A Substitute for War

Basketball philosophy

Posts Tagged ‘Skill

Introducing my “33 pt method” for NBA talent evaluation

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Some time ago I started looking at basketball players as if their talent level was split up into one third physical talent, one third skill talent and one third feel for the game/basketball IQ. I did this because I consider the 3 categories as the separating grounds for talent level. If a player doesn’t stand out above his peers in any of the 3 areas, what does he have going for them? I have also felt for a long time that many NBA Draft mistakes are made by overvaluing athletic tools in evaluating raw talent and underrating skill and understanding of the court. My hypothesis is that when media outlets and teams talk about talent, physical tools take a 70% weight. My system weights physical tools as 33%.

What I was led to, is giving players a score out of 11 in each category, making a max of 33. I used these numbers because it leads to a scale similar to PER, which generally rates a score of 30 as MVP caliber, 25 as superstar caliber, 20 as all-star caliber, 15 as an average player, and 10 as a player barely getting minutes. The benchmarks for a player’s value according to my system are nearly identical. I found using 11 as the maximum instead of 10 fit this scale a bit more. For example Lebron James is a player who deserves a perfect score in physical and feel for the game, but is a notch below perfection at his position for skill (Larry Bird, for example, would have a perfect score in skill for a SF). Thus with a max of 11 he ends up with a score of 31 or 32 out of 33 on my metric, while with maxes of 10 he’d end up with 28 or 29, unable to hit 30 without a perfect score in skill.

What really convinced me about this method is how well it tested for every player. Every score seemed to “fit”. I intend to show this by listing all the players alphabetically and my scores for them, which I will start in the next post. I will hope that those who read this will see how consistently well these scores add up to a range where the player should be. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by jr.

August 14, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Of Intangibles vs Talent: Jonas Valanciunas vs Donatas Motiejunas in the 2011 NBA Draft

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Physical map of Lithuania. Click on the image ...

Who will be the 2011 NBA Draft's best C from Lithuania? (Image via Wikipedia)

In the 2011 draft there is really only one complete prospect: PG Kyrie Irving. The rest of the prospects split into two general groups: Talented offensive players with positional, defense, or effort level question marks, and more limited offensive players who are A grade in effort and defensive willingness.

Two Lithuanian Cs in the top 20 draw my eye in particular representing these two groups – and the talent vs intangibles debate in the draft in general: Jonas Valanciunas and Donatas Motiejunas.

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