Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Halfway. Small Forwards. Notes from NBA Stat 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 on NBA small forwards halfway through the 2013-14 season...

Small Forwards

Top five EFR's overall in 1991-92:
David Robinson, Michael Jordan,
Karl Malone, Hakeem Olajuwon,
and Brad Daugherty. 
The best basketball player in the world plays small forward. Kevin Durant leads the NBA with a ridiculously high efficiency rating of .850. I've been looking at the same efficiency per-minute rating system for north of 25 years. It is VERY RARE to see a player with an EFR at .850 or above. When I have seen that, the player has been a Center. I can recall David Robinson having an EFR of .865 for the 1991-92 season. So, to see Durant do his thing as a "wing" player is very impressive.  

LeBron James ranks second at .776, followed by Carmelo Anthony .658, and Paul George at .618. Those four are the only "threes" that are above .600.

The disparity between the "have's" and "have nots" in the NBA at small forward is huge. There are only four more guys who rate above .500 (Kawhi Leonard, Nic Batum, Thad Young, and Rudy Gay). 

As always, we like to see who ranks in the top 30 at the position that is presently not starting or playing heavy minutes. We find four such cases ...Mirza Teletovic, who some say is a power forward, ranks 15th. Marcus Morris (Phoenix) ranks 18th and in our opinion could make a good case for getting starters minutes in front of P.J. Tucker. Draymond Green ranks 22nd, well ahead of teammate Harrison Barnes (51st). Barnes plays 29 minutes per game. Green plays 19. Maybe the Warriors should look into reversing those numbers.  ...Shawne Williams, waived by the Lakers, was playing out of position in Los Angeles. He is more of a small forward, with his ability to stretch the floor. He ranked 30th. Perhaps he will find his way back into the NBA as a three-man. Williams recently landed with the D-League's L.A. Defenders. 

Antetokounmpo = future star. 
On the flip side, who is ranked outside the top 30 at small forward, that plays starters minutes? There are five: Jeff Green (31st), Matt Barnes (38th), Richard Jefferson (44th), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (45th), and Corey Brewer (46th). It says here that the Minnesota Timberwolves could really help themselves with a more efficient small forward other than Brewer. 

The highest rated rookie small forward is 19 year old Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks. He ranks 29th at the position, or already worth of being a low-tier starter. His upside seems virtually unlimited. 

Read Shooting Guards
Read Small Forwards
Read Power Forwards
Read Centers

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