# The Bargnaning

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• Fri Mar 8th, 2013, 12:27 PM
Axel
Quote:

Nilanka wrote:
I understand the point you're trying to make. Our difference in opinion stems from whether or not we accept Matt's evidence to be truthful or not.

I believe that they are indicative of Bargnani's value to this team, and that they shouldn't be dismissed based on the somewhat poor counter examples provided in this thread.

It's not universally accepted that isolated stats don't provide value. Therefore Matt's numbers can't be considered "wrong".

Matt's stat regarding the Raps record when he scores 20+ points is even more telling considering Bargnani's #1 attribute to this team, has always been scoring. If the team can't win when he most does the thing he is best at, then that is obviously a problem. Rudy Gay's #1 attribute isn't steals, so the Raps record when he records 4+ steals is completely tripe (as intended). Accpeting that certain players have key areas of responsibility and the correlating affect it has on the team, is totally a fair justification of using stats to state the obvious "Bargnani is terrible"
• Fri Mar 8th, 2013, 12:33 PM
jimmie
Quote:

Nilanka wrote:
I disagree with the bolded. I think the stats do indeed show a correlation....they just don't necessarily establish causation.

The correlation being that it's harder to win games with Bargnani a key contributor (which is different than saying Bargnani is the sole reason why we lose).

While you are correct in your first sentence, you are incorrect in your second. Mathematically speaking, again.

The "correlation" doesn't proved that it's harder to win games with AB. It shows there is a coincidence. That is, when Bargs scores more than 20 in the sample size used, the Raptors have shown a tendency to lose more.

There is absolutely no statistical/mathematical way to link those two statements. I understand that may be difficult to grasp, when we all see Bargnani not getting rebounds and playing poor help defense on a regular basis, but it's true.

At the same time, there are no stats that can prove that there ISN'T a causal relationship between Bargs scoring 20 and the Raptors losing. It could be true, but it can't be proven with the data we currently have on hand. It may never be able to be proven. And that's why some people object to it being used as substantiated proof that 'Bargs scoring 20 = Raptors losing more'.

Disclaimer (for the nth time): I am NOT, by posting this, trying to defend AB. I'm just saying you should stick to beating him up over things you can say are actually, substantially true/factual. Actually, I'm not saying "you need" to do anything. You can argue his suckage based on whatever spurious criteria you like; but by the same token, don't expect everyone to buy it wholesale or agree with it all without poking some holes in the argument.
• Fri Mar 8th, 2013, 12:34 PM
CalgaryRapsFan
Quote:

Axel wrote:
Matt's stat regarding the Raps record when he scores 20+ points is even more telling considering Bargnani's #1 attribute to this team, has always been scoring. If the team can't win when he most does the thing he is best at, then that is obviously a problem. Rudy Gay's #1 attribute isn't steals, so the Raps record when he records 4+ steals is completely tripe (as intended). Accpeting that certain players have key areas of responsibility and the correlating affect it has on the team, is totally a fair justification of using stats to state the obvious "Bargnani is terrible"

That's exactly the type of argument I disagree with. The telling/damning fact is not the number of points scored, but more likely it's the inefficiency with which those points were scored in most of those games, that has any statistical merit. On the surface, who's to say that those games he scored 20+ points were games in which the entire team shot poorly, so Bargnani had to be relied on more to score?

See, that's the problem with drawing conclusions from circumstantial evidence - you can't prove that any one player is the root cause of the outcome in a team game. Present statistics of a highly ineffcient scorer who contributes little else on either end of the court - regardless of the outcomes of games - and I would be much more receptive.
• Fri Mar 8th, 2013, 12:40 PM
Nilanka
Quote:

jimmie wrote:
The "correlation" doesn't proved that it's harder to win games with AB. It shows there is a coincidence. That is, when Bargs scores more than 20 in the sample size used, the Raptors have shown a tendency to lose more.

I think this sums up the gist of the debate pretty well. I don't think we can simply write it off as coincidence either. The "truth" likely lies somewhere between 'coincidence' and 'direct causation', where like you said, will probably never be proven one way or the other.
• Fri Mar 8th, 2013, 12:44 PM
jimmie
Quote:

Nilanka wrote:
I think this sums up the gist of the debate pretty well. I don't think we can simply write it off as coincidence either. The "truth" likely lies somewhere between 'coincidence' and 'direct causation', where like you said, will probably never be proven one way or the other.

True, and maybe will start to let this thread wind down...? ;-)

The larger point is, we can find stats to 'prove' anything, as long as we don't care too much about being mathematically or factually correct in our 'proof'...
• Fri Mar 8th, 2013, 12:44 PM
ebrian
Quote:

CalgaryRapsFan wrote:
However, I think people take issue with circumstantial evidence, such as the team's record in games when he scores a certain # of points, for example. These sorts of coincidental stats show no direct correlation between Bargnani and the outcome. These sorts of 'stats' can be found to support any argument about any player, good or bad. For example, there might be a statline that shows the team is 8-0 all-time when Bargnani scores 7 points and has 3 rebounds, but that doesn't mean the team should adopt a strategy to ensure Bargnani hits exactly that statline and then gets benched, since it's purely coincidental; no game is ever decided by a single player's statline.

Even the most vocal Bargnani supporter, past or present, can accept irrefutable evidence based on stats that observation can validate. However, after all the years of "Bargnani bashing", it can get frustrating to have that compounded by purely circumstantial evidence, be it hand-picked coincidental statlines or factors beyond Bargnani's control.

My snarky response to this is: BOOOOOOO. :)

But -- OK. I agree. C'mon people, there is PLENTY of evidence to support how bad Bargnani is. Stop being lazy!

Btw in terms of the Win Shares and Ratings and all that -- I agree with what people said about those types of stats -- it's the reason I feel posting rankings (which illustrates how bad Bargnani has been over a course of the last 60 years) instead of just pulling out the individual numbers of a player versus another player. This way it's not about how much worse Bargnani is than the next guy, but rather just how bad he has been against players in NBA history. I don't feel the need to prove Bargnani is worse than Ron Seikaly, or Tim Duncan. My purpose is just to show he's bad.
• Fri Mar 8th, 2013, 12:52 PM
CalgaryRapsFan
Quote:

ebrian wrote:
My snarky response to this is: BOOOOOOO. :)

But -- OK. I agree. C'mon people, there is PLENTY of evidence to support how bad Bargnani is. Stop being lazy!

haha my bigger question is, is this even a debate anymore? Why are we even debating whether Bargnani is good or bad, or whether he should be on the team next year or not?

I was a vocal supporter of his up until his regression this year and I resigned myself long ago to the fact that he and the Raptors need a fresh start without each other, regardless of whatever skill/potential he may have and regardless of whether he may blossom elsewhere.
• Fri Mar 8th, 2013, 12:55 PM
Nilanka
Quote:

CalgaryRapsFan wrote:
haha my bigger question is, is this even a debate anymore? Why are we even debating whether Bargnani is good or bad, or whether he should be on the team next year or not?

I was a vocal supporter of his up until his regression this year and I resigned myself long ago to the fact that he and the Raptors need a fresh start without each other, regardless of whatever skill/potential he may have and regardless of whether he may blossom elsewhere.

I'm in 100% agreement, but how could you say this without proof??? :p
• Fri Mar 8th, 2013, 12:59 PM
CalgaryRapsFan
Quote:

Nilanka wrote:
I'm in 100% agreement, but how could you say this without proof??? :p

but but but at least my post was in the form of a question, not an assumption! lol
• Fri Mar 8th, 2013, 12:59 PM
jimmie
Quote:

CalgaryRapsFan wrote:
haha my bigger question is, is this even a debate anymore? Why are we even debating whether Bargnani is good or bad, or whether he should be on the team next year or not?

I was a vocal supporter of his up until his regression this year and I resigned myself long ago to the fact that he and the Raptors need a fresh start without each other, regardless of whatever skill/potential he may have and regardless of whether he may blossom elsewhere.

Maybe that's part of my frustration, too. It's like debating whether or not Rob Ford is fit to be the mayor of Toronto. We all know he's not, so why are we getting bent out of shape continuing to talk about the specific ways in which he continues to prove that he's unfit to be mayor?

I also hoped for Bargnani to find his niche among the other talented players on this roster. He hasn't, and that -- his production, I'm talking about, because this stuff about lack of effort etc. falls in the same 'can't prove it' category as the wonky stats-based arguments -- is primarily on him. The *expectations*, though, and the subsequent hate that he hasn't lived up to them, is on those who harbored the expectations, combined with those who raised those expectations. Not on Bargs. I had the expectations, too. But I don't feel a need to pin *my* disappointment on the player. That's on me, and if I choose to rant about it or take a more measured approach is also on me.

Why not more discussion of what they might get for Bargs in the summer, or better yet, just make the assumption he's gone by July and talk about more 'fun' things, like what to do about the REST of the crap on the roster, that is ALSO contributing to a losing situation?
• Fri Mar 8th, 2013, 01:01 PM
Nilanka
Quote:

CalgaryRapsFan wrote:
but but but at least my post was in the form of a question, not an assumption! lol

http://www.thesharkguys.com/wp-conte.../jeopardy1.jpg
• Fri Mar 8th, 2013, 01:02 PM
mcHAPPY
That was quite the kick of the hornets nest. lol

Lots of good conversation - even if it is over kill.

I'll rewind a bit and say:

Damn, it is quite the coincidence that when Bargnani scores 20 or more this year the Raptors are 0-9. That is very interesting considering his greatest attribute to the team is suppose to be scoring. Hmmmm, I wonder what causes there are to explain this striking coincidence between Raptor losses and Bargnani scoring this season. Is it his inefficiency? Is it the more playing time he gets the worse the defense is shown to statistically be causing his net impact on the court to be negative? Is it because his scoring opportunities come at the expense of higher percentage scoring opportunities for his teammates? I'm not sure what the exact cause is but it is certainly quite the coincidence and certainly adds another circumstantial log to the "Bargnani needs to go fire" which continues to burn ever more intense.
• Fri Mar 8th, 2013, 01:07 PM
Nilanka
Quote:

jimmie wrote:
The *expectations*, though, and the subsequent hate that he hasn't lived up to them, is on those who harbored the expectations, combined with those who raised those expectations. Not on Bargs.

But wouldn't you agree that some expectations are reasonable (subjective term, I know), while others are not?

It was unreasonable to expect Bargnani to turn into a franchise-changing megastar, simply because he was drafted 1st overall. But it was reasonable to expect a 7 footer to adequately (another subjective term) rebound and protect the paint.

Some expectations come directly from one's job description. When these are missed, that's when people get upset (and deservedly so).
• Fri Mar 8th, 2013, 01:10 PM
Axel
Quote:

CalgaryRapsFan wrote:
That's exactly the type of argument I disagree with. The telling/damning fact is not the number of points scored, but more likely it's the inefficiency with which those points were scored in most of those games, that has any statistical merit. On the surface, who's to say that those games he scored 20+ points were games in which the entire team shot poorly, so Bargnani had to be relied on more to score?

See, that's the problem with drawing conclusions from circumstantial evidence - you can't prove that any one player is the root cause of the outcome in a team game. Present statistics of a highly ineffcient scorer who contributes little else on either end of the court - regardless of the outcomes of games - and I would be much more receptive.

I don't think anyone has said that he is the root cause (sole reason) for the team losing those games. But you cannot deny that when a player is paid to do one specific task, there is serious concern that when he does that one task in high numbers and the team loses. I do think that FG% is more telling than PPG, but that doesn't mean that PPG has no merit and that all stats using PPG should be dismissed as arbitrary.

A similar idea would be plotting the correlation between Steve Nash's assists and a team scoring or winning. There are going to be other factors that determine the whole picture which wont be captured (like if Nash gives up the open 3 point shot for himself to pass to a teammate for 2pts) but that doesn't diminish the fact that when Nash does his primary function well, his team has had greater success. The same cannot be said of Barg's. His primary function hasn't elevated the team to victory.
• Fri Mar 8th, 2013, 01:15 PM
heinz57
i haven't been able to keep track of this thread..

are we still all in agreement on bargs being shit and needing to go, but arguing the semantics of how we got to that conclusion?
• Fri Mar 8th, 2013, 01:22 PM
ebrian
Quote:

heinz57 wrote:
i haven't been able to keep track of this thread..

are we still all in agreement on bargs being shit and needing to go, but arguing the semantics of how we got to that conclusion?

Yes. That's exactly it. And this all started because someone was crazy enough to suggest that to make him suck less, he should START games.
• Fri Mar 8th, 2013, 01:24 PM
mcHAPPY
Quote:

jimmie wrote:
Maybe that's part of my frustration, too. It's like debating whether or not Rob Ford is fit to be the mayor of Toronto. We all know he's not, so why are we getting bent out of shape continuing to talk about the specific ways in which he continues to prove that he's unfit to be mayor?

I also hoped for Bargnani to find his niche among the other talented players on this roster. He hasn't, and that -- his production, I'm talking about, because this stuff about lack of effort etc. falls in the same 'can't prove it' category as the wonky stats-based arguments -- is primarily on him. The *expectations*, though, and the subsequent hate that he hasn't lived up to them, is on those who harbored the expectations, combined with those who raised those expectations. Not on Bargs. I had the expectations, too. But I don't feel a need to pin *my* disappointment on the player. That's on me, and if I choose to rant about it or take a more measured approach is also on me.

Why not more discussion of what they might get for Bargs in the summer, or better yet, just make the assumption he's gone by July and talk about more 'fun' things, like what to do about the REST of the crap on the roster, that is ALSO contributing to a losing situation?

So when a player goes off his rookie contract, gains more experience in the league, enters his physical prime, and starts earning more money fans should not expect, at minimum, a plateau in production? And if a substantial decline occurs it is on the fan for having the expectation the player should meet a certain production he has done in the very recent past?

That sounds like passing the buck and a great example of lack of accountability for ones actions.

Sport is about competing to win. Professional sports is about fans paying to see see athletes compete. The declining production of an athlete (assumption made he is healthy and entering his prime) can lead to questioning the competitive nature and motivation. This is especially true, in my opinion, when he has shown the ability to meet and even exceed expectations - albeit in a small sample size of ~50% of games played last season - in the very recent past.

As for talking about what to do about the REST of the crap on the roster, I am not sure that is a fair statement. Now it is certainly circumstantial and hardly evidence of Bargnani being the cause of the following facts but..... the Raptors are:

1) 14-13 when he does not play,
2) 19-18 when he either does not play or comes off the bench (5-5 off the bench),
3) 5-20 when he starts.

Again, I am not saying Bargnani is the cause of the Raptors being 5-20 when he starts. However, it is extremely interesting and quite the coincidence. So at this time I, personally, am not prepared to talk about the rest of the crap on the roster contributing to losing because the rest of the crap on the roster has shown the ability to win more than they lose this season without the presence of Bargnani - albeit it could be just an anomaly or coincidence.
• Fri Mar 8th, 2013, 01:27 PM
mcHAPPY
Quote:

heinz57 wrote:
i haven't been able to keep track of this thread..

are we still all in agreement on bargs being shit and needing to go, but arguing the semantics of how we got to that conclusion?

Yes.

Carry on.
• Fri Mar 8th, 2013, 02:15 PM
jimmie
Quote:

Nilanka wrote:
But wouldn't you agree that some expectations are reasonable (subjective term, I know), while others are not?

It was unreasonable to expect Bargnani to turn into a franchise-changing megastar, simply because he was drafted 1st overall. But it was reasonable to expect a 7 footer to adequately (another subjective term) rebound and protect the paint.

Some expectations come directly from one's job description. When these are missed, that's when people get upset (and deservedly so).

I'm glad you can accept that the definition of "reasonable expectations" and "reasonable reaction to missed expectations" is subjective.

There are no such expectations about, say, Aaron Gray, though, are there?

You'll say, "but, but Aaron Gray wasn't picked #1? He isn't being paid \$10M per year! You can't compare the two!" And you'd be right, pretty much. But they share the same basic "job description", don't they?

Both play the same position. Both are big, tall guys. One was unfairly expected to average 20 and 10, based solely on being picked #1, getting a big extension, and being labelled a franchise/key player by successive coaches and his GM.

If, say, AB had been picked 15th, and averaged 15 and 5 through 7 years, and was making \$10M a year, yet he wasn't also propped up with expectations he couldn't EVER meet, would this hate campaign be the same? The only variables that are different are draft position and expectations. Maybe people would complain a bit about his salary. But it's not out of line for that kind of production, so that would be a nitpick complaint.

I think most would be happy(ier?) with having a 7-foot floor-spacer who could be counted on in that way, most likely as a gunner off the bench a la Ryan Anderson or Channing Frye in his PHX days.

That's the basis for my saying the expectations are the responsibility of those who hold them, not the player. It's not excusing lack of production, it's understanding that the expected production may simply be impossible for that player. If he doesn't have the tools to average 8 boards per game, or the instincts to play great help D, he just doesn't have them. Expecting that production when it isn't EVER going to happen is on you.

I suppose some it also has to do with where your expectations come from. In my experience playing and coaching basketball, I've seen players with no end of athletic talent who work their asses off, yet can't seem to grasp floor-spacing and the instinctual side of the game. I've also seen players with no business being on the floor with those same athletes, yet they can hold their own because they have an innate ability to find the right easy pass, or the right spot under the basket for a board, etc. There are skills -- esp. by the time players reach the NBA level -- that can't be taught. I think the areas where Bargs is weakest are those types of skills. Help defense can't be taught; you either can react to evolving situations quickly enough or you can't. Rebounding is similar. It's the same reason a guy like Calderon can thrive with a lack of athleticism and guys like Sebastian Telfair can't find a starting gig anywhere.

In terms of how individuals deal with expectations, sure, you're entitled to get upset, the same way I'm entitled to say, "oh well, THAT sure didn't work out the way I had hoped" and move on to other issues without beating my head against a wall trying to get the player moved out of town.
• Sat Mar 9th, 2013, 11:12 AM
p00ka
Wow, somebody's a tad wound up and unable to get past this. What the heck, I'll play along and go with Matt's spin.

Quote:

Matt52 wrote:
It is a very relevant point in my opinion.

Also 4-24 as a starter is relevant as well when considering Raps are a .500 team with him off the bench and 1 game over .500 with him out. This one is more important in my opinion.

Quote:

Matt52 wrote:
That was quite the kick of the hornets nest. lol

Lots of good conversation - even if it is over kill.

I'll rewind a bit and say:

Damn, it is quite the coincidence that when Bargnani scores 20 or more this year the Raptors are 0-9. That is very interesting considering his greatest attribute to the team is suppose to be scoring. Hmmmm, I wonder what causes there are to explain this striking coincidence between Raptor losses and Bargnani scoring this season. Is it his inefficiency? Is it the more playing time he gets the worse the defense is shown to statistically be causing his net impact on the court to be negative? Is it because his scoring opportunities come at the expense of higher percentage scoring opportunities for his teammates? I'm not sure what the exact cause is but it is certainly quite the coincidence and certainly adds another circumstantial log to the "Bargnani needs to go fire" which continues to burn ever more intense.

Quote:

Matt52 wrote:
So when a player goes off his rookie contract, gains more experience in the league, enters his physical prime, and starts earning more money fans should not expect, at minimum, a plateau in production? And if a substantial decline occurs it is on the fan for having the expectation the player should meet a certain production he has done in the very recent past?

That sounds like passing the buck and a great example of lack of accountability for ones actions.

Sport is about competing to win. Professional sports is about fans paying to see see athletes compete. The declining production of an athlete (assumption made he is healthy and entering his prime) can lead to questioning the competitive nature and motivation. This is especially true, in my opinion, when he has shown the ability to meet and even exceed expectations - albeit in a small sample size of ~50% of games played last season - in the very recent past.

As for talking about what to do about the REST of the crap on the roster, I am not sure that is a fair statement. Now it is certainly circumstantial and hardly evidence of Bargnani being the cause of the following facts but..... the Raptors are:

1) 14-13 when he does not play,
2) 19-18 when he either does not play or comes off the bench (5-5 off the bench),
3) 5-20 when he starts.

Again, I am not saying Bargnani is the cause of the Raptors being 5-20 when he starts. However, it is extremely interesting and quite the coincidence. So at this time I, personally, am not prepared to talk about the rest of the crap on the roster contributing to losing because the rest of the crap on the roster has shown the ability to win more than they lose this season without the presence of Bargnani - albeit it could be just an anomaly or coincidence.

haha, the snark is cute. I'll see if I can match. After all, if jmmie's explanations can't sink in most heads, and the mob can't give it up and move on, maybe I need to take another look at these kinds of stats. I included the first above quote to bring it back to what you said was the "more important" set of stats, though you now seem to be back to putting some focus on the less important "0-9 when scoring 20+". Oh, wait, now it's back to the "most important" ones again. We'll go with that, and even try to make use of Matt's snark and terminology for affect.

You may have swung me over to these kind of stats being relevant and meaningful thing, so wouldn't it be interesting to formulate them for other players, as I did much earlier, but Matt called it cherry picking because I excluded the games since Rudy arrived. I still think that was valid seeing as the Rudy trade massively changed the complexion of the team and combining TEAM win/loss on both sides of the trade to draw conclusions seems a tad nebulous to me. What the heck, maybe use them both and see if there are any conclusions to be drawn from looking at both scenarios!

Kyle Lowry's "Matt52 Stats" (since I don't know a more appropriate title than the inventor himself) prior to the Jose/ED---> Rudy trade:
Kyle....
As starter:-------- 3-15 .166
Off the bench:---- 7-8 .466
Did not play:------ 7-6 .538
Holy shit! At least before the trade, if Kyle doesn't play, the Raps are a .538 winning percentage, playoff team. When he comes off the bench, we don't do as well as when he's out. Ouch, that's not a good sign. But maybe he needs to be a starter. OUCH, that .166 winning percentage when he starts is a huge sign, isn't it? Maybe it's just a coincidence?

Anyway, Kyle's season total "Matt52 Stat", with additional (since Gay trade) "team win/loss as a starter":
(Take what you will from the "as a starter" is the only category of the 3 that's affected since the trade)
Kyle....
As starter:-------- 11-24 .314
Off the bench:---- 7-8 .466
Did not play:------ 7-6 .538
Well, with the post trade 8-9 record added, Kyle's "Matt52 Stats" improve dramatically in the "as a starter" category, but one has to wonder if that's due to Gay or Lowry, seeing as there is such a dramatic upturn (though still below .500) in the winning percentage as a starter. Can one conclude from this that Kyle needs his best buddy to play reasonably well as a starter? Maybe it's just coincidence, but it sure seems that way. The sad thing is that the overall "Matt52 Stat" still looks really abysmal. Unless it's a coincidence, the team is still at it's best when Lowry doesn't play, a tad worse when he comes off the bench, but fn terrible when he starts.

Again, I am not saying Lowry is the cause of the Raptors being 3-15 without Gay, and 11-24 including Gay's presence, when he starts. However, it is extremely interesting and quite the coincidence. So at this time I, personally, am not prepared to talk about the rest of the crap on the roster contributing to losing because the rest of the crap on the roster has shown the ability to win more than they lose this season without the presence of Lowry - albeit it could be just an anomaly or coincidence.

I've been won over. The "Matt52 Stat" tells an incredible amount and I think fans who want this team to do well should boo Lowry as he steps on the floor, and rise up in daily revolt until he's gone.
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