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Linconsistency

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by lightningbolt, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. lightningbolt

    lightningbolt Member

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    One of the oft-repeated criticisms against Jeremy Lin this past season is that he was inconsistent. There were multiple threads addressing this very issue, for example from Why is Jeremy Lin so inconsistent?
    There was also this thread, The reason why Lin is not consistent. You can find hundreds of other examples on Google. Lin's inconsistency was accepted as fact, but was he actually as inconsistent as people made him out to be?

    The challenge is, how do you actually measure consistency or the lack thereof? In the NBA, pretty much any starter can have on nights and off nights, so anyone can cherry-pick games and claim that a given player is inconsistent. For example, last season Chris Paul scored 24 points on 8 of 14 with 13 assists one game, and the next game scored 4 points on 1 of 6 with 3 assists and 3 turnovers. But if you look at his season as a whole, you'll see that the 1 of 6 night was an outlier and he's actually a pretty damn consistent contributor.

    The next question is, is it fair to compare the level of consistency of Lin, a second-year starter, with seasoned veterans? It makes sense that consistency develops with experience, so how does Lin compare to other players with similar experience?

    Using Basketball-Reference.com, I looked up guards since the 1985-86 season who, in a single season, started in at least 60 games, were 23-25 years old, were in their 2nd or 3rd NBA seasons and played in at least 1000 minutes. With some scripting, I extracted just the point guards (reducing the list down to 66) and for each of those I extracted the gamelogs for the players' seasons. The list includes perennial All-Stars like Kevin Johnson, Gary Payton and Mark Jackson, but also some not-so-All-Stars like Carlos Arroyo, Smush Parker, and Luke Ridnour. With the players' gamelogs, I was able to look at the distribution of stats like field goal percentage, assists, offensive and defensive ratings and game score. I then calculated the mean and standard deviation of each stat for each player over the given season and ranked them by how large the standard deviation was compared to the mean. I'll call this value (standard deviation as a percentage of the mean) the consistency quotient (CQ). A lower CQ implies more consistency, and a higher CQ implies inconsistency. For example, for assists, Tim Hardaway's 1991-92 season was the most consistent, as he averaged 10.0 assists/game with a standard deviation of 3.0 (ie, 30% CQ). On the other hand, Isaiah Thomas's 2012-13 season was the least consistent, he averaged 4.0 assists/game with a standard deviation of 2.6, or 66% CQ.

    How does Lin's 2012-13 season rank in these stats? I opted to not include defensive rating in my analysis because it turned out that pretty much everyone was equally consistent.

    Assists: Lin is 22nd most consistent of 66, with 6.1 assists/game and a 41.3% CQ. The average CQ amongst all players is 44.2%.
    Field goal percentage: 32nd of 66, with a 34.2% CQ. Kevin Johnson (1989-90, 23.1% CQ), Pooh Richardson(1991-92, 23.1% CQ; 1990-91, 23.9% CQ) and Tim Hardaway (1990-91, 25.7% CQ; 1991-92, 26.5% CQ) are most consistent. Interestingly, near the bottom of this list are Gary Payton (1991-92, 45.3% CQ) and Mark Jackson (1989-90, 49.3% CQ). The average CQ is 34.9%.
    Offensive rating: 42nd of 66, with a 25.2% CQ. Again, Kevin Johnson (16.4% CQ), Pooh Richardson (17.5% CQ) and Tim Hardaway (18.5% CQ) head this list, and Mark Jackson (26.5% CQ) and Gary Payton (27.0% and 27.1% CQs in 1991-92 and 1992-93) are near the bottom. The average CQ is 24.2%.
    Game Score: 49th of 66, with a 63.9% CQ. Kevin Johnson (35.1% CQ), Mark Price (40.6% CQ), and Tim Hardaway (42.1% CQ) top this list. Gary Payton (1991-92, 66.0% CQ) finished below Lin. The average CQ is 57.4%.

    As you can see, Lin was pretty much middle of the pack in terms of consistency in those 4 stats compared to his historic peers. Keeping in mind that this was his first season with a new team, that he had only started 25 games prior to this season, and that Harden came on board 3 days before the start of the season, Lin didn't really do that bad. It's especially interesting that Gary Payton and Mark Jackson were near the bottom in consistency in all of those stats, and yet they eventually developed into Hall of Famers. They worked hard on their game and became a lot more consistent. Hopefully Jeremy will be able to do the same.

    By the way, if anyone is interested in the full data set that I used, let me know and I'll post it.
     
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  2. coachbadlee

    coachbadlee Member

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    Now we have hundreds plus one.
     
  3. WNBA

    WNBA Member

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    You just proved that Lin was inconsistent.
    It is nothing wrong to be inconsistent as long as he has good games in the playoffs.
     
  4. rockbox

    rockbox Around before clutchcity.com

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    A ranking 42 and 49 out of 66 is below average with 49 around the bottom 25th percentile. That is pretty inconsistent to me.
     
  5. RedDynasty

    RedDynasty Member

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    Even after reading this post, my mind is still unchanged - Lin is inconsistent as ****. He shows great promise when he is on. Driving, shooting, passing; a true PG. When he's not on, he looks so lost.

    I think, factoring the many circumstances already listed by the OP, he did well his rookie year, and he should improve this coming season.

    I will say this - if he was simply a bad player, he wouldn't have all of those excellent games.
     
  6. Haymitch

    Haymitch Custom Title
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    Over or under: 20 pages by 8:00pm tonight?

    Lin was inconsistent last year, but it's not the end of the world. Let's just accept that and hope for the best next year.

    Tony Eusebio had a 24 game hit streak.

    /troll
     
    #6 Haymitch, Aug 9, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2013
  7. RedDynasty

    RedDynasty Member

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    Under. I'll go 13-15.
     
  8. iJHolmes

    iJHolmes Member

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    pretty much. Logic, why cant everyone have it?
     
  9. coachbadlee

    coachbadlee Member

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    WTF??!! Rarely is it okay to be inconsistent. The only time is when you have other attributes to fall back on. That is Jeremy's problem.
    The truth is, the way the team is set up, you won't be needing a heck of a lot of scoring from your point. This is why Beverley fits the starting line-up better than Jeremy.
     
  10. conquistador#11

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    when you average 13-15 pts a game shooting an average of 44% from the field, you're going to have nights when you drop 8 points on three nights followed by 20+ points on three other consecutive nights.
    what Lin has to do is keep finding the open man and pretend to play defense on those nights for eye ball tests.
    this is the year some thought lowry was at the level of westbrook,
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/l/lowryky01/gamelog/2012/

    4 consecutive games of scoring 8,9,3,11. this is before he was hit with the zombie virus.

    to me if you're not...
    cpflop
    parker
    curry
    rondo
    uncle drew
    westbrook
    rose

    you're pretty much consistently inconsistent.
     
  11. dobro1229

    dobro1229 Contributing Member

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    Its friday... I'll say under.... 15 to 20.

    It doesn't take a brain surgeon to formulate a case that Lin has been inconsist throughout his NBA tenure.

    Im not going to make the usual excuses for him, but I will say Im rooting for him to have a much more stable year, and I think he can be performing something close to what we saw from games 66 to 82 for a full season. If we get that then I think its worth keeping him around if there isn't anyone better out there on the market.

    If he has a FULL season like he had last year with as much inconsistency as he had, then it might be time to start shopping for a replacement after this next year, or move him to the bench full time.
     
  12. Air Langhi

    Air Langhi Contributing Member

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    So your own stats say Lin is inconsistent?
     
  13. lightningbolt

    lightningbolt Member

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    Logic also dictates that you shouldn't ignore that he was above average in consistency in assists and field goal percentage. My conclusion doesn't state that Lin was exceptionally consistent, but that he was somewhat inconsistent, coming in somewhere in the middle compared to other 2nd/3rd year point guards in the past. I also clearly showed that there were Hall of Famers who were even more inconsistent than Lin early in their careers, so inconsistency might not necessarily be a bad thing.
     
  14. RudyTBag

    RudyTBag Contributing Member
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    Lin is unproven until he contributes in the playoffs. It's not his skill level, it's his mental toughness that I wonder about.
     
  15. larsv8

    larsv8 Contributing Member

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    If it is any consolation I consistently find Lin's groupies annoying.
     
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  16. Bigsupervise

    Bigsupervise Member

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    Should run an analysis on the suddenly slightly overrated Chandler Parsons or completly overrated Beverly.
     
  17. samoy

    samoy Member

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    i would appreciate it if you would chart it against the mean for easy viewing to be conclusive, otherwise another endless debate starts
     
  18. TeamBall

    TeamBall Member

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    He was linconsistent from NYK to HOU, lets give lin the benefit of doubt as he was transiting from undrafted to starter role in such a short time. Statistically he is expected to improve in this coming season though.
     
  19. lightningbolt

    lightningbolt Member

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    Yes, I think that's a fair conclusion to draw. I would say not excessively inconsistent but also not particularly consistent. I might be a Lin fan, but I'm at least trying to provide an objective look at his development supported by data.
     
  20. jtr

    jtr Contributing Member

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    Post the data please. I have data crunching and statistical software not generally found on any normal human being's computer. I would like to play around with it. Thanks.

    And just a sudden opinion that crossed my mind, in order even to get your mind around Lin's consistency or lack there of, pace, teammates turnovers (are those bounce passes in the lane actually Lin's turnover or Asik's?) are some of the large number of factors that must be considered, for painfully obvious reasons.

    Do not expect any feedback from me. Justifying the correctness of the underlying forest data population scheme and my parametrization of the inputs is not something I am willing to do.
     

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