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Celtics Draft Jayson Tatum at #3

Discussion in 'Mark Blount's Port Cellar: Celtics Forum' started by Marbleheader, Jun 22, 2017.

  1. RedOctober3829

    RedOctober3829 Member SoSH Member

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    29,139
    I would think that the preconceived notions that we had of Tatum at draft time should be adjusted given what he's done to this point. I think his ceiling could be top 20 player in the league now.
     
  2. CreightonGubanich

    CreightonGubanich Member SoSH Member

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    1,061
    It's also how he gets his points.

    Jayson Tatum this year and Jae Crowder last season have pretty similar numbers, although Tatum is clearly more efficient. But Crowder got his points off spot up jumpers, one-dribble pull-ups against closeouts, and the occasional foray to the basket when he had a wide open lane. Tatum hasn't been asked to do a lot offensively yet, but he's flashed the ability to create an open midrange jumper whenever he wants it, he can attack the rim in transition, and he can finish through contact at the rim. And of course, his three point range is much better than advertised. Defensively, he's already better than Crowder was last year.

    The biggest thing has been his ball handling. Just like Pierce had the handle and footwork to get his shot off against anyone, even without superior athleticism, Tatum has shown the ability to get wherever he wants to on the floor. That combination of shooting, finishing at the rim, and ball handling ability can add up to an all-star level scorer. He profiles pretty similarly to Hayward, actually.
     
  3. Light-Tower-Power

    Light-Tower-Power Member SoSH Member

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    I know you are just comparing raw numbers, but Crowder couldn't hold Tatum's jock on the offensive end. Crowder's offense is catch and shoot threes (which he was skilled at in Boston at least), backdoor cuts to the basket, and the occasional drive through the lane if it was open. Crowder wasn't adept at finishing through contact or avoiding contact and finishin. Tatum has consistently shown the ability to shoot both off the dribble and off the catch from deep and in the mid-range, and he has shown that he can drive to the hoop and either finish through contact or avoid contact and finish. His long ass arms are an asset at the rim because he has great ability to hit scoop layups and finger rolls around guys who just can't get to him.

    If Tatum wasn't playing on a team with Kyrie Irving and Al Horford, and eventually Gordon Hayward, I think he'd be scoring 20 ppg or close to it fairly easily. He doesn't put up 12-15+ shots a game because he doesn't have to in this offense. Give him another summer or two to get stronger and more experienced I don't see how he isn't a future 20+/4/7 guy or something like that.
     
  4. snowmanny

    snowmanny Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    7,790
    This is the key. His game turns out to be based on his terrific ability to drive the lane effectively. That should get even better with time and muscle.
     
  5. bowiac

    bowiac I've been living a lie. Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Top 20 would be pretty disappointing at this point. I am somewhat skeptical of our ability to judge ceiling, except for perhaps for really extreme cases.

    You can be a top player in the league without having Russell Westbrook or LeBron James athleticism. James Harden is probably the current favorite for the MVP, and he had the "low ceiling" rep coming out of college. Jokic is probably a top 10 player who is still somehow regarded as low ceiling. Curry was Mr. Low Ceiling. Etc...

    Athleticism matters, but being talented enough can overcome almost any gap so long as you meet a certain threshhold for athleticism. Tatum clears that threshhold, so I'm not too worried about his ceiling given how good his skillset already is.
     
  6. mt8thsw9th

    mt8thsw9th anti-SoSHal SoSH Member

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    Why exactly would his rebounds go down and his assists go up dramatically?
     
  7. lovegtm

    lovegtm Member SoSH Member

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    The other really exciting thing about Tatum, for me, is that the coaching staff is already talking about opening up his 3pt game off the dribble and from deeper. If he can pull that off, with his footwork and ability to get to the rim, he could start to hit MVP-candidate level special.

    No guarantee he gets there, but it's cool that everyone involved sees it headed that way.
     
  8. Devizier

    Devizier Member SoSH Member

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    8,474
    It would be one thing if Tatum was showing preternatural Otto Porter skills on the offensive end. That would make him a potential top twenty player. But he shows a lot more than that, particularly in his ability to drive to the basket. He can beat his man off the perimeter but more importantly he can finish in traffic. That scoop layup that he can put around/through defenders, on top of being very cool in a vintage way, is just killer.
     
  9. Light-Tower-Power

    Light-Tower-Power Member SoSH Member

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    Only because I got the order wrong. 20 pts/7 reb/4 ast.
     
  10. RedOctober3829

    RedOctober3829 Member SoSH Member

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    I understand what you're saying. I just didn't want to come off as a massive homer if I said higher than top 20.
     
  11. JakeRae

    JakeRae Member SoSH Member

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    So, to illustrate how rare his production is for a 19 year old, I ran a season finding search for all seasons by an 18 or 19 year old with per 100 possessions stats better than 20 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block. I used per possession controlled stats since they are better for historical comps. I picked the above numbers as leaving some wiggle room below Tatum in each category but not a ton. (He's at 22.9/8.7/2.4/1.6/1.4.) The only players to meet this standard who had qualifying mpg usage, were Lebron, Carmelo, Cliff Robinson, McGrady, and Ricky Davis. All of those players were inefficient scorers (TS% around .500).

    It you expand to 20 year olds, you get 2 guys who have Tatum's volume of productivity and are over a .600 TS%. Magic and Dantley. Towns came close.

    What he is doing is every bit impressive as people are claiming it is.
     
  12. Sam Ray Not

    Sam Ray Not Member SoSH Member

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  13. The Needler

    The Needler lurker

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    The kid says his goal is to be in the hall of fame. I'm not gonna tell him he's crazy.
     
  14. JCizzle

    JCizzle Member SoSH Member

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    Random note, but it really stuck with me that he came out in the first half so hot against the Bucks and didn't force up anything in the second half. I remember someone pointing out that he got to the line once, but 99% of NBA players are probably throwing up at least a couple heat checks (while costing their teams a couple of possessions in the process). I kinda do want him to force the issue a bit more when the second unit is out there, but it's hard to complain that he's staying within the offense despite being a better option than pretty much anyone other than Kyrie or Al.
     
    #314 JCizzle, Dec 6, 2017 at 5:02 PM
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017 at 5:10 PM
  15. benhogan

    benhogan self-effacing SoSH Member

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    +1

    mea culpa's > hubris
     
  16. Dice K

    Dice K Member SoSH Member

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    He'd be shooting 59% (19/32) from 3 if he hadn't chucked up end-of-quarter bombs in each of the last 2 games.

    And 100% if all of his misses had gone in.
     
  17. JimBoSox9

    JimBoSox9 will you be my friend? SoSH Member

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    Made it to my first game of the season tonight. Tatum really jumped off the page as the best player on the floor in the second half. His length and footwork gets him from the 3PL to the rim so fast and smooth that it makes any athelticism limits invisible. He could have had another 5 points in the half with better ball and whistle luck, but man he was everywhere.
     
  18. wade boggs chicken dinner

    wade boggs chicken dinner Member SoSH Member

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    12,437
    People thought he had a low floor because he would be a ball dominant, mid-range shooter without a ton of range that would struggle on defense.

    Even if he for some reason doesn't grow at all from here, he just has to take more shots to be a 20 ppg scorer so his ceiling is revised.
     
  19. phenweigh

    phenweigh Member SoSH Member

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    Or maybe his lack of athleticism isn't correct, but disguised by his smoothness.
     
  20. BaseballJones

    BaseballJones goalpost mover SoSH Member

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    I'm into simple, easy-to-understand, metrics. One of my favorites is scoring efficiency. This is a simple measure of dividing points by FGA. 20 points is 20 points, but if it takes you 25 shots to get 20, you're much less efficient than if it takes you 12 shots to get 20 points. Pretty simple. Not without flaws as a metric, but pretty simple.

    The NBA average right now is 1.24 points per field goal attempt. Obviously, the more 3s you make, the more FTs you make, help your efficiency. Some guys are more efficient over limited minutes, but the more they play, the less efficient they become - kind of like a utility player in baseball...good in small doses but the more he plays, the more he gets "exposed". But other guys are just gifted scorers.

    Right now Tatum has 365 points on 238 field goal attempts. That's a ratio of 1.53 points per field goal attempt. SIGNIFICANTLY better than league average. It's better than LeBron, who has scored 705 points on 467 FGA (1.51 eff). It's better than Harden, who has scored 698 points on 465 FGA (1.50 eff). Better than Steph Curry (606 points on 406 FGA, 1.49 eff). Better than Durant (527 points on 378 FGA, 1.39 eff). Better than the Greek Freak (652 points on 439 FGA, 1.49 eff).

    I mean, he's putting up elite efficiency numbers. So yeah, to WBCD's point, he EASILY could be a 20+ point scorer just by taking a few more shots. Incredibly efficient scorer.
     
  21. BigSoxFan

    BigSoxFan Member SoSH Member

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    Those same people probably liked Larry Hughes more than Paul Pierce.
     
  22. bosox79

    bosox79 Member SoSH Member

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    He does have a tendency to disappear offensively for quarters at a time but that could be more about his teammates than him.
     
  23. lovegtm

    lovegtm Member SoSH Member

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    Lack of practice also hurts here. He's a much better player now than he was during the preseason, which was the last opportunity to really put a lot in place scheme-wise. I think Brad mentioned in last night's presser that they're slowly installing new defensive coverages, and I'd guess the same is true on offense. The problem is that there simply isn't a lot of time at the moment.
     
  24. bowiac

    bowiac I've been living a lie. Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    This chart is a big hard to read, but it basically attempts to balance efficiency against usage, with the idea being that as you take more shots (x-axis), you lose efficiency (y-axis), and it is very difficult for anyone to go past that frontier. As you can see, Tatum is on the high-end of the efficiency side, but pretty low in usage at the moment. This also reinforces how impressive Mitchell has been - his low efficiency is coming on ridiculous usage; perhaps as impressive as Blake or KAT as rookies.

    [​IMG]
     
  25. Jimbodandy

    Jimbodandy Member SoSH Member

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    I still think that the game schedule changes crushed their practice time. There's not nearly as many stretches with two full days between games. Except for extended homestands, I'd bet that almost all of their gym time is PT and walkthroughs. Tatum is excelling despite that, but he should get better from more legit practices. And I really think it's hurting the development of Semi et al.
     
  26. Koufax

    Koufax Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Old friend Phil Pressey not looking good there. Of course neither is Lonzo.
     
  27. bosox79

    bosox79 Member SoSH Member

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    I wasn't aware DSJ had such a high usage %.
     
  28. Sam Ray Not

    Sam Ray Not Member SoSH Member

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    I like the simplicity of pts/fga, too, though I think TS% is much better since it factors in how many of those points came from free throw attempts, which take up (on average) 0.44 of a possession. To throw out an extreme example: a guy who scores 15 points on 5-5 from three has used possessions much more efficiently than a guy who scores 15 on 2-4 FG and 11-16 FT, even though the latter has a better pts/fga.

    The only minor flaw with TS% is that the 0.44 multiplier is an estimate (based on the fact that some possessions involve three fts or and-ones), so if you're talking about the TS% of an individual game you might want to look at the actual # of possessions used. But over a large sample, the difference between the actual and the estimate are negligible.

    Also, both pts/fga and TS% and are pretty meaningless without the context of volume or usage. It's not fair to compare someone like DeAndre Jordan (1.61 pts/fga, mostly on dunks and putbacks) or Kyle Korver (1.45 pts/fga mostly on spot-up threes) with ultra high-volume shot creators like Harden, LeBron, Curry and KD. As Bowiac's table or any EFF/USG table shows, efficiency typically decreases with usage. At 16.6 pts per 36, Tatum is more comparable to Korver (17.0) and DJ (11.6) than he is to guys putting up 25-30 pts per 36, and playing close to 36 minutes a game. That's not to diminish what Tatum has done — it's insane and basically unheard of for a 19 y.o. rookie to have the combo of shooting touch, self-awareness, and hoops IQ to score with the efficiency of Korver or DJ. But for now, any comparisons involving Harden, Durant et al. are strained.

    Meanwhile, Jordan Bell: future MVP!! :)
     
    #328 Sam Ray Not, Dec 7, 2017 at 10:43 AM
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017 at 12:34 PM
  29. bakahump

    bakahump Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Whats the SOSH think on His FTs? Not his % which is an excellent 82.8. But rather his "inability to get calls". Simply the rookie jinx? Can we expect 2-4 addition FTs a game in the year to come based on this volume of shots?

    IMHO it seems that on more then a few "swooping finger rolls" the refs swallow the whistle. Am I wrong?

    If his points went up 1-2 points because of FTs (that he probably deserves) he would statistically be even more impressive.
     
  30. lovegtm

    lovegtm Member SoSH Member

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    I know (think?) you mean current James Harden, but if you mean early in their careers, Tatum compares REALLY favorable to Harden. Tatum is getting more minutes than Harden did until he was 22 (3rd season when he was a 6th man of the year candidate), scoring more efficiently, and getting similar usage. Harden was also in a situation where he had to fit in around some high usage, more established players.
     
  31. bowiac

    bowiac I've been living a lie. Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    He's getting 0.623 free throws per two-point attempt right now. That's very good. To compare, Pierce's career rate was .629 free throws per two-point attempt. Among guys with at least 300 minutes, he ranks 29th in the league right now, comparable to Boogie and Lillard, and ahead of guys like Blake or Wall.

    He doesn't take many free throws simply because he doesn't take many two-pointers.
     
  32. JakeRae

    JakeRae Member SoSH Member

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    Interesting chart. I'd question the validity of using a linear frontier though. It seems like slope should be pretty flat below 20% usage based on those numbers and potentially steeper around 30%. Tatum (and Smith) look like they are just as much outliers as Mitchell, Towns, and Griffin but the use of a linear frontier masks that.
     
  33. Morgan's Magic Snowplow

    Morgan's Magic Snowplow Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    15,063
    An interesting point about Mitchell is that he looked pretty clueless and shot awfully in his first few games before settling into the league. He shot 13/52 from the field in his first five games, including 3/18 on threes, and that stretch continues to bring down his season numbers. For example, his FG% on the season is .415 but .444 after the first five games and his 3PFG% is .377 but .403 after the first five games. Obviously, you can start making anybody look better by taking out their worst games. But with him you can construct a fairly plausible narrative that the Mitchell we saw after that initial rough patch is the better indication of his likely performance level for the rest of the year. He could also slow down as he hits the rookie wall but it wouldn't surprise me to see him comfortably on the other side of that line by the spring.
     
  34. bakahump

    bakahump Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Thanks Bowiac. Obviously my impression is not born out by the numbers. And the reason he isnt getting to the line (not many 2s) makes perfect sense.
     
  35. uk_sox_fan

    uk_sox_fan Member SoSH Member

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    Only six guys with that efficiency greater than 1.5 with at least 100 FGA:

    Code:
        Player   Tm   Eff  FGA
    Jakob Poeltl TOR 1.549 102
    Clint Capela HOU 1.542 192
    Steven Adams OKC 1.534 176  
    Jayson Tatum BOS 1.534 238
    LeBron James CLE 1.510 467
    James Harden HOU 1.501 465
     
  36. benhogan

    benhogan self-effacing SoSH Member

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    Obviously, the Celtics are a much better team with Gordon Hayward but if he is healthy is this team 22-4?

    Have Tatum's minutes and high efficiency outweighed the loss of Gordon so far?
     
  37. BaseballJones

    BaseballJones goalpost mover SoSH Member

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    I actually think this is a blessing in disguise. Having Hayward out has meant a speeded up development for Tatum - I don't think the original plan was for him to start right away like this. So I'm just imagining when Hayward is back healthy, how good this team can be. Right now they're legitimately MUCH better than I thought they'd be, even WITH Hayward, never mind without.
     
  38. Jimbodandy

    Jimbodandy Member SoSH Member

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    Interesting question.

    I think that Tatum was likely to earn big minutes early, simply because of his efficient play. And Haywould is efficient himself.

    Perhaps their attitude formed around their plight of charging ahead without GH, and maybe that's worth a game or two. But I don't think that having him all along would have held Tatum's minutes down as much as people might think. They might have two losses now instead of four.
     
  39. Sam Ray Not

    Sam Ray Not Member SoSH Member

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    I'd assume they'd be significantly more dominant with Hayward — probably 24-2 or 23-3 with a net rating closer to that of Houston or GS. For one, I'd guess they would have blown out the Cavs in the opener, since they mostly dominated that game after the obvious shock of the Hayward injury wore off.

    I mean, you could argue that the presence of Hayward might have marginally slowed the development of Tatum by taking ~200 or so of his minutes, but I think those 200 minutes would still be a substantial net positive for the team. Hayward's a stud; and as great as Tatum has been, the Cs have been a modest +1.3 pts per 100 better with him on the floor. More importantly: I'd imagine another 400-500 of Hayward's minutes would have come from the likes of Semi (356 minutes at -16.8) and Morris (362 minutes at -9.0), plus any non-garbage minutes they might have given to Nader and Yabusele. Those minutes would have been a huge upgrade, imho.

    You could also argue that Hayward's injury and absence has sharpened and focused the team in general, just as Durant's injury did last year for the Warriors. But that's not the same as saying the team is actually better without the services of a versatile, unselfish all-star wing-forward.
     
  40. lovegtm

    lovegtm Member SoSH Member

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    571
    Probably a worse record with Gordon (team has done well close and late), but likely a better point differential, simply because Gordon Hayward is very good at basketball.

    Tatum would be getting similar looks with Hayward around, and they'd likely be better, if anything. The guy who'd lose out in terms of playing time is probably Mook.
     
  41. RedOctober3829

    RedOctober3829 Member SoSH Member

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    If Hayward was here, Tatum would still probably be starting. Marcus Morris was not ready yet and that put Tatum in the starting lineup on Opening Night but I believe he would have stayed in. The 2nd unit would still be the same however Semi probably wouldn't play as much.

    I think Tatum's performance would still be what it is today with or without Hayward healthy. He's just a terrific player
     
  42. Imbricus

    Imbricus Member SoSH Member

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    281
    And take out the three centers, who tend to be high on those lists because they're shooting four feet from the basket, and Tatum is ... #1.
     
  43. Eddie Jurak

    Eddie Jurak Go Leafs Go Lifetime Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    Backing up bowiac here, Ben Falk's stats (cleaningtheglass.com) have Tatum getting fouled on 16.2% of his shot attempts, which is highest on the Celtics an puts him in the 95th percentile among NBA forwards.

    I think this makes sense. At some low level of usage the efficiency/usage tradeoff should plateau. (We'd expect Tatum's efficiency to fall if his usage rose to 25%, but we wouldn't expect much improvement if his efficiency fell to 10%).
     
  44. dbn

    dbn Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    I'm not sure what to take away from that plot. It looks like a lot of data with no statistical analysis and a line drawn on it that influences the eye. Is there any correlation there? I mean, it looks like there might be an anti-correlation but having the data it'd take 2 seconds to check.
     
  45. bowiac

    bowiac I've been living a lie. Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    You're asking if efficiency goes down as usage goes up? The answer is yes. Here is more about the efficiency-usage frontier if you're interested (and more).
     
  46. dbn

    dbn Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    I read that very differently. It seem that the author of the first article assumes that it does, looks at the data (the first figure) which shows that they are uncorrelated. Then he keeps looking for a way to see this "effect" (which he just demonstrated doesn't exist). Or am I missing something?

    I'm not trying to criticize you, bowiac - thanks for sharing the articles - but I do question the articles.
     
  47. lovegtm

    lovegtm Member SoSH Member

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    571
    I think he was more asking whether the frontier is linear.
     
  48. bowiac

    bowiac I've been living a lie. Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I think you're missing something, yes. He does a first cut at the data and doesn't find much. He then looks at a narrower slice of the data (cutting off the players who rarely shoot and/or are super inefficient), and finds that there is an effect for the remaining set of players. That's...fine?

    Your mileage may vary.
     
  49. bowiac

    bowiac I've been living a lie. Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    All models are wrong. Some models are useful.

    I don't think it's actually linear (few things really are), but it sure looks close enough to it that it may not matter.
     
  50. HomeRunBaker

    HomeRunBaker bet squelcher SoSH Member

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    I don't know how many here watch the Raptors but those who do will recognize an enormous growth of Jakob Poeltl in Year 2. He's a binkie of mine and is following the Steven Adams growth trajectory.
     

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