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Stats: Handy or Useless?

Today's topic of discussion is stats.  I'll let this quote from Henry Abbott of TrueHoop set up the discussion:

Lots of discussion of John Hollinger's PER. A criticism that started the debate, a must-read rebuttal, some good comments, and more handy discussion. I think a lot of people hate statistics like PER because they feel pressured to use them to replace common sense. Like Hollinger-sponsored robots are going to take over the front office and use PER alone to rebuild their favorite team. Not even Hollinger advocates that, I'm pretty sure. (I'd double-check, but he's not taking phone calls -- his wife says he's in the basement working on some big robot project.) That's not the idea, though. The idea is to use statistics as statistics -- as one piece of the puzzle. But instead of using the mind-numbingly oversimplified old-school point and rebounds, use something more sophisticated. There are lots of them, and PER is one of the handier ones. It is perfect? (Is anything?) No, of course not. It's evolutionary. And it's more useful than a lot of the other stuff that's out there. UPDATE: FreeDarko is all over this too, and while some of the language is PG-13, the points are solid and the donuts are on a string. Really.

So what do you think about Hollinger's PER?  What about traditional stats like points, rebounds, etc.?  What about Per 48 minute stats which made Brandon Hunter a message board demi-god a few years ago?