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Thread: The Mount Zion Thread

  1. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by HornetGuru View Post
    Dumb question but what is Rim volume? Thanks
    Super simple, it's just shots generated at the rim per 100.

    For example, if you look at Zion you find that right now he takes 23.8 FGAs per 100, and you can also find his shot profile fairly easily; he takes 77.6% of his shots at the rim. That means that now, after 9 games, Zion's rim volume is 77.6% of 23.8 = 18.47 at-rim attempts per 100.

    For comparison, Giannis this year is taking 29.7 FGAs per 100, and 48.9% of them come at the rim. So 48.9% of 29.7 = 14.52 at-rim attempts per 100.

    McGee in 2016-17 took 20.8 FGAs per 100 and 77.7% of them came at rim. So 77.7% of 20.8 = 16.16 at-rim attempts per 100.

    So you can see how Zion's Rim Volume is drastically higher than even the closest competitor; 2.31 attempts per 100 more.

    This is important because at-rim attempts are the most efficient shots in basketball, and elite players can get them at will. To generate this many at-rim scoring attempts so easily is a sign that your offense is pressuring defenses a lot, and likely to result in super efficient scoring. Which is exactly what we're getting from Zion so far: even with early FT struggles, he's currently averaging 61.5% TS, which is +5.5% better than league average and is the second highest on the team after JJ among players averaging at least 25 minutes per game.
    Tyrese Maxey/Isaac Okoro/Killian Tillie/Onyeka Okongwu/Devin Vassell endorser.

    Eye test people: analytics people watch more basketball than you do.

  2. #27
    Just for some comparisons, here are some historical rim-volume seasons. Not saying Zion is better than these guys, or having a better year than these guys did. It's just for comparison of this one particular thing. Can't get the numbers for any season before 2000-2001, as shot tracking data is not publicly available before then.

    Zion, 2019-20: 18.47 per 100
    Giannis, 19-20: 14.52 per 100
    McGee, 16-17: 16.16 per 100

    Lebron 08-09: 9.52 per 100
    Shaq 00-01:10.89 per 100
    Griffin 10-11: 9.34 per 100
    Dwight 10-11:9.25 per 100
    AD 2017-18:9.57 per 100
    Cousins 15-16:10.26 per 100

    So you can see, 18.47 is truly ridiculous. Essentially anything over 10 is out-of-this-world high. Anything over 12 is all-time. Anything over 14 is just absurd, and when you get to 18+ it's a club consisting of only 1 person and it's rookie Zion. Just silly numbers.
    Last edited by Pelicanidae; 02-12-2020 at 07:12 PM.

  3. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Pelicanidae View Post
    Super simple, it's just shots generated at the rim per 100.

    For example, if you look at Zion you find that right now he takes 23.8 FGAs per 100, and you can also find his shot profile fairly easily; he takes 77.6% of his shots at the rim. That means that now, after 9 games, Zion's rim volume is 77.6% of 23.8 = 18.47 at-rim attempts per 100.

    For comparison, Giannis this year is taking 29.7 FGAs per 100, and 48.9% of them come at the rim. So 48.9% of 29.7 = 14.52 at-rim attempts per 100.

    McGee in 2016-17 took 20.8 FGAs per 100 and 77.7% of them came at rim. So 77.7% of 20.8 = 16.16 at-rim attempts per 100.

    So you can see how Zion's Rim Volume is drastically higher than even the closest competitor; 2.31 attempts per 100 more.

    This is important because at-rim attempts are the most efficient shots in basketball, and elite players can get them at will. To generate this many at-rim scoring attempts so easily is a sign that your offense is pressuring defenses a lot, and likely to result in super efficient scoring. Which is exactly what we're getting from Zion so far: even with early FT struggles, he's currently averaging 61.5% TS, which is +5.5% better than league average and is the second highest on the team after JJ among players averaging at least 25 minutes per game.
    Thanks, great post

  4. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Pelicanidae View Post
    Just for some comparisons, here are some historical rim-volume seasons. Not saying Zion is better than these guys, or having a better year than these guys did. It's just for comparison of this one particular thing. Can't get the numbers for any season before 2000-2001, as shot tracking data is not publicly available before then.

    Zion, 2019-20: 18.47 per 100
    Giannis, 19-20: 14.52 per 100
    McGee, 16-17: 16.16 per 100

    Lebron 08-09: 9.52 per 100
    Shaq 00-01:10.89 per 100
    Griffin 10-11: 9.34 per 100
    Dwight 10-11:9.25 per 100
    AD 2017-18:9.57 per 100
    Cousins 15-16:10.26 per 100

    So you can see, 18.47 is truly ridiculous. Essentially anything over 10 is out-of-this-world high. Anything over 12 is all-time. Anything over 14 is just absurd, and when you get to 18+ it's a club consisting of only 1 person and it's rookie Zion. Just silly numbers.
    I'm guessing they don't have these stats for when Wilt played. I would bet he would be up there somewhere.

  5. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by P_B_&_G View Post
    I'm guessing they don't have these stats for when Wilt played. I would bet he would be up there somewhere.
    Nope, no stats for Wilt. Shot tracking data doesn't exist (at least for public view) from before 2000-01. If I could, I would have liked to get the numbers for: young Shaq, Wilt, Moses Malone, prime Barkley, prime Jordan, Karl Malone, David Robinson, Ewing, Hakeem. Probably more but they come to mind earliest.

    You could (if you had lots and lots of time on your hands and were very very dedicated) go back and watch, say, 100 games from each of these people (aside from Wilt; not enough full games available) in their prime and manually add up the shot attempts and distributions, and track it all yourself.

    I am willing to do a lot of boring stuff. I am not willing to go this far

  6. #31
    I guess if you wanted to do a super super super rough estimation of Wilt, maybe something like this would work:

    1961-62 Warriors played at a pace of 131.1. So that means the 1961-62 Warriors averaged about 131.1 possessions per game. So to get his per 100 numbers, you need to multiply his stuff by 0.762.

    So he took 39.5 shots per game that year. 39.5*0.762 = 30.09 FGAs per 100.

    Wilt wasn't just a power scorer. He had hook moves in his arsenal, and had a very nice finger roll when spinning off from the left block; that's evident in pretty much all of the surviving video of him. He also didn't really tend to fight that hard for deep post position with regularity. So I don't think it's fair to assume he was just dunking everything. Instead, let's say that maybe he shot 65% of his attempts at the rim. This is high, certainly, but not ridiculously high. For comparison, it's higher than 2000-01 Shaq, and higher than 2019-20 Giannis, but lower than 2019-20 Zion.

    That would put 61-62 Wilt's rim-volume at 30.09*0.65 =19.55 shots per 100. Which would be a comfortable all-time record.

    Now this is just a super rough calculation. We don't actually know what percentage of his shots he took at the rim; nobody was tracking at the time, and there aren't hundreds and hundreds of surviving games to calculate it from today. If you assume he took 57.6% of his shots at the rim (which is equal to Shaq's final season in LA) then it's more like 17.33 per 100. If you assume he took 84% at the rim (which is equal to a fairly typical DeAndre Jordan season with the Clippers) then it's more like 25.27 per 100. Wilt was a far more versatile scorer than DJ though, so this is probably a little high.

    Conclusion

    So I think it's probably a fairly decent estimate to put prime Wilt's rim volume at somewhere around 20, but anywhere between about 18 and 23 seems like it could be right. Again, super rough calculations here. Do not take this as gospel but it's a fun thought experiment.

  7. #32


    It took Zion 10 games to have the best PIPM among all rookies just hilariously outperforming the rest of the class.

    For reference, Zion's PIPM is made up of a +1.81 OPIPM, and a -0.24 DPIPM, so he is still slightly negative on defense by this metric, but his offensive contributions drastically overwhelm that and make him a strong positive.

    At a PIPM of +1.57, Zion has the 59th best PIPM in the NBA, currently tied with Devin Booker (Bookers OPIPM is twice as high as Zion's, but his DPIPM is nearly -2, so it balances out).

    Zion's PIPM of +1.57 is second on the team, after Derrick Favors' PIPM of +1.93.

    Our top 5 players are:

    1) Derrick Favors: +1.93
    2) Zion Williamson: +1.57
    3) Josh Hart: +0.87
    4) Jrue Holiday: +0.85
    5) Brandon Ingram: +0.46

  8. #33
    Pistol Pete Would Be Proud!! pelicanchamp's Avatar
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    Zion is blowing my mind every game. Him and Ingram could be NOLAs version of Shaq and Kobe. Ingram needs to establish himself as the aggressor, he has it in him to be even better than he is right now.

    I think we will catch Memphis by late March.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  9. #34

  10. #35
    What’s PIPM? Lol I need to up my advanced basketball terminology

  11. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by HornetGuru View Post
    What’s PIPM? Lol I need to up my advanced basketball terminology
    Player Impact Plus Minus. It's not perfect (no stat is, and neither is the eye test) but it's probably the best advanced stat out right now. Here's a brief explanation of it from the bball index website, where they host the data:

    Player Impact Plus-Minus (PIPM for short) is a plus-minus impact metric that combines luck-adjusted plus-minus data with the value of the boxscore and a handful of interaction terms to estimate a player’s value over the course of a season.[...]

    The main feature of PIPM that differentiates it from other more advanced metrics is the inclusion of luck-adjusted plus-minus data, which uses a methodology designed by Nathan Walker. In short, his methodology uses more statistically predictive factors of a team’s offensive and defensive rating (points scored or allowed per 100 possessions) to estimate what the team’s ORTG or DRTG should be without the variance that some statistics have. The most clear example of this variance comes from opponent 3P%, which a team has relatively limited control over but can drastically shift how a team looks in raw ORTG and DRTG.

    Using these luck-adjusted plus-minus values as an input, along with the boxscore, PIPM is one of the most accurate publicly available impact metrics in terms of predicting future results.
    Link to the full explanation here: https://www.bball-index.com/player-impact-plus-minus/

    League Leaders in PIPM this year overall, for context:

    1. Giannis +9.14
    2. Harden +6.45
    3. Kawhi +6.10
    4. LeBron +6.07
    5. Luka +5.39
    6. Gobert +4.72
    7. C.Paul +4.59
    8. Middleton +4.55
    9. Tatum +4.45
    10. A.Davis +4.39

  12. #37
    Saw some Twitter person claiming that Zion's stats through 15 games can't be compared to Ja's because Ja's longer season has let his stats decline, and that it's easy to play this well for short sample sizes. While we all know smaller samples have their problems, I figured that it would only be fair to compare Zion's first 15 games to Ja's first 15 games. For honesty.

    Zion's first 15: 24.1pts per game, 6.8rbds, 2.1asts. 59.3%FG, 41.7%3pt (0.8 per game), 64.8%FT. W/L record: 8-7

    Ja's first 15: 19.1pts per game, 3.1rbds, 6.3asts. 46.7%FG, 40.6%3pt (2.1 per game), 76%FT. W/L record: 5-10

    So Zion still wins in ppg, rpg, FG%, technically 3PT% although we all know the volume is way lower, and W/L record.

    So I guess if we're comparing like-with-like, Zion still wins.

  13. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Pelicanidae View Post
    Saw some Twitter person claiming that Zion's stats through 15 games can't be compared to Ja's because Ja's longer season has let his stats decline, and that it's easy to play this well for short sample sizes. While we all know smaller samples have their problems, I figured that it would only be fair to compare Zion's first 15 games to Ja's first 15 games. For honesty.

    Zion's first 15: 24.1pts per game, 6.8rbds, 2.1asts. 59.3%FG, 41.7%3pt (0.8 per game), 64.8%FT. W/L record: 8-7

    Ja's first 15: 19.1pts per game, 3.1rbds, 6.3asts. 46.7%FG, 40.6%3pt (2.1 per game), 76%FT. W/L record: 5-10

    So Zion still wins in ppg, rpg, FG%, technically 3PT% although we all know the volume is way lower, and W/L record.

    So I guess if we're comparing like-with-like, Zion still wins.
    The question then becomes whether or not Ja has any 15 game stretch that is comparable. I know that is a pain to look in to and I'm not asking you to do it. I suspect that he does not.

  14. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by boardtown View Post
    The question then becomes whether or not Ja has any 15 game stretch that is comparable. I know that is a pain to look in to and I'm not asking you to do it. I suspect that he does not.
    Well, I'm totally fine with looking it up because I am just that kind of guy

    Here's Morant month by month:

    October + November (17 games): 18.6pts/3.2rbds/6.2asts on 45/41/76
    December (11 games): 15.5pts/3.3rbds/6.5asts on 48/37/84
    January (15 games): 17.5/3.8/8.3 on 54/37/75
    February til Now (11 games): 18.7/3.4/6.8 on 49/25/75

    So just going by months, I would say no. The closest he comes would be January, I'd say: 15 games exactly, 8.3 assists per game, and really good FG% of 54%. But as we can see, the 3pt shooting dropped off a bit in that month, and the scoring was still nearly 7pts per game under Zion in this stretch.

    If you abandon months and just look for random 15 game stretches, I don't think anything really comes out much better than January does, from my subjective evaluation.

  15. #40
    Oh, and neither Ja nor Zion are very good overall defenders right now. I'd say Zion's better because while they're both bad with team defense and help and such, at least Zion isn't complete garbage 1v1 whereas Ja is.

  16. #41
    Pistol Pete Would Be Proud!! wuggie's Avatar
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    People have got to understand the fact that he's THAT good to be considered ROY and can win it still is amazing. Dude is basically the Incredible Hulk already(shout out to pelicandae lol)

    R.I.P. to HunnyB/FlyGirl

  17. #42
    Demonstration of Zion's defensive improvement in one basic stat:

    Pre Allstar break (10 games), Zion's opponents shot an average of 2.5% worse than their averages against him. But this doesn't tell the whole story; in reality, this is the product of something very tilted. The fact is that opponents were shooting 23.2% worse than their averages from 3pt land, and 10.9% worse from long midrage (15+ feet) but everywhere inside of that, their shooting was way up. Opponents were shooting 17.4% better than their averages against Zion within 6 feet of the hoop. That's terrible. In fact, it's so bad that it's obvious there's some luck-related variance in there; most players don't even shoot that badly from 3 against Kawhi Leonard, and we all know Zion isn't that level of perimeter defender. The numbers are inflated, but they still tell a fairly clear story; Zion's really bad on defense inside of the arc.

    Post Allstar break (8 games), Zion's opponents have shot 2.9% worse than their averages; barely better overall than before. But the ridiculous imbalance between internal and perimeter defense was settled out a bit. Opponents are still shooting worse from 3 when matched up with Zion, but it's not 23.2% worse, it's only 7.9% worse; this is much more sustainable, and reflects more accurately on Zion's actual effort out there. Similarly, while opponents are still shooting better than their averages at the hoop, it's only by 0.6%. This is much more reasonable than the ridiculous +17.4% that was being given up before the all-star break. The numbers are still subject to small sample size and everything, but again, it tells a good story; the defense has shown signs of improvement.

    Of course, this is just one basic way of looking at defense and we all know that defense is more than just opponent FG%. There's help to consider, team defense, and sometimes even if you play bad defense, the other guy just can't hit a shot. Similarly, you can play perfect defense and just get unlucky. This is especially true when dealing with small sample sizes (10 games or fewer for both samples, here). But I don't think we can deny that the improvement since All-Star break has been fairly vast.

    I also want to add that Anthony Davis is 0/5 on shots with Zion as his primary defender so it's good

  18. #43
    Just want to add for the previous post on Zion's defense: that huge swing on Opponent 3pt%, despite Zion mostly playing the same, is a little bit more proof towards the fact that actually, 3pt shot defense is largely perfunctory.

    That is to say, given that you can't make any contact (unlike in the paint, where bumps are often allowed) and you usually can't jump to block the shot or anything, there's usually not much a player can do to force a miss at the perimeter. The most you can do is sometimes make someone rush a shot if they're scared of the closeout, for example.

    The best perimeter defense is, and always will be, making them not take the shot at all. Once they're shooting, there's very little you can do. The best perimeter defenders are great because they make the opponent uncomfortable, don't give them space, crowd them, and make the best option to give the ball up; they aren't great because they magically make people shoot 25% below their averages via some arcane magic.

  19. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by Pelicanidae View Post
    Just want to add for the previous post on Zion's defense: that huge swing on Opponent 3pt%, despite Zion mostly playing the same, is a little bit more proof towards the fact that actually, 3pt shot defense is largely perfunctory.

    That is to say, given that you can't make any contact (unlike in the paint, where bumps are often allowed) and you usually can't jump to block the shot or anything, there's usually not much a player can do to force a miss at the perimeter. The most you can do is sometimes make someone rush a shot if they're scared of the closeout, for example.

    The best perimeter defense is, and always will be, making them not take the shot at all. Once they're shooting, there's very little you can do. The best perimeter defenders are great because they make the opponent uncomfortable, don't give them space, crowd them, and make the best option to give the ball up; they aren't great because they magically make people shoot 25% below their averages via some arcane magic.
    From what I can tell bad three point defense is usually leaving the shooter wide open, which seems to usually be the result of bad team defense as opposed to any one individual player.

  20. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Freyfamilyreuni View Post
    From what I can tell bad three point defense is usually leaving the shooter wide open, which seems to usually be the result of bad team defense as opposed to any one individual player.
    Bad 3pt defense is either leaving them open (like you said) or fouling them. That, or doing dumb stuff like jumping past them completely.

  21. #46
    Speaking from experience of playing ball, Zions individual defense imho is actually really good on the perimeter - especially for a big man. Heís not great, yet. Great is either being an elite rim protector or taking on the toughest defensive assignment when your team needs it. Heís not at that stage, yet. But if you play or played ball and watch Zion, heís definitely a good defender because heís not a weaklink.

    The NBA game is all about attacking weak defenders and pressing on that issue until an adjustment is made.

    Hereís the thing, I donít see opposing teamís and their coaches picking on Zion as a rookie. Ofcourse I donít have statistics to back this up, but just watching the game...out of letís say a 93-95 avg possession game, I might count 3-4 possessions a game where Zion is actually involved individually in defense.

    Notorious pick and roll teams like The Blazers or OKC hardly ever puts him in pick and roll actions (they prefer Favors or Melli) and the reason I believe is because heís not slow footed and smaller players fear the combination of a frontcourt player who they arenít sure they can beat off the dribble and the fear of getting their shot blocked. Even for the pnrs heís involved in - he does a great job of containment until Jrue or Zo gets back and he floats over. In 19 games, how many times can we honestly count heís been defending downhill? Tbh...Iím really trying to think of 1 time heís forced in an action of defending guard or big. Teams just donít do it to him.

    His help defense at this time needs some fine tuning though, but in my honest opinion, thatís only from the viewpoint that you expect G-SF style defensive aggression. While saying that, if heís not a rim protecting big on a nightly basis...he has to add the G-SF style aggression in help defense if he ever wants to impact the game on the defensive end more than just ensuring his assignment is zoned out the game on the corner. In this aspect, this is where heís talking about ďgetting his legs under himĒ and in this aspect I do feel he may need to drop 20-25 pounds.

    The foundation of reading whatís coming and not giving up live cuts on his assignment is where it needs to be and improving every game though.

  22. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by Pelicanidae View Post
    Saw some Twitter person claiming that Zion's stats through 15 games can't be compared to Ja's because Ja's longer season has let his stats decline, and that it's easy to play this well for short sample sizes. While we all know smaller samples have their problems, I figured that it would only be fair to compare Zion's first 15 games to Ja's first 15 games. For honesty.

    Zion's first 15: 24.1pts per game, 6.8rbds, 2.1asts. 59.3%FG, 41.7%3pt (0.8 per game), 64.8%FT. W/L record: 8-7

    Ja's first 15: 19.1pts per game, 3.1rbds, 6.3asts. 46.7%FG, 40.6%3pt (2.1 per game), 76%FT. W/L record: 5-10

    So Zion still wins in ppg, rpg, FG%, technically 3PT% although we all know the volume is way lower, and W/L record.

    So I guess if we're comparing like-with-like, Zion still wins.
    Would love to see these numbers on a per 36 basis since both players are starters and get starters minutes

  23. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by HornetGuru View Post
    Would love to see these numbers on a per 36 basis since both players are starters and get starters minutes
    Per 36 numbers:

    Zion's first 15 games: 30.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists.
    Ja's first 15 games: 24.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 8.0 assists.

    Obviously efficiencies remain the same per 100.

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