numberFire is a sports analytics platform that uses algorithmic modeling to better understand sports—and they’ve developed the numberFire Efficiency Rating Derivative (NERD) to better evaluate every player in the NBA using offensive and defensive efficiency numbers. The nerdier, the better, according to these guys. A player’s NERD rating represents how many games above or below .500 an average team would be if they added him to its roster (based on an 82-game season). For example, LeBron James posted an 18.3 rating in the 2010-11 season, which means that if he played on a team with four league-average players, you would expect that team to finish 18 games over .500 (50-32). An average player has a NERD rating of 0, and to qualify, a player must play at least five minutes per game, based on the team’s total games. Visit numberFire to check out a detailed explanation of the NERD stat for player efficiency and see the full list of NERD rankings.
Not a lot of big movers this week. Ryan Anderson found his way back into the Top 5 thanks to some poor play from the reigning MVP. Derrick Rose was the biggest loser this week, dropping his NERD by 2.2 points. While he scored 29 points on Sunday, Rose did not do so efficiently. In his last two games, Rose is 9-39 from the field (23.1%), made worse by his 1-13, 2-point performance against Miami. As a result, C.J. Watson played the hero.
Manu Ginobili is the most improved player, increasing his NERD by 1.9 points. Manu is averaging 17-4-4 over his last four games and has made 29 of 32 free throws over that time period. Ginobili is still scoring a ridiculous 1.24 points per possession and has recorded a 66.3% True Shooting percentage. That is third-best in the League behind Tyson Chandler and Steve Novak, making him the leader for players with usage rates over 20%.
Look out for the Wizards’ James Singleton. Fresh off the boat from playing in China, Singleton has appeared in four games, scoring 1.37 points per possession, best in the League. Although he has only played 100 minutes, and is unlikely to continue to play at such a high level, Singleton’s efficiency grades out to a 12.1 NERD rating which would put him at No. 10 overall, if he qualified.
The NERD power rankings are powered by numberFire, a sports analytics platform that uses algorithmic modeling to better understand sports. Follow Nik Bonaddio at @numberfire, and Keith Goldner at @drivebyfootball. Check out numberFire on Facebook.