Do analytics deserve a seat at the table?

By Steve Shea (@SteveShea33)

June 30, 2017

Often, professional sports organizations employ the “go-for” model for incorporating analytics. Picture a group of executives seated around a large table deciding what to do for lunch. They may toss around a couple options—Italian or Chinese—before bickering on whether they should order individual entrees or share crowd-sized portions.  Eventually, pen goes to paper and an order is scratched out.

Then, the young intern is called in to make the run, to execute the portion of the operation where the he has some authority. He will have to decide whether to pick up the food or have it delivered. If it’s pick-up, he’ll have to find and decide on a parking space. At the restaurant, he may make the call to toss in a few more soy sauce packets. And should the restaurant not be able to fill a portion of the order, he may have to make the split-second decision on a replacement item, provided it’s an appetizer or dessert and not something central to the meal.

In the sports world, the owners, the president of [pick your sport] operations, the general manager, assistant general managers, and coaches are the decision makers.

When they gather to hash out the basics of an offseason plan, the group might be unanimous that the team needs an upgrade at point guard, but argue over the means to make the acquisition. After some discussion, it may be decided that free agency has the most appealing and feasible options, and a short list of candidates could be assembled.

Then the analytics are brought in. The front office or coaching staff would like evaluations on the candidates, specifically focusing on their playmaking ability.  The analytics staff will have some freedoms in the analysis. For example, they might decide to split pick-and-roll situations depending on if the screening teammate rolled or popped, or they might look at the point guard’s turnover rates split by whether or not the opposition switched.

The analytics will help the decision makers zero-in on a first, second and third choice among the group. They’ll help the general manager and his team understand which available option is the best match for what the group wants.

But maybe, analytics should have been part of that group. Perhaps, analytics should have been at the table before the short list of free-agent options was assembled and before free-agency was decided as the most appealing path.  If in the room, analytics might have suggested that the group’s desire for a ball-dominant point guard is outdated, that the team should instead try to build a lineup that shares the playmaking.  And that if anyone should be the primary creator, it’s a forward already on the roster. Analytics may have argued that the team should be giving as much consideration to any potential addition’s off-the-ball value as they do his on-the-ball skills. Or, analytics may have suggested that if the team moves away from the traditional point guard mold, they can find a player that is better defensively and with the length to switch onto bigger wings on the perimeter.

What should be the role of analytics?

Should analytics simply run the post-up efficiency of the bigs the team is considering for the upcoming draft, or should analytics have the forum to suggest that the team shouldn’t be so interested in posting up on offense and should instead judge centers on their ability roll to the rim, pass, knock down a perimeter shot, and switch screens on defense?

Should analytics stick to tracking the team’s paint touches and ball reversals and their influence on the offense’s efficiency, or should they be able to question the coach’s lineups, suggest swapping the rebounding power forward for another small forward, and push for a 1-in and 4-out formation?

The analytics

Ever notice how a journalist or TV commentator will reference “the analytics,” as in “the analytics say James Harden should win MVP.”  The analytics don’t say Harden should be MVP because he has a higher true-shooting percentage. The analytics don’t say Rudy Gobert is the NBA’s best defender because he has the best defensive real plus-minus. The analytics don’t say anything, because a quantitative analysis isn’t the equivalent of punching an addition problem into a calculator.

Teams fill analytics positions based on the applicant’s degrees, the programming languages she or he knows, and to some extent, the individual’s fluency in the sport. But job ads don’t often ask for a demonstration of quantitative creativity. They might pry for problem-solving skills, but the kind that have answers in SQL code.

Sports mirror many industries in their increased reliance on data to make decisions. In this new world where numbers have power, everyone wants to be comfortable with statistics. But I’ve seen comfortable with statistics, and it’s not what anyone should be aiming to achieve.

Mathematics is taught as black and white. 2+2 is always 4. A teacher asks her students to journal about their dream day and expects a variety of responses, but every math exam comes with a fixed answer key. We teach that math is either right or wrong.

So, when a crowd gathers for a PowerPoint presentation with a few pie charts and vague references to statistical significance, we all nod in approval as if the sky opened before us and the speaker’s conclusions descended from the heavens.

Stats are facts, but every situation can be analyzed in numerous ways, and each analysis has a multitude of interpretations. We should get as cozy with one particular approach as we would a bed of skunks and porcupines.

In the go-for model, analytics are a simple stat run that leaves little for the decision-makers to interpret. It’s one approach with strict parameters. When analytics are in the room, they are not just the numeric answers to a specific query but a perspective when shaping the questions. It’s not just providing the team’s offensive rebounding rates, but it’s posing the question of if they should be considered in conjunction with the transition points surrendered. And any assortment of statistical information on that front leads to a complex discussion of alternate interpretations. There are analytics to support aggressive play on the glass, and there are stats that argue for the team’s need to get more bodies back to stop transition.

If teams are looking for a lackey to calculate a team’s efficiency on drives, then they are searching for the analytics, because there is only one correct answer.  But should they be asking for more?

Illumination or just support?

At a 2012 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference panel, longtime hockey executive Brian Burke said, “Statistics are like a lamp post to a drunk, useful for support but not for illumination.”

There’s a day-to-day component of analytics—for example, tracking and aggregating shots in practice, or assembling and communicating pre and post-game reports—that support the organization in its activities.

But Leicester City didn’t win the Barclay’s Premier League with pretty shot charts. They won because they dramatically altered their philosophy on how to build a team and implemented an innovative strategy on the field (built largely on an understanding of transition).

Teams need daily maintenance, but the supporting basketball activities described above don’t move the needle like finding Draymond Green in the 2nd round.

Can analytics be so illuminating? Recognizing the value of positional versatility and Draymond Green’s potential in that NBA goes beyond calculating college players’ efficiency by play type. It requires an understanding of the game’s trends and in that context, an intelligent interpretation of data. It requires not just the ability to crunch numbers, but the creativity to pose original questions.

But isn’t this precisely where analytics should be strong? At their core, analytics are a different perspective. As much as many quantitative analysts are fans of the game, numbers eventually beat the fan bias out of the observer. Analytics are fresh eyes, activity that very much lives outside of the traditional box in which sports organizations operated. If a team is looking for new ideas, true innovation that can distinguish them among their competitors, could there be a more fertile land than analytics?

Some NBA organizations are already onboard with this approach. Houston is the glaringly obvious example. But to what extent was analytics involved in Phil Jackson’s decisions in New York? And when we move to less progressive leagues, like the NHL, we find decision-makers that would more willingly welcome a plague than conversations on per possession efficiency.

Certain organizations still view analytics as glorified stat trackers, like the kind you’d see behind the bench charting shots at a high school basketball game. I’d argue that the true value in analytics is only found when teams recognize them as a fundamental mode of thinking in their own right, a unique approach to solving sports problems.

Analytics deserve a seat at the table, not to provide all the answers, but to question conventional thinking.

Draft Day!

June 22, 2017

By Steve Shea (@SteveShea33)

College Prospect Ratings (CPR) are a formula meant to approximate a college player’s pro potential. It’s based on college box score production, and so, it is limited in its ability to assess certain elements of a player’s game (and certainly, his character). Still, it’s been successful in its predictions. CPR suggested Klay Thompson and Kawhi Leonard should have been top 5 picks in 2011. And, it found 2nd round steals, Draymond Green and Jae Crowder, in 2012. (For more details, see this previous post.)

Here’s what CPR says about this year’s class:

RankPlayerCollegeCPR V3
1Malik MonkKentucky18
2Jayson TatumDuke15
3Markelle FultzWashington14
4Lonzo BallUCLA14
5Caleb SwaniganPurdue14
6Dennis SmithN.C. State11
7Josh JacksonKansas10
8Thomas BryantIndiana10
9Jonathan IsaacFlorida St.9
10Cameron OliverNevada9
11Zach CollinsGonzaga8
12Luke KennardDuke8
13Donovan MitchellLouisville8
14Tyler LydonSyracuse8
15T.J. LeafUCLA8
16Alec PetersValparaiso8
17De'Aaron FoxKentucky7
18Lauri MarkkanenArizona7
19John CollinsWake Forest7
20Ivan RabbCAL7
21Jawun EvansOklahoma St.7
22Bam AdebayoKentucky6
23Sindarius ThornwellSouth Carolina6
24D.J. WilsonMichigan6
25Monte MorrisIowa St.6
26Josh HartVillanova6
27OG AnunobyIndiana5
28Dillon BrooksOregon5
29Justin PattonCreighton5
30Jordan BellOregon5
31Luke KornetVanderbilt5
32V.J. BeachemNotre Dame5
33Malcom HillIllinois5
34Nigel Williams-GossGonzaga5
35Frank JacksonDuke4
36Kobi SimmonsArizona4
37L.J. PeakGeorgetown4
38Devin RobinsonFlorida4
39Justin JacksonUNC4
40Frank MasonKansas4
41Jarrett AllenTexas3
42P.J. DozierSouth Carolina3
43Isaiah BriscoeKentucky3
44Johnathan MotleyBaylor3
45Kyle KuzmaUtah3
46Melo TrimbleMaryland3
47Dwayne BaconFSU3
48Derrick WhiteColorado3
49Semi OjeleyeSMU3
50Wesley IwunduKansas St.3
51Tony BradleyUNC2
52Antonius ClevelandSoutheast MO St.2
53Andrew WhiteSyracuse2
54Ike AnigboguUCLA1
55Harry GilesDuke1
56Isaiah HicksUNC1
57Nigel HayesWisonsin1
58Jaron BlossomgameClemson1

CPR 2017

By Steve Shea (@SteveShea33)

April 4, 2017

CPR is a metric that rates NCAA players’ NBA potential. For a complete introduction, see our previous post.

The following table contains the CPR scores (as of April 2, 2017) for the 78 college prospects that made the top 100 prospects at DraftExpress.com.

PlayerCollegeCPR V3
Malik MonkKentucky18
Jayson TatumDuke15
Markelle FultzWashington14
Lonzo BallUCLA14
Caleb SwaniganPurdue14
Dedric LawsonMemphis13
Dennis SmithN.C. State11
Drew EubanksOregon St.11
Josh JacksonKansas10
Thomas BryantIndiana10
Jonathan IsaacFlorida St.9
Miles BridgesMichigan St.9
Mikal BridgesVillanova9
Cameron OliverNevada9
Luke KennardDuke8
Donovan MitchellLouisville8
Zach CollinsGonzaga8
Tyler LydonSyracuse8
T.J. LeafUCLA8
Alec PetersValparaiso8
De'Aaron FoxKentucky7
Lauri MarkkanenArizona7
John CollinsWake Forest7
Ivan RabbCAL7
Jawun EvansOklahoma St.7
Andrew JonesTexas7
Chimezie MetuUSC7
Bam AdebayoKentucky6
Sindarius ThornwellSouth Carolina6
Jacob EvansCincinnati6
Rawle AlkinsArizona6
D.J. WilsonMichigan6
Monte MorrisIowa St.6
Josh HartVillanova6
OG AnunobyIndiana5
Dillon BrooksOregon5
Justin PattonCreighton5
Vince EdwardsPurdue5
Shake MiltonSMU5
Jordan BellOregon5
Luke KornetVanderbilt5
V.J. BeachemNotre Dame5
Malcom HillIllinois5
Nigel Williams-GossGonzaga5
Frank JacksonDuke4
Sviatoslav MykhailiukKansas4
Kobi SimmonsArizona4
Ethan HappWisconsin4
Bruce BrownMiami4
L.J. PeakGeorgetown4
Allonzo TrierArizona4
Devin RobinsonFlorida4
Justin JacksonUNC4
Devonte GrahamKansas4
Joel BerryUNC4
Grayson AllenDuke4
Frank MasonKansas4
Jarrett AllenTexas3
P.J. DozierSouth Carolina3
Isaiah BriscoeKentucky3
Tacko FallUCF3
Johnathan MotleyBaylor3
Kyle KuzmaUtah3
Melo TrimbleMaryland3
Dwayne BaconFSU3
Derrick WhiteColorado3
Semi OjeleyeSMU3
Wesley IwunduKansas St.3
Tony BradleyUNC2
Omer YurtsevenN.C. State2
Antonius ClevelandSoutheast MO St.2
Andrew WhiteSyracuse2
Ike AnigboguUCLA1
Harry GilesDuke1
Marques BoldenDuke1
Isaiah HicksUNC1
Nigel HayesWisonsin1
Jaron BlossomgameClemson1

At first glance, the metric appears to be overrating players in the traditional PF build and style. These would be Swanigan, Lawson, Eubanks, and Bryant.  For all of these players, there are two critical questions any team would need to answer before considering drafting them. First, what is the player’s position? As the NBA is trending smaller, there is potential for these players to get playing time as small-ball centers. This is especially true for Bryant who has a remarkable wingspan that gives him a standing reach on par with players inches taller.  These players could also play some 4 in the right matchups. In those cases, Swanigan, Bryant and Lawson have potential to stretch the floor with their 3-point shooting more so than is typical of a player their size at the position. (Eubanks has yet to take a 3 in college.)

Second, will the players’ skills translate? Here, the question is in regards to size and athleticism. The high CPR scores for these bigs is based in large part on their rebounding and blocks. Even though the NBA is trending smaller, it is still a bigger, faster and more athletic league than NCAA basketball.  Do these players have the size, strength and athleticism to rebound and defend the interior at the next level?

The following table contains the CPR scores for the 2017 prospects as well as all college players drafted in the last 6 years. We’ve also thrown in a few others from even earlier drafts, such as Chris Paul for comparison. It’s helpful to see the CPR score for a player who has now played the majority of his NBA career.

Draft YearPlayerPickCPR V3
2007Kevin Durant284
2004Chris Paul430
2012Anthony Davis123
2009Stephen Curry721
2017Malik Monk-18
2010Hassan Whiteside3317
2008Kevin Love517
2009Blake Griffin116
2017Jayson Tatum-15
2014Jabari Parker215
2014Joel Embiid315
2017Markelle Fultz-14
2017Lonzo Ball-14
2017Caleb Swanigan-14
2016Brandon Ingram214
2015D'Angelo Russell214
2015Karl-Anthony Towns114
2014Andrew Wiggins114
2014Marcus Smart614
2013Nerlens Noel614
2017Dedric Lawson-13
2016Jamal Murray713
2016Ben Simmons113
2015Myles Turner1113
2013Otto Porter313
2011Kyrie Irving113
2010Paul George1013
2015Kevon Looney3012
2015Tyus Jones2412
2011Klay Thompson1112
2010John Wall112
2017Dennis Smith-11
2017Drew Eubanks-11
2016Henry Ellenson1811
2015Justise Winslow1011
2014Elfrid Payton1011
2014Jordan Adams2211
2014K.J. McDaniels3211
2014Kyle Anderson3011
2013Kentavious Caldwell-Pope811
2012Meyers Leonard1111
2012Jae Crowder3411
2011Derrick Williams211
2010DeMarcus Cousins511
2017Josh Jackson-10
2017Thomas Bryant-10
2016Chinanu Onuaku3710
2016Domantas Sabonis1110
2016Tyler Ulis3410
2016Patrick McCaw3810
2016Kay Felder5410
2013Victor Oladipo210
2012Maurice Harkless1510
2012Draymond Green3510
2011Kawhi Leonard1510
2011Kenneth Faried2210
2007Mike Conley410
2017Jonathan Isaac-9
2017Miles Bridges-9
2017Mikal Bridges-9
2017Cameron Oliver-9
2016Kris Dunn59
2015Stanley Johnson89
2014Tyler Ennis189
2013Alex Len59
2013Anthony Bennett19
2012Bradley Beal39
2012Jared Sullinger219
2009James Harden39
2017Luke Kennard-8
2017Donovan Mitchell-8
2017Zach Collins-8
2017Tyler Lydon-8
2017T.J. Leaf-8
2017Alec Peters-8
2016Wade Baldwin178
2016Dejounte Murray298
2015Bobby Portis228
2015Cameron Payne148
2015R.J. Hunter288
2014Jarnell Stokes358
2014Gary Harris198
2013Ben McLemore78
2013Andre Roberson268
2013C.J. McCollum108
2012Terrence Jones188
2012Will Barton408
2012Damian Lillard68
2011Tobias Harris198
2011Tristan Thompson48
2011Darius Morris418
2011Kemba Walker98
2011Iman Shumpert178
2011Jimmer Fredette108
2010Gordon Hayward98
2008Derrick Rose18
2007Greg Oden18
2017De'Aaron Fox-7
2017Lauri Markkanen-7
2017John Collins-7
2017Ivan Rabb-7
2017Jawun Evans-7
2017Andrew Jones-7
2017Chimezie Metu-7
2016Marquesse Chriss87
2016Deyonta Davis317
2016Stephen Zimmerman417
2016Daniel Hamilton567
2016Joel Bolomboy527
2015Chris McCullough297
2015Jordan Mickey337
2015Frank Kaminsky97
2013Steven Adams127
2013Reggie Bullock257
2012Michael Kidd-Gilchrist27
2012Jeremy Lamb127
2012Terrence Ross87
2012Jared Cunningham247
2012Kyle O'Quinn497
2012Marcus Denmon597
2011Alec Burks127
2011Brandon Knight87
2011Chris Singleton187
2011Charles Jenkins447
2009Jrue Holiday177
2008Russell Westbrook47
2006Kyle Lowry247
2017Bam Adebayo-6
2017Sindarius Thornwell-6
2017Jacob Evans-6
2017Rawle Alkins-6
2017D.J. Wilson-6
2017Monte Morris-6
2017Josh Hart-6
2016Skal Labissiere286
2016Jaylen Brown36
2016Malachi Richardson226
2016Malik Beasley196
2016Isaiah Whitehead426
2016Ben Bentil516
2016Pascal Siakam276
2016Taurean Prince126
2016Buddy Hield66
2015Rashad Vaughn176
2015Devin Booker136
2015Jahlil Okafor36
2015Rondae Hollis-Jefferson236
2015Terry Rozier166
2015Richaun Holmes376
2015Pat Connaughton416
2015Josh Richardson406
2015Tyler Harvey516
2014Noah Vonleh96
2014Aaron Gordon46
2014Julius Randle76
2014Spencer Dinwiddie386
2014DeAndre Daniels376
2014Doug McDermott116
2013Trey Burke96
2013Allen Crabbe316
2013Shane Larkin186
2013Jamaal Franklin416
2013Michael Carter-Williams116
2013Nate Wolters386
2012Tony Wroten256
2012Quincy Miller386
2012Harrison Barnes76
2012John Jenkins236
2011Cory Joseph296
2011Tyler Honeycutt356
2011Nikola Vucevic166
2011Jordan Hamilton266
2011Reggie Jackson246
2011JaJuan Johnson276
2011Justin Harper326
2011MarShon Brooks256
2011Markieff Morris136
2017OG Anunoby-5
2017Dillon Brooks-5
2017Justin Patton-5
2017Vince Edwards-5
2017Shake Milton-5
2017Jordan Bell-5
2017Luke Kornet-5
2017V.J. Beachem-5
2017Malcom Hill-5
2017Nigel Williams-Goss-5
2016Brice Johnson255
2016Jake Layman475
2016Caris LeVert205
2016Denzel Valentine145
2015Kelly Oubre155
2015Jarell Martin255
2015Larry Nance Jr.275
2015Norman Powell465
2015Darrun Hilliard385
2014James Young175
2014Jerami Grant395
2014Glenn Robinson III405
2014T.J. Warren145
2014Nik Stauskas85
2014Alec Brown505
2014Markel Brown445
2014Nick Johnson425
2014P.J. Hairston265
2014Rodney Hood235
2014Shabazz Napier245
2013Archie Goodwin295
2013Grant Jerrett405
2013Tony Mitchell375
2013Mike Muscala445
2013Ryan Kelly485
2013Ray McCallum365
2013Solomon Hill235
2013Erick Green465
2013Isaiah Canaan345
2013Pierre Jackson425
2013James Ennis505
2012Andre Drummond95
2012Doron Lamb425
2012John Henson145
2012Andrew Nicholson195
2011Trey Thompkins375
2011Travis Leslie475
2011Jon Leuer405
2011Jimmy Butler305
2011E'Twaun Moore555
2011Norris Cole285
2007Al Horford35
2017Frank Jackson-4
2017Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk-4
2017Kobi Simmons-4
2017Ethan Happ-4
2017Bruce Brown-4
2017L.J. Peak-4
2017Allonzo Trier-4
2017Devin Robinson-4
2017Justin Jackson-4
2017Devonte Graham-4
2017Joel Berry-4
2017Grayson Allen-4
2017Frank Mason-4
2016Diamond Stone404
2016Jakob Poeltl94
2016DeAndre Bembry214
2016Isaiah Cousins594
2016Demetrius Jackson454
2015Dakari Johnson484
2015Trey Lyles124
2015Montrezl Harrell324
2015Andrew Harrison444
2015Justin Anderson214
2015Marcus Thornton454
2015Olivier Hanlan424
2015Sir'Dominic Pointer534
2015Delon Wright204
2015Aaron White494
2015Anthony Brown344
2015Joseph Young434
2014Zach LaVine134
2014Roy Devyn Marble564
2014Jordan Clarkson464
2013Tony Snell204
2013Deshaun Thomas584
2013Carrick Felix334
2013Arsalan Kazemi544
2012Marquis Teague294
2012Austin Rivers104
2012Thomas Robinson54
2012Dion Waiters44
2012Tyler Zeller174
2012Darius Miller464
2012Kevin Murphy474
2012Robbie Hummel584
2011Josh Selby494
2011Jordan Williams364
2011Shelvin Mack344
2011Marcus Morris144
2011Keith Benson484
2011Jon Diebler514
2009DeMar DeRozan94
2008DeAndre Jordan354
2006LaMarcus Aldridge24
2017Jarrett Allen-3
2017P.J. Dozier-3
2017Isaiah Briscoe-3
2017Tacko Fall-3
2017Johnathan Motley-3
2017Kyle Kuzma-3
2017Melo Trimble-3
2017Dwayne Bacon-3
2017Derrick White-3
2017Semi Ojeleye-3
2017Wesley Iwundu-3
2016Cheick Diallo333
2016Abdel Nader583
2016Georges Niang503
2015Sam Dekker183
2015Branden Dawson563
2015Willie Cauley-Stein63
2015J.P. Tokoto583
2015Jerian Grant193
2014Semaj Christon553
2014Josh Huestis293
2014Adreian Payne153
2014Cleanthony Early343
2014Lamar Patterson483
2014Xavier Thames593
2014Russ Smith473
2013Cody Zeller43
2013Tim Hardaway243
2013Shabazz Muhammad143
2013Kelly Olynyk133
2013Glen Rice353
2013Jeff Withey393
2013Erik Murphy493
2013Peyton Siva563
2012Royce White163
2012Perry Jones283
2012Khris Middleton393
2012Kendall Marshall133
2012Quincy Acy373
2012Arnett Moultrie273
2012Tyshawn Taylor413
2012Orlando Johnson363
2012Jeff Taylor313
2011Malcolm Lee433
2011Lavoy Allen503
2011Josh Harrellson453
2011Isaiah Thomas603
2011Kyle Singler333
2011Andrew Goudelock463
2011Nolan Smith213
2017Tony Bradley-2
2017Omer Yurtseven-2
2017Antonius Cleveland-2
2017Andrew White-2
2016Damian Jones302
2016Tyrone Wallace602
2016Marcus Paige552
2016Michael Gbinije492
2016Malcolm Brogdon362
2014Johnny O'Bryant III362
2014Jordan McRae582
2014Dwight Powell452
2014Joe Harris332
2014C.J. Wilcox282
2013Gorgui Dieng212
2013Mason Plumlee222
2013Lorenzo Brown522
2012Fab Melo222
2012Justin Hamilton452
2012Darius Johnson-Odom552
2012Kim English442
2011DeAndre Liggins532
2011Chandler Parsons382
2017Ike Anigbogu-1
2017Harry Giles-1
2017Marques Bolden-1
2017Isaiah Hicks-1
2017Nigel Hayes-1
2017Jaron Blossomgame-1
2016A.J. Hammons461
2015Cady Lalanne551
2015Rakeem Christmas361
2014Mitch McGary211
2014Cory Jefferson601
2014Cameron Bairstow491
2013Alex Oriakhi571
2013Romero Osby511
2013Colton Iverson531
2012Festus Ezeli301
2012Robert Sacre601
2012Miles Plumlee261
2012Kris Joseph511
2012Mike Scott431
2012Bernard James331
2011Vernon Macklin520

Updated Perimeter and Interior Defense Ratings

By Steve Shea (@SteveShea33)

March 15, 2017

We recently introduced Perimeter Defense Ratings (PDR) and Interior Defense Ratings (IDR).  Please see this previous post for more information.  The purpose of this entry is to update the numbers.  The table below contains PDR and IDR for all 314 players that have played at least 600 minutes.

Here are some brief notes to help with the interpretation of the metrics.

  • Defensive rebounding is a component of IDR. This helps bigs like Andre Drummond.
  • PDR can look a bit off for players that don’t typically play on the perimeter. The same holds for IDR and players that don’t typically play on the interior. These metrics are judging the players in the roles asked of them this season. For example, when Drummond is guarding a player on the perimeter, it is more likely to be Kelly Olynyk than Isaiah Thomas. So, a higher PDR for Drummond than some PG does not imply Drummond would be better at guarding opposing PGs.  Analogously, Michael Carter-Williams is more likely to be contesting guards on the interior than big men. He’s been good at that, but his IDR does not imply he should be assigned Dwight Howard on the post.
  • Small sample sizes are always a concern. We feel more confident with the scores for players that have played 2000 minutes than those that have played 600.
PLAYERTEAMAGEMINPDR RnkPDRIDR RnkIDR
Joel EmbiidPHI227861030.3110.1
Rudy GobertUTA242217220-2.228.6
Salah MejriDAL30768119037.6
Dewayne DedmonSAS271044870.647.1
Kyle O'QuinnNYK269931080.257.1
Hassan WhitesideMIA272035206-266.8
Lucas NogueiraTOR241061561.676.5
Anthony DavisNOP242275641.385.9
Roy HibbertDEN30678272-3.495.6
DeAndre JordanLAC282123276-3.4105.4
Dwight HowardATL311800185-1.4115.2
Kristaps PorzingisNYK211901132-0.3125
Myles TurnerIND202036190-1.6135
John HensonMIL261036176-1.2144.7
Alex LenPHX231221300-4.2154.7
Kyle AndersonSAS23756253.1164.6
David WestGSW36625880.6174.4
Giannis AntetokounmpoMIL22231094.7184.3
Kevin DurantGSW281980631.3194.2
Derrick FavorsUTA251134721.1204.2
Willie ReedMIA26809242-2.7214.2
Pau GasolSAS361266304-4.7224.2
Clint CapelaHOU221226198-1.9234
Brook LopezBKN281777237-2.5244
Richaun HolmesPHI23752143-0.5253.9
LaMarcus AldridgeSAS311892258-3.1263.9
Draymond GreenGSW27208128.1273.8
Robin LopezCHI281871308-5.1283.7
Jason SmithWAS31788186-1.4293.6
Bismack BiyomboORL241570255-3303.6
Andre DrummondDET2320061040.3313.4
Michael Carter-WilliamsCHI25624114.4323.3
Karl-Anthony TownsMIN212423249-2.9333.3
DeMarcus CousinsNOP262185651.3343.2
Nerlens NoelDAL227091110.1353.2
Jusuf NurkicPOR221129164-0.9363.2
Mason PlumleeDEN271807154-0.7373.1
Aron BaynesDET30967261-3.1383.1
Willy HernangomezNYK22987133-0.3393
Nikola VucevicORL261749145-0.5403
David LeeSAS331216174-1.1413
Jerami GrantOKC231326187-1.4423
Tristan ThompsonCLE261990229-2.3433
Serge IbakaTOR272042273-3.4443
Amir JohnsonBOS291307139-0.5452.9
Spencer HawesMIL28669294-3.9462.9
Terrence JonesMIL251267137-0.4472.7
Marc GasolMEM322196175-1.2482.7
Jonas ValanciunasTOR241702289-3.8492.6
Al-Farouq AminuPOR2613481160.1502.5
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