On the court versus off the court

 

Graph

Change between on-court and off-court values

The above chart illustrates the change in the Houston Rockets offensive and defensive ratings with and without each player on the floor. The numbers represent the difference between on court and off court values for each player. For the sake of making it more intuitive, I flipped the defensive rating so positive numbers indicate better performance and negative numbers indicate worse performance. So, if we take Chandler Parsons, the Rockets average 6.3 more points for 100 offensive possessions with him on the floor, but opponents average 4.4 more points per 100 defensive possessions.

Starters = offense, bench = defense

Generally speaking, the starters seem to add offensive value while the bench players seem to add defensive value. Harden leads the way with an extra 9.4 pp100, while on defense Donatas Motiejunas surprisingly is on top with 7.4 pp100.

Two things should be pointed out before conclusions are reached. The first is that these values are not absolute, they’re relative. In other words, it’s a comparison between a player and the his bench/starter replacement. This might explain why Dwight Howard’s defensive value is basically neutral, because his backup, Omer Asik, is very good defensively.

Second, strength of opposing needs to be considered, as bench players are typically matched up against other bench players. So we need to add a layer of relativism. Each value is therefore relative to the player’s replacement and the player’s opponents.

What’s with Terrence Jones and Parsons?

All those disclaimers aside, some values definitely jump off the page. Most striking, at least to me, is that Jones and Parsons are terrible defensively. While the other starters are pretty much neutral defensively (above disclaimers considered), Parsons and Jones are -4.4 and -6, respectively. Because they’re so bad, their immediate backups (Jordan Hamilton and DMo) look amazing comparatively, at 4.3 and 7.4, respectively.

While the disclaimers matter, they matter less in these cases. The other starters are playing against the same opponents as Parsons and Jones, but do not have such bad defensive values. The other bench players, who play against the same opponents as DMo and Hamilton, do not have such good defensive values. Also, it’s not like DMo and company are necessarily renowned for their defensive prowess. Something is happening here. Is it possible that Parsons and Jones are the weak links in the Rockets defense?

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Total comments: 12
  • shirtless says 3 months ago

    For me it's a matter of how value is determined. There are very few players whose value remains constant regardless of situation. They are the true superstars who are uber awesome and important regardless of team and role. For other players, their value is relative. In one situation, they might be worth $5 million, but the same player in a different situation might be worth $10 million.

    Rudy Gay, I think, is a great example of this. As a Raptor, he really struggled. He couldn't fit the role carved out for him and was probably a net detriment to the team. As a King, he's doing much better and every measure supports his newly found success. Of course, this is the same player on the same contract. As a Raptor, he was nowhere close to playing at the full value of his contract. As a King, he's much closer. His value changed due to his circumstances.

    As I mentioned above, Parsons is in a similar but opposite situation. His value is highest with the Rockets. On another team, he wouldn't be worth what he is to the Rockets. But because individual players are so important in basketball, some other team will throw Rockets-level value (money) at Parsons on the off chance that his value will transcend his circumstances. That puts Morey in an interesting situation.

  • feelingsupersonic says 3 months ago I think Morey has always been pragmatic. Perhaps he will offer Parsons around 6 or 7 million and the opportunity to stay or let him know he will be traded if he is set on more money. My guess is Parsons would go for the money but you never know. I am also on board with his value as a trade piece right now is about as good as it's going to get so Morey needs to consider moving him for that third star.
  • Cooper says 3 months ago

    I love Horfords game he would be a great get for any contender. Cousins is the guy for Sacramento for better or worse, even if they were ready to move on that just seems like it would be a huge disaster. People already complain about Hardens hero ball and Him taking plays off on defense well that is exactly what Cousins and Gay bring only Cousins does it while scowling and complaining to teammates/refs/coaches or anyone that will listen. (side note: Gay has actually been really good in sactown after stinking it up in Toronto) but the only guy I'd want in a trade from the kings is Ben Mclemore.

  • thejohnnygold says 3 months ago

    Well, I'll name a few guys I think fit that mold (excellent perspective, Richard) and could potentially be obtained. DeMarcus Cousins, Al Horford, and Carmelo Anthony.

    Now we've discussed Melo already so let's move to Horford. Danny Ferry has got to make some moves--either to bottom out, or get better--but he's got to do something. Maybe he thinks Horford's return will right the ship, but when I look at their roster I just don't see a winner.

    Horford is a stud player who can man the PF/C position and is locked in at $12M for the next three years. The Hawks could use upgrades at PG, SF, and C (since Horford doesn't want to play C anymore). Houston can package Parsons, Asik, and Lin for Horford and Pero Antic (back-up center who can knock down the 3).

    Houston gets a stud PF to play next to Dwight and a decent back-up C.

    Atlanta gets three guys they can immediately plug in and improve their team. (Before anyone tears these trades apart--they are just ideas, and general ones at that--mainly I'm just thinking about guys who have had to lead their teams and would excel as a third banana around here...and could eventually take on 2nd banana as Dwight slides back to 3rd)

    Demarcus Cousins. Sacramento has got to do something. What if....just what if they decided to start over. Would a trade for Rudy Gay ($17M for 2 more years) and Cousins be worth it for Parsons, Jones, Asik, Donuts, Lin...whoever they want outside of Harden and Howard.

    That would get us Harden, Gay, Cousins (PF), and Howard plus whoever brings the ball up court for us at PG. Gay as your 4th/5th best guy is not a bad thing at all. Cousins could legitimately take on 2nd banana and allow Dwight to play off the ball and wreak havoc on both ends of the court. As bad as the public perception of Gay is I would do this trade in a heartbeat. Cousins is inked for 5 more years and Gay is gone after two (possibly sooner for a team looking to clear cap space). Again, this all rests on Sacramento wanting to press the reset button...in reality, I just can't see them trading Cousins right now.

    Anyways, I don't want to turn this into a trade machine thread. Those are just some guys I think fit the mold of what Richard mentioned. It all goes back to Morey saying we are still looking for a third star. Is one of Parsons, Jones, or D-Mo that guy? Possibly....but I'd take the bird in hand over two in the bush on this if one of these guys could be had. (I know I did not mention Love or Aldridge. I'm not big on Aldridge these days and I just can't shake the feeling that Love is going to wind up in LA.)

  • shirtless says 3 months ago

    I really like thejohnnygold's idea of shrewdly moving Parsons, not because I don't like Parsons, but because I like shrewd ideas.

    I think Parsons finds himself in a situation in which his value is bolstered by his environment. Right now he's a slahser, spot up shooter, and tertiary ball handler and feeds off of situations created by more primary options. The team's style of play also masks his weaknesses, which, according to the data, appear to be defensively oriented. He's learned to play extremely well in that role.

    The numbers he's put up in that role command a reasonably high price tag, but chances are the teams who set that market value for Parsons will not have the luxury of keeping him in the role he's in. His role will be expanded and more primary, he'll have to guard better players, and he won't be able to establish the same value. Of course I could be wrong, since similar concerns were expressed about one James Harden. But at this moment I'm willing to claim I'm not :)

    Morey could match the market set value for Parsons, but the shrewd move would be to trade his value along with others assets for a greater piece, or free up cap space by trading for someone in the opposite situation as Parsons is currently in. That is, someone who is currently struggling in a more primary role and whose value would skyrocket in a more tertiary role. That kind of player could be had for less than Parsons but contribute similarly. I have no idea who fits this mold, but that's why I'm not a GM.

  • Steven says 3 months ago Lin's contract is the only reason Canaan hasn't been the backup this season. Flip contracts Canaan is the backup Lin spends most of the season in the D-League.
  • rockets best fan says 3 months ago

    my perception of Lin is not tied to his salary as much as his play though it may have started out that way. since I don't write the checks his salary doesn't hurt me. I don't care if Lin made 5 bucks he would still not be a good basketball player. I will agree the salary brought more attention to him, but his failed production to live up to it is more the cause for how he is perceived. expectation were unrealistically high. many were expecting Linsanity. what we got was something far less.

    as for Parsons this has been an subpar year for him. but I still like him and think the Rockets should keep him. the defense dropped off a little this year and the shooting is down, but he provides so much of the glue intangibles necessary to the team exploring upgrades else is probably in our best interest. I agree with those who believe Parsons would still be a steal at 8.3

  • Dojinobli says 3 months ago

    I've also thought about what Lin's perception would be if he had Parson's contract or even a more realistic one (say around $4M/yr). If Lin is suffering from low confidence and the pressure to perform to his contract, then a smaller contract might free him to perform better. Fans might even cut him a break. That said, if Parsons had Lin's contract, I would imagine "thejohnnygold" is right in that we'd still be pretty happy with Parson's production. Why is that? Even though I actually agree with "uojoe's" posting...

  • thejohnnygold says 3 months ago

    I have similar feelings about Parsons. Morey and McHale love Parsons and I can't figure out why.

    I think that if it wasn't for his contract, he wouldn't be viewed in the same way. What if Parson's and Lin swapped contracts. Then Lin would be viewed as one of the best values in the NBA and Parson's wouldn't be as nearly as revered or beloved as he is now.

    The common belief is that Parson's is a great offensive player. However I disagree. I think that he's is the product of getting to play along the best 2 guard and the best center in the NBA and that he gets to play superstar level minutes. Parsons plays almost 38 minutes a game. And its not like the Rockets are thin at that position, rather I think that it's probably their deepest position since Harden, Garcia, Casspi, and Hamilton can all play minutes at he SF spot.

    Since the new year Parsons has had some bad games offensively. 3 for 11, 1 for 11, 6 for 17, 4 for 12, 3 for 13, 8 for 24, 4 for 13, 3 for 10, 3 for 11. Whenever he has a bad game no one seems to care, including McHale. When Lin has a bad game he gets torched on here and on twitter. Why? Because Lin makes more than Parsons? Is it Lins fault no one drafted him so he hit free agency sooner?

    The per 36 minute stats are in favor of Lin when comparing the 2 players. Per 36 minutes Lin averages 15.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 5.19 assists, 1.11 steals, and 3.15 TO's. Parsons averages 15.46, 5.31, 3.79. 1.07, and 1.85.

    The advanced stats favor Parsons slightly. Parson's usage rate is 19.0 and Lin's is 20.4. However Lin's plays PG and often leads the second unit so his usage rate should be higher. Parsons has an offense and defense rating of 113/107 while Lin's is 109/108. Yes Parson's ratings are higher but they should be since he is a starter playing with the starting unit.

    Members of this forum will probably throw the term "LOF" at me and ignore everything else Ive written. But the point of this post was to bring to light something that is probably going to be unpopular. Parson's is overrated and he will most likely be given a contract this summer that kills any possibility of the Rockets getting a legitimate third star on the team. If you think Parson's can be that player then your dreaming.

    Parsons is a good player. Can he be an all-star one day? Probably not. Is he going to get a big contract this year or the next? Probably. I would much rather see the Rockets leave things as is next year and try to add 1 or 2 complimentary pieces (who play defense). When Parson's hits free agency let the market dictate his worth. Most likely some team reaching for the stars (like Milwaukee, Utah, or Orlando) will give Parson's over 10 million annual. He might be worth that for those teams, but If Im the Rockets id much rather try to get a player like Melo or Love if possible. If those don't work out then why not save that money, pick up a player such as Gerald Green (who is actually having a better season than Parson's this year), and sign T Jones to an extension. Jones has a much higher upside than Parsons and Jones will be a free agent in 2 years. If Harden, Howard, and Parsons are all signed long term I dont see how Jones stays a Rocket, even with Lin and Asik contracts off the books.

    The only time people need to worry about being negatively termed "LOF" or accused of a Lin bias is when their posts are so extremely skewed that it drops their value to almost nothing. This is not the case here :)

    I share your concerns about Parsons. He does have limitations. We are seeing them partially because he is pushing himself to be more than he is. He doesn't have the quickness to drive from the perimeter successfully--yet he does. His shot is too flat to shoot a high percentage from 3--yet he does. He doesn't have the strength to play inside with the big boys--yet he does. He doesn't have the necessary vertical to play above the rim on offense and defense (alley-oops, dunks, blocks, etc.)--yet he does.

    He isn't elite at any of these things. He has proven to be quite capable at all of them. Even his passing is above average.

    Now, I believe he can improve his shooting and get stronger. This remedies two of the issues listed above. As far as quickness and vertical go--he's probably close to maxed out on those. He also seems to have a good head on his shoulders so he should learn to maximize his strengths, make good choices, and limit mistakes as time goes on.

    Ultimately, I think a trade that can bring back a star including Parsons will be one of the shrewdest moves Morey may have to make as a GM. Trading away a fan favorite (who is a very good player) and putting all of your chips in for a championship is what we're talking about here. If it doesn't work most fans will never forgive him.

    Personally, I am comfortable moving forward either way. We can still upgrade the PG position. PF is also an option--either through the development of Jones or acquiring Melo/Love (or whoever). If Parsons somehow becomes the 5th best player in the starting unit that would be ridiculous--and that is entirely possible.

    He is adapting his game. He is taking nearly 20% fewer threes this year while taking more shots and drawing more fouls. (On a side note. Is there a team in the league that is worse at one of the fundamentals of basketball--making a good pass. By this I mean a pass that comes in at or near the chest so that on a catch and shoot the shooter can move easily and naturally into his shooting motion. I could not even begin to count the number of passes that are thrown to players knees and off to the left/right. I believe this is part of what has pulled our overall 3 pt. efficiency down. It is so much easier when the passes are good--and it seems like everyone does it :angry: Half the time there's no reason for it either--just bad passes. Rant over) Overall, his per36 numbers are nearly identical to last year. Where a change is noticeable is that he is making fewer mistakes, drawing more fouls, and being more of a playmaker.

    I'm not that interested in comparing him to Lin as I don't think it is a fair comparison and I also believe his numbers are pretty solid. He is shooting 53% inside the arc, 37% outside, and 47% overall with a higher volume of shots and fewer mistakes than Lin. Swap the salaries and we'd all be giddy as I believe $8.3M is still a pretty solid wage for a player that does what Parsons does.

    I don't know what to think about his defense. I think this post-season will go a long way into showing us what he can and can't do on that end.

    Here is a chart like the ones I posted recently for Lin and Harden. It shows Parsons' FG% from game to game for the season.

    i5W87D3.jpg

    Since March he is shooting 28% on threes. Hopefully, he can get out of the slump by the time the postseason begins. Is he injured? Tired? Who knows? A few games' rest doesn't sound like a bad idea. Looking at the chart, his shooting isn't as erratic as Lin's and his up/down trends tend to be more stable where he gets hot for a while and then cools off for a bit. The good news is this chart does seem to signal an up trend :) A lot of our postseason success will depend on Parsons, Jones, Beverley and Lin as opposing teams will be looking to shut down Howard/Harden. I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes.

  • uojoe82 says 3 months ago

    I have been concerned about Parsons' play all year. It seems like he might have benefited from style last year but I am not entirely sure. I don't know if finding his niche has been difficult for him or what but I have been disappointed by his decision making more than I thought I would. I wonder if sliding Parsons back to the second unit with Hamilton starting would be the way to go, hard to say. Lin, Asik and Parsons should be able to pack a punch though I'm sure it wouldn't happen so I should just let it go.

    I have similar feelings about Parsons. Morey and McHale love Parsons and I can't figure out why.

    I think that if it wasn't for his contract, he wouldn't be viewed in the same way. What if Parson's and Lin swapped contracts. Then Lin would be viewed as one of the best values in the NBA and Parson's wouldn't be as nearly as revered or beloved as he is now.

    The common belief is that Parson's is a great offensive player. However I disagree. I think that he's is the product of getting to play along the best 2 guard and the best center in the NBA and that he gets to play superstar level minutes. Parsons plays almost 38 minutes a game. And its not like the Rockets are thin at that position, rather I think that it's probably their deepest position since Harden, Garcia, Casspi, and Hamilton can all play minutes at he SF spot.

    Since the new year Parsons has had some bad games offensively. 3 for 11, 1 for 11, 6 for 17, 4 for 12, 3 for 13, 8 for 24, 4 for 13, 3 for 10, 3 for 11. Whenever he has a bad game no one seems to care, including McHale. When Lin has a bad game he gets torched on here and on twitter. Why? Because Lin makes more than Parsons? Is it Lins fault no one drafted him so he hit free agency sooner?

    The per 36 minute stats are in favor of Lin when comparing the 2 players. Per 36 minutes Lin averages 15.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 5.19 assists, 1.11 steals, and 3.15 TO's. Parsons averages 15.46, 5.31, 3.79. 1.07, and 1.85.

    The advanced stats favor Parsons slightly. Parson's usage rate is 19.0 and Lin's is 20.4. However Lin's plays PG and often leads the second unit so his usage rate should be higher. Parsons has an offense and defense rating of 113/107 while Lin's is 109/108. Yes Parson's ratings are higher but they should be since he is a starter playing with the starting unit.

    Members of this forum will probably throw the term "LOF" at me and ignore everything else Ive written. But the point of this post was to bring to light something that is probably going to be unpopular. Parson's is overrated and he will most likely be given a contract this summer that kills any possibility of the Rockets getting a legitimate third star on the team. If you think Parson's can be that player then your dreaming.

    Parsons is a good player. Can he be an all-star one day? Probably not. Is he going to get a big contract this year or the next? Probably. I would much rather see the Rockets leave things as is next year and try to add 1 or 2 complimentary pieces (who play defense). When Parson's hits free agency let the market dictate his worth. Most likely some team reaching for the stars (like Milwaukee, Utah, or Orlando) will give Parson's over 10 million annual. He might be worth that for those teams, but If Im the Rockets id much rather try to get a player like Melo or Love if possible. If those don't work out then why not save that money, pick up a player such as Gerald Green (who is actually having a better season than Parson's this year), and sign T Jones to an extension. Jones has a much higher upside than Parsons and Jones will be a free agent in 2 years. If Harden, Howard, and Parsons are all signed long term I dont see how Jones stays a Rocket, even with Lin and Asik contracts off the books.

  • feelingsupersonic says 3 months ago

    I have been concerned about Parsons' play all year. It seems like he might have benefited from style last year but I am not entirely sure. I don't know if finding his niche has been difficult for him or what but I have been disappointed by his decision making more than I thought I would. I wonder if sliding Parsons back to the second unit with Hamilton starting would be the way to go, hard to say. Lin, Asik and Parsons should be able to pack a punch though I'm sure it wouldn't happen so I should just let it go.

  • Buckko says 3 months ago The bench has much better defenders than the starters, they just can't score.