Disagreeing with Doug Moe

Doug Moe is synonymous with the Denver Nuggets.   No one had a longer tenure as coach of this team. And no coach led this franchise to more victories.  So one suspects Moe knows the Nuggets.

Recently the “Big Stiff” (as Moe is known) was asked who is the greatest player in the history in the Nuggets.  And here is Moe’s answer (HT: Phil Maymin):

“I’d have to say Melo,” Moe said. “His talent is going to win more games than anybody else. With him, I think the Nuggets are going to have more 50-win seasons than with any other player. And that’s not a knock against any of those players.”

Carmelo Anthony is currently leading the NBA in scoring.  But when I look past scoring, I find myself disagreeing with Moe.  According to Table One, Melo entered the current season ranked 12th on the Nuggets’ all-time Wins Produced rankings.

Rank Name Seasons Games Minutes  Wins Wins/Season WP48

1

Fat Lever

6

474

16,867

114.2

19.0

0.325

2

Dikembe Mutombo

5

391

14,411

83.7

16.7

0.279

3

Marcus Camby

6

372

11,776

78.8

13.1

0.321

4

T.R. Dunn

10

734

18,322

75.3

7.5

0.197

5

Alex English

11

837

29,893

60.6

5.5

0.097

6

Dan Issel

8

639

19,835

54.3

6.8

0.131

7

Andre Miller

4

269

9,451

36.1

9.0

0.183

8

David Thompson

5

333

10,800

35.4

7.1

0.157

9

Michael Adams

4

304

10,601

27.8

6.9

0.126

10

Danny Schayes

8

536

11,096

27.7

3.5

0.120

11

Antonio McDyess

6

361

12,271

26.4

4.4

0.103

12

Carmelo Anthony

6

445

16,107

26.3

4.4

0.078

13

Bryant Stith

8

458

13,248

25.3

3.2

0.092

14

Reggie Williams

6

419

12,556

25.2

4.2

0.096

15

Nene Hilario

7

370

10,575

24.1

3.4

0.110

16

Wayne Cooper

5

351

8,433

22.1

4.4

0.126

17

LaPhonso Ellis

6

343

11,352

21.7

3.6

0.092

18

Glen Gondrezick

4

288

4,926

21.2

5.3

0.207

19

Calvin Natt

5

189

5,385

20.4

4.1

0.181

20

James Posey

4

261

7,417

18.4

4.6

0.119

21

Raef LaFrentz

4

222

6,947

17.3

4.3

0.119

22

Kiki Vandeweghe

4

293

9,794

17.0

4.2

0.083

23

George McGinnis

2

121

3,976

16.6

8.3

0.200

24

Bobby Jones

2

100

2,662

14.8

7.4

0.266

25

Nick Van Exel

4

245

9,179

14.7

3.7

0.077

26

Ervin Johnson

1

82

2,599

14.6

14.6

0.269

27

Chris Andersen

4

225

3,658

14.3

3.6

0.188

28

J.R. Smith

3

218

5,139

12.9

4.3

0.120

29

Allen Iverson

3

135

5,671

12.7

4.2

0.107

30

Kenyon Martin

5

265

8,152

12.2

2.4

0.072

31

Jerome Lane

4

192

3,030

11.7

2.9

0.185

32

Chauncey Billups

3

135

4,512

11.2

3.7

0.120

33

Greg Buckner

2

143

3,277

11.0

5.5

0.160

34

Mark Jackson

1

52

2,001

10.1

10.1

0.243

35

Elston Turner

3

232

4,561

9.5

3.2

0.100

36

Ryan Bowen

5

298

4,359

9.5

1.9

0.105

37

Blair Rasmussen

6

429

9,158

9.2

1.5

0.048

38

Anthony Carter

3

150

3,783

9.1

3.0

0.115

39

Reggie Evans

2

92

1,733

8.7

4.4

0.241

40

Danny Fortson

2

130

3,228

8.3

4.1

0.123

41

Greg Anderson

2

123

3,452

8.3

4.1

0.115

42

Jalen Rose

2

161

3,932

8.2

4.1

0.100

43

Robert Pack

4

259

5,365

7.4

1.8

0.066

44

Earl Boykins

4

255

6,433

7.3

1.8

0.054

45

Donnell Harvey

2

106

2,292

7.1

3.6

0.149

46

Bison Dele

2

143

2,768

6.9

3.4

0.119

47

George Johnson

1

75

1,938

6.8

6.8

0.168

48

Tom Boswell

2

97

2,723

6.7

3.4

0.119

49

Eduardo Najera

4

243

5,348

6.6

1.6

0.059

50

Billy McKinney

3

198

4,656

5.7

1.9

0.059

51

Kim Hughes

3

159

2,453

5.6

1.9

0.109

52

George McCloud

3

223

5,955

4.9

1.6

0.040

53

Renaldo Balkman

1

53

780

4.9

4.9

0.299

54

Keon Clark

3

144

3,011

4.8

1.6

0.076

55

Bill Hanzlik

8

593

12,301

4.8

0.6

0.019

56

Darrell Walker

1

81

2,020

4.7

4.7

0.111

57

Juwan Howard

3

108

3,728

4.5

1.5

0.058

58

Jon Barry

1

57

1,101

4.0

4.0

0.174

59

Dean Garrett

1

82

2,632

3.8

3.8

0.070

60

Jim Price

1

49

1,090

3.4

3.4

0.148

61

John Roche

3

147

3,398

3.3

1.1

0.047

62

Bobby Jackson

1

68

2,042

3.2

3.2

0.074

63

Cory Alexander

3

88

1,904

3.1

1.0

0.078

64

Robert Smith

2

127

1,857

2.9

1.4

0.074

65

Avery Johnson

2

72

1,417

2.8

1.4

0.096

66

Linas Kleiza

4

301

5,724

2.7

0.7

0.023

67

Anthony Roberts

4

187

3,517

2.7

0.7

0.037

68

Steve Blake

1

49

1,643

2.7

2.7

0.078

69

Anthony Goldwire

3

129

3,025

2.7

0.9

0.042

70

Winston Garland

1

78

2,209

2.6

2.6

0.056

71

Dale Ellis

3

244

7,562

2.5

0.8

0.016

72

Bryon Russell

2

71

1,029

2.5

1.2

0.116

73

Marcus Liberty

4

232

4,294

2.5

0.6

0.028

74

Anthony Cook

2

80

1,236

2.3

1.1

0.089

75

Richard Anderson

1

78

1,380

2.2

2.2

0.075

76

Todd Lichti

4

224

4,114

2.1

0.5

0.024

77

Francisco Elson

3

201

3,392

2.0

0.7

0.029

78

Voshon Lenard

5

239

6,521

1.9

0.4

0.014

79

Pete Williams

2

58

583

1.9

0.9

0.156

80

Wesley Person

1

25

461

1.9

1.9

0.194

81

Calbert Cheaney

2

77

1,784

1.7

0.9

0.046

82

Dahntay Jones

1

79

1,426

1.7

1.7

0.057

83

Dave Greenwood

1

29

491

1.6

1.6

0.159

84

DerMarr Johnson

3

168

2,575

1.6

0.5

0.030

85

Earl Watson

1

46

980

1.5

1.5

0.076

86

Kenny Higgs

2

148

3,385

1.5

0.8

0.022

87

Orlando Woolridge

1

53

1,823

1.4

1.4

0.036

88

Mack Calvin

1

77

988

1.3

1.3

0.064

89

Darnell Hillman

1

33

746

1.3

1.3

0.085

90

Kenny Battle

1

40

682

1.3

1.3

0.092

91

Rodney White

3

186

3,079

1.1

0.4

0.018

92

Vincent Yarbrough

1

59

1,381

1.1

1.1

0.039

93

Tom Hammonds

5

331

5,207

1.1

0.2

0.010

94

Joe Kopicki

1

42

308

1.0

1.0

0.163

95

Shawnelle Scott

1

21

252

1.0

1.0

0.190

96

Zendon Hamilton

1

54

848

1.0

1.0

0.056

97

Shammond Williams

1

27

712

1.0

1.0

0.066

98

Chris Gatling

1

40

770

1.0

1.0

0.060

99

Brooks Thompson

1

65

1,047

1.0

1.0

0.044

100

Rodney Rogers

2

159

3,548

0.9

0.5

0.012

101

Brian Taylor

1

39

1,222

0.8

0.8

0.033

102

Harold Ellis

1

27

344

0.8

0.8

0.109

103

Ruben Patterson

1

26

736

0.6

0.6

0.041

104

Popeye Jones

1

40

330

0.6

0.6

0.089

105

Jamal Sampson

1

22

124

0.6

0.6

0.228

106

Terry Mills

1

17

279

0.6

0.6

0.099

107

Kevin Willis

1

43

1,059

0.6

0.6

0.026

108

Bo Ellis

3

168

1,984

0.5

0.2

0.013

109

Eric Murdock

1

12

114

0.5

0.5

0.190

110

Carlos Arroyo

1

20

275

0.4

0.4

0.074

111

Isaiah Rider

1

10

173

0.4

0.4

0.114

112

Corey Gaines

1

10

226

0.4

0.4

0.085

113

Tim Hardaway

1

14

325

0.4

0.4

0.054

114

Cedrick Hordges

2

145

2,971

0.4

0.2

0.006

115

Rob Williams

2

153

3,367

0.3

0.2

0.005

116

Gary Garland

1

78

1,106

0.3

0.3

0.014

117

Scott Williams

1

41

737

0.2

0.2

0.016

118

Joe Barry Carroll

1

30

719

0.2

0.2

0.012

119

Jacky Dorsey

1

7

37

0.2

0.2

0.225

120

Darwin Cook

1

30

386

0.1

0.1

0.018

121

Tim Kempton

1

71

1,061

0.1

0.1

0.006

122

George Zidek

2

22

130

0.1

0.1

0.051

123

Michael Brooks

1

16

133

0.1

0.1

0.048

124

Adam Harrington

1

6

74

0.1

0.1

0.080

125

Steve Scheffler

1

7

46

0.1

0.1

0.098

126

Matt Fish

1

16

117

0.1

0.1

0.037

127

Tyson Wheeler

1

1

3

0.1

0.1

1.359

128

Junior Harrington

1

82

2,003

0.1

0.1

0.002

129

Aaron Williams

1

1

10

0.1

0.1

0.260

130

Luis Flores

1

1

4

0.1

0.1

0.603

131

Kelly McCarty

1

2

4

0.0

0.0

0.593

132

Julius Hodge

2

18

71

0.0

0.0

0.032

133

Roy Rogers

1

40

355

0.0

0.0

0.006

134

Taurean Green

1

9

30

0.0

0.0

0.057

135

Anthony Mason

1

3

21

0.0

0.0

0.050

136

Eldridge Recasner

1

3

13

0.0

0.0

0.076

137

John Crotty

1

12

180

0.0

0.0

0.005

138

Rich Kelley

1

38

565

0.0

0.0

0.001

139

Jimmy King

1

2

22

0.0

0.0

0.018

140

Joe Smith

1

11

148

0.0

0.0

0.001

141

Andre Moore

1

7

34

0.0

0.0

0.000

142

Jeff Trepagnier

2

19

193

0.0

0.0

-0.001

143

Jason Hart

1

11

36

0.0

0.0

-0.027

144

Mike Higgins

1

5

32

0.0

0.0

-0.039

145

Jerome Allen

1

25

251

0.0

0.0

-0.006

146

Norm Cook

1

2

10

0.0

0.0

-0.151

147

Chris Herren

1

45

597

0.0

0.0

-0.003

148

Charles Smith

1

1

2

-0.1

-0.1

-1.282

149

Mark Strickland

1

46

517

-0.1

-0.1

-0.006

150

Kenny Smith

1

33

654

-0.1

-0.1

-0.005

151

Wayne Englestad

1

11

50

-0.1

-0.1

-0.078

152

Monty Williams

1

1

6

-0.1

-0.1

-0.680

153

Vincent Askew

1

1

9

-0.1

-0.1

-0.566

154

Dan McClintock

1

6

58

-0.1

-0.1

-0.089

155

Randy Woods

1

8

72

-0.1

-0.1

-0.073

156

Mark Bryant

1

3

14

-0.1

-0.1

-0.382

157

Tracy Murray

1

13

135

-0.1

-0.1

-0.041

158

Cliff Levingston

1

57

469

-0.1

-0.1

-0.012

159

Reggie Slater

2

29

262

-0.1

-0.1

-0.022

160

Cheik Samb

1

6

24

-0.1

-0.1

-0.244

161

Darvin Ham

1

35

313

-0.1

-0.1

-0.019

162

Jeff McInnis

1

13

117

-0.1

-0.1

-0.052

163

Jelani McCoy

1

6

33

-0.1

-0.1

-0.189

164

Jawann Oldham

1

4

21

-0.1

-0.1

-0.306

165

Mike Wilks

1

8

122

-0.1

-0.1

-0.058

166

Devin Brown

1

3

71

-0.2

-0.2

-0.102

167

Johnny Taylor

2

37

729

-0.2

-0.1

-0.010

168

Walter Davis

4

235

5,277

-0.2

0.0

-0.002

169

Dwight Anderson

1

5

33

-0.2

-0.2

-0.254

170

Roy Marble

1

5

32

-0.2

-0.2

-0.262

171

Craig Neal

1

10

125

-0.2

-0.2

-0.068

172

Ricky Pierce

1

33

600

-0.2

-0.2

-0.014

173

Adonis Jordan

1

6

79

-0.2

-0.2

-0.111

174

Mark Pope

2

13

47

-0.2

-0.1

-0.192

175

Melvin Booker

1

5

21

-0.2

-0.2

-0.435

176

Garth Joseph

1

2

8

-0.2

-0.2

-1.188

177

Keith Edmonson

1

15

101

-0.2

-0.2

-0.096

178

Howard Eisley

1

19

281

-0.2

-0.2

-0.038

179

Brad Wright

1

2

7

-0.2

-0.2

-1.523

180

Willie White

2

82

577

-0.2

-0.1

-0.019

181

Elmore Spencer

1

6

21

-0.2

-0.2

-0.549

182

John Kuester

1

33

212

-0.2

-0.2

-0.054

183

Phil Hicks

1

20

128

-0.2

-0.2

-0.092

184

Scott Hastings

2

116

1,091

-0.2

-0.1

-0.011

185

Don MacLean

1

56

1,107

-0.3

-0.3

-0.011

186

David Burns

1

6

53

-0.3

-0.3

-0.250

187

Terry Davis

1

19

228

-0.3

-0.3

-0.060

188

Arvid Kramer

1

8

45

-0.3

-0.3

-0.308

189

Rastko Cvetkovic

1

14

48

-0.3

-0.3

-0.297

190

Ron Mercer

1

37

1,408

-0.3

-0.3

-0.012

191

Steven Hunter

1

19

120

-0.3

-0.3

-0.139

192

Kiwane Garris

1

28

225

-0.4

-0.4

-0.077

193

Carl Herrera

1

24

265

-0.4

-0.4

-0.072

194

Chucky Atkins

2

38

467

-0.4

-0.2

-0.041

195

Doug Overton

1

55

607

-0.4

-0.4

-0.032

196

Tony Battie

1

65

1,506

-0.4

-0.4

-0.013

197

Chris Whitney

1

29

762

-0.4

-0.4

-0.027

198

Darnell Mee

2

40

293

-0.4

-0.2

-0.071

199

Elmer Bennett

1

5

59

-0.4

-0.4

-0.359

200

Robert Werdann

1

28

149

-0.5

-0.5

-0.147

201

Kenny Dennard

1

43

413

-0.5

-0.5

-0.054

202

Michael Doleac

1

26

344

-0.5

-0.5

-0.064

203

Mark Randall

2

36

194

-0.5

-0.2

-0.118

204

Ralph Simpson

1

32

584

-0.5

-0.5

-0.040

205

LaSalle Thompson

1

17

105

-0.5

-0.5

-0.241

206

Greg Grant

2

24

260

-0.6

-0.3

-0.102

207

Sonny Weems

1

12

55

-0.6

-0.6

-0.513

208

Carl Nicks

1

27

493

-0.6

-0.6

-0.058

209

Geoff Crompton

1

20

88

-0.6

-0.6

-0.342

210

Johan Petro

1

27

218

-0.6

-0.6

-0.141

211

Loren Meyer

1

14

70

-0.7

-0.7

-0.494

212

Von Wafer

1

21

90

-0.7

-0.7

-0.397

213

Tim Legler

1

10

148

-0.7

-0.7

-0.242

214

Predrag Savovic

1

27

256

-0.7

-0.7

-0.140

215

Eddie Hughes

2

86

1,116

-0.8

-0.4

-0.034

216

Tariq Abdul-Wahad

3

64

1,210

-0.9

-0.3

-0.034

217

Jim Farmer

2

29

472

-0.9

-0.4

-0.089

218

Priest Lauderdale

1

39

345

-0.9

-0.9

-0.125

219

Sarunas Marciulionis

1

17

255

-0.9

-0.9

-0.171

220

Ronnie Valentine

1

24

123

-0.9

-0.9

-0.360

221

Otis Smith

2

43

359

-0.9

-0.5

-0.125

222

Howard Carter

1

55

688

-1.0

-1.0

-0.069

223

Eric Washington

2

104

2,300

-1.0

-0.5

-0.021

224

Dave Robisch

4

165

2,853

-1.1

-0.3

-0.018

225

Mark Blount

1

54

885

-1.1

-1.1

-0.061

226

Bob Wilkerson

3

236

7,586

-1.1

-0.4

-0.007

227

Mengke Bateer

1

27

408

-1.1

-1.1

-0.135

228

James Ray

3

103

843

-1.2

-0.4

-0.069

229

Mark Alarie

1

64

1,110

-1.2

-1.2

-0.053

230

Maurice Martin

2

69

422

-1.7

-0.8

-0.192

231

Gary Plummer

1

60

737

-1.7

-1.7

-0.111

232

Kenny Satterfield

2

58

980

-1.8

-0.9

-0.087

233

Eric Williams

2

42

925

-2.0

-1.0

-0.102

234

Jay Vincent

2

78

1,850

-2.3

-1.2

-0.061

235

Kevin Brooks

3

126

1,031

-2.5

-0.8

-0.117

236

Johnny Newman

1

74

2,176

-2.6

-2.6

-0.057

237

Yakhouba Diawara

2

118

1,721

-3.0

-1.5

-0.084

238

Mike Evans

6

419

7,431

-3.2

-0.5

-0.021

239

Tom LaGarde

1

77

868

-3.8

-3.8

-0.208

240

Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf

6

439

12,481

-4.5

-0.8

-0.017

241

Joe Wolf

3

198

3,374

-4.7

-1.6

-0.067

242

Charlie Scott

2

148

4,477

-5.2

-2.6

-0.055

243

Nikoloz Tskitishvili

3

143

1,785

-6.1

-2.0

-0.164

244

Mark Macon

3

131

3,571

-6.2

-2.1

-0.083

As noted yesterday, Anthony is on pace to produce about nine wins this season.  So when the 2009-10 season ends, Melo might catch David Thompson. But Anthony is going to have produce at his curren rate until 2018-19 (when he will be 35 years of age) to catch the number one ranked player in history.  Yes, it’s possible that can happen.  But given what happens to players once they pass the age of 30, it seems unlikely.

If Anthony does maintain his current pace for another decade — again, this is unlikely — he will eventually pass Fat Lever on the list.  Lever– who played for Denver and Doug Moe – produced 114.2 wins in just six seasons in the Mile High City.  In addition to leading Denver in Wins Produced, Lever’s 0.325 WP48 [Wins Produced per 48 minutes] also ranks number one in Denver history (Anthony has never posted a WP48 close to this mark) .  Lever, though, never scored 20 points per game.  So it’s understandable that people might think Carmelo Anthony is doing more today.

I should add… Lever is also not the only Moe player to surpass Anthony.  T.R. Dunn, Alex English and Dan Issel produced more wins than Anthony in a Denver uniform.  And Moe coached all these players.  But apparently he thinks all fall short of Melo.

Again, Anthony scores.  And as Moe notes, he plays for some of the most successful teams in Denver history. But I think Denver’s success is more about Carmelo’s teammates (i.e. Marcus Camby, Andre Miller, Chauncey Billups, Nene Hilario, and Chris Andersen) than it’s about Denver’s lone current All-Star.   At least, these players — despite not being great scorers — appear to produce more wins than Anthony.

Now I am not saying Anthony isn’t a good player.  But I do not think he is as productive as other top players today (i.e. LeBron James, Chris Paul, etc…).  And he is not the most productive player in the history of the Nuggets.

Let me close by noting that this is the fourth time I have reported every player in the history of a team.  Here are the previous three teams I have examined.

Ranking Every Player in the History of the Utah Jazz

Ranking Every Player for the Boston Celtics since 1977

Ranking Every Player for the LA Lakers since 1977

Perhaps this next summer – after the 2009-10 season ends – I will look at a few more teams.

- DJ

The WoW Journal Comments Policy

Our research on the NBA was summarized HERE.

The Technical Notes at wagesofwins.com provides substantially more information on the published research behind Wins Produced and Win Score

Wins Produced, Win Score, and PAWSmin are also discussed in the following posts:

Simple Models of Player Performance

Wins Produced vs. Win Score

What Wins Produced Says and What It Does Not Say

Introducing PAWSmin — and a Defense of Box Score Statistics

Finally, A Guide to Evaluating Models contains useful hints on how to interpret and evaluate statistical models.

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