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@  slick shoes : (21 June 2017 - 04:28 PM) Morey is locked in for four more years. Glad to have some stability at the helm after everything we've seen the last couple of weeks.
@  slick shoes : (16 June 2017 - 04:31 PM) It's a shame we don't have a first rounder this year. I did notice that the W's and the Cavs have 0 picks this year (not that they need them).
@  thejohnnygold : (16 June 2017 - 03:57 PM) Whoever picks him is going to be a happy camper
@  slick shoes : (16 June 2017 - 02:00 PM) De'Aaron Fox giving Bev a shout at the end of this piece
http://www.espn.com/...var-ball-chorus
@  slick shoes : (22 May 2017 - 05:25 PM) I can't decide if I want them to draft Ball or not.
@  thejohnnygold : (21 May 2017 - 02:50 PM) Don't worry...they'll find a way to screw it up.
@  slick shoes : (17 May 2017 - 03:52 PM) Is anyone else annoyed that the league reached out and helped the Lakers secure a top 3 pick to keep them from long term ruin?
@  Mario Peña : (13 May 2017 - 11:56 AM) It would appear James will take games off next year which is probably a good thing. Perhaps we will see some evolution from emphasis on regular season to being playoff ready both from a physical as well as a strategy standpoint.
@  rocketrick : (12 May 2017 - 05:26 AM) I personally will be rooting for the Spurs in their next matchup with Golden State in the Western Conference Finals
@  rocketrick : (12 May 2017 - 05:26 AM) Congratulations to the Spurs and Coach Pop. They completely destroyed the Rockets last night (understatement of the year)
@  DenverRocket : (12 May 2017 - 02:55 AM) Very disappointing end to an otherwise great season.
@  DenverRocket : (12 May 2017 - 01:10 AM) Stunningly bad. Out played, out coached and no one is stepping up :-(
@  slick shoes : (12 May 2017 - 01:07 AM) Well, it can't get any worse right?
@  slick shoes : (12 May 2017 - 12:35 AM) It's like Dekker has been waiting to play or something.
@  08huangj : (11 May 2017 - 12:08 PM) It is utterly baffling to me why MDA is not utilizing Dekker and Harrell. These two were integral to our dominant regular season bench!
@  DenverRocket : (10 May 2017 - 03:18 AM) Everything the TNT analysts said, I was screaming during OT. MDA blamed it on fatigue - no kidding sherlock, when you only use a 7 player rotation!
@  DenverRocket : (10 May 2017 - 03:17 AM) Sorely disappointed with that. Huge missed opportunity. I thought McHale was coaching again in overtime!
@  slick shoes : (10 May 2017 - 03:02 AM) No offensive scheme in overtime. No Parker, and no Leonard through all of overtime and you STILL can't close it out?!
@  thejohnnygold : (10 May 2017 - 02:57 AM) So much profanity in my home tonight...
@  Mario Peña : (08 May 2017 - 06:57 PM) Right Johnnygold! That was a good game!

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The Stats Say: Jeremy Lin has been playing like he might be worth a $15 million salary


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#1 Red94

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    Posted 13 November 2013 - 02:38 PM

    New post: The Stats Say: Jeremy Lin has been playing like he might be worth a $15 million salary
    By: Justin Wehr

    Jeremy Lin has been beyond excellent. It could reasonably be argued that he has been the best Rocket so far this season, and not just compared to expectations. When you combine all of his box score statistics (as is done by PER and WS/48), he comes out pretty much tied for second with Dwight Howard, just a bit behind James Harden. But some custom stats that I’ve been keeping suggest that those metrics are actually underestimating Lin.

    I have been tallying on paper what most fans informally tally in their minds: how often each players is making good and bad plays. (So geeky, I know.) I loosely define “good plays” as offensive plays that result in a high percentage attempt (e.g., passing to a shooter in the corner for an open three, even if he misses) or defensive plays that prevent the opponent from having a high percentage attempt (e.g., closing out quickly and challenging a shooter, even if he makes it). “Bad plays” are just the opposite. I also give tallies for particularly good/bad rebounds or loose ball plays. I have kept tallies for every game except the first. You can view the raw data in a Google spreadsheet here.

    The advantage of these stats over box score stats is that they give a much more complete picture of performance, especially on the defensive end. There are so many things that the box score overlooks, e.g., effectively challenging a shot, forcing a ball handler into the strength of the defense, or making a great pass that the receiver fumbles out of bounds. All these important things are captured with my tallies.

    The disadvantage of these stats is that they’re more subjective and squishy. Some good plays and bad plays aren’t easily noticeable (e.g., Dwight’s mere presence may create extra spacing for Rocket shooters), and it’s sometimes – but not as often as you’d think – hard to assign individual blame on defensive breakdowns. I assign credits and blames as objectively as humanly possible, but I certainly have my biases. For example, even I don’t trust my own tallies on Asik because I have a hard time accepting that the man has ever done anything wrong.

    Back to Jeremy Lin. According to my tallies, Lin has been only slightly below Harden in terms of the rate of good offensive plays, and after adding up all “credits” and subtracting all “blames,” Lin comes out looking slightly better, as shown below.

    Harden vs. Lin_11-12-13

    (Data objectivity note: I neither particularly like nor dislike Lin as a player or person, so I don’t think my judgment is clouded in this case like it is in the Asik case. If anything, I might be underestimating Lin in comparison to Harden, because I happen to really like Harden.)

    Harden hasn’t been fully healthy and has been on a bit of a cold streak, so I don’t expect this trend to continue, but I find it extremely encouraging that Lin has been playing at what we can fairly call Max-Contract level. I don’t think it would be crazy to predict that he will be the Rockets’ third superstar this season because I have no reason to believe he can’t or won’t continue at this pace. His major weaknesses from last year – shooting, defense, and left-handedness – all seem to have magically evaporated over the summer. What’s to stop him now?

    ------

    Two other brief notes related to these data (but unrelated to Jeremy Lin):

    Pessimism: Dwight Howard is clearly not back to his dominant self. According to my tallies, in terms of both defense and rebounding – where Dwight makes his money – he has been just average, which means that he has been awful.

    Optimism: According to my tallies, against the Raptors Monday night, Terrence Jones had not only a good game, not only the best defensive and rebounding game of the night, not only one of the best games of his young career, but the best game of any Rocket so far this season, and by a non-trivial margin. I don’t believe there is another player on the Rockets’ roster who could’ve defended Rudy Gay nearly as well as Jones did. Not even Asik. He was remarkable.

    ------

    P.S. - We could test just how objective (or not) these tallies are if we have multiple people recording them. I encourage you to try it for a game or two. If you send your data to me via a Google spreadsheet  ([email protected]) in the same format as I have mine, I will do a reliability test and report back the results.


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    #2 thejohnnygold

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    Posted 13 November 2013 - 03:16 PM

    j_wehr, could you produce a .pdf sheet that we can print out and use to keep the tallies (and might help get everyone scoring in the same manner).  I would be curious to give it a go.  I really like this idea--both the original concept and the idea of adding more people to balance any potential bias.  I'd like to think I am unbiased, but I know that's not true--believing one is unbiased is a bias itself.  :P


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    #3 Rahat Huq

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      Posted 13 November 2013 - 03:17 PM

      This would seem to match the eye test.  Lin's turnovers have drawn attention, but aside from those, he hasn't done much else "bad."  Doesn't take bad shots the way Harden does.  The turnovers are just so egregious (when he's jumping in the air with nowhere to go) that we happen to remember them more.  He's been fantastic this year.


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      #4 John P

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        Posted 13 November 2013 - 03:20 PM



        "For example, even I don’t trust my own tallies on Asik because I have a hard time accepting that the man has ever done anything wrong."

        ...quite simply one of the best things I have read in a while. The guy just plays his butt off and is a great defender. (Offense is a different story but, no one is perfect)


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        #5 ays

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          Posted 13 November 2013 - 04:20 PM

          This would seem to match the eye test.  Lin's turnovers have drawn attention, but aside from those, he hasn't done much else "bad."  Doesn't take bad shots the way Harden does.  The turnovers are just so egregious (when he's jumping in the air with nowhere to go) that we happen to remember them more.  He's been fantastic this year.

           

          In half court sets, he still has a habit of using up an exorbitant amount of shot clock dribbling, probing, picking up his dribble, forcing up a terrible shot just outside the low block. Some of this, of course, is on the stagnant Rockets offense with that we've seen for extended stretches.


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          #6 Knickabokkaz

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            Posted 13 November 2013 - 05:00 PM

            In half court sets, he still has a habit of using up an exorbitant amount of shot clock dribbling, probing, picking up his dribble, forcing up a terrible shot just outside the low block. Some of this, of course, is on the stagnant Rockets offense with that we've seen for extended stretches.

            Same could be said for James Harden.


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            #7 Alituro

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              Posted 13 November 2013 - 05:03 PM

              "For example, even I don’t trust my own tallies on Asik because I have a hard time accepting that the man has ever done anything wrong."

              ...quite simply one of the best things I have read in a while. The guy just plays his butt off and is a great defender. (Offense is a different story but, no one is perfect)

              My feelings too, on his offense.. at least you can say that Asik realistically knows his limitations, you rarely see him trying for anything but a dunk. He doesn't have the athletic ability to be a regular highlight reel of blocked shots like Howard, but his D, technically, is far, far superior and quite possibly the best I've seen, maybe ever... I could go on forever, but the bottom line is: FREE TERRENCE JONES and KEEP ASIK!


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              #8 formido

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                Posted 13 November 2013 - 05:36 PM



                > In half court sets, he still has a habit of using up an exorbitant amount of shot clock dribbling, probing, picking up his dribble, forcing up a terrible shot just outside the low block. Some of this, of course, is on the stagnant Rockets offense with that we've seen for extended stretches.

                So, you're saying his 66% true shooting isn't enough or are you saying that it's not enough to be efficient, you have to do it in a style that doesn't offend your particular sensibilities?

                > This would seem to match the eye test. Lin's turnovers have drawn attention, but aside from those, he hasn't done much else "bad." Doesn't take bad shots the way Harden does. The turnovers are just so egregious (when he's jumping in the air with nowhere to go) that we happen to remember them more. He's been fantastic this year.

                Perhaps, but I don't see people feeling the need to qualify positive assessments about Harden with "his refusal to pass to anyone other than for an obvious assist opportunity" or "his low percentage, ugly ISOs in every late game situation" or "his awful ball watching on defense" is so egregious that we happen to remember them more[1]. Every player has qualifications, but many receive unqualified praise regularly, like Harden. Aside from Lin fans, though, it seems few people can just acknowledge that Lin is playing at a high level and has been since the beginning of preseason and trending steadily up since mid season last year.

                [1] Not that Harden doesn't get those criticisms obviously, sometimes and in some quarters. It's just not paired with every positive comment 100% of the time, like with Lin.


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                #9 Buckko

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                  Posted 13 November 2013 - 05:43 PM

                  <br /><br /><p>I always said Lin was going to improve, remember all those long debates RBF?</p>
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                  #10 rm90025

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                    Posted 13 November 2013 - 06:45 PM

                    I'm happy for Lin.  His game has improved and he will be a hot commodity in the trade market this year and free agent market next year. It's puzzling that people don't think he had a good year last year, when he in fact had a very good if not great second half and pushed the team into the playoffs. As for his role on the Rockets, being the 6th man is good for him but probably bad for the Rockets.  That starting rotation is a mess.  Dwight Howard is basically the same above-average player he was in LA with occasional moments of greatness which are offset by his woeful free throw shooting.  James Harden is a poor shooter inside the 3 pt. line, turns it over a lot, slows down the offense and is poor on defense.  Parsons is a good player who is not shooting as well as he can, but that will turn around.  I feel bad for Asik. I think he's really good but Houston is not the place for him any longer, even though he was the anchor of a team that made the playoffs the previous year.  Beverley plays hard, has a good attitude but is limited. 

                     

                    For Lin avoiding being on the floor with Howard and Harden except for limited stretches gives him the freedom to play his game and perhaps win 1 or both over during the course of the year.  His ability to dictate to the defense, score and assist is what is keeping the Rockets in games while McHale figures out how to get the starters to play well.  However, I don't think Howard or Harden much care for Lin.  They seem to barely tolerate him and often use him as a proxy for their own problems with each other. Harden almost ruefully refuses to swing the ball Lin's way in key game moments.  That last 5-6 minutes of regulation against Toronto was a good example.  McHale may find that Jeremy Lin is his best chance to hold on to that job.  Right now, I don't see Houston getting a top 4 seed, and that's probably not the result that Houston's management is looking for. 


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                    #11 seetow1

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                      Posted 13 November 2013 - 06:54 PM

                      Fantastic analysis, mad props for your effort in tabulating all the data in an easy to understand format!


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                      #12 thejohnnygold

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                      Posted 13 November 2013 - 06:57 PM

                      I took to youtube to try and find some evidence of all this disrespect Jeremy Lin is getting.  In this day and age, with nearly everyone possessing a recording device on their person at all times I would expect to find something on youtube since it is so prevalent.  As it turns out, this was the most disrespectful thing I could find...

                       


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                      #13 Mason Khamvilay

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                      Posted 13 November 2013 - 06:59 PM

                      "We should trade him for a 2nd round pick before it's too late" said the Lin haters. 


                      Edited by 2016Champions, 13 November 2013 - 07:02 PM.

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                      #14 uojoe82

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                        Posted 13 November 2013 - 07:29 PM

                        Any player who is aggressive and attacks the rim is going to turn the ball over. Its a function of being aggressive. This article and analysis reinforces everything Ive seen so far. The Rockets offense is at its best when Lin has the ball. Its fluid and every player on the floor must be defended by the other team. Has anyone else noticed that Harden never passes the ball to Lin? How many times do we have to watch Lins defender help on Harden only to see Harden take a long range step back shot when Lin is standing open waving his hands in the air? Harden thinks that a contested step back shot is better than Jeremy having an open three (Lin is the best 3 point shooter on the team so far). 

                         

                        Another aspect of Lins offense that hasnt been mentioned yet is that when he and Asik are on the floor together, Asik suddenly becomes much better at offense. Yes, most of the time Asik gets a pass from Lin on a pick and roll or after Lin penetrates Asik gets fouled, but so what? Isnt that good offense? 

                         

                        Harden is the superior player to Lin, that is unquestionable. But Harden needs to do something because what he's currently doing is unsustainable. Shooting 33% but making it up by making 12 free throws in order to score 30 points a night isnt a formula for success (unless success is defined by the point total in the box score). Harden is such a talented player but I feel that he is closer to Carmelo Anthony with a beard or Kobe, KD35 or Wade. 

                         

                        I find it disappointing that Harden didnt learn anything from watching KD and Westbrook play together for so many years. The Thunder have the perfect model for having a backcourt who both need the ball. Im not comparing Lin/Harden to Wesbrook/Durant as an apples to apples comparison but it is an example of 2 ball dominate players co-existing successfully.

                         

                        The season is still in its infancy and there is still a lot of basketball to go. Lin is playing great but its not unexpected. All his deficiencies from the previous year were areas that he himself said he would focus on (3 point shooting and going to the left). A great characteristic of successful people is "self awareness" and the ability to work on weaknesses. 

                         

                        Long term the way Harden is playing is not sustainable unless the Rockets are happy with a first round exit again. McHale coaches as if his salary is based on how many shots Harden takes (and Hero ball shots count double) and it amazes me how he continues to run a offense that basically says let Harden do whatever he wants. Lin makes everyone better and the offense reflects that. 

                         

                        Thank you for its post and I hope to see many more that show how underappreciated Lin. I hope McHale reads this.


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                        #15 Mario Peña

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                        Posted 13 November 2013 - 07:30 PM

                        "We should trade him for a 2nd round pick before it's too late" said the Lin haters.

                        Many have criticized Lin and rightfully so but to say that there was a prevailing opinion on Red94 that Lin should be traded for a second round pick is definitely overstating your point and not fair to most of us who have criticized him. Do you even remember who said that, if you do perhaps you should direct it towards that forum member in a constructive manner.
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                        #16 uojoe82

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                          Posted 13 November 2013 - 07:45 PM

                          Harden is such a talented player but I feel that he is closer to Carmelo Anthony with a beard then Kobe, KD35 or Wade. 


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                          #17 Richards

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                            Posted 13 November 2013 - 07:47 PM

                            j_wehr, could you produce a .pdf sheet that we can print out and use to keep the tallies (and might help get everyone scoring in the same manner).  I would be curious to give it a go.  I really like this idea--both the original concept and the idea of adding more people to balance any potential bias.  I'd like to think I am unbiased, but I know that's not true--believing one is unbiased is a bias itself.  :P

                            don't worry don't worry you and Huq are very fair and I do enjoy reading your posts. Keep it up. Cheers!


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                            #18 Richards

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                              Posted 13 November 2013 - 07:50 PM

                              Lin always play better with Bev and Tony Douglas. This year he started playing well with Harden. Hope he can continue it.


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                              #19 Mason Khamvilay

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                              Posted 13 November 2013 - 07:56 PM

                              Many have criticized Lin and rightfully so but to say that there was a prevailing opinion on Red94 that Lin should be traded for a second round pick is definitely overstating your point and not fair to most of us who have criticized him. Do you even remember who said that, if you do perhaps you should direct it towards that forum member in a constructive manner.

                              FSS,

                               

                              I appreciate the advice, the fact you're taking an interest in helping me help me elevate the quality of my constructive posts is something I greatly value. In this case my post was designed to be read in a humorous manner as opposed to a constructive one, and I was referring to Lin haters in general as opposed to someone in particular, but please keep up the good work! 

                               

                              2016 Champions


                              Edited by 2016Champions, 13 November 2013 - 07:58 PM.

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                              #20 NorEastern

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                                Posted 13 November 2013 - 07:58 PM



                                Very nice! I loved your thought process and your analysis. I am fairly comfortable that Hardens, Parsons and Bevs 3 point shooting should revert to their mean over the course of the season. If so the Rockets are going to be just fine.

                                I agree with the comments that many people seem to dislike Lin for no apparent reason. While Lin is obviously no Harden, I always felt that he had everything needed to succeed as a starter in the NBA. I felt sure that Lin this season was going to come back this season with a much improved shooting touch. While it is still early in the season, it is looking like Lin could start at either the PG or SG positions for over half the teams in the NBA.


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