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Greg Monroe demands an increased role, gets it, looks smart

Greg Monroe, you sly minx. I see what you did there. Just a reminder, here were Monroe’s comments earlier this week:

“My number is not getting called, and we run the offense through other players now, so I got to work to get shots other ways, but I don’t think it’s anything the defenses are doing.

I won’t accuse Monroe of peaking ahead at the schedule to see that the next game those comments would coincide with would give him a heavy dose of Byron Mullens or D.J. White guarding him, but if he did do that … bravo sir. A lot of players get frustrated when they aren’t getting the touches they should and a lot of players suggest that that should change in the media. On losing teams, those players often end up looking a bit silly if they follow up comments like that by not performing well when they do get the touches. Detroit’s next opponent after Monroe’s comments virtually assured that he’d have a good game and thus prove to the coaching staff that the Moose should be getting well fed every game.

Monroe shot 11-for-14 and had 25 points, 11 rebounds, four assists a steal, a block and no turnovers in 26 minutes. Charlotte’s incredibly soft defense certainly was a factor, but Monroe also played energetically. His energy level hasn’t been that consistent over the last couple weeks, but he had it back tonight. He obviously played great, but he was also doing something I wish he’d do more of: run the floor. The knock on Monroe since he came into the league is that he’s not supremely athletic, but that’s a bit of a misconception. He’s not an explosive leaper, but he is actually pretty fast, faster than a lot of big men in the league, in fact.

Against Charlotte, he routinely turned and sprinted down the court, beating his man and resulting in easy dunks. Getting those kinds of opportunities is contingent on a few things. Smart teams get their guards back on defense to prevent fast big men like Monroe from beating people down the court. Charlotte is not a smart team, so that was out the window. And it’s also dependent on Detroit’s guards pushing the ball, getting penetration and looking for Monroe filling lanes. If Monroe is sprinting past his man while a guard is walking the ball up, that doesn’t really do much good. But tonight, everyone on the Pistons’ roster was aggressive, Brandon Knight and Rodney Stuckey looked to run on just about every possession and the results were good for Monroe.

A lot of Pistons had pretty statlines tonight. They played hard and clearly wanted to atone for some lackluster performances over the last week. But I can’t stress enough that this Charlotte team is one of the worst in recent NBA history. The Pistons have a much tougher challenge against a Milwaukee team that still has playoff hopes. Tonight’s game was fun to watch (if you’re not a Charlotte fan), but nothing all that revelatory came out of watching the Pistons run for uncontested layups and take advantage of some of the latest defensive rotations I’ve ever seen. If Monroe can carry over his dominance from tonight into tomorrow, I’ll be much more impressed, not that he wasn’t great to watch tonight.

The problem with Prince

I was about to respond to a comment from prolific commenter and president of the Tayshaun Prince fan club (I kid, I kid) Max here, but since tonight’s game so perfectly illustrated the issue, I’ll do it here instead. Prince shot 3-for-14 tonight, in a game where Monroe made 11-of-14 shots and Knight was 8-for-12. People have off games, whatever. I don’t care so much about that. What I care about is that, in a game like this where two guys clearly have it going and are getting whatever they want, Prince doesn’t defer. He just doesn’t. In fact, based on his comments earlier in the week, he doesn’t have any interest in a non-primary role. And I’m sorry, but for this team to grow, he has to. He has to realize that Monroe is a much better, more efficient offensive player. He has to realize when no one on Charlotte’s team can stay in front of Knight. He has to realize that when his shots aren’t falling (and it’s not like he was just missing open, good shots tonight … I counted four that weren’t great looks and there was still time on the shot clock to get a better shot).

This isn’t about defending Austin Daye, either. I have no problem with the team sending the message to a young player like Daye that he won’t see big minutes until he’s capable of out-producing a veteran who has middling production like Prince. I wish Daye played more and I wish that Prince didn’t lead the team in minutes. That seems unnecessary to me, but at the same time, he still takes decent care of the ball and he’s still an intelligent defensive player. Those things are enough to keep him as the starter at his position simply because the Pistons have no one else on the roster who can do those things.

But you know what they DO have on the roster? Players who can efficiently score — Monroe and Stuckey, in particular. Stuckey didn’t have it going tonight, and guess what? He deferred to the guys who did. He didn’t force shots. Prince is not a superstar-level player who must get his requisite number of shots up whether he has it going or not because YOU JUST NEVER KNOW WHEN HE’LL GET HOT AND START NAILING LONG TWO AFTER LONG TWO! He was re-signed in Detroit for his basketball IQ and leadership ability. I won’t scoff at those things, if the front office and coaching staff is around him every day and believes those things are a commodity worth paying him what they’re paying him for as long as they’re paying him, I won’t debate that decision. They clearly have access to information that I don’t have. But watching Prince play like he played tonight, shooting far too often at the expense of teammates who were working themselves into great shots all night, is not playing smart basketball. Not being ready to take a reduced role, and he said in those comments linked above that he isn’t, is not displaying leadership and trust in rapidly improving young teammates like Monroe and Stuckey. The Pistons are going to have Prince around for a while. My biggest hope for the offseason is that he develops more of a willingness to become less of an option on offense. Him being phased out of the offense, settling back into a role as a third or fourth option at all times, is a good thing for Monroe and Stuckey and a good thing for the Pistons.

I don’t care that much about Knight’s points

The Pistons noted on Twitter that Knight had his ninth 20-point game tonight, tying him for second with Lindsey Hunter (behind Grant Hill) for the most by a rookie. I’m not really excited by that though.

What I am excited about? Knight had three steals tonight. Anyone who has read PistonPowered for a long time now knows how big a proponent  Dan Feldman is of the steal (“they lead to more easy scoring opportunities/good shots than any other turnover! Blah Blah Blah!” – Feldman, probably, while also coming up with an elaborate graph to illustrate how much he loves them). One of the more frustrating things for me about watching Knight this season is he looks like a guard who should get a lot of steals — really fast, really long arms, always around passing lanes — yet that hasn’t translated in the stats. He’s averaging just .7 steals per game.

Against Charlotte, he had three. I’m sure he was aided by Charlotte’s sloppiness with the ball and the fact that they’re a turnover prone team, but that’s the one skill I think Knight could develop that would silence some of his critics out there. He might not ever be the traditional distributor, half-court point guard, but if he can add ball-hawking defender to his outside shooting ability and his ability to push the ball, then that’s the start of a pretty good player.

Knight getting steals also helps him as a passer. He’s a better and more willing passer in transition than in the halfcourt, and getting steals launches him into transition and allows him to either attack the basket or find teammates for layups.

A lot of players on the Pistons need to improve defensively. Knight is one guy who has the mix of work ethic and physical tools to make a big jump on defense if he works hard at it in the offseason.

50 Comments

  • Apr 12, 201210:45 pm
    by Elliot

    Reply

    I agree with you on Prince.  I really hate to see him take those awkward looking fade away jump shots that hardly ever go in.  Tayshaun is a great player, but he is NOT A GO TO GUY.  I really would like to see some of Tayshaun’s offense go to Ben Gordon.  Tonight is a perfect example, Tayshaun takes 14 shots tonight and ben Gordon only takes 5.  Granted Tayshaun doesn’t play the same position as Gordon, and Gordon played limited minutes.  If Prince wasn’t featured as a focal point in the offense I think Gordon may see more looks.  The sarcastic statement about Prince getting hot and hitting long two after long two is the COMPLETE TRUTH FOR BG.  There is just no way that Tayshaun should lead the pistons in minutes and take more shots then a scorer like Ben Gordon.

    • Apr 12, 201210:55 pm
      by RationalSportsFan

      Reply

      Ha, Tayshaun is NOT a great player anymore.  He is a below average defender, who is inefficient on offense and does little to help others be efficient.
       
      He is a terrible resigning who is aging even worse than the most anti-Tay fans expected.

      • Apr 13, 20128:08 am
        by Jeremy

        Reply

        Completely agree with you and will go even as far as saying he never was a great player. He made a career out of 1 playoff series in 02 (Magic) and a play in the playoffs in 03. He is not this defensive beast that everyone has made him out to be. I contend that he was actually the worst defender on the “Back to Work” teams. It was Rip that took on the challenge of shutting Kobe down in the 2004 Finals, Sheed and Ben were excellent all around defenders, and the only way someone was getting by Billups was if they were completely faster than him. When the time came for Tay to actually defend a player who actually is someone in the league, he continually got blasted by them. Pierce and Lebron consistently destroyed him in the playoffs and he was supposed to be this elite defender who could shut anyone down.

        Since about the halfway mark of the season, I’ve noticed Knight getting more and more vocal with his teammates and the mistakes that are being made during the season. I’ve often wondered how his emerging leadership of this team will play out with Tay being the type of guy to not want to give that role up. My opinion is its time to ship him out for whatever draft picks a team is willing to offer for him. Move Jonas into the 3 spot (He thrived there 2 seasons ago when replacing Tay due to injurty). Make room for Singler and move on without any ties to the most dominant regular season to conference finals team of the past decade.

        • Apr 13, 20129:06 am
          by Lorenzo

          Reply

          I know Prince has regressed and is a changed player but his current short falls shouldn’t cause people to berate and belittle his past accomplishments; he played excellent for the past decade and nothing can change that. I think any perimeter defender plays better when he has good interior defense to play in front of; that made Chauncey,Rip, Tay, ALL excellent defenders. It was always a team effort guarding superstars like Kobe, T-Mac etc. So if you want to give credit for good defending on Kobe and T-Mac give everyone credit not just Rip, while if you want to lament the failures of defending Pierce and LeBron blame the whole team rather than putting Tay on an island. The one thing I will say about Prince’s skill set individually is that he has always played excellent against finesse guards/forwards (ala Kobe-T-Mac) and has struggled mightily against physical players (ala LeBron and Pierce) who physically wore him down…but then again no else on the squad had much success guarding those guys either.

        • Apr 13, 20126:09 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          FYI, Prince’s one big play (I assume you mean the block on Reggie Miller) was in 2004, you know, the year they won a championship.

      • Apr 13, 20129:02 am
        by rick77

        Reply

        Do u know what rational means if so then try and explain your thinking with a little bit of rationale added to it. Hamilton defended Bryant? What play did he make in 03? I can recall a block of Reggie Miller in the playoffs in 04 en route to a title. Pierce and Lebron didnt start until after we had been to four consectutive and then afterwrads is when they started taking advantage because we got older as a team not because of Prince. Billups was slow at the point and the guards in the East were gettimng better. Stop cherry picking. I remember when Prince would back LeBron down in the post and shoot hook shots over him in the playoffs and when it came time made key stops on guys because of his length. I know you may be upset with the current makeup of the team but you are acting like a clown when assessing his game as if this man didnt do good for Detroit. He is a Piston through and through. Good and bad and you should be happy that a good character guy like that can still lead a team in other categories than scoring. I get mad when I read irrational comments that make people sound silly even if they do have good basketball sense and this is one of those times. NBA Eastern Conference Finals all those years and he couldnt guard anyone. Mcgrady, Artest, Igudola, Carter, Jefferson,Mason,Pierce,Ginobli,James,Harrington and so forth and alot of those guys when they were on their respective teams at the time had a hard time with Prince as Prince more than held his own in those playoff battles. Btw you get NBA defensive team honors throughout your run as well but couldnt cover guys? Huh? What? Cmon man he is better than what we have right now and Im ok with that until someone steps up and takes it away from him like ke did Michael Curry.

  • Apr 13, 201212:12 am
    by Desolation Row

    Reply

    Tayshaun’s the only one who got the memo that if you throw games, you get a better chance at a lotter pick.

  • Apr 13, 201212:27 am
    by Jodi Jezz

    Reply

    Wow, pretty good read…You forgot to talk about my boy Gordon not receiving any minutes though…

  • Apr 13, 201212:43 am
    by Daye and Knight

    Reply

    If the warriors lose tonight, they tie with us record wise…at this rate even Sullinger might be out of reach lol well at least Utah owns their pick they don’t need a big man they’re set for life at the 4 and 5…so Sullinger…welcome back to the discussion for now

  • Apr 13, 201210:08 am
    by vic

    Reply

    i love what you brought out about Knight’s steals. Yes that would make him a complete guard, even if his assist is rate not at Chris Paul level. That’s exciting.

    We just need to pick up someone that can get Prince out of the lineup for a few minutes a game. Right now Daye can’t replace him defensively, Wilkins can’t replace him offensively. Jerebko is needed at the 4.

    Jae Crowder would take some of his minutes, and score and rebound without being a defensive liability. In my opinion, its just as important to our team to get Jae Crowder as it is to get a shot blocking big like Davis, Drummond or John Henson.

    Imagine the efficiency and excitement of a running team that is strong defensively as well, with Moose operating in the half court.

  • Apr 13, 20121:39 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    @Patrick   A few points.
    1. Prince has always been a streaky shooter from game to game or sometimes week to week.
    2. 14 shots is a lot of shots but not a gross number out of proportion to what a leading minute leader might take on a team that has non-scorers in the rotation.  Further, he should always take a good shot no matter how many shots he has taken and so should every other player on the squad.  I once heard Eric Snow say it best when he said that he always take the open shots and leaves it up to the coach to take him out if he is not hitting them because you hurt your team when you don’t take open shots.   Now, you said you saw Prince take four shots that were not “great” when there was still time on the shot clock.  In my opinion, the 14 shots is irrelevant because he apparently took 8 shots the he should have taken and the four shots seems like your only valid point here.  So basically, the Pistons beat the worst team in the league, Monroe and Knight have great nights and shoot a great pct and you are taking the opportunity of Prince missing four not “great” looks to rant and complain about him in general.

    3.  Stuckey just came back from an injury but I didn’t see anything about Prince having trouble deferring when Stuckey was scoring 25 every night last month.
    4.  By my count, and I’ve been paying attention, Prince passes the ball to Monroe more frequently than anyone with the exception of the starting guards.
    5. Judging everything on number of shots is false.   When you are making a claim about Prince’s unwillingness to defer and are using other player’s number of shots, Prince should get credit for every time he passes another player the ball whether they shoot it or not.  People want Ben Gordon to shoot more for instance but it’s not Prince’s fault that he doesn’t play with the same aggression and confidence he displayed with the Bulls.  Gordon touches the ball but he turns it over more often than he shoots.

    • Apr 13, 20122:12 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      This is what it boils down to: do you like watching one of your team’s least efficient scorers lead your team in shots? Because that’s exactly what is happening here.

      Prince doesn’t take many threes. He rarely gets to the free throw line. He shoots a lot of long twos and he is shooting a low percentage. Those things make him a really inefficient offensive player. There are four Pistons I’d rather see shooting than Prince: Monroe, Stuckey, Gordon and Knight. Monroe and Stuckey are obvious. With Knight and Gordon, they at least take a lot of threes and hit a high percentage of them. The bottom line is Prince is at best a fourth option who behaves like a first option and doesn’t seem to have much interest in relinquishing that role. He said it himself. He could’ve gone to a good team and played a smaller role or he could’ve stayed on a bad team where he inexplicably has a big role. He wanted the bigger role. If he’s your first or second option on offense, your team will never ever be good. Never.

      • Apr 13, 20128:45 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        He doesn’t really lead the team in shots.  When Monroe and Stuckey go to the line, those are due to shot attempts.

        • Apr 13, 20128:49 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          The point isn’t who takes the most shots though. If Prince leads the team in the recorded stat FGA or is anywhere close to doing so, and he is incredibly inefficient, that means he is shooting way too much.

      • Apr 13, 20128:59 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        We’ve been having this debate all year but I don’t understand why you see his leading the teams in shots as so significant and as some kind of indication that he is treated or behaves like a first option.   For instance, if I looked at a team and the team had 4 players averaging between 19-21 points while taking the same number of shots, I wouldn’t even just assume the player averaging 21 points is the first option.
        Prince leads the team in minutes and shoots about as often per minute as any of his teammates who can score.   Further, his backups have played so poorly that Frank must find it difficult to even take Prince out at times.
        Nevertheless, Stuckey when healthy has operated much more like a fist option and so has Monroe.  Stuck’s health has made his role inconsistent and Monroe’s never assumed nearly as big a role.  Knight has shot slightly less often than Prince and he is a rookie.  All of it makes reasonable sense to me but you guys want to pin your frustrations on Prince.  Whatever.  I don’t see anyone setting him up with a pet play the way he does when he throws the alleyoop to Knight.

        • Apr 13, 20129:20 pm
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          So just answer this: can the Pistons be a winning team with Tayshaun Prince being tied for the team lead in shot attempts and leading the team in minutes played? Just think about and answer that question. I’ve thought about it a lot, and i just don’t see how anyone could say ‘yes.’

          Prince’s presence in and of itself doesn’t hurt the development of young players on the team. Prince leading the team in minutes played, insisting on or being given (not really sure if Prince or Frank is more to blame there) a heavy role in running the offense and taking as many shots as the team’s best offensive players does slow their development. Come next year, if Prince settles into a fourth or fifth option role, plays 27ish minutes a game and is a happy camper about deferring to the team’s young talent, I’ll change my tune. I’m just skeptical that he wants that.

          His attitude and leadership improved this season for sure, but he also got a nice contract and is in the exact same large role he said that he wanted. He has stuff to be happy about. But let’s say the Pistons draft Harrison Barnes, who is ready to play big minutes off the bat, if not start. Is Prince going to be a happy camper playing less? Or if Barnes is a stud off the bat, is he going to be happy as a backup? Like I said, I’m skeptical. I think he’s had a bad season this year (and his career low FG% backs that up) and I don’t think he’s willing to play less if the talent at his position is significantly upgraded next season.

          • Apr 13, 201210:54 pm
            by Max

            I’d agree that Monroe and Stuckey at least need to take more shots than Prince and I’d assume going forward that they will be.   I even think the offense should always run through Monroe next year.
            They are not a winning team this year and one of the reasons is their inability to take care of the ball.   This emphasis on Prince demanding minutes overlooks the notion that the Pistons need him to help in areas where the team is bad.  Prince didn’t handle the ball as much when they were a winning team and he was better for it.   The problem is that this team has major deficiencies.  Prince was and is a player who can be used in a variety of ways and while he doesn’t look his best when he covering certain holes, there is no one better yet to fill them.
            I don’t see why there needs to be so much speculation about what would happen if a player eclipsed Prince at his position.  For one thing, the situation has not remotely presented itself.  For another, it doesn’t always matter how happy a player is with his minutes.  It only matters if he plays like a professional and I suspect Prince would.   Also, he thrived in his role as a backup in the Olympics and Coach K loved him.  Further, Prince is 31 years old so I think his aching knees would appreciate and benefit from playing fewer minutes.
            I’ve heard many a GM say on the air that they are largely throwing the stats out this year due to the lockout schedule and one conversation I heard was specifically about field goal pct being lower and inconsistent.  Prince was coming off two out of his three best field goal pct years going into this season* and Daye’s incompetence forced him to lead the team in minutes while playing with a rookie point guard which also forced him to bring the ball up more often.  Do you think these things had no adverse impact on field goal pct?
            *Prince actually led the league in field goal pct at the rim last year and Dwight Howard was #2.

    • Apr 13, 20124:57 pm
      by fartknocker

      Reply

      max i had to stop reading after you were talking about great offensive advice from eric snow?!?!?!  wtf

      • Apr 13, 20128:43 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        That Eric Snow is bad on offense was the point though.   He was acknowledging that he was not a good shooter but that since the coaches want him to take open jumpers (as they pretty much want all players to do) he should take them with confidence and not worry about it.   Obviously, if a team keeps giving Snow open jumpers and he keeps missing them, it’s up to his own coach to make an adjustment, but if he doesn’t take those jumpers, the whole rhythm and balance of the offense is going to suffer.

  • Apr 13, 20121:41 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    ***oops, he apparently took 10 shots he should have taken.

  • Apr 13, 20122:03 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    Also, teammates deferring to Prince should be considered as part of what we see as well.  Stuckey and Prince are the team’s only truly reliable ball handlers and Knight is coming along.  This means that these three players, and Ben Gordon since no one has handle, often wind up with the ball in their hands in poor situations and at the end of shot clocks.

  • Apr 13, 20122:10 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    BTW: Prince’s usage rate is the 2nd lowest of his career this year.  His rate for the year is 16.2 and his career average is 19.1.

    • Apr 13, 20123:08 pm
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      Where are you getting your numbers?

      http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/p/princta01.html

      This says the complete opposite.

      • Apr 13, 20123:44 pm
        by RationalSportsFan

        Reply

        Wow, second highest usage of his career, combined with the lowest PER since his rookie season.  I love when stats and the eye test match up perfectly.

        • Apr 13, 20128:34 pm
          by Max

          Reply

          I hate PER.  According to PER, the Pistons’ third best player is Macklin.

          • Apr 13, 20129:50 pm
            by tarsier

            PER is terrible for small sample sizes obviously–like Macklin’s. And it is completely acknowledged by everyone that misses everything that doesn’t show up in a box score. But for rolling up all the collected stats into one number, is there anything that does a better job?

          • Apr 13, 201210:55 pm
            by Max

            Yes, EFF.

          • Apr 13, 201211:09 pm
            by tarsier

            It’s the same stat, just not adjusted for number of positions. It better correlates with the best players in the league because they tend to get more minutes than others. But if you are trying to determine who to give more minutes to, it is a very poor stat to use. But all in all, it is very ignorant to like one and hate the other. It’s like hating points per 36 min but liking ppg. Again, I’ll acknowledge that PER will do a terrible job with Macklin because of the small sample size. But EFF will do an even poorer job as it will not be able to tell the difference between whether he put up the numbers he did this season in the approximately 80 minutes he’s had or in 800.

          • Apr 14, 20121:22 pm
            by Max

            A list of the top players by EFF is the closest thing I’ve seen to a metric that creates a realistic pecking order of players in the league even though it doesn’t do a great job.   PER on the other might as well be a fun house mirror because reading that list is nothing like a list of top players and all kind of marginal and fringe players would do well.   Also, EFF does do a good job of accounting for minutes because a player who hasn’t played a lot of minutes can’t earn that high a rating.

          • Apr 14, 20121:24 pm
            by Max

            And the comparison to per 36 minute numbers is poor because it’s easy to understand exactly what the stat means and doesn’t fill me with any ambivalence.   PER and EFF for that matter are warped metrics because the people who created them valued certain numbers over others and their decisions are somewhat personal and arbitrary.

          • Apr 14, 20122:20 pm
            by tarsier

            I did concede that EFF leaders will read out more like a list of the best players in the league. Also, I explained why. And why it is totally useless in a discussion of whether someone would be playing more or less–PER is definitely not perfect but it is better for that.

            While PER and EFF are more confusing than ppg and pp36, the comparison is still totally apt because the confusion does not stem from possession adjusting EFF into PER, it comes from starting with a conglomerate stat like EFF. In fact, the adjustment to PER is even better than the adjustment to per 36 minutes. Because it doesn’t just account for court time but for total opportunities.

            But yeah, assuming a list of the top PER performers will read out as the top players in the league is like assuming a list of points per 36 min leaders will read out as the best scorers in the league. By and large, it will be close, but it will have some egregious errors caused by small samples. You just have to ignore the players that don’t play much.

          • Apr 14, 20122:28 pm
            by tarsier

            As for the ides that the value of stats poured into PER and EFF are arbitrary and personal, you should read up more on how these things are calculated before talking about them at such length. Hollinger didn’t just say “I think a block should be worth x points and a rebound worth y points.” What he did was to find the average number of points scored per possession and basically built everything around that. So if you use up a possession (by shooting or having a TO), you are docked the number of points an average possession is worth. But of course, if your consumption of the possession led to points (your shot went in) you get the points for making the shot. For a steal, you are credited with the value of a possession because you have cost the other team a possession. For a block, you get part of a possession based on statistical odds of the defending team recovering the ball after a block. For a rebound, you get the value of a possession multiplied by the odds that the other team would have collected the rebound if you didn’t. Assists are the only stat I don’t know about. I’m assuming Hollinger has some statistical machination to give a fair value to them, but it’s possible that that is the one stat for which you are right that it is personal and arbitrary.

            But the moral of the story is that just because you don’t understand how something is calculated doesn’t mean it isn’t done objectively.

          • Apr 14, 20124:36 pm
            by Max

            The decisions are personal and arbitrary in the sense that some stats are considered more important than others.  One big criticism I have of PER in general is that I feel it grossly undervalues rebounding.  The list of best players you get from PER doesn’t just skew for minutes but also overvalues field goals and undervalues rebounding.  Hollinger may have rationals for why he weights certain stats but that doesn’t make his reasoning a correct objective formula.  At the end of the day, there is no formula for winning that can be called objectively true and anyone trying to come up with one number to all of the stats will have to confront decisions about the relative value of each stat.

          • Apr 14, 20124:43 pm
            by Max

            Also, I don’t why it is true but EFF doesn’t undervalue rebounding the way PER does.  Dennis Rodman for instance is an 18 point something in eff but by PER he is a slightly under average player for his career.

          • Apr 14, 20125:18 pm
            by tarsier

            Again, PER and EFF are essentially the same. EFF does not value rebounding any more than PER. The reason Rodman will be higher on EFF is simply because he played more possessions than most players. That is the only way to have a high EFF relative to PER just like the only way to have a high PER relative to EFF is to play relatively few possessions.

            And yeah, I’m not saying that the value assigned to any stat by EFF/PER is some sort of perfect metric. I’m just saying it isn’t some guy saying, “I think this stat should be worth x.” It is based on a statistical estimation of the average value of such a stat. So a rebound one season may actually be worth more than a rebound in another season depending on factors like what percentage of the boards are taken in by the offense or defense and how effectively teams score that year.

            Many people have complained that rebounding is undervalued and scoring over valued. I would point out that scoring inefficiently is barely valued at all and can actually have negative value. Scoring efficiently is the fastest way to bring up one’s EFF/PER though. The arguments are probably valid but I think it makes sense because at the end of the day,t he winning team is the one with more points, not the one with more boards.

            Also, offensive rebounds actually tend to be quite valuable to EFF/PER. Defensive rebounds are not valued very highly, but again, I think that makes sense. Most defensive rebounds, if the player who collected it had not done so, it still would have gone to a member of his team. That means the fact that he grabbed that rebound was not actually very valuable at all. Of course, some players get a higher percentage of boards that would have gone to teammates and some get a higher percentage of those that would have gone to opponents. But since the box score doesn’t show which are which, PER/EFF obviously can’t account for that.

            I would say that what PER/EFF most undervalues is actually blocks. Because, to the best of my understanding, it doesn’t account for the fact that by and large, shots that get blocked are close to the rim and have a significantly better chance of going in (if not blocked) than average shots.

          • Apr 14, 20125:22 pm
            by tarsier

            The best rebounders will of course be under valued for the simple reason that the best rebounders aren’t all about getting lots of boards but about limiting how many the opponents get. But again, that isn’t something that shows up in the box score.

          • Apr 14, 20125:34 pm
            by tarsier

            I do like PER but it’s not like I would claim it is a great way of ranking the best players in the game. It is one more stat to throw into an argument, but nothing more than that.

            That is what bugs me about those who go on rants against PER. They seem to think that it is supposed to be used as an absolute player ranking metric. I don’t know of one PER user who claims that. It is comparable to when someone claims that number of championships won is part of how to assess the greatness of a player and somebody else retorts “So Horry is a top 5 all-time player?” Of course not. Nobody is claiming that. They just want to include number of rings in the discussion, not have it be the entire discussion.

            I like PER because it is very good at what it is there for. It rolls up all the box score contribution of a player into one number. It has its flaws, but there is not a better stat that does the same thing. Again, EFF is the same stat. It’s just the total one rather than the per possession one. That means they have different functions. If you want to know whose box score production has contributed more to his team, look at EFF. If you want to know who has been more valuable to have on the floor at any given time (again in terms of box score production), look at PER.

            And of course, a strong PER over not many minutes means absolutely nothing. The margin of error is just far too large. For instance, if a guy played one possession all year and hit a shot on that one possession, he would have far and away the best PER in the league.

      • Apr 13, 20128:34 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        I messed up.  I was using the same site but had sorted the stats.
        Leaving that.
         
        If you look at the Pistons shot attempts per 36 minutes, the shots couldn’t be more evenly distributed in general.
        http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/DET/2012.html
        Prince is second with 14 a game (and really first since Chalie V averages over 21)
        However, Monroe and Stuckey go to the line a lot more so the effectively shoot the ball more often than Prince.
        Prince, Monroe, Daye, Bynum, Stuckey, Gordon and Knight all shoot between 13 and 14 shots a game per 36 minutes.  It seems to me that would indicate they are sharing the shots.
        It has been suggested that Prince’s aversion to playing less minutes is the reason he doesn’t but the reality is that the competition at his position is the Piston’s least robust.
         
         

        • Apr 13, 20129:01 pm
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          The goal isn’t an egalitarian thing. The goal is to have your most efficient scorers shooting the most. Prince shouldn’t be basically even with Monroe and Stuckey in FGA per game. They would be better offensively if he shot less and they shot more. The guy shoots too much and scores inefficiently. I don’t even think those are arguable points at this point. I’m not saying he should be glued to the bench or something, but it’s pretty clear that he has no interest in a smaller role than the one he has. The Pistons already have two players who are significantly better than him offensively. They have a third in Knight who they hope gets to that point. They could add another in the draft, depending on who they get. So like it or not, his role is going to have to decrease very soon. It is not in Detroit’s best interest to keep treating Prince as if he’s a No. 1 or No. 2 option on offense. He’s certainly not now and he never has been.

          • Apr 13, 201211:08 pm
            by Max

            Prince is one of the two trusted initiators of the offense with Stuckey and Knight is coming along.  He is not the first option, but at as one the two most trusted initiators the ball is in his hands a lot.  When you combine this with the notion that he is always one of the top three of four scoring options, he shoots more often than he ideally should but I don’t think it’s as much a product of Prince’s will or Frank’s strategy as it is the result of not having distributors and not having players who can get their own shot and also create for others.
            I fully expect Knight, Stuckey and Monroe to run the offense more next year but they all had growing pains in terms of doing so this year.

          • Apr 13, 201211:16 pm
            by Max

            @Patrick  Also, do you really think it’s by design that Prince is even in shots with Monroe and Stuckey?  For me it is circumstantial.
            This season, Stuckey changed positions, came in and out of the starting lineup and had to figure out his new role.  He also got hurt early and had to play through pain when he came back.  After a good stretch of health, Stuckey started to roll and was easily taking more shots than Prince.   Then he got hurt again.
            Monroe on the other hand might win most improved in part because he has taken on so much of a larger role in the offense.   Last year, they never even ran plays for him.  This year, you are mad that he is basically tied for taking the most shots.   And to boot, he didn’t say he wanted more shots until this week after a whole season of admitting he was tired and asking Frank to sub him out.  Have you ever had the thought that maybe Frank tries to pace Monroe with how many shots he takes?

          • Apr 13, 201211:25 pm
            by tarsier

            A) Of course it’s by design. Maybe not Frank’s, but definitely Prince’s.
            B) Are you suggesting that Monroe gets tired significantly faster when he is shooting more? You do realize that while it certainly takes energy to get off a shot, it not much more than just playing decently and being available for a shot, don’t you?

          • Apr 14, 20121:18 pm
            by Max

            That’s very wrong.  Taking shots is just about the energy sapping thing a player can do, in large part, because they exert more energy when they are trying to get off a shot.   Scorers have confirmed this in thousands of interviews.

          • Apr 14, 20122:33 pm
            by tarsier

            Taking more shots may be more tiring if it were done on a massively different level. And I haven’t talked with a lot of big time scorers, I admit. But in my personal experience, and that of just about everyone I know, by far the most tiring part of playing basketball is playing D.

            Anyway, that is hardly the point, because a “massive” difference int he number of shot attempts for someone like Monroe would be maybe 4 more a game. Even if shooting is considerably more tiring than setting screens, getting open, running plays, boxing out for boards, and all the other things that must be done on offense regardless of who is shooting, there is no way I will buy that putting up 3 or 4 more shots per game would reduce the minutes Monroe could handle by anything significant (2 at max).

          • Apr 14, 20124:37 pm
            by Max

            That’s fine but a big goal I would think is to get Monroe to play more minutes.

        • Apr 13, 20129:56 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Competition at SF is the weakest. But Stuckey and Jerebko can both play the position along with Wilkins and Daye (the current back-ups). Furthermore, now that CV is officially playing, by which I mean, he has gotten off the bench, it is worthwhile to point out that he can play the 3 as well.

          But Prince’s minutes don’t bug me. Even his rate of collecting FGAs doesn’t bug me nearly as much as it does Patrick. It’s his contract and his presence on a team that has no use for him that bothers me. And lest I cause confusion, by no use for him I mean that by the time the Pistons will be in need of wins rather than losses, he will not be much of a player.

          So watching Prince’s I’m-gonna-get-mine style of play really bothers me because it reminds me of how incompetent Joe D has become.

      • Apr 13, 20128:37 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        I should said what I had wanted to originally and stated that Prince is 8th in usage rate this year and behind Stuckey, Monroe and Knight.

    • Apr 13, 20126:14 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Always fun when someone cite’s stats that are totally wrong.

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