“The Regend”


What does Reggie Evans mean to the Toronto Raptors? The most quoted stat is:

Ideally, its the best metric as ultimately it comes down wins and losses. But how much of this is his impact (opposed to strength of opponents, small data set, etc…)?

How do the Raptors perform overall with Mr. Evans in the lineup?

Most of these differences are intuitive – the Raptors: shoot a bit worse, have less assists and blocks while significantly outrebounding their opponents and holding them to a lower FG% with Evans in the lineup. However, its a bit of a mystery on why the team gets to the line 23% more when Evans is active.

What about Reggie Evans’ adjusted +/- or other on/off court metrics?
Adjusted +/- doesn’t help us much as he’s hasn’t played enough over the last two seasons. However, in his 611 minutes played this season, the Raptors’ Offensive Rating is about 3 points worse when he’s on the court than off. His Defensive Rating is also worse: about 1.5 points on versus off. This may be largely attributable to Evans starting 65% of his games played and our starting lineup usually has a difficult time against most teams in the league.

82games.com has specific metrics on how he compares to the opponents he guards:

No big surprises here either – Evans DOMINATES his competition in rebounding, but falls far behind in scoring.

How about Wins Produced?
Reggie Evans’ agent needs to write David Berri a fan letter.

Source: “MVP candidates” and metrics are directly from nerdnumbers.com

Hmm… as much as I’m a fan of Reggie Evans, I think the “eye test” suggests he’s not in the same category as Love, Howard, Wade, Paul and James as WP48 suggests (obviously his Wins Produced is much lower as he’s been out most of the season). The Wins Produced fans swear the metric doesn’t “overvalue” rebounds, so what can we attribute his robust score to? (Hint: I cannot reconcile why Evans has MVP-like WP48 otherwise, but here is Berri’s argument against WP overvaluing rebounds.)

So its difficult to reach a conclusion based on his limited minutes this year. I would argue the “eye test” suggests the team plays a little harder with him in he lineup (perhaps increased FTs and overall defense is a small by-product of his teammates’ increased aggressiveness) and the atmosphere at the Air Canada Centre sure changes. That is, Mr. Evans brings a lot of intangibles as well. Even a stats guy can admit that.

However, a large problem remains. We have a PF in Amir Johnson (signed to a long term deal) and one of the best up and coming PFs in the league in Ed Davis. Many of us would like to resign Reggie Evans – but how do we create room for him?

“The Ninja”


A quick take on James Johnson, who’s been a nice “surprise” for the Raptors. But is it a surprise?

Looking at “per 36 minutes” numbers suggests he’s pretty much exactly the same player – its simply he wasn’t been given the minutes in Chicago. His numbers with Chicago this year were certainly worse, but likely a product of very inconsistent minutes and him trying to force it somewhat when he did get his chance. Perhaps we’re still in a bit of a “honeymoon” period, but the numbers are encouraging. Even more encouraging? Helping hold stars like Kevin Durant to 6 for 21 shooting (which doesn’t get captured well in most advanced metrics).

This also takes be back to the Wins Produced metric. When Mr. Colangelo traded our late round 1st pick for James Johnson, Devin Dignam (a Wins Produced fan, author at NBeh?, and a classy guy – even if we don’t always agree) wrote:

Another problem I have with this deal is the fact that Johnson hasn’t been very good thus far. Last year he posted a WP48 of -0.006 and produced -0.1 wins; this year he has posted a WP48 of -0.077 and produced -0.2 wins.

I replied to the post and asked (among other things):

Can a player increase his WP with more experience and a change in scenery (like Afflalo)?

My favourite response to my seemingly valid questions was from Ben Gulker, a Wins Produced disciple and a Detroit Pistons fan:

Your attempt to be dismissive of this post using (AA as an example appears to me to be very little more than ignorance on several fronts, but on what Wins Produced has to say about young players in particular.

Hmm… well, my “ignorance” seems to be winning so far.

Source: nerdnumbers.com

From the The Wins Produced Calculation guide, we see:

Since a team employs five players per 48 minutes, the average player must produce per 48 minutes 0.100 wins.

Thus, using their own WP48 metric, James Johnson (so far) has indeed improved significantly with a change in scenery and consistent playing time. Lesson: don’t be a jerk when someone asks a reasonable question and never rely on one metric to draw conclusions. Not a bad rule of thumb for comments as well – just because someone has a different opinion, it doesn’t mean they are necessarily ignorant (if we had all the answers, wouldn’t we be hired to make $3 million a year as a GM?)

Adjusted +/- and on/off court metrics

While the data is quite limited this year, “the Ninja” also has a positive impact on the team’s Offensive Rating (~ +1) and a nice impact on its Defensive Rating (> +3).

Time will tell, but so far he’s looking much better than that potential ~25th pick.

Questions? Email me: [email protected] or find me on Twitter.

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  • barenakedman

    Not an expert or anything but just watching the games I like Dorsey and think he could bring what Reggie does, is younger and cheaper.
    J Johnson has some amazing streaks when he is phenomenal for 5 minutes out of the quarter. Do that every quarter and the Bulls will be kicking themselves for giving up so easily on him.

  • jlongs

    The most important aspect that JJ has brought is his defense. Challenging shots, rotating and help defense are some of those intangibles not shown in stats but can be observed by watching the game. He also initiates the offense and often makes things happen just by either driving the ball and kicking it out to the open man, or posting up the often smaller player and again kicking it out. His only knack atm is his lack of shooting, but that can be addressed specially when you have guys like Alex English and Eric Hughes in your staff. The rest is just maturity and building chemistry with teammates.

    Same deal with Reggie. He seemingly makes the team fight harder when he’s on the floor. It does help that the crowd gets so into it when they see the hustle he brings, and it rubs off on his teammates. Unfortunately Reggie doesn’t contest shots very well although he has a lot of “veteran moves” to bait opposing players into fouls.

    I guess what I’m saying is that what these guys bring to the Raps is really more seen in the intangibles they bring rather than what these stats show. Though looking at the stats, they aren’t bad at all.

  • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

    I think Reggie makes a big impact on the team because it’s not very talented. On a better team, his impact would be less, and thus his role would be lessened.

    • Cjay

      You can’t fake rebounding.

      • Nilanka15

        Zuh? Most teams would have better “2-way” players ahead of Reggie on their front court’s depth chart. You can’t grab boards if you’re sitting on the bench.

        • Cjay

          Miami doesn’t, OKC doesn’t, Duncan’s production is waning on SA. Not many teams have someone that can put up points AND grab boards every night.

          • Nilanka15

            Although he’s a great rebounder, he a very poor offensive player, and a mediocre defender (at best). Depending on how you view him, Evans could be considered a liability on both ends of the floor.

            He’s getting the opportunity in Toronto simply because the roster is too weak for anyone to overcome his shortcomings. It’s unlikely he’d get such an opportunity anywhere else (except for other poorly constructed teams).

          • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

            Oklahoma has Perkins, Ibaka and Collison. All can score better and more efficiently than Evans and all are good rebounders and defenders. He would be behind all of them.

            San Antonio has enough depth in the front court that Splitter has had trouble getting minutes. Between Duncan, Blair, McDyess and Bonner, as well as Splitter, there’s no room for Evans.

            Miami has a vaunted lack of depth, which came from gutting their roster in order to sign the big three, but unless Evans suddenly grows a few inches to be able to play center, I don’t see where he would fit in on Miami.

            Don’t get me wrong, I like Evans and like what he brings to the team, but he’s a poor offensive player and simply not that good of a defender.

            • Cjay

              Perkins, Ibaka, Collison, none of those guys have averaged more than 10 ppg in their careers (with the exception of Perkins, who did it once). None of them have averaged more than 10 rpg. Also, I think Evans would be an improvement over Dampier in Miami (who’s averaging a weak 3.3 rpg). The argument was more about the lack of great 2-way bigs on these teams

              • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                There’s a difference between someone who is a good scorer, and someone who is an efficient scorer. A guy like Amir is an incredibly efficient scorer, but he’s not a good scorer. It’s his efficiency that makes him valuable on the offensive end. Someone like Bargnani, however, is a good scorer, but not very efficient. With him it’s his ability to score that makes him valuable on the offensive end. Both Ibaka and Perkins are efficient scorers, which is all the need with Durant, Westbrook and Harden on the team.

                As for Miami, the problem with Evans is he’s at a disadvantage defending big centers. That’s the whole reason Dampier was signed. Because he can guard a guy like Dwight Howard or Andrew Bynum. Evans can’t. Not very well, anyway.

      • Copywryter

        But you can have good rebounders at other positions, which the Raps do not.

      • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

        Reggie would rebound no matter where he played, but just as good teams usually have plenty of scorers, they also have plenty of rebounders, so Reggie’s skills wouldn’t be as needed. On a team like the Raptors, that doesn’t have much rebounding, you put up with his lack of offense, but the better the team, the less you need to take the necessary evil to get what you need.

    • John

      So does Amir Johnson or does this just apply to Evans 😉

      • Nilanka15

        It’s funny how you’ve grown such a hate for Amir, simply from one comparison (on one msg board…which was months ago) comparing Bargnani’s efficiency to Amir’s efficiency.

      • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

        Amir Johnson is an incredibly efficient scorer. He shoots a very high percentage from the field and is a good free throw shooter. Plus, he can’t be left open from 15 because he shoots that shot so well. Reggie doesn’t shoot a high percentage and can’t hit anything outside of 2 feet. So no, it doesn’t apply to Amir.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=632775895 Eugene Earnshaw

    I think Reggie’s WP48 is one of the decisive arguments that shows Wins Produced is a fucking terrible metric.

    • Theswirsky

      just wondering if you could explain why.

      Its far from perfect, but guys who create possession (steals, rebounds) and don’t often give up the ball (don’t miss shots or commit turnovers) do well.

      All those may not lead to points, but it leads to opportunities for the team to score, and the opposition to score less.

      • http://twitter.com/Liston Tom Liston

        The arguments I propose (on steals and rebounds) are:

        Steals: Since only “success” is measured this can be dangerous. E.g. One player has 2.5 steals per game and rarely gambles while another has 2.5 a game and takes a lot of chances and when he “misses”, he allows a wide open jumper or drive to the basket 3x a game. Yet they’ll be given the same credit.

        Rebounds: Little to no credit is given to the person CAUSING all those rebounds via forcing difficult shots. Think of Shane Battier – someone else is getting credit for the change in possession – yet without tough D, there wouldn’t be a rebound. There isn’t an easy way to “credit” *how* much a defender influenced a poor shot versus how much credit the rebounder should receive for properly boxing out. Secondly, is a rebound of a FT worth the same as a FG attempt (i.e. the former is much easier to get position).

        • mountio

          You highlighted my issue on getting too caught up on individual rebounding stats. Team rebounding stats are very telling and helpful .. they give you a sense of which team is creating more posessions vs. the other and, of course, can thus counterbalance a shooting differential between the teams. Team rebounds normalize for whether or not the rest of the team are active rebounders (or dont give a crap about ever getting rebounds).
          On the other hand, individual rebouding stats can be misleading. Some boards are in traffic, stealing the ball away from guys on the other team and others are (missed foul shots often, for example) simply missed shots that fall into your lap based on being positioned under the basket. I realize the same can be said for points and assists, but the differential seems more accute with rebounding. And, to suggest that every rebound “creates a possession” for your team is also extremely misleading (whereas there is no doubt that every made shot creates points for your team).
          Of course, total rebounds are the best proxy for “good rebounds” or “possession saving / creating rebounds” so we should for sure look at them .. but just be careful in terms of putting too much weight. Reggie (and Love to an extent) are excellent examples. They a) play with a bunch of guys who dont give a crap about (or just arent good at) rebounding and b) play in a lot of low shooting %age games, so lots of boards available.

          • Statement

            “but the differential seems more accute with rebounding”. Just wondering, no sarcasm or hate intended at all, but what do you mean when you say differential.

            • mountio

              I mean differential between “impactful” rebounds and “reported” rebounds is larger (on a % basis) than the differential between “impactful” points and “reported” points (same for assists). That is to say, that yes, there are some points that get handed to you and they take little, if any, skill (a wide open layup after a great assist, for example), but most points require some level of skill / specialized effort to score them (and on top of that, ALL points count for points (sounds stupid, but a point worth noting when comparing to rebounds, which MIGHT lead to points / prevent the other team from scoring).
              On the other hand, a greater % of rebounds are simply a dude grabbing the ball as it falls to them and one of two or three guys on the same team could grab it, its just a matter of who bothers to put out the effort. (Obviously many boards require great effort and are truly adding a possession or stopping the other team from scoring .. just a relatively small % compared to points).
              As a result, i prefer looking at points and assists as “cleaner” ways to evaluate a players’ impact to team success (of course in conjuction with shooting %, efficiency, etc.). As a stated earlier, I think team rebounding is important .. I just think individual stats are skewed (see Reggie)
              And .. no need to qualify your statement (no pun intended) .. just cause we disagree on whether or not D Rose is an legit MVP candidate (hows Chris Paul lookin now?) .. doesnt mean i get offended by your question …

              • mountio

                And .. just jabbing on the C Paul.. as you may recall .. I think C Paul is a great player .. simply think D Rose is for sure a legit MVP candidate (actually dont see how he doesnt win at this point)..

                • Statement

                  Chris Paul is still looking great. He had a shitty little bit but the team is still in the playoffs and he is still a great player.

                  Unfortunately, I think Rose is a lead candidate. Why? Because NBA = WWE (see the NBA rigging the dunk contest). Derrick Rose is another face in a big market to market to fans. Plus he is flashy and contorts his body and PPG and all that jazz.

                  Still doesn’t change my opinion. I don’t recall saying that Chris Paul should be MVP, just that Derrick Rose wasn’t the best point guard and therefore not close to the best player in the league.

                  Have you considered the fact that Chicago has played a ridiculously easy schedule this year too? No no no, Derrick Rose is not the MVP.

                  That title is perpetually in the hands of Lebron who can’t win it this year because of his dumbass special. Let’s give it to Dwight Howard. Hurrah for Howard.

                • mountio

                  I get what youre sayin on the MVP race (not just this year, but every year) .. its far from perfect, and is often given to the media favourite as opposed to the best player. And, I agree it should be LBJ this year if I had a vote. But – D Rose plays on the best team in the east, is clearly their best player. Hes a good scorer (25 ppg – arguably a great scorer) and still gets 8 apg and 4+ boards for a PG.
                  To me, thats a legit resume for MVP.
                  As for easy schedule, maybe you are referring to catchin teams with injuries, etc. – but we are 72 games into an 82 game schedule .. so most teams are pretty equal (I havent looked at CHIs last ten games .. maybe they are brutal). Am i missing something on the schedule point? And, he did miss Noah and Boozer for decent chunks each.

                • Statement

                  http://espn.go.com/nba/stats/rpi/_/sort/SOS

                  This is ESPN’s strength of schedule ranking.

                  It gauges the schedule strength of each team. As you can see, Chicago is near the bottom. Even over an entire season, teams can have easy schedules.

                • mountio

                  Interesting .. although I think you might be putting too much weight on this. When Miami is at .498, and Boston is below Chicago at .491 (vs .492), Im not sure this is a huge factor. Had the numbers been much more divergent at, say, half way through the year, Id give your argument more airtime.
                  This does show that the west is a stronger overall conference than the east (east has more bottom feeders, so getting to play them more helps your record), but NO is 7th in the west, hardly compelling vs CHI at first in the east.
                  Also, look at Hollinger’s power rankings, which take SOS, win margin and other things into account, and CHI comes out first statistically. No matter how you break it down, its hard to say CHI is not one of the top 5 (if not top 3) teams in the league. And, since Rose is clearly their best player (and has dealt with injuries to key teamates to boot) .. he has to be given strong consideration for MVP

                • Statement

                  Disagree,

                  That is all.

                • Rapture

                  “all that Jazz” nice pun

                • Mediumcore

                  Just wondering what exactly is the criteria for MVP? Chicago has a better record than Miami by two games, but LeBron has better stats than D.Rose (in points, rebounds, steals, 3pt %. It just seems like the media has swayed the audience like they usually do.

                • voy

                  I think the mvp should go to the guy who is most valuable to his team. Without D.Rose I think the Bulls are far, far worse a team, more so than even the Heat would be without LBJ. And this is not a knock on LBJ. I love the guy, hated his decision to leave the Cavs, but clearly he is the best player in the world. However, have a look at the Bulls roster, and considering they played much of the season without Boozer and Noah its a remarkable accomplishment that Rose guided this Bulls team to likely 55+ wins.

                • Statement

                  Wouldn’t that have to go to Chris Paul by your logic

                  His supporting cast is worse than Chicago’s, his team has played the 2nd hardest schedule in the league and he has his team in the playoffs and has better stats than Rose.

                • voy

                  regarding strength of schedule: if strength of schedule is determined by taking the winning % of your previous opponents, then the bulls sos of .492 and the hornets sos of .509 is not a huge difference. I think that may be a difference of maybe 1-2 games.

                  secondly, I think no way the Bulls replicate what they did this year (with noah and boozer missing 50 combined games) if cp3 was their pg and played at the level he has this year.

                  Lastly, I dont see how cp3’s stats are significantly “better” than Rose. The Bulls are gonna win 10+ more games than the Hornets and I think thats largely on the back of Rose. In my opinion there is more of a drop off the bulls would suffer without Rose than the Hornets would endure without Paul. Both are unbelievable players but this year I’m gonna go with Rose.

                • Statement

                  I still don’t get the Rose love

                • Statement

                  I would like to see Paul on Chicago, he would tear it up.

              • Statement

                Also, I see, thanks for the clarification.

          • Theswirsky

            “but the differential seems more accute with rebounding. And, to suggest that every rebound “creates a possession” for your team is also extremely misleading (whereas there is no doubt that every made shot creates points for your team).”

            I’m wondering what reasoning you have that the differential between rebounding (ie. working hard for a board vs just getting a rebound) is any greater than the “differential” between hard work for a shot or assists?

            Also if individual rebounding is inaccurate (in the sense that not all rebounds are created equal) then should team rebounding not be just as inaccurate? It is just the culmination of all individual rebounds added together (it does not include team rebounds.. ie rebounds that went out of bounds on the opposition)… so those same inaccuracies would be included in that. Individual rebounding simply breaks down who actually grabbed those rebounds. Now ofcourse some people do work harder than others, but you will also find that those same players tend to average (over a period of time) more rebounds than those who do not.

            Finally, a rebound does create a possession just as every made shot does create points. When you rebound the ball you have possession of the ball. Just because you have a possession does not mean you will or won’t create points with said possession, but you do possess the ball none the less, and therefore give your team an opportunity to score points.

            • mountio

              On the rebouding point – Im saying that more rebounds (as a %) are simply collecting a missed shot and not doing much to tear anything away from the other team. I dont have statistical evidence for this, but if you think of the number of boards where 2 or 3 defensive guys are the only ones vying for the ball (whether on a foul shot or just a missed jumper), that seems like a relatively high % of defensive rebounds (feel free to disagree if you feel differently).
              To take it to relevant examples, look at Bosh and Reggie. Both benefited from the AB factor – a guy who doesnt give a shit about rebounding and never goes for the ball. Is Bosh a worse rebounder than he was here? I dont think so, I just think he didnt have much internal challenge over his boards last year. I would say the same for Reggie this year. Doesnt mean both guys dont do some good, tough rebounding, just means their stats are padded by a few boards per game.
              Which comes to my team rebounding point. It normalizes for those “I dont care who gets this, but there are three of us here, so someone grab it” rebounds. Regardless of who gets it, its one team rebound. Whether there are 9 of these in a game and they go three ways three each or one guy gets them all, its 9 team rebounds. However, in aggregate, whether or not a team gets more rebounds than its opponent does matter, because the differential DOES come down to those effort plays where either a guy gets a great defensive or offensive rebound. (the non issue rebounds cancel themselves out as each team will get its fair share).
              My possession point follows the same logic. I know that “technically” every rebound creates / saves a possession. But, is grabbing a lame duck rebound really “saving a possession” or would that posession would have been your teams anyways whether or not you grabbed it, because someone else would grab it? Thats where I make the distrinction. I think a relatively high % of “possessions” created may have been coming to you one way or the other.
              I realize that this applies to some extent with points and assists .. I just the think the % is way lower. I have to go to the eye test / logic here, as Ive never seen it broken down statistically .. but every game I watch it seems like there are a number of rebounds that fall into a guys lap and maybe the odd layup or relatively simple pass that results in a guy hitting a jumper.
              All of this is getting back to the WP stat .. which seems to overvalue rebounding when you see how highly it values rebounders vs well rounded overall players. I would suggest this is the reason why, is that there needs to be some discount (dont know the numeric value) applied to individual rebounds when trying to measure their impact on team success.

              • Theswirsky

                I do agree with you, in general, its just that “I think the % is way lower”, is (as of right now) not provable (or disprovable). So we can only assume that its a nonfactor (now ofcourse if/when that information is available it could be factored in).

                As for rebounds and possession… much like I mentioned to Tom, we can only consider what we do know. In this case, a rebound, no matter how its gotten, is of the same potential possessional value. That is, once the ball is in the rebounders hands the team has an equal opportunity to use or misuse that possession. (thats not to say there isn’t more merit in a tougher rebound, but rather for statistical purposes all rebounds are equal)

                • mountio

                  Agree with everything you say. My only addition/thought would be that since, as you state, from a statistical perspective, all rebounds have the same possesional value .. that the use of rebounds in a manner similar to WP48 to predict team success is somewhat misleading because in reality (outside of the statistical world) I would argue that individual rebounds are not created equally and do not impact team success as much as the stat would suggest.
                  Realize Im just repeating myself to some extent .. but I think we are saying a similar thing. In the statistical world .. I agree with you .. the only thing we cna do is treat a board as a board .. whereas Im pointing out that this is a flaw / something to be careful of when interpreting these stats ..

                • Theswirsky

                  sure… but thats the nature of statistics. Imperfect, generalizations and limited.

                  They are a tool like any other. One tool may be better (handier) than another, but it takes all types to finish the project. When used wrong you can really screw up, but if used properly they are much handier than not using them.

        • Theswirsky

          sure but that applies to anything.

          Are points are scored because a guy hit a shot… but was that lax D? was that a good screen that created it? was it a good pass? was it a smart play by the coach? did a player in the corner open up that lane? etc etc.

          You can break any stat down into an infinite number of possible scenarios.

          However what we do know is what does happen. So a steal is a new possession (opportunity) and a lost possession. A rebound is a new possession and a lost opportunity.

          Its why we look at them over time correct? to make those outliers less influencial.

          • http://twitter.com/Liston Tom Liston

            Great points. But someone can be a consistent gambler. Or consistently block shots out of bounds vs to teammates (Duncan does this well). But your point is well taken.

            It’s also why I’m encouraged by some of the new adjusted +/- methodologies – while the data sample needs to be large, it (in theory) accounts for many of these factors.

            • http://khandorssportsblog.com/wordpress khandor

              The first thing that needs to be altered in the world of statistical analysis for basketball is the WRONG definition which currently exists for most statisticians in regards to what exactly constitutes “a possession”.

              In constrast with the popular belief today, this:

              Possessions = FGA + TO + FTA*.44 [acceptable estimate, due to large volume of play-by-play data]

              is actually the accurate formula to use when calculating possessions in a game, not what the sabremetric basketball community is chosing to use at-present.

              • slaw

                Why aren’t you accounting for offensive rebounds?

              • Theswirsky

                That only accounts for how a possession is used. It does not account for how a possession is created (for lack of a better term).

                If you do not posses the basketball, you cannot do any of the above.

                • slaw

                  In fairness, khandor isn’t talking about a possession is created, he’s simply arguing that they way the total number of possessions for a team is calculated is wrong. However, since it is the typical khandor argument-by-assetion post you are left wondering why the common method is wrong and why his is correct.

                • siggian

                  Precisely

                • http://khandorssportsblog.com/wordpress khandor

                  The “common” method is, in fact, not common at all.

                  The “common” method is, in fact, used by statisticians and statistical gurus and not by basketball coaches.

                  When basketball coaches speak of “the number of possessions” in a game, or of “gaining ‘extra’ possessions” within a game for their team, etc., they are not using the definition for “possessions” which is commonly used by statistical gurus.

                  The fact is …

                  Statistical gurus have bastardized the notion of what constitutes a “possession” in the game of basketball in order to serve their own analytical purposes, based on ease of calculations and what constitutes “statistical significance”, in regard to the available data.

                  The accurate formula for calculating the number of possessions in a game for a particular team is the one outlined above … i.e. commonly referred to by statistical gurus as, “plays”; and, not the one which statistical gurus commonly refer to as, “possessions”, which is actually something altogether different and not indicative of what basketball coaches know to be the accurate definition.

                  Simple facts associatd with the game of basketball:

                  1. There are only 4 means by which a team can relinquish its possession of the ball:

                  i. When a team shoots a Field Goal Attempt it relinquishes its possession of the ball.

                  Only if a team gets the resulting offensive rebound from the missed FGA does it establish its next possession of the ball.

                  ii. When a team shoots a Final Free Throw Attempt it relinquishes its possession of the ball.

                  Only if a team gets the resulting offensive rebound of the missed FTA does it establish its next possession of the ball.

                  iii. When a team commits a Turnover it relinquishes its possession of the ball.

                  iv. When a quarter expires, while Team A has possession of the ball, and Team B is due to begin the subsequent quarter with possession of the ball, according to the alternate possession rule following the initial jump-ball to start the game, Team A relinquishes its possession of the ball.

                  How a team might gain possession of the ball is irrelevant when calculating accurately “the number of possessions” a team has in a particular game.

    • Statement

      Well how about the other players noted in the MVP watch…that looks like 4 of the best 5 players in the league (with the notable exception of Love, I’m weary of his defense).

      To me, Wins Produced is valuable but of course it is not the be all, end all.

      One thing I do like Wins Produced for is that pace adjusted win score in college correlates with it and you can use that stat to help make drafting less of a crapshoot. Case-in-point, if memory serves, Landry Fields had a great pace-adjusted win score ranking in college and he is a very valuable player.

      • http://twitter.com/Liston Tom Liston

        Agreed (although many other measures would have a similar top 5).

        Also agree on the college piece generally – but as I reviewed past years, if you strictly drafted on theses scores, you would have had several duds before the prize of the Fields and Blair types. But I still think its a great guide.

        (note the “survivorship bias” – late round guys succeed and then everyone goes back to say “see his WP48 was high” – yet if you rank by WP48, you would have drafted several players no longer in the league – many that never made their clubs)

        • Statement

          Good point.

  • BCGheradinJayGots2Go!!!

    Interesting read.

    Reggie, as good as he is when healthy, has been too injury prone since coming to the Rap’s.

  • Corey

    anyone read tim chisolm’s column on tsn yet? he says raps should take kemba walker if they pick 5th. not sure i agree (i say pick perry jones, then trade him for a PG or C), but he makes a pretty good case. just not sure he is better PG than brandon knight.

  • LeeZ

    “However, its a bit of a mystery on why the team gets to the line 23% more when Evans is active.” Could it be that because of Reggie’s offensive boards, he creates more possessions and therefore more opportunities for the Raptors to be fouled?

  • Devin Dignam

    Tom,

    I’m was going to be posting on James Johnson in the next few days – interesting that you had a post ready on it too.

    Now you give me something interesting to write about! Before I would’ve had to stick to my same old schtick…now I get to counter all of your points.

    The short summary of my coming post is as follows: yes, James Johnson has improved (by quite a bit, actually). Yes, I did say I didn’t think it was very likely to happen, but as he has had limited playing experience and is young you can’t ever rule it out. But importantly, his performance says nothing about the validity of Wins Produced. Has he played better than before? Yes! Does Wins Produced say he’s playing better than before? Yes! Unfortunately, Wins Produced – like every other measure of player productivity – can’t predict these huge jumps in quality of play.

    More to come.

    • http://khandorssportsblog.com/wordpress khandor

      re: “Yes! Does Wins Produced say he’s playing better than before? Yes! Unfortunately, Wins Produced – like every other measure of player productivity – can’t predict these huge jumps in quality of play.

      This is not a correct observation.

      There are, in fact, other “measures” which can accurately predict these huge jumps in quality of play.

      The unfortunate part of THIS reality is that those who depend on supposed statistical analysis are not capable of making the necessary assessments – i.e. using the “eye test”, as a highly qualified basketball person with an extensive background in coaching and playing the game – in order to perform this task with a high degree of accuracy.

      Do some GM’s like Danny Ainge and Jerry West and Isiah Thomas and Mitch Kupchak, etc., make horrendous personnel decisions from time to time?

      Yes, they most certainly do. But, as a group, so too, are they infinitely more successful than Wins Produced, etc., when it comes to accurately evaluating the abilities of NBA players AND forecasting their future performance, based on their “feel for the game of basketball.”

      • Theswirsky

        nobody is discounting the ability of an individual to analyze the game through personal opinion (what you call an “eye test”). Rather what statistical analysis tries to do is discount/devalue(?) the inevitable errors (biases) and missed opportunities (ie. you cannot watch every minute that every player in the league plays, and/or know the details of every occurence that happened in order to create said occurence) that exist in personal opinion, and tries to include structural reasoning to give value to that in order to compare and evaluate.

        No matter how “highly qualified” one THINKS they are, mistakes and inperfections are inevitable. There is also the inevitable lack of data to prove or disprove how effective/accurate someones personal opinion actually is. Rather, we are required to take someone’s “word” as the truth vs. looking at data that is available to all in its entirety.

        “those who depend on supposed statistical analysis are not capable of making the necessary assessments – i.e. using the “eye test”,”

        using an “eye test” when evaluating a player (or anything for that matter) is technicaly statistical analysis (however a very crude version of it). However instead of “analyzing the numbers” with pen and paper, you are doing it mentally based on past experiences. (whether you realize it or not). When doing that, however, you do not have as much information available to you as you would if you were to collect data.

        “But, as a group, so too, are they infinitely more successful than Wins Produced,”

        I would be impressed to see you prove this without using a statistic.

        Regardless WP is a measure of what someone HAS DONE not what THEY WILL DO. Now some may use someones historical WP as a measure to indicate how they think someone will reasonably do, but once the outside influences on an individual change, their WP is bound to aswell. (so as Devin noted he gained experience, and age. He changed team and role etc) The more drastic the change, the more likely the change in their WP.

        • Devin Dignam

          Theswirsky:

          There’s not much point in “discussing” things with khandor – it’s kind of like talking to an inanimate object. Sometimes you might get a response from him that seems to be superficially coherent, but at that point you have to start questioning your sanity for engaging him in the first place.

          You seem to understand where I’m coming from; thank you for defending rationality.

          • Theswirsky

            Oh I know it… and I know better. Trust me on that.

            But his, what I can only assume is, narcissistic personality disorder gets the better of me sometimes.

            • http://khandorssportsblog.com/wordpress khandor

              Making assumptions will almost always lead you down the wrong path in life.

        • http://khandorssportsblog.com/wordpress khandor

          re: “using an “eye test” when evaluating a player (or anything for that matter) is technicaly statistical analysis (however a very crude version of it). However instead of “analyzing the numbers” with pen and paper, you are doing it mentally based on past experiences. (whether you realize it or not). When doing that, however, you do not have as much information available to you as you would if you were to collect data.

          When an experienced evaluator of basketball ability uses the “eye test” correctly s/he is actually using MORE [not less] available information than a person who analyzes numbers with a pen and paper.

          In fact … the “eye test” is a form of statisitical analysis which is superior to the form of statistical analysis performed by those without the sophistication necessary to use the “eye test” properly, who MUST rely on pen and paper to analyze numbers [and not people] for them.

          re: “”But, as a group, so too, are they infinitely more successful than Wins Produced,”

          I would be impressed to see you prove this without using a statistic.

          To the best of my knowledge, Wins Produced has not been responsible for the construction of any of the league championship-winning teams in the history of the National Basketball Association.

          re: “Regardless WP is a measure of what someone HAS DONE not what THEY WILL DO. Now some may use someones historical WP as a measure to indicate how they think someone will reasonably do, but once the outside influences on an individual change, their WP is bound to aswell. (so as Devin noted he gained experience, and age. He changed team and role etc) The more drastic the change, the more likely the change in their WP.

          What someone has done is not being analyzed by WP.

          What someone has done is being regurgitated [encapsulated?] by the categories associated with WP.

          WP does not analyze basketball, or basketball players.

          WP has little actual value if it cannot determine with a high degree of accuracy what someone will do in the future.

  • Bo4

    Reggie has to go, unless he’s willing to stay for less as a sub.

    James stays, for sure.

    1) Fire BC, and promote JT to GM.
    2) Promote PJC to head coach.
    3) Trade AB for best offer.
    4) Trade LB for best offer.
    5) Draft Kemba Walker (#11), if possible.
    6) Draft Kenneth Faried (#24), if possible.
    7) Re-sign Weems.

    Rotation=
    Calderon, Bayless & Walker.
    DeRozan, J. Johnson & Weems.
    A. Johnson, Davis & Faried.

    • Mediumcore

      Draft a point guard the that is under 6 foot, and a power forward that is 6 foot 8 inches…not the recipe for winning. Though I really like both of their games. Perhaps Kemba can grow into a Aron Brooks type player that hopefully can pass the ball.

      • Nilanka15

        Tim Chisolm makes an interesting case for drafting Walker. It’s a good read:

        http://www.tsn.ca/blogs/tim_chisholm/?id=359655

        • mountio

          Not a bad read .. but I hope with all hope that we are not in a position where Kemba is the choice by default that Chisolm describes. A couple of huge red flags from my perpsecitve. 1) He seems to thrive most when UConn brings in someone else to play the point and lets Kemba roam / come off screens as the 2 guard. Not a good sign for a starting NBA point guard. 2) We keep harping on defense, and there is no way that a 5’11” guy is going to help that situation. Yes, there are undersized guards that are serviceable in the NBA – but they need help D all the time (see Jameer / DH).
          As great as it is to watch Kemba in college, he just seems a lot more like Shawn Respert/ Matteen Cleaves (not sure why two MSU guys are the first that pop in my head) than the list of sub 6 foot guys Chisholm lists (and frankly, even if he develops to become Lawson, Lowry, D.J. Augustin, Darren Collison, Jameer Nelson Im not sure Im particularily thriled as a Raps fan .. )

          • voy

            if we are in a position where the best available player is kembra walker at the 5 I’d certainly be disappointed. Also, it was pointed out, that all but 1 of the PGs, under 6ft, chisholm mentioned, where picked 18 or lower (augustin picked 9th).

            I wouldn’t mind taking my chances on other guys instead of going with Walker. The guy is a shoot first point guard who doesn’t shoot a good %. I mean, even if he does manage to have a serviceable nba career, I doubt he’d make the type of impact that would translate into getting the Raps closer to being contenders. The question is who else do you go with?

            • Corey

              answer? you trade the pick. perhaps in a package with bargs. trade two assets, get a couple back. aim to get a PG and a big. again, i say, Denver? with two PGs and lots of depth.

        • Mediumcore

          Thanks, good read. Still, Kemba’s size or lack there of concerns me on the defensive end. He reminds me of Brooks or Ben Gordon where you can bring him off the bench to provide scoring in the second unit, but I don’t know if he’s legit starting material. Only time will tell though and hopefully for the kid he’ll prove all doubters wrong.

          Not sure what approach BC is taking going into this draft, but hopefully it’s a Kyrie or bust approach. This team needs a leader in the worst way.

      • Bo4

        I only see six players that we can draft who would make our rotation: Kemba Walker, Kyrie Irving, Terrence Jones, Kawhi Leonard, Jonas Valanciunas & Kenneth Faried. If we trade away Bargnani & Barbosa, let most of the free agents go, we’ll need one of KW or KI, TJ or KL, & JV or KF … to go with JC & JB, DD & JJ, AJ & ED.

        • Nilanka15

          No love for Barnes or Derrick Williams?

          • Bo4

            Just not as much. I keep looking at things in different ways, and thus coming to different conclusions. I’ve never found Barnes to be the one I wanted, tho.

  • Nilanka15

    I like the intangibles that Reggie provides (i.e. “toughness”, “leadership”, “grit”, etc.), but if he’s retained, it would mean one of Davis or Amir has to go. It doesn’t make for good chemistry with 3 power forwards on the roster, each capable of playing 35 mpg.

    If this route was explored, I would much rather keep Davis over Amir.

    Having said that, Reggie’s proneness to injury would make me hesitate when/if offering him a multi-year deal.

  • http://khandorssportsblog.com/wordpress khandor

    Tom,

    re: “(if we had all the answers, wouldn’t we be hired to make $3 million a year as a GM?)

    Unfortunately, the truthful answer to this question is a simple, “No, we would not.”

    Many NBA GM’s are not “The most qualified and experienced basketball people in the world.”

    What many NBA GM’s are, however … is the person with the right [necessary?] “connections” to the people in positions of authority who are responsible for the hiring of these particular jobs, many times due to nepotism, paternalistism, and/or fraternalism, etc.

    Being a fantastic evaluator of basketball talent has very little to do with whether one is working for a NBA team, or not.

    • Bendit

      Couldn’t you just have mentioned BC as an example and dispensed with the head scratching. Can you provide some other examples in the NBA where current GMs have achieved their positions due to the special connections you cite?

      • http://khandorssportsblog.com/wordpress khandor

        Ask yourself what the following individuals have accomplished in the game of basketball to have earned their initial appointment as a GM in the NBA?

        1 Chicago – Gar Forman
        2 Miami
        3 Boston
        4 Orlando
        5 Atlanta – Rick Sund
        6 New York
        7 Philadelphia
        8 Indiana
        9 Charlotte – Rod Higgins
        10 Milwaukee
        11 Detroit
        12 New Jersey – Billy King
        13 Toronto – Bryan Colangelo
        14 Washington
        15 Cleveland – Chris Grant

        1 San Antonio
        2 LA Lakers
        3 Dallas – Donn Nelson [who has been successful to this point]
        4 Oklahoma City
        5 Denver – Masai Ujiri
        6 Portland – Rich Cho
        7 New Orleans
        8 Memphis – Chris Wallace
        9 Houston
        10 Phoenix
        11 Utah
        12 LA Clippers – Neil Olshey
        13 Golden State – Larry Riley
        14 Sacramento
        15 Minnesota – David Kahn

        [… which is not to say that each of these men is in fact a poor GM]

  • BigChris

    The wins produced stat say’s that Dennis Rodman was more important to the championship Bulls then Michael Jordan. Does anything else need to be said? If you want to read about a smarter man then myself concisely explaining the flaws in the this metric, I point you to Dan Rosenbaum,
    http://sonicscentral.com/apbrmetrics/viewtopic.php?t=877

    • BigChris

      fyi… there are no fewer then 8 major faults.

      • Theswirsky

        just out of curiosity where did you get that from? That first post was more or less breaking down their method… not necessarily “major flaws” in their method.

    • Statement

      Rosenbaum has flaws in his adj +/- as well. Most importantly, the standard errors are so large that the majority of the time, the model spits out “I don’t know whether this player is helping or hurting”. You need lots of years of data or a truly statistically significant result to make any judgement.

      • BigChris

        I didn’t say his was better, just that he does a great job highlighting the faults of the other system. Berri does the best job trashing Hollinger’s PER, Rosenbaum the best at trashing win shares, etc… In an effort to legitimize their own systems, they have engaged in mud slinging fights that are very revealing.

    • Theswirsky

      its actually a not so interesting read…. but… he doesn’t really discredit Wins Produced… rather says some of the methods “raises red flags” and he “guesses that if such and such happens….” which does not mean inaccuracy.

      He actually talks about how in the end Wins Produced is actually pretty accurate (conviently not as accurate as his method ofcourse), but doesn’t like how they approached it. Which may be fair… but doesn’t really do much to expose flaws in the results.

  • Tank

    Read the insider article on ESPN. Talks about how this draft isn’t as weak as once anticipated. Barnes, Irving and Williams are some great prospects with high ceilings. I hope the Raptors can slide into the top 3.

    • Corey

      i would agree. the prob wioth this draft is its hard to discern the true best guys. so many freshmen. very few PGs. and how do you measure “upside” anyways??? when a guy like kemba walker is now getting praise as a potential top 10 despite some serious questions it tells you how unsure scouts r. same goes for jimmer fredette. where does he rank? i guess that depends who you ask.

  • http://twitter.com/brgulker Ben Gulker

    So its difficult to reach a conclusion based on his limited minutes this year. I would argue the “eye test” suggests the team plays a little harder with him in he lineup (perhaps increased FTs and overall defense is a small by-product of his teammates’ increased aggressiveness) and the atmosphere at the Air Canada Centre sure changes. That is, Mr. Evans brings a lot of intangibles as well. Even a stats guy can admit that.

    I don’t think you can have it both ways. You can’t say his impact is “intangible” and then site several “tangibles.” They’re not really intangible then, right? If Reggie playing makes his teammates better, then it would show up in his teammates statistics.

    I’m really not much of a Raptors guy, so I’m not going to dig into the numbers, but I’m willing to guess it would be really hard to support that this is actually the case, but one could try.

    As far as atmosphere, I can’t really speak to that, I suppose, since I only watch the Raps when they square up against the Pistons.

    Helping hold stars like Kevin Durant to 6 for 21 shooting (which doesn’t get captured well in most advanced metrics).

    I think it’s really difficult to make the causal case here. Sometimes, a guy just has a bad night, and it has nothing to do with defense (randomness). Sometimes, guys have brilliant nights in spite of really great defense (make lots of contested shots over double teams, etc.).

    While I don’t doubt that defense matters, and that some guys are better at it than others, I think the case that I would make in favor of Wins Produced as it relates to defense is this: good offense beats good defense.

    In other words, there are many instances when contesting a shot has no value in an absolute, because great players can make shots in spite of great defense.

    Lesson: don’t be a jerk when someone asks a reasonable question and never rely on one metric to draw conclusions. Not a bad rule of thumb for comments as well – just because someone has a different opinion, it doesn’t mean they are necessarily ignorant (if we had all the answers, wouldn’t we be hired to make $3 million a year as a GM?)

    I wasn’t being a jerk, Tom. I’ve never interacted with you before, and I just revisited your comment, and after re-reading it and this post, I find you to be ignorant of some of the very basic conclusions that Dr. Berri et al have reached through their analysis, particularly as it relates to young players.

    Saying that you appear to be ignorant of certain facts isn’t a dig. I’m not saying, “Tom, what a n00b! You’re such an idiot!” Not at all. That’s not the kind of guy I am.

    I’m simply observing what appears to be true — you lack certain information about what Wins Produced analysis does and doesn’t say, and that ignorance (from my perspective) has caused you to be dismissive of certain points.

    Specifically, it’s fact that young players can be very volatile, and as a result, most of us Wins Produced advocates will be very cautious in our claims about young players (at least when we’re talking numbers). You seem to be ignorant of that fact, which appears you to have dismissed Devin’s point on his blog.

    (In the same way that I was ignorant until today that you were a blogger here, I had no idea. Doesn’t make me a bad guy, a jerk or an idiot. I just didn’t know).

    With respect to AA, I stand by what I posted at Devin’s blog. The numbers said he was below average, but respectable for a rookie. My basketball sense led me to believe he could become a capable role player, and he’s become even better than that. I think there is very little merit to the argument that his improvement has to do with a change in scenery, because, well, 30 years of data indicates that this argument doesn’t hold much water, and I think it was fairly obvious that Afflalo had the capacity to become what he currently is in Denver.

    As to getting hired as a GM, well, honestly, I think any idiot with a general understanding of Wins Produced could construct a team that would compete for a winning record. Seriously.

    • http://twitter.com/Liston Tom Liston

      Ben, lots of interesting points here – I’ll get to them (hopefully) this evening. Thank you for your reply.
      “ignorance (from my perspective) has caused you to be dismissive of certain points.

      Specifically, it’s fact that young players can be very volatile, and as a result, most of us Wins Produced advocates will be very cautious in our claims about young players (at least when we’re talking numbers).”

      I’m sure you do. But I remember several WoW articles that make much bolder claims with both draft picks and player trades (incl younger players). “Very cautious” would not be a word I would use to describe the claims.

      • Statement

        Liston vs Gulker,

        Steel Cage Match!

    • http://khandorssportsblog.com/wordpress khandor

      Ben,

      re: “As to getting hired as a GM, well, honestly, I think any idiot with a general understanding of Wins Produced could construct a team that would compete for a winning record. Seriously.

      One of the significant problems with the WP aficionados is the belief which you’ve expressed with this comment.

      If WP is a mere tool to assist with a proper understanding of how basketball is actually played most effectively … and, not the Holy Grail, which is precisely what WP aficionados will assert when pressed on the subject … then, what you are saying here is akin to the following:

      Any person with, at least, a rudimentary understanding of how to use a “hammer, saw and chisel” [etc.] should be able to construct a building/house/home that is safe to live in, for a significant period of time, because basic knowledge of how these specific tools work is all that’s necessary to do this job in an adequate way.

      Given what I know about you already, I do not believe that you actually think in this way … either, about home construction, or what’s needed to be a highly competent GM in the NBA [whose job also entails “projecting future performance accurately” and not just analyzing what has happened up to this point in time].

  • FAQ

    Even with this group of players, the Raptors will never see the playoffs for the foreseeable future …. okay for entertainment but certainly not for competition …. sooooo obvious.

    • Ralph

      With the current group we have now? Of course not, that’s why we’re 20-53. What is the foreseeable future to you? This season?

  • http://twitter.com/daclassprez Alvarez

    Look we have to be honest this team is brutal! I’m sorry but the raps GM has destroyed this team. This team has no chance at all with this roster, and we are always going to be below average team because all we have below average players. But the first thing I would like to see is our whole coaching staff replace, if below average players are complaining about there minutes and refuse to go into games that shows how much respect they have to the coach and the staff. I’m tired raptor fans who Jay Triano is a good coach, because he’s not. The officials don’t respect him, and his team don’t respect him. I tired of this ho hum attitude the Raptors players have. To me they don’t take their jobs serious so that’s why I refuse to watch them play! They play with no passion or heart! And it sucks to see when these dudes are getting 10 million dollars a year to play and they refuse to hit the floor for a loose ball, or take a charge for the team or just get angry. Then at end games their suckling on bench with their droopy faces.

    Look I am basketball fan! As a basketball fan it’s not fun watching Calderon, Bargnani, Weems, Evans, Ajinca(he is the worst)… I just feel sorry Barbosa because I don’t why he is coming of the bench on this team… like seriously Calderon is way better Barbosa give me break!

  • http://twitter.com/Liston Tom Liston

    Here’s is a response Devin Dignam:
    http://thenbehteam.blogspot.com/2011/03/regend-and-ninja-response-part-i.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+blogspot/kACyy+(NBeh%3F)

    Certainly I understand the points (as well as Mr. Gulker’s). However, when someone’s usage percentage is only 9.7% it means they have a higher potential to not make as many “mistakes” while teammates have to carry an extraordinary burden – while being effective! I.e. if you don’t have many teammates that can “help” with ball movement, getting to the line and/or stretching the floor (i.e. ability to shoot a long 2 or 3), you will create a negative situation for your teammates. How many will everyone give it to the one “go to” player to try to create his own shot? Will the opponents double/triple team the “go to” guy? Will this “go to” guy have to take more difficult shots? Will the team turn the ball over do to more shot clock violations (and who’s fault is it? The guy that gets it last second because others cannot score effectively?)

    Here is a screen grab http://liston.ca/Reggie.jpg from awhile back that helps illustrate the issue. Again, I’m a big fan of Reggie. I do think these points lead to questions about how to measure “effectiveness”. I.e. with specific role players on the floor its sometimes creates difficulties for other players – such that it hurts their WP48.

    • Devin Dignam

      Well sure, if Evans’ usage is lower, that means that other players’ usage will have to be higher. But do you really think that is a problem with the Raptors? You’ve got Bargnani, Barbosa, DeRozan, Kleiza, Bayless, Ajinca, and Weems all above 20% (and since there are 5 players on the court at once, that means these players are taking possessions away from teammates). Do you think the Raptors have trouble finding someone to use all of the possessions that Reggie doesn’t? Bargnani, Barbosa, DeRozan, Kleiza, Bayless, and Weems are all chuckers (Ajinca is too, but I can’t blame him for hoisting it up every two seconds during garbage time – he knows that points are what will get him another contract in this league). It’s hard to name an NBA player who doesn’t want to take 25 shots a game.

      And I don’t buy the ball movement argument, either. Reggie has more assists per 36min than Bargnani, Amir Johnson, and Kleiza (and is tied with DeRozan – a guard!). While you don’t have to cover him out near the perimeter, the same is true for players like Shaq, Bynum, Howard, and Ben Wallace. But, like all of these players, Reggie commands (or should command) a lot of attention down low once a shot goes up. Almost every team (let alone every good team) that has ever existed has at least one important player who doesn’t stretch the floor. We could go through every team in the league if you wanted to. The point is that having Reggie on the court does not introduce an entirely novel situation on a basketball court. The key is finding a way to incorporate a player like him into the offense. Importantly, don’t pair up two guys who can’t shoot from an area that is at least close to the perimeter (on the Raptors, that means don’t pair him with Dorsey, and perhaps Ed Davis to some extent as well).

      In the attached picture, there was an opportunity for Reggie to drive, although Bargnani was likely to get in his way. It would be nice if he could develop the ability to at least make an attempt. Surely he can take one or two uncontested dribbles and then pass off a ball if a defender steps up? But even if he can’t, perhaps the team shouldn’t allow him to be put into that kind of a situation.

      • http://khandorssportsblog.com/wordpress khandor

        Reggie Evans [PF] is, at-best, a mediocre basketball player. At his age, with his offensive and defensive limitations, and given the other players in the East who play the same position:

        1 Chicago/Boozer + Gibson
        2 Miami/Bosh + Haslem + Anthony
        3 Boston/Garnett + Davis + Murphy
        4 Orlando/Bass + Anderson
        5 Atlanta/Smith + Powell + Pachulia
        6 New York/Turiaf + Williams-Sha
        7 Philadelphia/Brand + Young
        8 Indiana/Hansbrough + ?
        9 Charlotte/Diaw + Thomas + Cunningham + White + McGuire
        10 Milwaukee/LRMBA + Ilyasova + Brockman + Sanders
        11 Detroit/Jerebko + Maxiell + Villanueva + Summers + Wilcox
        12 New Jersey/Humphries + ?
        13 Toronto/Davis + Johnson/A + Evans + Dorsey
        14 Washington/Lewis + Blatche + Jianlian + Booker
        15 Cleveland/Varejao + Hickson

        it makes little sense to bring him back as a key contributor to the Raptors team going forward.

        As a point of comparison … even a one-dimensional old-school player like Chris Dudley was a better NBA player overall than Reggie Evans [regardless of Reggie’s ability to rebound in a superior way].

        • Devin Dignam

          Forgive me, everyone.

          Let’s see…of the players you’ve listed, I’d prefer the following players over Evans:
          Boozer
          Haslem (although I’d be concerned about his recovery from injury)
          Josh Smith
          Ilyasova (maybe)
          Humphries
          Amir Johnson
          Varejao (again, injuries)

          Not yet, but maybe soon:
          Ed Davis
          Booker

          The thing about Reggie is that his price is likely to be cheap. Will it be $4mill/year? $5mill/year? Veteran’s minimum?

          And really…Chris Dudley? The same Chris Dudley who had a TS% of 42.9% across his career, and yet still couldn’t score more points per 48min than Reggie? The big man who shot 41.2% from the field and 45.8% from the line? Who was outrebounded, out-assisted, out-stealed, and fouled more than Evans? I think there’s a reason the man went into politics – he’s good at fooling people.

          You’ll have to do better than Chris Dudley.

          • http://khandorssportsblog.com/wordpress khandor

            At no time did I say that Chris Dudley was a good player. Thanks for pointing out to others just how bad a player Chris Dudley actually was during the course of his NBA career. It is truly unfortunate for YOU that the player comparison finder at a stats-based site like basketball-reference.com considers Chris Dudley to be a superior player to Reggie Evans.

            The fact is … I won’t have to do better than Chris Dudley at all.

          • http://twitter.com/Liston Tom Liston

            khandor has a point:
            http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=evansre01&y1=2011&p2=dudlech02&y2=2002
            Dudley has a lower TO% and much higher Blk% and a bit lower Rb%

            Should have similar WP48, no? Do you have that data?

            • Devin Dignam

              Dudley’s TS% murders his WP48. Efficient shooting is the most important factor in Wins Produced. A forward/centre who has a TS% of 42.9% will have a tough time recovering from that. Remember that Dudley also played centre, which means he should be compared to other centres. Reggie is a power forward. But even still, if we compare both Reggie and Dudley to power forwards, Reggie’s career WP48 is around 0.213 and Dudley’s career WP48 is around 0.142 (I’m using Estimated Wins Produced because I don’t have all the data). If we compare Dudley exclusively to centres, Dudley’s EWP48 is 0.125. If we think that Dudley split his time between PF and C to some extent, then his career EWP48 is somewhere between 0.142 and 0.125. So while WP says he’s an above-average player, he’s not in Reggie’s league at the moment. Maybe the two will become more similar if Reggie plays a lot of minutes when he’s old and washed up.

              Oops, I missed Garnett in that list (he’d be ahead of Reggie). Gibson is nothing special, Big Baby is terrible, Bass is average, Brand is older and more injury prone than Evans (and, up until this season, looked as if all his injuries had him finished), Young would be good as a SF, but not at PF, and Jerebko had a very good rookie year…and then promptly tore his Achilles.

              Far, far better? Please. I have no hesitation picking Evans over those players.

              • http://khandorssportsblog.com/wordpress khandor

                Tom and Tim,

                When a person is a slave to a specific metric’s method of player/team categorization as a measuring stick for quality then that person ends up making assertions based soley on the way that metric chooses to interpret the available data. Unfortunately, what you’ll most likely find is that the person who adheres to this one metric is THE ONE WITH WHOM YOU ARE WASTING YOUR TIME discussing how the game of basketball actually works.

                Hence …

                1. Reggie Evans is seen to be a more productive basketball player than Taj Gibson, Glen Davis, Brandon Bass, Elton Brand, Thaddeus Young, and Jonas Jerebko, etc.;

                and,

                2. The fact that Reggie Evans can ONLY be considered a Power Forward, can be seen to aid his evaluation as a solid front-court player, while Chris Dudley’s versatility – to be able to be considered as, both, a useful Power Forward and a Center – can somehow be seen to damage his evaluation as a less-than-superior player to a one-dimensional player like Reggie Evans.

                To those who know the game of basketball, a comparison of two players like Reggie Evans and Chris Dudley should be all you need to understand the proper place of an evaluative “tool” like WP … in the hands of an unskilled labourer.

                • Theswirsky

                  here’s the problem. Guys who use these (and other) stats and metrics are not necessarily “slaves” to them.

                  What different statistics are used for is evidence. When you have a player like Reggie, where some see him as a huge asset, some a liability, and others as “average”, one can then turn to statistics to help back up their statement.

                  While some may use stats more than others, that does not mean they are wrong or right. However it does give something to back up their statement rather than some personal thought that player X is this good, or this bad etc. which simply leads to a dead end argument of “yes he is”, “no he’s not”, “yes he is”

                  People who tend to dislike them do so because:

                  1) they don’t understand them and people don’t like what they don’t understand

                  or

                  2) they can at times prove them “wrong”… and god forbid that happen. They’d be much more happy in their little world where whatever statement they make is simply “the truth” because they said it. If/when they are wrong, they move on and forget it ever happened. Every time they are right, they use it as “proof” of their knowledge as a good “evaluator of talent” and can’t stop talking about it. Ofcourse the true balance of their ability to evaluate talent is very lopsided due to the only one keep score (for lack of a better term) is themselves.

                  If someone is just going through the list of PER, WS, WP48 etc etc. and pulling out names and saying “yeah this guy is this good” then yes there is a problem. If they have watched a player and are debating with another that players “value” and they go to whichever stat to back up their argument, then they are using it in a reasonable manner.

                  Saying “this player is this good because I say so” is what is really “WASTING YOUR TIME”.

                • http://khandorssportsblog.com/wordpress khandor

                  What did you actually say in this comment, if not simply something akin to,

                  “This is the way it is because this is the way it is, and I’m simply saying so.”

                  Hopefully you can see the irony involved with your own line of faulty reasoning.

                • Theswirsky

                  I said nothing of the sort… I gave the rational and reasoning for using statistics (more specifically how they relate to basketball in an environment such as this).

                  You by no means have to like it. If you prefer to have a “he is good”, “no he’s not”, “yes he is” argument with people, by all means continue doing so.

                • http://khandorssportsblog.com/wordpress khandor

                  By your own definition … the rational and reasoning for the use of statistics without the support of statistics themselves … which are then provided by you … is a waste of time – according to you – and akin to you saying “this is good” – in regard to the use of statistics, in the place, in opposition to what you perceive to be someone else saying “no, this is not good”. The irony, in this instance, is that you don’t seem to see this for yourself.

                • Theswirsky

                  Fine feel its ironic. It still doesn’t change the point.

                  Presenting opinion as fact without evidence (except again your own personal opinion of how “good” of a basketball analysist you are) to back it up is meaningless. Or at the very least less meaningful than presenting opinion with evidence.

                • http://khandorssportsblog.com/wordpress khandor

                  re: “Presenting opinion as fact without evidence (except again your own personal opinion of how “good” of a basketball analysist you are) to back it up is meaningless.

                  Undoubtably, your perception of what constitutes evidence is very different than mine, when it comes to the game of basketball.

                  For example …

                  Prior to the start of the 2010 NBA Finals, which team did you think was going to win? [Celtics or Lakers]

                  Prior to the start of the 2009 NBA Finals, which team did you think was going to win? [Magic or Lakers]

                  Prior to the 2008 NBA Finals, which team did you think was going to win? [Celtics or Lakers]

                  Prior to the 2007 NBA Finals, which team did you think was going to win? [Cavaliers or Spurs]

                  Prior to the 2006 NBA Finals, which team did you think was going to win? [Heat or Mavericks]

                  Prior to the 2005 NBA Finals, which team did you think was going to win? [Spurs or Pistons]

                  If you happened to be someone who got each of those specific series calls correct, in advance, then some might actually have sound grounds to stand on when making reference to you as a ‘Sports Consultant’ who qualifies as having some degree of expertise about what goes on in the NBA.

                  Then, again, that is just how I happen to think and I could always be wrong about that, as well.

                  PS. If “evidence” is really what you are looking for, then the good news is that, it doesn’t take very much work to find it.

                • Theswirsky

                  “If/when they are wrong, they move on and forget it ever happened. Every time they are right, they use it as “proof” of their knowledge as a good “evaluator of talent” and can’t stop talking about it. Ofcourse the true balance of their ability to evaluate talent is very lopsided due to the only one keep score (for lack of a better term) is themselves.”

                  … and you went ahead and proved my point quite well……

                • http://khandorssportsblog.com/wordpress khandor

                  If you’re able to, please, feel free to show your evidence of my wrongness, when selecting the winner, in advance, of the NBA Finals.

                  [ … as I said to you before, you seem to have a different perception of what actually constitutes evidence than I do.]

                • Theswirsky

                  thats just the point

                • http://khandorssportsblog.com/wordpress khandor

                  What is “just the point”? … that you are someone who claims to value evidence, in support of an opinion; but, then, has no evidence YOURSELF, in support of your own claim?

                  If THAT is indeed “the point” of what you’ve tried to say here, thus far, then, I’m in total agreement with your claim.

                  PS. Something tells me, however, that you might be someone who prefers to say that what another has said about something specific is wrong, in YOUR OPINION, but then has not even bothered to read what that other person has had to say about the subject [i] in different threads on this web site, over a period of years, [ii] on their own web site, or [iii] elsewhere on the internet, in order to search for tangible evidence yourself of that person’s supposed wrongness [i.e. according to you].

                  PPS. Please, go ahead and list the items from the above the list that you believe I have been wrong about over the last 5 years … even if you have ZERO tangible proof in support of your opinion. Something tells me, however, you won’t do that, either, since the resulting list won’t look quite the way you WANT it to, as far as ‘rights’ and ‘wrongs’ are concerned.

                • http://khandorssportsblog.com/wordpress khandor

                  After you are done with supplying your evidence in response to the previous comment which I left for you, then, please feel free to supply your evidence of my wrongness regarding each of the following, as well:

                  MLSE
                  Bryan Colangelo
                  Jay Triano
                  Sam Mitchell
                  Andrea Bargnani
                  Amir Johnson
                  James Johnson
                  DeMar DeRozan
                  Jose Calderon
                  Alexis Ajinca
                  Ed Davis
                  Linas Kleiza
                  Leandro Barbosa
                  Jerryd Bayless
                  Solomon Alabi
                  Reggie Evans
                  Joey Dorsey
                  Julian Wright
                  Sonny Weems
                  Omri Casspi
                  Jason Thompson
                  Donte Greene
                  Hassan Whiteside
                  Gordon Hayward
                  Luke Babbitt
                  Marc Iavroni
                  Hedo Turkoglu
                  Rasho Nesterovic
                  Patrick O’Bryant
                  Marcus Banks
                  Jarrett Jack
                  Marco Belinelli
                  Al-Farouq Aminu
                  Derrick Brown
                  Taj Gibson
                  Dante Cunningham
                  Marcus Thornton
                  Nando de Colo
                  Shawn Marion
                  Jermaine O’Neal
                  Nathan Jawai
                  Roy Hibbert
                  Chris Douglas-Roberts
                  Rodney Carney
                  Kris Humphries
                  Jermario Moon
                  Anthony Parker
                  Jason Kapono
                  Joey Graham
                  Roko Ukic
                  Hassan Adams
                  Will Solomon
                  Darrick Martin
                  Jorge Garbajosa
                  Carlos Delfino
                  TJ Ford
                  Morris Peterson
                  Juan Dixon
                  Fred Jones
                  Mike James
                  Rafael Araujo
                  Matt Bonner

                  and, anybody else who you would care to mention?

          • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

            You’d rather have Reggie over Taj Gibson, Garnett, Glenn Davis, Brandon Bass, Elton Brand, Thaddeus Young and Jerebko??? I think you’re vastly overvaluing Evans. I can see not wanting Garnett and Brand because of their age and contracts, but the other guys are far, far better players than Evans is.

            And Chris Dudley was actually a very good guy to bring up. He was awful on offense, like Evans, but a great rebounder and a much better defender than Evans.