Was Yao Ming an Overrated Offensive Player?

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by durvasa, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member

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    There was a recent article on ESPN Insider by Neil Paine (Basketball-Reference.com Blogger) on most overrated offensive players -- what he referred to as his "All Ball-Hog Team". Basically, he found players who were rated highly by conventional offensive stats, but rated much worse according to statistical plus/minus rating for offense (a regression-based predictor of plus/minus impact using box-score stats).

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/stor...kins-league-least-productive-scorers-all-time

    Yao Ming got a mention. Fair or unfair?

    [rquoter]
    Yao Ming | C | NBA career: 2002-11

    Yao was always a PER darling, notching a career mark of 23.0 and never dipping below 20.0 in any full season, but his career regularized offensive plus/minus was a mere minus-0.5, meaning he actually brought his teams down on offense relative to an average player, despite scoring 19 PPG on 52 percent shooting. Why? Look no further than his 9.6 career assist percentage -- Yao's lack of passing touch out of the post made his Houston teams easier to defend.

    It's easy to ignore the importance of ball movement while evaluating an efficient, high-volume scorer, especially when it comes to a big man, but the lesson here is that passing ability matters. Among players with equal PER scores, it can make a surprising amount of difference.
    [/rquoter]

    Paine explains that Yao had a very poor assist rate relative to the number of touches he got, and further according to the adjusted +/- his didn't appear to have a very positive impact on offense. Conventional wisdom with Yao Ming is that he was a very talented offensive player, dominant often times in the low post, who could not be guarded effectively with single coverage and who possessed a soft shooting touch and good passing instincts. The plus-minus stats which rate him less favorably seem to be backed up by the fact that the Rockets never had strong offensive teams when he was the main guy, and that we often struggled to figure out how to utilize him effectively.

    In defense of Yao, during his career he also garnered a reputation for being soft on defense from some quarters, but the same plus-minus numbers which say he was not a great offensive player indicate that he was one of the top defensive players at his position throughout his career.
     
    #1 durvasa, Nov 27, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012
  2. SuperStar

    SuperStar Member

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    That's why I hate stats durvasa!
     
  3. rolyat93

    rolyat93 Contributing Member

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    PER is a useless stat, and means nothing.


    DD
     
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  4. HMMMHMM

    HMMMHMM Contributing Member

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    Unless fronted. :p :eek: :(

    I think one of the problems with Yao on offense was that because he was so huge, you couldn't move him around too much which gave defense a chance to get set and key in. Straight post-ups generally are one of the least effective plays you can go to. Of course with Yao being the force that he was, going to him on the post was an effective play for us (Luther Head made a career just by cutting off Yao for layups or hitting open threes off a Yao post-up), but it did result in the offense being a bit stagnant, so that coupled with Yao's limited passing ability might explain why his offensive +/- weren't great.
     
  5. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member

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    LOL, you had me for a second and I was like "You! :eek:". Then I saw your name. :)
     
  6. CrazyDave

    CrazyDave Contributing Member

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    Yeah, if only he'd have passed it more, standing at 12" tall one step from bumping his chin on the rim, while we were all wondering when he was going to start dunking with some kind of massive authority every trip down. :rolleyes:

    I don't know, right when it seemed he was getting it and realizing his real potential, he was hurt. The team around him was never really hitting on all cylinders.

    Overrated? ... maybe people saw him reaching his potential and were hopeful, but it just never quite reached the hopes.
     
  7. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    This makes a lot of sense. As many of us observed back then- Yao was a one-dimensional player on offense. He was very good at that one dimension but there were some pretty simple countermeasures that could be deployed that could exploit his weaknesses and that presented difficulties.

    The flipside is that he was so efficient at his one dimension that you basically had to structure your team around it for better or worse, even if on a net basis it didn't seem to make a difference because it just seemed like a good idea.

    Now I'm bracing for a slew of old school YOFs claiming he was a gazelle under Rudy as a rookie and that he was subsequently morphed into a plodding post player layer. Too bad this isn't remotely true, that one highlight reel pass notwithstanding.
     
  8. tehG l i d e

    tehG l i d e Member

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    So according to the stats he should be on the most underrated defense list as well.
     
  9. LCAhmed

    LCAhmed Contributing Member

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    Yao overrated as an offensive player?

    How many 7'6" players do you know that can shoot a 15-20ft jumper like butter?

    How many 7'6" players do you know that can make passes to cutting players out of the post?

    How many 7'6" players do you know.... well period?

    Yao was special. One of the best offensive centers EVER. his demeanor made him humble, and more respectful which limited his ferociousness.

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/AWpJRB3MjI4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/5pctMowuZik" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/kGAf-FqKO8k" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/PZ4KLsY84AE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/dR_RI9cB4Mc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    overrated?

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. James Gabriel

    James Gabriel Member

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    I remember back then that JVG said we needed great shooters to compliment Yao.

    Years later, i wonder if we really managed to surround him with such.
     
  11. daspydamayn

    daspydamayn Member

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    id like to propose we ban articles by this "neil pain". just on +/- and assists aka shots after 1 pass? child please
     
  12. Akim523

    Akim523 Member

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    Actually I would agree, Yao was a bit overrated offensively, especially from a team stand point. His outlet pass was always a bit shaky, and for a good 1-2 years he shot too many 12 foot jumpers to be considered a premium low post threat.

    Still love him though.
     
  13. Acedude

    Acedude Contributing Member

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    Yao is clearly a talented player with tremendous size, feathery shooting touch, and relentless work ethic. While evaluated individually as a player, Yao is not overrated. PER measures box score stats, and as aforementioned, he excelled at it.

    When you plug Yao in the "team scenario" of a basketball game, he does become somewhat detrimental to the game plan in numerous aspects. His struggles against quick, athletic bigs while being fronted were well-chronicled. His offensive efficiency made him the focal point of our attacks, and the post-game became predictable as Yao faced swarms of double team and had trouble making the outlet pass in his early years. As much as it is against conventional wisdom, I felt that Yao should have been benched in uptempo games, such as against the Phoenix Suns. His lack of speed made him worthless in the transition game as well as guarding the P&R on the perimeter. However, it would seem so unorthodoxed to bench your franchise max-contract player, it was never attempted by RudyT/JVG/Adelman. The +/- measures how help your team outscore the opponents, and Yao definitely could be labeled as "overrated" in that sense.
     
  14. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member

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    If the object is to win the game, isn't that the only sense that matters?
     
  15. freemaniam

    freemaniam Contributing Member

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    This.

    "Assists" were count only when your teammates actually made the shots.
     
  16. DreamWeaver

    DreamWeaver Member

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    I'd love to have another one-dimensional overrated center like Yao on this team.
     
  17. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Contributing Member

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    This analysis seems rather simplistic.

    First, how do we know the +/- was adjusted correctly?

    Second, how can we be sure it was because of passing? Maybe it was because he was slow getting up the court, or because he took up too much space, or something else.
     
  18. onreego

    onreego Member

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    Ask Chris Kaman :cool:

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Jss1xEzh5b4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    I agree with crazydave though. Yao was on the cusp of reaching his potential but the injuries were the roadblock that he couldn't overcome. It was sad to see his career end like that but it was also hard as a fan of the Rockets to hope for so long.
     
  19. Akim523

    Akim523 Member

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    Lol nice one.

    I miss Deke...:(
     
  20. TEXNIFICENT

    TEXNIFICENT Member

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    This is laughable & the reason all stats should be taken with a grain of salt.
     

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