Rand: New stat calls Rubio worst player in NBA

  • Updated: February 7, 2014 - 12:31 AM

CARLOS GONZALEZ • cgonzalez@startribune.com (Rubio); | SHARON ELLMAN • Associated Press The best and the worst: By a new statistical measure, Ricky Rubio, left, is the worst player in the NBA and Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul is the best. The stat shows how many points a player adds or subtracts a game.

If you’re an NBA fan who is just starting to get comfortable with stats like PER (Player Efficiency Rating), your world might soon be turned upside down.

Four Harvard statistics gurus will present a paper later this month at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference on a new basketball statistic called Expected Possession Value.

One of the authors, Kirk Goldsberry, wrote about it on Grantland.com. Basically, EPV seeks to quantify every movement of every player in every situation on the court — pass, dribble, fake, shot, you name it.

The amount of data is somewhere between fascinating and terrifying, as is the potential use of the results. It was first tested using information from the 2012-13 season, from cameras in 14 NBA arenas. Goldsberry writes that 800 million player locations were charted, resulting in nearly 100 gigabytes of data.

This year they are using data in every NBA arena. But the numbers we have to work with are from 2012-13 for now, and if you believe in EPV and the Timberwolves, this next part is going to hurt.

Players are measured using EPV Added — the number of points they add per game by being themselves instead of an average NBA player. This takes into account every action he performs with the ball. There were 327 players last season who had the requisite number of “qualifying possessions” to be charted.

Chris Paul was No. 1, at plus-3.48 points. The player with the worst EPVA of those 327 was Ricky Rubio, at minus-3.33. The player with the second-worst EPVA was Kevin Love, at minus-2.38.

Now: Other players we consider to be very good — Russell Westbrook and Paul George among them — were also in the bottom 10. And let’s remember that Love had an injury-marred season and is almost certainly much better in terms of EPVA this year.

As for Ricky? Love’s poor season hurt him, too, but mostly it was his shooting. “Relative to league averages, he struggles to make shots in every part of the scoring area,” Goldberry writes. “In terms of EPV ‘over replacement,’ almost every jumper Rubio decides to take is a proposition less valuable than if almost any other similar player took that exact same shot.”

Michael Rand

  • related content

  • Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul (3) controls the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks Friday, Jan. 3, 2014, in Dallas. The Clippers won 119-112. (AP Photo/Sharon Ellman)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Atlanta - WP: A. Harang 11 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: F. Liriano 3
Houston - WP: J. Fields 7 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: D. Robertson 4
Seattle - WP: H. Iwakuma 5 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: A. Burnett 2
Arizona - LP: C. Anderson 1 FINAL
Washington - WP: S. Strasburg 8
LA Angels - WP: J. Smith 4 FINAL
Boston - LP: K. Uehara 3
Detroit - WP: J. Johnson 8 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: G. Balfour 6
Texas - LP: N. Cotts 3 FINAL
Miami - WP: S. Dyson 4
San Francisco - LP: R. Vogelsong 0 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: T. Wada 2
Baltimore - WP: C. Tillman 5 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Quintana 1
Cleveland - WP: K. Crockett 7 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: B. Duensing 5
Toronto - LP: J. Happ 1 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: M. Fiers 6
Cincinnati - LP: J. Hoover 4 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: P. Neshek 5
Kansas City - WP: J. Shields 7 FINAL
Colorado - LP: T. Matzek 4
NY Mets - LP: D. Gee 2 FINAL
Oakland - WP: S. Kazmir 6
San Diego - LP: I. Kennedy 6 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: K. Correia 8
Pittsburgh 8/21/14 6:30 PM
Philadelphia
Carolina 8/22/14 6:30 PM
New England
NY Giants 8/22/14 6:30 PM
NY Jets
Jacksonville 8/22/14 6:30 PM
Detroit
Oakland 8/22/14 7:00 PM
Green Bay
Chicago 8/22/14 9:00 PM
Seattle
Tampa Bay 8/23/14 3:30 PM
Buffalo
Tennessee 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Atlanta
Dallas 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Washington 8/23/14 6:30 PM
Baltimore
New Orleans 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Indianapolis
Minnesota 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Kansas City
St. Louis 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Houston 8/23/14 8:00 PM
Denver
San Diego 8/24/14 3:00 PM
San Francisco
Cincinnati 8/24/14 7:00 PM
Arizona
Montreal 8/22/14 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Toronto 8/23/14 3:00 PM
Edmonton
Calgary 8/24/14 2:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/24/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How do you like the Kevin Love trade?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close