I’ve missed that narrow window between the end of the regular season and the beginning of the playoffs, but the final Expected Scoring numbers have arrived at long last. You can find them here, or by following the link through the Expected Scoring – Statistics and Analysis page.
If you’ve haven’t been following my Expected Scoring posts this season, then congratulations, you’re in the vast majority of basketball fans. Expected Scoring is a way of combining a player’s shot selection and shooting percentages into one measure of scoring efficiency. Here’s the longer explanation:
Expected Scoring uses a player’s FGA from each area of the floor and multiplies it by the average number of points scored on that type of shot to come up with an Expected Point total from that area. The Expected Point total can than be compared to the actual number of points a player scored from that area to arrive at a Point Differential. This Point Differential is an expression of how a player shot compared to the league average, but I like that the comparison is drawn with actual point totals. The average values of shots by location that I use (At Rim – 1.208, <10ft. – 0.856, 10-15ft. – 0.783, 16-23ft. – 0.801, 3PT – 1.081, FT – 0.759) were calculated by Albert Lyu of ThinkBlueCrew.
There’s a lot to look at, so I thought I would just pull out a few highlights and lowlights.
For the second straight season, the overall Point Differential leader was Dirk Nowitzki (minimum 500 minutes played). Not only was he the most efficient scorer in the league, but he belongs to a small and elite group of players who posted a positive Point Differential from every area of the floor: Chris Paul, Daequan Cook, Pau Gasol, Ray Allen, Beno Udrih, Gary Neal, Steve Nash, Elton Brand and Nowitzki.
- Gary Neal: +2.25
- Patrick Patterson: +2.01
- Landry Fields: +0.97
- Gordon Hayward : +0.64
- Ed Davis: +0.33
This list really underscores how rare it is to find a rookie who plays within themselves, understands their strengths and weaknesses, and can provide efficient scoring right off the bat. 34 rookies played at least 500 minutes this season. Only these five, and Trevor Booker, of the Washington Wizards, posted a positive Point Differential across the entire season.
Here are some players who saw big improvement in their point differential versus last season.
- Daequan Cook: +4.61 (-2.32 to +2.29)
- Darrell Arthur:+2.91 (-1.87 to +1.05)
- DeAndre Jordan: +1.91 (-1.37 to +0.54)
- Chris Wilcox: +1.69 (-1.17 to +0.52)
- Nick Young: +1.28 (+0.16 to +1.44)
- Chuck Hayes: +1.19 (-1.57 to -0.38)
Young received a lot of attention this year for making himself into a somewhat efficient scorer. His transformation was based largely on a career high, and possibly unsustainable, field goal percentage on long two-pointers. Darrell Arthur and DeAndre Jordan seem like more likely candidates to repeat their levels of scoring efficiency next season.
Not So Hot
These are the guys who make you dig your fingernails into your palm everytime they even look at the rim.
- Louis Amundson: -3.57
- Aaron Brooks (Houston): -3.19
- Gilbert Arenas (Orlando): -2.71
- A.J. Price: -2.65
- Samardo Samuels: -2.61
There’s a ton of information here, and I’ve only done a cursory job of reviewing it. If you find something interesting that I’ve missed, feel free to share it in the comments! Final team Expected Scoring numbers should be up later this week.