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http://www.dailyherald.com/sports/bulls.asp - all about the statistical ratings on players:

Just as box scores will never tell the full story of what happens in a game, statistics don’t always reveal the true value of a player.

But a pair of NBA statistical analyses that appeared during the summer produced a result so unexpected, it cried out for further investigation.

Two stats wizards set out to determine the defensive abilities of each NBA player. One was Dan Rosenbaum, an economics professor at North Carolina-Greensboro, for the Web site 82games.com. The other was by ESPN.com’s John Hollinger in his book “Pro Basketball Forecast.”

They came to the same surprising conclusion: Bulls rookie Ben Gordon was the second-best defensive shooting guard during the 2004-05 season.

That news came as a shock to everyone, including the authors. Gordon’s defense improved during the course of last season, but it’s likely no league observer would come to a similar conclusion.

Told of the results, Gordon said with a smile, “That’s an interesting study. It’s about time I hear something in my favor.”

and

Of course, the two rating systems are complicated. Essentially, they tried to compare how a team played defense when a player was on the floor to when he was on the bench, with several other factors woven in.

Both authors addressed the Gordon issue in their results. A common explanation was that Gordon was frequently in the game at the same time as Chandler and Kirk Hinrich. Hinrich did not appear near the top of either defensive ranking.

Rosenbaum found that the Bulls played good defense when Gordon was in the game without Chandler, but poor defense when Chandler played without Gordon. Statistically speaking, that means Gordon should have been the more effective defender.

Another theory is because Gordon was such a strong offensive player last season, the Bulls usually outscored the opponent when he was on the floor. Then again, Milwaukee’s Michael Redd is a talented scorer, but he ranked as one of the worst defensive shooting guards in both studies.

The Bulls preferred to tread lightly on this subject. They didn’t want to insult Gordon’s defense by trying to explain away the conclusions of those defensive studies.

They also wanted to keep the statistical analyses in perspective. The team doesn’t believe, and neither do the authors, that such a study can provide a definitive answer on such an objective topic.
 

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“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics”.

--attributed to Mark Twain


Just kidding. Congrats as always, Dan, on nice work I can't even begin to fathom.

I'm going to definitely start watching Ben on defense much closer to see if I can observe what the stats seem to indicate.
 

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gordon's defense(as in how highy rated it is) is basically in my mind an offshoot of other factors.

1. kirk usually guards the more offensive guard when they are on the court together.
2. ben is such an offensive threat now teams usually either put defenders on him or give him special attention late in games....defenders normally cant score , or are not looking to score because they are focused on defense. also in the 4th teams usually run their offense through 1 or 2 guys and ben almost never defends those guys.
3. late in games the defense plays harder....and ben's defensive stats are unusually affected by this becuse of the high% of his min. in the 4th quarter.
4. he is in the game in the 1st half against other team's reserves and even then usually either duhon or kirk defend the better backcourt scorer.
5. ben gets more help than any bulls player, because when he guards 2's he is at such a height disadvantage, and he has a rep as a weak defender.

in alot of instances his offense is his defense.
 

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My theory on this is that what appears to be a bad defensive mismatch can sometimes work in the defensive team's favor. The offensive team can tend to overemphasize exploiting the mismatch, get out of the flow of what they're trying to do, and end up putting its OWN players in positions where they're not comfortable passing or shooting the ball.

I see this all the time when Gordon's in the game, and especially when he's guarding off-guards who maybe aren't great at playmaking. That player might blow by Gordon, but then all of a sudden he's being triple-teamed and has nowhere to go. Or he'll jump to pass and throw it away. Very, very rarely will you see Gordon methodically taken down into the low post and scored on.

I've noticed this league-wide. Unless the team with the defensive mismatch doesn't send help for the guy (like Paul Pierce abusing Tayshaun Prince the other night), the offensive team is rarely able to take advantage of the mismatch. And the Bulls are an excellent team defense in terms of covering and recovering and rotating and help. They're probably better at that style of D than their regular style, and when Gordon's in the game, they are playing a lot of scramble and recover D.

It's a half-baked theory, but I'm sticking to it.
 

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ScottMay said:
My theory on this is that what appears to be a bad defensive mismatch can sometimes work in the defensive team's favor. The offensive team can tend to overemphasize exploiting the mismatch, get out of the flow of what they're trying to do, and end up putting its OWN players in positions where they're not comfortable passing or shooting the ball.

I see this all the time when Gordon's in the game, and especially when he's guarding off-guards who maybe aren't great at playmaking. That player might blow by Gordon, but then all of a sudden he's being triple-teamed and has nowhere to go. Or he'll jump to pass and throw it away. Very, very rarely will you see Gordon methodically taken down into the low post and scored on.

I've noticed this league-wide. Unless the team with the defensive mismatch doesn't send help for the guy (like Paul Pierce abusing Tayshaun Prince the other night), the offensive team is rarely able to take advantage of the mismatch. And the Bulls are an excellent team defense in terms of covering and recovering and rotating and help. They're probably better at that style of D than their regular style, and when Gordon's in the game, they are playing a lot of scramble and recover D.

It's a half-baked theory, but I'm sticking to it.
Half-baked or no, I don't actually care as long as it works. If putting Gordon on the floor causes opposing guards to try and take on the team defense rather than firmly address the single defender in front of him, that's fine.

What it implies on a bigger picture level is that our inside defense was/is pretty terrific. Chandler's already been highly complimented several times on his help defense this season by media. This means that as long as Gordon remains a Bull (hopefully a long time), he needs only to tighten his perimeter defense and play tight against jump shooters. If guys are breaking his ankles off the dribble and getting all the dribble penetration on him that they want only to find a menacing Chandler hungry for a nasty shot block, I suppose I don't really mind that much. Of course, there are times when Chandler won't be in the game, and I think Gordon should learn to improve that area of his game regardless.

But it's a secondary concern compared to how Gordon defends in a team concept.

The thing about this half-baked theory is that I don't understand how Hinrich wouldn't also get his stats equally boosted. If he's actually playing better man defense but that results in a better situation for the defender, then is he really playing better defense? Shouldn't he maybe play up tighter and try to push his guys into the interior defense rather than play physical defense and try to do it on his own? And even if he does try to do it on his own, I'm assuming that there should still be help defense available; isolation plays just don't naturally occur that much in the NBA anymore since they removed the illegal defense call.
 

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Well, it's only 4 games but the defensive numbers aren't holding up for Gordon.

http://www.82games.com/0506/05CHI4D.HTM

Offense: Pts per 100 Poss.

106.7

85.2

+21.5
Defense: Pts per 100 Poss.

99.3

98.6

+0.7
Net Points per 100 Possessions

+7.4

-13.4

+20.8

+20.8 is a HUGE +/- net - But it's all coming on O.

Chandler is +15, but 2/3 of his good work is coming on D. So Chandler may have contributed to Gordon's Defensive number last year.
 

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johnston797 said:
Well, it's only 4 games but the defensive numbers aren't holding up for Gordon.

http://www.82games.com/0506/05CHI4D.HTM

Offense: Pts per 100 Poss.

106.7

85.2

+21.5
Defense: Pts per 100 Poss.

99.3

98.6

+0.7
Net Points per 100 Possessions

+7.4

-13.4

+20.8

+20.8 is a HUGE +/- net - But it's all coming on O.

Chandler is +15, but 2/3 of his good work is coming on D. So Chandler may have contributed to Gordon's Defensive number last year.
Speaking of having fun w/early nos., check out the gulf between NJ's starters and its bench.

http://www.82games.com/0506/0506NJN.HTM
 

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I'd really like to see some of the factors taken into account here because I see no way that Ben was a top defender on our team, let alone the league. Whenever he is on the court Duhon or Kirk is usually guarding the better offensive guard. In fact, I can't remember Ben guarding too many 2-guards period. That duty usually fell on the shoulders of Deng, Kirk, Pike, and AG.
 

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sp00k said:
I'd really like to see some of the factors taken into account here because I see no way that Ben was a top defender on our team, let alone the league. Whenever he is on the court Duhon or Kirk is usually guarding the better offensive guard. In fact, I can't remember Ben guarding too many 2-guards period. That duty usually fell on the shoulders of Deng, Kirk, Pike, and AG.
At least 1/2 of each metric is solely how many points were scored per minute while a player is on the floor vs. when they are off the floor. That's it.
 

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TomBoerwinkle#1 said:
BTW: This report seemed to have a familiar ring to it.

Sure enough, McGraw is several months behind the curve. We discussed Dan's observations when he first posted them back in early August.

http://basketballboards.net/forum/showthread.php?t=188559
And I think we talked about Hollinger's PER stats on our guys a few days ago too...

http://web.basketballboards.net/forum/showthread.php?t=214672&highlight=hollinger

Mike McGraw, have you been spying on us again?

If you're reading this, in your next article, please use the sentence "This is why the Bulls, though one of the youngest teams in the league, are Baby no more."

Or this sentence, "Tyson Chandler is an extremely bright defensive anchor as he has established himself as one of the best young help defenders in the league."

Or this sentence, "Basketballboards.net rules! And Showtyme rocks my socks with his intelligent and witty remarks! Ben Gordon is the MAAASTER!"

:clap: Come on now, Mike, I know you're reading this. I actively transfer any exclusive rights in copyright to you so that you can use these in your next article. Show us a sign!
 
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