Wednesday, May 05, 2010

A Short ADS Follow-Up

Jason Kidd Shot Chart - Game 3

Tons and tons of feedback on the ADS (Average Distance per Shot) study I wrote here. In fact, if you haven't read the comment section on the original post, please do. Also, The Dallas Basketball message board thread was quite active, too. Thanks for all of your interest.

As I wrote initially, I am not saying ADS is a) useful or b) truth. I honestly don't know what it means, other than it has been an observational theory I have had for years and years and am now trying to validate through numbers.

Sadly, the only way to do this is to see the ADS of every player in the league from every game. And we don't have the time - unless some NBA team wants to hire me to run these numbers and quit my day job.

So, anecdotal evidence is the best we can do. We started with Team Data for the Mavs in the 2010 NBA Playoffs which only constituted 6 games - all against the same opponent. Many of you have properly pointed out that this opens up all sorts of flaws, which I agree.

Next, we will get individual numbers for each player. My plans from there are to then go back a few years and add the New Orleans '08, San Antonio '09, and Denver '09 playoff series (or, all of the Jason Kidd-era playoff games). It might also be useful to look at the playoff run of 2006 to see how they did it in the NBA Finals year, too.

Then, I hope to compare it to NBA Champions of the last few years, and cherry-pick players who I need to establish some levels of a baseline (Chris Paul '08, Steve Nash '10) for Point Guards who do effort to get in the paint.

But, as you can see, this is a ton of data to collect and perhaps a ton of tired head.

Anyway, here is a taste of what TC found from the Jason Kidd series:

JASON KIDD vs SAN ANTONIO, 2010 Playoffs

Game 15-1413.8
Game 21-615.5
Game 31-625.0
Game 43-1019.2
Game 53-59.2
Game 61-623.0

HTML Tables

A few observations:

* Pointing out that Jason Kidd is a perimeter shooter is as silly as pointing out Erick Dampier doesn't take a lot of 3's.

* He shot horribly in this series, and the Spurs were determined not to let him get comfortable out there for open 3's. Of course, he appears to have no counter to that defense at this point against that opponent.

* 17.6 is easily the worst on the team.

* His two lowest ADS games were the two games the Mavs won.

Sometime soon, I want to respond to many of your comments and concerns. Just haven't had the time yet. It will happen.


Phil K. said...

It has to be said that there was something to Jason Kidd not being 100% healthy, this series. There was constant talk of him having some kind of flu and, if this is true, his energy level would've been rock-bottom. I don't see any value in running numbers for him for Playoffs 2010.

Remember, these guys aren't machines. There are some intangibles that must be taken into consideration including sickness and injury.

Doctorjorts said...

I don't remember even hearing rumors that anyone on the team was ill. Are you sure that's not revisionist history?

Bob, after thinking about it some more, I think the stat is a very busy one that has a few big flaws. The further a player is from the basket, the more open a player needs to be to make that shot worthwhile. If the mavs are driving and kicking and taking wide open jumpers, that's great. That's a winning game plan. The driving player collapses the defense and gets the jump-shooters open shots.

The problem is, that's going to show up perfectly identical to a gameplan where players trot up the court, stand around and then heave up a jumper with the shot clock around 5 and a defender draped all over them. What you'd rather have is a stat that shows how deep the ball got in the half-court set toward the basket in the 2-3 seconds before a shot was taken. Unfortunately, the NBA doesn't keep stats on dribble penetration.

What if you looked at unassisted ADS to see what players' instincts are when they haven't been set up by dribble penetration? I have a feeling you'll see an even better correlation between unassisted ADS and points scored/unassisted shot than ADS and points scored/shot overall.

Doctorjorts said...

Oh, and Bob, here's another thing. You praised Kidd a month or so ago for his ability to lift the team with his play. You really ought to go back and look at Kidd's shot selection when the Mavs were rolling. You can't praise the man for being responsible for an incredible winning streak and just a month later say he's the embodiment of everything that's wrong with the team. Criticize him for not making the shots, or for not switching up his game when the shots aren't falling. But I have a sneaking suspicion that Kidd's ADS would be very similar between the playoffs and the regular season, even (and especially) when they're beating everyone.

southwick said...

..How odd is it that the Mavericks won game 1 & game 5..while Kidd had his lowest ADS (and coincidentally some of his best scoring) on those two nights?

rncantu said...

Jason Kidd can't penetrate to the basket. At 37, I don't want him wasting his energy for something he can no longer do very well. If he did make the effort what defense he does provide would suffer greatly. Nash can get to the hole and is still great on offense but the Suns have to make an effort to hide him on defense. When it comes time for the Suns to cover five guys then it will come back to bite them.

The Mavs do need better production out of their point. They also need better production out of the small-forward position. I would be happy with Butler sliding over and having a frontcourt of Butler, Nowitzki, and Haywood. I think Marion needs to come off the bench and be a bruce bowen(i can't capitalize his name) type. The backcourt needs serious help. Mavs should try and wrestle away Iguodala as their big 2010 move.

Dahlsim said...

No stat reveals everything about a game if taken in isolation.

This stat shows something about penetration and how much a team tended to force the issue on getting close shots. That has always been valuable in basketball where the basic idea is "get a good shot". That's the goal.

A close shot has a tendency to be a better shot in terms of % of success vs. a long shot, but of course there will be other factors and STATS that have be combined with "ADS" in order to make a good assessment.

None of that takes away from the value of ADS as a stat to use with other stats.