Last week, I ranked the point guards, so this week we look at their backcourt partner, the shooting guards.

I first want to give a big shout out to William Lou, writer of the great blog Both Teams Played Hard, for helping me collect some of the stats and saving me a ton of time I didn’t have.

One of the big differences I noticed right away between the shooting guards and the point guards is that there were a lot more good shooting guards coming off the bench, as opposed to point guards. You almost never see a starting calibre point guard coming off the bench because it usually ends up in some sort of controversy (just ask any Raptor fan over the last seven years).

On the other hand, starting calibre shooting guards routinely come off the bench, often times playing behind inferior players.  James Harden went from Oklahoma’s 6th man to the All NBA 3rd team. Manu Ginobili only started more games than he came off the bench for in three of his eleven seasons.

Often times this is due to a strategic coaching decision, but other times it’s because a player may have a major weaknesses (like lack of defense) that can be minimized playing against second unit players.

So for that reason, I found it a little more difficult to cut down my list of shooting guards to a manageable size. Instead of 25, I settled on 30, which does make more sense on the surface, but not every single team is represented. With Denver losing Andre Iguodala, they don’t have a starting calibre shooting guard, so I left them out. Same goes for Phoenix and Detroit. Boston isn’t represented, either.

Of course, there will be players that I left out for various reasons.

Iguodala didn’t make it because I consider him a small forward, and that’s more where he will play this year on Golden State, so he’ll be on next week’s list. Jared Dudley is also a guy who played shooting guard last season, but will go back to small forward this season.

I probably could have included Jimmy Butler, as he might very well start at the shooting guard position for the Bulls, next season, but he’s really a small forward, which is what he was listed as last season.

There are probably others, but since it’s me taking the time to do this, I used my own discretion.

Like the point guard column, I looked at lots of difference advanced stats and tried to rate the players based on a variety of stats, rather just one or two, as well as just my own opinion.

While I used some previous year’s stats for players like Steve Nash and Derrick Rose, because of injuries, I only used 2013 stats for the shooting guards. Eric Gordon struggled with injuries, but considering how many year’s he’s been injured, you have to assume that might be the norm, for him.

Arron Afflalo had an off year, so some might be tempted to look at the previous season for him, but who’s to say that he simply regressed as a player and won’t go back to his previous production? That’s the danger of assuming a player who is having an off year will recover, because often times they don’t.

So here we go…

Player
PER
Rank
WS
Rank
WS48
Rank
WP
Rank
WP48
Rank
Dwyane Wade
24.25
1
13.9
1
0.287
1
11.1
2
0.223
2
Kobe Bryant
23.25
2
9.3
7
0.206
3
9.6
4
0.152
9
James Harden
22.85
3
6.0
11
0.211
2
13.5
1
0.217
3
Manu Ginobili
19.07
4
11.6
2
0.195
4
4.7
15
0.163
8
Tyreke Evans
18.10
5
4.4
24
0.105
20
7.0
7
0.167
6
Vince Carter
18.01
6
4.9
20
0.121
15
5.6
12
0.130
12
J.R. Smith
17.44
7
11.2
3
0.180
6
5.6
13
0.101
15
Jamal Crawford
16.86
8
5.6
16
0.125
14
2.8
25
0.065
22
Gerald Henderson
16.85
9
10.9
4
0.184
5
3.3
21
0.074
21
Gordon Hayward
16.64
10
9.9
5
0.172
8
4.7
16
0.108
14
Marcus Thornton
16.31
11
5.9
12
0.144
10
3.2
23
0.089
18
Monta Ellis
16.20
12
4.6
22
0.071
27
4.0
18
0.062
24
Kevin Martin
16.00
13
7.4
8
0.141
11
5.9
10
0.132
11
Lou Williams
15.47
14
9.7
6
0.177
7
1.3
27
0.057
25
Eric Gordon
15.47
15
7.4
8
0.165
9
-1.0
30
-0.040
30
Ray Allen
14.78
16
5.4
19
0.126
13
6.1
9
0.143
10
J.J. Redick
14.70
17
4.5
23
0.091
22
4.3
17
0.087
20
DeMar DeRozan
14.65
18
5.6
16
0.133
12
3.4
20
0.054
26
Danny Green
14.18
19
3.3
28
0.055
30
8.7
5
0.189
4
Wesley Matthews
14.10
20
5.8
13
0.088
23
5.4
14
0.109
13
Joe Johnson
14.06
21
3.0
29
0.085
25
3.5
19
0.064
23
O.J. Mayo
13.95
22
3.7
27
0.115
16
5.7
11
0.094
17
Bradley Beal
13.70
23
6.1
10
0.111
18
3.2
24
0.088
19
Dion Waiters
13.67
24
4.8
21
0.080
26
-0.8
29
-0.021
29
Tony Allen
13.24
25
5.7
15
0.106
19
6.1
8
0.169
5
Arron Afflalo
13.00
26
3.8
26
0.067
29
-0.5
28
-0.009
28
Thabo Sefolosha
12.93
27
4.2
25
0.087
24
10.7
3
0.230
1
Klay Thompson
12.63
28
5.8
13
0.096
21
2.4
26
0.039
27
Jason Richardson
12.56
29
1.4
30
0.070
28
3.2
22
0.095
16
Lance Stephenson
11.91
30
5.5
18
0.115
16
7.9
6
0.165
7

One interesting thing that immediately jumped out at me was the difference in production between the point guards, who I ranked last week, and the shooting guards. with the PER system, 15 is considered average. For the point guards, every single one I ranked had a PER above average. For the shooting guards, only fifteen would be considered above average according to John Hollinger’s system.

Of course, one big reason for the discrepancy is the role shooting guards tend to play on their, as opposed to point guards. Most shooting guards are there to shoot and play defense, and not much else. Most of the shooting guards with high PERs have a more dominant role on the team’s offense. When they are on the floor, the ball tends to be in their hands as they are almost the point guards, initiating the offense.

The above chart also highlights the discrepancies between the different systems. Tyreke Evans looks good with PER and WP, but has poor WS numbers. Jamal Crawford also has good PER and WS numbers, not that doesn’t carry over the WP.

If we are to rely heavily on WP, then Thabo Sefolosha would be considered a top five shooting guard, which obviously isn’t true. The same is true for Danny Green. If they’re your best player, or even second best player, you’re not a playoff team. Both of them are excellent role players who fit the system they are in and do exactly what they need to do.

When looking at any of these numbers, DeMar DeRozan ends up looking middle of the pack, at best. Interestingly, Gerald Henderson, who was taken just a few spots below DeRozan, in the 2009 draft, and probably would have been the Raptor’s pick had DeRozan not been available, comes out looking a little better than DeRozan in all the categories. Henderson recently signed a 3 year, $18 million contract to stay with Charlotte, whereas Bryan Colangelo gave DeRozan a 4 year, $38 million contract extension at the start of last season.

In today’s NBA, shooting guards really need to be able to do two things well. Score efficiently, preferably from behind the three point line, and defend. The term “3 and D” is popular when referring to the skills shooting guards need today.

Player
TS%
Rank
3PT%
Rank
DRR
Rank
Stl Rate
Rank
Blk Rate
Rank
DRating
Rank
DWS
Rank
Thabo Sefolosha
61.8
1
41.9
3
12.3
10
2.4
5
1.5
5
103
4
3.1
6
Kevin Martin
60.8
2
42.6
2
7.3
26
1.7
20
0.3
28
107
12
2
12
Ray Allen
59.9
3
41.9
3
10.1
17
1.7
20
0.6
20
107
12
1.9
15
Danny Green
59.9
3
42.9
1
10.3
15
2.1
9
1.8
2
102
3
3.2
5
James Harden
59.8
5
36.8
14
11.8
11
2.4
5
1
11
106
9
3
7
Wesley Matthews
57.8
6
39.8
9
7.7
24
2
11
0.6
18
111
21
1
22
Vince Carter
57.4
7
40.6
7
14.5
2
1.8
17
1.6
3
106
9
2
12
Dwyane Wade
57.2
8
25.8
29
12.6
8
2.8
3
1.9
1
103
4
3.5
3
Kobe Bryant
57.1
10
32.4
23
13.1
7
1.8
17
0.6
18
107
12
2.6
9
J.J. Redick
57.1
10
36.6
16
7.1
28
1
28
0.2
29
113
27
0.2
29
Gordon Hayward
56.3
11
41.5
5
9.8
19
1.5
24
1.4
5
113
27
1.2
19
Manu Ginobili
56.0
12
35.3
18
13.4
5
2.9
2
0.7
15
107
12
2.4
11
Tyreke Evans
55.8
13
33.8
20
13.5
4
2.3
7
1.0
12
111
21
0.8
24
Jamal Crawford
55.8
13
37.6
11
5.6
30
1.9
14
0.5
23
108
18
1.7
17
Lou Williams
55.5
16
36.7
15
7.2
27
2
11
0.7
15
107
12
1
22
O.J. Mayo
55.5
16
40.7
6
9.6
21
1.6
23
0.6
20
109
19
1.8
16
Marcus Thornton
55.3
17
37.3
13
9
22
1.8
17
0.2
29
114
30
0.1
30
Gerald Henderson
53.9
18
33.0
21
10.8
13
1.7
20
1.3
7
113
27
0.3
27
Klay Thompson
53.2
19
40.1
8
10.1
17
1.5
24
1.2
9
107
12
2.6
9
Lance Stephenson
53.1
20
33.0
21
12.5
9
1.9
14
0.5
23
101
2
3.6
2
Arron Afflalo
52.7
21
30.0
26
10.3
15
0.9
30
0.4
26
112
25
0.5
26
DeMar DeRozan
52.2
22
28.3
28
10.9
12
1.3
27
0.6
20
110
20
1.6
18
J.R. Smith
52.0
23
35.6
17
16.1
1
2
11
0.8
14
106
9
2.7
8
Eric Gordon
52.0
23
32.4
23
6.4
29
1.9
14
0.5
23
112
25
0.3
27
Joe Johnson
51.9
25
37.5
12
7.4
25
1
28
0.4
26
111
21
1.2
19
Bradley Beal
51.5
26
38.6
10
10.8
13
1.5
24
1.3
7
105
6
2
12
Jason Richardson
49.5
27
34.1
19
13.4
5
2.3
7
1.2
9
105
6
1.1
21
Monta Ellis
49.3
28
28.7
27
9.8
19
2.8
3
0.9
13
105
6
3.3
4
Dion Waiters
49.2
29
31.0
25
8.7
23
2.1
9
0.7
15
111
21
0.6
25
Tony Allen
48.9
30
12.5
30
13.8
3
3.1
1
1.7
3
98
1
4.1
1

Scoring efficiency and 3 point shooting are obviously pretty straight forward to measure.

On that note, one of the stats they should completely throw out is field goal percentage, because it tells you very little about how efficient a player scores. James Harden had a field goal percentage of 43% last year, which is low, but because he scored so many from beyond the arc and got to the line so often, he was one of the more efficient scorers in the league.

One thing I can’t believe I never noticed before. Monta Ellis shot below 30% from the three point line and was only slightly better than DeRozan.

I have never been a fan of Dion Waiters, and looking at his shooting numbers only strengthens that opinion.

On the other hand, Bradley Beal fairs poorly, shooting-wise, but a lot of that was because he shot so horribly at the beginning of the season. He completely turned things around after the All Star break, but an injury prevented him from playing more. Personally, I think we’ll see a much better shooting Beal next season.

On the other hand, defense is almost impossible to measure. To me, steals and blocks mean almost nothing, in terms of measuring a player’s defense. Players can gamble and get lots of steals, but their gambling is hurts the defense and often leads to baskets. Joe Dumars was one of the best perimeter defenders, yet his career steal rate of 1.3 would have put him near the bottom on this list, as would his block rate of 0.2. The reason for this, of course, is that Dumars played solid, straight up defense and prevented his man from scoring, but rarely gambled for steals.

I did include the numbers, however, for interests sake.

Lastly, there is the Defensive Rating and Defensive Win Share. These numbers can actually be fairly useful when comparing players on the same team, but the problem when comparing these numbers for players on different teams is that too many factors can effect the numbers. A player’s teammates, their level of opponent, the defensive system, the style the team plays all factor in. If you look at the numbers with others, though, they can give you a feel of where they fall defensively.

Player
PPP
Rank
Iso
Rank
P&R BH
Rank
Post up
Rank
Spot up
Rank
Monta Ellis
0.77
1
0.81
14
0.58
2
0.82
13
0.84
2
Tony Allen
0.78
2
0.75
10
0.61
4
0.85
15
0.93
10
Lou Williams
0.78
2
1.12
29
0.61
4
0.96
23
0.9
5
Klay Thompson
0.81
4
0.79
12
0.7
8
0.95
22
0.87
3
Jamal Crawford
0.82
5
1.01
27
0.5
1
0.22
1
0.97
15
Wesley Matthews
0.82
5
0.69
4
0.79
23
0.61
3
0.87
3
Vince Carter
0.84
7
0.67
2
0.78
21
0.55
2
0.92
7
Lance Stephenson
0.85
8
0.85
16
0.8
24
0.94
21
0.79
1
Dwyane Wade
0.85
8
0.85
16
0.6
3
0.88
17
0.97
15
Kobe Bryant
0.85
8
0.71
6
0.75
14
0.96
23
0.97
15
Kevin Martin
0.85
8
0.77
11
0.76
16
0.61
3
0.96
13
Manu Ginobili
0.86
12
0.91
23
0.76
16
0.73
9
0.92
7
Ray Allen
0.86
12
0.88
21
0.65
6
0.81
12
1.0
19
Danny Green
0.87
14
0.81
14
0.7
8
0.71
8
1.06
22
Joe Johnson
0.87
14
0.92
24
0.73
13
0.65
5
0.92
7
Gordon Hayward
0.87
14
0.67
2
0.76
16
0.89
18
1.06
22
Bradley Beal
0.88
17
0.73
8
0.72
12
0.82
13
0.99
18
DeMar DeRozan
0.88
17
0.8
13
0.7
8
1.02
26
1.05
20
Tyreke Evans
0.89
19
0.86
19
0.78
21
1.0
25
0.95
11
Arron Afflalo
0.89
19
0.74
9
0.75
14
0.93
19
1.08
25
J.J. Redick
0.89
19
0.7
5
0.67
7
0.76
10
1.1
28
J.R. Smith
0.9
22
0.95
25
0.89
27
0.93
19
0.95
11
O.J. Mayo
0.91
23
0.87
20
0.71
11
0.68
6
1.08
25
Eric Gordon
0.91
23
1.03
28
0.76
16
1.05
29
0.96
13
James Harden
0.92
25
0.72
7
0.8
24
0.78
11
1.07
24
Thabo Sefolosha
0.93
26
0.85
16
0.82
26
1.04
27
1.05
20
Marcus Thornton
0.93
26
0.88
21
0.76
16
0.68
6
1.08
25
Gerald Henderson
0.97
28
0.66
1
0.94
28
1.04
27
1.15
29
Jason Richardson
1.02
29
1.23
30
1
30
0.85
15
0.9
5
Dion Waiters
1.06
30
1
26
0.94
28
1.16
30
1.26
30

These are the MySynergySports.com numbers, that measure how each players does, defensively, in each situation. Logically, one would think these would be the best numbers to look at in order to measure a player’s defense, but the name on of the list highlights just how flawed these numbers can be.

By any account, Monta Ellis is a very poor defender, yet he has better than average numbers here. Same goes for Jamal Craford and even Klay Thompson. Like other defensive statistics, there are factors that can effect the numbers here. If a player is consistently put on a poor offensive player, their numbers will look better. Teams that help more, especially on poorer defenders, might help the numbers of some players. Related to that the defensive system will have an effect on how good a player looks, in this category.

I have never taken a good look at these numbers before, and they probably surprised me the most, in regards to how inaccurate they can be, at least when you take into consideration a player’s reputation as well as the “eye-test”.

In the comments section for the point guard rating, it was suggested that I add up all the rankings and average them out, and since I was having great difficulty ranking them, I thought it was a good idea. Here is the average of the rankings:

Player
Rank Avg
Dwyane Wade
7.18
Vince Carter
9.47
James Harden
10.18
Manu Ginobili
10.29
Tony Allen
10.71
Kobe Bryant
11.00
Danny Green
11.18
Kevin Martin
12.12
Ray Allen
13.35
Thabo Sefolosha
13.47
J.R. Smith
13.59
Wesley Matthews
13.65
Gordon Hayward
13.82
Monta Ellis
13.82
Lance Stephenson
14.00
Tyreke Evans
15.18
Jamal Crawford
15.29
Lou Williams
15.29
Bradley Beal
15.29
Klay Thompson
15.41
O.J. Mayo
17.59
Gerald Henderson
18.00
DeMar DeRozan
19.00
Marcus Thornton
19.18
Jason Richardson
19.29
J.J. Redick
19.71
Joe Johnson
19.76
Eric Gordon
21.47
Arron Afflalo
23.06
Dion Waiters
24.71

Now, obviously all the ranking are weighted evenly for this, so take it with a grain of salt, but it does seem to give a pretty good picture of where players rank.

The biggest surprise for me, not just in the average rankings, but overall, was the value of Vince Carter, even after all these years. He might currently be the most underrated shooting guard in the league. His box score numbers don’t jump out at you, but that’s because he only played 25 mpg coming off the bench for Dallas, last season. But he was incredibly productive in those 25 minutes, and if he played the same minutes as DeRozan, he would be the fourth highest scoring shooting guard )ahead of DeRozan), the top rebounding shooting guard, with the twelfth highest assist average, while having the ninth highest true shooting percentage.

Of course, the fact that Carter might still be a top five shooting guard probably says more about the state of the position that how good the former Half-Man, Half-Amazing currently is. It would definitely explain why the 64-ish year old Manu Ginobili, who moves almost as badly as I do on the court, is still one of the most productive shooting guards in the league.

It does, though, underline what I mentioned earlier, about how most shooting guards are complimentary players with specific roles, which often reduces their individual productivity, but helps their team win.

This actually made ranking the players incredibly difficult. Danny Green plays a specific role on the Spurs, but he does it extremely well. So well, that there’s are very few shooting guards in the league who could do it as well. Green may not be as offensively skilled as a player like DeRozan, but Green also has fewer major flaws in his game. Green is a positive on both ends of the floor, and can be plugged into just about any team and help them win. DeRozan’s poor defense and inability to hit from beyond the three point line make him difficult to fit into a team in a positive way.

And while I realize that players like Ginobili and Ray Allen can’t play as many minutes, anymore, as many of the younger players, I didn’t let that affect their rating.

Rank
Player
1 Dwyane Wade
2 James Harden
3 Kobe Bryant
4 Manu Ginobili
5 Vince Carter
6 Danny Green
7 Ray Allen
8 J.R. Smith
9 Kevin Martin
10 Wesley Matthews
11 Gordon Hayward
12 Tyreke Evans
13 Thabo Sefolosha
14 Monta Ellis
15 Tony Allen
16 Bradley Beal
17 Klay Thompson
18 Gerald Henderson
19 Jamal Crawford
20 Lance Stephenson
21 Lou Williams
22 DeMar DeRozan
23 O.J. Mayo
24 Marcus Thornton
25 J.J. Redick
26 Joe Johnson
27 Arron Afflalo
28 Eric Gordon
29 Dion Waiters
30 Jason Richardson

Before I looked at all the advanced stats, I really had no idea where I would rank most of the players. I figured DeRozan would end up somewhere in the 10-15 range, but when everything is taken into consideration, I simply couldn’t justify ranking him higher than I finally did. I didn’t give extra points for being “dynamic” since it doesn’t actually have any effect on how good a player actually is. I know his low ranking will frustrate a lot of Raptor fans who see him as a star in the making, but at this point that seems more like wishful thinking than reality.

On the other hand, a player I’m not a fan of is J.R. Smith, but I couldn’t justify keeping him out of the top ten because he does seem to be very productive, despite his defensive limitations.

Manu Ginobili didn’t have a very good playoffs at all, but his advanced stats show he’s still one of the most productive players in the league. Now, do the fact that both Smith and Ginobili come off the bench help their numbers? Possibly, Jamal Crawford and Marcus Thornton both came off the bench and didn’t fair nearly as well.

I had a tough time trying to rank Sefolosha, because he is such a specialized player who might only look as good as he does because of the system, but he is still one of the best defensive shooting guards in the league and had the best True Shooting Percentages among shooting guards. And while he’s not as “skilled” as a player like Monta Ellis, who I ranked one spot lower, he’s probably going to help your team win more than Ellis will. And in the end, that is what should matter most.

Bradley Beal might just end up being a top ten shooting guard by the end of the season, but I don’t think you can rank him as such right now.

I’m guessing there will be a lot of people who disagree with these rankings, so let’s here it. Once again, though, be respectful.

On a related note, William Lou, or DDayLewis as he is known in the comments section, and I first encountered one another during a big disagreement we had over my tanking article. The reason I bring this up is that, despite our opposing viewpoints, we were both respectful towards one another. In fact, while we still hold very different views on a several subjects, I was impressed enough with his knowledge that I enlisted his help with some of the data collection for this article.

  • Jeff

    You forgot Joe Johnson in your final rankings I’m assuming. Solid article on the whole, appreciated the amount of research and explanation you put into all of it.

    • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

      Joe Johnson is ranked 26th.

  • mike, prague

    Yeah, I have to pretty much agree with your rankings. Thabo is tought to place but you got him more or less in the right spot. I could see Derozan going as high as 19 but you can’t get him much higher …

  • Guest

    Great piece of work. Difficult job, for all the reasons you pointed out and also because the “eye test” can be fooled by how dynamic the shooting Guard can be as a player. I think you have nicely balanced all possible measures and I would confidently hold this ranking up against all others.

  • youngjames

    Too fuckin’ much chief!…too far analyzed – lost interest 1/3 way through!

    • mike, prague

      Nothing against you, but you seem pretty immature and rude.

  • RaptorFan

    Remember when some posters wanted us to trade Demar for Aaron Afflalo???

    I would rank Demar a bit higher (I think he’s a better player than Henderson) and Kobe would be my #1……but other than that your list seems about right.

    • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

      Afflalo might very well get back to where he has been this year, and prove that last year was simply an off year. Until last year, I would say that he was definitely a better player than DeRozan.

      I really don’t think you can rank Kobe #1, anymore. He’s not an efficient scorer and he hasn’t played defense in years.

      • RaptorFan

        Kobe was the best SG in the nba last year…..not many would argue that Wade or Harden was better than Kobe. I think the “efficient” argument doesn’t tell the whole story. Is Kobe a better SG than Wade??? YES!!!! He was better last year, the year before that, and previous years before that.

        However, I respect your opinion and think you deserve tons of credit for the time and amount of work you put in this piece. Can’t really argue with your other choices. However,

        Manu Ginobli
        Westley Matthews
        Gordan Hayward
        Tyreke Evans
        Lou Williams
        Kevin Martin

        Are all ranked too high IMO.

        Klay Thompson should be higher on that list (I think he’s better than Westley Matthews, Kevin Martin and Gordan Hayward).

        Still a VERY Good job putting this together!

      • RaptorFan

        I’ve been meaning to get back to you on this one…..Kobe hasn’t played defense in years?? Are you trying to lose all credibility??

        http://www.nba.com/history/all-defensive-teams/index.html
        Why don’t you actually pay attention before you start writing foolish comments….
        Kobe Bryant made the all defensive second team in 2011-2012
        He made the All defensive FIRST team in 2005-2006 EVERY YEAR up to 2010-2011
        Therefore, only last year he didnt make the first or second all defensive team……LOL

        • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

          If you’d like to try and rephrase your comment without the snark and sarcasm, I’d be happy to respond.

          • RaptorFan

            NOPE…No response needed…..you had snark and sarcasm in your response when you noted that Kobe hasn’t played defence in years, so I feel fine proving you wrong and leaving it there.

            • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

              Saying that Kobe hasn’t played defense in years isn’t snark or sarcasm. It’s opinion. And pointing to a list of players that is voted by members of the media, including Doug Smith, isn’t proving much of anything. Kobe’s defensive prowess is more reputation, at this point, than reality.

              • RaptorFan

                I’ll take actual NBA recognition over one blogger’s opinion. Being named to an All NBA Team is an accomplishment IMO.

                I clearly showed you that your opinion is among the minority. Take it as you will.

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/55877/an-open-letter-to-kobe-bryant-about-his-defense

                  http://www.silverscreenandroll.com/2013/3/26/4149732/kobe-bryants-defensive-hypocrisy-knows-no-bounds

                  https://twitter.com/mcten/statuses/290959410577170433?tw_i=290959410577170433&tw_e=details&tw_p=tweetembed

                  http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jan/16/sports/la-sp-ln-robert-horry-rips-kobe-bryant-defense-20130116

                  http://www.bsports.com/statsinsights/stats-eye-view-evaluating-kobe-bryants-defense-part-1

                  And that’s just a very quick Google search. I wouldn’t say my opinion is clearly in the minority. As I said, Kobe’s inclusion on the All Defensive 2nd team two years ago was probably more to do with reputation. I did exaggerate when I said he hasn’t played defense in years, but he hasn’t played consistently good defense in a while. THat’s not to say he can’t, but he doesn’t a majority of the time, preferring to focus his energy on offense.

                • ItsAboutFun

                  Voting isn’t by media people, as you stated above while trying to cheap shot Smith. Those players are voted in by NBA coaches, who I think know a tad more about the game and the players in it, than whatever list of bloggers you get your opinion from.

                • SR

                  There’s almost no point in discussing these posts with Tim if you disagree with him. He’s happy to clap the backs of chums who tell him he wrote a jolly good blog post, but if you happen to have a differing opinion he’ll hang on to his tunnel vision and come at every one of your comments with a persistent rebuttal. Personally I would find it more interesting if there were a more genuine discussion (I think this happens with other posters on this site, who seem more open to an actual conversation in the comments thread) rather than such a predictable back-and-forth all the time.

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  I think what you don’t like is that I don’t simply agree with you when you have a differing opinion. I have great discussions with lots of people who disagree with me, including DDayLewis, who I eventually collaborated with on the last article. We had a big disagreement over tanking, but it remained respectful and no one got their nose out of joint because the other person didn’t end up agreeing with them.

                  There are a small handful of people who will take things personal very quickly if you have an opinion they don’t like. I tend not to get along with them. And I also find those are the people who love to throw personal insults at me. And I’m not bothered in the slightest by them.

                • SR

                  And case in point. At least you’re consistent.

                • Guest

                  What goes around, comes around, I suppose. What you don’t realize, Tim W., is that while you’re taking cheap shots of your own (i.e. erroneously trying to discredit an award using the name of a certain beat reporter), if you keep sticking out your head with your own opinions, you’re soon to end up viewed with the same disdain as the people you cheap shot. You want people to respect your opinions as simply opinions, yet you do the same as the person whose name you’re trying to drag through the mud, hmmm….

                • DDayLewis

                  Man, you guys get really bent out of shape over Tim’s stuff, huh? It’s just a man’s article about basketball. Don’t make it so personal. Discussion and debate is one thing, but why question a person’s character based on a web article on basketball?

                  Let’s just stick to the Raptors, shall we? After all, that’s what we’re all here for.

                • ItsAboutFun

                  Where’s he inappropriately questioning character in that post? He’s responding directly to an issue Timmy brought up.

                  I noticed you brought up this “bent out of shape” comment in a post further down, directed specifically at me. Not only did I see zero justification for such a comment, but it’s ironic that you make this comment while saying “don’t make it personal” to someone else.

                  As for the “making it personal” thing in itself, I’m not sure where you see so much of that, but I will say this: No matter how “politely” it’s phrased, being consistently dismissive and condescending warrants some direct response to attitude, and naturally breeds vitriol.

                • ItsAboutFun

                  Good lord! What the heck was wrong about my response to this rather personal “bent out of shape”, that it was deleted? That’s getting personal. What, because I pointed to condescending and dismissive as personally insulting too, despite the polite veil? I understand being respectful as the goal, but this isn’t kindergarten, and some of us have other interpretations of insulting.

                • RaptorFan

                  Did you not know that All NBA Defensive Team is actually voted on by the NBA Head Coaches??? So what your saying is that your opinion and the other bloggers is more important than NBA Head Coaches?? WOW….How Vain!

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NBA_All-Defensive_Team

                  Clearly you will spew anything to prove your point…..even if it is incorrect. Be a man Tim! Admit you were wrong!

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  Yes, I will admit I was wrong about the voting of the All Defensive team. I got it mixed up with the player of the year awards (MVP, ROY etc). I admit when I am wrong. From you’re comment above, I’d rather be wrong than someone who writes that sort of thing, though. I never took it personal. I’d ask you do the same, please.

                  As for Kobe, I don’t think you will find a lot of people who will say he played a whole lot of defense last year.

  • ItsAboutFun

    Stat geeks, ugh. Ranking the talent and value of basketball players on different teams, playing in different systems, in different roles, with different teammates, by stats, is like using an accountant to rank computer programmers working on different types of programs, for different companies. ….. eg. Danny green is a role player, but he’s the 6th best SG?? Yeah, okay.

    • mike, prague

      Yeah … Danny Green doesn’t seem correctly placed and of course stats are affected by those factors but generally it doesn’t affect them that much. Stats generally do allow us to get a good picture of how things are with the occasional exception (i.e. Green )

      • ItsAboutFun

        No, Danny Green isn’t the only misguided “ranking” based on bean counting. All these variables “doesn’t affect them that much”? They affect every single stat, some more than others. I’ll get to that in a second, but another huge lack of consideration in these rankings is that, like DD, guys STARTING, playing 36 minutes, the team needing them taking 16 shots per game,,,,,, vs BENCH guys, playing 26 minutes, taking 7 shots per game. Not only different teams, playing teams at different times, with different teammates, playing different systems,,,,, but playing entirely different roles against backups vs starters. How the heck can you justify such comparisons? You can be impressed with the amount of work put into this if you want, but to me it’s a classic case of bean counting to support the on-going narrative.

        Now, as far as different systems, different teammates, etc. not affecting them that much. There are numerous examples to illustrate the point, but I don’t have the agenda to spend all that time, but how about Paul Pierce. A likely HOFer, right?

        In his 3rd year..454 FG%, .383 3P%
        In his 4th year .442 FG%, .404 3P%
        In his 5th year .416 FG%, .302 3P%
        In his 6th year .402 FG%, .299 3P%

        See any big drops there? Those 2 terrible shooting years were Jim OBrien’s 2nd year coaching, and half of 3rd year before he was canned. A new coach the following year, and Pierce’s stats shot back up to approx. his 3rd year’s. What, a guy of Pierce’s quality had not 1, but 2 “off years”? At a young age, that seems rather unlikely. Perhaps his team and the way it was being run had something to do with it?

        “Off years”, yeah, Just Tim W is saying about Afflalo. Some mysterious “off year malady” or increased minutes, more responsibility, taking more shots, in a different system, with a different team. What’s your guess?

        • A Hill O’ Beans

          You’re 100% right. I really appreciate you not only completely running down this post by Tim, but also for taking the time to come up with a different opinion, and a different strategy for how to deal with what he is trying to accomplish with this article.

          Its nice when you read a commenter’s id and you know pretty much exactly how the comment is going to go regardless of what the post is about. Something to the effect of “You’re in denial”, “You’ve missed the point”, “You don’t have a clue”, etc, etc. I’m fairly certain that I’ve never seen a positive comment from you, which makes me wonder why you bother to read any of the posts that you comment on.

          For this post, I think your point has been made. Clearly we should only ever compare players who play the same position, in the same role, and on the same team. Raptors Republic you have been put on notice. Act accordingly!

          PS.

          Interesting post Tim. Clearly it’s difficult to compare some players who are in such vastly different roles, but you did a pretty good job of it. As you said, the PG post works a little better obviously.

          • ItsAboutFun

            “I’m fairly certain that I’ve never seen a positive comment from you”

            I’m fairly certain I’ve never seen a single comment from you, at least under this screen name. If you’ve seen so many comments from me, as to judge me, what does it say that you hide behind some new name? That aside, I’ve posted positive comments when I agree with what’s being said, however this isn’t a kumbaya site and in Tim W’s own words above: “I’m guessing there will be a lot of people who disagree with these rankings, so let’s here it. Once again, though, be respectful.”. That’s a pretty clear invitation, from the author himself, to present disagreement, so what’s your beef? How was I disrespectful?

            “a different strategy for how to deal with what he is trying to accomplish with this article”

            I have no interest in trying to accomplish what this article attempts to do. Attempting to rank basketball players is a very subjective exercise. Stats have their place in the game, but this isn’t baseball we’re discussing, where very little of your stats are dependent upon team work and style/systems of play, and the role coaches put you in. As Tim himself points out, stats alone don’t give a complete picture, so what’s the value of ranking 30 players via an admittedly incomplete picture? I’ve pointed out some factors that I feel distort this ranking, and provided a couple of examples of such. Do you feel I’m wrong about them? If so, how about presenting what you feel is wrong about my points, instead of simply whining about what I’ve presented?

            “which makes me wonder why you bother to read any of the posts that you comment on.”

            Like everyone else, I come here to discuss basketball and the Raptors. Also like everyone else, I read what is being written and comment where I see fit. That’s the purpose of these posts by the authors, is it not? I think I know a fair amount about the game, but know damn well I’m no expert, else I’d have a job in the NBA. I love the game and love having a “home” team, and am always interested in learning from different perspectives of these topics. Whether in business, government, personal, or the sports world, that’s the path to growth. My perspective has grown from reading posts here, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t comment on stuff I disagree with. Apparently you feel quite hurt that I do so. I’m sorry you feel that way.

            “Clearly we should only ever compare players who play the same position, in the same role, and on the same team.”

            Your snark is a tad misguided, as that’s clearly not my point. I can’t think of anything else I can say about this comment that Tim would consider “respectful”, so I’ll leave it at that.

            “Raptors Republic you have been put on notice. Act accordingly!”

            I’m sorry you feel so hurt by my post, but even more so that you feel so intimidated to be making such statements, behind a new name at that.

            At the end of the day, do you have any counter argument at all to my points, or are you just feeling hurt that I was critical?

            • SR

              “Attempting to rank basketball players is a very subjective exercise.” This is what gets me – the insinuation of this post (and Tim’s many responses) that, because he’s used a smattering of advanced stats, he’s somehow created a more objective outcome. Forget about the self-admitted fact that he “weights” these stats completely arbitrarily, according to his own preferences, and without explanation. Also forget his persistent ability to ignore the basic argument here that it’s invalid to be comparing such a wide range of players, who perform such a wide range of roles under such a wide range of circumstances, using only a handful of stats in the first place.

              Tim – Ranking players is a time-honoured fan exercise that is inherently subjective and the furthest thing from science.

              I’m still having fun with the fact that you’ve got Vince Carter ranked #5. In 2013!!! It begs the question – what do you have up your sleeve for April Fool’s Day?

  • Rebuilding

    And looking at trading partners to support the tank is disappointing based on skill or salary.

    Based on better salary, DD could be traded for E. Gordon of ORL but they signed Afflalo (and drafted Oladapio) or B. Gordon of CHA but they have Henderson as the SG).

    Based on Skill DD could be traded as an upgrade to Afflalo though they have E. Gordon and it makes more sense to upgrade the SF. And Reddick/Crawford of LAC with Dudley again makes little sense to trade DD. Mayo was just signed but the Bucks who would upgrade the PG before SG. Atlanta replacing Williams with a more expensive DD seems at best a sideways move. The two best trading partners for DD remain the Piston (with Stuckey and Pope who was drafted) and the Bulls (provided Butler flops at SG this year)

    Ignoring a 3 way trade with all sorts of moving pieces, if DD is traded the most likely home is the Pistons [and possibly but unlikely the Hawks or the Bulls]. That said, I’m not sure any team and even Detroit is chomping at the bit to trade for DD. The best we could hope they offer is Stuckey + Singler or Pope for DD + Daye or Stuckey + Jerobko for DD + Novak + 2nd.

    And those Piston trades seem improbable. Barring a 3 way trade or injury, I think DD will spend a few more seasons on the raptors. If we trade trade Gay it may make sense to try DD to SF and see if there is more interest in that position which has many holes.

    • Rebuilding

      PHX (Brown) maybe another team that could upgrade the SG position depending on how their draftee Goodwin plays this year

      • Rebuilding

        For PG, the Bucks (Knight) should upgrade though after that candidates for Lowry are less probable with maybe SAC (Vasquez), Bobcats (Walker), Dallas (upgrade defense), Heat, Detroit or Knicks who may upgrade.

  • Andrew

    Good stuff. I think you should have include Courtney Lee from the Celtics, 37% from 3, TS% 54.5%, WP .133. I also think the latest version of adjusted plus minus, RAPM, is worth including in addition to all of the box score metrics, especially for defense.

    But overall I think this a good list.

    • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

      I couldn’t find a good place for RAPM, which is why I didn’t include them. If you know of someplace I’ll include them in the next rankings.

      • Andrew

        This is the best place. Only issue is they don’t have positions listed.

        It works best to me on defense.

        http://stats-for-the-nba.appspot.com/

        • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

          Thanks.

  • Where’s_your_washroom?

    I’m sorry Tim but this is just…weird. I respect the effort, but I’m skeptical of a rankings system that puts Gordon Hayward 17 spots higher than Eric Gordon.

    Using a more homer-istic example, you have in DeRozan a shooting guard who played all 82 games, had the 11th highest point total in the league (7th among all guards) and scored at a 44.5% clip. I’ll admit his 3pt numbers are putrid, but your rankings would have us believe he’s the 9th least valuable SG in the league. It sounds a little off.

    I do enjoy your numbers-based analysis though. Its a good read and a refreshing change from the usual sarcastic, hyperbolic blather you read on this site.

    • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

      My rankings tried to look beyond the surface stats that often mean very little. A lot of fans will see that this guy scores more than this guy, so assume the other guy is better when that’s rarely the case.

      DeRozan scores as much as he does, in large part, because he takes so many shots. And he takes so many shots because his role is to score. Unfortunately, DeRozan’s main role on the Raptors is to score, and he doesn’t do it efficiently. In fact, he is 22nd out of 30. And DeRozan doesn’t do anything else at an above average rate, so it’s hard to justify rating him any higher than I did.

      It’s like if a player’s only above average skill is defense, but is too short to defend most players well. How good is that player?

      Danny Green’s rank might seem high, but the thing is he’s better at what he does than players ranked below him are at what they do. DeRozan scores more than Green, obviosly, but that’s most likely because he takes nearly twice as many shots a game. Stick Green on a bad team and his scoring will probably go up to DeRozan-like levels. His efficiency will certainly go down, but he’s a better defender than DeRozan, and every other stat is pretty much even…
      http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=derozde01&y1=2013&p2=greenda02&y2=2013

      That’s why I have no problem placing Green where I did, despite what some have said. Green is one of the best defenders at shooting guard, and he doesn’t have a big flaw, like a lot of the other guys below him.

      As for Hayward, I was surprised he ranked as well as he did statistically, but not shocked. How much have you watched him? He’s a good all around player.

      Gordon’s big problem is he’s so injury prone. And his injuries has hurt his performance. As I stated, do I rank Gordon where he could be if healthy when we have no idea whether he’ll ever be healthy?

  • raptorspoo

    So we got the most over rated SF according to ESPN, the most over rated SG – in terms of what Raptor fans think of him (many of whom probably put him in top 5 based on his PPG), now on to Lowry…

  • DDayLewis

    Great article Tim! Not much to nit-pick about your rankings. The position is 3-deep at the moment. Thanks for the shout-out!

    • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

      Thanks for the help!

  • SR

    Ugh, not on board with this one.

    But here’s what’s crazy – as weak as SG is at the moment, Kobe, Manu, and Wade are all nearly done (+ Jesus Shuttlesworth). Other than the Beard, who’s got next? Tyreke Evans? DeMar? This position is about to get MUCH worse. Why? Everyone used to want to be like Mike.

    • DDayLewis

      Shooting guard is weak, no doubt about it. My theory is that a lot of shooting guards are being played officially at “small forward” because teams want a 3-and-D guy for their 2-spot.

  • laughatit

    You put vince carter at 5? Is this supposed to be current? Thats clownin haha

    • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

      If you can give me a logical, evidence-based argument why Vince shouldn’t be ranked where he is, I’d love to hear it.

      • ItsAboutFun

        “a logical, evidence-based argument”

        It’s evident and logical that ranking players in TEAM sport is not accounting based science.

  • Chuck Johnson

    I still think you might be underestimating the role each shooting guard is being asked to play within their teams. For example, Danny Green was in the conversation to be Finals MVP, he significantly contributed to the Spurs 3 wins BUT that was mainly because the defense was focused on Duncan and Parker and all he had to do was hit open shots and play defense. Once the Heat made him a priority in their defense scheme he started turning the ball over, missing runners, etc. He looked like a player who had been waived a couple of times in his career.

    If player X is less efficient than player Y, but player X is the primary scorer on his team and focal point on the defense, whereas player Y has All-NBA teammates or just doesn’t do as much on offense, it’s hard to make the case that player Y is “better” even if player Y contributed to more wins.

    • SR

      Right on re: Danny Green, which is why coaches and team staff who depend on the eye test are more dismissive of stats gurus than most bloggers. They realize, probably more than anyone, how much assignment and context affect a player’s measurable stats. Stats represent how well a player is doing what he’s being asked to do with his assignment within a given 5-man unit. They don’t represent how much talent he has, how versatile he is, or the difficulty level of the assignment he’s been given. That last one is so important in differentiating DeMar from a guy like Danny Green. You honestly think if they just asked Danny Green to shoot more, he would score 18 ppg? I don’t. There are no stats that reflect that.

      SG’s across the board are so specialized right now, a statistical analysis is more limited than usual in it’s effectiveness and I think the final rankings here are way, way off.

      • DDayLewis

        It’s not just “ability”. This article stresses “production”. Yeah, a guy like Demar probably has more ability than Tony Allen (he can score in a wider variety of ways, ball-handle, etc) but can you say how much that is worth in relation to Allen’s defensive skills? Not many people can (especially without some numbers).

        If you want a bleacher report-esque article with a slideshow based on one guy’s opinion, you came to the wrong place. Tim looked at production and his own opinions. He did consider role (otherwise someone like Monta Ellis would be higher). This wasn’t just a computer-generated list.

      • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

        As I said above, it depends on how much you value the ability to score, whether or not it’s efficient or not. What makes DeRozan a better player than Danny Green? And why do you think Green can’t score 18 ppg if given enough shots? I think you might be surprised how many players can score that if given the chance. Take a look at all the bad teams over the years and you’ll see lots of players who saw their scoring averages jump that never showed that ability before.

        In February of last season, Green scorer 15 ppg in 11 games. And he shots over 50% while doing it. Now, if he were asked to do that on a regular basis, his efficiency would obviously go down, but there’s no reason to think wouldn’t be able to do it.

        • RaptorFan

          Tim W. your a pretty smart guy so I think you know the difference between a scorer and a shooter. Steve Novak is a shooter. Danny Green is a shooter. Demar Derozan is a scorer. Their roles are different!

          Demar is/was the focus of the other teams defence (led the team in scoring before Rudy and still basically tied Rudy for the team lead). Danny Green is a worse ball handler, cannot get to the hoop (and when he does he can’t make a layup in traffic). He hits wide open shots….thats it! Demar is a way better player and their roles show it.

          Are we still talking about the same Danny Green who was waived a couple of times earlier in his career??? The same Danny Green who got EXPOSED in the final two games of the finals where he averaged 38 minutes and 4 points per game???

          http://www.nba.com/playerfile/daniel_green/
          See for yourselves. The 3 point shot becomes over-rated when teams run you off the line and you can’t do anything else. You CLEARLY rated Danny Green too high, because he’s a good 3 point shooter and can play good defence. I actually like Danny Green but he’s NOT top 10. Not even close. He plays with Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobli, Kawhi Leonard….pretty good team huh? Who has Demar played with that deserves to be mentioned with the players above?? EXACTLY! Of course Danny Green is going to get open shots. His FG% last year wasn’t even spectactular.
          Danny Green FG% 2012-2013 was 44.8% – career 44.5%
          Demar Derozan FG% 2012-2013 was 44.5% – career 45.3%

          • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

            Of course, when Danny Green wasn’t hitting his shots, he was still valuable to the team because of his defense. If DeRozan isn’t hitting his shots, he’s a negative because of his poor defense. And Miami having to chase Green off the three point line opened up the Spurs offense.

            I see DeRozan a lot like Tony Campbell. Campbell was a deep bench player on the Lakers, but when he went to a bad team, his scoring shot up. But because scoring was all he could do, and not efficiently, he couldn’t find a meaningful role on a good team.

            One big difference between Green and DeRozan is that Green does his role on the Spurs exceptionally well. DeRozan does his role on the Raptors adequately. Green MIGHT not be able to do what DeRozan does, but DeRozan also can’t do what Green does. And only one of them is doing it on a contender.

            • RaptorFan

              Right….blame Demar for who he was drafted by. Blame Demar for not sucking and getting waived so that San Antonio could pick him up……Look. I like Danny Green so i don’t feel like slewing him right now. I just don’t think your seeing things through an objective lens right now. It’s no secret you’ve never given much credit to Demar.
              NO ONE is surprised you rated Demar so low. However, you rated Danny Green 16 spaces ahead of Demar! I’m actually shocked that you would rate a one dimensional player like Danny Green so high….ooopps defence makes 2 dimensions right?? Who exactly did Danny Green shut down? DWade? Too much credit given to Green……he was useless the last two games when Miami finally decided to stop giving him WIDE open shots.

              • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                The fact that you consider Green a one-dimensional player, but NOT DeRozan tells me how much you value defense. Listen, DeRozan was on a team that needed his scoring, yet all he could average was 17 ppg. And inefficiently. He’s obviously not good enough to be the first or second scoring option on a good team, and I would say he’s not good enough to be the third. He doesn’t create his own shot very well, can’t hit from 3, is poor defensively and can’t help his team if he isn’t scoring.

                And I was actually a big fan of DeRozan through his first couple of seasons and was happy when he was drafted. But I simply haven’t seen the development I had hoped in his four seasons. He is STILL a below average defender, which is probably the most troubling for me.

                I don’t give extra credit to a player for being a Raptor or for being exciting. I try and look at each player objectively and make a decision based on what I see, not based on what I hope to see.

                • RaptorFan

                  so you do a write-up about stats and you say Demar averaged 17ppg??…. maybe thats why you ranked him so low. You were using is 2010-2011 stats…. Demar averaged 18.1 ppg last year.
                  How exactly did Green help his team in the most important last 2 games of his life Tim?? I hate to keep bringing this up, but NOBODY thought green would go 25 for 38 of 3 pointers in the first 5 games of the finals. Miami stepped up their defence on him and he went 2 for 19 in the final two games with 0 assists scoring 4 ppg in the final two games.
                  Your being objective???…..your top 6 SG finished the season averaging 10.5 ppg, 3 rpg, 1.8 assist per game….All while being the 5th option on his team……LOL I think you can understand why some people would see this as somewhat ridiculous…..FYI i checked and Danny Green’s name is nowhere on the All Defensive teams…..matter of fact….he didn’t even get a vote (unless i missed one).

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  I wouldn’t use All Defensive teams as the definitive place to judge a player on that end of the court. Marc Gasol won Defensive Player of the Year but didn’t make any of the All Defensive teams.

                  As for DeRozan’s scoring average, I was simply repeating the number someone else used earlier. Does it really make a difference?

                  And the fact is that I’ve watched Green all season, not just in the playoffs. His ranking has nothing to do with how well he did in the Finals, I just used the fact that he started on a FInals team to illustrate that he can be a starting shooting guard on a contender. Something I don’t feel DeRozan can be, at this point.

                  You certainly have every right to disagree with my rankings, but my entire point of the article was to look beyond such basic stats as ppg, rpg and apg, as well as field goal percentage, which can mean very little in the grand scheme of things. DeRozan scored 18 ppg inefficiently on a bad team and didn’t seem to have much of a positive effect on the success of the team. He’s a poor defender and doesn’t really do anything all that well. It seems you’re simply more impressed with him than I am.

                • ItsAboutFun

                  So you “wouldn’t use All Defensive teams as the definitive place to judge a player on”, which is voted on by NBA coaches, but you put big stock on Defensive Player of the Year, voted on by media. Perhaps you can share your “logical, evidence-based” reasoning for that?

          • DDayLewis

            Are you seriously pointing to a 2-game sample against the Miami Heat as evidence of a player being bad? Here, I think I can play this game too:

            Derrick Rose shot a combined 15 for 50 in games 2 and 4 against the Heat in the 2010-2011 playoffs. That must mean that he’s bad too, right?

            http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/r/rosede01/gamelog/2011/#pgl_basic_playoffs::none

            And using FG% to assess a player like Danny Green is silly. He clearly takes a large number of 3-pointers, which depresses shooting percentage. Try eFG% (which accounts for the extra value of three-pointers). He shot 59.9% which was 3rd among shooting guards (league average: 54%).

            http://www.hoopdata.com/scoringstats.aspx?team=%25&type=pg&posi=SG&yr=2013&gp=20&mins=15

            Look, the argument really boils down to one thing; Green and Derozan play different roles. Green is much better at his role than Derozan is at his, but the value of each role is different. Most people who disagree with Tim think that the “scorer” role is hugely important, and the “shooter” role is marginal at best. That’s where you disagree.

            • ItsAboutFun

              “Look, the argument really boils down to one thing”

              That where you and Timmy get it wrong. It doesn’t just boil down to your analysis and opinion being the definition of these two players, or any of them for that matter. Please don’t tell me you’re going to play the “I know better than y’all, and that’s it” game too. We have enough with one of them.

              • SR

                I was about to type the same comment.

              • DDayLewis

                I’m not playing that card. We’re all fans and we’re largely privy to the same information. We can choose to ignore that information, but that’s our prerogative.

                Look over these comments again. The fundamental disagreement is between the value of one role over the other. Am I wrong about this?

        • SR

          Tim – in several of your responses here, you’re calling for stats to “argue the other side.” The main argument here is precisely that stats ARE the problem. That is the counter-argument.

          I guarantee that if you told every coach and GM in the league that Vince Carter and Danny Green are the 5th and 6th best SG’s in the league right now, your most common reaction would be a hearty laugh. Outside of your top 4, that entire list is way off.

          To respond specifically, absolutely Danny Green could NOT produce 18 ppg for an entire season. He cannot create his own shot. Miami took away his 3 by having a big run out at him (countering that with a pump-fake/2 dribbles and a J is a pretty basic skill, isn’t it?). The best he’s done is 15 ppg over an 11 game stretch while playing off of world-class teammates and firing up (presumably) mostly wide-open J’s. The fact that that’s his peak streak is an argument in my favour, not yours. (Also please note that I like Danny Green and he has found the perfect role in SA.)

          • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

            “Tim – in several of your responses here, you’re calling for stats to “argue the other side.” ”

            No, I’m actually calling for a logical argument with something factual to back it up. Believe me, I’m not one who relies solely on stats. If I did, Jose Calderon would have ranked much higher in my PG rankings.

            And telling me what you think other GMs and coaches would say is neither logical or factual. It’s opinion. I think you also mistake the overall value a player would have on the free agency market, or in a trade, with how good they are right now. Vince would not be in high demand because he’s 36 years old and can’t play 35 mpg consistently anymore.

            As for Green, what makes you say he couldn’t average 18 ppg if given 15 shots per game? DeRozan can’t create his own shot either, by the way, which is one of his big problems. The majority of his points come off assists because he can’t break his opponent down off the dribble, and he’s a below average ball handler for his position.

            And yes, Miami was able to shut him down. Again, he did have defense to fall back on. But you don’t think Miami could shut down DeRozan’s offense just as easily? Indiana, Memphis and Oklahoma were 3 of the top four defenses in the league. DeRozan shot 35%, 32% and 23% against then respectively last year.

            Besides, I’m not suggesting DeRozan isn’t a better scorer than Green is. But to say that DeRozan is better simply because he’s a better scorer, I believe, is an incredibly flawed argument. The problem is that DeRozan isn’t great at what he does the best, and he doesn’t have anything else to fall back on. Green can’t score like DeRozan can, but he’s a better outside shooter and defender, and those are two highly valued skills for shooting guards.

            Right now, I only see one of those two players being capable of being a starter for a contender. And that’s Green. It’s hard to say that DeRozan is better when he probably wouldn’t be able to start for a contender.

            • SR

              “I’m actually calling for a logical argument with something factual to back it up.” No you aren’t.

              Indiana, Memphis, and Oklahoma “shut down” DeRozan as a main scoring option of the Toronto Raptors. Danny Green got shut down while playing alongside the best power forward of all time, a Hall of Fame point guard, and a Hall of Fame wing player (intermittently) within a system coached by a Hall of Fame coach who is arguably one of the 3 or 4 best basketball coaches of all time.

              All of which brings us back to the basic point that everyone is bringing up and you keep ignoring – context means too much here, because the players you’re attempting to contrast against each other are too different, their roles are too different, and their circumstances are too different. Your stats are too few and too limited, and your arbitrary and unexplained weighting of stats that leads to your final rankings is, if the results are any indication, right out to lunch.

              Oh, sorry, I forgot – you’ve got the market cornered on “logic and facts.” It’s a FREAKING PLAYER RANKINGS POST. This is the single most subjective and opinion-based discussion sports fans can have. Don’t pretend that because you whipped out a small handful of advanced stats that you’ve taken this to a whole new level of scientific endeavour that can only be refuted by Stephen Hawking. I don’t really care if you think Vince Carter and Danny Green are top 6 shooting guards (although it does take my opinion of your basketball knowledge down 6 or 7 notches) – just quit pretending you’ve built some kind of bullet-proof, objective argument for your very, very subjective opinion.

              • ItsAboutFun

                Post of the MONTH!!!

    • vino

      Totally agree, and its the hardest metric to measure; piratically impossible I’d say. Two criteria that could have been incorporated are: 1. Age (+relevance to upside versus decline) 2. Contract ($ and length).

      Nevertheless, without a deep and thorough analysis of a particular role and impact (with respect to that role) of a player on their team… this is just another subjective Tim W. write-up.

    • DDayLewis

      Yes, but players like Green and Thabo play their roles so well. Their production is more about “WHAT”, rather than “HOW”. At the end of the day, all that matters is production (WHAT). “HOW” explains “WHAT”, but it’s not as important.

      Perhaps you are equating “better” with “more skilled”. It’s pretty clear that Tim is factoring in both production, and skill.

    • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

      It’s also hard to make a case that a guy like DeRozan is better than Danny Green simply because DeRozan score more points. Too many fans look at ppg when judging a player, when it often means very little. Is Green a great scorer? No. But that’s not his strength. Right now, Green is the starting shooting guard on the team that nearly won the NBA Championship. I seriously don’t think any team with DeRozan as the starting shooting guard would ever get that far. DeRozan is a good scorer, but if the Heat makes him a priority on defense, he would struggle too. He isn’t a good ball handler, and can’t create his own shot or a shot for others. And he’s not very good at moving without the ball. And, unfortunately, if you shut down his scoring, he’s useless to his team. Green still is a positive because of his defense.

      Comparing Green to J.R. Smith. Smith is obviously a very good scorer, but as the Knicks got deeper in the playoffs, his value got less because he’s such a one dimensional player. Same goes for Jamal Crawford. Green has, at least, proven he can perform well at a high level when it counted.

      I think too many fans focus too much on scoring and not on a player’s all around game. DeMar DeRozan is a very flawed player. So is Monta Elllis and Jamal Crawford and J.R. Smith and even Tyreke Evans. DeRozan can’t defend or hit the three. That hurts his team and limits what he can do. Ellis takes horrible shots and is a poor decision maker. Crawford and Smith are horrible defenders. Evans needs the ball to be productive, but isn’t good enough to have the ball a lot on a good team.

      Is Green as “skilled” as those players? Well, it depends. I consider defense a skill. I consider good decision-making a skill. I consider the ability to fit into a good team a skill.

      • RaptorFan

        You sure put the BLINDERS on! For starters….

        “Green has, at least, proven he can perform well at a high level when it counted.”

        Really Tim?? Did you miss the final two games of the NBA Finals?? Green played about 38 minutes per game and averaged 4 points per game and 0 assists. He was the perfect example of useless. Does he get to the free throw line when his shot is not falling?? NOPE. Can he hit a mid range jumper when teams run him off the three point line? NOPE. Can he dunk on someone or absorb the contact? NOPE.

        “He isn’t a good ball handler, and can’t create his own shot or a shot for others.”
        Were you talking about Danny Green when you wrote the sentence above? Because, this would apply to Green moreso…..yet you ranked Green 6th on your list!!
        I say Derozan is a better player than Green. I say that’s the reason why Green can only shine with Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Ginobli, Leonard, etc. You put Danny Green on the Raptors and we have another Jason Kapono! Let’s not get carried away here….. Danny Green’s salary in 2012-13 was 884,000 USD…..I would think he’s in for a significant pay raise don’t you?? What do you think this awesome player who’s 6th on your list will get for an increase? 8 million? 10 million?? LOL come on. Everyone knows he’s playing with Hall of Famers…… He’s over rated and you fell for it.

        • SR

          Green is producing good numbers by being a limited player who has found the perfect role. He’s Steve Novak + defense. Green’s very useful and very productive in a clearly defined role that’s enabled by world-class teammates, but ultimately still easy to shut down by having CHRIS BOSH rush him at the 3-point line. Crazy, just plain crazy that he’s #6. The whole list is wack and this post should be a panel discussion at the next MIT Sloan Sports Analytics conference entitled “Statistical Analysis: How Following a Numbers Trail While Ignoring Your Eyeballs Can Lead You Into Alternate Realities Where Vince Carter is the Fifth Best Shooting Guard in the NBA in 2013.”

          • RaptorFan

            Rap of the week dude!

          • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

            Perhaps I just see more than you do, when looking at a player. And perhaps I value different things from players than you do.

            I used advanced statistics as a guide, but that’s it. In the end, I ranked the players where I believe they belong right at this moment.

            • ItsAboutFun

              “Perhaps I just see more than you do, when looking at a player. And perhaps I value different things from players than you do”

              How much do you value the info Synergy sports puts together? They say Green is excellent in team defense (go figure with the Spurs, eh), but is terrible on his own in iso and spot up situations. In fact they rank him at 303rd in the league in spot up situations, allowing 1.09 points per possession. Since you’re ranking individuals, with no consideration for the system and players around them, what about Danny Green’s 303rd ranking makes him a great defender?

              • DDayLewis

                As someone who trumpets “situation, situation”, isn’t it possible that he was tasked to defend the other team’s best wing players?

                • ItsAboutFun

                  Exactly the type of point that many scoffed at counter-arguments is making!!! Looking at numbers ignores huge variances in obstacles and surrounding support. I’m not really sure that’s your point though.

                  To be clear, are you suggesting that various environmental circumstances that go way beyond stats, and that vary considerably among the players in this ranking, can be reason to discredit such a stat for player ranking purposes? Or just this stat?

                • DDayLewis

                  Why are you so bent out of shape about numbers? I really don’t understand your crusade against statistics. Only looking at certain numbers gives you an inaccurate picture, but looking at a combination of different numbers will get you closest to the truth. Calm down about the numbers.

                  Second, of course I think that the environment affects basketball plays. This isn’t baseball; all ten players; including who they are and their abilities, affect each other’s performances. That being said, how do we know “how much” they affect each other? We’re not sure. There’s some truth in each player’s numbers, and I’d hesitate to guess that the numbers contain more truth, and less bias than any of our individual opinions.

                  Nobody is saying that you should trust the statistics indeterminately. However, throwing them away, or waving your magic wand of opinion over it doesn’t disqualify them of their existence, nor what they say.

            • mountio

              Isnt the argument this simple:
              Tim seems to be [over]valuing efficiency with little regard for role on a team and context as to whether a guy is asked to be a lead scorer or simply shoot open shots, whereas others are looking at the greater context and asking the question as to whether a currently efficient player like Danny Green would continue to be efficient if they had a greater role / defenses paid more attention to them.
              I tend to side on the DD side of the argument here .. efficiency requires significant context. Would DD ever be a knock down shooter if he was always left open? No. But, would he score at a better rate than currently where he has to create his own shot? Of course.
              Would Danny Green be worse if people guarded him. Big time. Having said that, hes proven to be a very good shooter in the league .. and that puts him way ahead of DD in that category.
              Its the age old usage vs efficiency argument. To me, its clear that players who take less shots (and more of them are wide open) will be more efficient than first scoring options. Amir is an excellent example on our team. A very efficient scorer .. but really not asked to do any scoring .. so he looks very good since most of his shots are put backs, in transition or WIDE open jumpers. Doesnt mean I dont like his game .. just means I take his efficiency for what it is.
              AB will be an interesting case study of a historically inefficient player who may get more easy looks in NY this year. Will be interesting to see if it helps or not ..

              • DDayLewis

                Honestly, the book isn’t out on how efficiency is affected by usage. There are those who aren’t convinced that there is a causal relationship:

                http://wagesofwins.com/2012/07/21/the-usage-argument-a-thread/

                There are also some who believe that increased usage does affect efficiency (ie: shot N+1 is harder than shot N):

                http://ascreamingcomesacrossthecourt.blogspot.ca/2013/05/usage-versus-efficiency.html

                http://www.countthebasket.com/blog/2008/03/06/diminishing-returns-for-scoring-usage-vs-efficiency/

                You can peruse the literature, hear both sides of the debate and decide for yourself. However the answer is far from clear, and we shouldn’t rely so heavily on our intuitions when there is a swath of data out there regarding the subject.

                • mountio

                  At a quick glance, this seems to be focused on as you describe it above, whether the N+1 shot is harder than previous). While that is a small part of the argument .. to me the much, much larger part is role related. Not whether or not if we asked DD to take 3 more shots per game would he be more efficient, but rather if he played alongside Lebron, Tim Duncan and a knock down shooter and was only asked to complement would his efficiency go up. I think it would generally (although perhaps not dramatically as Demar’s strength certainly isnt hitting open jumpers).. but this isnt the most compelling side of the DD vs DG argument.
                  The most compelling is if Danny Green was asked to create his own shot and shoot more often with defenders in his face, would his efficiency go down. I dont need any stats to tell me the answer to that is absolutely yes. Same for Amir, same for many great efficiency guys who arent asked to be primary scorers.
                  That doesnt mean they are bad players and dont help their teams .. it just means that they perform a limited role and its very difficult to compare them to first option players who are asked to do much more.

                • DDayLewis

                  Okay, I see your point. This stretches back to what I mentioned elsewhere; the fundamental core of this weird Derozan vs Green debate is regarding how valuable each role is compared to one another.

                  Nobody is denying that Derozan and Green have differing skillsets, nor is anyone denying that their roles are different.

                  However, the fundamental question is how one role compares to the other. How much is a “scorer” worth in relation to a “shooter”? Nobody knows the answer, and people are more or less lobbing opinion-laced grenades at each side, without actually moving anyone from their entrenched positions.

                • RaptorFan

                  “However, the fundamental question is how one role compares to the other. How much is a “scorer” worth in relation to a “shooter”? Nobody knows the answer, and people are more or less lobbing opinion-laced grenades at each side, without actually moving anyone from their entrenched positions.”

                  But don’t we have an answer for this?? Look at their pay cheques…..doesn’t that show how much a “scorer” is worth in relation to a “shooter”?? Generally, scorers make a whole lot more than shooters do. The market determines the price and the market has spoken a VERY long time ago.

                • DDayLewis

                  Are you sure the market is an accurate reflection of a player’s production? Linas Kleiza, Bargnani, Hedo, Amare…the list goes on and on.

                  Perhaps the market is just inefficient in the case of “scorers” vs “shooters”.

                • ItsAboutFun

                  Did you just flip the subject from “value” to “production”? Aside from that, there are exceptions to every rule, but the point is that NBA coaches and GMs have spoken for a very long time which of scorer or shooter they VALUE more.

                • DDayLewis

                  Value is a function of production (and a whole other bunch of variables). I’m not flipping any argument. If I said “..the market is an accurate reflection of a player’s value”, I’d be double-counting the impact of contract on value.

                  Again, my point is that perhaps this paying for “scorers” is a market inefficiency. Also, there are more than one kind of “scorers”, There are inefficient and efficient scorers. That’s a huge difference.

                • RaptorFan

                  Perhaps….Perhaps not….Unless you believe Brian Collangelo represents the Market. I say he was part of it.
                  Mediocre to good scorers….(examples of some who MANY “stats guys” consider inefficent)
                  Brandon Jennings – 8 million per for 3 years
                  Monte Ellis – 8+ million for 3 years
                  Demar Derozan – 9+ for 4 years
                  Very good to Elite shooters
                  Kyle Korver – 6 million per 4 years
                  Martell Webster – 5.5 million per 4 years
                  Mike Dunleavy – 3+ million per 2 years
                  Danny Green – 4 million per 3 years
                  Steve Novak – 3.75 million per 4 years
                  I really don’t see what the argument is here. Everyone knows the NBA actually values “scorers” over “shooters.”

                • DDayLewis

                  I know we’re not all economics majors or anything, but we understand what the term “inefficiency” means, right?

                • RaptorFan

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inefficiency
                  Read it and let me know what confuses you…..I just listed 3 players who are scorers (i’ve heard them referred to as chuckers) who ALWAYS get bashed regarding their efficiency…..I also listed 5 Elite 3 point shooters……
                  Did you notice that the “scorers” who are usually labelled inefficient make a whole lot more?? What happens when I pull up a list of players who are known to be efficient?? Do you get my point now? Maybe stats geeks think efficient role players have more value than 1st or 2nd option scorers…….but realistically thats where it ends!
                  In conclusion, (let’s not forget the point of this) —- Demar has more “value” than Danny Green because of their roles. He is also a better player because he’s asked to do a whole lot more than to stand and wait for one of the Hall of famers on his team to pass him the ball so that he can hit a WIDE open 3.

                • DDayLewis

                  I think the point was for you to read it, because pointing to a list of salaries to refute a claim about inefficiency is counterproductive. I’ll even outline the part that is relevant to this conversation:

                  ECONOMIC INEFFICIENCY refers to a situation where “we could be doing a better job,” i.e., attaining our goals at lower cost. It is the opposite of economic efficiency. In the latter case, there is no way to do a better job, given the available resources and technology.

                  You are really not understanding my point. I am suggesting that the market inefficiency here is that GM’s are paying too much for “scorers”. When you list the salaries of some “scorers” as higher than that of some “shooters”, you are not refuting my point; you’re actually reinforcing it.

                  Also, you can chill out with the periods and question marks. Half of your message is Morse code.

                • DDayLewis

                  And just to nitpick your special list; Demar is still the worst of those three players. Monta has historically been productive, and even efficient, while Jennings at least is at least average at everything except TS% for a point guard. Demar’s production has always been less than that of an average shooting guard. Blame environment all you want, but it’s been four years and he hasn’t shown any improvement:

                  http://btphard.blogspot.ca/2013/08/debunking-myths-derozans-supposed.html

                  Oh, and despite that, he’s being paid the most. But the market is always right, right?

        • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

          It seems that you’re completely measuring a player based on whether or not he can score. And that’s the difference between how you value a player and how I value one. Take away Green’s shot, and he still is an excellent defender. Take away DeRozan’s scoring (which the best defensive teams can do), and he does absolutely nothing else to help his team win.

          The fact that you compare him to Jason Kapono, a poor defender, tells me that you don’t value players the same way I do.

          • RaptorFan

            You overate his defense Tim!! He’s never received a vote for the all defensive team…..YET you continue to spew out how great he is. Kawhi leonard received 2 votes, Tony Parker received 2 votes, Tim Duncan made 2nd team all defensive in 2012-2013! Could it be that he’s playing with BETTER defensive players??? Where do you see excellent defender Tim? Is he a lock down defender? Do you honestly think opposing SGs fear him? I think its the San Antonio SYSTEM Tim!

            • ItsAboutFun

              Since he’s not talking to me, I’m glad someone else questioned this. Tim challenges others to come up with “logic and evidence” to argue against his evaluations, but where’s the evidence that Green is such a great defender? I’ll tell you one thing: Wade’s biggest offensive series in the 2013 playoffs was against SAS, so who exactly was Green stopping when he’d been run off the 3 pt line and was useless on offense?

          • ItsAboutFun

            “Take away Green’s shot, and he still is an excellent defender’

            Since you keep calling for “logic and evidence-based” reasoning, what do you have to keep claiming this? I see you haven’t responded to my post that says Synergy Sports’ data says he’s good at team defense (fitting in well with arguably the best team defense of the past 15 years, of one of the best coaches of all time), but as a 1-on-1 defender, he’s terrible, and ranks 303rd in the NBA.

  • Tee

    Quick Question:
    Vince had a reputation as a bad defender while in Toronto.

    Do you believe that this still the case?
    Or was that a false representation in your opinion?

    • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

      Vince was never a BAD defender. He was a lazy defender, which is where a lot of the frustration lay. He never had the ability to be a great defender, but when he was engaged he could be a good one.

      RIght now, I think he’s a better defender than J.R. Smith and Jamal Crawford.