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11-01-2012, 01:57 PM
Czech Your Math
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Originally Posted by Dalton View Post
A possible explanation for this is that they don't do what people think they do. It seems to take a lot more work to defend adjusted stats than to critique them.
It's generally easier to destroy than create.

Many claim any perceived flaw means that adjusted stats are incompletely invalidated. They claim one of Mona Lisa's hairs is out of place, and that proves to them that the painting should be burned and we should go back to looking at stick figures. One of the stripes on the airplane looks crooked, so it's back to horses and buggies.

Originally Posted by Dalton View Post
Of course I'm referring to posters that actually make the effort as opposed to those going for the 'you're too stupid to understand' response.
I, and others, have certainly made the effort to explain the foundation (value proportional to scoring context) and methodology (formulas) for adjusted stats. Specifically, while I prefaced my explanation of comparing players across the same range of seasons with the cautionary "this is difficult to explain" (and even more difficult to grasp if you do not fully understand the foundation and reasoning for adjusted stats), I still did my best to explain it by use of a simplified example.

Originally Posted by Dalton View Post
I disagree with your interpretation of the example you gave.

I would think that the players production was precisely equal. Each produced at a rate 50% better than the league average and also 20% better than the league average.

As for their absolute goals scored well the reality is that the player who scores the most will receive more credit for doing that.

They are different standards of measurement with different goals I think.
I agree with your bolded statement. One would expect the two players to have roughly equal production over the combined two seasons, yet they wouldn't. The reason is that the scoring context changed substantially.

The player who scored more absolute goals will get more credit by people who don't understand that his goals didn't have more value than the other player's goals. Raw data's goal is to record the data as directly and simply as possible. There is no other goal or refinement present in the raw data.


There are various problems with comparing a player's production to a vary small subset of his peers (say the top 10 finishers or similar group):

- as has been pointed out ITT, comparative scoring between tiers can change and the reasons for that change should determine whether/how to further adjust for that fact (e.g., the top 10 players' adjusted scoring may increase simply due to being of comparative higher quality than before)

- the data for a very small subset is much more likely to vary substantially due to random factors, or for reasons that are more difficult to assess and properly adjust for

- the link between the adjusted data and value is broken

Simple adjusted data is built on the premise that goals win games, and that the value of a player's goal/point production is fixed in proportion to the average gpg in the season in which he was playing. Any deviation that does not explicitly and directly factor in the scoring context will distort the direct link to value which has been established. IMO simple adjusted stats should not be excluded in the quest for "new & improved" adjusted stats.

There are so many factors to consider for "new & improved" adjusted stats, that I'm not sure if/when there will be substantial agreement as to the proper method to obtain such. There was a thread in HoH about "Why would Gretzky still dominate today?" Well over 500 posts by many of the more knowledgeable posters and wide range of opinions on just how dominant Gretzky would be in today's NHL. That's just one player hypothetically placed in one different era. What about every player in any era? Coming to some sort of consensus on that will be incredibly difficult, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth attempting.

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