“Analytics are like when you’re black and white. When you’re black they call you a cook. When you’re white, they call you a chef … they’re just stats. Everybody pays attention to stats. They just changed the name to analytics so they can charge you more.”
Obviously nobody’s explained to Barkley advanced metrics; points per game and field goal shooting are fine, but what about your true shooting percentage? Your PER?
Points and blocks and assists are each one number; PER attempts to be all encompassing. It skews offensive, but if you’re able to block shots and collect steals, it really loves you (which is why Kevin Garnett is Mr. PER). Dave Berri produced one of the great criticisms of PER here, but this is far too meaty for Barkley to read on Inside the NBA.
Stick to the jokes, Chuck. Or, go this route: Kevin Love was 3rd in PER last year (26.97) and hence he was coveted by all the contenders.
Well, now he’s playing with the best player in the league (LeBron) and one of the top point guards (Kyrie Irving) and Love’s PER has fallen off a cliff: He’s now 56th, at 19.21. Not a good fit with the Cavs? Not getting in the right spot? Typical adjustment to a new coach/system/spot in the pecking order? Eh, it’s only been 59 games.
Or maybe Kevin Love’s numbers don’t lie – he’s a guy destined to put up monster stats on bad teams.
We’ve seen that before – Tracy McGrady led the NBA in PER in 2002-2003, the year he led the NBA in scoring. Did he make his teammates better? Not really. The Magic won 42 games and were bounced in the 1st round. T-Mac finished 4th in NBA MVP balloting behind Duncan, Garnett and Kobe.
PER never loved Steve Nash, either. The year he won his 1st MVP award (2004-2005) he only finished 18th in PER. He won MVP again the following year, but only finished 14th.
I look at PER. I value it. How much value? It’s part of the equation. Think of the NBA as a salad (the Bleu Cheese and Walnut salad, my favorite). The eye test is the greens, maybe the candied walnuts is PER? The dried cranberries are defensive efficiency? The bleu cheese is all of your basic stats? And the balsamic vinaigrette is … history?
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