Category Archives: Win Shares

The Don Nelson All-Star Team

Hanging out with Hoopism‘s Bailey brothers (Jason & Matt) and Harold Shanafield of Haystack Scouting on Friday night, we had a great conversation about the “ultimate teams” of a given coach. The idea is this: if you had a certain coach, and you had to play a pickup game in his signature style with players from NBA history, who do you pick to play?

Specifically, we were joking around and picking Don Nelson all-stars, thinking of freakish lineups with a SF at the 1, a PG at the 2, a SG at the 3, a SF at the 4, and a PF at the 5. Jason had a few too many beers and picked Travis Outlaw as his PG, I called on Antoine Walker’s services at point forward, Matt built a team around Anthony Mason, and I also think Wang Zhizhi was somehow involved. This was all for fun, but what if we actually picked the players who put up the most Win Shares while playing for Nelson?

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Who Are the “Inner-Circle” Hall of Famers? (Part I – Intro to Method)

7491578  Wizards v PacersWhenever Hall of Fame arguments come up, especially in baseball, I have a tendency to tune out from the sheer tediousness of the typical debate. On one side, there’s always an arrogant guy who saw many of Player X’s games and “knows” he’s a Hall of Famer, so he cites other, lesser players who are already in the Hall (as though that were somehow evidence Player X should be in), brings up a couple of memorable career moments, and generally fudges on borderline issues to make the player seem better than he actually was. On the opposing side, another equally narcissistic guy splits hairs about the “magic numbers” Player X failed to reach, denigrates his career because A) if he won titles, he didn’t have enough individual honors; or B) if he had a lot of individual honors, he didn’t win enough titles. Throw in a few unsubstantiated jabs at Player X’s character and/or manhood, and then start the whole process over again — how fun.

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What Happened to the McDonald’s All-Americans? (Part II – 1977-1980)

Picking up where we left off, we’re going to look at the classic McDonald’s All-American teams to see which players fared well — and which ones never made it. Using Win Shares, I’ll break each class into 4 groups: those with good careers (>11.0 WS), those with typical careers (>0.5 WS), those with fringe careers (<0.5 WS), and those who never played in the league. And along with those who never made it, I’ll try to fill in as many gaps as I can on what happened after they failed to live up to the lofty expectations set for them as high schoolers. And by all means, if you know more about what happened to some of these guys, tell us in the comments!

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Biggest All-Star Snubs: 1974-2008

After a post last week devoted to identifying the most undeserving All-Star selections of the past 35 years, we thought it would only be fair to flip it around and look at the players with the best seasons that didn’t garner ASG nods. This is a considerably easier process than picking out the “worst” All-Stars using Win Shares, because in that endeavor we had to filter out players whose production was limited due to injury. In this case, though, we can simply look for the highest single-season WS totals by players who failed to make an All-Star roster. So without further ado, here are the 10 best seasons by non-All-Stars since 1973-74:

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Top Schools by Win Shares: A Closer Look at #1-5

On Saturday, we started to take an in-depth look at the Top 10 NCAA programs by Wins Shares, examining schools #6-10. Today we’re going to finish up by talking about teams #1-5:

    +------------------------------------------+---------+
    | college_name                             | overall |
    +------------------------------------------+---------+
    | 1. University of North Carolina          |    83.0 |
    | 2. University of California, Los Angeles |    57.9 |
    | 3. Georgetown University                 |    51.0 |
    | 4. Duke University                       |    47.5 |
    | 5. Michigan State University             |    45.3 |
    +------------------------------------------+---------+

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Top Schools by Win Shares: A Closer Look at #6-10

On Wednesday, we developed a Win Shares-based system for ranking the top NCAA programs at developing NBA talent since 1974, and I gave a very broad overview of the top 10 teams. Over the next few posts, we’re going to go more in-depth on those colleges, taking a look at the career NBA performance of their 12-man “rosters”, as well as looking at the stats those players put up when they were still collegians.

First, we’ll examine schools #6-10:

    +------------------------------------------+---------+
    | college_name                             | overall |
    +------------------------------------------+---------+
    | 6. University of Notre Dame              |    45.3 |
    | 7. University of Michigan                |    43.6 |
    | 8. University of Arizona                 |    42.2 |
    | 9. University of Houston                 |    42.0 |
    |10. Georgia Institute of Technology       |    41.1 |
    +------------------------------------------+---------+

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Ranking the NCAA Programs by Win Shares

In addition to being a nifty tool for ranking NBA players according to their contribution to team success, Win Shares can be used in all sorts of novel ways: calculating what percentage of a team’s wins come from each position, for instance, or evaluating trades and free agent signings — both topics that we’ll explore as the NBA season goes on. But today, in honor of NCAA hoops tipping off this week, we’re going to give it the old college try and see which programs have done the best job of preparing their graduates for pro ball.

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