Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Halfway. Point Guards. Notes from the NBA statistical audit

Every year after each team has played their 41st game of the NBA season, 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 others that are of note. Here is a quick synopsis of what I learned, starting with point guards...


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Point Guards

Chris Paul, as expected, is the highest ranked. It's not close. He is followed by the trio of Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, and John Wall. ...Isaiah Thomas ranks fifth in the NBA, well ahead of more ballyhooed ballers like Brandon Jennings (26th), and Jeremy Lin (38th). 

There are 30 teams in the NBA and each has a starting point guard. Who ranks in the top 30 league-wide but is not (yet) a regular starter? There are three: Patty Mills (San Antonio), Shelvin Mack (Atlanta), and Nate Robinson (Denver). 

Who is a regular NBA starter but not ranked in the top 30? There are five: Jose Calderon (32nd), Trey Burke (35th), George Hill (43rd), Raymond Felton (54th), Patrick Beverley (55th). The fact that Indiana, the best team in the league presently, has a starting point guard rated this low, raises a red flag for me. In the Playoffs, can the Pacers, who do not have a Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh talent combo, really win a championship without a dynamic point guard? I'm not sure. Having Lance Stephenson alongside Hill helps because Lance can create his shot off the dribble... but let's mark down point guard efficiency as a potential trouble spot for Indiana. 

Ray Felton has been inefficient for multiple seasons in the NBA. He is past his expiration date. The Knicks would be wise to quit messing around with Felton, Beno Udrih (46th), and Pablo Prigioni (45th). None of those guys are getting any better. And none of those guys are good enough to lead the Knicks to a Playoff series win. 

And finally, how about Kendall Marshall? Called up from the D-League after having been left for dead, Marshall ranks 25th, which rates him out as a low-tier starter in the NBA at age 22. 

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

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