Mar. 30: NERD Rankings (Player)
Don’t look now, but Lakers star Kobe Bryant sits outside the Top 50 in player efficiency.
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.
The Kia man himself, Blake Griffin, is the most improved this past week. He increased his NERDiness by 2.8 points after averaging 22 points, 10.5 boards, and 4.3 assists over his last four games. He also shot just under 60% from the field. Griffin has nearly identical offensive efficiency numbers to last year, scoring 1.12 points per possession while using around 27% of the Clippers’ possessions. His weakest point, not surprisingly, is his inability to shoot free throws; he is shooting just 54.3% from the charity stripe this year—that’s Shaq territory.
The Blazers’ Jamal Crawford dropped two points this week after some downright dismal performances. Crawford has just 8 total points in his last three games and is shooting 16.4% since March 20th—that is 9 for 55. To make matters worse, he is averaging just 1 rebound and 1.6 assists over that period. Crawford is scoring just 1.01 points per possession making this his worst offensive season since leaving the Chicago Bulls in 2004.
Kobe Bryant ranks No. 88 in NERD efficiency up to this point in the season. If he were playing for a league-average team and playing at the same level (using 36.7% of the possessions and scoring just 1.04 points per possession), that team would only finish around three games over .500. While Kobe is obviously capable of playing well at such high usage levels, he has been unable to retain that efficiency this season. The biggest change in his game since last year has been his inability to hit three-pointers; he is shooting just 28.8% from behind the arc. Kobe has not shot below 30% from long range since the 2000-01 season.
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.