Saturday, March 17, 2012

Scoring, but living up to expectations?

Here's another look at whether Kobe and Carmelo are ball hogs. Punchline for impatient types: yes!

I took the data from the leagues top scorers (over 20 PPG), and predicted how many points each player would score if their shooting was as efficient as the other top scorers (linear regression: PPG = β0 + β1(shots per game) + ε, where free throws count as 0.44 shots, according to convention).

You can think of the expected PPG for Kobe as: how many PPG would the typical top scorer produce if they took a many shots as Kobe?

Kobe, Melo and Monta Ellis emerge as the least efficient among the top scorers. In the graph below green circles are expected PPG given SPG, red/blue dots are actual PPG for those below/above expectations:

This again illustrates the remarkably efficient shooting of Durant and LBJ this season.


  1. i like this, but i suspect it's a bit misleading. while shots per game is one metric for efficiency, you need to work in turnovers to account for the times the player doesn't even get up a shot.

    this chart is going to significantly underrate jump shooters as a group since their turnover rates tend to be lower.