Earlier today Joel posted this on his Twitter page and I thought it was quite interesting. Below is a graphic of where all current Nuggets players rank in player efficiency rating (PER) and win shares per 48 minutes played (WS/48). These are two of the more popular advanced statistical categories that aim to quantify just how valuable and productive a player is individually and with respect to his team. The following rankings might surprise you.
- JaVale McGee is, overall, the most impressive player on the team in terms of these two statistical measuring sticks. He’s No. 1 in PER and No. 2 in WS/48. So what does this mean, exactly? It’s tough to say. We all know JaVale was highly productive in his roughly 19 minutes per game last year, especially in terms of scoring points and blocking shots. But there’s a reason Karl chose to bring him off the bench, as he’s still miles away from understanding the nuances of playing team defense. Nevertheless, if you weren’t already excited for what Shaw might be able to do with JaWilt McChamberlain, this graphic should do the trick.
- Kenneth Faried and J.J. Hickson rank no lower than fourth in each of the above categories. In term of PER, Hickson ranks second on the team only behind McGee. There’s been a ton of talk this offseason about trading Faried (who looked great in Thursday’s Team USA minicamp scrimmage, by the way) yet we easily forget just how young and statistically robust he still is. Faried only average 28 minutes per game last year yet ranked 14th in the league in rebounds per contest. And in terms of rebounding per 48 minutes Faried ranked eighth in the NBA, tied with Zach Randolph and ahead of guys like DeMarcus Cousins, David Lee, Roy Hibbert and Greg Monroe. Conversely, Hickson ranked fourth in the league in rebounding per 48 minutes and seventh overall in rebounds per game. Both of these power forwards have serious defensive shortcomings, but in terms of energy and rebounding, you can’t find a better tandem in the entire league.
- Andre Miller ranks in the bottom half of the roster for each of the above categories despite having logged the fifth most minutes on the team last year. This is interesting because, judging by his numbers, Dre Miller is a pretty solid player. He’s not horrendous at anything and does well in the points and assists brackets. But hey, numbers don’t lie and the numbers are saying Dre Miller just ain’t that good. Then again, this isn’t exactly news.
- Randy Foye. Good god. Just… I don’t even know where to begin. The dude averaged 27 minutes per game last year in Utah yet shot below 40 percent from the field (oddly enough, he shot a higher percentage from behind the 3-point line) and collected only 1.5 rebounds, two assists and .8 steals per game. Additionally, as you can see above, he ranks in the bottom three of everyone on the team in PER and WS/48 — all despite playing close to 30 minutes per game last year!!! This is exactly why some people were a little perturbed about the Nuggets signing him this summer. Yes, Foye can hit the 3-pointer, but at what cost to the team? Outside of stretching the floor he’s well below average (to be nice) in most statistical categories.
- If you didn’t already know, Kosta Koufos was a fan favorite amongst stat nerds. His .171 WS/48 and 17.2 PER would have ranked him first and sixth respectively in the above categories. Meanwhile, Andre Iguodala would have not fared well compared to the rest of his former teammates, as he would have ranked near the bottom quarter (.097 WS/48 and 15.2 PER) in both columns.
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