Statistic: PPR (Pure Point Rating) 

What is it? 

  • PPR is an individual statistic designed to measure a player’s passing and ballhandling ability.
  • This another statistic developed by ESPN’s John Hollinger. He created the statistic because of frustration with the inaccurate pictures of a player’s ability which can be drawn from Assist to Turnover ratio; a more commonly used measure of a player’s ball-handling ability. Here is part of Hollinger’s explanation:

“Coaches and personnel people almost instinctively look to a player’s assist/turnover ratio to check how he’s doing. But ask them why they look at assist/turnover ratio, and you’ll get lots of blank stares and convoluted answers. Probe further, asking if they think Reggie Miller would make a better point guard than Steve Nash, and you’ll quickly get a series of guffaws. But guess who had the better assist/turnover ratio last year?” 

“What it really means is almost nothing, because assist/turnover ratio is a flawed stat. The problem isn’t with “assist” or “turnover,” it’s with the “ratio.” Using a ratio is faulty for two reasons. First, it assumes assists and turnovers are equal, when in fact a turnover is more costly than an assist is helpful.” 

“Second, it equates very different amounts of productivity. If Player A just sits in the corner all season and finishes with three assists and one turnover, while Player B directs the offense all year and has 300 assists and 101 turnovers, then according to assist/turnover ratio, we should assume that Player A is “better” at running the offense.”  – John Hollinger 

  • PPR is calulated using the formula: Pure Point Rating = 100 x (League Pace / Team Pace) x ([(Assists x 2/3) – Turnovers] / Minutes)
    Here’s Hollinger’s rationale for the formula:

“First, it adjusts for the fact that assists do less good than turnovers do harm by multiplying assists by two-thirds. There’s a factual basis in this. As I noted in a recent column, of the three acts of creating the basket (getting open, making the pass and making the shot), the passer does one. So we give him one-third of the credit of a 2-point basket, or about two-thirds of a point. Since turnovers cost almost exactly one point (teams average about 1.02 points per possession), we needn’t make any adjustments to that part of the equation. 

The second adjustment is measuring productivity, to avoid the Player A vs. Player B situation above. The way to do this is to sum a player’s accomplishments on a per-minute basis, then adjust them for his team’s pace. Finally, multiply the end result by 100 to make the numbers more user-friendly.” 

  • Because it can be confusing to put the PPR number into context, lets look at a sampling of PPR for some NBA players from last season:
    Chris Paul – 11.96
    Steve Nash – 11.03
    Rajon Rondo – 9.38
    LeBron James – 5.68
    Darren Collison – 3.98
    Dwayne Wade – 2.82
    Boris Diaw – 1.27
    Jamal Crawford – 0.82
    David Lee – 0.19
    Caron Butler –  -2.29

Why should I be interested? 

  • Pure Point Rating creates a single numeric representation of a player’s ability to handle the ball and create positive shot opportunities for their teammates. It accounts for the relationship between assists and turnovers as well as league and team pace.
  • It can be used to compare player’s abilities and performance regardless of position or minutes played.

Why should I be skeptical? 

  • Pure Point Rating is a statistic which combines several features (Assists, Turnover, Pace, Minutes Played). To truly understand where these numbers come from for a specific player, you may need to look at the individual statistical components which make it up.

Where can I find it? 

  • Pure Point Rating was developed by ESPN’s John Hollinger. Although I couldn’t find overall numbers he references it frequently in hi analysis. You can check out his archive here.
  • Pure Point Rating is also available for college and NBA players at Draftexpress.com




5 responses to “PPR

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