Monday, January 23, 2006

The Art of Point Creation

We were discussing Kobe's 81-point game today and his ridiculous 35.9 ppg scoring average (on pace for best since MJ dropped 37.1 per night in the 1986-87 season). Inevitably, I tried to come up with a way to say that Allen Iverson is still better and stumbled upon the idea of "points created." The concept is simple: award two points for every assist handed out (some no doubt lead to three, but it is impossible to tell) and tack those onto the actual points scored. Presto! You have the total number of points created. And by that admittedly shaky measurement, Iverson is not only more productive than Kobe, he is more productive than any other player in the league and is having the fourth best season of the past 25 years. Any guesses on who tops the list? Read on to find out.


Adam Hoff said...

Before posting the list, a few disclaimers:

- The measurement is obviously flawed. I realize this. It doesn't take into account the player's teammates (which impacts assists), it favors point guards because they have the ball more often, and it is hard to measure different eras (assists in particular were far more plentiful in the 80's).

- I am not saying that this stat indicates the best players. It doesn't take into account turnovers, defense, rebounding, clutch play, shooting percentages, or a variety of other extremely important factors. This simply states who created the most points for his team on a per game basis. Still interesting and potentially valuable information, but I'm not claiming to to replace John Hollinger and his PER metrix.

Okay, onto the list (see next comment).

Adam Hoff said...

The following is a list of every season over 42.0 PCPG (points created per game) in the past 25 years, including the current seasons.

Isiah (84-85): 49.0
Jordan (88-89): 48.5
Magic (86-87): 48.3
Iverson (05-06): 48.2
Magic (88-89): 48.1
M. Adams (90-91): 47.5
Jordan (87-88) 46.8
Iverson (04-05): 46.7
Jordan (86-87) 46.7
Jordan (89-90) 46.2
Stockton (89-90): 46.0
Stockton (90-91): 45.4
KJ (89-90): 45.3
Magic (89-90): 45.0
KJ (88-89): 44.8
Kobe (05-06): 44.7
Magic (90-91): 44.4
Stockton (88-89): 44.3
Magic (85-86): 44.0
Magic (83-84): 43.8
Bird (86-87): 43.7
LeBron (05-06): 43.6
Jordan (92-93) 43.6
Magic (84-85): 43.5
Isiah (83-84): 43.5
T. Hardaway (91-92): 43.4
Stockton (91-92): 43.2
McGrady (02-03): 43.1
Tim Hard. (92-93): 42.7
Isiah (85-86): 42.5
AI (01-02) : 42.4
Magic (87-88) 42.4
KJ (90-91): 42.4
T. Hardaway (90-91): 42.3
Jordan (91-92) 42.3
Jordan (90-91) 42.2
Bird (87-88): 42.1
Nash (05-06): 42.0
Payton (99-00): 42.0

Adam Hoff said...

Now let's break the list down.

First, it is probably surprising to many that Isiah Thomas tops everyone at 49.0, but that is what happens when you score over 20 points every night and dish out 14 assists a game. Amazing season.

There are 39 seasons total. They are accounted for by a mere 14 players.

Magic leads the way with eight appearances. Jordan is next with seven. Then Stockton (4), Iverson (3), Isiah (3), Kevin Johnson (3), Tim Hardaway (3), Bird (2), McGrady, LeBron, Kobe, Nash, Payton, and Michael Adams (the list's biggest shocker).

Of those, eight were point guards. That leaves six guys that have managed to create over 42 points per game from another position on the floor: Jordan, Iverson (in 01-02), Bird, McGrady, LeBron, and Kobe.

That is a pretty amazing list of players. Guys that did not play point guard but were still able to create that many points. It obviously shows how incredible Jordan was that he crested 42.0 seven times. Beyond that, when you consider the fact that only eight of the 39 seasons have occurred after 1993, it makes the recent performances look even better. It certainly indicates how good LeBron is. And it shows how impressive Kobe has been this year.

(And yes, it makes AI look pretty good too.)

Anonymous said...

Wow. Get a life.

Anonymous said...

Out of those 39 player/seasons I see only 6 where that players team went on to win the NBA Championship, which is after all the goal of the season. Proving that no matter how good a season someone is having he can't do it all alone.

Martin said...

But you would also be hard pressed to find anyone on their that played for a team with a losing record. Maybe a handful.

Adam Hoff said...

It is also worth noting that many of these players came from the same years. I think there were about 10 years without anyone over the 42.0 mark. So even if only six of those seasons resulted in a title, that isn't so bad.

Anonymous said...

So would you say that Isiah's 84-85 season was the best individual performance of the past 25 years? I'm not sure how this works.

Adam Hoff said...

I think it certainly sheds some light on that season. No one ever talks about that Isiah season when discussing the best seasons of the past 25 years, but maybe they should. I'm all about looking at the game from as many angles as possible. This stat and list can really only be used to augment more complex information. As mentioned above, there is just a ton of missing information. Basically, it is just a way to show off the guys that can create points through the traditional stats of points and assists.