Against Glop's Grain
Late last night/early this morn, myself and Silverbird threw together this post. It came out of a long conversation that, I'm now realizing, might now have made it into type the way we wanted it to.
The point of this post was not, as some of our feistier readers believe, to deride PER or say "shit is stupid!!!!" In fact, we didn't even pat ourselves on the back for putting the overrating effect in economic terms. Rather, this was intended to bring together two sides of the debate. Like, fine, PER can misrepresent things. But at the same time, it can call our attention to situations demanding attention. We sought to make these problems into something wonderful, not, as some have claimed, point at them and giggle.
"PER Inflation" has not, cannot, and does not mean that "these dudes suck." Instead, it's indicative of a player requiring more minutes, such that a higher caliber of opponent would correct this aberration. If not, and he stays that good, great. In this case, though, PER is qualitative indicator that someone's place in the rotation needs reconsidering. This, of course, is consistent with Ziller's light attack on coaching know-how. Similarly, someone wounded with "deflated" PER tells us either that, according to one viewpoint, he should be considered for demotion. Of course, it could also simply show that his team is barren, or that he has been chosen for a highly-specialized role, one that might not show up all that well in PER.
I don't really like stats, it's true, in part because when I watch a game, I don't see PER and +/-. Ironically, here I was trying to make a peace offering, to unite two warring factions, under the banner of qualitative cues. If I failed, may you all leave tampons in my ear.