Friday, January 27, 2006

Western Logjam

With the All-Star voting done and the game looming, it is that time of the year: roster selections! I've always loved posting my own picks for the All-Star game, but to be honest, there aren't that many tough calls this year. Rip or Redd in the East? Maybe Jason Kidd? There's really not a lot to discuss in most cases. The only real issues are out West at the forward spot, where we have a logjam of massive proportions. So who to pick? Let's take a look.


Adam Hoff said...

Before deciding on my choices, lets look at how the primary candidates measure up, using a variety of tools. For the purposes of this post, the candidates we will be using will be: Elton Brand, Carmelo Anthony, Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Garnett, Shawn Marion, Andrei Kirilenko, Pau Gasol, and Rashard Lewis. All of them feel like All-Stars, but with T-Mac and Duncan already locked in as starters, that leaves only five spots (at the very most) for these eight players and unless the coaches can count one of them as a center, it will probably be more like four. Let's try to find the best of these studs.

First, we have the PER value of each player, according to the calculations of John Hollinger at ESPN. That list looks like this:

1. Dirk (27.39)
2. KG (27.20)
3. Brand (27.03)
4. Marion (22.70)
5. Lewis (21.90)
6. Anthony (21.87)
7. Gasol (21.78)
8. Kirilenko (20.48)

Next, we will look at my new, controversial "points created" tool, to see which of these frontcourt players really make things happen for their teams (in other words, we are finally looking at big guys that can pass):

1. KG (31.6)
2. Dirk (31.4)
3. Anthony (31.0)
4. Brand (29.4)
5. Gasol (27.7)
6. Lewis (26.5)
7. Marion (25.4)
8. AK-47 (24.7)

Next, we are going to go by fantasy ranking. Obviously, this is a weird way to determine how deserving someone is, but let's face it, sometimes fantasy owners know who is really, really good before everyone else. This takes into account shooting percentages, defensive stats, and other factors. (Based on averages, not totals.)

1. Marion (#1 overall)
2. KG (#5)
3. Brand (#6)
4. Dirk (#9)
5. Lewis (#12)
6. AK-47 (#13)
7. Gasol (#45)
8. Anthony (#71)

Next, we have team winning percentage. Hey, this counts.

1. Dirk (Dallas is at .767)
2. Marion (Phoenix at .643)
3. Gasol (Memphis at .610)
4. Brand (Clippers at .590)
5. Anthony (Denver at .568)
6. AK-47 (Utah at .488)
7. KG (Wolves at .475)
8. Lewis (Sonics at .405)

Now, lets add them up, giving each player 8 points for a #1 finish, all the way down to 1 point for coming in last.

1. Dirk (28 out of a possible 32)
2. KG (23)
3. Marion (22)
3. Brand (22)
5. Anthony (14)
5. Gasol (14)
7. Lewis (12)
8. AK-47 (8)

This clearly shows that Dirk, KG, Marion, and Brand are the class of the group, but if the West goes to five forwards, it is entirely unclear whether Gasol or Melo should be the guy.

I guess we need a new stat. Can anyone think of one. I'm too tired.

Kimball said...

I think it has to be Melo over Gasol, based on his ability to win games down the stretch. As was pointed out in the Cavs-Nuggets game, Melo is 7-for-11 on those "last ten seconds when trying to win or tie the game" shots. He has that extra factor.

Adam Hoff said...

I can live with that. Although Gasol made a statement tonight going for a rugged 30+ against the Pistons. The question that we haven't considered is whether or not a player at another position is more deserving. The West will have Nash-Kobe-McGrady-Duncan-Yao as the starters and have Ray Allen, Tony Parker, Chris Paul, Marcus Camby looming to snatch up four "non forward" spots. That would only leave THREE spots for our group of eight. Yikes. I think one of the three deserving guards will get left out, allowing for the Dirk-KG-Brand-Marion group, but I don't think we have to worry about a fifth.

Jeff said...

I wondered why you went through the trouble of running all those calculations. It seems pretty obvious that the backups will be:

G Allen
G Parker
F Dirk
C Camby
WC Brand
WC Marion

The guy really getting screwed is Chris Paul, who is not only a fantasy beast and the Next Isiah Thomas, but also an amazing leader that has single-handedly made the Hornets a competitive team. If (make that when) someone gets injured, I think Paul is the first guy that should get the call. Then one of the other four forwards.