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Rockets Performance Compared to All Young Teams Historically (Overachieving Possibly?)

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Shroopy2, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. Shroopy2

    Shroopy2 Contributing Member

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    [MORE ACCURATE Title: Rockets Performance Compared to All Young Teams SINCE 1980.) Maybe mods can change it)

    I remembered reading some article a FEW YEARS back about how there's a correlation between team age and W/L success. That young teams don't win much and have worse defense, and more experienced teams translates directly to more winning. (And searched the site and realized it was actually ME who posted it here long ago :p In a thread about the Blazers in '09)

    Here's that article from Basketball Prospectus, from 2009. Its about how the Blazers that year overachieved. Though can definitely apply some things to this Rockets team

    Age and Success in the NBA : Doing the Math http://www.basketballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=571

    Some excerpts. We're just gonna skip 3 seasons and compare directly to that year, keep things short:
    2009 tally
    Rockets average age going into THIS SEASON: 23.98 years
    Meaning the Rockets are VERY young probably top 5-7 youngest at least since 1980.

    There's this graph that has dots for every team since 1980, placed by age and winning percentage. The teams farthest left are the youngest teams.

    Only concentrate on the left side at the few teams left of the "24" mark.
    I sketched in some lines and dots, the RED dot is the current Rockets and the green line is age "25" and a random cutoff to just have around 15 teams left of the line. The green circles are teams of note.

    [​IMG]

    I'm not a pro at this, just had a little time on my hands to look at stuff. Though remember we're leaving out 2010-thru-2012

    It shows that only 2 out of 15 teams YOUNGER than the Rockets ever have finished with a NON-losing record, at .500 or better.
    Only the 2009 Blazers had a WINNING record being the same team age as the Rockets.

    That team had a healthy Brandon Roy, #2 pick Lamarcus Aldridge and #1 pick Greg Oden who squeezed out 61 games that year. Rockets are a decent comparison, they have James Harden, Chandler Parsons who's their "Nic Batum", Asik who's like their Pryzbilla/Greg Oden combo, and Lin who's like their Steve Blake/Sergio Rodriguez. Difference is Rockets don't have anything like Lamarcus Aldridge.

    Do think this Rockets team STILL could have a couple other W's and can stand to be sharper in some areas. Their turnovers and bad defense is a sore spot. Can possibly be better coached.

    The article talks about other things too like offensive and defensive efficiency, but thats the main part of it. Considering the amount of roster change and team distractions whether its the Jeremy Lin spotlight and pressure, "poison pill" contracts, tragedies in coaches personal lives, the best player joining the team merely days before the season began, and a draft pick opting to not even play days before the season began, and injuries to some players within that time,

    would say maybe the Rockets are doing reasonably decent relative to other teams in the same position.
     
    #1 Shroopy2, Dec 17, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2012
    10 people like this.
  2. just a word

    just a word Member

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    very neat! Thank you for pulling this up!

    Though I have to admit, I'm a little confused, you had Rockets average age in the text as 23.98, but in the graph, if the Rockets this season is RED, then it's roughly at 24.5 Effective Age... Is this because the Rocket's Effective Age is higher because of Asik's relative age?
     
  3. split41

    split41 Member

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    Someone is another thread has made a similar claim to this - I think it was torocan?

    He pretty much said that with the exception of 2-3 teams not many young teams have winning seasons or hover around .500.

    That is to the best of my recollection, though.
     
  4. kmav23

    kmav23 Rookie

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    youngest team in the nba and your 50% thats good in any season !!!

    plus cap room and flexibility
     
  5. kmav23

    kmav23 Rookie

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    we are going to lose close games... and lots of away games...
     
  6. Sports2012

    Sports2012 Member

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    If you look at the ranking of 2012-13, you will notice that the Thunders are still among the top three youngest and they have the best winning record of the League right now.

    It took them several year since they drafted Durant and started rebuilding the team. At the beginning year their record was well below .500 and they couldn't make the playoffs.

    But their owner, front office, coaching staff and core players have only goal--win a championship. They have a goal, strategic plans for each year, recruiting and development of new blood. They do it consistently.

    They know they have to lose enough games to learn how to win consistently.

    And now this is the year for them to win the championship.

    There is a lot that we have to learn from them. Average team age statistically could be correlated to the team winning rates, but we should not just accept that.

    Get in the playoffs or build the team regardless of that? The Rockets has been floundering for six years, averaging above .500 for the last 6 years and missing the playoffs for the last three.

    It requires a top-down candid communication on exactly where we want to go and how to get there. So far this is like a piece of fog above the team's head, and with a young team of course there will be ups and downs, and all these inconsistencies. They need to be cleaned up from the top down.
     
  7. haoafu

    haoafu Contributing Member

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    Even with Harden trade, pretty much all the anlaysts thought we'll be below .500 and in the bottom of the league. And I think that's the same sentiment for most fans as well.

    Then all of a sudden Morey came out and claimed our goal is still playoff. Expectation took off and we are all pumped up.

    I think Morey is a great GM at evaluating talent, but he needs to improve on a couple things:

    1) Underpromise and overachieve.

    2) Set guidelines to prevent injuries.

    #2 is the ultimate important thing, but unfortunately we're very likely to repeat history. We all know our future is a few years from now, but we still let Harden play 40 minutes after a bad ankle roll, Parsons play through shoulder injury, Ppat with another injury, Lin's clearly not at his pre-injury form...Why? Because the awareness for long term success is not there, and GM/coaches want short term good record as bad as the regular fans. In a few years, GM/coaches may not be here anymore, but all the win/loss are on their resume.

    Better yet, history shows an irony: Once a star player was injured, fans/media rarely blame the management/coach. On the contrary, Any record not as bad as expected would represent achievement of the GM/coaches.
     
  8. DrNuegebauer

    DrNuegebauer Member

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    Thanks for the graph! Good to have the data spelt out for us!

    It was clear that a "direction" for the team was taken, (and this was noted before the draft) and was to get young, get high upside players and try to either develop an all-star from within, or have enough 'pieces' to make a move to get one.
    Things fell our way with Harden, and we parlayed our 'pieces' into a (soon to be) all-star.

    But we're still one of the youngest teams ever put on the basketball court, and surely one of the most inexperienced! Prior to this season, only a handful of guys on the entire roster had started more than 10 times in the NBA.

    With youth and inexperience comes trials - and thanks to Shroopy's graph, it's fairly evident that young teams tend to struggle.

    What is also worth noting is that the young Blazers team had Aldrige (179 NBA starts) and Roy (207 NBA starts) as their team leaders. Our entire starting lineup had 98 NBA starts at the beginning of the season.
    So here's what we take out of this: young teams DO struggle, but to achieve anything near a .500 record with a very young club is a significant achievement and bodes well for the future.
     
  9. just a word

    just a word Member

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    Every single time some number like this comes to my attention I can't help but just gape a little. Because WOW this team is inexperienced.
     
  10. DrNuegebauer

    DrNuegebauer Member

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    Can you help me with this!

    I'm seeing only 2 teams finishing at .500 to the left of the green line, but both those teams are OLDER than the Rockets are this season right?

    So no team of similar or younger age to this years Rockets has ever had a .500 or better season right?


    Also worth noting that by keeping the same squad, but giving them another years experience, we'd qualify to go on that graph again!
    [the 4 guys not projected to be with the team next year are 24,25,26,30 - all guys who 'raise' the average age]
     
  11. Shroopy2

    Shroopy2 Contributing Member

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    Like I said, this isnt my strong suit, I'm no Bimathug or durvasa :) I just found an article with a nice enough picture (from 2009) add speckled some stuff in here to make a point.

    I wouldnt say Rockets are one of the youngest EVER. Just one of the youngest since 1980.

    I didnt do too much deep an analysis because the article itself didnt give enough details. (For instance, there's a dot on the .500 level. But it could be representative of a .495 record, but there's not enough info provided to know).

    So I didnt try to be TOO exact, just give some approximations.

    The graph only put dots on there for teams, but it did not say WHO THE DOTS RESPRESENTED. And those dots were all small and hard to count, coulda be 18 dots to the left, I was doing that late night while having a "Pabst" :grin:

    There's also the skipped 2010-2012 seasons that COULDA had teams that counted (for instance, OKC Thunder but I didnt look at their team age).So its not quite a COMPLETE look, its just to give a rough outline to introduce the point, can try to pinpoint things later.
     
  12. Shroopy2

    Shroopy2 Contributing Member

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    I assumed the ages listed in the graph and in the article are for COMPLETED seasons, or that Blazers team age was at the END of the season.

    The 23.98 age was Rockets age to START the season. So I moved the red dot over to try to match end-of-year age.

    Also the article's age method was based ON TEAM MINUTES PLAYED, not by averaging players ages together. So if you add Delfino in there, it bumps that "effective" age up more. I didnt try to match their method exact, just considered it.

    I figured the Thunder would be one of the teams within that 2010-2012 gap that'd factor in. For SURE their STARTING LINEUP age was young last year in the Finals.

    You can say 2 things about the Rockets approach. That they're still ahead of teams with similar LACK of starting experience.

    Or imagine if the Rockets actually TANKED SOONER, and added a top 6-8 pick and maybe got a Brandon Roy, Aldridge, Russell Westbrook type to add to the current rebuild. That seems glass half-full, but really the rebuild COULD have started sooner and Rockets could be right along the with OKC plan
     
  13. don grahamleone

    don grahamleone Contributing Member

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    Amazing thread. Can you tell us anything about the gathering of your data? Did you get some of this from a website or do you have access to basketball advanced statistics somewhere?

    Either way, fine work and this reminds me of clutchfans circa clutchcity.net!
     
  14. don grahamleone

    don grahamleone Contributing Member

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    Classic clutchfans bbs mistake. Read first, then post!

    Ahaaaa. Ahhhaaaaa.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. jtr

    jtr Contributing Member

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    Good post! But I think that the Rockets organization is focused in on 20014-2015. I do not think that their actions are a cause for concern. This season is just a "show me what you got" platform. Morey is not going to allow his prized nest eggs any chance of hurting their careers.
     
  16. jtr

    jtr Contributing Member

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    I am OK. I have made well more of my mistakes ...
     
  17. theaesirsfinest

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    I think our players display higher basketball IQ than befits their age, but they definitely still make a lot of mistakes due to inexperience.

    This is great for perspective though. Our team still has so much room to grow and a lot of fixable mistakes, yet we're still in the playoff race at .500. I love our team.
     
  18. OremLK

    OremLK Member

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    If we could add a legit all-star PF we'd be a perennial title contender in a year or two. As it is, things are looking up.
     
  19. Carl Herrera

    Carl Herrera Contributing Member

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    OKC is the 14th youngest team in the league this season:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/leagues/NBA_2013.html

    Where did you get your info?
     
  20. Grigori

    Grigori Member

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    Overachieving is when you look back at your games and go "Damn, how in the heck did we pull out that win?" more than the other way around. The Rockets this year goes, "Damn, how in the heck did we lose that one?" a lot more than the other way around.

    No, they are not overachieving. They are underachieving. You are not overachieving when you could have very well been 16-8 but you are 12-12 instead.
     

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