March 26, 2010

Brandon Rush vs. Troy Murphy

Filed under: Uncategorized — wwinston @ 1:30 pm

John Hollinger wrote today that he cannot figure out why Brandon Rush of the Pacers will average 30 minutes of Playing Time , the reason being his PER rating is poor (below 10. ) Hollinger, on the other hand gives Troy Murphy a PER of 17.7, well above average.

   As we have often stated, the box score misses a lot. When we look at how the score of the game moves and adjust for the strength of players Murphy and Rush play with we find Rush has an Adjusted +/- of around 0 and Murphy has a -7 Adjusted +/- which means  we estimate that Troy Murphy in for 48 minutes is 7 points worse than an average NBA player. So we believe Murphy must be doing some bad things that do not show up in the box score and in all likelihood Rush does many good things that do not show up in the box score.  Jim O’Brien must also believe that Rush has “hidden virtues.”

While Adjusted +/- is not perfect, we can gain insights into why the system rates Rush ahead of Murphy by looking at the following numbers:

For exmaple, we find that when Granger is in the Pacers play 2 points per game worse with Murphy in than Rush in.  When Hibbert is in, the Pacers are 12 points per game better with Murphy out than with Rush out. A bad PER does not necessarily mean you hurt the team and a good PER does not imply that you surely help the team! Adjusted +/- sorts through all these differences in team performance to obtain an estimated per minute value for a player/

  in in out out
Player Murphy Rush Murphy Rush
Ford -8.37658 -2.93739 -4.26439 -13.0742
Granger -1.67581 0.207528 2.672454 -0.39062
Hibbert -4.18263 3.838734 3.394616 -8.78096
DJones -11.9 -8.22 -5.4 -8.5
Watson -2.55158 -2.84462 -2.32432 -1.86361


  1. By 1 on 1 counterpart defense and overall Defensive Adjusted it appears B Rush may be a bit better than average on defense. Further, the Adjusted Factors at hoopnumbers from last season lists him as being in the top 10% specifically on impact on opponent eFG%. The only thing the Pacers are doing right this season is shot defense. It isn’t enough, but Rush is probably helping with that.

    Comment by Crow — March 26, 2010 @ 4:40 pm

  2. (I guess they are slightly above average at getting to the line as well. Rush is hurting them there.)

    At basketballvalue the Pacers have 7 lineups that are positive on Adjusted +/- and used over 30 minutes. Bigs errors of course, but Rush is on all 7 of them. Granger next at 5. I’d get that kind of stuff some weight.

    Comment by Crow — March 26, 2010 @ 4:44 pm

  3. Murphy is in a 4 way for third for number of appearances on the 7 lineups that are positive on Adjusted +/- and used over 30 minutes. Not enough to fully excuse his overall Adjusted +/- of course, but suggesting that even questionable or bad players can work some of the time- if that lineup is a good overall design or lucky or some of both.

    Comment by Crow — March 26, 2010 @ 5:20 pm

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