The Knicks have surged amazingly since a 3-14 start. Since then the Knicks have played 4 points better than an average NBA team and they have a great shot at making the playoffs.
By the boxscore (as measured by Hollinger’s PER ratings) David Lee (PER of 21) is the Knicks star. This just is not true. Jared Jeffries (with a horrible PER of 9 and Gallinari (PER of 16) as well as Chandler (PER of 14) and Robinson (PER of 17) have all been bigger contirbutors to the Knicks amazing surge. For the months of December and January here are estimated Adjusted +/- for some key Knicks:
- Jeffries +13
- Gallinari +14
- Robinson +9
- Chandler +8
- Lee 0
Gallo’s +14 rating indicates that after adjusting for who he played with and against in January, we estimate Gallo has played 14 points better than an average NBA player.
To justify these estimates look at the following stats for the Knicks last 21 games.
- With Gallo and Jeffries in the Knicks are 14 points better per game than an average NBA team.
- The rest of the time the Knicks are 4 points worse than an average NBA team.
For example, when Lee, Gallo and Jeffries are on the floor the Knicks play 15 points better than average; the rest of the time Lee plays the Knicks are average.
So how can Jeffries with his miserable PER rating of 9 be an effective player? The answer is Jeffries is great on defense. For the season Jeffries has an Adjusted +/- Defensive rating of -11. This indicates that after adjusting for who he plays with and against, Jeffries causes the Knicks to give up 11 points less per game than an average defender. Bos score states are heavily weighted towards offense, so PER misses Jeffries’ great D.
In all fairness Adjusted +/- is highly influenced by the coaches’ ability to put together sensible lineups. This is why a player may be traded and go from a good Adjusted +/- to a medicore Adjusted +/-. But we believe Adjusted +/- gives us a good way to measure a player’s contribution to a team based on how the team used him.