despite their recent troubles, I believe the Magic have the best chance to make it out of the East this year. They have many excellent lineups (listed below). For example lineup 4A shown below with Nelson at the point plays 55 points per game better than an average NBA lineup.

   The Magic have a big problem when Dwight Howard is out. They play 11 points better per 48 minutes than average when Howard is in and 8 points worse than average when he is out.

      The Magic need to realize that Jason Williams needs to play the point when Howard is out. When Williams is at the point and Howard is out the Magic play only 1 point worse than average. When Nelson or Johnson is at the point and Howard is out the Magic are 17 points worse than average. Even better Williams, Redick, Pietrus, Gortat or Bass and Anderson or Lewis plays 24 points better than average!!

 

 

Good Magic Lineups

       ACTUAL    THEORY     TIME                             SIMPLE        

ORL       9.54 (   12.62    4.30   -8.31   22.45    1.30    8.64)  273.74 minutes   82 appearances     1 A      3.68       21 $

Carter        Howard        Lewis         Pietrus       Williams      29.88 years      10824_ORL_2010

 

ORL     

 

ORL      16.76 (    2.77   -7.57  -10.35   -5.51    0.05    8.41)   65.83 minutes   30 appearances     3 A     17.50       24 $

Carter        Howard        Lewis         Nelson        Pietrus       28.64 years       3656_ORL_2010

 

ORL      55.39 (   18.47   10.78   -7.69   53.65    2.35    5.74)   63.29 minutes   26 appearances     4 A     55.36       73 $

Anderson      Barnes        Howard        Nelson        Redick        25.79 years       5187_ORL_2010

 

 

ORL      36.62 (   20.63   15.68   -4.95   48.68    2.38    7.69)   41.00 minutes   22 appearances     7 A     25.75       22 $

Barnes        Carter        Howard        Lewis         Williams      30.26 years       8778_ORL_2010

 

ORL      26.50 (   -1.74   -2.62   -0.88  -12.98   -0.41    6.96)   34.93 minutes   21 appearances     2 B     32.98       24 $

Anderson      Gortat        Pietrus       Redick        Williams      27.01 years      14369_ORL_2010

 

ORL      28.01 (   20.30   11.28   -9.02   55.38    2.52    6.56)   34.52 minutes   24 appearances     3 B     25.03       18 $

Anderson      Howard        Pietrus       Redick        Williams      26.65 years      14401_RL_2010

 

ORL      12.12 (   20.72   14.95   -5.76   83.36    3.10    5.19)   31.77 minutes   19 appearances     7 B     16.62       11 $

Anderson      Barnes        Howard        A. Johnson    Redick        27.26 years       4291_ORL_2010

 

ORL      21.74 (   13.04    7.98   -5.06   50.44    1.88    7.67)   28.99 minutes   21 appearances     8 B     18.21       11 $

Barnes        Carter        Howard        A. Johnson    Lewis         30.49 years        714_ORL_2010

 

ORL      14.48 (   14.56    2.67  -11.89   25.89    1.50    6.80)   23.33 minutes   10 appearances     1 C     14.40        7 $

Barnes        Carter        Howard        Nelson        Pietrus       28.52 years       3146_ORL_2010

 

ORL      19.27 (    9.50    5.25   -4.25   53.24    1.71    7.73)   23.15 minutes   16 appearances     2 C     18.66        9 $

Carter        Howard        A. Johnson    Lewis         Redick        29.63 years       4808_ORL_2010

 

ORL      20.79 (   14.70   12.30   -2.40   41.65    1.84    7.81)   22.05 minutes   20 appearances     4 C     17.41        8 $

Barnes        Howard        Lewis         Redick        Williams      28.78 years      12866_ORL_2010

 

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