Bucks Diary

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ranking NBA Starting and Reserve Units by "+/-" per minute

I'm not a huge fan of the "+/-" statistic when it comes to evaluating individual players, but I think it offers some insight when evaluating entire units, and I'm using it today to rank each team's starting and reserve units.

I did the rankings by converting each team's raw "+/-" starter-reserve stats on 82games.com to a per minute "+/-" for each unit and slotting the teams accordingly.

Notes on Rankings

1. Clearly, the Bucks have depth issues that need to be resolved before they can step to the next level. Of course, injuries have to be accounted for as well, but I think by and large its a depth of talent issue.

2. I don't know what to think when I see teams like the Bulls and Jazz... teams that get far more positive results from their bench personnel than they get from their starting units. Does this mean the teams coaching is derelict? Or does it simply mean their reserve units are better than other reserve units, but that their starting talent does meet snuff? I'm inclined to think the former is closer to the truth. You want your best people on the floor for the maximum amount of minutes, and that doesn't seem to be happening for those teams.

3. Teams with positive production from both units include: the Lakers, the Cavaliers, the Celtics, the Blazers, and the Heat. These teams have to be considered amongst the strongest contenders in the NBA.

4. Here's something scary: not only do the Lakers have the best starting unit on a "+/-" per minute basis, their bench has a higher "+/-" per minute than any starting unit. That's unbelievable.


At November 30, 2008 at 7:19 PM, Anonymous Ryne Nelson said...

I like the concept here, but I agree it's difficult to take much stock in +/- rankings this early in the season. I think the most telling stat would have been points per 48 minutes because the Bucks' bench would be right up there with the best.


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