Just for fun I thought I’d research some of the statements that were made or questions that were asked about Bargnani in this thread. I still have some vacation left and almost no social life to speak of, so why not. My goal is not to prove or disprove Bargnani’s stature as a bad defensive player, but just to see if the statements were correct and to answer some of the questions.
Last week I looked at the statement that some very good performances by opposing players were because of Bargnani. I only looked at one of the named performances, the 23-point performance by Speights. I looked at those plays and had to conclude that this performance good not be blamed on Bargnani. Unfortunately there were no reactions (so far) of the people who used this performance as evidence against Bargnani.
On those isolation plays Bargnani’s opponents make 0,684 ppp (according to the article of Pruiti). In my calculations I get 0,674 ppp, but that won’t make too much of a difference.
To get an idea of the level of competition and how Bargnani did in comparison to the rest of the league I decided to take a look at the ppp his opponents normally make in isolation plays. For this I’ve take each play, looked at the opponents average ppp and took the average of all the plays. That gives me a number of 0,793. That number is not completely indicative of the average opposition because there are some plays by opponents who almost never play isolation (e.g. Ben Wallace and Trevor Booker) which makes their isolation ppp very unreliable. Because these players tend to be on the high or low side of ppp I also looked at the average opponents ppp of the middle 80% of the plays. That comes down to 0,815 ppp.
Against the opponents Bargnani faced he outperformed the league by