trenton, which calculations are you referring to? im guessing you are talking about something like how shooting ability is not simply the linear combination of per and spd, rather, there is a multiplicative property to it. i would definitely agree with that. however, what rgerkin is talking about is the rebounding ability, not the rating, and whether the ability is linear or not in the ratings, doesnt really play into it. once you have the rebounding ability for each player, the number of rebounds you get is not linear in that ability - its dependent on the other players. maybe its because the off/def rebounds favor a certain team (its almost definitely partly because of that), maybe its partly because of something else. so i dont disagree with you, i just wanted to point out that is a lower level distinction you are making, non linear combinations of the ratings into the rebounding ability wouldnt explain the dependency on other players' rebounding abilities.
jet, i dont think i agree with the conclusion. assuming when you say, their scalar difference, you mean in the rebounding ratings themselves. in # of rebounds, absolutely. however, i sort of have the opposite conclusion. it seems to me a guy with 80 ath/reb growing to 90ath/reb adds more value than a 90 ath/reb guy going to 100 ath/reb. i personally believe that the combination of ratings is not linear, as TJ pointed out, and therefore as ratings go up, you usually get more bang for you buck. but then, things level out. if you think about it, combining all these ratings and IQ into an ability yields some value - those have to be normalized and put on some usable scale. one can accomplish that in a variety of ways, and i think the way its done in HD is such that improving abilities yield somewhat linear results until you get near some soft cap, after which, returns are diminished. i remember when i was a young coach, probably less than a year into my career, OR pointed out that he thought once you had guys with 85+ in everything, they were basically all the same. i thought he might be crazy, because in d2/d3, you clearly got the benefit of multiplicative properties in the combination of ratings, for example, 50 spd/per to 60spd/per was not nearly the improvement that 60 spd/per to 70 spd/per was. but when i got to d1, it really felt like OR was right - although id put that number in the low 90s, not at 85.
anyway, i guess ill stop rambling now. but i am curious why you feel this means especially high ratings may be worth more than their scalar difference? i dont really see the connection. to me, because a player gets less rebounds if his team mates are better, that would almost suggest a player creates less of an advantage for their team that their ratings suggest. i also definitely feel like there are diminishing returns on team rebounding, when you build a great team, there is often a lot of room between that great team (rebounding wise only) and a ridiculously awesome team - but i dont see it play out on the court. i think the setup is such that the advantages you can gain on off and def rebounds are restricted to a range - which is why, no matter how bad a team you play, they still get a decent amount of boards (i think that plays into why a good rebounder on a bad team gets a killer # of rebounds) - and why, no matter how good your team is on the boards, you can only get so much of an advantage against other teams.
all in my opinion of course, there are little known facts here. just offering my opinion, but i definitely could be wrong about some stuff, and find the different opinions offered so far to be very interesting.