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Thread: ESPN 5-on-5: Rudy Gay most Overrated Small Forward.

  1. #161
    Raptors Republic All-Star Craiger's Avatar
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    Quote BobLoblaw wrote: View Post
    No.

    Here's a 2012 example, using that logic. Chicago and Boston were similar defensive teams in 2012. Boozer and KG had near identical defensive rating and DWS. Therefore, it's safe to say that Boozer and KG were similar defenders.
    5 minutes of tape is better than that.

    George is so ahead of the curve defensively, that it's ridiculous. He is far better than a young Deng or for that matter Iggy (on the defensive end). George's defensive footwork and help defense might be the best among all wings in the league, right now.

    I just don't know if he can still improve on the defensive end, he's so good already. He needs to add some strength, but won't he lose some of the quickness? If he can still improve as a defender, we might be looking at a generational wing defender, a la Moncrief, Cooper, Payton, Artest. It will be interesting where he goes from here, to say the least.

    As for Deng, early in his career, Deng wasn't all that great. He was solid defensively because of his length and effort, but far from elite.
    But here is the very problem with that premise - its pure confirmation bias. "I think KG looks like a significantly better defender, therefore his #s should say he is".

    But we are also talking about a 36 year old KG (with 18 years of wear and tear) vs a 31 year old Boozer (with 11 years of wear and tear). While their numbers come out as similar, KGs do still come out as better than Boozers even if its not by a significant margin.

    How much of an impact does KG still actually have today vs the historic reputation he's built? Over their careers, KG's DWS/48 is 0.09. Boozer's is 0.07. Thats no small difference

    Could it not be as likely be that Boozer's overall contribution to defense has been underrated for years, maybe even improving with experience, and while a worse defender than Garnett over their respective histories, Garnett age and injuries are just allowing that gap to close?

    I'm not saying this is or is not the truth - but if we want to say we should question the numbers if they don't tell us what we think or believe or is common knowledge, we should be just as willing to question what we think or believe or the common knowledge if they don't match the numbers.

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  3. #162
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    Quote Craiger wrote: View Post
    But here is the very problem with that premise - its pure confirmation bias. "I think KG looks like a significantly better defender, therefore his #s should say he is".

    But we are also talking about a 36 year old KG (with 18 years of wear and tear) vs a 31 year old Boozer (with 11 years of wear and tear). While their numbers come out as similar, KGs do still come out as better than Boozers even if its not by a significant margin.

    How much of an impact does KG still actually have today vs the historic reputation he's built? Over their careers, KG's DWS/48 is 0.09. Boozer's is 0.07. Thats no small difference

    Could it not be as likely be that Boozer's overall contribution to defense has been underrated for years, maybe even improving with experience, and while a worse defender than Garnett over their respective histories, Garnett age and injuries are just allowing that gap to close?

    I'm not saying this is or is not the truth - but if we want to say we should question the numbers if they don't tell us what we think or believe or is common knowledge, we should be just as willing to question what we think or believe or the common knowledge if they don't match the numbers.
    This is still basketball. It doesn't have to be that complicated, we don't need stats to confirm every little thing. Do i need stats to know that Tony Allen is a better defender than DeRozan? Marc Gasol than Greg Monroe? Avery Bradley than Calderon? Yes, philosophically there's "confirmation bias", heck, if we go far enough, maybe none of this is real, maybe this whole NBA thing is just in my mind? But at some point, we have to trust our eyes.

    When I watch Garnett, I see a very long, high intensity, mobile 7 footer who's a genius in pick and roll and overall help defense. He may not jump as high as he used to and sometimes at all, he's not the rim protector he used to be, but he's still clearly very good. When I watch Boozer, I see an undersized, short armed big who's terrible as a pick and roll defender because doesn't move well enough, who's often lazy to run back in transition, and who doesn't have the length or hops to protect the rim at all. To Boozer's credit, he has a lot of strength which is useful in certain situations, but overall defensively he's not very good.

    If it was a close call, I'd find stats very useful in grasping the full picture. But this doesn't look close at all.

    Anyway, re bolded part: the numbers do show that Garnett is better, just not these numbers. Synergy, wowys (on/off court stats), proximity defensive stats all significantly favor Garnett.

    DWS and defensive rating say they are similar... but really, they don't. People are just taking those stats for what they are not and ignore their built-in limitations. These stats reflect the quality of team defense, adjusted for individual numbers. It's up to the user to interpret these stats; are they high because of the player, or despite the player.

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    Quote joey_hesketh wrote: View Post
    This seems to have gotten off topic from Rudy Gay, but either way...
    I found this article a while back, and have spent all morning looking for it.. found it.
    The Blog (I think its a blog?) is Escobar on NBA, and I highly recommend you give this a read in its entirety.

    In it, they not only break down the Problems with eFG%,


    and True Shooting %,


    they also offer their own solution to this problem by creating the Weighted Field Goal %,


    They follow it up the next day with some comments and criticisms, but for the most part, I think its pretty solid.
    Yeah the problem with weighted field-goal percentage is it actually punishes players for shooting more 3 pointers (even if they make them at the same clip.

    Player A: 28pts 8/16 FG, 2/4 3PT, 10-10 FT = 60.8%
    Player B: 30pts 8/16 FG, 4/8 3PT, 10-10 FT = 60.0%

    So you can see how it's flawed based on that.

    I calculated Gay, DeRozan and Paul George's.

    Gay (In Toronto): 46.3%
    George: 44.4%
    DeRozan: 49.3%

    All of these players are in a similar range of efficiency when you look at TS%, but here DeRozan has a clear advantage because this rating punishes players who shoot a lot of 3s like George (5.9 a game compared to 3.1 for Gay and 1.5 for DeRozan).


    It's interesting to take a look at guys like Steph Curry and James Harden. Both of these guys hoist up a ton of threes but are considered very efficient by both TS% and eFG% (Curry: 58.9% & 54.9%) (Harden: 60.0% & 50.4%). Let's see what their weighted FG%s are.

    Harden: 51.2%
    Curry: 48.7%

    And with that you can probably throw this metric out the window lol. It hurts 3PT shooters way too much, nobody with sense would say DeRozan is more efficient than Steph Curry when Curry shoots a higher percentage in FG, 3PT and FT on higher volume (except for FTs).

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    Quote joey_hesketh wrote: View Post
    This seems to have gotten off topic from Rudy Gay, but either way...
    I found this article a while back, and have spent all morning looking for it.. found it.
    The Blog (I think its a blog?) is Escobar on NBA, and I highly recommend you give this a read in its entirety.

    In it, they not only break down the Problems with eFG%,


    and True Shooting %,


    they also offer their own solution to this problem by creating the Weighted Field Goal %,


    They follow it up the next day with some comments and criticisms, but for the most part, I think its pretty solid.
    Unfortunately his math theory is mistaken.

    But if you look closely, you’ll notice that we didn’t do anything to the bottom-half of the equation (or denominator, for those not completely allergic to math). Consider also that “FG” in the eFG% formula already includes made 3-point shots, and we have a problem.
    We didn't have to do anything to the bottom half of the equation.

    3pters are worth 50% more than a regular field goal, so changing the denominator is pointless.

    3/3 on 2pters = 6 pts
    2/3 on 3pters = 6pts

    We shoot 2/3 on three pointers we get

    2+(2*0.5)/3 = 100% eFg%

    Whe shoot 3/3 on three pointers we get

    3 + (0*0.5)/3 = 100% eFG%


    What he is doing is looking at shots and assuming > 100% is impossible. ie a Guy shoots a ridiculous % from three which takes him over 100% eFG%. However, you shoot 6/6 on 3s, you simply cannot score that well on the equivalent amount of 2s. 6/6 on 2s would only score you 12 pts.

    So 6/6 on threes (18pts) = 150%*2/2 on twos.

    Here's his problem:

    are we measuring possessions?
    we are. We are measuring the effective % of points scored on a possession

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    lol, atrocious. no to wFG%. He's playing a semantics game by saying a percentage should not be higher than 100%, but the comments had it right; it's about measuring efficiency, using two-point attempts as the baseline measure. He also fails to understand that TS% does indeed differentiate between a made two and a made three simply by not distinguishing between a 2PTA and a 3PTA. On the same number of shots and FTs, with more threes made, your TS% will be higher.

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    Super Moderator Joey's Avatar
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    I love how smart some of you on this site are.

    Thanks for the clarifications guys!!


    Craiger, thanks for explaining the whole "2s is the baseline" part. Makes it a lot more clear.
    In Masai we Trust.

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    Quote TRX wrote: View Post
    lol, atrocious. no to wFG%. He's playing a semantics game by saying a percentage should not be higher than 100%, but the comments had it right; it's about measuring efficiency, using two-point attempts as the baseline measure. He also fails to understand that TS% does indeed differentiate between a made two and a made three simply by not distinguishing between a 2PTA and a 3PTA. On the same number of shots and FTs, with more threes made, your TS% will be higher.
    Yeah wFG% is really not a good stat at all.

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    Quote Xixak wrote: View Post
    Yeah wFG% is really not a good stat at all.
    Lol Alright, alright, I learned my lesson. Haha
    In Masai we Trust.

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    The only SF's that i would take ahead of Gay.

    1. LeBron
    2. Durant
    3. Carmelo
    4. George

    That's it.
    Follow me on Twitter - @11_RRyan

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    Quote TRex wrote: View Post
    The only SF's that i would take ahead of Gay.

    1. LeBron
    2. Durant
    3. Carmelo
    4. George

    That's it.
    Why not just say "Lebron" and leave it at that? I mean, if you're just blue-skying, and ignoring any variables that might affect "value" outside of pure, individual basketball ability, then why not just take the best?

    In other words, what are you trying to say here? Hopefully it's not that you would keep Rudy Gay over every other SF in the league, regardless of salary, fit with the other players on your team, contribution to winning, etc.
    Definition of Statistics: The science of producing unreliable facts from reliable figures.

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    Speaking of overrated and underrated SFs. Gay = overpaid. George = overrated, soon to be overpaid. Sixers Thaddeus Young, IMO, is vastly underrated. Can play either PF or SF (prefers SF). Has put up a > 18 PER the last 3 seasons. He plays defense and he is an unselfish team player (comes off the bench and plays PF, even though he doesn't want to). Goes to show what a difference 'exposure' and 'winning' can make.

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    Quote golden wrote: View Post
    Speaking of overrated and underrated SFs. Gay = overpaid. George = overrated, soon to be overpaid. Sixers Thaddeus Young, IMO, is vastly underrated. Can play either PF or SF (prefers SF). Has put up a > 18 PER the last 3 seasons. He plays defense and he is an unselfish team player (comes off the bench and plays PF, even though he doesn't want to). Goes to show what a difference 'exposure' and 'winning' can make.
    This is 100% spot-on.

    Players that play in big markets or are on teams that make deep playoff runs always end up getting overrated, it's just a fact of life.

    - In 2011 some people were saying Dirk was a top 5 all-time player after he beat Miami lol
    - Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are now suddenly superstar type players because their teams went deep
    - I've consistently seen people saying that Roy Hibbert and Marc Gasol are better than Dwight Howard
    - Klay Thompson was getting Reggie Miller comparisons during the playoffs....
    - Mike Conley somehow ascended and became a top 5 PG because of the Grizzlies run.
    - Iman Shumpert and Avery Bradley are considered guys with "star" potential when both players are just defensive stopper role-players. Jeff Green is another guy that's being seriously overrated now that people see him play more in Boston


    It's just ridiculous honestly

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    Mike Conley, top 5 point guard. Klay Thompson, Reggie Miller. Where are you getting this stuff? I don't doubt that you heard that but are you just talking about some random casual guys on the street or twitter? Some emotional TV commentator? Jeremy Lin is still an MVP caliber player in the eyes of some. I heard Donatas Motiejunas is the next Aldridge, but that's just some 0.01% of basketball fanbase.. the other 99.99% see a scrub.

    To be overrated, I think a guy has to be overrated by most people, most media, or especially the teams themselves.

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    Quote BobLoblaw wrote: View Post
    Mike Conley, top 5 point guard. Klay Thompson, Reggie Miller. Where are you getting this stuff? I don't doubt that you heard that but are you just talking about some random casual guys on the street or twitter? Some emotional TV commentator? Jeremy Lin is still an MVP caliber player in the eyes of some. I heard Donatas Motiejunas is the next Aldridge, but that's just some 0.01% of basketball fanbase.. the other 99.99% see a scrub.

    To be overrated, I think a guy has to be overrated by most people, most media, or especially the teams themselves.
    Just search "mike conley is a top pg" in google. Look at how much crap comes up about him being one. It's all from May 2013 right around the time the Grizzlies were doing well in the playoffs.

    There's an entire ESPN Insider article about Klay Thompson being the next Reggie Miller: http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story...-reggie-miller. And it's also been discussed on many basketball forums.

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    Quote TRex wrote: View Post
    The only SF's that i would take ahead of Gay.

    1. LeBron
    2. Durant
    3. Carmelo
    4. George

    That's it.
    I'll buy you a beer if Rudy becomes more efficient than Kawhi next season.

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    Yeah, i remember that Reggie Miller article, but is this a popular opinion now? At the time it was written, I think most casual fans didn't even know Klay Thompson's name.

    Whenever there's a new player who reaches a high level of play, especially an all star level, there are going to be a lot of people giving him the credit he deserves. And among that crowd, there are always a few voices who go over the top. I remember a Memphis fan claiming that Mike Conley = Chris Paul a while ago. But that's just a voice, it doesn't make him overrated.
    If I asked most basketball fans, who was a better overall player last year, would they say Mike Conley or Rajon Rondo? I suspect it would be Rondo, even though Conley has an extremely strong case.

    I could really google "{X player} is a top {Y position}" for any new player who gets near all star level, and there will be some overstatements that go against popular opinion. I don't think it means they are all overrated.

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    Quote jimmie wrote: View Post
    Why not just say "Lebron" and leave it at that? I mean, if you're just blue-skying, and ignoring any variables that might affect "value" outside of pure, individual basketball ability, then why not just take the best?

    In other words, what are you trying to say here? Hopefully it's not that you would keep Rudy Gay over every other SF in the league, regardless of salary, fit with the other players on your team, contribution to winning, etc.
    The first paragraph: To quote yourself from the 2nd paragraph, "what are you trying to say here" ? Seems a tad senseless in regard to TRex's post, where his obvious intent is to rate Rudy 5th best SF, not simply say who's the best.

    Second paragraph: I'm not trying to speak for TRex, but I don't think he was trying to cover re-direction straw man arguments about economics and fit.

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    Quote TRex wrote: View Post
    The only SF's that i would take ahead of Gay.

    1. LeBron
    2. Durant
    3. Carmelo
    4. George

    That's it.
    You see what I mean? This is exactly what irks me when I say I get the impression now that Paul George is being ridiculously overrated. Paul George is now being spoken of in the same sentence as: Melo, Lebron and Durant? Seriously?

    Offensively, George just IS NOT that good yet. Not even as good as Gay either. People can debate that subjectively, but the key offensive metric I haven’t noticed people taking into account here is Usage %. Given how astute the posters on RR are, I’m surprised it is being overlooked.

    For me, when I want to do a quick & dirty offensive comparison of 2 or more players, I go back to the Dean Oliver metrics: ORTG & USG. What I do multiply the USG/20 times the ORTG to get an adjusted ORTG? Why divide the USG by 20? Because if each of the 5 players on the court are “pulling their weight” on offense, then each of them can bear an offensive ‘burden’ of 1/5 of the offense at a respectable ORTG. In practice, it’s much different. Some guys have almost no ability to create their own offense or have limited variety of ways to score - low USG, but highly efficient (e.g. Tyson Chandler). Some guys are extremely talented and can always create a half decent shot in just about any scenario, but are highly inefficient (e.g Rudy Gay, Allen Iverson). A rare few are just plain offensive beasts (Lebron, Durant). So playing a guy like Melo who bears 35% of the offense, allows you to play at least one (if not 2) low usage role players like Tyson Chandler and not hurt your offense.

    As Dean Oliver showed, there is something called the ‘skill curve’ on offense. As soon as a player hit is usage ‘plateau’ his ORTG drops off steeply. Why? Because once a player gets up to 25% usage on offense with decent efficiency, then the other team starts specifically ‘game-planning’ to stop that player (i.e. double teams, fouling, taking the ball out of his hands, defensive specialists, etc…). The more skilled the player, the higher usage he can maintain while keeping good ORTG. 25% usage at ORTG > 110 is already all-star level. 30% USG at ORTG > 110 is potential HoF.

    Guys like Melo, Lebron and Durant can do it. But George is only at a slightly above average 23.5% usage with a very pedestrian 104 ORTG. Not to mention that he also has 2 excellent offensive teammates (Hibbert & West) who other teams must game plan for. In fact, David West bears a higher burden of the Indy offence (24.4% USG) with much higher efficiency (110 ORTG). George is really close second option, with Hibbert not far behind. We saw that in the playoffs, actually.

    So taking those 5 players, + West into account. I calculate an adjusted ORTG, or aORTG = USG/20 x ORTG:

    Rudy Gay (as Raptor): USG = 29.1, ORTG = 99, aORTG = 144
    Lebron: USG = 30.2, ORTG = 125, aORTG = 189
    Durant: USG = 29.8, ORTG = 122, aORTG = 182
    Melo: USG = 35.6, ORTG = 112, aORTG = 199
    Paul George: USG = 23.5, ORTG = 104, aORTG = 122
    David West: USG = 24.4, ORTG = 110, aORTG = 134

    It’s not even close. George is barely ranks as a ‘pseudo-star’, not even in the class of Rudy Gay (in an off year).

    So, who are the real stars of the league? Just doing a quick sort on USG > 25 + ORTG > 110 + MP > 1000, it’s exactly the guys you would expect with possibly Brook Lopez being a bit of a surprise. Lopez is a legit all-star, at least offensively. Paul George, not so much.

    Rank Player USG ORTG PER
    1 LeBron James 30.2 125 31.6
    2 Kevin Durant 29.8 122 28.3
    3 Carmelo Anthony 35.6 112 24.8
    4 Brook Lopez 28.6 114 24.7
    5 Dwyane Wade 29.5 112 24.0
    6 Russell Westbrook 32.8 111 23.9
    7 Kobe Bryant 31.9 112 23.0
    8 James Harden 29.0 116 23.0
    9 Tony Parker 27.7 116 23.0
    10 Blake Griffin 25.4 114 22.4
    11 Stephen Curry 26.4 115 21.3

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  28. #179
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    Quote golden wrote: View Post
    You see what I mean? This is exactly what irks me when I say I get the impression now that Paul George is being ridiculously overrated. Paul George is now being spoken of in the same sentence as: Melo, Lebron and Durant? Seriously?

    Offensively, George just IS NOT that good yet. Not even as good as Gay either. People can debate that subjectively, but the key offensive metric I haven’t noticed people taking into account here is Usage %. Given how astute the posters on RR are, I’m surprised it is being overlooked.

    For me, when I want to do a quick & dirty offensive comparison of 2 or more players, I go back to the Dean Oliver metrics: ORTG & USG. What I do multiply the USG/20 times the ORTG to get an adjusted ORTG? Why divide the USG by 20? Because if each of the 5 players on the court are “pulling their weight” on offense, then each of them can bear an offensive ‘burden’ of 1/5 of the offense at a respectable ORTG. In practice, it’s much different. Some guys have almost no ability to create their own offense or have limited variety of ways to score - low USG, but highly efficient (e.g. Tyson Chandler). Some guys are extremely talented and can always create a half decent shot in just about any scenario, but are highly inefficient (e.g Rudy Gay, Allen Iverson). A rare few are just plain offensive beasts (Lebron, Durant). So playing a guy like Melo who bears 35% of the offense, allows you to play at least one (if not 2) low usage role players like Tyson Chandler and not hurt your offense.

    As Dean Oliver showed, there is something called the ‘skill curve’ on offense. As soon as a player hit is usage ‘plateau’ his ORTG drops off steeply. Why? Because once a player gets up to 25% usage on offense with decent efficiency, then the other team starts specifically ‘game-planning’ to stop that player (i.e. double teams, fouling, taking the ball out of his hands, defensive specialists, etc…). The more skilled the player, the higher usage he can maintain while keeping good ORTG. 25% usage at ORTG > 110 is already all-star level. 30% USG at ORTG > 110 is potential HoF.

    Guys like Melo, Lebron and Durant can do it. But George is only at a slightly above average 23.5% usage with a very pedestrian 104 ORTG. Not to mention that he also has 2 excellent offensive teammates (Hibbert & West) who other teams must game plan for. In fact, David West bears a higher burden of the Indy offence (24.4% USG) with much higher efficiency (110 ORTG). George is really close second option, with Hibbert not far behind. We saw that in the playoffs, actually.

    So taking those 5 players, + West into account. I calculate an adjusted ORTG, or aORTG = USG/20 x ORTG:

    Rudy Gay (as Raptor): USG = 29.1, ORTG = 99, aORTG = 144
    Lebron: USG = 30.2, ORTG = 125, aORTG = 189
    Durant: USG = 29.8, ORTG = 122, aORTG = 182
    Melo: USG = 35.6, ORTG = 112, aORTG = 199
    Paul George: USG = 23.5, ORTG = 104, aORTG = 122
    David West: USG = 24.4, ORTG = 110, aORTG = 134

    It’s not even close. George is barely ranks as a ‘pseudo-star’, not even in the class of Rudy Gay (in an off year).

    So, who are the real stars of the league? Just doing a quick sort on USG > 25 + ORTG > 110 + MP > 1000, it’s exactly the guys you would expect with possibly Brook Lopez being a bit of a surprise. Lopez is a legit all-star, at least offensively. Paul George, not so much.

    Rank Player USG ORTG PER
    1 LeBron James 30.2 125 31.6
    2 Kevin Durant 29.8 122 28.3
    3 Carmelo Anthony 35.6 112 24.8
    4 Brook Lopez 28.6 114 24.7
    5 Dwyane Wade 29.5 112 24.0
    6 Russell Westbrook 32.8 111 23.9
    7 Kobe Bryant 31.9 112 23.0
    8 James Harden 29.0 116 23.0
    9 Tony Parker 27.7 116 23.0
    10 Blake Griffin 25.4 114 22.4
    11 Stephen Curry 26.4 115 21.3
    Bravo.
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    Usage rate matters, and it's an interesting take, but that calculation puts way too much value on chucking shots over efficiency. That formula considers Rudy Gay a better offensive piece than Chris Paul, or puts this year's Mike Beasley over Kyle Lowry or Mike Conley. Rudy Gay is better than 1996 Pippen too (the 72 wins year). Prime 2009-11 Pau Gasol from title years gets ranked very low, much lower than Rudy Gay or even Ben Gordon from this year's Bobcats.
    Basically, take a low efficiency chucker from a bad team, and he's probably going to rank higher than a good second option from a great team.

    Still, it's an interesting direction, even if a simple [usage]X[OffRtg] formula is probably not the way to go.

    PS: how come that particular TRex's post has caused several upset replies? The guy is saying he'd take 4 guys over Rudy Gay. All of them are better players than Rudy Gay. He's not comparing these 4 players among each other, either.

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