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True or False: Is Jeff Green Inconsistent?

Chuck - Red's Army December 13, 2013 Celtics News, Jeff Green 22 Comments

JGreen

This post was submitted by reader Mike J. an entrepreneur/financial analyst who also claims to have aced his math SATs.  Since we are bloggers and not mathematicians, we cannot confirm the legitimacy of these numbers. But this analysis sure seems to make sense. 

One of the biggest knocks on Jeff Green has been his inconsistency. I have always believed in Jeff’s talent and his usefulness as a building block. So I decided to dig and find out how Jeff is doing, comparatively, with being consistent this season.

Here I compared Jeff’s consistency to that of LeBron James and Paul George… two of the premier small forwards in the league that are both similar in body type and athleticism. The conclusion was that, despite all 3 falling in different areas of productivity, Jeff Green has actually been the MOST consistent, by a significant margin.

Determining Productivity
Firstly, I needed to determine accurately the offensive contributions of each player. To do this I used a figure I call “Points Created Per 36” which is calculated as follows:

((Points) + (Assists * Team Weighted Points Per FG) + (Rebounds * Team Points Per Possession)) ÷ Minutes Played * 36 = PC/36

1 point scored = 1 point created

1 assist = 1 made field goal

Team value:
2.18 Points Created (Celtics)
2.22 Points Created (Heat)
2.20 Points Created (Pacers)

1 rebound = 1 possession

Team value:
0.984 Points Created (Celtics)
1.071 Points Created (Heat)
1.015 Points Created (Pacers)

Creating a Baseline
This analysis is imperfect for 2 reasons:

(1) Points Created Per 36 does not take into account shooting percentage

(2) the Baseline is subjective

Consistency is determined by observing how often a player competes relative to an expected performance. This expected performance (on average) is our baseline for consistency comparison. For this analysis the expected average performances are as follows:

Jeff Green: 20 Pts 5 Rbd 1 Ast = 27.10 Pts Crtd / 36
LeBron James: 25 Pts 7 Rbd 7 Ast = 48.04 Pts Crtd / 36
Paul George: 20 Pts 7 Rbd 4 Ast = 35.53 Pts Crtd / 36

Comparing “Consistency”
Initially I derived “consistency” mathematically, and the conclusion was the same as determining “consistency” graphically.

Mathematically:

(1) Calculate “Points Created Per 36” for each game log

(2) Take the absolute value of each calculation, from the baseline Points Created figure above

(3) Average all of these absolute values

This method derives how much, on average, a player strays from what’s expected of him.

Regardless of whether he overperforms by 5 Points Created or underperformed by 5 Points Created it doesn’t matter, it’s still a deviation from what’s expected. How far you deviate from the
expected is “consistency.”

The results of this method were “Consistency” values (lower = more consistent) of:

Jeff Green: *5.53 Consistency
LeBron James: 7.98 Consistency
Paul George 6.04 Consistency

Graphically:

To confirm these results, I then decided to plot the “Points Created Per 36” value from each game log, and see how frequently each player played in their “expected productivity zone.”

The productivity zones used were as follows:

Jeff Green: 22 – 32 Points Created Per 36 (Based on 27.10 above)
LeBron James 43 – 53 Points Created Per 36 (Based on 48.04 above)
Paul George 30 – 40 Points Created Per 36 (Based on 35.53 above)

Charted, the game logs looked like this:

JG

 

LBJ

 

PG

As you can see Jeff’s Points Created Per 36 logs mostly fall in his expected range, while Paul George also does a good job, and LeBron James either way over-performs, or way under-performs.

Taking these as a percentage, each player performs with a “Consistency percentage” as follows:

Jeff Green: 12 (in the zone) / 24 (overall) = 50.0% Consistency Percentage
LeBron James: 6 (in the zone) / 22 (overall) = 22.7% Consistency Percentage
Paul George: 10 (in the zone) / 22 (overall) = 45.4% Consistency Percentage

In conclusion, Jeff is doing a very good job at putting together consistent games night in and night out this season.

I believe, given this consistency, Brad Stevens should make sure Jeff is putting up more than his current 12.9 shots per game, and see what he can really get out of him.

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  • Shannon Mcclary

    If Jeff Green put up 15-20 shots a game he would easily average over 20pts. He’s shooting at a very good percentage. He just play the way his coach tells him. In every big game against stars he shows out.

    • Double D

      You forgot to carry the 1. The whole equation is now meaningless.

      • KWAPT

        It wasn’t funny the first time.

  • Curt Hays

    Everyone is about to start going on about how this doesn’t mean Jeff is better than LeBron or PG. Mike J is NOT making that claim. This is an interesting way to determine if someone deserves the ball more. I too am a data analyst, and based on the data, I can support the conclusion.

    I would like to suggest considering that games ABOVE the green zone should be considered “consistent” because they were AT LEAST as good as expected.

    – First thing I notice is that LeBron may be the least consistent, but his worst games are higher than Jeff’s average. This would support making no changes.

    – Paul George only has four games BELOW his green zone. I’d argue that he’s more consistent than the other two.

    I like this post, Chuck. Critical thinking from the readers.

    • P Funk

      Just curious Curt and Mike J…Would you consider taking the “expected productivity zone” as a +/- percentage of his average?

      Jeff’s expected zone is roughly 27.1 +/- 5 (+/- 18.5%). While Lebron and Paul are 48.04 +/- 5 (+/- 10.4%) and 35.53 +/- 5 (+/- 14.1%), respectively.

      Perhaps taking the expected productivity zone as a percentage, say +/- 15% from the average would paint a different picture. I’m not sure if it would or not, but it would be interesting to see if Jeff would still appear as the most consistent.

      In any event, very nice job with this post…and nice drive by Jeff to bury the knicks just now! Go C’s!

      • Curt Hays

        Good catch, P Funk. Using +/- 5 to define the “expected productivity zone” creates a bias that favors the player with the lower average “Points Created per 36″. This is going to make Jeff look better regardless. If you broaden that zone using your method, it is a more honest evaluation.

        Consider that I made my previous based on the assumption that anything above average is “consistent”. Using my consideration, Paul George is the CLEAR victor followed by Lebron, and LeBron is barely ahead of Jeff. If we couple that with your method, P Funk, (using 10% to make it easier for me) then Jeff Green looks even more consistent that LeBron.

        Paul George is still more consistent than both, but LeBron is obviously the best player in the world no matter what data you look at.

        I suppose you could aruge that Big Papi is a better baseball player, but that’s as far as I’d go. And I hate it because I want LeBron to suck.

    • Suarez

      I understand he isn’t trying to say Green is better than LeBron or George, but I think this analysis would be more telling if it compared Green to players on his level, not well above it. It would also be interesting to see this type of analysis based on the percentage of points created per game. Nonetheless, a really nice post.

      • Curt Hays

        More telling? Eh, I don’t think I agree with ya. Mike J’s conclusion says that the data tells him to put the ball in Jeff’s hands more, which I agree with. Comparing him to anyone less than the best guys would be less telling because it would only serve to show WHO is on Jeff’s level, not what we should do with Jeff.

        • Suarez

          I guess my real problem with comparing him to these guys is that they are so much more productive than him that it isn’t really fair to set the range of consistency at +/- 5 for all three of them.

          If player A averages 30 pts per 36, but typically either scores about 25 or about 35 per 36, and player B averages 15 pts per 36, but usually either scores around 10 or around 20, are those two players equally consistent? I would argue they are not.

          LeBron’s green zone represents about a 10.6 percent rise or fall from his average productivity, George’s represents about a 14.1 percent rise or fall and Green’s represents about a 18.4 percent rise or fall.

          If you apply the same 18.4 percent Green gets for his consistency zone to LeBron, suddenly only 7 or 8 of LeBron’s little blue balls are outside of consistent.

          I really do like what the original poster was trying to do, and I hope he provides more of it.

          • Curt Hays

            I see what you’re saying. That could be more telling indeed. Remember, Jeff WAS the third best player for OKC when they were in the WCF. I still agree that Jeff needs the ball in his hands.

          • Suarez

            Good point about OKC. And I bet the Thunder would love to have him back right now.

          • Curt Hays

            Considering that Perk is making the same $8.7M that Jeff is making…of course they would. Even more so when Perk is one of the “worst” players in the league this season.

  • KWAPT

    Wow-it’s obvious he put a lot of time into this post. Great work and thanks for reading/your support Mike.

  • Double D

    He forgot to carry the 1. The whole equation is now meaningless.

  • tvor03

    This went way over my head. I’m just gonna trust this fella’s conclusion.

  • Luke Walton

    Questions can’t be true or false.

    Only statements of fact can be.

    Should read

    TRUE OR FALSE: JEFF GREEN IS INCONSISTENT

  • RedsLoveChild

    LeBron vs. George vs. Green

    These stats will make us feel so much better next June…as we watch Miami & Indiana battle it out in the EC Finals!!

    There`s only one true test of in this “analysis” : Ask the GM`s of Miami & Indiana if they would trade their small forward even up for Jeff Green.

  • forever_green

    Look..over all Jeff has been more consistent compared to the past & his shooting has improved…BUT this is the year he should be breaking out and showing what he’s made of. The problem is he doesn’t demand the ball more and doesn’t seem to want to be in the spotlight consistently, he sure as hell still disappears from quarter to quarter, which he shouldn’t.

    I never liked that trade for Jeff, then over pay by Danny, but I do rout for Jeff like the rest of you. Let’s just stop pretending Jeff hasn’t reached his potential and he’s gonna be in the HOF some day, he has yet to make an allstar team.

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