1. Football Picks Survivor is done for 2014. Congrats to billlaimbeer from The Pistons Forum

stat sprocket: How Many Minutes Are Too Many Minutes?

Discussion in 'Pistons and Basketball Articles' started by dba, Aug 13, 2006.

  1. dba

    dba All-Star Moderator 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    Messages:
    4,262
    Likes Received:
    446
    Location:
    Ann Arbor/Chicago/Walland, TN
    If you’ve been paying attention, you know that the Pistons’ top six players played more minutes than the top six from any other NBA team last season. Using a measure of equivalent games, the 05/06 Pistons played more than 90 regular season games. (see: How Many Minutes? How Many Wins?)

    O.k., fine. So they played a lot of minutes. Don’t winning teams’ top players always play a lot of minutes? Well, let’s see. For this comparison I picked dynasty teams from the past 25 NBA seasons. These were teams with extraordinary three season runs, either winning or playing for the NBA title in each season, including (using data from the regular season only)…

    • Celtics 84/85/86 (two titles, lost to Lakers)
    • Lakers 87/88/89 (two titles, lost to Pistons)
    • Pistons 88/89/90 (two titles, lost to Lakers)
    • Bulls 91/92/93 (three-peat)
    • Bulls 96/97/98 (three-peat)
    • Lakers 00/01/02 (three-peat)
    • Pistons 04/05/06 (one title)

    Some overall findings…
    • Over the past two seasons the Pistons concentrated minutes among the top six players to an unprecedented extent.
    • The ’04 championship run looks very different from the last two seasons.
    • Aggregating across the three seasons in each run, the current Pistons team again leads the ranking in concentration of minutes.
    • Teams that three-peat concentrate minutes in the top six much less than those who don’t.
    • Dynasty teams can shake the roster up between seasons and still remain at the top of their game.
    • Nobody else here mixes in the bench like Phil Jackson.


    Comparing Individual Seasons

    The table below compares the number of minutes played by the top six players for each of the teams and seasons listed above. The top ranked team in number of minutes played? The 05/06 Detroit Pistons. The second ranked team in number of minutes played? The 04/05 Detroit Pistons. The team that won a championship back in ‘04? Ranks 12th in terms of minutes played by the top six. Could there be a pattern here?

    The top six Bulls players from 96/97 collectively played 2,684 fewer minutes than last season’s Pistons despite more minutes from Jordan and Pippen than from any individual Pistons player in any of the past three seasons. Given that the average top six player across all these teams and seasons averages 31.5 minutes per game, this means the 05/06 Pistons top six played 14.2 more equivalent games than the Bulls during the regular season.

    [​IMG]
    Source: www.basketballreference.com



    Comparing Dynasties

    Now let’s aggregate each team’s three season run and do comparisons. Which team’s top six played the most minutes across the three season run? Yep, you guessed it. The 04/05/06 Detroit Pistons. They out-minute the short-benched Celtics, their arch rival Lakers, the Bad Boys, the Shaq Lakers, and both Bulls’ sprints. Compared to the Bulls, the Pistons top six played 28 more equivalent games over a three year period, 5,284 additional player minutes.

    That Pistons / Bulls difference comes out to more than 21 minutes a game taken away from the top six, 3.5 minutes per player per game. Even though the difference between 32 MPG and 36 MPG doesn’t seem like all that much, over the course of long seasons and even longer multi-season runs, it really starts to add up. More importantly, 21 minutes a game can be used to adequately develop non-starters into productive players.


    [​IMG]
    Source: www.basketballreference.com
    Note: The players in the Top Six can vary season by season.


    It’s interesting to note that the current Pistons won one championship during the three years. The Celtics, Showtime Lakers, and Bad Boys, ranked 2, 3, and 4, won two of three. All the three-peats are at the bottom of the ranking. No matter who your top six guys are, after three long regular seasons and three long playoff seasons, six guys don’t consistently win championships if they are the only ones you play. Also interesting to note that Phil Jackson coached all of the three-peat teams, teams built around two superstars and a big and revolving supporting cast.


    Player Consistency

    The measure in the table below is the percentage of minutes played by the same players across seasons. If no player changed across two seasons and each played the exact number of minutes the value would be 100%. If no player played in both seasons the value would be 0%.

    The Bulls, Bad Boys, and Showtime Lakers are all models of consistency. Jerry Krause found a good combination and by and large stuck with it for each season within each three-peat. Jerry West was able to shake things up in between each of the three-peat seasons and still put a consistent and winning team on the floor. Joe D tried the West model, but either through the wrong mix of players or the revolving door on the coaching position, couldn’t consistently deliver the same results.

    [​IMG]

    In the table below I look at the number of players who player various numbers of minutes measured two ways – minutes per game played, and total season minutes divided by 82.

    Note that the 92/93 Bulls only had four players who averaged more than 20 minutes per game, and eleven who averaged more than ten across the whole season. Only the Shaq Lakers come close to this even distribution of minutes. Both teams, besides being coached by Phil Jackson, relied on two superstars (Jordan and Pippen, Shaq and Kobe) for heavy minutes and a lot of role players who played significant numbers of minutes.

    [​IMG]

    [break=Appendix of Player Rankings]
    Appendix – Player Rankings

    [​IMG]
    Source:
    www.basketballreference.com


    [​IMG]
    Source:
    www.basketballreference.com

    [​IMG]
    Source:
    www.basketballreference.com


    [​IMG]
    Source:
    www.basketballreference.com

    [​IMG]
    Source:
    www.basketballreference.com

    [​IMG]
    Source:
    www.basketballreference.com

    [​IMG]
    Source:
    www.basketballreference.com
     
  2. aurora

    aurora Bench Warmer

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,246
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    Look here stat sprocket, do you think you could send this to the Detroit Pistons coaching staff? I think they need to take a look at these numbers as they plot and plan for our upcoming season. Actually, every time I read one of your well-calibrated articles I think that I sure wish someone in the Pistons organization (an assistant coach perhaps?:) ) could have the benefit of your expert analysis.

    We just can't have another year of our starters getting run ragged over the course of an entire season. If nothing else changes, I hope Flip surrenders the idea of home court advantage and takes some risks with giving our bench playing time to see how they can help while our starters get more rest.

    Flip has to think of the fact that we finally had some game changing injuries during the playoffs and that it's not smart to run Sheed, Tay, Rip and Chauncey down like that. This will be year number 4 for them starting together with all those minutes. Injuries can ruin a playoff run. :P C'mon Flip, smarten up!

    Again, great article dba. Thanks for all the hard work!:hail:
     
  3. Slippy

    Slippy All-Star Administrator Forum Donor

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    4,444
    Likes Received:
    896
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    Great angle on the whole minutes debate. Its interesting to see minutes distributed evenly among starters may also be lopsided when considering the entire team.

    It would be interesting to see the salary breakdown and its relationship to the distribution of minutes.
     
  4. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    Messages:
    20,949
    Likes Received:
    2,776
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Dagobah
    Don't go there. ;)

    Honestly, I'd love to collaborate with dba later this year if he is interested. :D
     
  5. Slippy

    Slippy All-Star Administrator Forum Donor

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    4,444
    Likes Received:
    896
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    I think it'll be the most telling relationship. You might have one team where they made one blunder and overpaid a guy with relation to his contribution.

    On the flip side, if you are underplaying a guy with relation to his salary, that's going to hurt you as well.
     
  6. BillLaimbeer

    BillLaimbeer All-Star 4x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Messages:
    16,212
    Likes Received:
    4,166
    Location:
    Michigan
    When you are ranking these teams, why are you using Total Minutes instead of Minutes Per Game? These rankings don't make sense because teams played a different number of games.
     
  7. dba

    dba All-Star Moderator 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    Messages:
    4,262
    Likes Received:
    446
    Location:
    Ann Arbor/Chicago/Walland, TN
    Numbers are for regular seasons only, so everybody has the opportunity for 82 per. And, I wanted to even up across the number of games played. If a player averaged 25 MPG, but only played ten games, I didn't want to show him as playing a lot over the course of a season or seasons. I was looking for long term effects.

    It does mean that having a player hurt shows up as fewer minutes. (See Kobe in 01 who averaged 40 MPG but only played in 60 some.) But, that still seems o.k. to me for this kind of comparison. Injured players still get rest, even if it is enforced. Maybe Kobe played better in the playoffs because he got to take a quarter of the season off, even though he played heavy minutes in some games.
     
  8. BillLaimbeer

    BillLaimbeer All-Star 4x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Messages:
    16,212
    Likes Received:
    4,166
    Location:
    Michigan
    I see what you are trying to do. Thanks for the explanation. Nice work.
     
  9. TheeTFD

    TheeTFD All-Star

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2005
    Messages:
    10,042
    Likes Received:
    671
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Los Lunas, NM
    Are trying to say dead legs?
    DbA, you're too much.
     
  10. dba

    dba All-Star Moderator 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    Messages:
    4,262
    Likes Received:
    446
    Location:
    Ann Arbor/Chicago/Walland, TN
    There was an article posted earlier in the year about how much each team paid in salaries per win. Pretty interesting. You could easily imagine some measures like how much it costs to score a point in an NBA game (by team), line up player's share of productivity with share of salary, etc. Bring on the nums.

    Have Excel, will travel.
    (Yes, the last line is a test.)
     
  11. max

    max All-Star

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    Messages:
    7,481
    Likes Received:
    490
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    my bunker in the Carribbean
    Dba - Excellent article.

    I was very surprised by this. I would have thought for sure that the old Celtics had played more mins. They were historically known for having no bench.
     
  12. 16 Mile

    16 Mile Bench Warmer

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Messages:
    1,301
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NY, NY
    Flip still insists they weren't tired, and would have won if they only listened.
     
  13. coynejeremy

    coynejeremy All-Star Administrator 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Messages:
    6,352
    Likes Received:
    1,285
    Location:
    Georgetown, KY
    Sometimes Flip is an idiot.
     
  14. aurora

    aurora Bench Warmer

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,246
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    16 Mile, did Flip actually say that they would have won if they only listened? Did he get specific about what they didn't listen to that he was saying? I'm just curious when and what context he would outright blame the players. Considering they will all be playing together again this season, it would be good to know if they just stopped listening to him at all, or ignored the game plan, or just did whatever they wanted. Any more juicy details about this?

    Re the topic, hopefully Flip will feel more comfortable speading the minutes this year if he isn't in pursuit of HCA. I think it's going to be pretty important for Chauncey and Tay that they are not run into the ground.
     
  15. BillLaimbeer

    BillLaimbeer All-Star 4x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Messages:
    16,212
    Likes Received:
    4,166
    Location:
    Michigan
    Good post, aurorakmw. Sometimes, people need to be held accountable when they just make something up as if it was fact.
     
  16. max

    max All-Star

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    Messages:
    7,481
    Likes Received:
    490
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    my bunker in the Carribbean
    He has changed his tune. Says he will play and develope the bench more next season, even at the expense of a few games. Think it was part of the talks he had with Dumars where if he wants to keep his job then he better follow through. Flip was just drugged with the talent. Fell into the same trap as LB. We had a unique situation with how good our core 7 was and the natural tendancy would be to overplay them. Would not have killed Dumars to have mention something sooner though.
     

Share This Page