Friday, December 16, 2005

New Statistic - SaoTSARBoE - A Fan's Guide to Efficiency

by SonDog

John Hollinger is the Bill James of Basketball. He uses statistical analysis to measure the efficiency of every single player in the NBA... even down to all the players on the New York Knicks. In fact, Hollinger's efficiency statistics are so taken to be rational and reasonable that ESPN.com refers to them as... get this... Hollinger's Stats. (Wouldn't this be like the guy who created Earned Run Average referring to the stat as Edward Wiley IV Average? What about, the Speed of Einstein? These are the types of things that irritate the hell out of me.)

Hollinger's key stat is PER (a rating of a player's per-minute productivity). PER stands for Player Efficiency Rating. To learn all you ever wanted to know and then some about the formulas that Hollinger created, and why he is regarded by many as a genius, click here.

Hi, I'm John Hollinger. I have so much free time on my hands that I'm just starting to make up statistics. Have you ever heard of PER?

This week on ESPN.com, Hollinger unleashed a new formula set on the sporting world. During the off-season and pre-season, I often consulted Hollinger's page to see if he considered certain signings statistically sound. Before announcing the creation of a new set of statistics to add to the now often quoted PER, I truly believed that the statistics meant something meaningful. However, Hollinger's new ratings baffle me to no end.

At the 1/4 point in the NBA season, Hollinger ranks Elton Brand as the most efficient player per 48 minutes. Sounds reasonable. At number 2 sits the second-coming, LeBron James. I can agree there too. At number 3... Allen Iverson.

Wait... you're telling me that Iverson is the third most efficient player in the game? In what game, exactly? In fact, among point guards, Iverson ranks number 1, with the Wizards' Gilbert "I've never in my life seen anything remotely resembling a shot I did not feel like taking" Arenas at number 3. So, two guys who shoot a combined 43% from the field, while taking roughly 143 shots per game are two of the top three POINT guards in the game?! Coincidentally, reigning MVP Steve Nash is at number 6. Also, one of the guys responsible for the Bucks' turnaround, T.J. Ford, drops in at number 32... among point guards... number 32. There aren't even 32 teams in the league, yet Hollinger's statistics indicate there are 31 point guards more efficient than T.J. Ford?! It vexes me. I'm incredibly vexed. (Of note, among point guards, Jason Kidd is at 12, Mike Bibby is at 16 - behind Speedy Claxton and Devin Harris -, and Jason Hart ranks at 46 - or, third-worst in the entire sport... on second thought, I can agree with that).

At any rate, this got me thinking that I needed to create something a little more logical that I can actually use to determine the quality of a player. What I am proposing is for fans to adopt a stat line for "Swear at or Throw Shit Across the Room Because of Efficiency (SaoTSARBoE)." Look, I'm not even asking for it to be called the "SonDog Stat."

To make this statistic infallible, all you would need to do is take a die-hard fan from each team, calculate the amount of times per 48 minutes the fan either A) Swears at a player for any reason (SaP x 48minutes/player's minute per game average), or B) Throws any type of object through the living room in disgust (be it a tv remote, couch pillow or even a plush dog toy) due to a mistake by said player (TSARBo x 48minutes/player's minute per game average). A + B = SaoTSARBo Efficiency.

My theory is that the most efficient player would have a low score (probably 1.3 to 3.2 for a guy like LeBron -- or, amount per 48 minutes that you will either swear at particular player or throw shit across the room because of said player), while a frustrating and inefficient player would have a high score (around 57.5 to 61.2 - see Kings results below for more on this type of player). (My guess, coincidentally, is that Iverson would not be in the top-3. For, if I were a Philly fan, I think Iverson's SaoTSARBoE would be somewhere in the 82.3 per 48 minute range).

As a die-hard Sacramento Kings' fan, I put this theory to the test during the Kings' recent game against the Detroit Pistons. The results below, in order of most to least efficient (starting unit), may surprise you:

1 Bonzi Wells - (7.8 SaoTSARBoE): Without doing the research, my guess is that this is a career year for Wells in regards to SaoTSARBoE. In fact, while with Memphis, Mike Fratello told him to avoid the arena last year during the playoffs in part because Well's SaoTSARBoE personally for Fratello was at an all-time high of 125.1. On Tuesday, Wells received a few "You suck" and "Jeeeeeesus, Bonzi?!" calls in my house due to horrible jumpers or forced shots, but nothing that warranted even a single thrown dog toy against a wall. In all, it was a rather impressive performance.

2 Mike Bibby - (10.2 SaoTSARBoE): Bibby was very efficient on offense, as I only swore at him twice for ridiculous turnovers. However, as mentioned before, Bibby would struggle to keep 103-year-old John Wooden in front of him on defense, and Chauncey Billups' 32-pt, 19 assist night against him led directly to me throwing the remote control at the couch on 5 separate occasions. If Bibby could even PRETEND like he wanted to play defense, there is no telling how efficient he could become.

3. Brad Miller - (14.7 SaoTSARBoE): The 7-ft center from Purdue is somewhat of an anomaly. While he is unbelievably efficient when it comes to his fundamental skill set (jump shots, passing, etc.), Miller gets cursed at most often for something he simply can't control... his unbelievable lack of athleticism. Miller's poor rebounding is directly tied to the fact that he couldn't jump over the Christmas tree extension cord. Due to this, Miller's lack of athleticism was cussed on 7 different occasions while he was being outrebounded by guys like 6'1" Carlos Arroyo. The remote control was thrown twice from failed drives to the hoop (I think Miller is even slower than most people realize), and the plush Santa-doll that Rocky chews was hucked against the front door three times as Miller was standing still at the high-post with his feet in cement after a spin-move and dunk by Rasheed Wallace. Again, these flaws are not due to effort, so Miller has a lot to overcome on SaoTSARBoE by nature.

One of Brad Miller's more graceful moments...

4. Shareef Abdur-Rahim (19.3 SaoTSARBoE): The most common phrase (one that resonated through my condo complex like the voice of God a whopping 9 times) was, "For God's Sake Shareef, GRAB A FU***** REBOUND!!!!" For the second consecutive game, Abdur-Rahim snatched 2 rebounds... count 'em... two. Anytime a power forward grabs a mere two rebounds in 30+ minutes, he just isn't trying. On top of that, SAR's normally solid low-post game (complete with at least 324 various spin moves per game) was off the mark against Detroit, which led to an inordinate amount of, "Stop shooting the FU***** ball and kick it back out!!" screams during the start of the third quarter. While the offensive portion of the efficiency might have been a little skewed, the lack of rebounding efficiency was the primary reason behind Abdur-Rahim's poor SaoTSARBoE.

5. Peja Stojakovic (47.2 SaoTSARBoE): Simply put, Peja has hit rock-bottom with his SaoTSARBoE. As mentioned before, Stojakovic has given an incredible lack of effort this season and has looked altogether disinterested in being a member of the Sacramento Kings. It's become so bad for Kings' fans, that Peja is actually the ONLY player to have 5 "Swear at or Throw Shit Across the Room Because of " moments on THE SAME PLAY. Honestly, that was a feat I thought altogether impossible for anybody not named Kobe "The Mamba" Bryant. While it's true that Peja was mostly invisible for 23 of his 27 minutes of play, he has become somewhat of a lightening rod for criticism for Kings' fans. Every time the team failed to secure a rebound, with Stojakovic staring at the ball in the air as if he is was at a drive-in movie, things were thrown or the words "God" or "Damnit" were used. In fact, even my wife yelled at one point, "Peja, you are such a woman!" and "If you're not going to do anything on the court, then at least fu***** shave before the game!" In case you were wondering, that counted for 10 SaoTSARBo.

Peja shying away from contact. Of note here is Latrell Spreewell, who is no longer in the league due to his record-setting 234.3 SaoTSARBo for Timberwolves fans last season

While this statistic isn't an exact science to this point, you can help make this a national phenomenon, much like Hollinger's Stats. Give me some feedback other than, "You have WAAAAY too much time on your hands, dude." Seriously, I could use a good acronym for this stat... at least one better than SaoTSARBo.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

If I'm in Indiana, I have to argue that Artest is the reigning champ in your new stat, not Spree.

Good stuff man.

sondog said...

It's amazing that Artest almost has the record, and the season is only at the 1/4 mark. That guy is a certified nut job.

Stapes said...

What is Francisco Garcia's SaoTSARBo rating. Is he the per minute leader? Does he get bonus points for also making you curse Adelman for playing him. Or even think (but not say) "Damn, why the fuck didn't Petrie leave an aging Doug Christie unprotected in the expansion draft so we could keep Wallace and have a backup three so we wouldn't have to play this tool."

sondog said...

Garcia makes me laugh, I don't want to hear Jerry Reynolds compare him to Doug Christie... ever... again. If you put Garcia and Kevin Martin together, you still wouldn't equal the weight of Brian Skinner. Those guys need to eat.