Tuesday, July 24, 2012

NBA 2K12 Contested Shot Tendencies

I was recently asked (by someone important) to dissect Contested Shot Tendencies (herefore known as CS) for a roster.  This is generally a tendency that I leave alone, but it is at least worth finding out whether that's the right thing to do or not.

"Contested Shot" Tendency is the tendency that determines whether a player will "contest" a shot (i.e. attempt a block).  The direct gameplay effect is how aggressive the CPU's defense will be on attempted shots (which has both positive and negative repercussions).

The highest CS tendencies belong to
99: Tyrus Thomas, Larry Sanders, Epke Udoh, Tristan Thompson, JaVale McGee, Serge Ibaka, Hasheem Thabeet
98: Taj Gibson, Derrick Favors, Tim Duncan, Chris Andersen, Darko Milicic, D.J. Mbenga
97: DeAndre Jordan, Andrew Bynum, Andrew Bogut, Jeremy Tyler, Lou Amundson, Dominic McGuire, Hamady N'Diaye
96: Bismack Biyombo, Dwyane Wade, Joel Anthony, Francisco Garcia, Patrick Patterson, Ronny Turiaf
95: Jordan Hill, Dwight Howard, Roy Hibbert, Amir Johnson, Hamed Haddadi, Derrick Caracter
94: Jeremy Evans
93: Samuel Dalembert, Josh Smith, Al Jefferson, Marcus Camby, Amare Stoudemire, Jermaine O'Neal
92: Wilson Chandler
90: DeSagana Diop, Travis Leslie, Tony Allen, Chris Kaman, Kevin Seraphin, Ben Wallace

Only a select few players were not centers or power forwards.  There are no point guards who crack the list.  The SG/SF who do crack the list are known for their shot blocking.  I fully expected this.

Most of these tendencies pass the eye test.  I am not going to nitpick whether Samuel Dalembert deserves 93 when Amir Johnson has 95.  That is just a waste of time to me.  Instead, let's look for players whose tendencies stand out as "bad".

Patrick Patterson (96) and Jordan Hill (95) were the first ones that caught my eye.  Last year, both players were part of the 2011 Houston Rockets that lost center Yao Ming. Patterson posted a respectable 3.0 BLK% as a rookie, while Hill posted 3.2% in his sophomore season.  Neither player's block rating is all that spectacular.  Instead, the tendency signifies their role as weak-side shot blocker with 6'6" Chuck Hayes manning the middle (a role they were not exactly suited for, given their abilities (ratings).

In 2012, the team added Samuel Dalembert, a bonafide shot blocking center.  Patterson's BLK% dropped to 1.8% while Hill's rose to 3.6%.  Patterson got most of his minutes next to the shot blocker, while Hill spent most of his minutes backing up Dalembert (and thus, continuing to act as a rim defender while in the lineup).  It would seem that the prudent thing to do would be to reduce Patterson's CS tendency because his defensive role changed, and isn't nearly as aggressive contesting shots.

As an aside, I would like to reiterate that a high block rate =/= good defense.  Serge Ibaka lead the league in blocks by a large margin, but is one of the league's most overrated defensive players.  Ibaka gets bullied one on one, off the dribble or in the post, which puts him in league with many other "blocks specialists", namely JaVale McGee, Chris "Birdman" Andersen, Darko Milicic, etc.  I.E. all the players who have these absurdly high CS tendencies.

Tyson Chandler on the other hand was Defensive Player of the Year (was runner up in 2011) and only has 60 CST.  Tyson is a great defensive player because he is extremely agile making rotations, a quality post defender, and doesn't just try to block every single shot (consequently, not picking up a ton of fouls either).  Not coincidentally, Tyson Chandler is also an excellent rebounder.  Players who go for lots of blocks have a tendency to not be great rebounders, partly because they are taking themselves out of rebound position when they leap for blocks.

Serge Ibaka
2010: 5.5 BLK%, 21.9 DRB%
2011: 6.5 BLK%, 20.8 DRB%
2012: 9.8 BLK%, 18.2 DRB%

Ibaka's rebound percentage has dropped as his blocks have continued to rise.  Conversely on the other side of the extreme, players like David Lee and Kevin Love are fantastic rebounders who rarely block shots (or even attempt to do so).  It's the players like Dwight Howard who can do BOTH that are truly special (obviously).

With this in mind, I've noticed that NBA 2K12 has a problem with rebounding.  It is too easy to get defensive boards, as offensive players are usually taken out of the play via animation (whereas in real life, it is not uncommon for a player to grab his own miss at the rim).  I often give up offensive boards to the CPU however, because I frequently contest shots (and I imagine most users are like me).

I would like to theorize that raising CS across the board would increase the number of offensive rebound opportunities as the CPU will be out of position more frequently. I also theorize that a CS increase would lead to more foul calls for the CPU, as the CPU for the most part is only getting called for fouls in the act of shooting.  More contests SHOULD lead to more fouling opportunities.

In my roster the average CS tendency by position is
PG: 25
SG: 32
SF: 46
PF: 50
C: 74

There is a huge gap between PF and C, as well as the gap between SG and SF.  Obviously there are more shot blockers as we go up the line, but are some players simply rated too low?

The lowest CS tendencies belong to
0: Avery Bradley, Sasha Pavlovic, Jeremy Pargo, Ishmael Smith, Sundiata Gaines, Kenneth Faried, Raymond Felton, Renaldo Balkman, Sherron Collins, Carlos Arroyo, Willie Warren, Pape Sy
3: Stephen Graham
4: D.J. Augustin, Isaiah Thomas, Jameer Nelson, A.J. Price, Tony Parker, Patrick Mills, J.J. Barea
5: Reggie Williams, John Lucas, Jordan Hamilton, Daequan Cook, Terrico White, Antonio Daniels, Marcus Banks, Andy Rautins
6: Jodie Meeks, Chris Paul, Mike Miller
7: Kemba Walker, Jimmer Fredette, Toney Douglas, Steve Blake, J.J. Redick, Ty Lawson, Gary Neal, Steve Nash
8: Richard Hamilton, Keyon Dooling, Joe Johnson, Iman Shumpert, Wayne Ellington
9: Corey Maggette, Jon Brockman, Chris Duhon

Predictably most of the players on this list are guards.  Kenneth Faried's presence on this list is one hell of a doozy though, considering his 3.6 BLK%.  That's a major oversight by 2K and probably a typo that was made when they were coming up with tendencies last summer (there's simply no other way to explain it).

It's also a bit telling that no players have 1-3 CS (Edit: only Stephen Graham in the free agent pool has 3).  If that's the case, no player should have 0 either.  Avery Bradley posted 0.0 BLK% in scant playing time as a rookie, but bumped that up to a very respectable 0.7 BLK% (for a guard), and he is a highly regarded defender.  Something tells me he didn't get that rep by not contesting shots!

Raymond Felton (0.4 BLK%) is likewise regarded as a solid defensive player, so what is it that's separating him from PGs like D.J. Augustin, Isaiah Thomas, J.J. Barea, John Lucas, Ty Lawson, guys who are all under 6 feet?


My first instinct, using all of this information, would be to change a few player's CS tendencies, rather than making sweeping changes to the system 2K has in place.  Aside from a few examples here and there, most everything has checked out.  However I'd like to hear other's thoughts on the matter, as I don't want to gloss over something that I shouldn't be.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

NBA 2K12 simulation of the NBA 2012-13 season

Simulation run under the following specs
My roster as of 7-21-12 (all player ratings edited, most player tendencies edited)
All teams were human controlled to avoid CPU trades, signings, extensions, or any other tom-foolery.
No injuries, team chemistry, player roles, or progressive fatigue.
CPU re-does rotations upon season start and readjusts throughout the season without me asking for it. Hence, I didn't waste my time adjusting the rotations at any point.

1. Heat (65-17)
2. Hawks (56-26)
3. Celtics (55-27)
4. Pacers (46-36) - Would rank 6th except they won Central Division
5. Raptors (54-28)
6. Sixers (48-34)
7. Bulls (44-38) - Game automatically moves Rose back to lineup, IRL out until Feb/Mar
8. Knicks (43-39)
9. Nets (42-40)
10. Bucks (38-44)
11. Magic (33-49)
12. Cavaliers (30-52)
13. Pistons (29-52)
14. Wizards (24-58)
15. Bobcats (15-67)

Hawks should be a surprise team (lost Horford for much of 2012), but IDK about better than the Celtics.
Raptors went through the roof with Kyle Lowry unleashed.  Valanciunas also an upgrade over Aaron Gray.  Don't like this, result but they should be playoff contenders.
Even with a healthy Rose, the Bulls have downgraded their bench to this point.  I should note I still have Omer Asik as a Bull, rather than a Rocket.

1. Thunder (62-20)
2. Lakers (51-31)
3. Mavericks (48-34)
4. Clippers (44-38)
5. Spurs (44-38)
6. Warriors (44-38)
7. Timberwolves (42-40)
8. Grizzlies (42-40)
9. Jazz (38-44)
10. Hornets (37-45)
11. Suns (34-48)
12. Nuggets (32-50)
13. Kings (32-50)
14. Trail Blazers (29-53)
15. Rockets (29-53)

Warriors surely a surprise to some, but shouldn't be if Andrew Bogut and Stephen Curry stay healthy.
2K's sim engine hates the Nuggets, who have incredible depth but lack stars.
Wolves record is surely contingent on Brandon Roy being able to carry a heavy load, which the CPU auto-plugs him into.

Aside from 3 teams per conference, everything meeting expectations.

C: Dwight Howard, Greg Monroe
PF: Nene
SF: LeBron James, Josh Smith, Andre Iguodala
SG: Dwyane Wade, Monta Ellis
PG: Derrick Rose, Deron Williams, Kyle Lowry, John Wall

C: Tim Duncan, Al Jefferson
PF: Kevin Love, Kenneth Faried
SF: Kevin Durant, Rudy Gay
SG: Kobe Bryant
PG: Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Tony Parker, Ty Lawson, Stephen Curry

In what is very telling about the direction of the league, 9 PGs were named all-stars against 3 SGs.
Tough to believe Faried (14/10) was selected over Dirk and Aldridge (both 19/7) .  Someone tell the 2K sim engine that points matter more than rebounds?

MVP: LeBron James
RoY: Anthony Davis
SMY: Jeff Teague - CPU moves higher-rated Lou Williams into starting lineup (Lou's my pick IRL)
DPY: Dwight Howard
MIP: Greivis Vasquez - Logical pick as he's set for huge PT increase w/ Jarrett Jack out of way.
CoY: Erik Spoelstra

Russell Westbrook (G), Dwyane Wade (G), LeBron James (F), Kevin Durant (F), Dwight Howard (C)

Chris Paul (G), Derrick Rose (G), Josh Smith (F), Andre Iguodala (F), Tim Duncan (C)

Kyle Lowry (G), Deron Williams (G), Paul Pierce (F), Carmelo Anthony (F), Kevin Garnett (C)

Dwyane Wade (G), Paul George (G), LeBron James (F), Josh Smith (F), Dwight Howard (C)

Kyle Lowry (G), Chris Paul (G), Kenneth Faried (F), Paul Millsap (F), Anthony Davis (C)

Anthony Davis (C), Damian Lillard (G), Dion Waiters (G), Bradley Beal (G), Thomas Robinson (F)

Davis: 11.4 ppg, 10.9 rpg, 0.8 apg, 1.2 spg, 1.9 bpg
Lillard: 15.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.6 apg, 1.6 spg, 0.0 bpg
Waiters: 14.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.9 apg, 1.7 spg, 0.1 bpg
Beal: 15.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.1 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.2 bpg
Robinson: 9.3 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 1.1 apg, 0.3 spg, 0.5 bpg

Meyers Leonard (C), Harrison Barnes (F), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (F), Royce White (F), Jeremy Lamb (G)

Leonard: 7.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 1.3 apg, 0.3 spg, 1.1 bpg
Barnes: 13.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.2 spg, 0.2 bpg
Kidd-Gilchrist: 9.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 0.8 apg, 1.1 spg, 0.5 bpg
White: 6.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2.9 apg, 0.7 spg, 0.2 bpg
Lamb: 11.2 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 0.7 apg, 0.6 spg, 0.2 bpg

4-0 Thunder (1) Grizzlies (8)
4-3 Clippers (4) Spurs (5)
1-4 Mavericks (3) Warriors (6)
2-4 Lakers (2) Wolves (7)
4-3 Heat (1) Knicks (8)
4-1 Pacers (4) Raptors (5)
2-4 Celtics (3) Sixers (6)
2-4 Hawks (2) Bulls (7)

4-3 Thunder (1) Clippers (4)
4-3 Warriors (6) Wolves (7)
4-1 Heat (1) Pacers (4)
4-3 Sixers (6) Bulls (7)

4-1 Thunder (1) Warriors (6)
4-0 Heat (1) Sixers (6)

4-2 Heat (1) Thunder (1)

LeBron James: 24.9 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 5.5 apg, 2.0 spg, 0.5 bpg

Grant Hill*
Jamaal Tinsley
Marcus Camby*
#Jason Kidd*
Kurt Thomas
#Steve Nash*
Vince Carter*
Jerry Stackhouse

*Denotes player under multi-year deal who would NEVER retire in real-life without an injury.
#Denotes player inducted into Hall of Fame

2013 KEY FREE AGENT CLASS (Ratings Post-Progression)
PG: Chris Paul (94), Ty Lawson (84), Stephen Curry (83), Brandon Jennings (83), Darren Collison (78), Jrue Holiday (78), Jarrett Jack (77)
SG: James Harden (86), Manu Ginobili (82), Tyreke Evans (80), DeMar DeRozan (76)
SF: Chase Budinger (73)
PF: Paul Millsap (84), Serge Ibaka (81), David West (77), Elton Brand (77)
C: Marcin Gortat (84), Nikola Pekovic (79)