Developer Chat

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

4:00 PM - 4:30 PM EST


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Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 4:00 PM EST.

We were recently asked to define the various player ratings - what do the player ratings actually mean? Since the answer to that question would probably result in multiple follow-up questions, we figured it's time for another dev. chat!

I have been playing HD for a while after some discusions in the forums recently I have come to realize i might have no idea what some of the categories mean. I was wondering if you could give me a defintion for each of the ratings? ath spd reb def blk lb pe p bh we st dur Thanks Marc (Fregoe - Hall of Famer - 11:53 AM)

Sure Marc,

Athleticism (ath): refers to physical skills/strength. In HD, athleticism is used on both sides of the ball. On offense, it plays a role in rebounding, positioning inside and how players finish around the basket. On defense, it plays a role in defensive positioning (especially inside), rebounding and shot blocking.

Speed (spd): refers to a player's quickness. Like athleticism, speed is important on both sides of the ball and the importance of which varies by position on the court, e.g. it's much more important for guards to be quick than for post players. On offense, speed is important for perimeter players to effectively be able to get to the basket. On defense, quickness is vital for overall defense, especially against guards and forwards but can benefit big men by giving them the ability to cause turnovers and it helps with shot blocking.

Rebounding (reb): refers to a player's rebounding fundamentals and his desire to rebound. Very few ratings stand alone - rebounding is an example of that - I may have a high rebounding rating which may make me a good rebounder but if I'm not also a good athlete, I'll never be a great rebounder.

Defense (def): like rebounding, defense refers to a player's defensive fundamentals and their desire to play defense. Again, knowledge of the fundamentals and having the desire are great, but you also need the athleticism and speed to be a great defender.

Shot Block (blk): refers to a player's understanding of timing and positioning when blocking shots.

Low Post (lp): refers to a player's ability to score inside the paint. Currently only applies to SF, PF and C positions on the floor.

Perimeter (pe): refers to a player's outside shooting ability. Applies to all positions on the floor with this skill carrying more weight for perimeter players (PG, SG, SF) but also plays a role for post players. The ability to score both inside and outside makes any player more difficult to stop. For example, I'd prefer a PF with 80 low post and 30 perimeter over a PF with 93 low post and 2 perimeter.

Passing (p): refers to a player's ability to know when and where to deliver the ball to their teammates. Applies to all positions on the floor but carries more weight as you move away from the basket.

Ballhandling (bh): refers to a player's ability take care of the ball. Like passing, applies to all positions on the floor but carries more weight as you move away from the basket. Ballhandling is important for players you want to be "slashers".

Work Ethic (we): work ethic impacts how hard a player works to improve.

Stamina (st): stamina refers to a player's endurance. The higher his stamina, the longer he can player without diminished skills.

Durability (du): refers to how a player deals with injuries - the higher a player's durability, the less likely they are to sustain a severe injury and when they do get injured, how quickly they'll be able to return. ( Moderator - 11:54 AM)

Is there anything one can do to get a get a kid to improve ATH without also working on SPD? (metsmax - Hall of Famer - 11:57 AM)

No, currently conditioning improves both athleticism and speed.

In real life there is a distinct difference in playing perimeter defense and interior defense (similar to being a good perimeter shooter and lp shooter). Any thoughts on breaking up interior and interior defense like you do with PE and LP? (Rails - Hall of Famer - 1:16 PM)

That's a great point and currently the engine already does that based on who you're guarding and where you are on the floor which is why we kept defensive rating as a generic skill and then look at other skills based on the situation, e.g. if I'm guarding the opposing PG, my ability to stop him is going to be largely based on speed, defensive rating and IQ whereas if I'm guarding the opposing C, my ability to stop him will be based more on athleticism, shot blocking, defensive rating and IQ.

Why did you decide to have a "Player Ratings" dev chat? (serious question, no smartassishness intended) (nfet - Hall of Famer - 1:20 PM)

Fregoe had submitted a ticket asking us to explain the ratings so I just thought that it may be information more coaches would be interested in, especially new coaches, and that it would probably lead to follow up questions so this would be good way to answer questions and then be able to save/share this transcript for future coaches.

BTW, are you making up words?

if an sg with 40 lp is playing at the sf position, does his lp rating kick in or, because he's an sg, does the lp rating not ever apply to him? (jtt8355 - Hall of Famer - 1:20 PM)

Yes, it kicks in. It's based on what position he's playing on the floor, not his natural position.

"I'd prefer a PF with 80 low post and 30 perimeter over a PF with 93 low post and 2 perimeter." Does this mean that the existence of perimeter skills makes a post player tougher to guard in the post in all situations, or is this only relevant if you play a post player at -1 instead of -2? (roguedog - Hall of Famer - 2:20 PM)

In all situations - perimeter doesn't only apply to 3pt shots - having a perimeter of 30 gives the player the ability take/make short jumpers which makes him more difficult to defend than a post player who is one dimensional.

Are there any hidden ratings that we can't see when we recruit a player? ie likelihood of complaining about minutes, getting technical fouls, making clutch shots, finding open shots, taking too many shots etc... (jck45 - Hall of Famer - 2:23 PM)

Yes and no - they all have unique personalities which play a role in such things as complaining about PT, starting, transferring, graduating or coming back for a 5th season, leaving early for the NBA, technical fouls, etc. but there is nothing hidden which impacts how they perform during a game.

Admin has stated in the main HD forum that injuries are random. Based on experience, most vets would agree that they are random. The definition of Durability above states that injuries are less likely with high Durability. Which is correct? (Weena - Hall of Famer - 3:51 PM)

Injuries are random but there is an inverse relationship between durability and injury severity - the higher the durability, the lower the chances of a *severe* injury and vice versa.

I thought work ethic had more impact than just desire to improve - for example, two otherwise identical centers with differing WE would have differing potential to collect the same rebound. Not so? (kcsundevil - Hall of Famer - 3:58 PM)

I think initially did play a small role in rebounding but it does not impact rebounding now. Work ethic can be thought of as a general willingness to want to improve whereas rebounding and defensive ratings are more indicative of the player's willingness to work at that aspect of the game.

Would you prefer to have a player with balanced but slightly lower total ATH/SPD (e.g., 40/40), or one who is less balanced but has higher total ATH/SPD (e.g., 20/70)? Would your answer be different for different positions? (bluespruce - Hall of Famer - 4:01 PM)

Good question. Obviously there are more successful coaches out there than myself, but my personal preference is to look at everything based on the position they will play on my team. If I was looking at Point Guards, I'd go with the 20 athleticism/70 speed player but if I were looking at Centers, I'd go with the 40/40 player.

Why don't players who are practicing at less that 100% in increase their Player Ratings? (nfet - Hall of Famer - 4:08 PM)

They actually do. Take the case of a player who breaks his wrist and his health drops to 29%. He can not practice or play at all until his health reaches 50%. You'll see his skills diminish the most during that time. Once he is cleared to practice, the rate of decrease to his skills begins to slow drastically but he's still losing skills since he's only practicing on a limited basis (he can't go through all the drills, but he could participate in some). As his health continues to climb, the rate of decline not only slows, but it stops and he starts to improve (normally around 80-85% health) although those improvements normally won't register right away as they are initially small and grow as his health, practice and playing time all increase.

Based on the definition provided above, are you saying that athleticism is relatively unimportant for guards on offense? (Weena - Hall of Famer - 4:11 PM)

I wouldn't go that far - I'm just saying it's more important for your post players to be strong than it is for your guards because your guards normally can also score from the outside. If you're going after a slashing type of guard, you'd want him to be quick, have great ball handling skills AND be athletic so he can finish in traffic.

Why would def be less important in a press vs. other defenses? The press requires constant defensive effort, lacking this would be disastrous in that defense. (daalter - Hall of Famer - 4:13 PM)

Defensive rating carries the most weight, even in a press, it's just that speed and athleticism are more important to a pressing defense, relatively, than in man or zone.

Since LP only refers to SF, PF, and C positions, is it useless to put any time into it for your SG or PG? (goofypook - Hall of Famer - 10:04 PM)

If you're fairly certain that you're not going to move them to SF, PF or C, then no, there's no reason to practice LP for your PG or SG.

During a game, does a player's BLK rating affect some shots that are *not* blocked (but perhaps altered nonetheless), or only those that show up as actual blocks in the box score? (bluespruce - Hall of Famer - 10:06 PM)

Yes, there are altered shots. Rails made the suggestion to add those to the play by play and that's something that we've added to the list.

If a player has say a low rebounding of say less than 10, will there ever be a way to increase those ratings? Espcially if the Work Ethic is pretty high, I dont see why they wouldnt improve faster. (dmiles1200 - Hall of Famer - 1:47 PM)

Currently it's very difficult to do so. With the addition of potential, that will all change. I've had quite a few questions submitted asking about potential, how it will work, what effect work ethic will play so hopefully I can address all of those at once but I'm planning on doing that in a dev. chat dedicated just to that topic. With regards to timing, it's the next major change on the list.

does presitige effect perfromance beyond the ratings? In other words, If two teams had the same players, same iq and same gameplan, would the team with higher prestige have any advantage like a multiplier on the player ratings? For it seems like a team with equal or better players, iq etc at home versus a team with higher prestige still more likely than not will lose....Thanks. (jgsolari3 - Hall of Famer - 1:48 PM)

No, prestige has no impact on the actual game itself.

"...certain that you're not going to move them to SF, PF or C...there's no reason to practice LP for your PG or SG." Can you just redrill this statement into my hard head :) Lets say there are 2 PGs (or even SGs) playing their natural position w/ identical ratings & off IQ. PG-A's LP = 3 while PG-B's LP =70. The difference in their LP ratings will have no effect on their short jump shots or lay-ups regardless of the offense or defense schemes used? (jaisonline - Hall of Famer - 1:51 PM)

That is correct - if I had a PG with a 70 low post, I'd move him to SF.

What ratings contribute the most to turnovers by a PG? Which two would you want highest BH, P, AT, SP or IQ? (wyounggw - Hall of Famer - 1:53 PM)

This is another area which will vary by position - for a PG, it's pretty equal between ball handling, passing and IQ. For a center on the other hand, passing and IQ play a much bigger role than ball handling.

I use zone for most of my teams and that mostly means the 2-3. I've tinkered with the 3-2, but I can't seem to get it to work because I can't figure out if the player I put at SF needs to be quick to defend perimeter players, or should have a high REB rating because otherwise, I just get killed on the glass. Is there a formula (probably not the right word) or an attribute for that SF position that would allow the 3-2 to be more successful - or at least, more effective? (rockyg13 - Hall of Famer - 1:57 PM)

Good question, in the zone the SF probably needs to be the most versatile player on your team, especially if you're switching between 2-3 and 3-2. Ideally if you were two deep at the SF spot, you'd have a SF that was quicker that you'd give more time when playing a 3-2 and a SF that was more athletic/better rebounder when playing the 2-3.

Are a player's height and weight at all factored into the game or are they strictly cosmetic for the roster sheet? (mulder613 - Hall of Famer - 2:00 PM)

Cosmetic. Height and weight are (for the most part) reflected in their ratings but they can have impact, e.g. if my PF grows 2 inches from season to season, you'll most likely see corresponding increases to rebounding and shot blocking.

In regards to athleticism, does finishing around the basket translate to dunking? Does height matter at all when it comes to dunking or is it just athleticism? (njh144 - Hall of Famer - 2:02 PM)

Yes, both dunking and just finishing in traffic.

Do perimeter and low-post ratings matter on defense at all or are they soley offensive ratings? (jck45 - Hall of Famer - 2:03 PM)

Solely offensive ratings - no impact on defense.

Why do guys with good speed/ath and good PER shoot poorly from 3s, over a long period of time? Is there something else factored in? Conversely, why do good speed/ath guys with good DEF seem to play bad DEF over long periods of time, specifically in M2M. (homerjoe1973 - Hall of Famer - 2:19 PM)

Actually nothing correlates higher to 3pt shooting than perimeter rating. Obviously many other factors play a role as to whether a shot goes in or not, e.g. IQ, ball handling, home/away, fatigue, defender, defensive style, positioning, etc.

Regarding injuries - are there thoughts regarding looking at the type of injury and the ratings it impacts? For example, I had a player in Tark miss 16 games with 2 separate ankle injuries. He suffered a serious regression in LP, PE and P, while his ATH and SPD stayed the same. I think the longer term effects of ankle injuries would be a reduction in a player's explosiveness and quickness, rather than their knowledge of low post moves or the form on their jump shot. (acn24 - Hall of Famer - 2:21 PM)

Agree 100%, we'd like to have ratings declines match the type of injury and it's on our long-term list of things we'd like enhance, but I think there are more important/beneficial changes that we can incorporate prior.

What attributes affect a player: a) losing a pass out of bounds, b)stepping out of bounds, and c)traveling? (billabercrom - Hall of Famer - 4:07 PM)

Based on the position of the player it will vary, but all turnovers are based on passing, ball-handling, IQ, the defender's skills and defensive style.

Since the LP of a player playing PG or SG's is irrelevant, what happens when you set a PG or SG to -2? Does that mean they will drive to the hoop rather than shoot? (roguedog - Hall of Famer - 4:13 PM)

Each player (not just PGs and SGs) has a natural tendency as to where they'll fall on the spectrum with at one end drive to the basket every time and the other end spot up and shoot 3s all day. That tendency is then influenced by the defense you're facing - if I'm facing a 2-3 zone and I'm set to a 'zero' for 3pt frequency, I'll probably shoot more 3s than if I was set to a 'zero' and I was facing a 3-2 zone +5. All of that said, by decreasing their 3pt frequency you're telling the player to look for other shots - the mix of which will be based on the player's ratings. For example, if I have a guard that is low in athleticism, slow, poor ball handler but has a high perimeter, even if you put him to a -2 (not sure why you would, but play along), he's not going to turn into Dwayne Wade and vice versa.

why do players with low passing ratings never get any assists? I can understand getting very few but I dont see how a player can play 20 mintues a game for 4 years and get 0 assists. They should get a few by chance alone. (Fregoe - Hall of Famer - 4:16 PM)

I don't think that happens that frequently. I just checked players that have played in 60 or more career games with no assists and there were 52 - out of 31,457 possible players that met that criteria. Much of that will also be based on not just passing rating, but offensive distribution - if you're shooting, you're not passing.

Thanks for doing the chat. How do skill ratings figure into those mysterious preseason recruiting class rankings? Are there "intangibles" (things we can't see) that are used there, and if so, what are they? (kcsundevil - Hall of Famer - 4:18 PM)

No, there are no skills that you can't see - we just weight them so when we rank recruits we may not feel that durability carries the same weight as speed for example.

On a 1% to 100% scale, how much does a player's overall rating influence whether a player is drafted or not? (jaisonline - Hall of Famer - 4:21 PM)

Tricky question because we do look at ratings and stats when we it's time for players to declare early for the NBA draft or for when the draft is actually held - but it's not overall rating that we look at. We look at different skills by position so for example it's more important for PGs to be quick, have great ballhandling and passing skills (at least that's what David Stern told me last week in Vegas).

what are the maximum minutes of practice per rating before reaching a point of diminishing returns? what is the minimum amount of practice necessary so as not to begin to diminsh one's skills at a given rating? (gggross - Hall of Famer - 4:22 PM)

It really varies by player, the rule of thumb I use is that I don't go over 25 minutes in offense or defense and I don't go over 20 minutes for any skill practice.

In regards to Centers and PF's perimeter ratings, at what rating would it be wise to allow them to take the occaisional 3 (a -1 setting) At 30, 35, 40 or would you say higher still? And does this perhaps vary between players on DI, DII and DIII level? (AceCards - Hall of Famer - 4:30 PM)

Good question - there's not a single answer as there are other variables that you'd need to consider (is he a good ball handler - would he be okay out on the perimeter, speed, defense, etc.). I had a PF a few seasons back at UConn in Naismith that had a high perimeter (I think 60 or 65) and I'd put him on +1 if I was facing a 2-3 or press and 0 against any other defense. That's kind of unusual but he did fine from outside. Normally if I had a big man with a 30 or less (at DI), I wouldn't want him shooting 3s. BTW, yes, a 30 at DI may not be that great, but at DIII I may have him shooting 3s.

FT practicing drives me crazy. That is a hidden trait - the ability to improve FT shooting. Every player responds differently to minutes. Can an "F" free throw shooter get much worse with no minutes? (jetsonsa - Hall of Famer - 4:31 PM)

Absolutely - F is just a range so it's the same as if you took at test and you had the option of getting a 59 or a 0 - both are Fs but the 59 is MUCH better.

What factors affect ratings improving during the off-season. Is it based greatly on WE, or are there other small factors? (ttusamsteen - Hall of Famer - 4:33 PM)

Off-season improvement is based almost solely on work ethic - I say almost because we have a random piece to that logic so while higher work ethic players will (on average) show the most gains in the off-season, that won't always be the case.

This is my 1st question ever asked in a dev. chat. So, I'm 5-10 with a beer belly. Bad ball handler, decent jumper, tough D and two bad knees. Give me my ratings please. (leebubba - Hall of Famer - 4:35 PM)

Ballhandling=8, Athleticism=32, Defense=71, Rebounding=46, Speed=21, Health=1%

You had mentioned previously (or at least I read in the forums that mentioned it-perhaps its just forum fact) that the low end on free throw improvement would be dropped so that kids free throw grade wouldn't drop as quickly. However, I've seen kids drop w/ just 9 min of practice, while prior to the change I could often cut their free throw practice time down to 8 min, and never see a change. Do you plan to lower the minimum min required on free throws? (taz21 - Hall of Famer - 4:37 PM)

As with all skills, the minimum amount of practice time will vary by player - it's going to be based on their current rating, work ethic and playing time. For the average player, you need about 7 minutes to maintain skills.

do certain ratings pertain more to specific offenses and defenses, for example does speed means more in flex than in motion. also, do certain positions / ratings pertain more to specific offenses and defense, for example SG / speed means more in flex than in motion, while PG / speed may work differently (in this example PG speed may mean more in motion than in flex) (oldresorter - Hall of Famer - 4:42 PM)

Unlike defenses, the differences between the 3 traditional offenses are minimal enough that regardless of the offense, I'm always looking for the same things - high IQ at every position (especially PG), good ball handling/passing PG, good inside/outside threat at SG and SF, good athleticism and low post skills at PF and C.

We apologize if we didn't get to your question - we attempt to get to as many different users as possible but it's almost always impossible to answer every question, but as always, thanks for taking the time to post your questions!

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