Revisiting the NBA’s Best Players on Offense

A couple weeks back Dre posted his list of the top 20 offensive players from last season. A week ago I took a look at the bottom 20 offensive players, and not only did I look at the least productive players on offense, I also looked at the least efficient players on offense. Given this, I’d like to re-examine the best offensive players. These are the players who are the most efficient on the offensive side of the ball (note: the following table has a 400 minute cutoff):

What do we mean by offense? Wins earned from two point shooting, three point shooting, free throws, assists, turnovers and offensive rebounds. Offensive production is more than just scoring or shooting; as Dre said, passing the ball, getting the ball, and keeping the ball are all important to productivity on the offensive end.

20 Most Efficient Offensive Players (2011-12)

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There are some changes, but for the most part the list remains quite similar to the old list; fourteen of the players from the total wins list made it on the most efficient list as well. Manu Ginobili, who missed about half the season with injuries, is the one who makes the largest gains. For every 48 minutes of playing time, Ginobili’s offense was good for one fifth of a win. For all you Bulls fans, it should be noted that not only did Joakim Noah produce the seventh most offensive wins, he’s also the tenth most efficient when it comes to offense.

For those of you who are wondering where Kevin Durant is on these lists, Durant ranks 45th in total offensive wins and 92nd in offensive efficiency; this is because he’s not that good at getting offensive rebounds, assists, or avoiding turnovers. But if you redefine “offense” to include only the productivity from shooting (2pters, 3pters, and FTs), Durant is number one by a large margin:

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Despite the criticism that the Wins Produced formula overvalues low usage players, note that of all these twenty players, only Tyson Chandler (13.0) Brandon Rush (15.4), and Steve Novak (16.2) had usage percentages much below 20%. If you don’t shoot very often, you have to be an efficient scorer for it to amount to much. Those three players each had True Shooting percentages above 62%! Hopefully everyone can agree that these twenty players are excellent shooters.

- Devin

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