I’ll be honest, there is no perfect way to rank basketball players. But some methods really give ludicrous results. Based on the current season how would you rank Nick Collison as an NBA player? If you saw the Dallas-OKC series you saw how well Collison defended Dirk and how well OKC played with him in (OKC was +9 points in 135 minutes Nick was in and -29 points in 109 minutes he was out). Yet Nick’s PER rating ranks 268th in the league!. I just do not think a box score metric can capture the full measure of a player’s ability. Many things (mostly involving defense) happen on the court that the box score does not track (taking charges, setting screens, denying Dirk the ball, etc.). The following numbers show how great Collison is.
|Collison and other in||10.58488||13.16189||10.74301||10.94008||21.39435||8.795835||9.21063||13.85873||10.93732|
|Collison out and other in||dnp||4.199121||0.259533||2.976136||2.581464||-5.45218||2.248966||-3.88659||2.110555|
|Collison in and other out||dnp||5.903702||9.968239||10.19988||9.623786||12.35439||11.02362||9.924921||10.31993|
|Collison out and other out||1.361913||-16.6958||2.120075||-8.00712||0.937869||2.633226||-0.38008||1.859774||-0.00036|
These numbers show how well Thunder played per 48 minutes (adjusted for strength of opponent) in different situations. For example, looking at the Durant column we see with Nick and KD in Thunder played 13 ppg better than average and with Nick out the great KD in OKC was only 4 points better than average . With Collsion and KD out OKC was a horrible 17 ppg worse than average and with Collison in and KD out OKC was +6 ppg. You can see that putting Nick in invariably made the Thunder better. Overall with Nick in Thunder were +10.6 ppg and with Nick out only +1.4. While Adjusted +/- may be fairly noisy over the course of a season, these numbers show that during his time on the court Nick is an elite player.
By the way, our Adjusted +/- for Nick Collison this year has him 2 ppg worse than average on offense but 8 ppg better than average on defense, and he ranks 28th in Adjusted +/-
By the way Steve Nash ranked 22nd in PER but if you look at the following data you will see why he ranked #1 in Adjusted +/-. With Nash in Suns were good +7 ppg; with him out there were horrible -15 ppg. Brooks and Dragic (the backup point guards) are decent players, so do not blame them. Steve Nash is the ultimate example of a player who makes his teammates better.
|Nash and other in||7.43||8.27||7.24||7.88||8.56||2.81||54.33||7.61||6.98||8.31||5.45|
|Nash out and other in||-12.13||-16.54||dnp||-20.16||-11.25||-14.82||-7.70||-19.60||-15.11||-38.88||-14.83|
|Nash in and other out||7.11||3.97||dnp||4.50||6.42||8.34||7.00||7.22||7.26||6.85||8.51|
|Nash out and other out||-24.16||-13.92||-15.04||-13.25||-18.16||-15.38||-18.27||-10.31||-14.98||-12.84||-15.10|