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

1. BobLoblaw wrote:
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.
No, it's usage divided by 20 then multiply x ORTG. That's a key point, perhaps it wasn't clear in my post. You must normalize the usage by dividing by 20 (i.e. equal to one player's offensive burden). You will get a completely different result for the examples you listed. Beasley = 120. Paul = 144 (in a down year). It works.

2. I understood that part, my example was Rudy Gay vs. Chris Paul (both around 144, but Gay a bit higher), Beasley vs. Conley, etc. I like the idea in general, but the formula ends up very much in favor of chuckers from bad teams.

Btw, dividing by 20 doesn't really change much, it just makes the numbers smaller and easier to read.
2013 Ben Gordon is 133.5, 2009 Pau Gasol is 128.5. Multiply those numbers by 20, Ben Gordon is still ranked higher than Pau Gasol.

I don't know how to fix the formula, but the general direction is interesting. Especially those "25% usage, 110 OffRtg" etc benchmarks.

3. thats a pretty accurate analysis.

when rudy gay takes a dump on everyone this upcoming season, he'll shut everyone up. i'm probably bias, but i'm saying rudy gay breaks out this year. with his bff lowry in a contract year, they're likely going to get their sh1t together .

joey_hesketh wrote:
What do you guys think? Accurate? More unfair piling on Raptors?

4. I think what people are also ignoring is that Gay was actually quite good once he joined our team despite playing through injuries.

In 33 games with Toronto Gay averaged (Paul George's stats are in brackets):

34.7mpg | (37.6mpg)
19.5ppg | (17.4ppg)
6.4rpg | (7.6rpg)
2.8apg | (4.1apg)
1.7spg | (1.8spg)
0.7bpg | (0.6bpg)
2.8topg | (2.9topg)
42.5% FG | (41.9% FG)
33.6% 3PT | (36.2% 3PT)
85.6% FT | (80.7% FT)

So basically Rudy was significantly better at scoring the basketball (20.5ppg per 36 compared to 16.7ppg per 36 on very comparable percentages). And George was a better rebounder and facilitator (but not really by a wide margin). Obviously George was also the better defender (although I think the gap here is overstated, Rudy is a great defender in his own right).

In reality they are about equal in skill level at this point.

During his time in Toronto his PER was 17.6 (which is higher than Paul George's btw), and he had a respectable but not stellar TS% of 51.

5. Protocall wrote:
thats a pretty accurate analysis.

when rudy gay takes a dump on everyone this upcoming season, he'll shut everyone up. i'm probably bias, but i'm saying rudy gay breaks out this year. with his bff lowry in a contract year, they're likely going to get their sh1t together .
Technically both Gay and Lowry are in contract years.

If both breakout this season that is certainly a little bit of concern worthy.

Guys breaking out 8 years in to the league playing for a contract is always interesting to say the least.

When JV hits his prime, where will Gay and Lowry be?

6. Matt52 wrote:
Technically both Gay and Lowry are in contract years.

If both breakout this season that is certainly a little bit of concern worthy.

Guys breaking out 8 years in to the league playing for a contract is always interesting to say the least.

When JV hits his prime, where will Gay and Lowry be?
...Hopefully in a Contract year ... Lol Wictory Baby!!

7. BobLoblaw wrote:
I understood that part, my example was Rudy Gay vs. Chris Paul (both around 144, but Gay a bit higher), Beasley vs. Conley, etc. I like the idea in general, but the formula ends up very much in favor of chuckers from bad teams.

Btw, dividing by 20 doesn't really change much, it just makes the numbers smaller and easier to read.
2013 Ben Gordon is 133.5, 2009 Pau Gasol is 128.5. Multiply those numbers by 20, Ben Gordon is still ranked higher than Pau Gasol.

I don't know how to fix the formula, but the general direction is interesting. Especially those "25% usage, 110 OffRtg" etc benchmarks.
In 2009 Pau Gasol had a healthy Andrew Bynum and some guy named Kobe to help him share the offensive load. He didn't need to bear a higher load of the offense. In fact, with Memphis he proved he could it - he has (or had) the inherent skill level. Nobody is disputing that. Same thing that's happening with Chris Bosh. When usage decreases, ORTG is supposed to go up. That's the scary thing with Paul George. He's in a similar situation to Gasol. He has 2 excellent offensive players, which lowers his usage affording him high quality scoring opportunities. Yet his ORTG is only 104. That is troubling.

Nobody is saying that Ben Gordon is a better player than Pau Gasol, but Ben Gordon has proven that he can create offense in a variety of ways at a much higher level than the average NBA player. And it should be noted that 'chuckers' can have a useful purpose in the right situation, again, as Dean Oliver pointed out in his book (Basketball on Paper). A 'chucker' in tandem with 1 or more high ORTG/low usage players can complement each other to form an excellent offensive unit as an aggregate. For example, Gay/Amir/JV has great potential to be such a unit, since JV and Amir will never be high usage guys and cannot create their own offense. So rather than being subjective and using a 'derogatory' term like 'chucker' we should actually put some metrics to define a 'useful chucker' vs. a 'harmful chucker'. Not sure what those parameters are, but I would say that any player who can maintain ORTG > 90 @ USG > 27 has a tremendous amount of offensive skill which can be deployed beneficially for the team.

And again, it is critical to 'divide by 20', not multiply by 20. The point is to show the value of a guy like Carmelo Anthony, who can bear at least 30% of the offense. That's basically taking half the load off of another player, which allows a guy like Tyson Chandler to do his thing without becoming a liability on offense. Or having Lebron and Wade, which allows you to play Shane Battier or other players at low usage/high efficiency.

You can call these metrics, the 'golden' rules of thumb. LOL.

8. golden wrote:
In 2009 Pau Gasol had a healthy Andrew Bynum and some guy named Kobe to help him share the offensive load.
In other words, like I said, that formula overvalues chuckers from bad teams and undervalues great players who accept lesser roles on great teams.

No one here is dismissing the whole idea that usage / role matters. But your specific formula is probably not the way to go.

golden wrote:
A 'chucker' in tandem with 1 or more high ORTG/low usage players can complement each other to form an excellent offensive unit as an aggregate. For example, Gay/Amir/JV has great potential to be such a unit, since JV and Amir will never be high usage guys and cannot create their own offense. So rather than being subjective and using a 'derogatory' term like 'chucker' we should actually put some metrics to define a 'useful chucker' vs. a 'harmful chucker'. Not sure what those parameters are, but I would say that any player who can maintain ORTG > 90 @ USG > 27 has a tremendous amount of offensive skill which can be deployed beneficially for the team.
An inefficient chucker can also hurt the team by taking away shots. If you build an offense around Mike Beasley and let him have a gazillion of shots, then role players can only improve your offense so much.

So yep, there has to be a distinction between a useful and a harmful chucker. And talking about the formula, it should value "useful chucking" higher than "harmful chucking".

But at this point, we are kind of re-inventing the wheel here.

Offensive win shares (basketball reference) are basically calculated on the same principles we are talking about. They account for offensive rating, usage, they apply a parameter for "harmful chucking", and then they reward "useful chucking". Their formula is more sophisticated than that, it breaks it all into small pieces, but it's based on the same ideas:

Btw, in their formula, "useful chucking" starts at OffRtg = 0.92 * league average = a bit over 97.

It would be cool if they had OWS / 48 rating.

golden wrote:
And again, it is critical to 'divide by 20', not multiply by 20. The point is to show the value of a guy like Carmelo Anthony, who can bear at least 30% of the offense. That's basically taking half the load off of another player, which allows a guy like Tyson Chandler to do his thing without becoming a liability on offense. Or having Lebron and Wade, which allows you to play Shane Battier or other players at low usage/high efficiency.
It's elementary math. You divide all results by 20. So the 20 in your formula simply makes the number smaller. It doesn't change which player looks better.

I simply suggested you a way to double check (multiply your end results by 20). But it's obvious.

9. BobLoblaw wrote:
In other words, like I said, that formula overvalues chuckers from bad teams and undervalues great players who accept lesser roles on great teams.

No one here is dismissing the whole idea that usage / role matters. But your specific formula is probably not the way to go.

An inefficient chucker can also hurt the team by taking away shots. If you build an offense around Mike Beasley and let him have a gazillion of shots, then role players can only improve your offense so much.

So yep, there has to be a distinction between a useful and a harmful chucker. And talking about the formula, it should value "useful chucking" higher than "harmful chucking".

But at this point, we are kind of re-inventing the wheel here.

Offensive win shares (basketball reference) are basically calculated on the same principles we are talking about. They account for offensive rating, usage, they apply a parameter for "harmful chucking", and then they reward "useful chucking". Their formula is more sophisticated than that, it breaks it all into small pieces, but it's based on the same ideas:

Btw, in their formula, "useful chucking" starts at OffRtg = 0.92 * league average = a bit over 97.

It would be cool if they had OWS / 48 rating.

It's elementary math. You divide all results by 20. So the 20 in your formula simply makes the number smaller. It doesn't change which player looks better.

I simply suggested you a way to double check (multiply your end results by 20). But it's obvious.
Great feedback. That's why I love this site. The reason I normalize is so that I can compare the individual ORTG against the team ORTG, since some teams simply sacrifice offense for defense (i.e. Jay Triano).

Here's another interesting BB-ref sort. USG > 26 / MP > 1000 & sorted by ORTG.

http://bkref.com/tiny/SQJkq

It shows 28 players and the guys that have reputations as 'chuckers' are right at the bottom & the superstars are at the top. Maybe the half-way point is the cut-off? You can think about it from a practical point of view too. No coach is going to keep giving a guy minutes if he is indiscriminately hoisting bricks and his teammates will probably stop passing to him.

In terms of over-valuing and under-valuing players, that's a loaded question unto itself. When a player like Chris Bosh decides to team up with superstars, then I think he should be undervalued. He is choosing to do less work and bear less responsibility. Does he have the 'potential' to be greater? No question. Or the another way to look at it, is the he is sacrificing personal greatness for the greater good, and that reflects in a lower 'present' value.

And all formulas are flawed, with nobody claiming to have the be-all, end-all answer. As I mentioned, it's a quick and dirty gut-check, in which Paul George does not look good even in comparison to his own teammate.

10. Xixak wrote:
SG: Kobe Bryant (only by Lakers fans though, everyone else understands that this guy is nowhere near being the GOAT and that even if he won 7 titles he would not be ahead of MJ. He also hasn't played D since 2010.)
Lmao so true, now hes uses his energy on just pump fakes and 3s.

11. golden wrote:
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?
Bunch of people are overreacting as usual. Sigh.

Who put George in the same sentence with LeBron, Melo and Durant??

I'm basically ranking the top SF's in the game. I think George is the 4th best SF in the game. But that doesn't mean he's in LeBron or KD or Melo's level. Give your head a shake.

And yes i think Rudy Gay is the 5th best SF in basketball.

12. TRex wrote:
Bunch of people are overreacting as usual. Sigh.

Who put George in the same sentence with LeBron, Melo and Durant??

I'm basically ranking the top SF's in the game. I think George is the 4th best SF in the game. But that doesn't mean he's in LeBron or KD or Melo's level. Give your head a shake.

And yes i think Rudy Gay is the 5th best SF in basketball.
Yeah I'm not sure why he got so mad at you iirc you just listed them lol.

I think most people would agree George is 4th best. If I was gonna do a distanced list it'd be like.

1.) LeBron

2.) KD

3.) Melo

4.) George
5.) Gay

13. rocwell wrote:
I'll buy you a beer if Rudy becomes more efficient than Kawhi next season.
You realize that Kawhi plays for the Spurs along w/ 3 future hall of famers in Duncan, Parker and Ginobili right?

Gay on the other hand play alongside with whom? DeRozan? and a 2nd year player in JV?

Of course Kawhi would be more efficient than Gay!!! but that doesn't mean he's better. Gay is a much better player than Leonard and i don't think it's even close.

Leonard is basically a 3D type of player. Gay on the other hand is a guy that is capable of taking over games.

14. TRex wrote:
You realize that Kawhi plays for the Spurs along w/ 3 future hall of famers in Duncan, Parker and Ginobili right?

Gay on the other hand play alongside with whom? DeRozan? and a 2nd year player in JV?

Of course Kawhi would be more efficient than Gay!!! but that doesn't mean he's better. Gay is a much better player than Leonard and i don't think it's even close.

Leonard is basically a 3D type of player. Gay on the other hand is a guy that is capable of taking over games.
+1 Leonard is a superb role player at the moment but, comparing them one on one Rudy is the better player right now.

15. Pierce is better than Gay.. yes Pierce is 35 and almost done, but he's still better.

16. planetmars wrote:
Pierce is better than Gay.. yes Pierce is 35 and almost done, but he's still better.
I Disagree. Pierce is overrated at this point, Gay is better hands down. Stats may tell otherwise but Skill wise Gay is much much better as of now

17. Rudy Gay is a top5 SF.

Demar is a top10 SG.

Val is a top5 C.

Lowry is a top15 PG.

Fair?

18. enlightenment wrote:
Rudy Gay is a top5 SF.

Demar is a top10 SG.

Val is a top5 C.

Lowry is a top15 PG.

Fair?
This team is built to succeed. They just gotta fucking do it! LETS GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

19. Tbh I always forget Pierce idk why.

He was better than both George and Gay last season tbh.

20. enlightenment wrote:
Rudy Gay is a top5 SF.

Demar is a top10 SG.

Val is a top5 C.

Lowry is a top15 PG.

Fair?
No. Agree with DeRozan and Gay being a top 10 SG and a top 5 SF.

JV has a chance to be a top 5 C. But he's not there yet.

Lowry is more of a top 20 PG.