Major overhaul to this thread with my latest findings.
Usage is one of the most complex stats in this sim and is one of the things I see asked about most often. Even people who think they have a good handle on it often have the wrong idea. So let's start with the first question most people ask when they come to this site:
What is Usage%?
From the knowledgebase:
Usage% is the player's possessions (FGA + FTA * 0.44 + Turnovers) per minute as a percentage of his real-life team's possessions per minute. This value indicates how often a player either shot the ball, drew a foul, or turned the ball over. The SimEngine uses this value in relation to the other 4 players on his team to determine how often each player gets the ball.
So, with this in mind, the higher the usage of a player, the greater the CHANCE your team's possession in this sim will end with that player making a FG attempt, getting fouled or turning the ball over. With that in mind, you probably want to make sure your highest usage players are your most efficient offensive players (shoot a high fg%, get to the line a lot, and don't turn the ball over as much. Example: 89-90 Michael Jordan or 12-13 Lebron James).
Also keep in mind that there will only be so many possessions in a basketball game. It is a flat-out waste to draft way more possessions than you can ever use in a game, so you're better off spending some of that money on lower usage guys who specialize in other areas (rebounds!) that can help you.
So how much usage is too much? How much do you need?
The first thing you have to realize is that there are two penalties to avoid, and you need to use different strategies to get by both of them.
The first is the team possession penalty. Here, total usage% means absolutely nothing. You can't just add up the five players on the floor's usage and have it right. Usage is broken up into different tiers that give different point values. Here is that table:
Tier 1: Usg% >= 32.5 = 8 points
Tier 2: Usg% 27.2 To 32.5 = 6 points
Tier 3: Usg% 22.1 To 27.2 = 4 points
Tier 4: Usg% 17.5 To 22.1 = 2 points
Tier 5: Usg% 13.7 To 17.5 = 1 point
Tier 6: Usg% < 13.7 = 0.5 points
That table will be extremely useful to you when building your own teams and analyzing other teams. It's a good idea to just memorize it. Now here's how to use it: Take your five players on the floor and find out which tier they fall into. Add up the POINTS. This is what's important. You need 10 points on the floor to avoid the team possession penalty.
Now before I go any further, let me go into more detail about the possession penalty is and why it's bad. As I said before, there are two kinds of possession penalties: Team
. When a team gets into a possession penalty situation, their players don't shoot as good and they turn the ball over more often. The same thing happens to a player when they get into the individual possession penalty. Obviously you can see that you want to avoid this as much as possible.
The team possession penalty is the easier penalty to avoid. All you need is 10 usage points on the floor to avoid it.
That's it. So you can literally have one guy with 32.5% usage or higher on the floor with 4 specialists who have a usage of 13.7% or lower and not hit the team possession penalty. If you add that up, you'll see that number is less than 100%. That's one reason why you can't rely on what I dub cumulative usage
(or adding the usage up of all five players on the floor). You can actually have 100% or more usage on the floor and below the possession penalty. How? Let's say you have four guys with 21 usage & a fifth with 17. That adds up to 101 usage... but only 9 usage points. This team will hit the team possession penalty. That's bad. Don't do that!
Now... you've got the team penalty & how to avoid it down, right? Just get 10+ usage points. But what about the individual possession penalty? How do you avoid that? That's where cumulative usage comes into play.
Think about what usage means (as defined earlier) a minute. If you have less than 100% usage on the floor, someone is going to end up with more possessions in the sim than the did IRL. That triggers the individual penalty. This occurs on a game by game basis, not the season total, so realize that at any point, sim randomness & outliers can and will screw you.
To ensure that you will never hit the individual possession penalty, you would likely have to waste a great deal of salary by spending too much on usage, ending up with several players who won't get their RL possessions. But you can achieve a reasonable balance where it is unlikely that you will have too many players hit the individual possession penalty while not wasting too much of your salary on it.
By playing uptempo & working hard on the possession battle (boards, turnovers), most of your guys WILL end up with more shots than they did IRL. I've found great success recently in aiming to have more than 100% cumulative usage (but less than 115%) on the floor at all times. Starting on page 6 of this thread, I began a series of tests to determine what the right usage number was. Prior to these tests, I always tried to aim for a set number of usage points on the floor... I encouraged people to run 12-15 usage points. You still can do that, but you can end up with less than 100% usage on the floor with as much as 14.5 usage points (maybe more)... and that can create the possession penalty (which can lead to losses).
I aim to have 10 usage points on the floor at all times (making sure my backups are in the same tier as the starter, or at least high enough that the lowest lineup I can run will have 10 usage points). I'm shooting for 105%-115% cumulative usage in my starting line-up with a minimum of 90% usage possible on the floor when backups are in the game. So far, this has led to much more consistent success than when relying on usage points alone.
Keep in mind that this sim is about getting the right balance between all of the necessary stats. Usage isn't the only thing you should worry about, but it might just be the first thing you should worry about. See my other thread, linked above, for helpful tips on how to approach that balance of all the necessary stats to win.
***I wondered if fatigue and/or playing a guy out of position messed with his usage like it does his other stats, so I asked admin.
|8/7/2012 9:48 AM
Usage rate is not affected by position effectiveness or fatigue.
There you go. So that barely tier-2 guy that's fatigued is still giving you tier-2 like production - and helping you avoid both possession penalties.