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.


numberFire says:

Despite his beastly play, Jeremy Lin’s NERD has actually decreased by 2 points since last week. Although he’s been playing well, nothing will look as good as compared to his 38-point game against the Lakers. The best takeaway from the Lin-sanity so far might actually be his 51.5% assist rate. That means that while he is on the floor he assists over half of all field goals the Knicks make. We’ll just have to wait to see if that continues once Melo returns.

Corey Maggette, who recently returned from injury, ranks dead last in NERDiness at -17.3. Maggette is scoring just 0.86 points per possession while using almost 27% of the Bobcats available possessions. He is 5 for 21 from downtown which results in an effective field goal percentage of just 36%.

The biggest riser this week was Jason Richardson. The former 2-time Slam Dunk champion is 18 for 28 from three-point range over the last week, and had a huge 31-point game in which he went 9 for 11 from downtown. JRich is averaging 19 points per game over his last four, and that kind of three-point shooting will always give you a big boost in the NERD rankings.

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.