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Pluto whiffs on +/-

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Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby Prosecutor » Sun Apr 10, 2011 9:20 am

Those of you who are passionately convinced that +/- is a meaningless statistic should contact Terry Pluto and straighten his poor, misguided ass out. Apparently he thinks there's something to it. Do the guy a favor, you don't want him embarassing himself anymore in print, do you?

If you want to "blame" someone for the Cavs not ending up with the worst record, start with Baron Davis. Heading into the weekend, Davis had played 12 games for the Cavs. Their record is 5-7 with him on the court. According to 82games.com, the Cavs are outscored by just 1.9 points when Davis plays; when he sits, it's 10.3 points. The next best for the Cavs is Daniel Gibson -- the Cavs are outscored by 5.3 points with him on the court. Davis is averaging 14.6 points, 6.3 assists and shooting 43 percent.

Davis has lifted the level of play and brought a sense of order to a team that needed it -- and he wants to build on it for next season. Davis plays only 25 minutes a game because of his cranky knees, so there is room for another point guard. His upbeat attitude and willingness to bond with coach Byron Scott after their rocky past has been a major surprise, and one that could mean a lot next year -- assuming the Cavs get the upcoming draft right.


Oh, and while you're at it, why not let 82games.com know they're wasting their time compiling meaningless numbers?
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby swerb » Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:01 am

This snippet from his Sunday column aside, Pluto is absolutely worthless anymore. He's been embarrassing himself in print for the last 18-24 months, highlighted by his prediction that that Cavs would go 46-36 this season.

I was sitting there reading his column over a cup of joe this morning ... and it hit me. He's Bud Shaw. I've never seen a columnist go down the tubes so quick. Maybe it's reading people like Paulie and Peeker and Wismar and Hiko that have raised my expectation level. Maybe its that Pluto is mailing it in. Maybe it's both.

But I defy anyone to read his Sunday morning piece today and tell me it is not total drivel and garbage.
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby peeker643 » Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:14 am

Pros, I know you cannot be this fucking stupid unless someone turns your computer on for you each day and sits you in front of it to type.

One more time: it's a hockey stat that means nothing to the NBA game. Nothing.

You want to know why Pluto uses it? Because he's a lazy mf-er. The same reason he takes shit from Pauly C and uses that as the basis of a column is the same reason he uses +/-

Ad because people are stupid and will continue to read what he says and assume he gives a shit.

So you go ahead and wrap your insecure self in a blanket of Terry Pluto.

And why does 82games keep it? Because it is a measurable. Kind of like looking at a measurable like dewpoint to figure out if you need a sweater. Kind of like looking at wild pitches to measure the effectiveness of a centerfielder.

Don't be a moron and if you gotta be a moron don't be one to play the hurt card.

Here you go brotha. You look at this +/- and tell me who had the better game and who contributed more to their Miami Heat team. If your answer is Chris Bosh then just shoot yourself in the head.

http://espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=310224004
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby Orenthal » Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:06 am

Well from looking at that it looks like Wade was the difference in the team tying the score. I really don't know why they keep that stiff on the floor...

Pluto, +/-, res ipsa loquitur.
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby Orenthal » Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:07 am

^^^^btw nominated for worst "Gotcha" post ever.
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby jerryroche » Sun Apr 10, 2011 1:49 pm

peeker643 wrote:You want to know why Pluto uses it? Because he's a lazy mf-er. The same reason he takes shit from Pauly C and uses that as the basis of a column is the same reason he uses +/-
And because people are stupid and will continue to read what he says and assume he gives a shit.


Lazy? Lazy? I gotta give Pluto a break. He turns out a tremendous amount of material. Books, four to five PD columns a week, not including "Terry's Talkin'" on Sunday, plus a frequent Saturday column on religion, and regular podcasts. Anyone who's ever written professionally knows how difficult it is to generate so much written verbiage -- unless your life is consumed by one topic, like Paulie C. (who I give a great deal of credit).

Not everything Pluto writes is going to be good, and not everything's going to be researched to the hilt. There simply aren't enough hours in the day for him to bat 1.000, given the demands placed on him by the PD.
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby e0y2e3 » Sun Apr 10, 2011 1:55 pm

Alright Jerry - can you link me what is good that Old Quitter wrote in the last two years?
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby peeker643 » Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:27 pm

jerryroche wrote:
peeker643 wrote:You want to know why Pluto uses it? Because he's a lazy mf-er. The same reason he takes shit from Pauly C and uses that as the basis of a column is the same reason he uses +/-
And because people are stupid and will continue to read what he says and assume he gives a shit.


Lazy? Lazy? I gotta give Pluto a break. He turns out a tremendous amount of material. Books, four to five PD columns a week, not including "Terry's Talkin'" on Sunday, plus a frequent Saturday column on religion, and regular podcasts. Anyone who's ever written professionally knows how difficult it is to generate so much written verbiage -- unless your life is consumed by one topic, like Paulie C. (who I give a great deal of credit).

Not everything Pluto writes is going to be good, and not everything's going to be researched to the hilt. There simply aren't enough hours in the day for him to bat 1.000, given the demands placed on him by the PD.


Disagree Jerry. I could turn out every bit of what Pluto does if I didn't care how it read, whether it was high quality or where it came from. You could too as could others.

Read PC's stuff and then read Pluto's the month after and tell me he doesn't regularly poach subject matter for his own column.

He's intellectually lazy. That's my actual point and my fault for not making that clear. Maybe because he has to produce all that crap just to make his living in the 'Death of the Newspaper' era as you noted. But that doesn't make it any less lazy.

There was a day when I thought the man walked on a water in terms of a local columnist/author.

I've lost a load of respect for the man and his work.

I dig YMMV.
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby 7foot3 » Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:36 pm

peeker643 wrote:One more time: it's a hockey stat that means nothing to the NBA game. Nothing.

Here you go brotha. You look at this +/- and tell me who had the better game and who contributed more to their Miami Heat team. If your answer is Chris Bosh then just shoot yourself in the head.

http://espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=310224004


This is just not true. It means something. It's not the be-all, end-all, but it means something and is useful in the proper context. Your example is, unequivocally, not the proper context. Like most stats, you can't use one game and expect to garner any real information. It's a tool, and like every tool it has to be used properly to be effective. The people who do know how to use it properly: http://www.82games.com/comm30.htm have jobs in the NBA: http://www.cleveland.com/cavs/index.ssf/2009/03/nba_insider_going_way_beyond_t.html. The people who look for way too small sample sizes to prove it wrong do not know how to use it properly.
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby e0y2e3 » Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:48 pm

7foot is right, however, it is the most archaic of tools.

It means a small something and can be used in terms of 5 Man +/- but that individual stat is at this point outdated and ignored.

Sample sizes and what not can be argued, but it is the ultimate small sample size stat. 82 games, honestly IMO, still keeps track of it because they want to track 5 man unit +/-. Which they do and Pros doesn't even know exists.
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby peeker643 » Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:53 pm

7foot3 wrote:
peeker643 wrote:One more time: it's a hockey stat that means nothing to the NBA game. Nothing.

Here you go brotha. You look at this +/- and tell me who had the better game and who contributed more to their Miami Heat team. If your answer is Chris Bosh then just shoot yourself in the head.

http://espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=310224004


This is just not true. It means something. It's not the be-all, end-all, but it means something and is useful in the proper context. Your example is, unequivocally, not the proper context. Like most stats, you can't use one game and expect to garner any real information. It's a tool, and like every tool it has to be used properly to be effective. The people who do know how to use it properly: http://www.82games.com/comm30.htm have jobs in the NBA: http://www.cleveland.com/cavs/index.ssf/2009/03/nba_insider_going_way_beyond_t.html. The people who look for way too small sample sizes to prove it wrong do not know how to use it properly.


Maybe. I still propose that particular stat is nothing more than garnish: you could eat it by itself but it will get you almost nowhere.

But no doubt I'm using the example as Prosecutor does: for strictly my own benefit. The point being you can cherry pick any small sample size (whether it be my selected link or Pros's Pluto article) to benefit an argument.

Personally I believe it's less than valuable and less than meaningful. Including in this case when you base your theory on 10 games of Baron Davis and discount the fact he hasn't played in about as many, that his history concludes he's a cancerous agent of Satan ;-) ;) :wink: and that his extensive history concludes he'll have these issues and health issues in the future given he's had them in the past.

As for +/-? No need for it. I've said it before and in a thread alluding to the very point that guys like JJ Hickson, et al benefit from the occasions when BD graces the lineup with his presence. Guy's a veteran. Can't wait to see the analytics on VoRP though. Baron Davis might be +9 but so would Andre Miller and any other veteran PG who wasn't Ramon Sessions IMO.

Once again, Pluto being lazy and using his own small sample size of a flawed (in this case) stat to justify an argument that any 12 year old could make and see.
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby Prosecutor » Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:52 pm

peeker643 wrote:As for +/-? No need for it. I've said it before and in a thread alluding to the very point that guys like JJ Hickson, et al benefit from the occasions when BD graces the lineup with his presence.


Isn't this a statement supporting the validity of (+/-)? If players like Hickson benefit from the presence of Davis on the floor (and Hickson has been quoted as saying he does), shouldn't we expect the Cavs to do better in terms of points scored versus points allowed when Davis is on the floor? That, in fact, is the case, as Pluto pointed out. Davis' personal +/- is far better than the next highest Cavs player. The statistic confirms your personal observation.

So why is the statistic a "hockey stat" that means nothing to an NBA game? If that is the case, then the NBA leaders in +/- would just be some random names from around the league, right? According to 82games.com, the NBA leaders in +/- right now are, in descending order, Nash, Pierce, Nowitzki, Garnett, Aldridge, Paul, Bosh, James, Howard, and Duncan. Recognize any of those names?

I agree that no stat is perfect. Probably the reason Nash leads the league is because his backup point guard is so bad that the Suns get hammered whenever Nash sits down. But as 7foot said, it means something, if nothing more than to be useful in a discussion of which players are more valuable to their specific teams.

There has to be some way to give credit to players who do little things that don't show up in a stat sheet but lead to points scored and points denied. Things like deflecting a pass to force a turnover, taking a charge, and slapping a rebound away from a defensive player to get your team a new shot clock. Switching properly on defense rather than blowing the switch and allowing an easy layup. Setting a pick correctly. Filling a lane on a fast break to occupy a defender and open up a 3-pointer. +/- is the only stat that accounts for things like that. So while it's not perfect, it's not like using passed balls to evaluate center fielders.

E says I didn't know that 82games publishes 5-man +/- numbers. He must have forgotten that I used those numbers last year when arguing that Shaq wasn't helping the Cavs much. I pointed out that 7 of the top 8 five-man combinations for the Cavs did not include Shaq. Two of the three worst did. Must have been a coincidence.

As for Pluto, he writes for the casual fan, at least in his PD columns. He can't start throwing out VoRP numbers or he'll lose most of his audience. His point was that the Cavs were 12-56 (.176) without Davis and 5-7 (.417) with him. In case anyone thinks it might be a coincidence, he included the +/- stats to show the Cavs do significantly better when Davis is on the court. He's not splitting the atom, but that's not what they want him to do.
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby peeker643 » Mon Apr 11, 2011 5:09 pm

I'm saying it's a convenient stat to use when it suits your purposes and that's why a lazier Terry Pluto used it. His days of doing hard core research are gone.

He has blatantly taken Pauly's columns and run with those ideas and he's taken subject matter from these boards for his columns.

There is no use for it with Davis IMO. You can simply point to the production of Hickson if you want to see what Davis has meant. And again, it's not Davis. It's ANY veteran PG with a clue.

Lazy.

+/- is shit. Gorks like the link i gave you are way too common and that's the issue I have. If it's one of may complementary stats used okay, but it means nothing alone IMO.



Prosecutor wrote:
peeker643 wrote:As for +/-? No need for it. I've said it before and in a thread alluding to the very point that guys like JJ Hickson, et al benefit from the occasions when BD graces the lineup with his presence.


Isn't this a statement supporting the validity of (+/-)? If players like Hickson benefit from the presence of Davis on the floor (and Hickson has been quoted as saying he does), shouldn't we expect the Cavs to do better in terms of points scored versus points allowed when Davis is on the floor? That, in fact, is the case, as Pluto pointed out. Davis' personal +/- is far better than the next highest Cavs player. The statistic confirms your personal observation.

So why is the statistic a "hockey stat" that means nothing to an NBA game? If that is the case, then the NBA leaders in +/- would just be some random names from around the league, right? According to 82games.com, the NBA leaders in +/- right now are, in descending order, Nash, Pierce, Nowitzki, Garnett, Aldridge, Paul, Bosh, James, Howard, and Duncan. Recognize any of those names?

I agree that no stat is perfect. Probably the reason Nash leads the league is because his backup point guard is so bad that the Suns get hammered whenever Nash sits down. But as 7foot said, it means something, if nothing more than to be useful in a discussion of which players are more valuable to their specific teams.

There has to be some way to give credit to players who do little things that don't show up in a stat sheet but lead to points scored and points denied. Things like deflecting a pass to force a turnover, taking a charge, and slapping a rebound away from a defensive player to get your team a new shot clock. Switching properly on defense rather than blowing the switch and allowing an easy layup. Setting a pick correctly. Filling a lane on a fast break to occupy a defender and open up a 3-pointer. +/- is the only stat that accounts for things like that. So while it's not perfect, it's not like using passed balls to evaluate center fielders.

E says I didn't know that 82games publishes 5-man +/- numbers. He must have forgotten that I used those numbers last year when arguing that Shaq wasn't helping the Cavs much. I pointed out that 7 of the top 8 five-man combinations for the Cavs did not include Shaq. Two of the three worst did. Must have been a coincidence.

As for Pluto, he writes for the casual fan, at least in his PD columns. He can't start throwing out VoRP numbers or he'll lose most of his audience. His point was that the Cavs were 12-56 (.176) without Davis and 5-7 (.417) with him. In case anyone thinks it might be a coincidence, he included the +/- stats to show the Cavs do significantly better when Davis is on the court. He's not splitting the atom, but that's not what they want him to do.
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby jerryroche » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:55 pm

e0y2e3 wrote:Alright Jerry - can you link me what is good that Old Quitter wrote in the last two years?


Admittedly, Pluto's statistics-based articles don't carry much weight, but statistics are available in a million places on the Web. I much prefer his personality-based articles, mainly because he has access that none of us do. F'r instance: http://www.cleveland.com/pluto/blog/ind ... st_39.html.

One of the great things about having such a wide variety of authors with a wide variety of styles available (TCF, DiaTribe, Cleveland.com, etc.) is that readers can pick and choose favorites. I still like much of the human-interest stuff Pluto writes. Personal preference, nothing more.
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby Prosecutor » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:26 pm

+/- is shit. Gorks like the link i gave you are way too common and that's the issue I have. If it's one of may complementary stats used okay, but it means nothing alone IMO.


I agree it means nothing if you try and use it for one game. It's like saying Mark Whitten was a better home run hitter than Babe Ruth because he hit four dingers in one game, which Ruth never accomplished.

Over the course of a season I think +/- has some validity. Somewhere between "shit" and "take it to the bank". Where is falls exactly on that continuum I don't know.

I think it works for a player like Varejao, who was in the top five last year if I'm not mistaken. All the little things he does that don't show up in the standard stat line like taking charges, diving on loose balls, setting effective picks, tapping missed shots out to his guards, forcing the dribbler away from the basket coming off a pick...all those things are reflected in only one stat, even if it's not perfect. If you think it's shit I'm OK with that, but I'm kind of partial to it.
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby pup » Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:40 pm

stats are stoopid.

doesn't matter the sport.
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby motherscratcher » Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:47 pm

Prosecutor wrote:Over the course of a season I think +/- has some validity. Somewhere between "shit" and "take it to the bank". Where is falls exactly on that continuum I don't know.



If something falls between "shit" and "take it to the bank", but we don't know where...how is that valuable or useful?
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby Prosecutor » Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:28 am

motherscratcher wrote:
Prosecutor wrote:Over the course of a season I think +/- has some validity. Somewhere between "shit" and "take it to the bank". Where is falls exactly on that continuum I don't know.



If something falls between "shit" and "take it to the bank", but we don't know where...how is that valuable or useful?


I didn't say it was valuable or useful. I said I'm partial to it and I don't think it's totally useless. I'm really not capable of putting a precise value on it, but I think there's a place for it in a discussion, especially in comparing two players on the same team. If player A is at +100 and player B is at -50, I have a really hard time believing that player A isn't contributing more to the team, whether it shows up in the linescores or not.
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby diminishingskills » Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:51 am

You guys who are cracking on Pluto need to recognize a couple of things:

1. He writes way, way, way more than any of you do, or than any of the site writers do. And has for years. When any of you have put out several pieces a week for 30 years, then your criticisms may have some weight. If you think it's easy to be original and cutting-edge and funny for decades, try doing it sometime (and no, "one column a week for six months on a web site" doesn't count).

2. You are not his audience. The person who comes to a site like this has a much more specialized interest in Cleveland sports than the average guy who reads the PD. It's not because of education or intelligence or whatever you might think it is; it has more to do with interest and time. 99+% of the people out there do not care about advanced statistical analysis or arguing about the validity of plus-minus as a metric. They just want to know who won last night. Terry doesn't have the luxury (or the column space) to write a specialized article in a specialized style that will appeal to maybe a couple hundred people.

If Terry has "changed", maybe it's because you're a different reader now than you were then. Maybe he's been the same writer all along.

To most everybody here, points #1 and #2 do not matter because of the fundamental truth of message boards like this one: they are a place for people to dig in their heels and try to prove how right they are, rather than engage in actual discussion. When somebody here says "show me a worthwhile column that Pluto has written in the past year," they're not really looking for a worthwhile column that Pluto has written in the past year; and if one happens to appear (or even if a hundred of them appear), it'll be rationalized away somehow, all in the name of that somebody trying to prove how right they are.
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby aclayman » Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:24 am

Completely agree with diminishingskills. You have to consider the audience as much as the writer. Pluto has never been an advanced stats guy. It would bore/confuse his joe-schmo Sunday paper readers.
+/-, at the very least, has its niche group of supporters. So saying it's unequivocally garbage seems a bit of a leap. I feel the same way about a lot of supposed "clutch hitting" statistics, but I don't get offended when a guy drops them in every now and again. Hell, ERA and wins/losses stats for pitchers are often extremely misleading, particularly for relievers. What do you want from the old bald bastard?
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby Prosecutor » Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:27 am

You may be right in general, DS, but in this thread it seems there has been an unusual amount of reasonableness. I don't see anybody digging in their heels and putting a bag over their head. Some folks think +/- is a "garnish" that has some minimal value if placed on the plate properly, but it can never be the main course. I respect that POV and I can't disprove it.

I look at the guys who are leading the league in this category and they are all elite players, which to me gives it a little more validity. Fortunately, we don't all agree exactly how much value it has or there would be no discussion. At this point in the season there's really not much to talk about as the Cavs play out the string.
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby Prosecutor » Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:34 am

aclayman wrote: What do you want from the old bald bastard?


I want him to tell me how the Browns have ranked the top eight prospects in this draft. I want to know what their overall approach to the draft will be. I want to know who the Cavs are zeroing in on with their top picks. I want to know who Byron Scott wants back next year and who he doesn't.

Neither Pluto or any other writer is going to pry any of this information out of those front offices. So Pluto will have to publish whatever he can get.

If he is plagiarizing the writers on this site, he should give them full credit.
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby peeker643 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:33 am

The game has changed. Bottom line. Pluto is as antiquated as newspapers themselves. Maybe he's lazier, maybe we're hungrier for more topical information that he can't give.

Either way he's less enjoyable than he was previously and you can ask Pauly C, about as reasonable and truthful a guy as I've ever met, whether or not Pluto has 'borrowed' from either his blog, these pages, these message boards or taken PC's 'intellectual property' for lack of a better term, and used it to fill column space.

I find him lacking anymore. Maybe he has to 'cheat' to get around on that fastball. Still makes him 'cheat' in my book.

And a dinosaur.

YMMV

diminishingskills wrote:You guys who are cracking on Pluto need to recognize a couple of things:

1. He writes way, way, way more than any of you do, or than any of the site writers do. And has for years. When any of you have put out several pieces a week for 30 years, then your criticisms may have some weight. If you think it's easy to be original and cutting-edge and funny for decades, try doing it sometime (and no, "one column a week for six months on a web site" doesn't count).

2. You are not his audience. The person who comes to a site like this has a much more specialized interest in Cleveland sports than the average guy who reads the PD. It's not because of education or intelligence or whatever you might think it is; it has more to do with interest and time. 99+% of the people out there do not care about advanced statistical analysis or arguing about the validity of plus-minus as a metric. They just want to know who won last night. Terry doesn't have the luxury (or the column space) to write a specialized article in a specialized style that will appeal to maybe a couple hundred people.

If Terry has "changed", maybe it's because you're a different reader now than you were then. Maybe he's been the same writer all along.

To most everybody here, points #1 and #2 do not matter because of the fundamental truth of message boards like this one: they are a place for people to dig in their heels and try to prove how right they are, rather than engage in actual discussion. When somebody here says "show me a worthwhile column that Pluto has written in the past year," they're not really looking for a worthwhile column that Pluto has written in the past year; and if one happens to appear (or even if a hundred of them appear), it'll be rationalized away somehow, all in the name of that somebody trying to prove how right they are.
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby FUDU » Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:29 am

Respectful defense of Pluto and the art of being a writer by DS if nothing else, lots of legit points to take into consideration...and I challenge anyone to say I'm wrong.
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby Ziner » Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:35 am

I'm wrong

:dingle:
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby Orenthal » Tue Apr 12, 2011 11:16 am

Heels dug in, +/- is a bad basketball stat sample size or not. It works with hockey due to a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the scoring frequency. I doubt a larger sample can cover up the fact its an overly simplistic measure whose error is multipled with the scoring frequency.
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby jb » Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:00 pm

ppeker is goin to hell for dissing god's favorite sports writer
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby Prosecutor » Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:08 pm

Orenthal wrote:Heels dug in, +/- is a bad basketball stat sample size or not. It works with hockey due to a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the scoring frequency. I doubt a larger sample can cover up the fact its an overly simplistic measure whose error is multipled with the scoring frequency.


I try not to get into it with people whose heels are dug in, and I don't understand what you mean when you say the error is multiplied with scoring frequency, but let me just say this...

If you go to the 82games.com home page and click on the Cavaliers team page, there is a table showing each players' individual production, his +/- when he is on and off the court, and an overall rating number they came up with for each player. According to the chart, the Cavs are outscored by 1.9 points when Baron Davis is on the court. All the other Cavs players are lower. But when Davis OFF the court, the Cavs are outscored by 10.3 points, for a net of +8.3, highest on the team. IOW, the Cavs improve more when Davis is on the court than they do with any other player, according the the +/- "net" number.

Does this fit with the observed facts? Let me offer this quote from Byron Scott, pulled from today's column by a lazy, washed-up, plagiarizing writer who will remain nameless:

"I think he [JJ Hickson] has really been helped by B.D. [Baron Davis]. The whole team has...we are a different team with him on the court. He brings confidence."

In this case the observations of the head coach agree with the +/- "net" number. I don't know if an example could be found where a coach states that a certain player helps his teammates elevate their game when he's on the court but that player still has one of the worst +/- numbers on the team. It's counter-intuitive.

I think +/- has value but only under certain conditions. First, I would use the "net" +/- number which better reflects the difference in the team's success when the player is on versus off the court. I would restrict the use of +/- to starters and rotational players who get signficant minutes. Reserves who mostly play in garbage time against other scrubs could put up good numbers that would mean nothing. And I would also restrict it to players on the same team. Obviously a guy who plays for San Antonio or Chicago is going to have a better +/- number than an identical player on the Cavs or T-Wolves. Finally I wouldn't look at it until we're at least 30 games into the season.
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby peeker643 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:25 pm

Prosecutor wrote:[Does this fit with the observed facts? Let me offer this quote from Byron Scott, pulled from today's column by a lazy, washed-up, plagiarizing writer who will remain nameless:

"I think he [JJ Hickson] has really been helped by B.D. [Baron Davis]. The whole team has...we are a different team with him on the court. He brings confidence."

In this case the observations of the head coach agree with the +/- "net" number.


Really? They also agree with a casual fan who watches games:

There is no use for it with Davis IMO. You can simply point to the production of Hickson if you want to see what Davis has meant. And again, it's not Davis. It's ANY veteran PG with a clue.


You keep missing the real point. It's a bad stat for the sport and it's completely unnecessary despite your hero going to it like it's his best bible. And Scott not being blind (but never referencing the stat or Pluto's insightful piece as far as I can tell) means Pluto isn't lazy, washed up and taking from others without accreditation?

Whatever.

It's abundantly clear Davis improves the team. ANY EXPERIENCED PG WOULD. Byron Scott didn't need to (and DID NOT) look at some shitty stat to know Davis has made Hickson better. Neither did anyone paying attn. The numbers don't lie in this case. They just don't tell you anything other than what you should be easily seeing.

You don't look at a clock to know whether it's day or night do ya? That's what this is akin to IMO.
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby e0y2e3 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:33 pm

In essence what you are saying here is that you like +/- because it lets you continue to not watch the games and then come crowing about the astounding fact that JJ Hickson plays better with a vet PG on the floor than w/out one?

And then on top of it (since you don’t watch the games and have admitted as much…. SOME OF THE NATIONALY BROADCAST ONES – MY BAD) you use +/- to make ridiculous statements like Shaq + the Cavs being worse than Z + the Cavs (and once during that thread you actually admit that you don’t even believe half of what you say)?

You are right, back in 1989 when people were discovering the great statistical advancement that is +/- (I MEAN HOLY SHIT THAT IS ANALYSIS) some people noticed that every so often it was a cute little commentary. But crowing on a message board every year or so whenever a cute little meaningless commentary suits your agenda is the stupidest fucking thing anyone has ever done here.

Basketball is a highly nuanced game and because of this an over-generalizing stat that isn’t pace adjusted, league average adjusted, or anything else provides about a sloppy a snapshot as possible. It is meaningless in the big picture because it tells no fucking story. Good lord you could at least try and read the advanced metrics stuff. It wouldn’t make up for your continued refusal to watch games you comment on, but at least it would show effort.

Take your fucking ball and go home or start watching the games. I like the advanced stats stuff as much as ANYBODY and even it only works in basketball as a nice commentary, not a picture drawer.

What you do with your +/- bullshit instead of just watching games is beyond terrible.

“BUT AT LEAST THE EVERYMAN GENERALIST (as I am told in this thread) USED IT ONCE!@$!!!”

Gawd you’re a fucking retard.

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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby Orenthal » Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:36 pm

I don't thread with a passive aggressive. If you want to call me stupid just do it...

e0 points above about pace, that is part of what I meant by frequency. More to follow...

You can't understand? Dwayne Wade is -4 when he goes for 34 points, is 10 of 12 from the line, has 8 boards, shoots 50% from the field, has 2 steals...

What about minutes? How does raw +/- compensate? Raw plus minus measures the value of a player relative to those who substitute in for him, not his true value. Doesn't compensate for a weak starter surrounded by better players (minutes), or who the player is playing against on the floor (BARON DAVIS WAS COMING OFF THE BENCH). Doesn't take into account the strength of opponent player combinations.

Raw +/- is worthless. It has to be normalized to epic proportions just to be usable as a compliment in a basket of other more importnat measures. Then you also have to weigh that against game action, because even surrounded by other measures it can lead to error since it doesn't account for other players on the team, or opponent player combinations.

I'm sure Tim Kempton would have had a great +/- if he played on a team with Karl Malone at PF, Chuck Barkley at SF, Jordan at SG, and Magic at the PG.
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby Orenthal » Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:49 pm

If you cant see how the stat is more useful in a low scoring game, of few statistical measures, your an idiot.

Goals, assists, uh, uh, and plus/minus.

Also 5 minutes of effort will show you that there is debate about the usefulness of +/- in hockey, for many of the same outlined reasons. Just that in hockey you don't have many other competing measures.
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby peeker643 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:10 pm

You're stupid OJ.

We're still being encouraged to say that, right? Just want to get it in now...

Save your breath dude. Seriously. It's like arguing with a coffee cup.

I'm changing the wording under his name to 'The Outlier' if I remember how to do that.

Or 'The Outlyin' King' or maybe 'Plutonian Outlier'....

Preferences?


Orenthal wrote:If you cant see how the stat is more useful in a low scoring game, of few statistical measures, your an idiot.

Goals, assists, uh, uh, and plus/minus.

Also 5 minutes of effort will show you that there is debate about the usefulness of +/- in hockey, for many of the same outlined reasons. Just that in hockey you don't have many other competing measures.
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby pup » Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:17 pm

First preference is OJ is stupid.

After that, I will vote for 'Halfway Outlier'
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby peeker643 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:56 pm

pup wrote:First preference is OJ is stupid.

After that, I will vote for 'Halfway Outlier'



I kind of like 'Everyone is Stupid But Me'

But I'll go with 'OJ Is Stupid'. Or 'Orenthal Is Stupid'
We have a 3rd on that?
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby Prosecutor » Wed Apr 13, 2011 4:32 pm

Orenthal wrote:I don't thread with a passive aggressive. If you want to call me stupid just do it...

I don't think you're stupid. I respect your post which is why I responded to it and not some others.

e0 points above about pace, that is part of what I meant by frequency. More to follow...

Thanks for clearing that up.

You can't understand? Dwayne Wade is -4 when he goes for 34 points, is 10 of 12 from the line, has 8 boards, shoots 50% from the field, has 2 steals...

That's why I keep saying +/- means nothing for one game. Like the Mark Whitten hitting four home runs in one game example I cited. I specifically said I wouldn't look at this stat until at least 30 games into the season because you need a large sample size for it to have any use.

What about minutes? How does raw +/- compensate? Raw plus minus measures the value of a player relative to those who substitute in for him, not his true value. Doesn't compensate for a weak starter surrounded by better players (minutes), or who the player is playing against on the floor (BARON DAVIS WAS COMING OFF THE BENCH). Doesn't take into account the strength of opponent player combinations.

Yeah, it has to be converted to a 48 minute basis, which I believe it is in the 82games table. As for the other variables, such as whether the guy is playng with or against starters or subs, that all evens out over 82 games, unless the player only plays in garbage time. Which is why I said in my last post that you have to restrict it to guys who play heavy minutes over the course of a significant number of games. The guys that don't? Who cares?

Raw +/- is worthless. It has to be normalized to epic proportions just to be usable as a compliment in a basket of other more importnat measures. Then you also have to weigh that against game action, because even surrounded by other measures it can lead to error since it doesn't account for other players on the team, or opponent player combinations.

It does have to be normalized, and maybe it's not worth it if you have to go to "epic proportions". I think this discussion has reached the point where it's not worth it. I'm not going to keep banging on about this because it's generating too much frustration which is not my intent. I just like the stat because when I watch the Cavs I see Varajao doing a ton of little things to help the team that don't show up in the box score. But I noticed his personal +/- was among the league leaders last year whereas his conventional stats made him look like an average schmoe. It's the only stat that reflects (to some extent) those charges he takes and rebounds he keeps alive and opponent's pick-and-roll attempts he stuffs. I'm not going to insist anybody else appreciate it if they don't want to. Suit yourself. I'm done and I won't be raising this topic again. Thanks for the discussion. Season's over anyway.

I'm sure Tim Kempton would have had a great +/- if he played on a team with Karl Malone at PF, Chuck Barkley at SF, Jordan at SG, and Magic at the PG.

True. Which is why I said you have to restrict it to comparing players on the same team. Doing that also eliminates the pace of the game issue.

Would any experienced point guard have made the Cavs better this year? Sure, I agree with that. The interesting thing to me is the Cavs are winning 40% of their games with an experienced point guard after winning less than 18% without one. And this particular guard is playing hurt and only averaging 25 mpg. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next year when he's healthy and we get Jamison, AV, and two lottery picks.
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby e0y2e3 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 4:53 pm

I love the nuanced development of Pros evaluation of +/-.

Every time he mentions the stat he gets closer to admitting that it is useless, by shifting just one small part of his argument here and there.

I’m just fucking happy he hasn’t found *GASP* ADVANCED +/- YET!@$!$!!

Pros, your existence makes me :-(

Now we are up to same players on the same team for over 30 games (which still ignored minute fluctuations, SOS, PACE – and you saying that using it for the same team over 30 games accounts for pace is the fucking dumbest thing ever, etc).

Just fucking stop.

Please.

Stop.

Honestly – this argument was hashed in 1991 on AOL Usenet. It’s a fucking dead and useless horse you keep beating.

And maybe watch a game some day.

Or research actual statistical analysis of the sport.

Or fuck – BOTH!!@#$!!!

PS – this is all my fault for mentioning this argument in the Durbin thread. I beat the fuckstick to the point where he admitted to making up arguments last year and reminding him of that brought him back here. To make up more arguments.

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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby HoodooMan » Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:20 pm

Things I know:

-Chris Bosh is the second most valuable player in the NBA.

-Luol Deng is the Chicago Bulls' MVP.

-Derek Fisher is a more valuable Laker than Kobe Bryant.

-If you'd take Kevin Durant over Hedo Turkoglu, you're even stupider than OJ.

-We really F'd up letting Z go. Even at this stage in his career, he's the 50th most valuable player in the league.

-The post that started this thread promised something legendary. What followed has sadly disappointed.
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby e0y2e3 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:34 pm

Thing is Hooboo/Boohoo – we already had this argument last year.

All those points were raised then in various ways (I think it was even this thread when Pros talked about how he actually watched a recent game then cited the wrong team being the opponent for the finish he described).

No one has the energy to deal with him anymore (although the Durbin thread on the Indians board was pretty effing grand). I’m mad at myself for even posting and OJ for the same.

Pros needs to be set on fire and sacrificed to Satan, because this thread is such great trolling it’s almost spectacular. This rivals Tree’s work blow for blow.
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby motherscratcher » Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:31 pm

I don't have a dog in this fight. I could care less about NBA stats in general. There's only so much time in the day and if I'm going to be looking at stats, they are going to be MLB stats. That's what I like.

I only provide that background to say this: Pros, in light of the way this discussion has gone, why would it be so hard to say something like "Jeez, I didn't realize all of the problems with this stat. Thanks, I feel like I know more now."? Or something to that effect. Just "Hey, I didn't realize that stat had so many flaws."

Why continue to argue for something that seems to be so completely wrong?

Unless you don't think that it's a pretty worthless stat, which, at this point seems kind of, you know, insane?

I knew what +/- was vaguely. I didn't know it was essentially worthless until this thread. But it seems pretty clear here.

I mean, doesn't it?

It's not about "admitting" anything. It's more like, why not allow yourself to be more informed?

Anyway, that's what I get reading through this thread and the main thing I can't figure out.
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby Cerebral_DownTime » Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:40 pm

Now you're advocating human incineration and Satanic sacrifice. You're a strange angry man.
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby e0y2e3 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:50 pm

Cerebral_DownTime wrote:Now you're advocating human incineration and Satanic sacrifice. You're a strange angry man.


Child please... if you hang out with a latvian I'm 100% sure you've practiced the above.
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby e0y2e3 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:00 pm

motherscratcher wrote:I don't have a dog in this fight. I could care less about NBA stats in general. There's only so much time in the day and if I'm going to be looking at stats, they are going to be MLB stats. That's what I like.

I only provide that background to say this: Pros, in light of the way this discussion has gone, why would it be so hard to say something like "Jeez, I didn't realize all of the problems with this stat. Thanks, I feel like I know more now."? Or something to that effect. Just "Hey, I didn't realize that stat had so many flaws."

Why continue to argue for something that seems to be so completely wrong?

Unless you don't think that it's a pretty worthless stat, which, at this point seems kind of, you know, insane?

I knew what +/- was vaguely. I didn't know it was essentially worthless until this thread. But it seems pretty clear here.

I mean, doesn't it?

It's not about "admitting" anything. It's more like, why not allow yourself to be more informed?

Anyway, that's what I get reading through this thread and the main thing I can't figure out.


You really don't remember the 75 man beat down of Pros on the same topic at the end of last regular season?

He won't do what you suggest because he is trolling. Brought this up just after Peeks happened to mention his moronic +/- take in the Durbin thread. That's no coincidence.
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby rebelwithoutaclue » Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:17 pm

In the 06-07 season Sasha Pavlovic's +/- was +6.4 (per game)

Dwyane Wade +6.2
Dwight Howard +3.2
Carmelo Anthony +0.2

It is a meaningless stat and entirely dependent on who you play with/against.

EDIT: In 2003-04, 4 of the top 6 leaders in +/- were on the Sacramento Kings. Again, it's who you play with.

http://82games.com/comm19.htm

And the layout at 82games.com is terrible or I must be retarded or something because I've spent the last 15 minutes there and I can't find any league leaders list, just individual team lists. I found that random 03-04 link through google. Where did Prosecutor find the league leaders for +/- for this year, or any year really? I remember the last 2 years the Cavs usually occuped 3-4 of the top 10 because of Lebron and the guys that always played with him (Z, West, Varejao) had almost the same differentials.
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby Orenthal » Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:56 pm

[quote="Prosecutor"][quote="Orenthal"]I don't thread with a passive aggressive. If you want to call me stupid just do it...

I don't think you're stupid. I respect your post which is why I responded to it and not some others.

I reread the post I responded to, and there really isn't any tone to call out as passive agressive. However I couldn't read the rest of this one, because my heels are still dug in that its a horrible stat. And while you admit here and there its a compliment the OP in this thread asked for all the harshness it received.

Its a horrible stat in its raw form, and it still pretty feh normalized/adjusted.
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby Cerebral_DownTime » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:26 pm

The thread is like watching a turtle on it's back.
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby pup » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:42 pm

We need to work on a +/- stat for message board posters.

We could even include group numbers. Is Peeker better in a thread with moscratch? What does Pros starting a thread do to e0's rating?
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby Prosecutor » Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:52 am

motherscratcher wrote: Pros, in light of the way this discussion has gone, why would it be so hard to say something like "Jeez, I didn't realize all of the problems with this stat. Thanks, I feel like I know more now."? Or something to that effect. Just "Hey, I didn't realize that stat had so many flaws."

Why continue to argue for something that seems to be so completely wrong?

Anyway, that's what I get reading through this thread and the main thing I can't figure out.


I said I was done with this topic but I didn't anticipate someone asking an intelligent, honest question.

My answer is this: The +/- stat does not have any "flaws". No statistic does. Stats are simply mathematical expressions of true facts. The flaw comes in the way they are applied or misapplied.

You like baseball stats? Me, too. Who led the Tribe pitching staff in ERA last year? Answer: Andy Marte. One inning pitched, 0.00 ERA. That is not a flawed stat - it's a dead-on mathematical representation of his performance. If I tried to use that number to argue that Marte was the best pitcher on the team, the flaw would be in my application, not in the stat itself.

Any stat is worthless if the sample size is tiny. One game means nothing, whether it be baseball or basketball. I would be laughed off the board if I posted the box score of the Tribe's first game showing Fausto had an ERA of 30.00 and then claiming it was proof that ERA is a meaningless stat because Fausto is an All-Star pitcher. But when Peeker posted the box score of a single Miami Heat game as proof that +/- is a meaningless stat, everybody just nodded their heads.

I think +/- has some value when comparing players on the same team that play significant minutes over a substantial part of the season. As with any stat you can't just throw it around carelessly.

Last year I was watching Cavs games and it seemed like Shaq was hurting the team in a lot of ways. I checked his +/- and sure enough it was among the lowest on the team. I thought AV did a lot of little things to help score and deny points that don't show up in the box score. I checked his +/- and he was right up there behind LeBron. The stats supported my observations.

Peeker was hard on JJ Hickson earlier this year even though his scoring and rebounding numbers were among the best on the team. JJ's +/- is among the lowest of the guys who get a lot of minutes, suggesting Peeker knows what he's talking about. Peeker also observed that Baron Davis helps the team when he's on the floor, and sure enough, his +/- is the best on the team.

If you like advanced stats, basketball-reference.com came up with something called "Win shares per 48 minutes" which had Shaq at 0.119 last year, which was 7th on the Cavs, with the league average being 0.100. His best year was with the Lakers in '99-'00 when he was something like 0.287. This year the Cavs leaders were AV, Sessions, and Davis in that order, with JJ Hickson 12th.

Like I said, the value of any stat is how well you apply it, and if +/- is applied properly I think it has some usefullness in a discussion. Where it falls on the continuum between "shit" and "take it to the bank" is open for debate. I just think both extremes are incorrect. The fact that an award-winning sportswriter and a basketball site that exists for statistical analysis both use it makes me think it's worth something more than dog crap. But I'm no missionary trying to convert the masses. If people don't like the stat, fine. If it's going to generate this much angst I'll refrain from mentioning it again.
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby peeker643 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:20 am

Prosecutor wrote:But when Peeker posted the box score of a single Miami Heat game as proof that +/- is a meaningless stat, everybody just nodded their heads.

Peeker was hard on JJ Hickson earlier this year even though his scoring and rebounding numbers were among the best on the team. JJ's +/- is among the lowest of the guys who get a lot of minutes, suggesting Peeker knows what he's talking about. Peeker also observed that Baron Davis helps the team when he's on the floor, and sure enough, his +/- is the best on the team.

If you like advanced stats, basketball-reference.com came up with something called "Win shares per 48 minutes" which had Shaq at 0.119 last year, which was 7th on the Cavs, with the league average being 0.100. His best year was with the Lakers in '99-'00 when he was something like 0.287. This year the Cavs leaders were AV, Sessions, and Davis in that order, with JJ Hickson 12th.

Like I said, the value of any stat is how well you apply it, and if +/- is applied properly I think it has some usefullness in a discussion. Where it falls on the continuum between "shit" and "take it to the bank" is open for debate. I just think both extremes are incorrect. The fact that an award-winning sportswriter and a basketball site that exists for statistical analysis both use it makes me think it's worth something more than dog crap. But I'm no missionary trying to convert the masses. If people don't like the stat, fine. If it's going to generate this much angst I'll refrain from mentioning it again.


I posted the Miami box score because it was the quickest and clearest way to show the problems I have with that stat. Others have posted more egregious, larger sample-size examples.

Suffice it to say that I simply wouldn't include it in a tool box of numerical findings to judge the value of a player. It's subject to ridiculous swings and affected by way too many other variables to be reflective of an actual value. That's all.
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Re: Pluto whiffs on +/-

Unread postby rebelwithoutaclue » Fri Apr 15, 2011 1:32 pm

Any stat is worthless if the sample size is tiny. One game means nothing, whether it be baseball or basketball.



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