Introducing RAPTOR, 538's New Metric For The Modern NBA

 
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ribeye
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:00 pm    Post subject: Introducing RAPTOR, 538's New Metric For The Modern NBA

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RAPTOR, which stands for Robust Algorithm (using) Player Tracking (and) On/Off Ratings, is FiveThirtyEight’s new NBA statistic. We’re pretty excited about it. In addition to being a statistic that we bake in house, RAPTOR fulfills two long-standing goals of ours:

First, we wanted to create a publicly available statistic that takes advantage of modern NBA data, specifically player tracking and play-by-play data that isn’t available in traditional box scores.
Second, and relatedly, we wanted a statistic that better reflects how modern NBA teams actually evaluate players.

NBA teams highly value floor spacing, defense and shot creation, and they place relatively little value on traditional big-man skills. RAPTOR likewise values these things — not because we made any deliberate attempt to design the system that way but because the importance of those skills emerges naturally from the data. RAPTOR thinks ball-dominant players such as James Harden and Steph Curry are phenomenally good. It highly values two-way wings such as Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. It can have a love-hate relationship with centers, who are sometimes overvalued in other statistical systems. But it appreciates modern centers such as Nikola Jokić and Joel Embiid, as well as defensive stalwarts like Rudy Gobert.


The ratings are at the bottom of the article with the usual suspects dominating the top spots, pretty much. It looks like this goes back to 2014. Of note, CP3, as is typical with advanced stats, dominates, as five of his last six seasons (no 2019) are all in the top 15 best Raptor ratings. Durant doesn't enter the list until somewhere around the 30th spot.

Example:
Code:
                                    Off     Def     Tot    WAR
Brandon Ingram    2018    1,975    -1.2    -0.8    -2.0    0.8
Brandon Ingram    2019    1,760    -1.3    -0.7    -2.0    0.7
Brandon Ingram    2017    2,279    -2.5    -2.7    -5.2   -2.8
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ribeye
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:19 pm    Post subject:

RAPTOR Top 15

Code:
Year  Minutes  Off   Def    Tot    WAR    Player
2016   3,314  10.4   2.1   12.5   26.7   Stephen Curry
2014   2,643   7.7   3.7   11.4   19.3   Chris Paul
2015   3,439   8.6   2.4   11.0   25.1   Stephen Curry
2019   3,291   9.6   1.1   10.7   22.8   James Harden
2015   3,302   8.6   2.1   10.7   22.6   Chris Paul
2018   3,172   8.8   1.3   10.1   20.9   James Harden
2016   2,719   5.1   4.7    9.9   17.5   Kawhi Leonard
2019   3,045   5.3   4.2    9.5   19.4   Paul George
2016   3,687   3.9   5.4    9.4   23.5   Draymond Green
2016   2,545   7.7   1.6    9.3   15.7   Chris Paul
2017   2,903   7.3   2.0    9.3   17.9   Kawhi Leonard
2017   3,239   9.3  -0.1    9.2   20.7   Stephen Curry
2017   2,181   7.9   1.2    9.1   13.2   Chris Paul
2019   3,061   6.1   2.7    8.7   18.2   Nikola Jokic
2018   2,364   7.0   1.6    8.6   13.7   Chris Paul
2015   2,627   3.8   4.7    8.5   15.2   Anthony Davis
2014   3,142   7.8   0.5    8.3   18.1   Stephen Curry
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Aeneas Hunter
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:34 pm    Post subject:

I saw that earlier. It sounds interesting, but I can't say that the results impress me. Paul George had a good season last year, but the eighth best season since 2014? Lebron did not have one of the top 15 seasons? Chris Paul had five of the top 15 seasons? It seems like something is off in the weighting for this model.
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DuncanIdaho
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:51 pm    Post subject:

LeBron not in the top 15 over some of those guys makes me want to dismiss this rating outright.
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danzag
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:02 am    Post subject:

Aeneas Hunter wrote:
I saw that earlier. It sounds interesting, but I can't say that the results impress me. Paul George had a good season last year, but the eighth best season since 2014? Lebron did not have one of the top 15 seasons? Chris Paul had five of the top 15 seasons? It seems like something is off in the weighting for this model.


Exactly
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Laker_Dynasty_01
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 8:06 am    Post subject:

danzag wrote:
Aeneas Hunter wrote:
I saw that earlier. It sounds interesting, but I can't say that the results impress me. Paul George had a good season last year, but the eighth best season since 2014? Lebron did not have one of the top 15 seasons? Chris Paul had five of the top 15 seasons? It seems like something is off in the weighting for this model.


Exactly


At first glance, seems nearly every season on this list was from a Western Conference player. One could surmise that strength of schedule is a huge factor in the rating, seems like a power ranking for sheer volume of statistics recorded, taking into account strength of the opponent.

Maybe playing 24 minutes against an Eastern Conference bottom feeder and winning buy 10 is worse than losing by 10 to Golden State while getting 30 & 12 assists, according to this metric.
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