J.E. wrote:...the fact that recent NBA championship teams have been rather old, it is my opinion that a player's peak of impact is closer to 28/29 years than 25/26. ..
Younger players also care more about money, probably because they just haven't made that much yet, compared to older players. And I think they know that better BoxScore statistics lead to bigger contracts..
Excellent. Dan Rosenbaum noticed that older players have better plus-minus relative to their stats, back when he was the first to delve into the correlations between stats and effectiveness.
But maybe there's a little bit of circular reasoning in the quote above. As players age, they've made their fortunes and want a ring. So they coalesce and create championship contenders. If they aren't actually colluding (last year's Miami big3), they're settling for less money on a better team.
The key to reconciling stats and wins, I believe, is to scale boxscore stats to opponent averages. A point is worth more when points are scarce. A rebound, likewise.
And we may presume that as players gain experience, they improve at basics like blocking out for the rebound and playing team defense. So it may well be that it's harder to score and rebound against older teams.