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

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Toronto 104 FINAL
Indiana 91
Cleveland 103 FINAL
Detroit 95
Milwaukee 109 FINAL
Miami 102
Memphis 71 3rd Qtr 5:24
Dallas 58
Chicago 9:30 PM
Golden State
Washington 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
NY Rangers 1 FINAL
NY Islanders 4
Arizona 3 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 4
Winnipeg 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Washington 3 FINAL
Columbus 4
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Carolina 4
Dallas 2 3rd Prd 5:01
Montreal 3
Detroit 5 3rd Prd 2:32
Florida 4
Colorado 2 3rd Prd 14:46
Nashville 3
Buffalo 1 2nd Prd 18:05
Calgary 1
Minnesota 1 1st Prd 7:27
Edmonton 0
Anaheim 9:00 PM
Vancouver
Ball State 47 FINAL
Akron 59
Northern Ill 46 FINAL
Bowling Green 56
Western Mich 71 FINAL
Buffalo 77
Ohio 40 FINAL
Eastern Mich 76
Xavier 66 FINAL
Georgetown 53
Vanderbilt 62 FINAL
Georgia 70
West Virginia 65 FINAL
Kansas State 59
Central Mich 53 FINAL
Kent State 63
Saint Josephs 48 FINAL
La Salle 53
Nebraska 44 FINAL
Michigan 58
Miami-Ohio 65 FINAL
Toledo 70
Tulsa 62 FINAL
Tulane 55
George Washington 48 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 72
Pittsburgh 67 FINAL
Virginia Tech 70
Indiana State 75 2nd Half 1:13
Evansville 81
Tabor College 53 FINAL
Oral Roberts 94
Florida 35 2nd Half
Alabama 22
Tennessee 37 2nd Half
Arkansas 35
Texas A&M 34 2nd Half
Auburn 27
Baylor 21 2nd Half
Oklahoma State 30
DePaul 0 Postponed
Providence 0
Michigan State 0 Postponed
Rutgers 0
Wyoming 26 2nd Half
Utah State 29
Fresno State 22 2nd Half
San Diego St 32
UNLV 9:00 PM
Nevada
SD Christian 9:00 PM
CS-Bakersfield
Colorado State 10:00 PM
Boise State
Temple 71 FINAL
UCF 54
Campbell 42 FINAL
Presbyterian 51
Coastal Carolina 65 FINAL
High Point 73
Gardner-Webb 49 FINAL
Radford 59
UNC-Asheville 58 FINAL
Liberty 62
Winthrop 63 FINAL
Longwood 62
Columbia International 33 FINAL
Charleston Southern 74
Tulane 63 FINAL
Houston 46
(3) Baylor 89 FINAL
TCU 67
Navy 49 FINAL
American Univ 59
Valparaiso 42 FINAL
Illinois-Chicago 60
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: Which local team is currently the biggest disappointment?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close