Thursday, November 1, 2012

Mario Chalmers vs. the Top 10 Point Guards

Mario Chalmers said he was a top 10 point guard in the offseason and some fans thought he was just being cocky, but he almost matched Rajon Rondo's production in the season opener. How does 'Rio compare to the top 10 point guards in the NBA, by the numbers?

The first step in evaluating Chalmers' performance against the top 10 point guards is to identify the top 10 point guards. There are three types of player evaluations publicly available on the Internet: fan evaluations (all-star voting), media evaluations (All-NBA voting) and statistical evaluations.

This article uses the Win Score and Estimated Wins Produced statistics created by sports economist David Berri. Average players produce 0.100 Estimated Wins per 48 minutes (Est.WP48) because a team of average players form a team with a 0.500 winning percentage. Star players produce +0.200 Est.WP48 and great players produce +0.300 Est.WP48. Win Score is a simple measure of a player's total production that = PTS-FGA-FTA/2+OREB+DREB/2+AST-TOV+STL+BLK/2-PF/2. See the HEAT Produced Page for more information.

Top 10 Point Guards According to Fans
The 10 point guards with the most all-star votes last season are listed below (voting results in parentheses).
  1. Derrick Rose (1,514,723)
  2. Chris Paul (1,138,743)
  3. Rajon Rondo (547,110)
  4. Ricky Rubio (397,456)
  5. Steve Nash (276,268)
  6. Russell Westbrook (262,186)
  7. Deron Williams (208,697)
  8. Kyle Lowry (185,584)
  9. Jose Calderon (132,167)
  10. Jason Kidd (114,924)

Top 10 Point Guards According to the Media
The point guards with the most votes for the All-NBA teams are listed below (voting results in parentheses).
  1. Chris Paul (484)
  2. Tony Parker (367)
  3. Russell Westbrook (239)
  4. Rajon Rondo (142)
  5. Derrick Rose (44)
  6. Steve Nash (24)
  7. Deron Williams (14)

Top 10 Point Guards in Wins Produced
The 10 point guards with the most wins produced last season are listed below (wins produced in parentheses).
  1. Chris Paul  (14.2)
  2. Steve Nash (10.6)
  3. Rajon Rondo (8.6)
  4. Ty Lawson (8.1)
  5. Jose Calderon (7.8)
  6. Mike Conley (7.8)
  7. Jeff Teague (6.3)
  8. Jason Kidd (5.9)
  9. Kyle Lowry (5.9)
  10. Goran Dragic (5.7)

'Rio vs. the Top 10 Point Guards
Chalmers played 33 games against the top 10 point guards according to the fans, media and wins produced. He produced an estimated 2.4 wins against them in 1,052 minutes for 0.111 est. WP48 from 14.7 points on 54% shooting efficiency, 71% from the free throw line, 4.2 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 3.2 turnovers, 2.7 steals, 0.4 blocks and 4.2 fouls per 48 minutes. He outplayed the top 10 in 12 of those games and the HEAT went 21-12.

The spreadsheet below lists Chalmers' production in every game against a top 10 PG last season (games he outplayed the opponent are in bold).

Chalmers provided the same production against top 10 PGs that he provided all season. He maintained or improved his numbers in every category except free throw shooting (-5%), shot attempts (-1.1), scoring (-1.4) and defensive rebounding (-0.4). His Win Score per 48 minutes for the season was 4.3 and 4.4 vs. top 10 PGs. The spreadsheet below compares Chalmers' production in every game last season to his production against top 10 PGs.

The difference against top 10 PGs was that Chalmers' production had less of an impact because his opponents produced at a high level. As a result, Chalmers produced 0.139 est.WP48 in the regular season and playoffs last season but just 0.111 est.WP48 against top 10 PGs while his opponents produced 0.155 est.WP48.

Chalmers may not be a top 10 PG yet, but he holds his own against them. That's why he's so confident talking about his place amongst them. Holding his own against elite PGs is all the HEAT need to be successful in the playoffs.

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