Bucks Diary

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The NBA's 50 most valuable performers according to "Total Wins Above Average"


"Total Wins Above Average" is my attempt to mimic the successful baseball statistic known as "Total Player Wins". Total Player Wins was developed years ago by the authors of the book "Total Baseball".

Total Player Wins is an estimate of the number of wins a baseball player added to his team over and above the number of wins produced by the average player at his position. Total Player Wins is based upon the number of Runs Created (batting runs) and Runs Prevented (fielding runs) above those created and prevented by the average baseball player at the player's baseball position... converted into wins.

Similarly, Total Wins Above Average is also an estimate of the number of wins a basketball player added to his team over and above the number of wins produced by the average player at his position in the same number of minutes played. Total Wins Above Average, however, is based upon the number of Win Score Created (the player's Win Score per 48 average) and Win Score Prevented (the player's Counterpart Opponents Win Score per 48 average) by a basketball player above the amount you would expect to be created and prevented by the average basketball player at the player's basketball position... also converted into wins. (I use Win Score because, like Runs Created in baseball, it accurately reflects a player's statistical contribution to his team's success.)

Because they both describe the same thing, Total Player Wins and Total Wins Above Average can be read in the same manner. A player with a +8 in Total Wins or Total Wins Above Average would turn a .500 team into a team 16 games above .500 (in baseball that would be an 89-73 record, in basketball it would be 49-33... both results phenomenal in terms of value added by a single player).

In theory at least -- either measurement allows you to look at a particular roster and determine approximately how many actually wins the team produced. If you want to do this for the NBA last season, I did a Win Profile for every NBA team here that includes each player's "Total Wins Above Average" in the last column... even though I call it a bunch of different things. (Note: Both TWAA and Total Player Wins have about a 92.7-93.7% accuracy rate... pretty good).

Note: Bear in mind, my list is not a "skill" ranking, it is a "value" ranking. Thus, Dwayne Wade, for example, does not appear anywhere on the list, because injuries and uncharacteristically unproductive play drastically limited his value to the Heat last season.

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