James Harden is as good a playmaker as Jeremy Lin.

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by RoxD, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. RoxD

    RoxD Member

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    By better playmaker, I mean the one who makes all the players on court better, including himself, not just the one who makes other on-court players better. The difference lies in the inclusion/exclusion of the playmaker himself. We'll keep this difference in mind when assessing the playmaking abilities of James Harden and Jeremy Lin.

    As individual players, James Harden has a much better stats line so far this season than Jeremy Lin. And Jeremy Lin makes it up by making other on-court players better.
    <table border="0"> <tr><td colspan="13" align="center" >Stats of James Harden and Jeremy Lin this Season, as of Dec. 31, 2012</td></tr> <tr bgcolor="#0069B9";font style="color:#ffffff;"><th>Player</th><th>GP<font style="color:#0069B9;">1</fond></th><th>MIN<font style="color:#0069B9;">1</fond></th><th>FG% <font style="color:#0069B9;">1</fond> </th><th>3P% <font style="color:#0069B9;">1</fond></th><th>FT% <font style="color:#0069B9;">1</fond></th><th>REB<font style="color:#0069B9;">1</fond></th><th>AST<font style="color:#0069B9;">1</fond></th><th>TO <font style="color:#0069B9;">1</fond></th><th>STL<font style="color:#0069B9;">1</fond></th><th>BLK<font style="color:#0069B9;">1</fond></th><th>PTS</th><th>EFF48M</th></tr><tr bgcolor="#ffffff"><td align="left">Jeremy Lin</td><td align="left">30</td><td align="left">32.5</td><td align="left">43.2%</td><td align="left">27.1%</td><td align="left">81.8%</td><td align="left">3.8</td><td align="left">6.3</td><td align="left">2.9</td><td align="left">1.8</td><td align="left">0.4</td><td align="left">12.0</td><td align="right">22.13</td></tr><tr bgcolor="#eeeeee"><td align="left">James Harden</td><td align="left">29</td><td align="left">38.3</td><td align="left">44.6%</td><td align="left">36.5%</td><td align="left">85.8%</td><td align="left">4.5</td><td align="left">5.2</td><td align="left">3.6</td><td align="left">1.8</td><td align="left">0.5</td><td align="left">26.0</td><td align="right">29.46</td></tr></table>
    I have no direct stats data of individual players showing Jeremy Lin making them better. Yet to the same effect, I have found the stats data of the Rockets as a whole when Jeremy Lin (and James harden) is both on court and off court.
    <table border="0"> <tr><td colspan="14" align="center" >Stats of the Rockets with James Harden and Jeremy Lin on Court and on Bench</td></tr> <tr bgcolor="#0069B9";font style="color:#ffffff;"><th>Player</th><th><font style="color:#0069B9;">111111111</fond></th><th>GP<font style="color:#0069B9;">1</fond></th><th>MIN<font style="color:#0069B9;">1</fond></th><th>FG% <font style="color:#0069B9;">1</fond> </th><th>3P% <font style="color:#0069B9;">1</fond></th><th>FT% <font style="color:#0069B9;">1</fond></th><th>REB<font style="color:#0069B9;">1</fond></th><th>AST<font style="color:#0069B9;">1</fond></th><th>TO <font style="color:#0069B9;">1</fond></th><th>STL<font style="color:#0069B9;">1</fond></th><th>BLK<font style="color:#0069B9;">1</fond></th><th>PTS</th><th>EFF48M</th></tr><tr bgcolor="#ffffff"><td align="left">Jeremy Lin</td><td align="left">on court</td><td align="left">30</td><td align="left">974</td><td align="left">45.9%</td><td align="left">34.9%</td><td align="left">77.5%</td><td align="left">43.6</td><td align="left">22.5</td><td align="left">16.7</td><td align="left">8.9</td><td align="left">4.3</td><td align="left">104.1</td><td align="right">116.2</td></tr><tr bgcolor="#eeeeee"><td align="left">Jeremy Lin</td><td align="left">off court</td><td align="left">30</td><td align="left">481</td><td align="left">43.7%</td><td align="left">36.5%</td><td align="left">75.6%</td><td align="left">42.0</td><td align="left">22.0</td><td align="left">15.9</td><td align="left">8.2</td><td align="left">3.7</td><td align="left">104.3</td><td align="right">111.4</td></tr><tr bgcolor="#ffffff"><td align="left">James Harden</td><td align="left">on court</td><td align="left">29</td><td align="left">1110</td><td align="left">45.9%</td><td align="left">34.0%</td><td align="left">77.3%</td><td align="left">43.1</td><td align="left">22.1</td><td align="left">16.3</td><td align="left">8.5</td><td align="left">3.8</td><td align="left">105.3</td><td align="right">115.7</td></tr><tr bgcolor="#eeeeee"><td align="left">James Harden</td><td align="left">off court</td><td align="left">30</td><td align="left">345</td><td align="left">43.1%</td><td align="left">39.6%</td><td align="left">75.2%</td><td align="left">43.0</td><td align="left">23.2</td><td align="left">16.6</td><td align="left">9.0</td><td align="left">5.1</td><td align="left">100.6</td><td align="right">111.1</td></tr></table>
    If we define the On-Court Impact Factor (OCIF) of a player on the team as the difference between the team's EFF48M when the player is on court and the team's EFF48M when the player is off court, we can find that the OCIFs for James Harden and Jeremy Lin are +4.6 and +4.8 respectively. By considering the fact that both players have played relatively long time each game, we can conclude that these two players' playmaking abilities are roughly the same.

    We should understand that the limited sample size, i.e., only 30 games into this season, may subject this conclusion to further scrutiny.

    The On-Court Impact Factor (OCIF) needs further look at. The OCIFs for the Rockets players are:
    <table border="0"> <tr><td colspan="4" align="center" >On-Court Impact</td></tr><tr bgcolor="#0069B9";font style="color:#ffffff;"><th>Player</th><th>GP<font style="color:#0069B9;">1</fond></th><th>MIN <font style="color:#0069B9;">1</fond></th><th>OCIF</th></tr><tr bgcolor="#ffffff"><td align="left">Jeremy Lin</td><td align="left">30</td><td align="left">32.5</td><td align="right">+4.8</td></tr><tr bgcolor="#eeeeee"><td align="left">James Harden</td><td align="left">29</td><td align="left">38.3</td><td align="right">+4.6</td></tr><tr bgcolor="#ffffff"><td align="left">Omer Asik</td><td align="left">30</td><td align="left">30.5</td><td align="right">+3.0</td></tr><tr bgcolor="#eeeeee"><td align="left">Chandler Parsons</td><td align="left">29</td><td align="left">36.7</td><td align="right">-5.6</td></tr><tr bgcolor="#ffffff"><td align="left">Patrick Patterson</td><td align="left">22</td><td align="left">28.4</td><td align="right">-8.1</td></tr><tr bgcolor="#eeeeee"><td align="left">Carlos Delfino</td><td align="left">21</td><td align="left">24.8</td><td align="right">+8.5</td></tr><tr bgcolor="#ffffff"><td align="left">Greg Smith</td><td align="left">25</td><td align="left">14.3</td><td align="right">+6.5</td></tr><tr bgcolor="#eeeeee"><td align="left">Marcus Morris</td><td align="left">29</td><td align="left">23.0</td><td align="right">+2.3</td></tr><tr bgcolor="#ffffff"><td align="left">Toney Douglas</td><td align="left">29</td><td align="left">20.5</td><td align="right">-0.2</td></tr></table>
    It is worth noting that the backup players have very good OCIFs. And Carlos Delfino has a particularly high OCIF at +8.5. Could he become the NBA Sixth Man of the Year this season?

    At the end, I would like to sum it up as follows:
    James Harden has a better individual stats line this season so far, while Jeremy Lin makes it up by having made other on court players better. The result is that James Harden is as good a playmaker as Jeremy Lin.
     
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  2. Orange

    Orange Member

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    All I need is the eye test to know that.
     
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  3. ch0c0b0fr34k

    ch0c0b0fr34k Member

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    Does OCIF account for Assist-to-Turnover Ratio?
     
  4. CheukLau

    CheukLau Member

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    I will consider using the over all team +/- per min rather than EFF48M. The actual difference in points is much more meaningful than the statistical makeup rating such as EFF48M.
     
  5. haoafu

    haoafu Contributing Member

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    The first thing comes to mind about playmaking is the ability to assist. Otherwise good thread.
     
  6. CheukLau

    CheukLau Member

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    Here is how EFF is a baised measurement
    EFF is defined by ((Points + Rebounds + Assists + Steals + Blocks) - ((Field Goals Att. - Field Goals Made) + (Free Throws Att. - Free Throws Made) + Turnovers)).

    Where Harden made an iso the overall all team EFF will be increased by 2

    Where Lin made an PnR the overall all team EFF will be increased by 3 (cuz of the asset)

    Also, EFF doesn't reflect the impact on defense. I do expect Harden will play much more lazier D than Lin.
     
  7. RoxD

    RoxD Member

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    It takes into account both assist and turnover in the form of a difference, instead of a ratio. Similar effect, I think.
     
  8. JayZ750

    JayZ750 Contributing Member

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    Good intro to stat post. Keep reading the board. Pay attention specifically to durvasa's posts, and you'll keep improving in your sports statistical analysis.
     
  9. RoxD

    RoxD Member

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    You are correct in pointing out the overall team EFF is increased more with assists than with iso play. Well, assist number is considered more important in playmaking ability assessment. Therefore an increase in team EFF with assists is valid and necessary, as far as playmaking assessment is concerned.

    Again, I agree that EFF may not fully reflect the impact on defense, but it actually takes into account some defensive parameters, such as Rebounds, Steals, and Blocks. And some other defensive efforts may be translated into Points.
     
  10. Joe Fan

    Joe Fan Member

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    Good effort at a providing a new look at a somewhat worn out topic.

    However, I have always been a fan of guard oriented offenses and so am thrilled with what we suddenly have now. Further, I don't see the Lin/Harden head-to-head comparisons as the correct metric for analysis. From my bias, the better way to look at it is as complementary parts.
     
  11. roxxy

    roxxy Member

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    Agreed & looking at the synergy stats Lin accounts for 27.86% of the Rockets overall team assists James Harden 22.21%. I don't think Harden is as good as a playmaker as Lin (although Harden is damn good) when taking in the broad sample of games & percentage of possessions in which each individual garnered an assist but Harden doesn't need to be. Let Lin make plays, let Harden score. Let them focus on what each is best at.
     
  12. meh

    meh Contributing Member

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    Every Rockets coach/front office guy, when talking about Harden, emphasized his playmaking skills before his scoring ability. There's a reason why the Rockets went with Douglas and Delfino together with Harden during crunch time. Give the guy shooters on offense, and he can go to work.
     
  13. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member

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    I tried to do a similar analysis as what the OP is doing here last season. I used a slightly different approach, but maybe it would give some ideas.

    http://bbs.clutchfans.net/showthread.php?t=217419

    In Hollinger's report on Harden, he says: "The second coming of Manu Ginobili, Harden technically plays shooting guard but is really a huge pick-and-roll point guard." Of course, Harden's main function on our team is to be a scorer because he's so good at it, but I'd say he's also the best on the team at making the accurate skip pass to the perimeter or the wrap-around pass in the paint.

    I still think a "playmaker" is someone who, literally, "makes plays". While we may usually associate it with a player who orchestrates an offense and distributes the ball, like a quarterback, I look at it more as someone who creates good shots for his team. If Chris Paul does his dribbling magic and sticks a 12 footer jumper over a helpless defender, to me that's one facet of his playmaking brilliance. Its just a disagreement over terminology, though.
     
  14. roxxy

    roxxy Member

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    How many times has Harden made that wrap around pass in the paint? I have only seen him do it like once which was last night. Have there been other times that I missed.
     
  15. haoafu

    haoafu Contributing Member

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    Yes, In terms of passing I'd say Harden is a good playmaker for a SG, but an average one for PG. Overall harden is a better player with his shooting and driving at this stage, and that's why he handles the ball a lot(not because of his passing is the best).

    For the greater good of our team, Lin should initiate offense and then either assist other players immediately or give the ball to harden at his comfort zone and let him operate. Harden can shoot, drive or pass as needed.
     
  16. Knickskiller

    Knickskiller Member

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    you guys want to go back to Sampson offense ?
     
  17. fogo18182028

    fogo18182028 Member

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    Am more surprised that Lin has the highest on court impact.
     
  18. Akim523

    Akim523 Member

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    Those are Hollinger's analysis, nevertheless I've seen it plenty of times when he was in OKC. When it comes to Rockets, I remember there's some sort of stats that indicates Both Lin and Harden have a high ast% close to the basket and out on the 3pt line --- Kudos to Durvasa.

    I have to agree with Durvasa here, playmaking is a broad term and making plays includes scoring as well, in this sense and in this sense alone Harden is far and away the best player on the team.
     
  19. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member

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    During the season, I think he's made a number of good passes to Asik or Smith in traffic while driving into the painted area. Maybe not all wrap-around, but that's what I remember. Subjectively, it seems to me that he does a better job at this than anyone else on the team, but I could be wrong.
     
  20. torocan

    torocan Member

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    Personally, I don't find it that shocking.

    Lin generates assists at a rate of approximately 29% of his possessions. This is the highest rate of passing by far on the Rockets. Compare this with Parsons, Douglas and Harden who are around the 17-18% rate in terms of assists per 100 possessions.

    In other words, Jeremy looks to create for his team mates vs plays for himself at almost double the rate of any other player. This means that every person who's on the court KNOWS that Jeremy will try to get them the ball, as long as they work to put themselves into a position to score.

    This is part of what Jeremy brings to the team. It was something Knicks fans noticed all throughout last year's season. The Knicks just played Harder and shared the ball more when Jeremy was on the floor. They ran more on breaks, they worked harder to get themselves open on cuts, they worked to generate and get screens because they KNEW that the ball would find them.

    We see the same this year. Players are always running on the break when Jeremy has the ball because they KNOW Jeremy will try to find them with those cross court passes. They move and try to cut to the basket, to lose their defender, and to put themselves in position to score.

    It's the polar opposite of ISO ball. Yes, Jeremy Lin can be an effective scorer, but what he really brings to the table is a share the ball mentality that elevates the players around him.
     

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