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Tyson Chandler – The Backbone of the New York Knicks

Barely a third of the way through the year, the Knicks already are already riding a hype-fueled roller-coaster.  After an 8-15 start, they’re now riding a 5-game winning streak and Jeremy Lin is looking like a potential star.  Yet despite outscoring their opponents, the team is still 1 game below .500 and would make the playoffs as only the 8th seed if they started today.

As detailed already by Chasing23 writers Daniel Douglas and Tony Maglio, the Knicks have a whole lot of problems.  The biggest ones are that their high-priced forwards, Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, are falling pitifully short of expectations.  And while their backcourt oozes potential, it remains to be seen whether it can sustain its recent success over the long haul or, perhaps more to the point, when Anthony and Stoudemire come back into the lineup.

That said, there’s a guy in New York secretly having one of the best seasons in the NBA so far.  Tyson Chandler - the backbone of the New York Knicks, made a huge difference for the defending champion Dallas Mavericks last year, and he’s making a huge difference for the Knicks this year.  His numbers might look pedestrian at first glance-11.9 points and 9.8 rebounds per game, but his deceptively high level of play has kept the Knicks alive to date.

Lets start with the offense, because we generally don’t think of Chandler as a great offensive player.  And while he’s not a guy who’s going to regularly put up huge point totals, he’s a guy who maximizes what he does with the ball and almost never hurts you.  So far this season, Chandler is taking scoring efficiency to a level never seen before in the NBA by shooting 70.4% from the field.

Chandler isn’t the most naturally talented offensive player in the league.  Most of his shots are dunks, putbacks, and short jumpers.  He’s had success with the pick and roll as well.  He’s also done a good job of getting to the line this year, after developing into a pretty good free throw shooter.

Of course, when you play with Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, there aren’t a lot of shots to go around.  Chandler’s 5.6 field goal attempts per game are 7th on the team, but he’s fourth in scoring.  His 70.4 field goal percentage, if he can maintain it, would be the second best single season in NBA history, behind Wilt Chamberlain’s 1972-1973 season.  Perhaps more impressive, Chandler currently boasts a .739 true shooting percentage, which would crush Artis Gilmore’s old NBA record of .702.  And it’s not a fluke-last year, Chandler’s TS% of .697 was the third highest of all time.

Looking at this another way, Chandler has taken 6% of his team’s field goal attempts, but has 12% of their points. Add in his ridiculously low turnover rate (1.4 per game in 33.7 MPG), and you’ve got a guy who maximizes his opportunities on offense better than anyone else in the league. He currently leads the league in offensive rating and is third in offensive win shares, which is shocking for a guy who frequently appears to be an afterthought in the Knicks’ offense (he is 305th out of 337 NBA players in usage percentage).

The Knick’s much maligned defense, on the other hand, has been shockingly competent this season.  Considering where they have been recently, that’s a huge compliment.   They give up 94.4 PPG , ranking them 14th among all NBA teams at this juncture, but a far cry from their pitiful 105.7 PPG given up last year, and a shockingly low number for a D’Antoni team.  And while their pace has slowed down, from 99.1 possessions per game to 93.8 this year, it’s not enough to account for such a vast improvement.

It’s always dangerous to attribute such a change to one player, but in this case, it’s hard to find another cause for the Knick’s defensive improvement.  Chandler’s already shown the ability to solidify a defense, as he did last year for the Mavs.  Furthermore, the only other real upgrade they had, defensively, was assistant coach Mike Woodson.  Carmelo and Amare couldn’t be less interested in trying to play D, and the perimeter defense has been spotty and inconsistent.  They cut their best perimeter defender, Chauncey Billups, to make room for Chandler.  Yet with Chandler in the middle, the defense has been consistently respectable.

Statistically Chandler’s having a fine season on defense as well, averaging over a block and a steal per game and hovering just outside the top 10 in defensive win shares as well.  In Win Shares overall, he’s third, and in WS/48, he trails only Lebron James.  And his PER, which notoriously overvalues volume scoring, is still a very respectable 20.4 despite his ridiculously low usage rate.  Simply put, Tyson gets it done.

Even if his torrid shooting rate is unsustainable, Chandler will probably find his way into the record books this year.  More importantly, despite never having played in an All-Star game, Chandler’s proving that he’s truly become one of the NBA’s elite players by quietly putting together one of the most uniquely impactful seasons in recent NBA memory.  Now if only his highly paid teammates would start pulling their weight, these Knicks might really have something.

Related posts:

  1. Donnie Walsh, James Dolan, and the Remaking of the New York Knicks
  2. Adam Zagoria: Can Baron Davis Save the New York Knicks 2012 Season? (1/23/12)
  3. Can Carmelo Anthony Push the Knicks Over the Top?
  4. Gangs of New York: The Beginning of the Borough War?
  5. The 5 Changes the Knicks Must Make in the Offseason

Discussion

45 Responses to “Tyson Chandler – The Backbone of the New York Knicks”

  1. Elite? How many elite players do you think are in the nba? 30? 40? 50? 60? 70?

    Chandler’s having a nice season, sure. He’s athletic, can dunk, and is an above average rebounder, but there’s a reason why he doesn’t shoot much. And before you say melo or amare, his FGA/game have been low with every team he’s been with.

    Posted by boyer | February 15, 2012, 1:03 pm
    • If you’re going to argue Lochspter’s claim, can you at least use some evidence?

      Chandler is a low-usage player who gives a team excellent returns with his offensive efficiency, and it’s adds alot of value. Not alot of players can give you the true shooting percentage, ability to get to the line (Chandler shoots free throws per 36 minutes at near Carmelo Anthony levels!) and offensive rebounding that Chandler does, low-usage player or not. He’s also in the league top 10 in statistical +/-, which – along with win shares – is adjusted for opponent and your teammates on the court. Overall, he’s one of THE best players in the league. Period.

      The object at the end of the day is to put the ball into the basket and keep your opponent from doing the same. If you can do those things, it doesn’t matter HOW you’re scoring. Production is more important than flash and SportsCenter highlights.

      Posted by The Realist #2 | February 15, 2012, 1:51 pm
      • I’m not arguing any claim so far. I just asking for some clarification. The terms ‘elite’ and ‘superstar’ get thrown away very loosely these days, so I want to know what he means by ‘elite.

        Nobody is saying Chandler isn’t a good player. To me, elite is top 5-10 players in the league, at most. For someone like Chandler who has never made an AS team(and won’t this year unless as an injury replacement), and never made any all-nba teams, except all-nba defense 2nd team last year, that doesn’t exactly scream out as an elite player to me. Each AS team could have as many as 8 centers on it, including F/C players. So, the fact that the fans have never voted him in, and then the coaches have never picked him as a reserve, shouldn’t be taken lightly. He certainly could have a case to make the team this year, but so could everyone else who did make it, as well as several other additional players.

        If he is an elite player(top 5-10 at the very least in the league-my definition), then he should be a lock to make the team, and should be a lock to make all-nba teams, since the only other true dominant center in the league is Dwight. Maybe during Ewing’s day, when I think he finished 5th in MVP voting one year, but 3 of the 4 guys ahead of him were centers, so Ewing didn’t make an all-nba team that year, you could say, yea, sure, that’s not exactly fair, but not today in an era where there’s a severe lacking of top-notch centers.

        Posted by boyer | February 15, 2012, 2:49 pm
        • “So, the fact that the fans have never voted him in, and then the coaches have never picked him as a reserve, shouldn’t be taken lightly.”

          Are you basing this off of fan picks? Most fans aren’t objective when it comes to picking the best players in the game. And coaches aren’t better at it either.

          There is hard data of what Chandler is doing on the court, and it points to him being one of the best players in the league. He and Dwight are easily ahead of the pack at the center position and he should’ve been voted in the All-Star game (if it’s about picking the best players, that is).

          Posted by The Realist #2 | February 15, 2012, 5:49 pm
          • So what AS starters shouldn’t be AS this year? There could be some disagreement with whether they should be starters or reserves, but rarely does any starter not deserve to be an AS by performance. I actually recently looked back at the past 11 AS game starters, including this year. I only found 2 picks to be egregious: Iverson in 09 and 10. There could be a case for Melo this year, but he’s still a top nba player, at least borderline AS, so I don’t have much problem with him making it.

            The AS starters are for the fans. With that being said, almost always are the very top players picked, and they rarely pick a starter who doesn’t deserve to be in the AS game by performance. The coaches pick the rest of the AS.

            No matter what system you have, there’s always going to be some disagreement over the last 2-3 guys on each team. But, who better to pick the AS than the people who are actually involved in the game? Don’t act like you know more about the game then nba coaches do. What’s this objectivity you speak of? Hard data? Really?

            So, year in year out, the fans and coaches never have thought of Chandler as a top 10 player in his respective conf., basically equivalent to a top 20 player in the league. He has never made even 1 all-nba 3rd team. He has never had even 1 5th place MVP vote.

            I’m not these awards are all necessarily completely accurate, but for the most part they are, but there’s always exceptions. The fact is the only award chandler has is 2nd all-defense last year. He’s been in the league for 11 years. He’s been in his prime for several years now. He’s made for 4 different teams in the past 4 years. He’s almost a journeyman nba player. Now, these are actually facts, since you brought that up. Combine all of this together, and the only conclusion you can make is that chandler is not even close to being an elite player at any stage of his career. That’s why I ask what does he mean by elite? If he means top 30-40 player, then fine, I’ll go with that. Top 5? You’re kidding, right? You actually think that Chandler is a top 5 player in the nba?

            I mean, it’s great that he shoots 4-6/game on average, but not really sure how that makes him an elite player. He gets good looks mainly from his teammates creating and setting him up for easy shots. Or when a teammate draws a double team and misses, making it much easier for him to get offensive rebounds. Often the best play is to shoot against a double team, especially in the paint, if there’s no passing lane. Often the 2nd defender that comes over is a big, which would be chandler’s man often, and then chandler has free reign for off. rebounds.

            Chandler is a good rebounder. Great? Hardly. A 7-1 center who plays 34mpg and averages less than 10 boards is hardly a great rebounder. Other skills? Not much. He’s a pretty good defender, but doesn’t really stand out from many other centers, and certainly much worse than Howard.

            Posted by boyer | February 15, 2012, 7:18 pm
          • “But, who better to pick the AS than the people who are actually involved in the game?”

            Fans AND coaches are prone to biases when it comes to picking All-Stars, especially with players with tenure or past reputation (Dirk is a great example of this, although he’s been playing better recently). And yes you use data; it’s record of what a player is doing on the court (notably the data that goes beyond per game stats and give you more information about player impact). It tells us that Chandler is a player who 1) doesn’t create his own shot, but 2) makes the most of his opportunities more than any other player (how many “role players” shoot at a 75% true shooting clip?), 3) rebounds well above the average player, accounting for minutes played and other players on the court, and 4) who is among the best defenders at his position in defensive value and point differential. He’s one of the key reasons why the Knicks are a top 10 defense this season.

            If that’s not an All-Star, then I don’t know who is. While Jeremy Lin has stepped in Melo’s place and played well, Chandler’s been the Knicks steady performer. Simply looking at points per game isn’t going to cut it.

            Posted by The Realist #2 | February 15, 2012, 8:24 pm
          • Boyer, you are correct that Chandler’s been a journeyman for most of his career, but what’s really interesting is how much he’s improved his production each of the past two years. In terms of his on-court production so far this year, I would say Chandler’s probably been one of the top 10 players in the NBA.

            Saying he’s a worse defender and rebounder than Howard, the best rebounder/defender in the game, is hardly an insult-he’s still the second best defensive center in the league and one of the top 10-15 rebounders. When you compare their offensive numbers, Howard’s scoring an extra 8 points per game, but he’s taking an extra 8 field goals per game to do it-he’s significantly worse from the field than Chandler, and his free throw shooting is hideous. Even the worst NBA players make over a point per field goal attempt, and the league average is around 1.2-hence Chandler’s amazing offensive efficiency is probably more valuable to his team than the extra points Howard provides at a much less optimal rate (his TS% is .186 lower than Chandler’s). Add in the extra turnover and a half for Dwight, and it seems pretty clear to me that Chandler has a huge edge over Dwight on offense this year. Dwight’s still better overall, but not by as large a margin as many would think.

            The All-Star game starting lineup is a popularity contest, nothing more. Carmelo’s been rancid this year and has really hurt the Knicks-he’s ruined their offensive flow by hogging the ball in isolation sets, shot less than 40% from the floor, and played his usual disinterested defense. When he got hurt his team was 9-15 and his coach was on the chopping block-they haven’t lost since and are back at .500. There’s absolutely no way Melo deserves to be an All-Star-I’m not even convinced he deserves to be starting for his own team.

            Posted by Lochpster | February 16, 2012, 1:16 am
          • Lochpster, you seriously think chandler is a better offensive player than Dwight? Seriously, do you watch the games or just look at a stat sheet? I can look at an advanced stat sheet, and it would tell me that Kobe was the 4th best player when the lakers won their 2 recent titles? What’s the pt. of that then? Chandler has no offensive game. I love his efficiency as well, but that hardly makes him a great offensive player. Now, if he could go 13-20 every game, then he would be. How many times does chandler get the ball on the block and asked to create his or someone’s else’s shot? How many times does he getting doubled? Almost never. There’s an obvious reason for that.

            Chandler is 14th in rpg, 24th in rp48. Both good, but both not great, and hardly makes him a lock for the AS team. He’s a really good defender, as are many other centers. He’s probably at least a top 5 defender in the league for centers.

            He’s a top 10 player according to whom? You? You say the AS game is a popularity contest. In a way, but only for the starters. Like I said before, the AS starters for the past 11 years have been spot on by the fans. Except for a rare occurrence, the starters are always worthy of being in the AS game. The only one in question this year is Melo, and he’s still a borderline AS. Do you really deny this?

            As for the reserves, they’re better good, too. Realist likes to talk about bias, but fails to realize that bias is involved in everything in the nba. For some reason he thinks there’s no bias in advanced stats and that these stats are evidence of proof of what is exactly going on. Unfortunately, I don’t see this problem going away any time soon. Like I said, Chandler is a case to be a reserve, but so do lots of other players.

            The fact is he’s not an elite player, and he never has been, which is why he’s only been recognized as a 2nd team all-defense once, last year. Seriously ask yourself when, if ever, has an ‘elite’ player not played in the AS game? And go back and look at the AS lists sometime. I’d say the fans and coaches have done pretty well getting the best players in the history of the game into the AS game.

            Posted by boyer | February 16, 2012, 8:30 am
          • “Seriously, do you watch the games or just look at a stat sheet?”

            Don’t give me the “just watch the games” excuse – guess what? We are. However – and you can ask any psycholgist about this – the human mind isn’t exactly great at processing the huge amounts of sensory information that is present in sports, much less make accurate judgements of that information (and over the course of thousands of events in a single season). That’s why we use data. No one is saying the data is “perfect”, but you’ll get a much better picture of performance using it than merely “watching the games” and being subject to the many cognitive biases that hinder the reasoning process.

            For example, here’s one such bias at work:

            “Now, if he could go 13-20 every game, then he would be. How many times does chandler get the ball on the block and asked to create his or someone’s else’s shot? How many times does he getting doubled?”

            To alot of fans of the game, we often perceive the guy who is scoring more points per game than another player to be the better player because he’s seems to be adding more to the team’s bottom line of total points (and, to some fans, he also seems to be “working harder”). However, scoring is only one part of the game; scoring EFFCIENTLY is also important and is a key part of winning basketball teams (and it’s been proven in stat studies, see the usage-efficiency model by Dean Oliver and other basketball gurus). Chandler makes up for not being a raw scorer in the points department by maximizing his touches on offense. He isn’t just a little efficient with his touches; he’s incredibly efficient, and it’s worth the tradeoff for his lack of shot-creation.

            Posted by The Realist #2 | February 16, 2012, 9:18 am
          • Boyer, thanks for (finally) bringing some evidence to the argument, and I agree with you that Chandler’s not a dominant rebounder. However, I do think Chandler’s a better offensive player than Dwight. Yes, I do watch games, and just from watching games I would have thought Dwight was better too. I don’t think Chandler’s as talented as Dwight and no, he can’t manufacture his own shot as well as Dwight. Chandler he doesn’t hurt you in the ways Dwight does either (turnovers, missed free throws) and while Dwight’s a fairly efficient field goal maker, he can’t touch Chandler there either. Again, he’s at a level of efficiency unseen in NBA history which ramps his value WAY up.

            It’s hard to notice things like that when we’re watching a game because we only earmark the spectacular plays, even though they’re worth the same as a simple layup or pick and roll. You don’t notice that Chandler just doesn’t miss shots. And because Chandler’s really put it together after 10 years of being a much lesser player, it’s particularly easy to miss his evolution.

            I 100% stand by my assertion that Melo being on the All-Star team is a joke. He sucks this year. In terms of actually helping his team win, he’s one of the worst starters in the league this season. The list of players who deserve the spot more is not short-Ryan Anderson, Josh Smith and Anderson Varejao being obvious examples. The only thing Carmelo’s done successfully this year is take a lot of shots. I’d be interested to hear what you think he’s done well enough this year to make the All-Star roster. This article sums it up nicely:

            http://chasing23.com/the-one-dimensional-carmelo-anthony/

            I will not wade into a Kobe discussion, but I don’t think he helps your cause here, and I’ve made such an argument many times on this website.

            As for Chandler as a top 10 player, yes, strictly in terms of production this season only, I (yes, ME) think Chandler has been. As of today, he’s one of two players in the top 10 in offensive and defensive win shares (Lebron James being the other) and is third overall, sandwiched between Love and Durant and ahead of other big name guys in the top 10 like Howard, Paul, and Aldridge despite playing for a team that spent the first third of the season trying to shoot itself in the foot. His offensive efficiency is so high when compared to every player in league history that every shot he takes adds immense value to his team, even if he doesn’t take many of them. I agree with you that he didn’t deserve to be an All-Star before. So what? He’s playing like one now.

            Posted by Lochpster | February 16, 2012, 9:52 am
          • I was actually thinking about the same thing that you and realist ‘finally’ brought up some evidence.

            So what if Chandler looks great according advanced stats? What does that prove? All it proves is that he looks great according to some made-up stat. I talked about chandler’s weaknesses and strengths. Even for you, I find that very surprising that you think chandler is better than howard offensively. I guess if you think that, everything else is pointless to discuss, unfortunately.

            It’s how you get your pts. The fact that he doesn’t get doubled, which advanced stats can’t help you with, you actually have to watch the game, which I’m not really sure how this is bias, as anyone can see this. And it’s funny how I’m bias, and you guys aren’t, isn’t it? Elite offensive players get doubled because if they aren’t, they will destroy you. This has been the case throughout the nba history. There’s really no reason to ever double non-elite players.

            My kobe example is a perfect one. If you actually watch lakers’ games, Kobe is often doubled on the 20-25ft. out early in the shot clock. This would be pointless to do against even an above average offensive threat or against suspect jump shooters. You rarely if ever see someone like Joe Johnson or Wade get doubled out on the wing, or doubled much at all. So, when this happens, Kobe usually passes out to Gasol, who then passes to a wide open teammate for an easy shot.

            As for Gasol, many stat geeks still think he’s the best laker. I think Odom led the lakers in +/- at least year, and Kobe was a distant 4th in some advanced stats behind bynum/odom/pau for at least 1-2 years. I bring that up because, it is simply completely idiotic to think that Kobe wasn’t by far the best player on his team for many years, but yet many stats say otherwise.

            Pau is a perfect example. Pau continually gets good looks and one-one coverage because Kobe draws so much attention, even when he doesn’t have the ball. Pau’s FG pct. and off. rebounding has greatly improved since coming to the lakers. Pau went from a solid player with 1 AS appearance and 0-12 in the playoffs with memphis to a 4x AS total, 2 rings, and a probable HOF for the main reason of playing alongside Kobe.

            Odom is another good example. Odom’s FG pct. skyrocketed while playing with Kobe immediately, much like Pau, and now Odom is doing terrible. Sure, there might be other reasons why Odom is struggling, and is it just a coincidence? I think not, as most things aren’t. Ariza’s another good example. It’s not going to happen with every player, but there’s obviously some truth behind this.

            You think Chandler is a great player, that’s fine. Unfortunately for both of you, not many people in the league, ‘the real experts’, agree with you.

            When I talk about 13-20, it’s not about how many pts., it’s about shooting a lot of shots and still managing a high pct. He has a good pct., but if everyone on the team all shot 4-6, then they would lose almost every game. This is hypothetical, because there’s no way it could happen. No team is going to score 80 pts. in the paint every game. Because unless everyone on the team shoots almost all paint shots, shooting 70% for every game isn’t going to happen. While Chandler isn’t bad offensively, it’s quite a stretch to call him great. He scores almost all his pts. off of his teammates creating for him or his teammates drawing doubles and him getting better opportunities for off. rebounds. I saw recently he got an off. rebound right at the rim, and could’ve went up to dunk it, but passed it out, and this happens regularly with him. You’d think an elite off. player would try to score in that situation, wouldn’t you?

            Posted by boyer | February 16, 2012, 10:59 am
          • Everyone’s biased. I’m biased, you’re biased, Realist is biased, fans are biased, coaches are biased, players are biased. Nobody’s saying you’re biased and we’re not, so please stop putting words in our mouths.

            I take your silence on the issue that you ceded the Carmelo All-Star argument. Smart move.

            Stats mean a lot. So does watching games. You can’t understand what’s going on without an understanding of both.

            Gasol was a more efficient scorer than Kobe when he was the leading man in Memphis, drawing the double teams. He remains so today. It’s not because of Kobe.

            Nobody’s ever scored as efficiently as Chandler is right now over the course of a season. And it’s not like Chandler can’t score more. He’s gone over 20 points 5 times this year. In those games he’s shot 75% from the floor and 78% from the line. Admittedly, a lot of those were on putbacks and opportunities created by teammates, but Chandler continues to deliver when his usage increases. He’s having a special season, no matter how much you want to deride his offensive limitations.

            And lets not speak of Howard as if he’s without serious offensive warts. Despite working with Hakeem in the offseasons, it’s not as if the guy’s scoring effortlessly through double teams. Most of his scoring still comes off of dunks and putbacks, things created for him by teammates. And he leaves so many points at the free throw line, Hack-a-Howard’s a viable offensive strategy.

            Ultimately, I’m aware that many won’t agree with me. In fact, I’m delighted by that fact. If you’re not interested in deviating from the norm and would rather stick lock-and-file with “expert” opinion, that’s fine. Even then, there are a number of sports writers who consider Chandler an All-Star snub, so I’m not exactly out on a limb by myself here.

            Posted by Lochpster | February 16, 2012, 12:15 pm
          • Boyer, making statements such as “all it proves is that he looks great according to some made-up stat” isn’t a counter-argument; it’s a display of ignorance. And the rest of your post about Gasol and Odom only reinforces that fact – as if you need to explain to me the usage-efficiency model at work; I spent the past two posts talking about it! Of course a player’s efficiency goes down when he has to create more, much like Kobe’s does when he has to work harder on offense. No where in my posts did I deny that Chandler’s efficiency benefits from others creating good looks for him. What I am saying is that even for a player who doesn’t create his own shot often, he is performing well above the norm adjusted for his usage (that is, he’s as valuable as a player scoring 20 pts/gm with a lower shooting %). That’s an All-Star.

            It’s not hard to grasp.

            Posted by The Realist #2 | February 16, 2012, 1:22 pm
          • Silence? Huh? I already talked about Melo several times. I’ve said what I wanted to say about him. If you really want to know what I think about Melo, read the comments on this article: http://www.hickory-high.com/?p=2982#comments.

            According to some advanced stats, sure, they say Gasol is a more efficient scorer than Kobe, and Gasol has become much more efficient with better overall stats immediately since coming to the lakers. But, do you seriously think Gasol is better offensively than Kobe? Are you really saying that? So when you say efficient, do you think Gasol is better than Kobe offensively? That’s what I know.

            Realist, my post about gasol/odom only reinforces the fact that taking advanced stats at face value without any other context is rather ignorant. But, that might be hard for someone like you to understand, I get it.

            No where do I discredit how good Chandler is playing. But, if every player on the knicks did exactly the same as chandler, the knicks offense would suck, that’s the bottom line.

            Please name another ‘elite’ offensive player in the nba history who didn’t face double teams fairly regularly at least for part of his career. ‘Elite’ players don’t miss AS games, do they? For argument’s sake, let’s just throw Melo out. There’s still 11 other AS on the east team. If Chandler is so amazing, how isn’t he on the team? Do the coaches have a hidden agenda that they hate Chandler so much to keep him off the team? Please. You may get your wish since Rose probably won’t play, and Chandler might be the replacement, we’ll see.

            Posted by boyer | February 16, 2012, 7:32 pm
          • “Realist, my post about gasol/odom only reinforces the fact that taking advanced stats at face value without any other context is rather ignorant.”

            And my post(s) said that the “context” that you’re referring to is already an inherent part of the numbers. I’m not going to keep explaining this to you any further.

            By the way, why are you talking about Kobe Bryant? Lochspter’s piece doesn’t even mention him – if you have beef with his article because the (sound) evidence he uses also don’t happen to paint Kobe as the undisputed greatest athlete of all time that some Kobe fans make him out to be, you need to take your agenda elsewhere. This is not the place to whine because you don’t like the fact that Gasol was arguably as important to the Lakers as Bryant was during the Lakers title runs.

            Posted by The Realist #2 | February 16, 2012, 8:34 pm
          • The only reason I mention Kobe is to explain how stupid it is to say that someone like Chandler is efficient according to the stats; therefore, that automatically means he’s an elite offensive player, similar to Pau. Pau is a very good offensive player, but it is absolutely ridiculous to think that he’s a better offensive player than Kobe, although some advanced stats say that Pau is more efficient than Kobe. Saying that Pau is more efficient than Kobe doesn’t necessarily mean Pau is better Kobe, and I guess you disagree otherwise. I guess if you think Pau is better offensively than Kobe, that go ahead and believe that, but I doubt you can find a non-stat geek who is involved in the nba to back up your theory

            It’s similar with assists. Passing doesn’t correlate to assists. You can have a player who passes at will and consistently gets his teammates involved, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he will have a lot of assists, and even the reverse of that is somewhat true: someone who generates a lot of assists doesn’t necessarily mean that that player is a good passer, but I think the former here is more true than the latter.

            That’s all I’m saying that how close-minded stat geeks are. Chandler has very little offensive skills. I give him credit for doing as much as he does with the few opportunities that he has, though. If he is so awesome offensively, then how stupid of him to not try to do more or to allow his teammates to fail more. That makes no sense. And obviously, the fans and coaches and media all collectively back me up on this. Chandler is currently a 0 AS appearance player through 11 years in the league, a borderline journeyman that has played with 4 teams in the past 4 years. ‘Elite’ players are perennial AS, and generally their respective teams try to hang onto them as much as possible and/or get as much back as possible via trades. This has not been the case with Chandler. Chandler has shown that he can be an important piece to a title team, but doesn’t mean he’s an elite player. I would certainly take Odom over Chandler career-wise, and Odom was the #3 man on 2 title teams, and he also currently sits at 0 AS appearances. The other thing to consider is that players don’t just come out of nowhere as non-stars, then transform themselves suddenly into ‘elite’ players. I can’t think of any examples of this ever happening. I would be happy to hear of some examples, if you can find any.

            Posted by boyer | February 17, 2012, 11:47 am
          • “Saying that Pau is more efficient than Kobe doesn’t necessarily mean Pau is better Kobe, and I guess you disagree otherwise.”

            For the absoluely last time, these comparisons go beyond mere efficiency. What part of that do you not understand?

            “If he is so awesome offensively, then how stupid of him to not try to do more or to allow his teammates to fail more.”

            He doesn’t need to; he adds alot of value to his team with the way he’s playing right now. What his team truly needs is more unselfish play from their two stars and the point guard position, which Jeremy Lin is doing a good job with at the moment.

            Posted by The Realist #2 | February 17, 2012, 12:38 pm
          • That’s great that he does exactly what his team needs him to do. I haven’t said otherwise. I give him credit for doing this. But, frankly, he can’t do more than what he is doing, and this has shown throughout his entire career. He is limited offensively. But, that doesn’t mean in the slightest that he’s an ‘elite’ offensive player.

            What are you talking about: ‘these comparisons go beyond just efficiency.’ That’s what I’m been saying the whole time. But, you and lochpster are saying that Chandler is an ‘elite’ player, solely because of his offensive efficiency stats, which could be the only reason why one could claim chandler is an ‘elite’ player.

            Chandler is nowhere close to an elite player. If he was, he’d be an AS and probably an AS many times over, and he wouldn’t be a journeyman. But, he does stay within himself and doesn’t try to do more than he can do. But, this isn’t what the knicks need from amare and melo. They need these 2 guys to score, as well as to shoot at higher pcts. and work better together.

            Chandler is a quality player, but that’s about it. Hey, lochpster thinks Chandler is better offensively than Howard. Maybe you do, too. That just doesn’t make any sense.

            Posted by boyer | February 17, 2012, 1:04 pm
          • Boyer, despite my repeated statement that Chandler’s improved his game by leaps and bounds the past 2 years as well as my stance that All-Star game appearances aren’t really a good way to judge a player, you persist in the fallacy that, because Chandler’s never been an All-Star, apparently there’s no way he can be become an elite player now. I plan to disprove that idea once and for all.

            First, let me be clear in this. Chandler is 29 and has been in this league longer than most 29 year olds because he came straight out of high school. I AGREE WITH YOU that he hasn’t deserved to be an All-Star prior to this season. I don’t care what he was doing at 27, or 23, because I’m not talking about that. I believe he’s turned the corner and become one of the best players in the game this season, and this season only.

            There is tons precedent for players taking their games to new levels at this age, given that it’s still part of a player’s prime. Sticking to the highly flawed All-Star game method of judging a player’s worth, Steve Nash, Ben Wallace, Steve Smith and Kermit Washington were all 28 when they played in their first one. Chauncey Billups, Dennis Rodman, Ben Wallace, Kevin Willis, Bill Bradley, Otis Thorpe, and Jayson Williams were 29. Detlef Schrempf, Calvin Murphy and Dale Davis were 30. Rik Smits and Ricky Pierce were 31. Vlade Divac was 33. Sam Cassell and Anthony Mason were 34! And while I’m sure there are tons more examples, I found so many that I got tired of looking. There’s nor reason to believe a player can’t suddenly find himself playing at an All-Star level until he’s in his mid-30s.

            Of the aforementioned players, Bill Bradley, Dennis Rodman, and Calvin Murphy are Hall of Famers, yet they combined for 4 All-Star games total. KC Jones is in the Hall and never made an ASG. Presuming Manu Ginobli makes it into the Hall, there will be 10 Hall of Famers with 3 or fewer ASG appearances. Conversely, Larry Foust, Chet Walker, JoJo White and Jack Sikma were selected a combined 30 times, and not one of them has cracked the Hall. Yao Ming was selected to 8 All-Star games despite playing in only 486 career games, including 91 minutes total the last year he was selected. If these awards are really meaningful, shouldn’t there be some consistency between All Star games and the Hall of Fame.

            Furthermore, Dr. J, Karl Malone, Steve Nash and Hakeem Olajuwon were all on the wrong side of 30 when they won their first MVP awards (in fairness, Dr. J had a whole ABA career prior to this). Perhaps the fact that you haven’t done it before doesn’t mean you can’t do it now.

            If you want to argue against Chandler’s excellence as an offensive player due to his low usage rate, I can respect that. I admit my argument, while statistically powerful, is not mainstream, and you have made a legitimate counter-argument, albeit one that I find unconvincing.

            However, if you continue to hammer on this ridiculous All-Star game nonsense, know that your argument has about as much basis in reality as Tinkerbell.

            Posted by Lochpster | February 17, 2012, 5:46 pm
        • “What are you talking about: ‘these comparisons go beyond just efficiency.’”

          The numbers are based on both his efficiency AND how much of the Knicks offense he uses while he’s on the floor (you can use a number called usage here; although there are more refined numbers available). You take a player with an average efficiency and who uses an average amount of a team’s offense, then scale his usage up or down to see what his efficiency would be similar to against player with higher or lower usage. Studies show that there’s an inverse relationship between usage and efficiency (the actual numerical tradeoff can vary per season). When you compare Chandler against an average player who uses less of his team’s offense, his efficiency is higher than the norm. That’s why he’s above-average offensively, even if he doesn’t score a high nominal amount of points per game.

          Of course, that’s just one valid stat take of Chandler’s play. Another one are is his +/- numbers, that are adjusted for the lineups he plays with and the opponent. Chandler adds nearly 3 efficiency points to the Knick offense while he’s on the floor, which turns an average offense into one of the better offenses in the league.

          Hope that helps. For the impact he brings to a team offense, Chandler IS one of the better players in the league. It isn’t simply about points scored per game here.

          Posted by The Realist #2 | February 17, 2012, 2:11 pm
    • And just a little example of what Chandler can give your team: while all of ESPN is busy telling you about the greatness of Jeremy Lin and his shot at the end of the game (who’s been an above-average player during this Knicks run), guess who secured the all-important offensive board before Lin’s shot? Chandler does those things all the time.

      Good article Lochspter.

      Posted by The Realist #2 | February 15, 2012, 2:05 pm
      • Realist #2, thanks for the read and the spirited support. I enjoyed reading your posts and agree with pretty much everything you’ve said, although I do think Jeremy Lin has been pretty spectacular in his own right during the past few games. Keep it up!

        Posted by Lochpster | February 16, 2012, 1:24 am
  2. Its funny to me how some fans always think players aren’t doing enough. Chandler means more to the team than stats. As the article states he’s shooting great and his usage is low. I’ve watched him the whole season and noticed not only does he block shots but he blocks a lot in the clutch. Against the Raptors he blocked a shot that would have buried the Knicks in the closing minutes. Although I do not agree with the salary he was given he does play hard and has shown leadership. I was reading a stat on ESPN today that said something about Knicks players are shooting 14% better off a Lin pass than a pass from another Knicks player. Chandlers picks help the Lin create and only a dummy would think because he doesn’t average 20 and 15 that he’s not elite.

    Posted by Joemelle | February 15, 2012, 2:17 pm
    • Thanks for the read Joemelle! Totally agree.

      Posted by Lochpster | February 16, 2012, 1:25 am
      • So why does he get a pass for meaning more to the team but Chris Bosh doesn’t in Miami? Double standard I would think. Bosh believe it or not does many of the same things, he just shoots a lot more in a game. Lately hes been a beast inside. We will see tonight who comes out on top and if Tyson Chandler can make a difference with the way Miami can clog the paint up.

        Posted by nightbladehunter | February 23, 2012, 7:03 am
  3. I have been getting so much hate from fans about Tyson Chandler being overrated because of his huge contract but I’ve always felt like his impact has been felt the most for the Knicks and this only validates my feelings, good article!

    Anyways I only have one problem and that was completely ignoring, IMO, the best defensive rookie in the league in Iman Shumpert. I’m not even sure Mike Woodson deserves a lot of the credit because the man has the players switching every pick and roll which is never a good idea IMO. Anyways Shumpert is easily the best perimeter defender on the Knicks, has become one of the best on-ball defenders in the league and is FOURTH in the league in steals despite playing less minutes than anyone in the top ten but Tony Allen (THE best perimeter defender in the league).
    The amazing game winner Lin had over the Raptors never would’ve happened if Shumpert did not switch onto Calderon who was absolutely killing Lin offensively yet he couldn’t do anything against Shumpert. Sorry for the rant but just think the young gun deserves some props for his defense this year

    Posted by stillshining | February 16, 2012, 3:12 am
    • You’re totally right-I should have mentioned Shumpert. Thanks for keeping me honest, and thanks for reading.

      Posted by Lochpster | February 16, 2012, 10:44 am
      • Ha, I was just going to comment that you should have mentioned Shump’s defense too. He can be a gamechanger on that end, literally.

        Otherwise though, tremendous piece. .739 TS%. Dear lord. I knew he’d been very efficient but this article opened my eyes as to exactly how much. This is a season for the ages so far for Chandler.

        Posted by Joamiq | February 17, 2012, 11:34 am
        • Yep, it’s becoming more and more clear to me that I really blew it on that point. In my defense, with all the stories going on with Chandler, Lin, Carmelo, Amare and Mike D’Antoni, it’s easy to miss out on a rookie’s perimeter D. Live and learn…thanks for reading.

          Posted by Lochpster | February 17, 2012, 5:52 pm
  4. Lmao billups was never there best perimeter defender like the idiot in this article says.. Douglas, shumpert, and even fields are better perimeter defenders then billups

    Posted by Jason | February 16, 2012, 2:55 pm
  5. Wow great post. I have been amazed at the infrequency of Chandler misses. He simply gets the ball and puts it in the basket, almost every time.

    Also, referring to Bower saying “He has a good pct., but if everyone on the team all shot 4-6, then they would lose almost every game.”, I beg to differ.

    Assuming a 70/30 2pt attempt to 3pt attempt, that team would put up 110 pts on 66% shooting. Which would probably mean lots of wins.

    Posted by Purdman | February 17, 2012, 8:27 am
    • If the knicks had 9-20 players play, who all played 33.6 mpg like chandler, which can’t happen since there’s not that many minutes possible for all of them to play, then yea, their offense would be great. But, that’s not how it works.

      Chandler’s getting his 11.8ppg in 33.6 mpg. If every player who plays for the knicks had the same efficiency as Chandler, which is great, and at the same rate in minutes as Chandler plays, assuming 240 minutes played(no OT), then the knicks would average 84ppg((240/33.6)*11.8), which is pathetic. So, we’re taking the most efficient player in the league, and we’re duplicating his #’s to everyone else on his team(so you’d think this proposed team would be the best team ever if the efficiency stats don’t lie), saying that if everyone else on his team played at the same efficiency as chandler, and the offense sucks, what does that truly say about efficiency stats? Maybe that they’re overrated.

      Let’s take another approach. Nick Collison is 2nd in the league in TS%, and has with an ORtg of 127. Is he an elite offensive player? I, personally, would say he’s one of the worst offensive players in the league, but according to some advanced stats, he’s an amazing offensive player, go figure. Or is Sefolosha with an ORtg of 119 better offensively than Bosh or Durant, each with an ORtg of 111? I could go on and on.

      Posted by boyer | February 17, 2012, 12:54 pm
      • Allow me to clear a few things up for you:

        1) Your second paragraph doesn’t put anything that involves ORtg at work. ORtg is points generated per possession, and the math involved in estimating that number is far more complicated than what you listed in your example. It also only serves as one of several components that are relevant to player performance (other factors being usage, minutes played, strength of opponent, +/-, etc.). When you put everything together…

        2) …no, Collison (who is actually a pretty productive player when he’s playing) and Sefolosha are not elite offensive players.

        Now, will you stop griping about the numbers especially when you clearly don’t understand what they’re measuring?

        Posted by The Realist #2 | February 17, 2012, 7:21 pm
  6. Wow. Another misuse of stats to label a player ‘elite’!

    TS% is meaningless as a stand-alone measure of offensive capability. There are 2 things to consider abt offensive production – volume and efficiency. True, Chandler is an efficient scorer. But his contribution to the team total is not at the level that would qualify him as one of the best players. Boyer is right. The main reasons why Chandler’s efficient are: he isn’t the focus of the opposing team’s defense, and his FGAs are few. The problem with lagging statistics is that it is dangerously easy to take them out of context, especially in the hands of guys who don’t realise the boundaries of statistical analyses. There’s a simple test to do here: Do you honestly think that if the Knicks would alter their offense to take advantage of Chandler’s allegedly superb offensive capability by allowing him to get 20-25 shots/game, Chandler would be able to keep that TS%? Beats me. And even if he did that a couple of games, would he be able to do that over and over again once defenses focus on him? Tough luck! Statistics are just numbers. The analyses that you make of them is what matters. And in this case, you have overextended the stats to what it can’t factually support. The fact is that Chandler is a good role player. That’s what the stats are saying. He makes the most of what the game gives him. He doesn’t overdo things and he stay within his proverbial box – he shoots baskets that he could make with his skills, he stays within the team’s X’s and O’s, and he plays hard. In other words, he’s good at what he is supposed to do.

    The stats, though, collectively couldn’t be made to justify labelling him an ‘elite’, or even one of the best. The reason why he’s not the first, second, even third option on the Knicks is that his game couldn’t support that – he has limited skills and relative lack of athleticism. So his offensive contribution, in absolute terms and that which really matter since games aren’t won on percentages, will never go near the level of an ‘elite’ player.

    Chandler is a glue guy. He’s not a superstar and I doubt he ever will grow a game that would change that. What he does though is help his team win with doing what he’s expected to do. He’s known as a locker leader so that’s also a huge plus. I respect his game but not to the point of calling him a great player. He isn’t.

    Posted by Jourdan | February 25, 2012, 7:52 am
    • Jourdan, the argument here is that his efficiency, which is at this point by far the best in NBA history, has actually made him one of the most effective players this season on offense despite his limited usage. Explain it away with low volume all you want, but Chandler’s still averaging 12 PPG, so it’s not as if he rarely shoots, and he’s crushing every player in NBA history in terms of efficiency, even players who shot a lot less.

      I agree with you-he’s never going to be the focal point of the offense because of his limited skillset. But volume scorers are a dime a dozen-every team has guys who could score 25 points on 20 shots, and these guys tend to get labeled elite. What Chandler does is unique and has a huge impact on his team’s fortunes.

      Posted by Lochpster | February 25, 2012, 10:28 am
      • hmm, let me see…you said “Chandler’s proving that he’s truly become one of the NBA’s ELITE players by quietly putting together one of the most uniquely impactful seasons in recent NBA memory.”

        I certainly don’t see how the claim above just revolve around scoring efficiency. Are you saying one player qualifies as an elite when he’s scoring efficiently???
        Wow, I am glad you are not a GM bec this could be your “elite” team (given the 2011-2012 stats):

        Center – Tyson Chandler .738
        PF – Nick Collison .686
        PG – Mario Chalmers 0.666
        SF – Steve Novak 0.658
        SG – Mike Miller 0.654

        If you want the argument to stick with accepted stats, PER is the better composite index to describe who is ‘elite’. To give you a run-down of what you’ll get with PER, here’s the ideal “All-NBA” team should look like:

        Center – D Howard 26.4
        PF – Kevin Love 28.2
        PG – Chris Paul 23.5
        SF – Lebron James 30.9
        SG – Dwyane Wade 22.3

        Now, comparing the 2 lists, it’s easy to say which makes sense. I would bet my life that the All-PER team will beat your All-TS% team 100% of the time. Well, maybe Lebron might froze at the sight of Chandler so you might have a chance in hell that your All-TS% team would win.

        The above just exaggerates my point that you overvalue scoring efficiency. PER puts premium on scoring volume simply because you don’t win games by percentages, but rather by putting the ball in the hole and scoring points. And as flawed PER is, it is a far better lagging metric to quantify a player’s skill set and impact to team play than TS%, even when you couple it with win shares, +/-, and even qualify it with usage rates, etc. UNLESS you could show an alternative composite metric (containing TS% and whatever metric/factor you want to include)that could at least provide reasonable results compared to PER, then your analysis wouldn’t hold water. Chandler, for all intent and purposes, is NOT an elite player. He is a good ROLE PLAYER. That’s just he’s all about. No more. No less.

        Posted by jourdan | February 26, 2012, 1:15 am
      • And to add more stats:

        Here are the TS% of the All-PER team, which I would say is as-”pure” a version of “ELITE” team for the stat-geeks:

        Center – D Howard 0.555 (Rank 79)
        PF – Kevin Love 0.569 (Rank 48)
        PG – Chris Paul 0.589 (Rank 33)
        SF – Lebron James 0.624 (Rank 14)
        SG – Dwyane Wade 0.563 (Rank 59)

        League ave 0.514 (344 players)

        The above shows that this team of ELITE players in terms of PER are also top-quartile as well in terms of TS%, which isn’t surprising since PER already accounts for TS%.

        And in case you’d say PER is flawed, yes it is. But let’s see other scales, say ‘simple ratings”, which adds factors such as counter-player performance and player’s plus/minus (developed by 82games.com)

        Center – D Howard 12.6 (rank 4)
        PF – Kevin Love 9.8 (rank 13)
        PG – Chris Paul 14.5 (rank 2)
        SF – Lebron James 19.3 (rank 1)
        SG – Dwyane Wade 12 (rank 5)

        Not too bad a correlation there at all. “Simple Ratings” ain’t all, be-all metric as well. But it’s good enough to measure RELATIVE importance of players and their ORDINAL ranking.

        Now, where’s Chandler? Hmm, here he is:

        Center – Tyson Chandler 1.6 (rank 89)

        That’s not the stuff of ELITE players. That’s way too far from the top dogs of the game.

        You want more stats? Should I now bring in “Expected Value” scale???

        Posted by jourdan | February 26, 2012, 3:37 am
        • I don’t think being merely an efficient scorer makes you elite. I think being the most efficient scorer in NBA history by a wide margin plus revitalizing a historically awful defense filled with really bad defenders might make you one of the most impactful players in the league. Offense plus defense, here, buddy.

          I would never want to field that crummy all-TS% roster you put up. It’s a gross misrepresentation of my position to say I would. Chandler’s outscoring every other player on that list and crushing them in efficiency.

          PER is a worthless stat for measuring scoring. Shooting 30% from the floor or 21% form the arc is the break-even point.

          Be-all metrics grossly underestimate the importance of players whose major contributions are in rebounding and defense. Was Dennis Rodman the 7th most important Bull when they won the title? Is Bill Russell the 100th best player of all time? That’s what PER would have you believe.

          It’s a little outside the box to consider Chandler elite. I don’t think you’re wrong if you don’t think so, nor do I expect you’ll agree with me. But a lot of people have so far, so I’m not exactly out in left field.

          Posted by Lochpster | February 26, 2012, 4:36 am
          • gross misrepresentation? it was an exaggeration as I had said. It was to drive a point when you mentioned “Jourdan, the argument here is that his efficiency, which is at this point by far the best in NBA history, has actually made him one of the most effective players this season on offense despite his limited usage.”

            Now, I really don’t get that “crushing them with efficiency”. Again, games are WON through ABSOLUTE number of points, not through the rates at which you make them. Chandler will NOT keep up that TS% if he’s given more FGAs than what he has now. Probably a game or 2, but NOT over the course of a season, and definitely not in the playoffs. Look at Jeremy Lin. He shocked the NBA with his play. He thrived early because of the lack of advanced scouting and focused defenses. What happened when Miami zoomed on him? They took him out of the game. And in all honesty, Jeremy has MORE GAME than Chandler. Once Chandler becomes one of the alpha dogs with the green light to shoot and starts scoring in the 20s with that ridiculous TS%, defenses would eventually catch up to him and expose his limited offense. He wouldn’t be able to sustain that TS%, and he’d be back to where he should be – A ROLE PLAYER.

            PER is indeed NOT a good stat for scoring. But it is a GOOD ENOUGH stat to measure the RELATIVE IMPORTANCE of players and their ORDINAL rankings. When you’re trying to assess whether or not a player is ELITE, you have to use a composite index that’d allow you to do a COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS. Hence, PER and similar indices, like “simple rating” are FAR BETTER than bits and pieces of stats and a ton of explanation, like what you’re trying to achieve with Chandler.

            PER is truly limited in the way it values defense. This is something that “simple rating” was trying to account for, hence the addition of counter-player player production and the on-court/off-court plus/minus. Plus/minus nos are BROAD numbers that attempt to lump ALL intangibles. This is not the most ideal, since plus/minus numbers are more a product of the on-court 5-man line-up, and hence more of a group stat than individual. But again, this inaccuracy only becomes relevant in DETAILED comparisons between COMPARABLE players, like players within maybe +/- 5 ranks of each other. But it’s more than adequate to establish ORDER OR MAGNITUDE difference between players.

            In that sense, let’s check where Chandler is COMPARED to others:

            PER 19.8 (rank 25)
            Simple rating: 1.6 (rank 89)

            What do I make of these numbers?

            Chandler was an even ‘better’ player when you don’t account for broad-based metrics such as plus/minus, which supposedly should COVER HIS DEFENSIVE IMPACT on the New York Knicks. When you account for plus/minus AND the production of the opposing players while Chandler is on the court, his ordinal ranking dropped from 25th (PER) to 89 (Simple rating).

            So there, I don’t see how Chandler’s defense made a whole lot of difference on top of his scoring efficiency to deserve being called an elite. The actual stats say it doesn’t. In fact, it made the comparison less favourable for Chandler.

            Let’s take Dwight Howard. In PER, he ranked 4th. In simple ratings, he MAINTAINED that ranking; he also ranked 4th. Now that’s ELITE. In any way you slice and dice it, Howard stays put. No special explanations needed, no asterisks, no article required. You see, different composite indices don’t really matter much with true ELITE players. They stay relatively where they are (order of magnitude) with any measuring stick you use. Let’s test my claim with a few ELITE:

            Player | PER rank | Simple rating rank

            Love | 2 | 13
            Paul | 6 | 2
            Wade | 10 | 5
            Lebron| 1 | 1

            See that? Different sticks, within order-of-magnitude results. This cross-references are necessary when metrics aren’t all, be-all.

            Chandler couldn’t measure up to this kind of scrutiny.

            And pls, let’s not go down the path of red herrings and logical fallacies. I used PER only as counter-argument against your TS%, since it is a BETTER tool to measure offensive contribution (and then some) when you’d use offensive contribution as the barometer for qualifying players as either elite or not elite. Again, I never believe in PER as a be-all metric. It isn’t.

            John Hollinger said this of PER: “Bear in mind that PER is not the final, once-and-for-all evaluation of a player’s accomplishments during the season. This is especially true for defensive specialists — such as Quinton Ross and Jason Collins — who don’t get many blocks or steals. ”

            http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/columns/story?columnist=hollinger_john&id=2850240

            So please, let’s stick with the arguments. You offered scoring efficiency, I refuted it with PER, taking care of your “offense” angle (since PER is biased for offense). I was aware of Chandler’s defensive contributions, hence I brought in “Simple Ratings”. On both ends of the court, Chandler is NOT ELITE.

            I mean sure, Chandler improved NY defense. But that’s not enough to call a player ELITE, even when that guy is an efficient scorer. The point is calling player ELITE is a COMPARISON BETWEEN PLAYERS, NOT COMPARISON OF TEAM PERFORMANCE WITH AND WITHOUT the player.

            Chandler improved NY defense and that makes him VALUABLE to NY. That’s all you could make up for that change in NY defense, nothing else. The change that happened in NY from last year to this year is irrelevant to judging Chandler’s defensive abilities compared to other players. Only the CURRENT New York defense factors in the analysis.

            You don’t think I am wrong? Well, you don’t have to think at all! I offered you numbers. Now, instead of talking abt Rodman and Bill Russell, defend Chandler with NUMBERS! I don’t need appeal to authority arguments, ad populum, ignoratio elenchi, etc. I don’t care whether it was just one or ten of you who think Chandler is elite…that doesn’t make any difference as to what Chandler really is.

            Unless you give me numbers that would support your arguments, then that’s it..you lack numbers. All you have is an opinion, an irrational one.

            Posted by jourdan | February 26, 2012, 6:12 am
          • I wouldn’t even bother with this nonsense, Lochspter. Jourdan’s an absolute fraud.

            Posted by The Realist #2 | February 26, 2012, 8:17 am
          • Hey Realist? Tired of kissing Lebron’s ass? You do have faggot tendencies ey? Why chase me here? Wanna lick my boots?

            It’s really up to your friend to man up and defend his position. I have said my piece and it’s for everyone to read, not just your friend. Don’t spoil the fun though simply bec you have not been enjoying the way I kick your ass in the school yard. Quit whining you bitch and argue with your brain than spew shit everywhere. Quant-wannabes are a dime-a-dozen. You don’t have the monopoly of opinion so don’t wimp out when you get bitch-slapped. Hahaha.

            Posted by Jourdan | February 26, 2012, 1:08 pm
          • Your condescending nature is appalling. I don’t have to think at all? What does that even mean? And if you don’t think I’ve used numbers to defend Chandler, you should re-read the article and the above posts.

            Your denigration about Chandler’s offensive efficiency is truly grasping at straws-if you think you “took care of it” with a stat as flawed as PER, then that makes one of us. We agree that games are won by absolute numbers-absolute team numbers. This does nothing to negate the value of efficiency, given that shots are a limited resource and efficient scoring leads to more team points.

            Defense is excruciatingly hard to measure. There’s not a really great statistic out there to do, but simple rating is definitely not the answer. All conventional stats fail to take team dynamics into effect to some effect, but simple rating takes this to the extreme. Further, simple ratings, like PER, skews toward high usage offensive players, so I’m not surprised the lists look so similar.

            There are all-in-one stats that weigh efficiency much more heavily. Win shares for instance-another all in one stat, also with flaws, but one which gives more credit to players who consistently perform above league average rather than mere compilers. Tyson Chandler ranks in the top 10 in terms of offensive, defensive, total, and per 48 minute production. Among active players, only Lebron James and Tyson Chandler can make this claim.

            I’m done with this argument not because I don’t think you have interesting things to say, but because I refuse to engage someone as rude as you.

            Posted by Lochpster | February 26, 2012, 2:35 pm
          • Hey Lochpster, don’t try the appeal to pity angle. I didn’t mean to offend you when I said you don’t need to think “about whether I am wrong or not”. I am not saying that you suspend the use of your brain; all I am saying is I offered you numbers that you could refute with numbers, anf not make meaningless statements such as “I don’t think you’re wrong if you don’t think so, nor do I expect you’ll agree with me.” The objective of a stats-based perspective on reality is to take the subjective element out, or at the least minimise it to the point that it wouldn’t impact the conclusions. So it DOES matter when you say one thing and I say otherwise whilst we’re talking abt the same reality, in this case, Chandler. For we are to accept an impasse just because we ‘think’ we are right, then the whole stats-cookie crumble. We’re no better than casual fans who’d think Kobe is clutch just because they think he’s clutch. So it was not condescension, rather just the cold truth when dealing with any atempts to model reality through cold numbers. I may have to sugarcoat it a bit next time since you seem to be too sensitive for a stats-guy. You see, one thing I learned when you start dealing with numbers is that things aren’t as they appear and you’d have to argue a lot with the mainstream, rude or not. And it’s quite necessary to develop a certain ability to take blows here and there. I thought you know that by now.

            Anyway, I’d address your points regardless of whether you ‘refuse’ to counter-argue or not. After all, this is not for your eyes alone anyway.

            1. “We agree that games are won by absolute numbers-absolute team numbers. This does nothing to negate the value of efficiency, given that shots are a limited resource and efficient scoring leads to more team points.”

            This is Red herring my friend. I never said scoring efficency is irrelevant. In fact I said offensive contribution is made up of 2 things: volume and efficiency.

            Also your argument that “efficient scoring leads to more team points” is a “fallacy of the single cause”. Efficient scoring is NOT the only reason for more team points, and in fact could be grossly appropriated when you start talking abt INDIVIDUAL TS% instead of team eFG%.

            2. “Defense is excruciatingly hard to measure. There’s not a really great statistic out there to do, but simple rating is definitely not the answer. ”
            Agree. So how are you able to quantify Chandler’s defensive contribution to make you conclude that he is ELITE? If you don’t agree with broad-based metrics, then

            All conventional stats fail to take team dynamics into effect to some effect, but simple rating takes this to the extreme. Further, simple ratings, like PER, skews toward high usage offensive players, so I’m not surprised the lists look so similar.

            There are all-in-one stats that weigh efficiency much more heavily. Win shares for instance-another all in one stat, also with flaws, but one which gives more credit to players who consistently perform above league average rather than mere compilers. Tyson Chandler ranks in the top 10 in terms of offensive, defensive, total, and per 48 minute production. Among active players, only Lebron James and Tyson Chandler can make this claim.

            I’m done with this argument not because I don’t think you have interesting things to say, but because I refuse to engage someone as rude as you.

            Posted by Jourdan | February 26, 2012, 7:01 pm
          • Hey Lochpster, don’t try the appeal to pity angle. I didn’t mean to offend you when I said you don’t need to think “about whether I am wrong or not”. I am not saying that you suspend the use of your brain; all I am saying is I offered you numbers that you could refute with numbers, anf not make meaningless statements such as “I don’t think you’re wrong if you don’t think so, nor do I expect you’ll agree with me.” The objective of a stats-based perspective on reality is to take the subjective element out, or at the least minimise it to the point that it wouldn’t impact the conclusions. So it DOES matter when you say one thing and I say otherwise whilst we’re talking abt the same reality, in this case, Chandler. For we are to accept an impasse just because we ‘think’ we are right, then the whole stats-cookie crumble. We’re no better than casual fans who’d think Kobe is clutch just because they think he’s clutch.

            So it was not condescension, rather just the cold truth when dealing with any atempts to model reality through cold numbers. I may have to sugarcoat it a bit next time since you seem to be too sensitive for a stats-guy. You see, one thing I learned when you start dealing with numbers is that things aren’t as they appear and you’d have to argue a lot with the mainstream, rude or not. And it’s quite necessary to develop a certain ability to take blows here and there. I thought you know that by now.

            Anyway, I’d address your points regardless of whether you ‘refuse’ to counter-argue or not. After all, this is not for your eyes alone anyway.

            1. “We agree that games are won by absolute numbers-absolute team numbers. This does nothing to negate the value of efficiency, given that shots are a limited resource and efficient scoring leads to more team points.”

            This is Red herring my friend. I never said scoring efficency is irrelevant. In fact I said offensive contribution is made up of 2 things: volume and efficiency.

            Also your argument that “efficient scoring leads to more team points” is a “fallacy of the single cause”. Efficient scoring is NOT the only reason for more team points, and in fact could be grossly appropriated when you start talking abt INDIVIDUAL TS% instead of team eFG%.

            2. “Defense is excruciatingly hard to measure. There’s not a really great statistic out there to do, but simple rating is definitely not the answer. ”

            Agree. So how are you able to quantify Chandler’s defensive contribution to make you conclude that he is ELITE? If you don’t agree with broad-based metrics like “simple rating”, then what do you propose that we use? More importantly, what metric did you use to come to a conclusion that Chandler’s defensive contribution is at the ELITE level?

            3. “All conventional stats fail to take team dynamics into effect to some effect, but simple rating takes this to the extreme. ”

            This is FLAT-OUT WRONG. It’s the other way around. Any broad-based metric takes into consideration TEAM dynamics more than INDIVIDUAL contributions. “Plus/minus” for example more accurately describes the impact of the 5-man line-up on the court more than the separate individual contributions. The problem here is how to properly allocate the plus/minus of a 5-man line-up to each guy. This is where the broad-based metric falls short. However, as I mentioned, the inaccuracies of any broad-based metric is only relevant when “breaking” statistical ties.

            The inaccuracy of a broad-based metric isn’t relevant when the order-of-magnitude difference is severe, like comparing Chandler (rank 89) with Dwight (rank 4). In absolute rating numbers, Chandler’s rating is factor 12 worse than Dwight. In ordinal terms, he is 85 ranking points away. There’s no way that the inaccuracy of a broad-based metric could cause those magnitude difference.

            Here’s the analogy for you: If I am to compare the size of Pacific Ocean to say an Olympic-size swimming pool, I could use metric or English units and it won’t matter. Heck, I could even use a toothpick to measure them and conclude that the Pacific Ocean is immensely larger than an Olympic-size swimming pool. But if I, say, am to compare the Olympic-size swimming pool in Berlin to an Olympic-size swimming pool in Beijing, I’d use a consistent, more precise measuring stick since the differences would really be minute.

            Now, do you get the drift? The order-of-magnitude difference is TOO LARGE for the inherent shortcomings of the measuring stick to come into play. PER or “simple rating”, Chandler is found to be wanting.

            And also, whining abt the “lack of proper metric” to discredit an argument is actually a fallacy called “moving the goal post”. You are arguing my point by dismissing the evidence presented by way of demanding a greater evidence.

            4. “Further, simple ratings, like PER, skews toward high usage offensive players, so I’m not surprised the lists look so similar.”

            Well, usage is important in ABSOLUTE terms. Who cares if the guy’s TS% is 100% when he’s not on the floor? What does that do to the team’s fortunes?

            Further, the objective in basketball is to score more points than the opposing team to win. If you get to a tie at end of regulation, you go to an extension until one team scores more points than the other team by the game time expires. Naturally, ANY rating should put more emphasis on offense, because that’s how you get a win. You don’t win games just by not allowing the other team to score and YET failing to score. Games don’t end 0-0. So I repeat: ANY basketball rating will put more emphasis on offense than defense. Else, it will NOT TALLY WITH REALITY. And any model, if it couldn’t explain reality anymore, is useless.

            5. “There are all-in-one stats that weigh efficiency much more heavily. Win shares for instance-another all in one stat, also with flaws, but one which gives more credit to players who consistently perform above league average rather than mere compilers. Tyson Chandler ranks in the top 10 in terms of offensive, defensive, total, and per 48 minute production. Among active players, only Lebron James and Tyson Chandler can make this claim.”

            Again, red herring. The point is that you don’t win games on “per-minute” numbers. That assumes linear relationship between independent and dependent variables. This very rarely happens anywhere, including sports. Almost ALL correlations in nature are LOGARITHMIC or EXPONENTIAL (base e). We only linearise the relationship over a very well-defined range. So Tyson Chandler will NEVER BE ABLE TO SUSTAIN those “per-minute” numbers over the course of a game or season. In simple terms and as I have said before, Chandler’s propensity to shoot the ball with high TS% will decrease with an increasing usage rate. It will not stay the same. It will approach a certain mean (see Central Limit theorem). Now, what would be that number? Well, the historical mean of the BEST PLAYERS TS% don’t converge around .70. So there’s no reason to believe that Chandler, with his limited offensive skills, could do what other better-equipped players were not able to do. This is significantly different from Wilt’s case, where ALL LEADING metrics – leaping ability, athleticism, strength, endurance, etc., made him a true outlier. In the case of Chandler, I don’t see his skills near the level of Wilt or Artis Gilmore. If Shaq couldn’t do it, then no way in hell that Chandler could if his usage rate would increase to what “elite” players enjoy.

            6. “I’m done with this argument not because I don’t think you have interesting things to say, but because I refuse to engage someone as rude as you.”

            Well, that’s your choice.

            And before I forget…
            7. “But a lot of people have so far, so I’m not exactly out in left field.”

            This doesn’t hold any weight at all. There’s a simple test: “I believe in unicorn. So does a lot of people, so I’m not exactly whacked out for believing in unicorns.”

            See the logic? It’s fairly easy to discern a fallacy if you substitute complex stuff with simple stuff and then check whether the statement still maintains its reasonableness.

            So there, instead of lamenting the “lack of stats” to disprove your point, why not present the “stats” in unequivocal terms to prove your point? Amazing how there’s not enough stats to say Chandler is NOT elite yet you seem to have enough stats to say he is. But anyway, I’m interested to see your NUMBERS in case you decide to grow a thick skin like quants should

            Posted by Jourdan | February 26, 2012, 7:55 pm

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