Thursday, July 19, 2012

B.I.W: Has LeBron James Settled the Debate Before the Olympics Even Start?

While Deron Williams and Carmelo Anthony were dominating Great Britain, LeBron James was putting more distance between himself and Kevin Durant in the debate for who's the Best In the World (B.I.W).

This article uses Estimated Wins Produced, a statistic created by sports economist David Berri. Since an average team's winning percentage is 0.500, an average player produces 0.100 est. wins per 40 minutes (est.WP40). A star player produces 0.200 est.WP40 and great players produce 0.300 est.WP40. See the HEAT Produced Page for more information on Est. Wins Produced.

USA 118, Great Britain 78
Deron Williams was the most productive player with 0.5 wins produced in 20 minutes (0.937 est.WP40) from 19 points, 7/8 shooting, 5/6 from 3, 5 assists, 2 steals and 1 turnover. It was his most productive game in his Team USA career. DWill's 2nd most produtive game for Team USA came against Russia in 2008 with 0.3 est. wins produced (0.666 est.WP40) from 5 points, 2/3 shooting, 9 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 steals.

Carmelo Anthony was the 2nd most productive player with 0.4 est. wins produced in 17 minutes (0.952 est.WP40) from 19 points, 8/10 shooting, 3/5 from 3, 4 assists, 2 steals and 3 fouls. Like DWill, Melo's last game for Team USA with that level of production came against Russia in 2008.

Durant was the least productive player with -0.1 est. wins produced in 21 minutes (-0.129 est.WP40) from 13 points, 46% shooting efficiency, 1/5 from 3, 2 rebounds, 1 steal and 2 turnovers. Coach K replaced Melo with Durant in the starting lineup for this exhibition game and it seemed like their production switched. Melo was the least productive player in the last exhibition game.

The spreadsheet below lists the wins produced estimated from the box score for all players in the exhibition game against Great Britain.

Most and Least Productive Players in Exhibition
While Durant struggled against Great Britain, LeBron was the 3rd most productive player for Team USA. LeBron leads Team USA with 0.9 est. wins produced after 3 exhibition games. Durant has fallen from 1st to 5th over the last two games. The big difference between LeBron and Durant so far is that LeBron's been better at getting to the free throw line and dropping dimes to his teammates.

After his big game against Great Britain, DWill became the 2nd most productive player on Team USA after 3 exhibition games. DWill took full advantage of his first start against an inferior opponent and passed Chris Paul in est. wins produced so far.

The least productive player on Team USA after 3 games is Kobe Bryant with -0.1 est. wins produced. LeBron, Durant, DWill and Kobe lead Team USA in minutes played so far. It says a lot about Kobe's ego that he can't take a backseat like Jason Kidd did in the 2008 Olympics and let Andre Iguodala (6th in est. wins produced and minutes played) or Russell Westbrook (4th in est. wins produced, 5th in minutes played) have the starting spot.

The spreadsheet below summarizes the wins produced stats estimated from the box scores for all 3 exhibition games.

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