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The NBA Player Rating Addition Edition

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The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep. And miles to go before I sleep. And mile to go before I sleep.

Melvin Hunt counts to ten.
Melvin Hunt counts to ten.
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

It's late. Very very late, or ridiculously early, depending on your point of view. I have fixation issues when I get to thinking about data, and had an idea tonight, when seeing some player ratings on CBS to how those ratings would equate to team success, i.e., wins and losses. This curiosity would prove to be a bad idea. This from the guy whose uncle once offered him five bucks to untie a fishing line snarl on a lakeshore after I decided I wasn't as interested in our fishing outing as he'd hoped. Five hours later, I had my five bucks. Eight-year-old OCD slave labor is what that was. I loved it. I have a problem.

The CBS player ratings made me wonder where Nuggets players had landed, and so I went out to CBS' player ratings page online, and downloaded the file to a spreadsheet. From that spreadsheet, I intended to loop every player back in under their team and see what an aggregate score of their player ratings would be. If player ratings equated to team success, then surely the higher teams would have far higher aggregate player ranking scores, right? Hmmm...

Four hours later, I finally had my answer. I'm proud to report that (drumroll, please)

Player ratings (at least as equated by CBS.com) don't mean diddly-jack-squat to team success.

Wait, back up... four hours? Yeah, see, I love data, but it doesn't love me. My relationship with data is exactly like my relationship to garlic. They both taste delicious, and they both give me gas. But I digest. Er, digress. Both.

After I got that data set into the spreadsheet, I don't know how to write query strings or anything like that, let alone output those results. So I built the lists from scratch. And I was going to prove my point about the player ratings by looping in every player. All 438 of them. Yeah... my data scientist pals laugh their asses off at me.

About an hour in, the data was already giving me my answers, just in watching the individual teams flow in from the top of the player rating list. I wish I could have animated the build, it was visually telling. Seven teams had five players on their list before the last team to have none (Indiana) notched a player. A dozen players later, I had to decide if I was going to tack on sixth members for some teams before getting a couple of teams player number two or three. It would take me three more hours just to drop the players in.  And it's already obvious the teams are filling in sporadically. How could I see something in this data and not lose the work? I may not have been successful.

I filled each team in to their top five ‘player rated' players (even if a player came in off the bench), and added up the aggregate scores. The list of players who were sixth/seventh/etc. men was as intereting as the guys on this list. Though the top teams have higher scores than the lowest teams, there are 300+ point teams in the lowest 5, and teams barely above 300 in the top six. Indiana had an aggregate score 17 points lower than your Denver Nuggets, and still were five spots ahead in overall league rankings. Example after example of no pattern. You all may see pattern here I'm not (do higher ranked teams have more starters in their top five? Do more successful teams have high-player-rated positional overlaps? Can I have just a little bit of peril?)

Here's the data that didn't tell me a thing after a long evening.

TEAM


PLAYER

RATING



1. Golden State Warriors


4. Stephen Curry, GS

81.1

16. Klay Thompson, GS

75.95

44. Draymond Green, GS

68.27

78. Harrison Barnes, GS

61.99

138. Marreese Speights, GS

54.33


341.64



2. Atlanta Hawks


22. Paul Millsap, ATL

73.27

30. Jeff Teague, ATL

70.43

32. Al Horford, ATL

70.09

45. Kyle Korver, ATL

68.1

85. DeMarre Carroll, ATL

61.17


343.06



3. Houston Rockets


1. James Harden, HOU

86.25

54. Trevor Ariza, HOU

66.16

71. Dwight Howard, HOU

63.11

79. Josh Smith, HOU

61.78

97. Donatas Motiejunas, HOU

59.24


336.54



4. Los Angeles Clippers


5. Blake Griffin, LAC

80.29

10. Chris Paul, LAC

78.62

27. DeAndre Jordan, LAC

71.69

76. J.J. Redick, LAC

62.19

89. Jamal Crawford, LAC

60.39


353.18



5. Memphis Grizzlies


13. Marc Gasol, MEM

76.62

32. Mike Conley, MEM

70.09

34. Zach Randolph, MEM

69.99

65. Jeff Green, MEM

64.7

81. Courtney Lee, MEM

61.75


343.15



6. San Antonio Spurs


40. Tim Duncan, SA

68.71

66. Danny Green, SA

64.64

98. Kawhi Leonard, SA

59.14

125. Cory Joseph, SA

56.31

127. Manu Ginobili, SA

56.11


304.91



7. Cleveland Cavaliers


3. LeBron James, CLE

82.9

11. Kyrie Irving, CLE

76.88

21. Kevin Love, CLE

73.97

94. Tristan Thompson, CLE

59.63

108. Timofey Mozgov, CLE

57.77


351.15



8. Portland Trail Blazers


8. LaMarcus Aldridge, POR

79.11

9. Damian Lillard, POR

79.06

49. Wesley Matthews, POR

67.38

57. Arron Afflalo, POR

65.57

90. Nicolas Batum, POR

60.12


351.24



9. Chicago Bulls


6. Jimmy Butler, CHI

79.63

7. Pau Gasol, CHI

79.27

95. Derrick Rose, CHI

59.62

116. Taj Gibson, CHI

57

139. Joakim Noah, CHI

54.3


329.82



10. Dallas Mavericks


28. Monta Ellis, DAL

71.64

37. Dirk Nowitzki, DAL

69.29

38. Tyson Chandler, DAL

69.08

50. Chandler Parsons, DAL

67.15

87. Rajon Rondo, DAL

60.69


337.85



11. Toronto Raptors


14. Kyle Lowry, TOR

76.36

74. Jonas Valanciunas, TOR

62.48

91. Amir Johnson, TOR

59.93

103. Lou Williams, TOR

58.39

114. Patrick Patterson, TOR

57.05


314.21



12. Washington Wizards


15. John Wall, WAS

76

68. Marcin Gortat, WAS

63.66

72. Bradley Beal, WAS

62.91

86. Paul Pierce, WAS

61.09

136. Nene, WAS

54.59


318.25



13. New Orleans Pelicans


2. Anthony Davis, NO

85.82

31. Tyreke Evans, NO

70.2

51. Jrue Holiday, NO

66.83

84. Ryan Anderson, NO

61.54

132. Omer Asik, NO

55.6


339.99



14. Oklahoma City Thunder


39. Russell Westbrook, OKC

68.85

48. Serge Ibaka, OKC

67.41

58. Kevin Durant, OKC

65.54

67. Reggie Jackson, OKC

63.72

146. Steven Adams, OKC

53.39


318.91



15. Milwaukee Bucks


29. Brandon Knight, MIL

70.99

77. Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL

62.14

101. Khris Middleton, MIL

58.86

128. O.J. Mayo, MIL

55.86

147. Jared Dudley, MIL

53.32


301.17



16. Boston Celtics


59. Jared Sullinger, BOS

65.51

96. Avery Bradley, BOS

59.45

110. Evan Turner, BOS

57.43

118. Kelly Olynyk, BOS

56.88

136. Tyler Zeller, BOS

54.59


293.86



17, Phoenix Suns


26. Eric Bledsoe, PHO

71.79

42. Goran Dragic, PHO

68.57

61. Markieff Morris, PHO

65.24

104. Isaiah Thomas, PHO

58.32

113. P.J. Tucker, PHO

57.2


321.12



18. Brooklyn Nets


40. Joe Johnson, BKN

68.71

93. Jarrett Jack, BKN

59.8

112. Deron Williams, BKN

57.33

121. Mason Plumlee, BKN

56.5

131. Brook Lopez, BKN

55.74


298.08



19. Indiana Pacers


92. Solomon Hill, IND

59.84

111. Roy Hibbert, IND

57.39

134. Rodney Stuckey, IND

55.22

141. David West, IND

54.09

149. Luis Scola, IND

53.27


279.81



20. Utah Jazz


19. Gordon Hayward, UTA

74.8

45. Derrick Favors, UTA

68.1

82. Enes Kanter, UTA

61.7

83. Trey Burke, UTA

61.68

120. Rudy Gobert, UTA

56.57


322.85



21. Miami Heat


25. Chris Bosh, MIA

72.14

52. Dwyane Wade, MIA

66.76

53. Luol Deng, MIA

66.21

99. Mario Chalmers, MIA

59.11

179. Shawne Williams, MIA

50.23


314.45



22. Charlotte Hornets


24. Kemba Walker, CHA

72.16

60. Al Jefferson, CHA

65.43

130. Gerald Henderson, CHA

55.79

157. Cody Zeller, CHA

52.75

178. Marvin Williams, CHA

50.27


296.4



23. Detroit Pistons


47. Greg Monroe, DET

67.9

56. Andre Drummond, DET

65.76

72. Brandon Jennings, DET

62.91

100. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, DET

59.03

159. D.J. Augustin, DET

52.53


308.13



24. Denver Nuggets


19. Ty Lawson, DEN

74.8

62. Wilson Chandler, DEN

65.05

80. Kenneth Faried, DEN

61.77

204. Jameer Nelson, DEN

47.6

207. JJ Hickson, DEN

47.4


296.62



25. Sacramento Kings


17. DeMarcus Cousins, SAC

75.62

18. Rudy Gay, SAC

75.3

35. Darren Collison, SAC

69.75

88. Ben McLemore, SAC

60.5

184. Jason Thompson, SAC

49.43


330.6



26. Orlando Magic


12. Nikola Vucevic, ORL

76.75

36. Tobias Harris, ORL

69.44

64. Victor Oladipo, ORL

64.81

102. Evan Fournier, ORL

58.73

122. Channing Frye, ORL

56.44


326.17



27. Los Angeles Lakers


43. Kobe Bryant, LAL

68.35

75. Jordan Hill, LAL

62.2

105. Carlos Boozer, LAL

58.23

109. Wesley Johnson, LAL

57.64

115. Jeremy Lin, LAL

57.02


303.44



28. Philadelphia 76ers


70. Michael Carter-Williams, PHI

63.54

126. Nerlens Noel, PHI (Rookie)

56.18

135. K.J. McDaniels, PHI (Rookie)

54.7

142. Henry Sims, PHI

53.85

143. Robert Covington, PHI

53.68


281.95



29. New York Knicks


23. Carmelo Anthony, NY

72.84

154. Tim Hardaway Jr., NY

53.1

170. Amar'e Stoudemire, NY

51.06

181. Jose Calderon, NY

50.04

192. Shane Larkin, NY

49.15


276.19



30. Minnesota Timberwolves


55. Andrew Wiggins, MIN (Rookie)

65.84

63. Gorgui Dieng, MIN

64.84

69. Thaddeus Young, MIN

63.63

117. Mo Williams, MIN

56.9

145. Shabazz Muhammad, MIN

53.48


304.69

Maybe you see something in there I don't... The experiment was a failure, but:

"It's not an experiment if you know it's going to work."

-Jeff Bezos

My wife occasionally shuffles in around 3 am to just shake her head at me writing free and unneccesary basketball drivel and wanders back to sleep. Seems to be something to this beauty sleep thing, looking at us both. There's data you can actually use. Just remember my news flash that you never ever already knew... Player ratings do NOT equate to overall team success. Shocking. Please go back to your homes, nothing to see here.

And miles to go before I sleep. Good morning, Stiff(s). There's a phrase you don't see every day.

#NeverGonnaMakeTheFiveThirtyEight