Thursday, January 30, 2014

Halfway. Centers. Notes from NBA Stat Audit

Each NBA season, after all teams have played their 41st game, I do a statistical audit of the players in the league, looking specifically at efficiency per-minute. I analyze each player that has logged at least 300 minutes (plus a select few players of note). Here are some tidbits I found interesting about the current NBA landscape at the Center position...


Cuz is out for blood
Centers

The most efficient Center per minute played is, by far, DeMarcus Cousins. Following Cousins is Tim Duncan (yes, he is more a Center, than a Power Forward), Al Horford, Brook Lopez, and Al Jefferson completes the top-five. 

Who is in the top 30 in per-minute efficiency at Center, yet is not starting or playing playing heavy minutes? There are five players that fit that description: Timofey Mosgov .603 (14th), Chris Kamen .596 (19th), Chris Andersen .553 (22nd), Kosta Koufos .545 (25th), and Miroslav Raduljica .542 (26th). 

Among those five players, Mosgov, in particular, has shown the most flashes of brilliance. His defensive rating is also good. ...Andersen plays a large role in Miami's winning ways despite logging just 18.5 minutes per game. ...Kamen is seemingly wasting away playing for the Lakers. His EFR suggests he could be helping a team as opposed to receiving DNP-CD's. ...Koufos was given a brief shot while Marc Gasol was injured but the numbers Koufos responded with were nothing to write home about. ...Raduljica is the highest rated rookie Center. At age 26, the Serbian seven footer looks like he has a chance to be heard from in the NBA in the future. 

Which Centers are outside the top 30 in per minute efficiency but are starters or play heavy minutes? There are five here as well: Jonas Valanciunas (31st), Nene (32nd), Channing Frye (37th), Andrea Bargnani (48th), and Kendrick Perkins (54th). 


Bargs is a SF in a C body
Valanciunas is only 21 years old, so I'm not too concerned with his low efficiency relative to his position. ...Nene could be called a Power Forward too. I think he's more of a Center. He would be an ideal first big-man off the bench for a good team. As it stands, Nene gets 30 minutes a game on a decent team. 

Frye and Bargnani just don't rebound the ball well enough to be efficient Centers. Basically these two deep shooting tall guys are Small Forwards in their skill set but they are too slow and big to chase the quicker wing players so they are resigned to playing the position their physical size dictates. 

And Perkins... Perkins can still defend and bang but I'm certain OKC would be better off with the NBA's Kendrick playing less. 

LINKS to analysis of other positions: 
Read Point Guards
Read Shooting Guards
Read Small Forwards
Read Power Forwards


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