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Thread: Official NBA Thread
03-01-2012, 04:20 PM #5121
SiriNBA tweak released on Bigboss repo
03-01-2012, 04:41 PM #5122
03-01-2012, 05:20 PM #5123
LeBron having greatest season ever?
Will LeBron surpass MJ's record PER mark this season? (PER Diem: March 1, 2012)
That number may not mean much to many of you, but for those of us who track player efficiency rating it represents the hallowed mark of one Michael Jeffrey Jordan in 1987-88, the best mark in the game's modern history. (PER only tracks back to 1977-78, when the league began tracking individual turnovers. While we can estimate that it would have been really, really good, we don't know what Wilt Chamberlain's or Oscar Robertson's PER would have been without individual steals or blocks or offensive/defensive rebound splits.)
PER, for the uninitiated, is a rating of a player's per-minute statistical effectiveness that I developed several years ago. The formula is too long and complex to explain here, but you can learn all about it at this link.
And this season, that mark is in jeopardy.
With half a season in the books, LeBron James' PER stands at 32.41, which not only eclipses Jordan's best season but does so by a full half-point. While we emphasize that this puts him on track for the best regular season in the game's modern history -- James still has much to prove come June -- it nonetheless would represent a spectacular accomplishment.
It also puts another notch in LeBron's career file; even if he doesn't end up breaking Jordan's record, he's likely to add another 31-plus season to his file and give himself three of the top seven all-time PER seasons; Jordan has the other four (see chart). Any way you slice it, he's putting himself in some fairly lofty company.
TOP ALL-TIME PER SEASONS
Player Year PPG RPG APG MPG PER
LeBron James 2011-12 27.4 8.1 6.8 36.7 32.41
Michael Jordan 1987-88 35.0 5.5 5.9 40.4 31.89
Michael Jordan 1990-91 31.5 6.0 5.5 37.0 31.79
LeBron James 2008-09 28.4 7.6 7.2 37.7 31.76
Michael Jordan 1989-90 33.6 6.9 6.3 39.0 31.31
Michael Jordan 1988-89 32.5 8.0 8.0 40.2 31.29
LeBron James 2009-10 29.7 7.3 8.6 39.0 31.19
That, of course, raises all kinds of questions, and I'm going to try to answer a few of them. Let's start from the top:
What are the odds he actually does it?
Still much less than 50-50, I would argue. We have to remember that we're in a shortened season, so James has played only 1,212 minutes -- barely a third of his total in 2008-09, when he threatened the mark until the final week of the season.
In 1,212 minutes we can still see the effects of some outliers, and I'd argue James' shooting percentages fall in that category. While a big chunk of his improvement in true shooting percentage results simply from the decision to shoot fewer 3s, his 56.3 percent mark on 2s still exceeds his career norms, and his 41.3 percent on 3s vastly exceeds it. Additionally, he's at 77.3 percent from the line, bettering his career mark of 74.6 percent.
It's possible he keeps this up for an entire season, but as always the prudent way to bet is on the longer-term trend he established in the other 25,000 minutes of his career. Moreover, those numbers don't need to dip much to have him fall short of Jordan -- when you're dealing with "best all time," even a merely great performance isn't good enough. For instance, if James has a PER of 31.00 in the second half of the season -- which itself would be one of the best marks of all time -- he'll end up falling short.
Second, the last week of the season may hurt his cause. In April of 2009, LeBron's Cavs had the top seed wrapped up and put it in cruise control over the final few games; a coasting James hurt his numbers in those games and lost any shot of catching Jordan. As long as Chicago and Oklahoma City push the Heat for the league's top record this won't be a factor, but should those two fall off the pace then James may again see a late dip. Alternatively, it's possible the Heat will fall off the pace and find themselves locked into the East's second seed.
How is he doing this?
At first glance, it doesn't seem right that James' mark would be so lofty. After all, his per-game averages pale beside the ones he put up in his final two seasons in Cleveland.
This is where factors like adjusting for minutes and normalizing to league averages become important. First, because James is playing only 36.7 minutes per game in Miami rather than the 37.7 he played in 2008-09 or the whopping 39.0 he played in 2009-10, his per-game averages take a bit of a hit.
The more important effect, however, is that of lockoutball. With shooting percentages and offensive efficiency down around the league, it's made what James has done -- crushing his career high in true shooting percentage at 62.4 (his career average is 52.8) -- that much more impressive. Less obviously, James has also gone wild on the boards. His 13.0 rebound rate is the best of any true small forward (Dominic McGuire often plays the 4) and by far the best of his career.
This comparison can be seen more obviously by comparing LeBron to his peers. Take Kevin Durant, for instance, a supernatural scoring machine who has led the league in scoring the past two seasons and annually posts true shooting percentages around 60. Well, James averages more points per minute than Durant this year and has him beat in true shooting percentage, too. Add in that he has by far the best rebound rate of any wing player and that he has the secondary stats of a point guard, ranking 11th in assists and ninth in steals, and it becomes easier to see why this half-season is historic.
Sum it up, and James has dramatically improved his effectiveness as a scorer with no drop-off in the broad-based dominance that had already made him one of the best players in history.
What about Wade?
The most interesting part of LeBron's stats is comparing how he plays with and without Dwyane Wade on the court. Due to an early-season injury to Wade, LeBron has played nearly half his minutes this season without his tag-team partner, and one could argue that's helped him revert to Cleveland mode and taking over games himself.
The potential drawback, obviously, is that a healthy Wade could be a drag on James' stats in the second half of the season. Both this year and last year, James averages only a shade over 15 shots per 36 minutes with Wade on the court, according to this StatsCube comparison on NBA.com. By comparison, James takes 20.3 shots per 36 minutes and more free throws when Wade is off the floor, and his assists increase, too.
That said, the visible anti-synergy between the two a year ago has been replaced with a much better understanding of how to take advantage of each other's strengths. Wade now averages the same number of shots whether James is playing with him or not, although the non-LeBron sample is small (just 153 minutes). Meanwhile, James' field goal percentages zoom up to 58 percent when he plays with Wade, and the difference in shots when Wade is with him is much less than a year ago.
Nonetheless, at the margin one wonders if Wade's health will determine whether James can ultimately set the record. The only way to pull it off is to use a ton of possessions with extremely high efficiency; LeBron has the second item in the bag, but sharing the ball with Wade could still leave him a bit short on the first criteria. Even with the increased efficiency playing with Wade, it's difficult to make up a 25 percent shortfall in shots.
Sum it up and that's one of many reasons that, even with James on pace to crush the PER record, the smart money is still on Mike. But whether he gets there or not, it's been an amazing half-season from James, and one that hasn't received nearly the credit it should have.
By John Hollinger
Last edited by punjabi212; 03-01-2012 at 05:26 PM.
03-01-2012, 08:52 PM #5124
Hope at the end of it all he's won a title.....which I'm sure he will. Boys got some game
It would of meant more to do it in Cleveland but at the end of the day a rings a ring I guess.
03-01-2012, 11:49 PM #5125
Hollinger is a moron so his PER means nothing to me
03-02-2012, 03:58 PM #5126
03-02-2012, 05:01 PM #5127
The 6th man of the year to the d-league
03-03-2012, 02:51 AM #5128
Yup, pretty sad. I don't see Lamar getting much confidence from this move. They say they're doing it so he can get his legs back under him. I guess we'll see what happens.
03-03-2012, 12:59 PM #5129
03-03-2012, 01:12 PM #5130
03-03-2012, 10:47 PM #5131
03-04-2012, 05:14 PM #5132
Good win for LA today.
03-04-2012, 05:51 PM #5133
How about Rondo. 19 pts, 17 rebs, 20 ast.
Last edited by punjabi212; 03-04-2012 at 06:05 PM.
03-04-2012, 06:25 PM #5134
03-04-2012, 06:30 PM #5135
Lakers need Rondo and kick out fisher
03-04-2012, 07:59 PM #5136
03-04-2012, 08:01 PM #5137
Well I wouldn't kick Fisher out cause all in all he is a Laker and I hope he ends his career as such but I do think someone else needs to start. Rondo would be cool to get but I wouldn't want to lose anyone to do it. Boston wouldn't let him go for cheap.
03-04-2012, 08:43 PM #5138
I dont think fisher would stay there while being bench player
03-04-2012, 09:46 PM #5139
03-06-2012, 05:50 PM #5140
Five best chemistry trade fits
Gasol, Millsap, Andersen, Wallace and Rondo would fit with almost any team
There are two pretty basic issues team officials have to consider when looking to add talent at the trade deadline in the hopes of improving their playoff chances: 1. Is the new talent an upgrade over what's departing? 2. Will the new roster mesh better than the previous one?
This second question is important, because without a doubt, teams can improve with lesser talent if the connection between the players and the head coach is a better fit than what they had before. And teams improve even more dramatically when they acquire superior players who also enhance the overall chemistry of the team.
There is no one magic formula for this, because often players play differently under new coaching, in a new system or with new teammates. Still, certain players that could be available at the trade deadline this season provide minimal "fit" risk. Below are the five best available chemistry guys. Tomorrow we will discuss the five worst chemistry guys available.
1. Pau Gasol, F, Los Angeles Lakers
Forget about his two rings and his international titles and gold medals for a moment. Dismiss his world-class feel for the game, skill level and basketball IQ -- all of which, of course, put him in an elite class of player. Gasol would be a great addition to any team even if his game was decaying rapidly (it's not, by the way) because of his willingness to be coached and his connection with his teammates.
I remember watching him get his first ring in L.A. and seeing the genuine joy on his teammates' faces when his name was called to come forward. Gasol is often pilloried for being soft, having no heart, not performing to his potential in big games, yet he's still a total pro, always there for his teammates and far more often "there" in terms of production than is commonly thought.
His teammates respect him for his game, but also for that professionalism, because they know how hard it is to play well in the face of that kind of criticism. Oh, and he's also the best passing power forward in the game today, something any player would appreciate in a teammate. On a new team, Gasol would bring elite talent, leadership with championship experience and the ability to build confidence and trust in the players around him.
2. Paul Millsap, F, Utah Jazz
Millsap is probably the most underrated starter in the league. When Utah was very good, he was an excellent player off the bench. Now that the Jazz are not so good, he's a fantastic starter who helps his team in a variety of ways.
We're not suggesting that Utah will, or should, trade Millsap. But seeing as how the Jazz possess several talented young players who still need a few years to become playoff-ready, the team might have to consider moving Millsap, since trading him would bring in more talent than any other player on the roster.
That's because Millsap has no downside to his game. He's proved to be reliable as a sixth man for a playoff team, someone who can carry the scoring load when necessary, and a player who can make dramatic shots and plays. If a playoff team grabbed him, it would not have to worry about how he'd respond to being a sixth man, as he is a player whose game speaks far louder than his mouth -- a rare trait these days.
3. Gerald Wallace, F, Portland Trail Blazers
Portland is struggling this season, but it's not because of a lack of energy from Wallace. If NBA players and executives were asked "Who is the hardest working perimeter player in a game setting?" my guess is that Wallace would garner the most votes. He is physical energy personified.
Wallace would fit in with any team, largely because of that workmanlike persona but also because of his ability to have an impact on the game without a lot of halfcourt touches. He's not going to be taking the ball out of his teammates' hands, and he'd be the best perimeter defensive player on almost any team acquiring him. There's also a good chance that his energizing play would rub off on his new teammates.
4. Chris Andersen, C,Denver Nuggets
"Birdman" is enjoying arguably his best season, which is ironic in that it's coming with a team that simply does not need him that much. But that's what makes him so special in this trade market; his drop in minutes has only helped him play better basketball.
A team looking for help off the bench would find few players more capable in the paint than Andersen, and he'd be happy to play for a team that can give him more run than 15 minutes a game. He's a great finisher inside and a great shot blocker, so we're talking about a big-time upgrade for most teams' second units in terms of paint play, which is critically important in the playoffs.
Additionally, Andersen is a guy who teammates adore, due in part to his ability but also because of his unique personality and willingness to be his own man. His body art might be ostentatious, but his on- and off-court personas are just the opposite.
5. Rajon Rondo, G, Boston Celtics
Unlike the other four guys on this list, Rondo comes with a condition: He can't be moved somewhere that isn't ready to contend for a title until a few seasons down the line. Simply, Rondo's personality is grating to anyone not as focused on winning as he is. On the wrong team, Rondo can be a coach killer and suck all the oxygen out of the arena.
But on a team ready to contend with him as its point guard, he'd be someone with championship credentials who manages the game expertly. He's used to dealing with superstar egos and is not afraid to assert himself among them, nor is he afraid to challenge his teammates to play better. Those are necessary qualities on a title-contending team.
By David Thorpe