NBA Players Top 40 List: 1980-2013

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I used the semi-pace adjustment that I discussed in the previous post. Pace-related stats including rebounds, steals and blocks, have been pace adjusted. Possessions-used stats including points, assists, and turnovers have not been adjusted.

The ranking is my own formula – unnamed. I took pieces of Professor Dave Berrie’s Adjusted Win Score and modified them to include factors like the value of a missed shot as a potential offensive rebound and the diminishing returns on rebounds.

The relevant numbers are:

OFF (offense) = Points + (Assists x 0.5)

POS+ (possessions added) = Steals + (Blocks x 0.5) + (O Rebounds x 0.7) + (D Rebounds x 0.3) + ((FGA-FG) x 0.15)

POS- (possessions lost)= Turnovers + FG + ((FGA-FG) x 0.7) + (FTA x 0.44)

Offense + Possessions Added – Possessions Lost = Total (TOT)

I also did a bogus defensive adjustment in a separate column (TOTwD) by factoring Defensive Rating by 1/5th to assign team contribution, pace adjusted to our control pace of 95 possessions per 48 minutes, and then further adjusting for minutes played. I’ll mention where defensive adjustment made a big difference in ranking.

If you don’t understand the factors and actually care enough to want to know, please feel free to ask in the comments, and I’ll explain there.

This list is entirely numbers driven, but I’ll give a short accompanying bio to help explain why each player wound up ranked where he did in the comments section if any questions arise. The crunchy list with the gooey statistic center can be found here. Stats are taken from seasons between 1980 and 2013, and the age range is 23-32.

Rk   Player OFF POS+ POS-   TOT TOT wD
1   Michael Jordan* 35.6 7.5 27.2   15.9 16.4
2   LeBron James 31.9 6.7 24.2   14.3 15.2
3   David Robinson* 26.6 9.2 21.7   14.1 15.5
4   Charles Barkley* 26.8 8.2 21.1   14.0 14.0
5   Magic Johnson* 26.1 5.4 18.2   13.3 13.5
6   Hakeem Olajuwon* 25.8 9.9 22.4   13.3 14.7
7   Larry Bird* 28.1 7.3 22.2   13.2 14.0
8   Kevin Garnett 24.0 8.4 19.6   12.7 14.0
9   Karl Malone* 28.7 7.6 23.6   12.7 13.4
10   Shaquille O’Neal 28.0 8.0 23.3   12.6 13.6
11   Kobe Bryant 30.8 5.9 24.8   11.8 12.0
12   Moses Malone* 25.8 8.9 22.8   11.8 12.1
13   Dirk Nowitzki 26.0 6.0 20.2   11.8 12.3
14   Dwyane Wade 29.1 6.0 23.4   11.7 12.2
15   Clyde Drexler* 25.8 6.7 20.7   11.7 11.9
16   John Stockton* 20.3 4.5 13.3   11.4 11.7
17   Tim Duncan 23.1 8.1 19.8   11.4 13.0
18   Patrick Ewing* 24.9 7.8 21.7   11.0 11.9
19   Scottie Pippen* 21.9 7.0 18.2   10.7 11.3
20   Alex English* 27.8 5.7 22.8   10.7 10.0
21   Adrian Dantley* 28.1 4.5 22.0   10.6 10.1
22   Chris Webber 24.4 7.8 21.6   10.6 11.6
23   Larry Nance 19.9 6.5 15.8   10.6 10.9
24   Vince Carter 26.1 5.7 21.3   10.4 10.5
25   Dominique Wilkins* 27.5 6.5 23.6   10.4 10.2
26   Allen Iverson 32.0 5.9 27.5   10.4 10.8
27   Shawn Marion 18.2 7.3 15.1   10.4 11.0
28   Gary Payton 22.4 5.4 17.6   10.2 10.4
29   Pau Gasol 20.3 6.4 16.5   10.2 10.5
30   Ray Allen 24.2 4.8 18.7   10.2 9.8
31   Kevin Johnson 23.5 3.8 17.2   10.1 9.7
32   Grant Hill 23.8 6.1 19.8   10.1 10.7
33   Jason Kidd 19.4 6.0 15.3   10.0 11.1
34   Paul Pierce 25.2 5.5 20.7   10.0 10.5
35   Alonzo Mourning 21.0 7.5 18.5   10.0 11.1
36   Elton Brand 19.0 7.2 16.2   10.0 10.4
37   Jack Sikma 18.9 6.6 16.0   9.5 10.2
38   Dikembe Mutombo 13.7 8.2 12.4   9.5 10.4
39   Robert Parish* 19.2 6.8 16.5   9.4 10.1
40   Ben Wallace 7.6 8.0 7.3   8.3 10.0

The defensive ranking rearranges the top 10 a little but doesn’t really change the names.  Robinson slides into a tie with LeBron for 2nd place.  Hakeem leapfrogs Magic and Barkley to take 4th.  Garnett jumps from 8 to 6.  Magic takes a significant slide from 5th to 9th.  The biggest benefactors of the defensive rating addition are Duncan and Dikembe, who each rocket 6 spots up the charts.

By position the rankings fall out thusly:

PG – Magic, Stockton, Payton, Iverson, KJ, Kidd (Kidd jumps to third w/ defensive adjustment).   I put AI here because there was a discrepancy between the SG and PG totals, and he dominated the ball like a PG anyway.

SG – Jordan, Bryant, Wade & Drexler (tie), Vince Carter, Ray Allan.

SF – LeBron, Bird, Pippen, English, Dantley, Wilkins, Hill, Pierce

PF – Barkley, Garnett, Malone, Dirk, Duncan, Webber, Nance, Marion, Brand

C – Robinson, Olajuwon, O’Neal, Moses, Ewing, Pau, Mourning, Sikma, Mutombo, Parish, Ben Wallace

Notes – Barkley is that high because he was incredible in the 80s.  Even after the pace adjustment he grabbed 4 ORBs while shooting 60% TS.  I couldn’t find a way to get Isiah onto the list.  He just wasn’t efficient enough with the ball.  Defensive adjustment jumps Hill and Pierce into the top 5 SFs.

Hope you enjoy this because it was a labor of love on my part, a labor of my love for you, the Double Dribble reader.  Happy New Years, basketball fans!

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2 Responses to “NBA Players Top 40 List: 1980-2013”

  1. Michael Jordan 50 Year Birthday Advanced Statistic Celebration « Double Dribble Says:

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  2. Adam Says:

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