10/23/2012 12:15 PM
Posted by coach_billyg on 10/22/2012 5:17:00 PM (view original):
Posted by jack_duck on 10/22/2012 3:53:00 PM (view original):
Oops, I did it again.

With my Rose Hulman team in Wooden.  This time against D2 simmys instead of D3.  At least I lost this time, but only 12 TO's each game.  Where it actually seems to be hurting me is in shooting percentage.  And maybe a little in rebounding...but my team's rebounding ratings are uninspiring anyway.

I really don't like this.  I don't know what it means.  It has made me notice, that other than on certain plays (assists or TO's), the PBP really doesn't tell you who's handling the ball.  Maybe there's a reason for that.
there is a reason the PBP doesnt tell you who's handling the ball. simple: nobody handles the ball. if someone could link the sim engine description i think it would be helpful for this discussion. effectively, outside some miscellaneous bullshit, the engine starts the possession by deciding who has the ball. then, there is the infamous TSF decision - turnover, shot, foul. the player has one of these 3 outcomes. note, pass and dribble are NOT options. if shot, theres some logic if he makes it, and it sort of goes like that for the rest of it.

thats pretty much it. the sim engine broken down to 3 sentences. is it possible to realistically capture the mechanics of basketball like this? no. that is why (IMO) the WIS guys published an article back in which the miami heat WITHOUT chris bosh actually had an INCREASED chance of winning a potential series. in what reality can LOSING CHRIS BOSH HELP YOUR WINNING CHANCES?? i mean its not the 1992 dream team we are talking about. its the miami heat. lebron and wade are already starting. WHO CAN YOU POSSIBLY REPLACE CHRIS BOSH WITH WHO DOESNT START ON THE HEAT THAT MAKES THEM BETTER??? PLEASE. TELL ME NOW AND I WILL NEVER SPEAK ANOTHER ILL WORD AGAINST THE HD SIM AGAIN.

this is why the game just doesnt make that much sense, and why ive started, stopped, and started again making my own sim engine about 15 different times. i mean, come on. the first real decision is who has the ball? it just doesnt pass the ol' litmus test. assists are PURELY cosmetic in this game - window dressing - so totally ignore them in your study about the bigs playing guards - it has nothing to do with anything (how can a good sim engine have assists be TOTALLY FAKED??). i mean, you can back-door some of this **** through creative equation creation after that TSF decision. but only in an artificial manner.

ive studied game results extensively, ridiculously extensively you could say. and as a extremely proficient software developer, i can often see beyond the results, to guess the code working behind the scenes - and it leaves me appalled. that is actually the #1 reason i have been retired in place the last 3 years - sure, i can spend the time, and win titles - but at what benefit? i see the sim engine for what it is, and it repulses me on a deep level. if i was still winning left and right, i would be doing it in a way that has little to do with real basketball and now that the thrill of reverse engineering a simulation game has passed (having largely completed that), i just want to play a bastketball game - and this aint it. the way i ran my unstoppable teams does not follow conventional basketball wisdom at all. in the new engine, im *just* finally at the point of getting back into it, to figure out what makes it tick with sebles changes - and once again, it has pretty little to do with conventional basketball wisdom (Admittedly, i am not an expert of that, but i know enough. and i am an expert about the HD sim itself - i can honestly say i was not a top 50 d1 recruiter in HD when i won 5 d1 titles in 9 years in the "coin flip dynasty" days when nobody was dominating -  one of the greatest accomplish in all of HD history. and by the way, i had 6 d1 seasons IN MY LIFE at the point i pulled that off, so to say i was not a top 50 recruiter is the understatement of the century. my success was PURELY a result of knowing that sim engine inside and out better than anyone. and i can tell you, having looked at it at that depth, its just not pretty. its a hacked up piece of **** by my standards, and its a god damn miracle it passes for a basketball sim. i think its because most people dont have the math and theoretical computing backgrounds to break it down for what it is. good basketball tactics just dont work enough, and i think people all suspect it, they feel it, and people complain about it all the time. but they also have too much uncertainty about the sim's inner workings to be confident what they are doing SHOULD work and that it just isnt because the SIM just isnt good enough, and what about the sim makes it that way).

well that concludes my daily rant. ill try to keep it to one today, i think i was pretty drunk the other night (well, no doubt about that) and had a few rants around the board, although i think i found and deleted most of them. i think ill let this one stand though... at least for a couple hours. its just one of those subjects that gets me going because HD could be so big and they **** it up so bad in so many ways. and as my mastery being theoretical problem solving, the approach of the TSF decision kills me. i would have to literally shoot myself in the head before i could create something so poorly designed, from a theoretical standpoint. and OF COURSE, it manifests itself in the eventual quality of the sim. no, you shouldnt be able to run a 5 big lineup and make sweet 16s and **** regularly. no, you shouldn't be able to run a 5 guard lineup and do the same. but you can, because this sim engine is a poorly thought out product, plain and simple.

honestly its 100% the enjoyment i get from interacting with the community, especially my dearly, dearly beloved GLV tark conference (the strongest longest non d1 conf dynasty HD has ever seen, which has had a phenomenal group of guys over the years), that keeps me here. its not the sim. at this point, i am making a push to get back into the game. why? because i cant stand the random comments i hear from time to time doubting me as a coach. i was basically as successful in my prime as any coach has ever been and i would like to prove that was no fluke before i retire. plus, i expect by the time i finish the 1 year push, hopefully taking home a handful of titles (ill never get where i was - i just am too disgusted by parts of this game to spend a half hour a day actually playing ever again - i still spend more time talking about HD than i do playing my damn teams, by a long shot, and that will never change - but still, i can at least win a few). and then ill be able to retire, hopefully with a sterling reputation in terms of my understanding of THIS sim engine, which i hope will help me get coaches to try MY version of the sim engine - when you know what is wrong in version 1, you should always be able to make a superior version 2. its just a side project now, but i would love to make it my full time job - and i will, if i can get the damn project finished and get enough people playing to support my family as i try to take it to the next level.
Read the article on ESPN about how Miami is moving to a positionless system.  Just guys using their skills not being put into a 'position'.  Technically, when Lebron played the 4 with Bose out, his PER was out of the world, and Miami had an increase in points per 100 possessions.  It did have a statisticly positive effect on the heat.  Now Bosh is a good player, and doesn't take much off the table (he's not a physical center, but there are not that many of them left in league) and miami has to many skill players to worry about Bosh losing a battle during a game.
10/23/2012 12:25 PM
what about stats like reb and blk... even with an increase in points per 100 possessions, i would sure expect those to be overcome it. are you saying on the whole, when you look at it all, they did better with bosh out? i mean even i can even see it over the short run. but if they could really do better over the long run (outside team chemistry, like if hes a total dick or something), then i really know less about basketball than i thought i did...
10/23/2012 1:41 PM
Hey -- I don't have any horse in this race, and am well aware that assists are window-dressing.  And really, I'm just trying to avoid doing work here by commenting, but Billy -- your theoretical example above wherein a PG's assists go from 3.5 to 4 because a big man's LP goes up 20: I'm not sure I understand.  True, the PG didn't "make the team better" even though his assists went up.  But it's like saying Stockton wouldn't have gotten 12 assists per game if the Jazz didn't have Malone -- no one thinks Stockton's theoretical jump from what probably would've been 8-9 assists without Malone is due to Stockton making the team 3 assists better.  And, if I were the Jazz PG instead of Stockton, I would've gotten (say) 6 assists per game even with Malone.  So the real comparison is, in a world with Karl Malone, how much better did Stockton make the Jazz than jeffdrayer would've made them, and the answer would be 6 assists.  So even though assists are window-dressing -- given the same HD team, but with one having a 99 spd/passing PG and the other with a 40 spd/passing PG, both set at the same distribution: the first one will have more assists.  And so we learn that he was more valuable to his team.  After all, assists aren't handed out randomly -- they're handed out by position (PG > C), and within that position, by a player's abilities (99 passer gets more assists than 40 passer).

But maybe I'm not understanding your argument?
10/23/2012 1:46 PM
The only number I look at is percentage of made field goals by teammates while a player is on the floor.  If he takes more shots rest of the team makes less field goals so the number of assists goes down, if the teammates make a better percentage for intrinsic reason the number of assists goes up.  As long as those things are roughly proportional to the number of shots being converted by the teammates it doesn't change the relevant rate stat.  You know better than to dismiss something in the game out of hand because an absolute number isn't relevant.  You can still learn a lot about rebounding by looking at a combination of the team's rebound margin and a player's proportion of the team rebounds while he's on the floor.  Obviously a rebound total isn't meaningful in a vacuum in this game, and realistically I think it would be very difficult to program around that.  But that doesn't mean you can't learn anything from it if you boil it down to a rate stat in terms of percentage of opportunities, which we both know is basically how everything in this game works.
10/23/2012 2:37 PM (edited)
Posted by jeffdrayer on 10/23/2012 1:41:00 PM (view original):
Hey -- I don't have any horse in this race, and am well aware that assists are window-dressing.  And really, I'm just trying to avoid doing work here by commenting, but Billy -- your theoretical example above wherein a PG's assists go from 3.5 to 4 because a big man's LP goes up 20: I'm not sure I understand.  True, the PG didn't "make the team better" even though his assists went up.  But it's like saying Stockton wouldn't have gotten 12 assists per game if the Jazz didn't have Malone -- no one thinks Stockton's theoretical jump from what probably would've been 8-9 assists without Malone is due to Stockton making the team 3 assists better.  And, if I were the Jazz PG instead of Stockton, I would've gotten (say) 6 assists per game even with Malone.  So the real comparison is, in a world with Karl Malone, how much better did Stockton make the Jazz than jeffdrayer would've made them, and the answer would be 6 assists.  So even though assists are window-dressing -- given the same HD team, but with one having a 99 spd/passing PG and the other with a 40 spd/passing PG, both set at the same distribution: the first one will have more assists.  And so we learn that he was more valuable to his team.  After all, assists aren't handed out randomly -- they're handed out by position (PG > C), and within that position, by a player's abilities (99 passer gets more assists than 40 passer).

But maybe I'm not understanding your argument?
its true, there is a rough correlation with assists. what im saying is its burried under so many other variables, much more dominant than "the pg impact on team fg%". what you are saying makes sense, i am saying the same thing. when stockton had malone on his team, compared to not, his assists went up. to know what the actual impact HE had was, you would someone have to abstract away the quality of the team - the lp/per, ath/spd of the rest of the players. take a PG on my team, put him on a ****** team, and his assists might double - but his intrinsic value of a player, from an objective standpoint, is the same. the amount of assists he gets or does not get really doesn't tell you much about why your fg% is where it is - the rest of the players on the team have a WAY bigger impact (in HD, that is one of the respects where HD really differs from real life - easy to believe, i think, considering it was a non factor previously).

all im saying is this - you are saying, stockton got 12 apg because he had malone. what if another pg was there? doesnt even have to be from the same time. would rondo have gotten more or less than 12 apg? who the hell knows. they have different teams and you just can't say. what im saying is this - burried under a mountain of variables, somewhere, assists might, and i would guess probably are, somewhat linked to how valuable a player is to your team in terms of improving fg%. but the other factors - what position they play - how good are the rest of your guys at improving the fg% of the team - how good are the rest of your scorers - these things are all really big factors. 

and dahs - i use rebounding as an example because i think its more easy to relate to. everyone looks at rebounds, they are meaningful. but you really have to be careful - quality of other rebounders, quality of the opposing team, the fg% of your own team - these things have a major impact on how many rebounds and individual gets. plus, position, and a bunch of other factors. those factors, all summed up, are pretty damn significant - a high reb player might pull 6 on a championship team and 11 on a crap team. but you still know hes good because on that team, the next best guy pulled 5.5, and on the other best teams, those guys pulled less than 6 in general. its not a GREAT way to conclude what makes a rebounder good - try to put an exact value on ath to reb that way, its a really tough thing, 99% or more of coaches would never get there. but still, the reb figure is significant. team rebounding honestly holds more promise if you were really to track it, but nobody does, and thats ok.

assists are like rebounding, except burried under an additional mountain of stuff. the passing abilities etc of other team mates affect assist numbers even more than in rebounding. the quality of your offense has a WAY, WAY bigger impact. tempo has about an equal impact. quality of opponents might be the one thing with less of an impact. position? way bigger impact. scoring of that player? GIGANTICALLY bigger imapct. all in all, the real meaning of assists is so burried that its been a forum fact as long as ive played that assists are artificial window dressing. and sure, maybe the new engine changed that (we know for sure it was wnidow dressing 100% before). but now, maybe there is 10% of realness burried 90% of other factors. MAYBE, over a 1 year study, i could figure out that correlation. maybe. now maybe you are a lot better at figuring this **** out, but if so, i challenge you to prove it. what makes a player more valuable to a team's fg%? hell, run a simple regression, like most of them, its ****** and limited for a variety of reasons, but it gives you something. show me the stat correlation to team fg%, conclude which stats matter, run it again with those weights. then, show me assist correlation. if those graphs line up, ill give you this one (or, maybe ill argue why your approach is too flawed to interpret the results, depends how you play it). i know you are into that regression stuff, but i like to stay away from it. half because it ruins my fun, half because i think i have *just* enough insight to maybe make those regressions meaningful - and it just feels like cheating to me if you can really prove something via regression (ive yet to see anyone in HD do it). but by no means should that stop anyone else. i think in this case, you could actually glean something. regressions are always good for getting a ballpark idea, and really bad for really nailing it down, because of the interdependence of the ratings everyone cares about so much, among many other things. but take something like passing, that is pretty independently generated.

anyway, my feeling - and its a strong one - is your graphs wouldn't be close. take the original example, big man playing pg. he can have terrible pass, bh, and spd, and he will grab a number of assists. very possibly more than my elite scoring pg does on my team. of course, you cant compare assists across teams like that. and because of positions, you cant compare within a team either. so my question is, what the hell can you compare to? and what does that tell you? even if you just compare your own pg on your own teams which run the same offense and defense and build the same basic way, you still have significant variance in a number of things: 1) the passing abilities etc of teammates, 2) the scoring ability of teammates, 3) the scoring ability of the player itself, 4) the distros you set up, 5) the tempo you run. you can limit some of those but to get anywhere close to a scenario where you can isolate the variable, to me, thats unfeasible. and true, you never need to get all the way there. ive argued your side, you can deduce things like this from different stats for a long time, with most coaches against me, but i just feel assists are past that line.

10/23/2012 2:41 PM
Posted by dahsdebater on 10/23/2012 1:46:00 PM (view original):
The only number I look at is percentage of made field goals by teammates while a player is on the floor.  If he takes more shots rest of the team makes less field goals so the number of assists goes down, if the teammates make a better percentage for intrinsic reason the number of assists goes up.  As long as those things are roughly proportional to the number of shots being converted by the teammates it doesn't change the relevant rate stat.  You know better than to dismiss something in the game out of hand because an absolute number isn't relevant.  You can still learn a lot about rebounding by looking at a combination of the team's rebound margin and a player's proportion of the team rebounds while he's on the floor.  Obviously a rebound total isn't meaningful in a vacuum in this game, and realistically I think it would be very difficult to program around that.  But that doesn't mean you can't learn anything from it if you boil it down to a rate stat in terms of percentage of opportunities, which we both know is basically how everything in this game works.
do you run regressions on that? percentage of made field goals my team makes while a player is on the floor? because that, i agree, is what you have to look at. problem is, passing of those players, shot taking of the pg himself (OUTSIDE the impact on the fga of other players), and the *independent scoring ability of the team* are all still MAJOR factors in assists. while, the pg impact on his team mates' fg% is a non factor in all of them.
10/24/2012 5:07 PM
The two teams I played against ran zone...next time I'll try to go up against press teams.  The assist thing is interesting, but the TO issue is much more interesting to me.  Against a zone I suppose we get the shots off, but maybe they're bad shots (hence the bad shooting %).  Against a press maybe we don't get the shots off at all, and the TO numbers would be more reasonable.  I still don't understand how a freshman PG with bad IQs and ratings dribbles down the court at all.

But maybe that's what Billy G is saying.  So for the T/S/F, how does it decide which one?  Team aggregates?  Or just based on the skills of whoever has the ball that play?  B/c if the latter, then you're saying what REALLY matters is distribution.  Therefore Passing would only factor into scoring %?

Did I understand correctly?
10/24/2012 5:30 PM
Also, my freshman phenom for Philadelphia Biblical, Iba, is Donald Freeman.  He plays starting SG but has had a 0 or 1 distribution all year and has only taken 27 shots all season.  So his 28 TO's on the season seem disproportionate to his distribution (given and realized).  How do you explain this?
10/25/2012 6:19 PM (edited)
jack, ill get to your questions a little later. i had to post this while i have it.

on my young, offense-changing SIUE team (we played our old offense, triangle, all season - so my 2 seniors do have solid IQ) - i have a team that is not that good, that lost 1 game to start the season due to not being set up - currently at a 25-4 record after going 14-2 in teh legendarily difficult GLV conference and losing in the CT to the #1 overall seed. we grabbed the 4th 1 seed. so pretty good team - and im DEFINITELY happy with my team fg% excluding my PG - who I think played a decent role in making **** happen for the team.

here are Barry Partains CONFERENCE stats, from the conference award page: 17.6ppg, 0.9 apg. yes, 0.9. here are his ratings right now (he is a 5th year senior so not much improvement, but still, a lot for a 5th year senior) - this is running a triangle offense:

51 ath, 93 spd, 18 reb, 45 def, 20 sb, 62 lp, 80 per, 86 bh, 75 pass, 81 sta, B+ ft, A triangle IQ.

now, i don't know about you, but in terms of his ability to be a pg in the ball distribution standpoint, not scoring or defense, i think hes pretty good, but not insane. but 0.9 assists? is there really any possible way he helped his team mates that little? maybe this is important too, from the conf player page, conference only stats:
16 starts (of 16), 18.5 mpg (agreed, thats low, but lot of games weren't close, and i play press), 17.6ppg, 0.9apg, 1.1 spg, 52% fg and 41.3 3pt%, 77.6ft%.

so basically, he was an offensive beast, totally saved my *** this season. my team, with that first loss, really wasn't 1 seed quality in my book - but his offense really helped us. now, the rest of the team, my offense basically sucks. in conference play, we put up 46% fg and 33% fg. but thats misleading - my next best scorer, a guard playing sf with a- iq, 93 ath, 58 spd, 47 lp, 4 per, and 39 bh is shooting at 53% with 12.5ppg - which is pretty awesome. and then the rest of my team sucks - not good offensive ratings at all, and we are plagued by the offensive switch, so only those 2 guards have better than B+ iq. so, i dont really think you can say my offense is sucking because of my pg, and thats why he has .9 assists - NOT EVEN 1. yet, my team averages 1 assist higher on the season than our opponents with a #5 sos (misleading, its worse), and we are 8th in our conference (which again, is a legend - although its a major down year - only 8 in the post season and 6 in the NT - with only 2 seed in the top 4, the top 1 and the bottom 1). but i attribute that, being behind in team assists part, mainly to:
1) 40m of my guard time comes from guys like my backup pg becker who is getting about double the assists per minute played over Partain, with F triangle iq - yes, F, to end the season. 12 more mpg comes from a FR who was lucky enough to start at a C- (and still is a C-)
2) we only put up 72.8ppg this season, as a 1 seed, and only 68.9 in conference, which is dead middle of the pack. so there just aren't that many opportunities for assists
3) assists are basically window dressing and even on a team level, dont mean much in the first place, anyway

i just felt an example was necessary to illustrate all my ramblings. my guard, who on plenty of teams would pull 3-4 assists a game, didnt even get 1 in conference (1.1 on the season with a fairly soft non conf schedule). our offense should basically suck *** and it does, but its not his fault. hes the only thing saving me. of course, his team mates not scoring much brings his assists down, and he doesnt play that many minutes - but by no means does that justify him being a 0.9 assist guy. that suggests hes absolute horse **** when it comes to making his team better - if you subscribe to that theory - and if that was true, how does my 47 lp 4 ath sf (playing triangle here, not the FB we are practicing) have such a shining 12.5ppg 53%fg (both in and out of conference)? i doubt he could do it if he was getting **** looks - lp/per really come into play when you get the look you get, and if hes getting tough looks, hes not going to beast it up like that. 

10/26/2012 3:52 PM
Here's why I don't care about assists:

My Philadelphia Biblical team in Iba is averaging 15.2 assists, and spasticity's Westminster squad (in my conference) is averaging 14.1 assists.  But Westy has a better FG% and a better 3pt%, even though they take more 3's than us.  So what are these extra assists doing for me?  Nothin.

However, our great rebounding and TO creation help my team in a tangible way: my opponents literally have fewer possessions because we're rebounding the ball or taking it away.
10/26/2012 3:54 PM
...I should add that TO creation and low TO's on offense seem to be equally valuable.  Either way you are changing the game by creating/maintaining a possession for your team and taking away or denying a possession for the other team.
10/26/2012 4:13 PM
It could be the difference in assists is a reflection of how our teams score.  Westy is heavily driven by the PG and SG, especially the SG Colson.  Those guys probably create their own shot pretty often, and Colson is a huge factor in the overall FG/3pt%.  PBU is a lot more balanced on offense (and has a C as the leading scorer), which seems like it would have more assists.  As in, more often your guys are hitting the open man with a pass.

Or maybe I'm trying too hard to apply real life to HD.

Oh and PBU also played a way tougher non-conf schedule, so that has to have some impact on the stats.
10/26/2012 7:03 PM
My point was just that assists don't really directly translate to any advantage.  In theory they should help your offensive %, and maybe they do, but from what Billy G said it's more like they're applied post hoc and don't really factor into the calculation.
10/27/2012 1:13 AM
Posted by spasticity on 10/26/2012 4:13:00 PM (view original):
It could be the difference in assists is a reflection of how our teams score.  Westy is heavily driven by the PG and SG, especially the SG Colson.  Those guys probably create their own shot pretty often, and Colson is a huge factor in the overall FG/3pt%.  PBU is a lot more balanced on offense (and has a C as the leading scorer), which seems like it would have more assists.  As in, more often your guys are hitting the open man with a pass.

Or maybe I'm trying too hard to apply real life to HD.

Oh and PBU also played a way tougher non-conf schedule, so that has to have some impact on the stats.
no, i think this is a reasonable statement, not a mistranslation of real life to HD. just like ive been saying, when your assisters score, it drives assists down, but i DONT believe it also drives down team mates' benefit from having those guys who should be strong assisters out there. and hence my belief assists are too much a quagmire to really make anything of them. i mean, i admit, there is a rough correlation like dahs was saying, but i dont think its near enough to study and go, based on studying assist, for a pg, 1 point of passing is worth 1.5 points of ball handling in terms of helping team mates' score more - or any statement of that nature.
10/27/2012 1:15 AM
Posted by jack_duck on 10/26/2012 7:03:00 PM (view original):
My point was just that assists don't really directly translate to any advantage.  In theory they should help your offensive %, and maybe they do, but from what Billy G said it's more like they're applied post hoc and don't really factor into the calculation.
well, i dont think the assists do - and game admins have explained that assists are randomly (weighted random, but still) generated after a player makes a shot. so we know they dont directly tie in.

however, we know the ABILITIES that would make one a good assister in real life, do tie in to team mates' offensive %. it wasnt that way until the new engine, but as ive mentioned, seble and i traded a number of messages on the subject and he agreed to put it in in the new engine, and he did. but still, assists themselves are so superfically generated, and they don't tie in to reality or what makes players good in HD even, at least not tightly like you'd expect. instead, the admin's goal with assists was to create players with somewhat realistic stat lines (obviously, they totally failed with assists).
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