Bucks Diary

Friday, April 21, 2006

Eff/48 is the most important measure of play

Eff/48: (Points + Rebounds + Assists + Steals + Blocks) - (FGs missed - FTs missed - Turnovers)/ minutes played x 48

Permit us to briefly step away from our playoff previews for a second so that we might try to persuade you the reader of Milwaukee Bucks Diary on an important statistical matter. We ask that you join us and bury your religious faith in the importance of the destructive "scoring average" and "rebounding average" and "assist average" statistics as barometers of player performance. They are too limited and much too misleading.

Here at MBD we care only about all-around positive productivity per minute played. That's why we look at basketball strictly through the prism of the only recognized statistic on this blog: Efficiency per 48 minutes of play, or "Eff/48" (formerly referred to on this blog as 'CG') .

Eff/48 is, in our opinion, the ultimate basketball stat and should be emphasized by coaches and management at all levels of play. In fact, if we were high school coaches we would immediately banish all other statistical categories from our team's locker room. Why? Put yourself in the mindset of players under each regime and you'll see why.

The Scoring Average Regime

In our day there was one number and one number only that hoopsters cared about: points. "How many did you get last night?" "So what are you averaging?" Under this regime if you got yours, you had a good game, if you didn't, you sucked. This breeds selfish play, and limited players. Under this regime, we have the "gunners", those who believe that they must get their points no matter how many shots they miss or how much team disunity they cause. We also have the "ballhogs" those that, once they receive the ball, are unlikely to give it up until they shoot it. We have the "Cadillacs", guys who coast for long periods of time without doing anything, or guys who would rather not do anything except try to score.

Here was our mindsets under this regime: all of the other statistics besides points were kind of unimportant. Literally. Assists? Yeah, they're okay, if the pass was fancy and got the crowd up, but how many of those boring regular assists could have been shots of mine that led to more points for me? Rebounds? Yeah, those look good, provided you have points to go with them. Blocks? Only if they're spectacular. Steals? Ha, ha, ha.

You see how the mindset of this regime distorts value and promotes selfishness and tolerates laziness and inconsistent play.

If Johnny is averaging 24.3 a game, he's all-star material right? Sure, provided your under the "Scoring Average" regime. But should he be? He misses a lot of shots, making our offense pretty unproductive per possession, he turns the ball over carelessly, giving our opponents more chances to score than they would have had, he never passes, he hardly cares about the boards, and he demands a lot of playing time because he needs it to get his precious points. That's no star.

Eff/48 Regime

Now imagine the world of Eff/48. With Eff/48 averages, every player can "score" big, so to speak, regardless of shot attempts or even of playing time. That is provided they make the most of every second they're on the court. There's no "Cadillacs" under this regime, because every unproductive minute hurts your average.

The new thought waves under Eff/48:

"Holy shit, I've been out here 3 minutes and I don't have a positive statistic, I'd better get hustling... Man, I almost traveled, I better be more careful with the possession... Let's see, this is a semi-makable shot here, but its too likely a miss so I'll pass it up... I see Steve cutting to the hole, and that's a guaranteed assist, and I avoid the risk of a missed field goal penalty... Man, I haven't gotten any shots in a while, I'd better make up for it by getting to the boards... Or on D I could get a steal... Points are still great for my average, but I better not try to get them at the cost of too many missed shots... It only pays to look for good shots I guess..."

You see, Eff/48 has all the right incentives, and jettisons all of the destructive incentives that have tormented basketball teams at all levels of play. Eff/48 players are judged by their ability to do positive things on the court, to avoid doing negative things on the court, and to accomplish those feats as many times as they can for as long as they are on the floor.

That's why we only look at a player's Eff/48 on this blog. Just our little rebellion.

1 Comments:

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