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Greatest Fantasy Seasons in the 3-Point Era


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#1 Straight Outta CPT

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 09:04 AM

In another forum, I was reading a debate about the greatest fantasy seasons of all time.  I thought it would be worthwhile to settle this by calculating the numbers.  I've chosen to begin with the 1980 season since that's the first season for which three-pointers were available.  Before that, defensive stats and turnover data were not available until the mid-1970s.  I suppose I could have started with some of the later ABA seasons, but it didn't seem as fun.

I'm normalizing for stats within each season.  The biggest fluctuation comes from 3-pointers, which are worth more than 4 times as much in 1980 as they are today (in fact, they were at their highest value in 1983, when they were worth almost 7 times as much as they are today).

Greatest season of all time?  Larry Bird in 1987.  Michael Jordan's 1988 season (which finished at #3 behind Bird's 1988) would have surely been more valuable today though with the deflation of triples.

Top 25 seasons of all-time listed below:

Posted Image

Posted Image

Full data here: http://bit.ly/XCHHvL

Edited by Tarheels_2433, 26 January 2013 - 12:17 PM.
I formatted your calculations to be able to read easier.


#2 Tarheels_2433

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 11:19 AM

Interesting, this thread has popped up a number of times of the last few years, but it's always been a subjective analysis.  Nobody has ever actually done the calculations.  I always had thought some of Hakeem's mid 90's seasons would have topped out the rankings and I'm fairly shocked that he is not even the top 5.
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#3 binhdvu83

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 06:42 PM

Nice Shawn Marion is up there with the all time greats
16 team (8-cat) H2H each cat $$ re-draft
PG: J. Calderon, G. Hill, N. Cole
SG: E. Bledsoe, C. Lee, M. Bellinelli
SF: N. Batum,  S. Marion, D. Carroll, J. Johnson
PF: D. Nowitzki, T. Duncan,
C: , A. Varejao, R. Lopez, A. Ajinca, J. Oneal

30 team (8-cat) H2H NBA dynasty league (8 players) 5th year
PG: J. Calderon, M. Chalmers
SG: A. Bradley,  F. Garcia
SF: N. Batum, C. Delfino, J. Johnson
PF: D. Nowitzki, C. Bosh
C: Anthony Davis, B. Diaw

#4 st1010

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:53 PM

so is bird > jordan?

i've had friends who actually stated this, with a straight face.

#5 Disast3r

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:27 AM

You are amazing for doing this, I'm surprised this thread isn't more popular. Recently I've actually been thinking about how historic seasons would look from a fantasy perspective, and I was wishing there was a way to take what Basketball Monster does and extend it to past seasons. You practically did that and it's so interesting to see, your work should be more appreciated.

By the way, is there a way you could easily weigh all of these past seasons as if they occurred this season (like how you said MJ's 1988 season would be more valuable today)? I'd like to see exactly how these seasons would match up against Durant's in today's NBA.

Again, very cool, thank you for compiling all of this.

#6 Tom Chambers

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:43 AM

there's really only two reasons why bird's seasons aren't better than jordan's irl, and it's because irl, threes aren't as important to a real basketball player as they are to a fantasy player and then there's defense.  but bird does legitimately have some of the best seasons since 1980
Everything I say is from the viewpoint of the following:
ESPN, 12 Teams, 15 players each, not including one IR spot people might or might not be using at any time. Weekly H2H.  Two year keepers, in the position you drafted them:

PG: Chris Paul (1), Goran Dragic (4), Jeff Teague (5)
SG: Kevin Martin (6), Kyle Korver (11), Mike Dunleavy (FA), Terrence Ross (FA)
SF: Paul Millsap (2), Jimmy Butler (7), Wilson Chandler (8), Danny Green (Trade), Al-Farouq Aminu(FA)
PF: Derrick Favors (9, keeper), Mirza Teletovic (FA)
C:  Anthony Davis (3, keeper)
IR: Nerlens Noel (potential keeper for next year, folks, FA)

#7 Thats Ridiculous

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:54 AM

how is Lebron James not on that list?

#8 bloopy

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:59 AM

this is really interesting with the normalization to each season, which shows how bird was hitting 3s at an extraordinary rate in the late 1980's vs durant in 2013.

even though bird was only hitting in the low 1.0, 1.2, 1.3 threes a game, he had incredible value there; whereas, durant is hitting 2.0 threes a game in 2013 and isn't nearly as close.
13.9 pts, 5.4 rebs, 3.3 asts, 1.0 stls, 0.7 blks, 1.0 3pm, 1.9 to, 46 FG%, 78 FT%

#9 Straight Outta CPT

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 02:12 AM

View PostDisast3r, on 27 January 2013 - 01:27 AM, said:

By the way, is there a way you could easily weigh all of these past seasons as if they occurred this season (like how you said MJ's 1988 season would be more valuable today)? I'd like to see exactly how these seasons would match up against Durant's in today's NBA.

Again, very cool, thank you for compiling all of this.

I'm pretty busy right now, but the MU and SD parameters are available for each season.  If you wanted to compare Jordan's 1988 season, you could calculate it if you're reasonably comfortable with Excel.  For instance, his ptsV would be (34.98 - 14.04)/4.23 = +4.95.  Do that for all the categories, except use a negative sign for turnovers.  Percentages are a bit tricky, but the way they're written out you take (player_FG% - league_mean_FG%)/league_sd_FG% * player_FGA; so for Jordan's fgpV: (0.535 - 0.457)/0.567 * 24.37 = +3.34.

I'm almost certain that Jordan would come out on top.  When I get a chance, I'll reset my script to do something similar, but that's actually a little bit easier than normalizing for each season, so I didn't set that up.

Also, I went ahead and calculated the following:
- 5 category (PTS, REB, AST, FG%, FT%) from 1955 (beginning of shotclock era) to 1973.
- 7 category (PTS, REB, AST, STL, BLK, FG%, FT%) from 1974 to 1977.
- 8 category (PTS, REB, AST, STL, BLK, TO, FG%, FT%) from 1978 to 1979.

The results are really hard to compare, especially in the early eras where the league size was super small, but essentially, Oscar Robertson dominated the 1960s and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar dominated the 1970s.

#10 rotojoe

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 10:37 AM

For me, Jordan's steal #'s easily put him above Bird or anyone else. I still think that is the hardest cat to get consistently.
Team 1: (12 team h2h, 9 cats)

Chris Paul, John Wall, Beverley, Bayless
Kevin Martin, Luol Deng, Kawhi Leonard, Terrence Ross, Tyreke Evans
Marc Gasol, Ibaka, Taj Gibson, PJ Tucker,

Team 2: (12 team h2h, 8 cats)

Dragic, Lawson, Augustin, Beverley, Oladipo
Batum, Kyle Singler, JR Smith, Middleton, Barnes
M Gasol, Millsap, Pekovic, Taj Gibson, Gortat

#11 Donnie99

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 11:31 AM

shocked to see lebron is not on the list even though he is a beast irl.  those ft% must have hurt real bad.
20 team H2H 13-player 9-Category League
PG - Ricky Rubio
SG - Kyle Korver
G   - Terrence Ross
SF - Thaddeus Young
PF - Larry Sanders
F - Chandler Parsons
C - Andre Drummond
C - Josh McRoberts
U - Mario Chalmers
U - Brandon Knight
BN - Jason Thompson, Evan Fournier, Mike Scott

*Al Horford
-----------------------------------------------------
30 team - Contracts Dynasty League
G - Kyle Lowry, Jrue Holiday, Jerryd Bayless, Kevin Martin
F - Andre Iguodala, Mike Dunleavy, Tornike Shengelia, Thaddeus Young, Boris Diaw, Ryan Anderson
C - Nikola Vucevic, Greg Stiemsma, Brook Lopez

#12 tremixt

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 12:52 PM

View Postrotojoe, on 27 January 2013 - 10:37 AM, said:

For me, Jordan's steal #'s easily put him above Bird or anyone else. I still think that is the hardest cat to get consistently.

This. I'm really surprised Jordan's 88' season isn't #1.

Great work with the list, though, CPT.

#13 Johnnyapplebot

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:16 AM

While seeing the amazement of Kevin Durant this year and watching him completely own this year I started to question if he is having the best fantasy season of all time. According to basketballmonster he has not had 1 game where he produced negatively. Is he having the best fantasy season of all time? If not, which player has had the best fantasy season of all time?
Fantasy Basketball 10 team league

Team 1

PG - Chris Paul, Isaiah Thomas, Victor Oladipo, D.J Augustin
SG - James Harden, Eric Bledsoe, George Hill
SF - Kawhi Leonard, Wilson Chandler, Kyle Korver
PF - Blake Griffin, Khris Middleton
C - Jonas Valanciunas, Dirk Nowitzki

Team 2

PG - Ty Lawson, Isaiah Thomas
SG - DJ Augustin, Bradley Beal, Wesley Johnson
SF - James Harden, Luol Deng, Matt Barnes, Khris Middleton
PF - Dirk Nowitzki, DeMarr Carroll, Tobias Harris
C -  Andre Drummond, Marc Gasol

#14 zass17

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:33 AM

that dude name Wilt

61-62
50.4 pts, 25.7 Reb, 0.506 FG
9-cats, H2H, PG/SG/SF/PF/C/U*2/BN*4
16 teams, 11 players per,

G - Bledsoe, Lawson, Collison, C Lee
F - Kawhi, Parsons, C Butler, Dunleavy, Booker

C - Sullinger, Pekovic,

#15 Now_I_Know

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:38 AM

foreal?? durant is having a great season, but u realize what kind of seasons other players have had in the past? wilt, kareem, hakeem, mj+kobe in their 35+ ppg seasons, oscar robertson, etc....kevin durant woulda been a 2nd rounder in certain eras.

Edited by Now_I_Know, 28 January 2013 - 02:39 AM.

------------------------------------------
Yahoo! 12-Team H2H Standard Cat League:
------------------------------------------
PG Kyle Lowry...Trey Burke/Jrue Holiday*
SG Stephen Curry...Kobe Bryant*

SF Josh Smith...Gordan Hayward/Tobias Harris
PF Jared Sullinger...John Henson*

C Nikola Vucevic...Andrew Bogut*/Nikola Pekovic*
------------------------------------------
Yahoo! 8-Team H2H FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST ST BLK DD League:
------------------------------------------   
PG Deron Williams...Kyle Lowry/Mike Conley*
SG Goran Dragic...Kobe Bryant*
SF Chandler Parson...
Ersan Ilyasova/Kevin Martin*
PF Kevin Love...Serge Ibaka/John Henson*
C Blake Griffin...Jonas Valuncunius/Anderson Varejo*

#16 Johnnyapplebot

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:40 AM

ur right, maybe it should be rephrased to the best fantasy season since 2000?
Fantasy Basketball 10 team league

Team 1

PG - Chris Paul, Isaiah Thomas, Victor Oladipo, D.J Augustin
SG - James Harden, Eric Bledsoe, George Hill
SF - Kawhi Leonard, Wilson Chandler, Kyle Korver
PF - Blake Griffin, Khris Middleton
C - Jonas Valanciunas, Dirk Nowitzki

Team 2

PG - Ty Lawson, Isaiah Thomas
SG - DJ Augustin, Bradley Beal, Wesley Johnson
SF - James Harden, Luol Deng, Matt Barnes, Khris Middleton
PF - Dirk Nowitzki, DeMarr Carroll, Tobias Harris
C -  Andre Drummond, Marc Gasol

#17 Now_I_Know

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:44 AM

naah, but u'd have a better argument in that case.
------------------------------------------
Yahoo! 12-Team H2H Standard Cat League:
------------------------------------------
PG Kyle Lowry...Trey Burke/Jrue Holiday*
SG Stephen Curry...Kobe Bryant*

SF Josh Smith...Gordan Hayward/Tobias Harris
PF Jared Sullinger...John Henson*

C Nikola Vucevic...Andrew Bogut*/Nikola Pekovic*
------------------------------------------
Yahoo! 8-Team H2H FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST ST BLK DD League:
------------------------------------------   
PG Deron Williams...Kyle Lowry/Mike Conley*
SG Goran Dragic...Kobe Bryant*
SF Chandler Parson...
Ersan Ilyasova/Kevin Martin*
PF Kevin Love...Serge Ibaka/John Henson*
C Blake Griffin...Jonas Valuncunius/Anderson Varejo*

#18 Thats Ridiculous

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:52 AM

this season Lebron is having his highest FG%: 54.7% and lowest TOs: 2.8
and still putting in 26.6 pts, 8 rebs, 7 asts, 1.7 stls, 0.9 blk


Best his best overall season was probably 2009-10.

#19 muey123

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 03:10 AM

it's not just the fact that he's putting up such a good season but also because even second place is nowhere near him in terms of overall value...
12-Team, 8-Cat H2H | Record: 79-17
Jeff Teague
Jrue Holiday
Manu Ginobili
George Hill
Lebron James
Kevin Durant
David West
Thaddeus Young
Carlos Boozer
Andre Kirilenko.
Ryan Anderson
Nikola Pekovic
Anthony Davis

#20 ballfan4141

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 05:34 AM

93-94 david robinson was a great season not too many people talk about. 29.8 ppg. 10.7 reb. 4.8 assists. 3.3 blocks with over 50% FG and 75% FTs