The most important stat that nobody seems to use! (PER differential)
- I've read a lot of the discussion about the PER and many people seem
to correctly regard it as the best way to measure a players
production. But even better, is to measure a player production vs. his
opposing player. This way, defense is correctly valued by the stats
without an overemphasis on creating defensive stats that don't exist
or overvaluing unimportant stats. Allow me to illustrate with an
Stromile Swift has a high PER of 18.6 when he plays the PF position.
Impressive, but less impressive when you see that his opposing PF has
a PER of 18.0. This equates to a modestly impressive .6 PER
Now in a similar number of minutes at the PF spot Chris Bosh has a low
PER of 13.7, while his opponents were 12.8. This also works out to a
modestly impressive .8 PER differential.
Why is this so important? Because Swift and Bosh played about equally
well versus their opponents. Swift had better production and worse
defense, ultimately it's a wash. If we had just looked at PER we would
have wrongly assumed that Swift had a much better season.
I call this the PER differential. The best players in the L are at the
top of course-
What really proves the tremendous value of the PER differential is the
correlation between team PER differential and winning percentage. You
guys have to forgive me, I have no stats background (just years of
watching hoops) so I can't give you a number on the correlation. But
check this out, here are the top teams ranked by PER differential
during the regular season. (done just before season end so these
numbers may have changed slightly-taken from 82games.com)
And the worst?
I got these by adding up the net differentials at each position. Let
me know if it isn't clear how I arrived at these numbers.
THESE NUMBERS PROVE THAT THE BEST WAY TO BUILD A WINNING TEAM IS WITH
PLAYERS WHO GIVE YOU THE HIGHEST PER DIFF AT THEIR RESPECTIVE
POSITIONS! The caveat of course is that they play enough minutes. This
also proves why a good bench is so important. If a bench player comes
in and gets lit up he's lowering his teams PER differential.
Who are some unsung heroes when it comes to PER differential? (%M at
P) this means % of teams minutes they played at the position I have
them listed under.
P (%M at P) Diff
SG Mason 14 8.5
PG Boykins 27 7.8
SF Posey 28 6.5
C Haywood 37 6
PF Cardinal28 5.6
Am I suggesting that this starting five (if health and supported by a
decent bench) would win 50+ games? Absolutely! Worrying about whether
a team is offensive or defensive is silly and misses the point, which
is simply to be better than your competition!
The PER differential also allows you to tell which positions a player
is most effective at. Some guys are equally effective at 2 positions,
like Duncan at C and PF. Other guys are much less effective when
playing out of position, like when Cardinal plays the 3.
I have made an excel spreadsheet for most of the players in the L
ranking PER Diff, I could email it to someone...
Oh yeah, the PER differential even demonstrates how bad everyones
least favorite player 'Toine truly is. His PER at the PF spot is 16.0
but the opposing PF is 19.5. A PER differential of -3.5, and proof
that he shouldn't be allowed on the basketball court!
>From: "mrintp2000" <shzys@...>Isn't zone played some in the NBA? Don't players play a variety of matchups
>Subject: [APBR_analysis] The most important stat that nobody seems to use!
>Date: Mon, 03 May 2004 23:11:09 -0000
>I've read a lot of the discussion about the PER and many people seem
>to correctly regard it as the best way to measure a players
>production. But even better, is to measure a player production vs. his
>opposing player. This way, defense is correctly valued by the stats
>without an overemphasis on creating defensive stats that don't exist
>or overvaluing unimportant stats. Allow me to illustrate with an
in a game?
Isn't it often hard to classify what position a player really plays (let
alone the position he defends)?
Don't get me wrong - the PER differential can give SOME insight. But we
need to remember the limitations.
I can promise you that Reggie Miller's low opposing SG PER can be greatly
attributed to Ron Artest (and maybe a few others). That's the type of thing
I'm talking about.
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