Statistically, Harden is the worst garbage time player in the league

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by James.B.H, Nov 24, 2017.

  1. James.B.H

    James.B.H Member

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    [​IMG]
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    Above image is the courtesy of RimZero, a group of sports writers in China who majorly use statistics and data mining techniques to analyze various aspects of the NBA games, like player performance, team performance etc. The figure above shows players' garbage time performance compared to their normal time performance. First columns is player's name, second column team, third column games played, fourth and fifth columns are FGA and EFG% in garbage time, seventh and eighth columns are FGA and EFG% in normal time, finally the last column is EFG% difference between garbage time and normal time sorted in ascending order.

    As shown in the figure, Harden's effective field goal percentage goes down by almost 20% in garbage time compared to normal time, which clearly shows how inefficient he is in garbage time. You can feel that as well watching the game, he seems to be very uninterested and playing really lazy in late 3rd quarter or 4th quarter of the blown out games. In case any of you is interested, Bobby Brown, who we call Garbage time MJ in China, has his EFG% going up from 39.1% in normal time to 58.7% in garbage time, which clearly justifies the the nickname we gave him.

    PS: There is no official definition of garbage time in NBA, but you know that it is related to the time left in the game and point differential. Ideally based on all the historical games, one can create a mapping from time and point differential to whether it is normal time, garbage time or clutch time. However, that approach will be too computationally expensive, and due to limited resource, the author of the figure used an empirical mapping which is basically a 40 * 48 matrix, with columns being number of minutes left in the game(48 to 0), and rows point differential(-20 to 20). Each element's value in the matrix is defined to be normal time, garbage time or clutch time. For example, with 10 minutes left in the game and point differential +/- 15, it's garbage time.
     
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  2. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member

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    Since we’re talking about garbage time, maybe this should go in the “random/meaningless stats thread”.
     
  3. justtxyank

    justtxyank Contributing Member

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    Take THAT for data!
     
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  4. Dr of Dunk

    Dr of Dunk Clutch Crew

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    Harden feels disinterested in garbage time. He should be cut.

    And lose weight.

    And shave his beard.

    Seriously, though. Why is this considered important? (Seriously asking)

    *EDIT* : I originally asked how "garbage time" is defined, but missed it in the original post. I personally don't think a 15 point lead with 10 minutes left is "garbage time" in this era, but ... ok.
     
  5. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

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  6. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

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    lulz...there is too a definition.

    That 40 x 48 matrix is a silly idea from someone who doesn't know how to really tell a story behind big data.

    You scrap the substitution patterns of the coaches to determine garbage time, not some arbitrary matrix. I thought this was self-evident. And scraping the substitution patterns is not "computationally expensive" at all.

    Garbage time is the moment the losing coach throws in the towel and pulls his star players. And sometimes the losing coach leaves them out because he's pissed, so garbage time is when the winning coach pulls his stars/starters. And quite often the coaches will be courteous to each other and pull their players at the same substitution.

    So, almost by definition, stars like Harden rarely play garbage time, because if he's out there with starters, he's running plays for a purpose, And btw, almost all teams left their starters in the game longer than normal in the early games this year because of the short preseason. They were using blowouts for added time to run real minutes of play.

    And that is a flat out silly definition.

    Forget a matrix, it's a silly idea, and wrong way more often than using substitution patterns.
     
  7. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

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    Haha

    Wikipedia actually has a definition of Garbage Time

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garbage_time

    Garbage time is a term used to refer to the period toward the end of a timed sports competition that has become a blowout when the outcome of the game has already been decided, and the coaches of one or both teams will decide to replace their best players with substitutes.[1] This serves to give those substitutes, who are usually less experienced or younger players, actual playing experience, as well as to protect the best players from the possibility of injury.[2]

    Garbage time owes its name to the fact that this period in a game is frequently marked by a significant drop in the quality of game play. This occurs for two primary reasons. First, the players involved during that time are generally less experienced, having not played nearly as often as the starting players. Second, the fact that seldom-used substitutes usually desire more future playing time means that when those players do play, they are often more concerned with making an individual impression than with executing team play at its best (see Wikipedia entry "Bobby Brown"t; this is especially true during garbage time because at that point, the matter of which team will win has already been decided.[3]
    [​IMG]
     
  8. ApacheWarrior

    ApacheWarrior Member

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    You fell victim to one of the classic blunders

    1) Never get involved in a land war in Asia

    2) Not knowing James Hardens role with the Rockets.....table setter for Bobby Browns garbage time
     
  9. ghettocheeze

    ghettocheeze Member

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    I don't know of a single coach in the league who would pull his starters with a 15-point lead and 10 minutes to go. That's a lifetime in the NBA. OP needs a better definition of garbage time.

    Here's a rudimentary chart:

    12 minutes to go and +/- 35 points = garbage time
    8 minutes to go and +/- 30 points = garbage time
    6 minutes to go and +/- 25 points = garbage time
    4 minutes to go and +/- 20 points = garbage time
    2 minutes to go and +/- 15 points = garbage time

    Anything below this threshold is not considered garbage time.
     
  10. alethios

    alethios Member

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  11. knote32

    knote32 Contributing Member

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    I truly HATE how he takes his foot off the gas to an extraordinary degree. I just can't help but think that that mindset will always come back to bite him in the end. We need a coach that recognizes the situation and keeps the all CP3 lineup on the floor in these situations.

    (There is not a better player in the NBA more suited to hide this deficiency than Chris Paul)
     
    #11 knote32, Nov 24, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
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  12. Houstunna

    Houstunna Contributing Member

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    Thus far, Harden's career 'clutch ability' seems more nay than yay.

    He's shown flashes. He's only 28 y/o.

    Still opportunity for the entire story. Rockets have a championship-level squad, so let's see.
     
  13. James.B.H

    James.B.H Member

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    You made a valid point using the losing team coach's substitution pattern as a definition of garbage time, but there are lots of subjectivity in this definition as it's determined by a person, the coach. If you study all the nba games, you can find a rather objective pattern, of the probability to win the game at a certain time of the game, given certain points differential. This probability however, is very hard to estimate, as you will need to scrap all the game logs available, that's why I call it "computationally expensive" in the first place. The matrix is the estimation of such a probability, which might be very inaccurate, but is much more interesting than the substitution pattern definition.

    Or rather, let's put it in another way. I don't want to argue too much about the terminology part. The point here is that, Harden plays much worse when the team has a big lead with short time left in the game, with this "big" and "short" characterized by a pre-defined matrix.
     
    #13 James.B.H, Nov 24, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
  14. ApacheWarrior

    ApacheWarrior Member

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    Digging the hole deeper


    How many of said “garbage time” leads have been lost this year? Myself, I gave thanks for Bobby Brown during
    Thanksgiving yesterday.
     
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  15. Reeko

    Reeko Member

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    We’re talking about garbage time? Really?
     
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  16. riko

    riko Member

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    Garbage thread
     
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  17. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

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    You seem to have fun with this, and it is fun. And that was a fun start for you guys. But, imo, if you stick to a normalized, probability solution, you are making a false rule, and someone else will write better code to match the point in time Coaches actually toss in the towel -- and fans will find that data more useful.

    Stop thinking about Harden for a second, and think about improving Team ORtg stats to eliminate Garbage Time.

    Try not to change the actual definition of Garbage Time to make it easier to program. It pollutes the "Normal Time" stats that the coach and fans really want to see.

    Your definition is: Garbage Time is the point in time when nearly 100% of games are determined. What kind of normalization is that? It's not helpful -- not nearly as useful to coaches and fans as the existing definition.​

    The real definition is: Garbage Time is when coaches say it is -- when the best players are taken out. That is not subjective, and can be objectively measured better than your definition. And it produces a much better story of information that coaches might use, vs your definition. For instance, at the point coaches give up, I can stop recording Team ORtg and give the coach data for when the normal rotation was still playing. He doesn't care about my Garbage Time stats, so your definition would pollute his data if your times didn't match his.​

    Think about this problem: "Team ORtg minus Garbage Time". When you work that out, you will see that your definition of Garbage Time is too subjective, because it changes the real World to make it easier to model. Doing that isn't Objective just because it establishes probability as some kind of rule. It is subjective because you are incorrectly choosing the "rule" -- making Probability the Rule vs the Coach. You really need to objectively identify the point in time the coach threw in the towel and removed his main Team...that is the exact point in time we can objectively say "Team ORtg" recording should stop, since the team is no longer on the court.

    The matrix method, normalized "empirically" or via probability, isn't what the coach would want.

    Make sense?
     
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  18. Astrodome

    Astrodome Member

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    This is skewed from that game where he was going for calvin murphys rockets record and missed all but one of his 4th qtr attempts.
     
  19. napalm_black

    napalm_black Contributing Member

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    It looks like it's a shame that we lost Lou Williams - the REAL garbage time MVP. He could've balanced out our garbage time production a lot more. We could be winning by 30 instead of 20!
     
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  20. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

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    Russ's reaction when he learns it's easier to get rebounds in Garbage Time

    [​IMG]
     
    #20 heypartner, Nov 24, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
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