Best Wing Players in the NBA by the Numbers
- By: The Professor
- On: 2/28/2011 7:53:00 AM
- View Comments : 8
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So, now I'm back to do the same thing with the elite wings in the NBA. I expanded a bit (last time 10 wasn't enough candidates...it left notable snubs like Chauncey Billups), so I'll be looking at 27 of the top shooting guards and small forwards in the NBA. For the sake of space I'll show only the top-15 for each individual stat, but for the rank-order table at the bottom I'll put all 27 in there. Without further ado...
PER: Hollinger's stat, probably the most popular of the "advanced stats", favorable (compared to other advanced stats) to volume scorers and players that generate a lot of free throws; Generally ranks those considered "great" by the general public well, though also will tend to have role players with good scoring-per-minute very highly.
Win Shares: From Basketball-reference.com, emphasizes shooting/scoring efficiency; loves points per shot (thus values FTs drawn). To account for different minutes played, we're going to look at Win Shares per 48 minutes played.
Wins Produced: Dave Berri's controversial stat (most likely to be trashed on an APBRmetric board) is also the one seemingly growing fastest in popular usage; wins produced values what he defines as possessions, so loves rebounds, steals, and blocks and doesn't like TOs; doesn't value shot creation, but does value assists. We'll look at Wins Produced per 48 minutes.
Roland Rating: 82games.com's Roland Rating is based upon a combination of PER and +/- stats. It looks at the individual PER of each player, the PER of their primary defensive assignment, and subtracts the 2 for a 1-on-1 value then they combine that 1-on-1 value with a team-impact based on-court/off-court +/- stat to get the rating. Tends to produce fewest "what???" rankings, because players that rank out highly in both the 1-on-1 and team stats are almost universally who we consider to be among the best in the game...though the order at the top isn't always what you'd expect. (Note: 82games hasn't updated this since Jan. 19, so these results are only current to that date)
2-year Adjusted +/-: This is Basketballvalue.com's APM calculation. As I mentioned above APM is so incredibly noisy that a single year (or less) doesn't give conclusive answers (and too often the answers are nonsensical for my tastes). Even 2 years may be too short for an APM calculation. I like longer APM calculations, 4 years or more, to really clean up the noise and give a robust effect. Nevertheless, we're talking about this year so we'll have to make due on both issues with the 2-year compromise.
|2 yr APM||2 yr APM SE|
Overall Rank orders: Giving each of our 27 guys a '1' through '27' ranking based on where they ranked in each stat, here is a summary of how each guy did. I'll add an average across the 5 stats (with standard error) to give us a seat-of-the-pants-advanced-stat-cross-section-view ranking order:
|PER||WS48||WP48||Roland Rating||2 yr APM||Average||Std. Error|
Every stat, no matter how it was measured, agreed that LeBron James has been the best wing in the NBA this year. In fact, LeBron and Dwyane Wade measured out 1-2 overall among wings across the body of stats examined here.
Behind the Miami boys is a group of 4 guys on the next tier: Durant, Ginobili, Pierce and Kobe. While Kobe and Durant are super-duper stars, it's interesting that Ginobili and Pierce measured right there with them this year.
Ray Allen is right behind Kobe, and highlights the next Tier that features eight guys (down to Luol Deng on the list). This tier is an interesting mix of big names and guys that may be having a bigger impact than their names would suggest. New Knick Carmelo Anthony is on this tier with Ray, along with several young scorers (Gay, Gordon, Martin) and a couple of more versatile glue/defensive type players (Iguodala, Deng and Fields).
I'm not going to spend much time with the rest, though it is interesting that guys like Joe Johnson and Monta Ellis are maybe further down the list than you might expect. The take-away for me is that while Miami (obviously) is built around 2 super-wings, the Celtics (and I guess, now, the Knicks) are the only other teams with two wings from among the top 3 tiers.