Bucks Diary

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Identifying the NBA's Reliable Scorers

As much as I recognize the genius behind the Win Score method of grading basketball performance, and as much as I appreciate the link between it and a team's victory totals, even the authors of "The Wages of Wins" themselves admit that you cannot have a successful basketball team made up entirely of the Dennis Rodmans or Ben Wallaces of the world. You also need players who have a simple knack for producing points above the average. In other words, you have to have players who can provide you with reliable scoring.

And, unfortunately for Antlerheads, when it comes to reliable scoring, it appears that no team in the NBA is thinner than the Milwaukee Bucks. They have Michael Redd, whose per minute scoring totals make him quite reliable, then they have the borderline reliability of Mo Williams and the barely used Charlie Villanueva. That's it. Everyone else on the team produces points at a below average rate.

But I wondered how many reliable scorers do other teams in the NBA have? As it turns out, most every team -- even the sorriest teams in the Association -- has at least 3 solidly reliable scorers. As I noted, the Bucks have one solid scorer, and two who are borderline.

How I measured Scoring Reliability

In an effort to find out how many scorers each team employs, I've come up with what I call the "Scoring Reliablity" metric. Reliable scoring, to me, is scoring that is above average even when considering shot efficiency.

To find such scorers, I first seperated all of the players on every team who score the basketball at an above average rate, which is 0.4 points per minute or better (and that equates to 19.24 points per 48 minutes of playing time). Any player with a point total per 48 minutes above 19.24 made the first cut.

Then, in a nod toward the importance of shooting efficiency, I multiplied the number of shots the player took per 48 minutes by the number of points per shot the average NBA player scores (which is 1.22). That amount was then compared to the actual number of points per 48 the player scores, and that resulting amount was then added or subtracted from the player's initial "Scoring Reliability" point total. If the final result of that summation was negative, then the player was removed from the list of reliable scorers.

The formula then is the following: (Player's scoring average per 48 - 19.24) + (Player's FGA per 48 * 1.22 - Player's scoring average per 48) = Player's "Scoring Reliablity" point total.

And here is the formula in practice:
Michael Redd averages 29.1 points per 48 minutes, and takes 21.8 FGAs. So, his initial reliable scoring output per 48 is +9.86 (29.10-19.24). And, on 21.8 FGAs, the average NBA player would score 26.59 points, so Redd gets an additional 2.50 points for his superior efficiency (29.1-26.59). Thus, Redd's overall "Scoring Reliability" average is 12.36.

Now, Charlie Villanueva averages 22.4 points per 48 minutes, and takes 20.5 FGAs. Thus he is an above average point producer (+3.16), but an inefficient scorer (-2.61). However, since his point production just barely outstrips his inefficient shooting, I still consider him a Reliable Scorer with an average of +0.55.

NBA's Reliable Scorers by team


Garnett +10.50
P Pierce +9.06
R Allen +3.50


J Johnson +4.68
M Williams +5.88
J Smith +4.86


J Richardson +5.26
G Wallace +8.76
E Okafor +1.37


A Nocioni 7.58
J Smith 0.91
B Gordon 6.87
L Deng 4.40


L James +20.33
Ilgauskas +2.09


Nowitzki +13.45
J Howard +9.38
J Terry +4.90
D Harris +6.96


C Anthony +15.89
A Iverson +15.61
JR Smith +7.78
L Kleizka +5.29


Hamilton +7.82
Billups +11.65

Golden State

B Davis +8.32
A Harrington +6.10
S Jackson +4.74
M Ellis +6.39
Azubuicke +0.38


McGrady +8.98
Ming +13.15


Dunleavy +8.30
Granger +6.80
J O’Neal +2.20
Williams +3.69


Maggette +14.82
Cassell +4.90
Kaman +2.21
T. Thomas +2.56


Bryant +20.17
Vujacic +5.97
Farmar +4.47
Fisher +4.91
Bynum +7.16


Gay +6.14
Gasol +7.52
Miller +4.75
Warrick +6.06
Navarro +2.54
Swift +3.45


Wade +16.08
Shaq +8.19
Blount +0.68


Redd +12.34
Williams +1.56
Villanueva +0.55


Al Jefferson +8.88
McCants +5.41
Smith +5.73
Gomes +1.39

New Jersey

Vince Carter +7.57
Richard Jefferson +15.07
Boston Nachbar +1.37

New Orleans

Chris Paul +8.50
David West +5.32
Peja Stojakovic +3.88

New York

Z Randolph +3.81
Nate Robinson +5.03
Eddy Curry +9.27
J Crawford +3.38
Marbury +1.26


Turkglo +6.13
D Howard +16.52
R. Lewis +4.08
Dooling +3.91


L. Williams +3.47
Iguodala +5.36
Andre Miller +1.33
Willie Green +1.04


Roy +6.19
Alridge +4.42
Outlaw +3.68
J. Jones +5.12


Stoudamire +22.74
Barbossa +7.57
Nash +9.14
Hill +5.05
Marion +1.88
Banks +1.00


Kevin Martin +19.51
F. Garcia +4.28
Artest +2.62
Salmons +4.87

San Antonio

Ginobli +16.60
Duncan +9.82
Parker +7.97


Durant +6.49
Szczerbiak +9.42
Wilcox +4.46


Bosh +15.58
Humphries +2.35
Ford +6.73


CJ Miles +3.38
Milsap +2.20
Brewer +3.93
Korver +6.12
D Williams +8.63
Boozer +14.00
Harpring +6.53


Butler +7.73
Jamison +5.97
Nick Young +2.13


At February 5, 2008 at 9:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Points derived from free throws will vary and affect your results. Might be best to use points not from free throws or shift to scoring possessions used to accurately reflect usage.

At February 23, 2008 at 8:45 AM, Blogger hilsen said...

Need a total effincency stat, that includes blocks, rebounds, steals, assists and dturnovers / minute. How are some if these lessrer playing time guys going to look next year

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