It’s been a while since I was posting these EVERY morning. I haven’t had the time to be able to keep that up, and I’ve realized I needed to mainly devote the time I do have to my player projection model – so I actually could have proper player career projections done before the next NBA draft.
That being said, I happened to wake up very early this morning and decided to update the NBA ratings for the heck of it. Here are the complete current NBA player rankings according to projected final season WAR (Wins Above Replacement):
Now, projected WAR projects the final WAR result based on what the player has done up to this point, and does not consider players out for the season due to injury. Players out for the season will obviously end up with a final WAR fairly close to their current WAR.
The final two columns are my Hoops Nerd Rating (HnR) and Hoops Nerd Impact (HnI). 100 is league average for both. HnI is how good the player has been when he has been available to play (ignores missed games). HnI is what I use if I were to project a future result. HnR is more of a seasonal rating, where missing games hurts the rating (you don’t help your team when you can’t play).
Now, let’s bring back the….
NBA All WAR Team
This is the best team one could put together this season based on WAR per minute (WAR/48) – with the assumption every guy plays the exact % of team minutes they’ve played all season (except for the last guy , who plays whatever remaining % of minutes are needed to equal a full season).
If you notice, Stephen Curry actually has a better WAR/48 than either Lopez or Duncan – but I also insure a sort of lineup integrity – in essence making sure this team is better than league average in scoring rating, rebound rating, assist rating, ball handling rating (assist+turnover rating), steal rating, and block shot rating. Lopez and Duncan were needed to play their full minutes for “interior defense” (block shot rating), while Curry filled out the remaining team minutes.
Kevin Love (21.61 WAR/48) would have made the team in lieu of Duncan & Lopez, except the team would have then been well below league average in shot block rating.
Speaking of Kevin Love – he is a good example of a guy whose WAR results (7th in the NBA in projected WAR and WAR/48) don’t quite measure up to his HnR (3rd in the NBA) or HnI (4th). While statistically dominant enough for great ratings, his team just isn’t winning enough to get that great WAR. Normally guys like this are playing on teams that aren’t winning as many games as their team rating would suggest (often lose close games – with Minnesota so far this season definitely true), and/or the player is putting up stats that are a bit “empty” because he is even more poor in the none box score stuff (ie defense & team chemistry) than even the playing time rating adjustment adjusts for (Love, well, isn’t good defensively – that’s for sure). Normally though, it’s mainly a team underachieving in terms of wins in relation to team rating.
Now, the direct opposite for guys with great WAR/48 (say, Duncan and Aldridge this season) – their teams win even more games than their team rating suggests (definitely Portland), and/or the player is even better in the non box score stuff (defense, team chemistry) than their playing time rating adjustment adjusts for (Duncan/Parker/Ginobli – Popovich chooses to play them less than their quality would warrant to protect from injury/fatigue).
If I were to make a team based on the best chance to completely dominate their opponents – this season so far I’d go with this:
These are the top HnI players (Davis given more PT than Curry for his shot blocking). HnI is the best predictor of future results. From the All-WAR team – we see Love/Cousins/Davis in for Aldridge/Duncan/Lopez, with Curry ending up with less minutes. This team has a 149 HnI – they’d be expected to beat an average NBA team by a ratio of 1.49 to 1, say an average final score 134-90.