↓ Login/Logout ↓
Schedule/Results
↓ Roster ↓
Salaries
↓ Archives ↓
↓ About ↓

Every other NBA team’s top two players share the court between two and eight times as much as Pistons’ Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe

Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe – using win shares – have been the Pistons’ best players this season. Yet, they’ve played very little together.

Here’s some context for how much a team’s top two players (using win shares) have shared the court this season. It’s important to note win shares are very much influenced by minutes played. So, we’re not looking at top players who have been injured or low-minute players who have been effective in a small sample. The Bobcats and Bulls had two players tied for second in win shares, so I show both combinations for those teams.

28 Comments

  • Jan 10, 20133:16 pm
    by tarsier

    Reply

    Not even slightly surprising.

    And yet, good to know. Is there anyway to get Frank’s address? I would seriously print out this article and mail it to him.

  • Jan 10, 20133:51 pm
    by Vic

    Reply

    WOW. Excuse the hyperbole but that is very eye opening. 
    Even if you have less wins, you would expect them to play their two most effective players together for a higher percentage of time, and “try their best”. Hypothetically we could be on the left side of the chart if we played the two highest rated players together, and still have a bad record, right? Every team could be at 100% if they played their to best players 48 a night, right.

    So correct me if I’m wrong, but this chart shows that the best teams play their best players together more minutes, and the worst teams play their best players together less minutes. 

    If that’s true then sorry but you are really underselling this chart. This discovery should be on every NBA related site, and sent to every teams general manager. This shows that coaches that refuse to figure out how to play their 2 best players together need to change or get fired.

    • Jan 10, 20134:36 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      I was surprised by how strong the correlation between winning % and top two player concurrent playing time was (correlation coefficient over 0.7 in spite of Detroit single-handedly pulling it down by .03).

      However, you may be confusing correlation for causation here. I would guess the correlation is from better teams playing their best players generally more minutes rather than from particularly playing them simultaneously. But I would be interested in seeing this data from a few other seasons to see how well even just the correlation holds up.

      Also, is anyone else blown away by the fact that Nene is a top 2 win share contributor for the Wizards? In spite of the fact that he has only played 20 of 33 possible games! And has averaged under 24 mpg!!

      • Jan 10, 20135:12 pm
        by Vic

        Reply

        I’m not saying it’s causation, because if that was the case then Philadelphia Dallas and LA Lakers would be winning teams…

        But the correlation is a big enough deal by itself, because it shows generally what strategy is best in team building and playing time.

        • Jan 10, 20136:01 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          I think you are misunderstanding what it means to confuse correlation and causation.

          Causation would not in fact mean that Philly, Dallas, and LA would be winning teams. That would be true if simultaneous play of your two best players was the only causal factor in making a team better, but it would not be a necessary result of simultaneous play time being one of several causal factors. Allow me to explain by example:

          Eating is causally related to weight. There is a correlation between how much people eat and how heavy they are. But it is no mere correlation. That weight is caused by eating. However, not everyone who eats a lot is heavy and vice versa. That is nevertheless causation.

          Heating bills are correlated with the quantity of hair on a body. However, if you heat your home more, or the power company jacks its rates or whatnot, that won’t cause you to grow more hair. Rather, both are caused by it being colder outside. That is correlation without causation.

          You are, in fact, arguing for causation (which may well be partially true but is unknown) because otherwise you would have no reason to believe that playing one’s best players together would increase win%. 

        • Jan 10, 20136:04 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          *Obviously, cold temperatures don’t cause you to grow more hair either. But, within the population at large, they do reduce people’s tendency to cut hair.

        • Jan 10, 201310:10 pm
          by Vic

          Reply

          I’m not saying causation because that would mean if everyone did it, everybody would win, which isimpossible. I said that it shows who’s coach is actually trying effectively… That’s why I suggested it be called “who’s tanking”

          • Jan 11, 20139:49 am
            by tarsier

            “Causation” is not a subjective term like “star”. We can all say, this is what I mean when I cal a player a “star” because it is not defined. You don’t seem to grasp what causation means, though.

            Reducing turnovers will cause a team to win more. If every team in the league does it, it’ll cancel out because wins are a zero sum game, but it is still a relationship of causation. Ditto for shooting a higher percentage.

            If you say A is correlated with B but does not cause B, then, by increasing A, you would have absolutely no reason to expect B to increase. That is what correlation without causation means. It isn’t debatable. It isn’t an opinion. That is the meaning. So, whether you use the term or not, what you are claiming is in fact a relationship of causation and not merely correlation. Otherwise, there would be no reason to recommend any course of action.

            Now I’m not saying that playing your best players together does not cause more wins. I am saying that what is provided in this post is insufficient evidence to draw that conclusion. What seems much more likely is that putting better players on the floor causes more winning. So teams are more likely t win if they have their best (any number but in this case two) 2 players on the floor more often. So, having them play more often both causes more winning and causes them to be, on average, on the floor together more often. So those two results end up being correlated as they are both being caused by a common factor.

  • Jan 10, 20133:55 pm
    by Vic

    Reply

    Philadelphia and Dallas are bad teams this year, but this chart shows that at least they try. And that fits with real life too because Doug Collins and Rick Carlisle are generally known as good coaches.

    LA lakers too. 

  • Jan 10, 20133:57 pm
    by Vic

    Reply

    You should rename this the “who’s tanking” chart and do a feature on Espn  towards the end of the year.

    • Jan 10, 20134:04 pm
      by Vic

      Reply

      Every city on the right side of this chart is getting shafted. I say every team if they’re trying, should be at least 60%. 
      Promote this chart for the good of the game. 

  • Jan 10, 20134:27 pm
    by Drew

    Reply

    I agree that they should play more together, but how many other teams’ two best players play the same position (or very similar position).  And many other teams’ top two players (in WS) is a rookie?

    • Jan 10, 20134:38 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Top two players being big men is not exactly the same as top two players being PGs. It’s more like top two players being wings. Which would probably typically result in being played together.

    • Jan 10, 20134:51 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      But, in answer to your question about how many play similar positions:

      Charlotte: Ramon Sessions + Kemba Walker (PG)
      New Orleans: Robin Lopez + Ryan Anderson (PF/C)
      Sacramento: Jason Thompson + DeMarcus Cousins (PF/C)
      Utah: Paul Millsap + Al Jefferson (PF)
      Chicago: Joakim Noah + Carlos Boozer (C)
      Houston: James Harden + Chandler Parsons (SF)
      Memphis: Marc Gasol + Zach Randolph (C)
      Miami: LeBron James + Chris Bosh (PF)

      You may debate that some of these are “similar positions” but they all share one or both of their most commonly played positions, and mostly big man positions too. Furthermore, as has often been noted, Monroe and Drummond have incredibly complimentary playing styles. This isn’t like playing Kendrick Perkins and Emeka Okafor next to each other. Or JaVale McGee and DeAndre Jordan. Or Reggie Evans and Kris Humphries.

      • Jan 10, 20139:38 pm
        by Blocks By Dre

        Reply

        Wade>Bosh

        • Jan 11, 20132:12 am
          by Worm

          Reply

          Obviously not in win shares, the whole basis of the chart.

        • Jan 11, 20139:52 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Agreed. But in this case, we are not talking about who are actually the teams’ two best players because that would be subjective and debatable. So, as the original post clearly states, we are talking about each team’s top two players by the objective (but not necessarily as meaningful as ideal) statistic “win shares”.

  • Jan 10, 20135:03 pm
    by Scott Free

    Reply

    While the correlation is staggering, I’d like to see a chart comparing two best players time together on the court against team attendance.  

  • Jan 10, 20137:00 pm
    by AJ

    Reply

    I know this is a little off base but what do you guys think of this trade?

    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=ao3w2ft

    Do you think Sacramento would do this trade?    
     

    • Jan 10, 20137:01 pm
      by AJ

      Reply

      Or if Joe D will do this trade? haha

    • Jan 10, 20137:41 pm
      by DasMark

      Reply

      So Sacramento trades both of their shooting guards for Stuckey (who’s basically an older Evans) and their bench trash? 
       

      • Jan 10, 201311:03 pm
        by Brigs

        Reply

        Forget about Sacramento doin it, why would we do it neither of those guys will help our floor spacing hell Evans jump shot is even worse then stuckeys 

  • Jan 10, 20137:39 pm
    by DasMark

    Reply

    Monroe and Drummond play the same position. 

    If Monroe doesn’t possess the ability to make a permanent slide to power forward, Detroit now has it’s biggest trade chip. Monroe is Detroit’s best player today, but Drummond has an immensely higher ceiling. 

    If it comes down to a ‘one or the other’ scenario, Monroe’s gotta go!  

  • Jan 10, 20137:44 pm
    by robertbayer

    Reply

    Monroe and Drummond do NOT play the same position except due to the choice of Frank … Monroe is not a classic center by any means and can be our starting power forward up at the high post while Drummond should be low post .. END OF STORY .. Start Drummond .. ASAP .. Better to not have adequate back ups at BIGS than to be missing an adequate STARTING PF ….

    • Jan 11, 20132:17 am
      by Otis

      Reply

      If this was the case, why would they be in a virtual platoon at center? Obviously there are a lot of doubts within the organization about playing them together or else it would be HAPPENING.

    • Jan 11, 20132:23 am
      by Worm

      Reply

      Is it better though? You can mask bad players by playing them with good ones, e.g. Maxiell with Monroe and CV with Drummond. However by putting Drummond into the starting lineup, you assure that Maxiell and Villanueva will play together. 82games.com keeps records of 5-man units for each team and a Maxiell-Villanueva lineup doesn’t appear in the top 20 (I’m not sure if it has appeared at all). In fact, the Pistons best lineups are those that feature Drummond with CV. Although the Drummond-Monroe lineup has been relatively good, I shudder to think about how a CV-Maxiell lineup would fare.
       

      • Jan 11, 20139:54 am
        by tarsier

        Reply

        Drummond and Monroe can both play enough that you wouldn’t have to go to a Maxiell-CV combo. They don’t need to play all their minutes together, it would just make sense for them to get a whole lot more together than they currently do. If for no other reason than that Maxiell and CV (and heck, wins this season) don’t really matter

  • [...] of PistonPowered, the Pistons top two players (in terms of WinShares) are only together on the court 8% of the time (Monroe and Drummond). The Bucks rank 23rd in this stat, with Jennings and Sanders being on the [...]

  • Leave a Reply

    Your Ad Here