Is Derrick Rose Already a Star?

As noted yesterday, Rose currently has an 0.053 WP48 [Wins Produced per 48 minutes].  Such a mark is well below average (average WP48 is 0.100).  Of all the players selected for the sophomores in the Rookie Challenge, Rose was the least productive.  And now he has been promoted to the actual All-Star game. On the surface, this seems like a bizarre choice.  But if we delve a bit deeper, this choice by the NBA coaches can be defended (at least, I am going to offer a defense). 

The WP48 Case for Rose

In the discussion of the Rookie Challenge it was noted that NBA coaches can’t just pick the best players.  These players are going to play a game, so there needs to be players selected who can play each position.  And at point guard in the Eastern Conference, the pickings are quite slim.

Here is a list of the top 10 points guards – ranked by WP48 [minimum 800 minutes played] – in the Eastern Conference.

  • Rajon Rondo: 0.276 WP48 (started all games)
  • Luke Ridnour: 0.167 WP48 (41 non-starts)
  • Jose Calderon: 0.149 WP48 (7 non-starts)
  • Jason Williams: 0.139 WP48 (24 non-starts)
  • Louis Williams: 0.111 WP48 (2 non-starts)
  • Mike Bibby: 0.098 WP48 (started all games)
  • Mo Williams: 0.091 WP48 (started all games)
  • Chris Duhon: 0.071 WP48 (started all games)
  • Mario Chalmers: 0.070 WP48 (19 non-starts)
  • Gilbert Arenas: 0.066 (started all games)

Rondo was selected by the coaches.  But after Rondo, what other point guard should be going to an All-Star game?  One would suspect that an All-Star should at least start for his team (only Tim Duncan and Allen Iverson have not started every game they played this year).  And after Rondo, every other point guard listed above who started all his team’s games is also below average. 

In addition, Rose has gotten better as the season has progressed.  Here are his month-by-month WP48 marks:

November: -0.028

December: 0.022

January: 0.134

So if we focus strictly on January, then one could argue that in the Eastern Conference, Rose is one of the top point guards. 

WP48 numbers for each star

All that being said, we should be clear that among the players in the All-Star, Rose is one of the least productive players (so Rose is not really a “star player” yet).  Here are the WP48 marks for each player who will play in this game (after 41 games this season).

Western Conference All-Stars

  • Chris Paul: 0.372
  • Pau Gasol: 0.359
  • Tim Duncan: 0.357
  • Steve Nash: 0.296
  • Zach Randolph: 0.255
  • Kevin Durant: 0.240
  • Deron Williams: 0.216
  • Brandon Roy: 0.202
  • Kobe Bryant: 0.184
  • Carmelo Anthony: 0.160
  • Dirk Nowitzki: 0.150
  • Amare Stoudemire: 0.144

Eastern Conference

  • LeBron James: 0.420
  • Gerald Wallace: 0.344
  • Dwight Howard: 0.341
  • Rajon Rondo: 0.276
  • Kevin Garnett: 0.266
  • Chris Bosh: 0.264
  • Dwyane Wade: 0.245
  • Al Horford: 0.242
  • Paul Pierce: 0.209
  • Joe Johnson: 0.157
  • Derrick Rose: 0.053
  • Allen Iverson: 0.036

Looking for Snubs

Of course, once we note who is in we need to mention some players whose productivity was ignored by the coaches and the fans.  Here is the productivity of a few players who Henry Abbott of TrueHoop thinks were snubbed:

Western Conference Snubs?

  • Chauncey Billups: 0.214
  • Chris Kaman: 0.027
  • Marc Gasol: 0.199
  • Carlos Boozer: 0.243
  • Nene: 0.198
  • Carl Landry: 0.161
  • Andrew Bynum: 0.161

Eastern Conference Snubs?

  • Josh Smith: 0.272
  • David Lee: 0.247
  • Antawn Jamison: 0.152
  • Andre Iguodala: 0.234
  • Ray Allen: 0.092
  • Andrew Bogut: 0.192
  • Joakim Noah: 0.279
  • Anderson Varejao: 0.175

If we look at the Western Conference stars,  I don’t think Chauncey Billups is a better choice than Deron Williams.  But Jason Kidd [0.314 WP48] could have been considered.  And it looks likeDirk Nowitzki and Amare Stoudemire could be replaced by Marc Gasol and Carlos Boozer [or Marcus Camby or Kevin Love]. 

In the East, one might think Josh Smith and David Lee should be in. But the productivity of Smith and Lee is not much different from what we see from Garnett and Bosh.  So I am not sure Smith and Lee are truly snubs.  On the other hand, I think Andre Iguodala should have been chosen over Joe Johnson (and certainly over Allen Iverson).

One last note… the average WP48 in the West is 0.245.  In the East the average mark is 0.238.  And if we calculate the East average without Iverson, this team’s average mark rises to 0.256.  So the East with Iverson on the bench might be slightly better (just thought I would mention that point).

- 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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