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 [BLOG] Winning with Al Jefferson

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TheMagnus
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PostSubject: [BLOG] Winning with Al Jefferson   Sat Apr 20, 2013 5:54 pm

Hey guys this is basically a cleaned up re-post of a conversation we had here on the forum, but I wanted to take the opportunity to announce a new Jazz blog http://www.utahjazznation.com/ that will be a companion to this forum. So far Romoholic, therawns, and myself have committed to write, and the hope is that some of you guys will be contributors if you are willing.

Here's the post...


Winning With Al Jefferson
Posted on April 6, 2013 by Magnus

There is a lot of interesting conversation taking place among Jazz fans on the value of Al Jefferson. I wanted to weigh in on that since it is something I have thought a lot about, and since the point will likely soon become moot. Here’s a comment from ESPN Insider Amin Elhassan, made as part of his analysis of the top free agents for the summer of 2013 that I think perfectly sums up the problem of Al Jefferson:

“How can a player with a career PER more than 20 be valued so low? [Jefferson ranked 8th] First, Jefferson gets a hit for not winning. He’s been paid like a franchise player, yet his teams have not achieved consistent playoff appearances. I’m not putting it all on Jefferson, but he’s got to have a more positive impact on his team’s win-loss percentage.”

Jefferson is the ultimate conundrum for a guy that loves box score stats as a measure of value (guilty as charged) because his production, even in advanced metrics, does not translate into WINS the way it should.

He is outstanding in the individual metrics, he really is. I looked at the last 6 years worth of advanced stats and found that if you take a combined average of Hollinger’s metrics of PER, Value Added, and Estimated Wins Added Jefferson was a top 5 NBA center in all but one of those seasons. The one he wasn’t in the top 5 was the year he was recovering from reconstructive knee surgery and he was still top 10. That puts him in some pretty impressive company. Using Hollinger’s advanced metrics it is fairly easy to argue that Al Jefferson has been a top 5 NBA center for the last 6 years thanks to his combination of durability and box score production. Yet, in spite of that durability and production he is currently struggling to manage only the second winning season in those 6 seasons, and it is even more perplexing given the fact that Center is universally considered the weakest position in terms of depth and quality of players in the NBA (just ask the All-Star Selection committee).

Jefferson’s numbers, his pay, and his role he has had on his teams over the last 6 years indicate that he is being viewed and played as one of the, if not the one, best players on those teams. As Mr. Elhassan pointed out we can’t hang all that on Big Al, but the results beg the question: How much is Al Jefferson contributing to his teams winning?

After looking at the various metrics and thinking about the question I decided the best way to answer was to compare the team’s performance as a whole with Jefferson on the court, versus the team performance overall. A default assumption for the best player on a team should be that their presence on the court makes the team BETTER, because if it doesn’t, then they clearly aren’t impacting the games the way a good player usually does. The opposite assumption should also hold, replacing the team’s best player with another “less good” player should result in the team being “less good”. Another critical assumption is that no player can play all the minutes at his position in a season (which is true unless your name is Wilt Chamberlain). So, given those assumptions, and by the law of averages, one would have to conclude that the team’s performance with the best player on the court will be better than its overall performance which is a combination of his efforts and those of other lesser players.

With with that in mind, I set out to gather that data. Using the wonderful 82games.com and Basketball-reference.com I have compiled a comparison of the last 6 years for Al Jefferson and his teams. This was done using difference between the Offensive and Defensive ratings for Jefferson ON COURT only (OnOff-OnDef=NetOnEff), and comparing them to the overall Offensive and Defensive efficiency ratings of the team for the year (OffEff-DefEff=NetEff). As I said previously, for a team’s best player and especially a player that produces box score numbers as impressive as Jefferson’s, the expectation would be that the team would be better when was on the court, for the simple fact that his replacement, whether by individual or committee, could not match his production or level of play.


....


you can find the rest of the post, complete with pictures, here...http://www.utahjazznation.com/
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PostSubject: Re: [BLOG] Winning with Al Jefferson   Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:37 pm

On top of the blog, we are going to have some pretty exciting stuff coming in the near future....Stay tuned for info.

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PostSubject: Re: [BLOG] Winning with Al Jefferson   Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:53 pm

Here's a bunch of links to various Jazz related stuff on the internets...this will be something I do regularly, hopefully.

http://www.utahjazznation.com/2013/04/420-roundup/
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PostSubject: Re: [BLOG] Winning with Al Jefferson   Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:29 am

Thanks. Looks like it is going to be a good blog!
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PostSubject: Re: [BLOG] Winning with Al Jefferson   Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:04 pm

It's certainly nice looking. Very stylish, very professional.

Let me know if you ever need some hysterical overreaction, snarkasm, or blind-deaf-and-dumb optimism about the Jazz.
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PostSubject: Re: [BLOG] Winning with Al Jefferson   Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:42 pm

Trollificus wrote:
It's certainly nice looking. Very stylish, very professional.

Let me know if you ever need some hysterical overreaction, snarkasm, or blind-deaf-and-dumb optimism about the Jazz.

I'm very serious when I say I want you, and others from this forum to write if they are willing, and I really hope your offer was serious, because we absolutely need some of that. In fact I think it should be a regular feature.



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PostSubject: Re: [BLOG] Winning with Al Jefferson   Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:36 pm

That goes for everybody here. If you've got something you think deserves a little more permanence than the Forum and you want to write a few hundred words on it let me or Romo know. If you would like to help out with editing/reviewing let me or Romo know, especially if you have some background in writing. The more smart Fans we have writing and editing the stuff the better it will be.

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PostSubject: Re: [BLOG] Winning with Al Jefferson   Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:24 pm

TheMagnus wrote:
That goes for everybody here. If you've got something you think deserves a little more permanence than the Forum and you want to write a few hundred words on it let me or Romo know. If you would like to help out with editing/reviewing let me or Romo know, especially if you have some background in writing. The more smart Fans we have writing and editing the stuff the better it will be.


Nice move guys! While certain contributors here have really good stuff to say and write well, if I'm one of those guys who wants a larger audience this forum may not be it. I love our forum but it is a small collection of TT refugees without many newcomers. What, like less than 20 guys contribute? I would say keep this up but also pose the question: how do you get a larger audience? SLC Dunk seems to have the secret recipe yet I still just observe over there and somehow not compelled to contribute. How did they do it and how are you going to create more buzz? And no, I'm not a likely contributor to a blog because at the end of the day I'm just a fan with limited bandwidth on commentary though I can be a feisty critic/supporter of well written pieces. Who on this board has the know how to move the forum up? I'm all about it a Magnus blog, our resident stud, but who else is gonna bring it and represent? I tip my hat to all you guys for making this board happen, not being a bitch.
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PostSubject: Re: [BLOG] Winning with Al Jefferson   Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:32 pm

MTJazz wrote:
TheMagnus wrote:
That goes for everybody here. If you've got something you think deserves a little more permanence than the Forum and you want to write a few hundred words on it let me or Romo know. If you would like to help out with editing/reviewing let me or Romo know, especially if you have some background in writing. The more smart Fans we have writing and editing the stuff the better it will be.


Nice move guys! While certain contributors here have really good stuff to say and write well, if I'm one of those guys who wants a larger audience this forum may not be it. I love our forum but it is a small collection of TT refugees without many newcomers. What, like less than 20 guys contribute? I would say keep this up but also pose the question: how do you get a larger audience? SLC Dunk seems to have the secret recipe yet I still just observe over there and somehow not compelled to contribute. How did they do it and how are you going to create more buzz? And no, I'm not a likely contributor to a blog because at the end of the day I'm just a fan with limited bandwidth on commentary though I can be a feisty critic/supporter of well written pieces. Who on this board has the know how to move the forum up? I'm all about it a Magnus blog, our resident stud, but who else is gonna bring it and represent? I tip my hat to all you guys for making this board happen, not being a bitch.

Those are good questions and the simple answer is that for now it's mostly just a labor of love. The plan is to connect with other Jazz fans through twitter, facebook, and other sites, including the guys that write for SLCDunk and other Jazz websites, and share our work. If it's good, which I think it will be, it will bring people back.

As far as the forum goes, my hope is that the Blog will attract and direct the same intelligent caliber of Jazz fans to the forum that we already have. I actually am not hoping to be the most active forum in Jazz Nation, I just want to be the best, which I feel like it already is in quality, even if it lacks for quantity at times.

Let me know what you think of the Corbin article, I'd like to try and get this thing off on the right foot...
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PostSubject: Re: [BLOG] Winning with Al Jefferson   Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:15 pm

TheMagnus wrote:

Those are good questions and the simple answer is that for now it's mostly just a labor of love. The plan is to connect with other Jazz fans through twitter, facebook, and other sites, including the guys that write for SLCDunk and other Jazz websites, and share our work. If it's good, which I think it will be, it will bring people back.


Let me know what you think of the Corbin article, I'd like to try and get this thing off on the right foot...

Hard to argue with a labor of love! Don't get me wrong, I love what you guys are up to but there are only a few guys posting that I would take the time to read in a blog, and you are one of them. Zero also comes to mind as your counter-balance. The rest of us are just fans so far who may be brilliant, (or not), in their other lives but have not the juice or energy to strut blog level analysis and can handle comment swag without being a dick. It just occurs to me that you need to recruit Troll, who happens to be my favorite sacrilegious ex-hippie Jazz fan who makes me laugh a lot. And a hell of a writer.
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PostSubject: Re: [BLOG] Winning with Al Jefferson   Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:04 am

MTJazz wrote:
TheMagnus wrote:

Those are good questions and the simple answer is that for now it's mostly just a labor of love. The plan is to connect with other Jazz fans through twitter, facebook, and other sites, including the guys that write for SLCDunk and other Jazz websites, and share our work. If it's good, which I think it will be, it will bring people back.


Let me know what you think of the Corbin article, I'd like to try and get this thing off on the right foot...

Hard to argue with a labor of love! Don't get me wrong, I love what you guys are up to but there are only a few guys posting that I would take the time to read in a blog, and you are one of them. Zero also comes to mind as your counter-balance. The rest of us are just fans so far who may be brilliant, (or not), in their other lives but have not the juice or energy to strut blog level analysis and can handle comment swag without being a dick. It just occurs to me that you need to recruit Troll, who happens to be my favorite sacrilegious ex-hippie Jazz fan who makes me laugh a lot. And a hell of a writer.

Well hey man, if you ever feel the juices flowing let me know. In my experience "blog level analysis" has less to do with content and more to do with presentation. I like the the deep dive analysis and statistics, and that is what I feel like I am best at writing, but I also really enjoy a good snarky satire (maybe even more truth be told) and bleeding-heart special interest stuff, and if this blog doesn't have that then I will be sorely disappointed.

I'm working on Troll. I think he's reluctant to commit to it, so I may just start ripping off his posts from the forum and posting them on the blog until he relents and joins as a writer.
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PostSubject: Re: [BLOG] Winning with Al Jefferson   Wed Apr 24, 2013 2:01 pm

MTJazz wrote:

Hard to argue with a labor of love! Don't get me wrong, I love what you guys are up to but there are only a few guys posting that I would take the time to read in a blog, and you are one of them. Zero also comes to mind as your counter-balance. The rest of us are just fans so far who may be brilliant, (or not), in their other lives but have not the juice or energy to strut blog level analysis and can handle comment swag without being a dick. It just occurs to me that you need to recruit Troll, who happens to be my favorite sacrilegious ex-hippie Jazz fan who makes me laugh a lot. And a hell of a writer.


I thought I was a stat guy ....... that is, until I ran across Magnus. Holy S***! Now I know that I am mediocre in that catagory.

Anyway, I have been thinking about this blog, and am not sure exactly where I'd fit in, but also haven't ruled out wanting to contribute. I feel I'm a smart Jazz fan, but also have enough casual fan in me that I can relate to different sides of any Jazz-debate. I'm not stupid enough to think I'm never wrong, but know enough to have an eduated opinion. So I guess, if you feel there's a place for a sorta-educated, semi-sarcastic, decent-but-not-fantastic writer, let me know what I can do.

My end of the year player grades might be usefull for the blog ...... maybe?


Last edited by zero24gravity on Wed Apr 24, 2013 2:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: [BLOG] Winning with Al Jefferson   Wed Apr 24, 2013 2:02 pm

Back to the OP. I suspect the source of Al Jefferson's super high PER is his 10-12 monster games per year going 18-27 making up for his overall subpar scoring efficiency. The Jazz win when he's really good, period. They struggle the other 70 games when he's average or "trying real hard". Give them 10 monster game wins, and .500 the other 70 and you have a "respectable" 45 win squad, with no chance of anything outside mediocrity.

Now, I do think a properly constructed team of good both way players and less post-centric Al Jefferson could do some damage. Tyrone Corbin tried that with his bench players starting backcourt and it worked out okay until Hero Mo sustained injury. But they just didn't have the talent (at the time) to make up for deficiencies. Favors and Hayward have come a long ways so that's a partial patch, but I don't want a patch I want a complete overhaul.
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PostSubject: Re: [BLOG] Winning with Al Jefferson   Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:14 pm

Professo_Sloan wrote:
I want a complete overhaul.
Sounds like reckless abandonment that is way to early for any crazy move. Yea yea rockets did it but the rockets sucked big time without any good young guys waiting to take over.
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PostSubject: Re: [BLOG] Winning with Al Jefferson   Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:34 pm

Richardale wrote:
Professo_Sloan wrote:
I want a complete overhaul.
Sounds like reckless abandonment that is way to early for any crazy move. Yea yea rockets did it but the rockets sucked big time without any good young guys waiting to take over.

How much are you devaluing the easiness of replacing Jefferson's net production. Bigs are a dime a dozen. We don't need Mo. Plenty of competent 1/2 one-way players to replace for less. No Calderon fan but he's good enough for an overhaul featuring the young guys. LOL
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PostSubject: Re: [BLOG] Winning with Al Jefferson   Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:52 am

Professo_Sloan wrote:
Richardale wrote:
Professo_Sloan wrote:
I want a complete overhaul.
Sounds like reckless abandonment that is way to early for any crazy move. Yea yea rockets did it but the rockets sucked big time without any good young guys waiting to take over.

How much are you devaluing the easiness of replacing Jefferson's net production. Bigs are a dime a dozen. We don't need Mo. Plenty of competent 1/2 one-way players to replace for less. No Calderon fan but he's good enough for an overhaul featuring the young guys. LOL

agree here, worst case scenario for me is more of the status quo.
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