Welcome to the newest installment of our weekly feature here at IndyCornrows, Stat of the Week. This feature, posted each Monday, focuses in on one statistic or number to recap and tell the story of the Pacers' performance for the previous week.
It was a rough week for the blue and gold. They grabbed wins at home against Charlotte and Toronto, but lost a heartbreaker in Milwaukee and dropped yet another game to Atlanta. The Pacers really struggled on the glass this week. They entered the week as the 7th best defensive rebounding team in the league. The week ended with them ranked 17th.
Despite some negative trends, the Pacers are still at 0.500 and rest in the 7th playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. For our statistical focus this week we're going to examine David Berri's Wins Produced and Wins Produced per 48 minutes. These two statistics are individual player metrics which use a player's box score statistics to calculate how much they contribute to their team's wins.
Let’s start with some basics. Wins Produced, and its more commonly used sister stat, Wins Produced per 48 minutes (WP48), are formulas which use a player’s 2 Point Field Goals Made, 3 Point Field Goals Made, Free Throws Made, Offensive Rebounds, Defensive Rebounds, Missed Free Throws, Missed Field Goals, Turnovers, Steals, Assists, Blocks and Personal Fouls, to calculate how much they contribute to their team’s wins. How Wins Produced is calculated is less important to this discussion here than the statistical categories which are used, but if you are more curious here is a lengthy description of the calculation process.
When looking at Wins Produced per 48 minutes, 0.100 is considered average. Last year the Pacers had only three players producing above that level. One of those three was Troy Murphy who is no longer with the team. This season the Pacers have eight players producing above that level. Although the numeric representation of average is the same (0.100), the calculations are adjusted by position. This is because you would expect different levels of production in different statistical categories from different positions. Andres Alvarez of the excellent basketball blog, NerdNumbers, keeps the Wins Produced numbers online and updated here.
What I wanted to do today was go player by player, looking at the component statistics of Wins Produced, and compare their production to an average player at their position. A few quick formulas before we go to the tables.
- Points per Shot = (Pts-FTM)/FGA
- Adjusted FG% = Points per Shot/2
- Net Possessions = Rebounds + Steals - Turnovers
- Win Score = Pts. + Reb. + Stl. + 1/2Blk. +1/2Ast. - FGA - TO - 1/2FTA - 1/2 PF
- Numbers are per 48 minutes
|Statistic||Average Center||Roy Hibbert||Solomon Jones||Jeff Foster|
|Point per Shot||0.98||1.00||1.02||1.60|
- Roy Hibbert has improved tremendously and these numbers reflect that clearly. Hibbert went from being a well-below average rebounder last season to an above average rebounder this year. With the improvement in his assists and personal fouls, he is now producing like the star we all thought he could be.
- Solomon Jones has a WP48 in the negative range which means he is essentially creating fractions of losses for the Pacers during his time on the floor as opposed to fractions of wins. He is an efficient scorer but below average in all the possession categories, especially rebounding, and fouling at an absurd rate.
- Jeff Foster has been terrific, but due to injury hasn't been able to spend much time on the floor.
|Statistic||Average Power Forward||Josh McRoberts||James Posey||Tyler Hansbrough|
|Point per Shot||0.97||1.07||1.01||1.00|
- Josh McRoberts has been terrific by these numbers this season. He doesn't shoot free throws particularly well, fouls a little too much, is slightly below average in turnovers and doesn't score as much, mostly because he doesn't take many shots. He is however, above average with respect to assists, blocks, steals, rebounding and scoring efficiency. By WP48 he is the 4th most productive player on the team.
- Despite being listed as a small forward, I included James Posey as a power forward since that's the primary position he is playing for the Pacers. With his small forward skill set he looks pretty terrible compared to the average power forward. He scores efficiently because of his three point shooting and does a great job protecting the ball. His rebounding, fouls and assists leave a lot to be desired.
- By WP48 and it's component categories Tyler Hansbrough has been very effective so far this year. He is scoring much more efficiently than last season, rebounding at a solid rate and not turning the ball over too much. His assists and fouls are areas which could benefit from some improvement.
Average Small Forward
Point per Shot
- Danny Granger is the team's biggest offensive weapon. He is above average with regards to his scoring efficiency, but not significantly. His rebounding is below average as are his turnovers.
- Paul George is a rookie who's played limited minutes since the first two weeks of the season. He is below average in almost every statistical category but hasn't had much time to learn on the court.
- Dahntay Jones is a veteran who's also played limited minutes. Jones has been productive but some of his numbers are inflated by the small sample size.
Average Shooting Guard
Points per Shot
- Brandon Rush has improved significantly since last season. He is scoring much more efficiently and is an above average shooting guard with regards to the Net Possessions categories.
- Mike Dunleavy has been very productive for the Pacers this season. His shooting could be slightly better but he is doing an inhuman job on the glass for the Pacers, while still scoring very efficiently. I find it interesting that Rush's and Dunleavy's numbers are so similar. I think this is largely a function of the system they are playing in and that they represent two efficient role players who know their jobs and are doing exactly what is asked of them.
Average Point Guard
Point per Shot
- Darren Collison is only below average with regards to assists, turnovers and blocks. Blocks is no surprise because of his height, and the sharp drop in his assists numbers has been influenced by Jim O'Brien's system. He is above average in every other category but isn't really outstanding in anything other than his free throw shooting.
- T.J. Ford has been earning minutes with his team defense, but his offensive numbers have been atrocious. He's shooting the ball terribly and shows up extremely poorly in all the scoring categories.
- A.J. Price has been extremely impressive in his limited minutes, playing at a level way above average. Some of this is because of the small sample size, but he looks to deserve a few more minutes for his offensive potential.
Summary: Using Wins Produced the Pacers project out as a 46 win team. If they ever figure out how to win some close games that number seems entirely reasonable. The team has players like Josh McRoberts, Brandon Rush, Mike Dunleavy and Tyler Hansbrough who have the potential to be very effective and productive as low Usage Rate role players. Those players have already produced 6.9 Wins for the Pacers this season, and they are on pace to produce roughly 28 Wins for the team this season.
The problem lies with the team's three, star, high-usage, high-minute players, Roy Hibbert, Danny Granger and Darren Collison. Of those three, only Hibbert is producing as a significantly above average player, with Collison actually producing as a below-average player. While McRoberts, Rush, Dunleavy and Hansbrough have combined to produce 6.9 Wins for the Pacers, Hibbert, Collison and Granger have combined to produce just 4.3 Wins in nearly 200 more minutes than the other four.
The easiest area for them to make improvements would be in turnovers and scoring efficiency. All three are above average, but only slightly, when it comes to scoring efficiency. All three are below average when it comes to turnovers. Defenses are paying extra attention, especially to Hibbert and Granger, which opens shots for the supporting cast. However, the team still hasn't found a way to maximize the offensive abilities of all three at the same time.
Collison's minutes continue to be inconsistent and now Granger is dealing with an ankle sprain; so it may be sometime before everything starts clicking. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about the possibility of this team winning just 46 games, but I think we all see the potential for much more. If Hibbert, Granger and Collison can find a way to exist harmoniously on offense, create quality shots for each other, stay away from inviting long two pointers and cut down on their turnovers, this team can be really scary.
If you are interested in more information about Wins Produced check out David Berri's site, The Wages of Wins Journal. Berri has also helped organize a "Wages of Wins Network," a collection of blogs which use Wins Produced in their statistical analysis. If you're interested there is a lot of great stuff going on there:
Arturo's Silly Little Stats - General NBA
Courtside Analyst - Milwaukee Bucks/General NBA
Miami Heat Index - Miami Heat
NBeh? - Toronto Raptors
Nerd Numbers - General NBA
Pistons by the Numbers - Detroit Pistons
Statistical Query of the Week: I am still working on Drakul's question about the foul rates of the Pacers' frontline depending on which point guard is in the game. I am hoping to have it up and included in next week's column. If you have any statistical questions or ideas pertaining to the Pacers' send me an email at Levy2725@gmail.com and we'll see what we can find out.
Rebound Percentage Update:
In the first installment of Stat of the Week we discussed Rebound Percentage and identified it as a season long focus and bellwether statistic for the team. The team's percentages 22 games into the season look like this:
Offensive Rebound Percentage: 22.5% (27th in the NBA)
Defensive Rebound Percentage: 74.1% (17th in the NBA)