October 15, 2009

More on Kevin Durant

Filed under: Uncategorized — wwinston @ 8:33 am

As Joe Friday said on Dragnet, “Just the facts maam.”  Here are some facts about the Thunder.

  • Based on KD’s 2 years in the league most adjusted +/- numbers have him rated around -7 points. Even with the noisiness in these estimates there is less than a 5% chance that the true value of his adjusted +/- for those two years is above average.

Let’s break down all Thunder minutes last year into 3 lineup combinations and look at how (adjusting for strength of opposition) the Thunder played. The standard deviation of these estimates (rounded off) is also given

  • Collison Westbrook Green and KD in +.4 points (std dev 4 points)
  • All other KD minutes -11.2 (st dev 2 points)
  • All minutes with KD out -2.6 (std dev 3 points)

Draw your own conclusions from this information.


  1. [...] then there is the adjusted plus-minus story.  As Wayne Winston notes at his blog – see HERE and HERE — from the perspective of this measure Durant is clearly below [...]

    Pingback by The Differing Stories on Durant – and a Brief Thunder Review « The Wages of Wins Journal — October 15, 2009 @ 12:18 pm

  2. What is says is that the team has been better without him on the court.

    However, but that is not the same as saying he’s a below average player or not an incredible talent.

    He’s an above average player and an incredible talent whose team is not using his skills properly. Of course, that could also be partially his fault, but either way, it’s a different matter than his skill set and ability.

    Comment by Italian Stallion — October 15, 2009 @ 12:50 pm

  3. The “Kobe effect” is more than just skill differences. I’m talking about the team becoming effectively a one man team (e.g the other players simply giving up.) When this happens, the other players stats will certainly go way down. In extreme situations, the entire team performance can drop – even with a star like KD.

    Like Kobe, he needs to learn to get the rest of the team involved in the game. When you consider the effect on the rest of the team’s play, an assist is often better than a basket.

    Comment by dart — October 16, 2009 @ 1:33 am

  4. I agree with this explanation. It seems reasonable.

    Comment by wayne winston — October 16, 2009 @ 6:34 am

  5. I’d be interested in knowing what the Adjusted +/- was for Collison Westbrook Green without KD. How much different / better than with KD?

    Compared to with KD it seems to offer more possibilities for the 4th and 5th guy, especially this year. With KD they will probably change SGs. Harden could be best but wait n see. Without they could change almost anywhere.

    When I put together a quick 12 lineup set for this team earlier, elsewhere I went with 3 of these 4 guys in 9 of them.

    Comment by Crow — October 16, 2009 @ 1:08 pm

  6. Collison Westbrook Green without KD only got a bit over 100 minutes run (at least among lineups used over 4 minutes). Small sample. With KD had about 600 minutes. Not a level comparison but that is what the coach’s lineup churning gives us to look at. If they were more strategic with minutes they could learn more from lineup analysis. Doesn’t sound like Thunder use Adjusted +/- but I have a pretty good idea roughly what Presti’s consultant does use. Wonder how different the results look and what they are doing or not doing with the information.

    The raw +/- of Collison Westbrook Green without KD was close to neutral. I’ll assume the Adjusted was better but without seeing it hard to say how much of a drag Durant was on that group. Probably not as much as “usual”. He wasn’t the engine though.

    Comment by Crow — October 16, 2009 @ 6:09 pm

  7. Wayne – would it be valuable to see the total minutes that each +/- score is based on? I expect there are players whose minutes with KD occurred significantly differently than their minutes without him. Ditto for Westbrook. This may help account for (explain) some of the games where a player is out (e.g. injury).

    Comment by Steve Price — October 24, 2009 @ 1:07 pm

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    Comment by Alexis Coburn — April 2, 2010 @ 9:19 pm

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