Do WORDS coming out of camp impress me? No. As I said, I've heard this sort of thing before. I've heard it about Bargnani and I've heard it about other players, too. LOTS of other players. And most of the time it turns out to be nothing. Or at least temporary.
And how exactly am I "tossing the guy under the bus"? Because I'm not buying into the hype, just yet? You're criticizing me because I'm skeptical about a guy whose defense and rebounding have been flatlining for five years?
And if it's true that he has finally "got it" and that all he really needed to to is work harder to become a decent rebounder and defender, it doesn't trouble you that it has taken him until he was 26 something I figured out when I was a teenager?
If Bargnani WASN'T a Raptor, but played for another team, would any of you be buying into it right now? It seems that, because he's a Raptor, a lot of people here seem to have more faith in him than they would any other player. I remember hearing GREAT things about Charlie Villanueva last year during preseason. How he had been working out all summer and that he was going to focus on defense. And he had pretty much the same season he's always had.
I remember hearing in the preseason before Stephon Marbury's last season in the NBA, that he was at camp in the best shape in years and had a completely new attitude. And that even though people had heard this sort of thing before that this year was different because they were actually seeing the results. By the end of the year he was the NBA
's biggest trainwreck.
And those are just two very different examples.
And you are criticizing me for not automatically buying into it? Are you frigging joking?
You want a metric for Bargnani to reach? Sure. How about a wins produced number of 0.150 per game?
I don't care if he gets there by becoming a more efficient shooter, by upping his rebounding or what. I just want him to be a better than average (0.100) contributor, rather than someone who actively detracts from the team by stepping on the court. If he hits 0.200 - the allstar level his supporters think he deserves - or even 0.180, I won't just shut up, I will actively praise him and become a fan.
And yes, WP doesn't measure defense as well as it could, but if he turns around his wins produced he will be putting in so much effort that his defense is bound to be better.
The flip side is if Bargnani continues to be paid a higher than average salary for a lower than average production (less than 0.100 wins produced per game), I would like to see his defenders acknowledge his offensive weaknesses (inefficient shooting) as well as his well publicized defensive and rebounding weaknesses.
Wins produced, love it. A great metric that once and for all proved that the 76ers might have done much better in 2001 if only they would have dropped the mvp from their rotation because he was the 9th best player on the team.
The irony in your statement is that the book was written (if I'm not mistaken), pretty much based on the statement you just made. Everyone applauded Allen Iverson for what he did and called him an MVP, yet his team went very much overlooked. The idea behind WP is looking beyond, and within, scoring.... which history shows us is the most common value people use (and get paid for) to base the 'worth' of a player, while ignoring the multiple other areas players help, or hurt, to 'produce wins' for a team.
How does this apply to the 76ers? Well if someone says, "Yeah but AI is 9th best based on WP" (think Stochastics) and he is benched because of this, then the 76ers don't go to the finals despite the fact he is one of the most dominant players in the league at that time (think classical charting).
It might not be the best example but it popped in to my head regarding this discussion of WP. Basically stats and formulas are great but they need to be looked at in the larger picture.
I remember watching his 50 point games against us and being overjoyed, thinking "oh boy, they just don't get how much he is hurting that otherwise great team. I hope they never take him out; we'll coast to victory. Woohoo!"
I'm not saying that statistics can or do value every possibility or are a perfect representation of all things basketball (or sports for that matter). They only value what 'did' happen within a certain framework. But they are an unbiased representation that can value to the 'best of our ability'. The unknown is always a possibility (whether good or bad), but as long as the numbers are used right they give us our 'best guess' (so to speak), give us evidence of what was or wasn't 'true' and, over time, and can give us an indication of what will be the most likely possibility.
Why look at the body of work when a single game says so much more about a player. Brandon Jennings almost triple doubled in his first game and followed that by a 55 pt performance in his 2nd.... best player ever!
That said, using more science, and less subjectivity, has been greatly helping teams improve, pick players etc. When you look at most of the top teams in the league they are known for making use of advanced metrics. Although I will say I highly doubt teams use WP or PER or WS as their metrics, and I'm sure they each have their own models that aren't free on the internet :o
To me, if he could get to eight rebounds per game I think that would bring him in acceptable range. I think most of his rebounds are always going to come on defense but he should get more opportunities this season on the offensive glass as well if Casey follows through and runs some plays through Bargnani in the post. If he were grabbing eight per game he would have to be doing the right thing on the glass more times than not.
Btw, I'm not against stats which.you conclude, but wp and similar "stats" are something quite different. They are at least controversial to say it mildly.
Iverson has always been a bit of a stastical outlier. Advanced metrics don't like him because he was such an extreme volume scorer. He played so many minutes and was such a dominant part of his teams in those years, that his teammates (who benefited from playing with him, but who were generally more 'efficient') have over-inflated advanced metrics...at least compared to AI.
I don't know if you did watch AI or not, but that's irrelevant. And whilst WS can be a useful stat, mentioning AI wasn't exactly a point in your favor in your argument. And just so you know, I'm not against what you're saying or anything. Actually, I stopped reading the large "debate" you were having with Tim and Arse after the first page, but this is written based off of what you wrote on this last page.
But of course it's normal to twist stats and informations in the favor of your argument, unfortunately you picked something which doesn't really support it.
What you see as a terrible example I see as a perfectly fine one. His scoring and exciting play got him alot of attention. Fans tend to be drawn to that. Yet the year he's getting recognition for (00-01), his team was excellent (best defense in the league that year if I'm not mistaken) which often goes completely overlooked.
Like I said earlier, advanced stats try to look beyond the obvious (ie. a players ability to score) That year Iverson averaged 42 minutes, 25.5 shots a game, shot 42%, while giving up 3.5 turnovers a game on 36% usage.
As for the example, it still doesn't support your point. You are saying that WS shows that AI was over applauded and that the team was a lot better than most remember. But that is quite irrelevant, because WS "shows" that AI was 9th best player on his team and he wasn't, he was the best and most influential player on the team. Take away Allen Iverson and that team doesn't even make the playoffs. Who's going to lead them there? The 9 "better" players? From what I remember that 2001 team had: Ratliff, Mutombo, Eric Snow, McKie? The team was pretty "modest" without Allen Iverson, so it is a pretty bad example to support what you are saying.
I agree with your point to a certain extent, not fully but I do understand why you say it, but this just doesn't support it.