I think it’s an interesting question but he focused on a sample size with only 5 championship teams and I’d like to investigate topic deeper than that.
Because I’m following up a post on Wages of Wins I’ll start with their rating system.
First, here’s a breakdown of Wins Produced from last season by position [data and positions taken from here]:
In 2009-10 it looked like this:
So last season point guards improved but no matter how you slice it one big guy position produced more wins.
When we break it down into 30 pieces [teams] results are somewhat surprising:
Correlation coefficient between PF’s Wins Produced and team’s Wins Produced was 0,1563.
Teams with 50+ Wins Produced without any good PF = Nuggets.
Correlation coefficient between PG’s Wins Produced and team’s Wins Produced was 0,2748.
Teams with 50+ Wins Produced without any good PG = Heat, Lakers, Magic.
Correlation coefficient between C’s Wins Produced and team’s Wins Produced was 0,4705.
Teams with 50+ Wins Produced without any good C = Heat, Boston, Thunder.
Correlation coefficient between SG’s Wins Produced and team’s Wins Produced was 0,5153.
Teams with 50+ Wins Produced without any good SG = Spurs [Manu is listed as a SF].
Correlation coefficient between SF’s Wins Produced and team’s Wins Produced was 0,6564.
Teams with 50+ Wins Produced without any good SF = Lakers, Thunder [Durant is listed as a PF].
Well, you probably knew that Lakers and Heat were constructed in a very unusual way but it seems like last season good swingman was the most essential piece… and that’s probably because of total Wins Produced from the whole position.
BTW, that’s exactly a point which I don’t get regarding issue with “league of PGs” – if most teams have a productive/solid player on one position… it really isn’t any advantage and you need to be better somewhere else!
Anyway, I can recognize that sound from miles away “hey, maybe Wins Produced don’t recognize valuable contributions by Point Guards!”. Fine, let’s think about it…
I checked the same thing with Win Shares but with a different position allocation [taken from Doug’s stats]:
In 2009-10 season it looked like this:
Well, point guards played a lot of minutes… but still in terms of productivity they aren’t leaders in any way.
Yes, those were all box scores stats so they have to miss something, right?
Well, let’s check regularized adjusted +/- (RAPM) in 2010/11:
|Pos||RAPM per 200 poss||Minutes||RAPM/48|
Do you prefer simple +/- system [still from 2010/11]?
|Pos||+/- per 100 poss||Possessions||+/- per poss|
I’m pretty sure you can spot a trend here…
So to sum up, in which way Point Guards dominated in the NBA last year?
– They could have played the most minutes [shocker, there are more 6- than 7-footers!],
– They probably got most headlines [and most, if not all, reporters are short guys, is it a coincidence?],
– They lead in a category “the longest amount of time with ball in hands” [which is their freakin’ job!].
So I think the conclusion couldn’t be simpler than that one: IMHO without any major rules changes [lower basket? bigger courts?] basketball was, is and always will be a big guys game…