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  #1  
Old 08-22-13, 02:30 PM
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2013-14 Spurs Player Evolutions

I've done this before, but basically study what a player has done the last few years (factoring in playing time, age, experience, and playoffs, among the complete NBA package of stats), and I compare them to a figure from league's past... Predicting what they could be a lot like this upcoming season. Sometimes just predicting numbers can be boring and don't jump off the page immediately. This way, we are predicting not with a number, but a name... One that may jog your memory if you've watched years of basketball.

I'll go into more explanation and finish all the players as time progresses. For now, I'm going to show my basic findings for the six marquee players on the Spurs...

Tim Duncan = '85 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Lakers)
Tony Parker = '85 Gus Williams (Bullets)
Manu Ginobili = '93 Danny Ainge (Suns)
Kawhi Leonard = '10 Thaddeus Young (76ers)
Danny Green = '88 Craig Hodges (Bucks/Suns)
Tiago Splitter = '95 Chris Gatling (Warriors)

I thought it was interesting that coach Pop was a pretty important part of Chris Gatling's development in Golden State... Looks like Pop wanted to keep Gatling part 2 at all costs.
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  #2  
Old 08-22-13, 07:26 PM
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That's pretty cool.. thanks xcell
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Old 08-22-13, 08:05 PM
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You either have an immense database or a huge brain.
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Old 08-26-13, 11:55 AM
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Haha thanks y'all. I deal with stats all day at work and I like to carry it over to things I enjoy in my free time. I found a few more...

Marco Belinelli = '13 Nick Young (76ers)
Jeff Pendergraph = '01 Todd Fuller (Heat)
Matt Bonner = '01 Matt Bullard (Rockets)
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  #5  
Old 08-26-13, 05:22 PM
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Wow. Bullard is loved in Houston.
Guess the stats don't lie.

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  #6  
Old 08-29-13, 10:51 AM
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Haha yes you can insinuate that a player who puts up Bonner/Bullard #s and is white will be instant fan favorites... I did 3 more and I just have Nando & Patti left...

Cory Joseph = '02 Milt Palacio (Celtics/Suns)
***(eerily close to '13 Lance Stephenson... We should keep an eye on that one)
Aron Baynes = '88 Chris Engler (Nets)
Boris Diaw = '93 Craig Ehlo (Cavs)
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  #7  
Old 08-30-13, 09:44 AM
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Nando De Colo = '06 John Salmons (76ers)
Patrick Mills = '08 Salim Stoudamire (Hawks)
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  #8  
Old 08-30-13, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xcell31 View Post
I've done this before, but basically study what a player has done the last few years (factoring in playing time, age, experience, and playoffs, among the complete NBA package of stats), and I compare them to a figure from league's past... Predicting what they could be a lot like this upcoming season. Sometimes just predicting numbers can be boring and don't jump off the page immediately. This way, we are predicting not with a number, but a name... One that may jog your memory if you've watched years of basketball.

I'll go into more explanation and finish all the players as time progresses. For now, I'm going to show my basic findings for the six marquee players on the Spurs...

Tim Duncan = '85 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Lakers)
Tony Parker = '85 Gus Williams (Bullets)
Manu Ginobili = '93 Danny Ainge (Suns)
Kawhi Leonard = '10 Thaddeus Young (76ers)
Danny Green = '88 Craig Hodges (Bucks/Suns)
Tiago Splitter = '95 Chris Gatling (Warriors)

I thought it was interesting that coach Pop was a pretty important part of Chris Gatling's development in Golden State... Looks like Pop wanted to keep Gatling part 2 at all costs.
This thing you're doing is a really good idea. You should contact ESPN and suggest for them to incorporate it to their stat data base.
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  #9  
Old 09-02-13, 01:20 PM
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Thanks a lot man! Yeah, I feel something can be done with this, article driven or stats query driven... Either way its a good way to recount history, and a possible avenue at avoiding mistakes, or triumphing in the face of challenging decisions. Some of my findings for other teams so far have led me to some great insight and a a lot of "connect-the-dots" information... A lot like the Splitter-Gatling-Popovich scenario.
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Old 09-02-13, 02:46 PM
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Let me break the system down even more for y'all. Back when I first did this two years ago, I pegged Kawhi Leonard as Ryan Humphrey... a rookie with a low ceiling, only predicted largely because of his shooting woes in a rather meek Mountain West Conference... his great rebounding and hard-nosed defense translating inconsiderably... and that was WRONG. We all know this. Some of this can be attributed to the tremendous developmental team within the Spurs system. That gravy train hasn't set-sail even yet. Whatever the case may be, it was a great surprise to see someone with unforeseeable upside developing into the next coming of Thaddeus Young (with more of a defensive edge, mind you). So there's that.

Another important factor to consider is that the best players ala Tim Duncan are matched with somewhat shallow representations of themselves. It only makes sense though. Guys like Duncan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are one-of-a-kind talents, with their stats and achievements replicated on a extremely rare basis. Saying Duncan is like Kareem is like saying Babe Ruth is like Lou Gehrig. Yes, they share a good deal of the same qualities, but they are shaped in vastly different molds. However, I love to point out that...

Kareem in '84 lost to the Celtics in 7 games (Duncan in '13 lost to the Heat in 7 games)

in 1985, Kareem won Finals MVP, beating the C's in 6. Is that to say Duncan will repeat the same fate? One can only hope.

So I will end my post here and get into the nitty gritty stats in a later post... and explain the nuances of each player that might throw these trend predictions off...

one last thing though. Remember when I said that Cory Joseph will resemble '02 Milt Palacio, but with careful conditioning and development, he could be on his way to a '13 Lance Stephenson-esque season? Well, maybe that's why the Spurs went out and acquired former Pacers assistant Jim Boylen to get that to happen (there's your connect-the-dot scenario of the day!).
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  #11  
Old 09-02-13, 06:06 PM
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one last thing though. Remember when I said that Cory Joseph will resemble '02 Milt Palacio, but with careful conditioning and development, he could be on his way to a '13 Lance Stephenson-esque season? Well, maybe that's why the Spurs went out and acquired former Pacers assistant Jim Boylen to get that to happen (there's your connect-the-dot scenario of the day!).

1. So are you saying that your model may be emulating what the Spurs are thinking?
2. Your model may be emulating a similar Spurs model?
3. Your model is used by the Spurs?
4. None of the above.
5. You don't care to answer.
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  #12  
Old 09-02-13, 06:36 PM
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I would go with #1, only because I believe the Spurs (and many other teams) arrive at these notions far in advance because of their deployment of Billy Beane SABR-esque statisticians in the field. There's gotta be a whole warehouse of nerds crunching numbers, trying to determine the next best thing for the cheaper buck.
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Old 09-02-13, 06:42 PM
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if I vote #2... it's really like me seeing the silver lining in my equations... basically admitting that No Boylen = Cory turns to Milt... but Boylen = Cory turns to Lance. If such an occurrence happens... I'm not sharing the credit!

#3... to an extent... but their team of statisticians would likely put me to shame (and thus, their models and/or formulas). That's just my opinion though.

#5 ... Everyone to me is of equal importance... and I'm never one to shrug off someone who has so graciously replied to some of my banter. Thanks for taking the time to read!
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Old 09-02-13, 09:16 PM
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I must admit that when you first started the thread, I was not all that interested because I have never been amused with comparing or ranking player's careers. I either enjoyed them for what they were or I didn't. However when you started showing us how it can be used to show or predict a players development, decline or potential, you grabbed my attention. I don't know how often these player comparisons change in your model, but if they do so during the course of the season, an update might be interesting.
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  #15  
Old 09-03-13, 03:18 AM
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thanks man! I feel as if they are dynamic enough to change mid-season (and many times before)... I would love to provide an update if one was needed... especially if these start to wane. Oh, and I agree... for the most part, player comparisons are moot, and generalizing players' careers is a dangerous trade. I like how you articulated what I'm doing here. You are spot on.
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Old 09-03-13, 08:56 AM
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Recent Hires Emphasize Player Evaluation Hang Time Blog | NBA.com

Here is a nice article this morning by Jeff Caplan that is relevant to the subject. It also mentions the Spurs new hire.
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