One month in: efficiency per minute leaders
The NBA season is more than a month old, so let’s check our Efficiency Per Minute (EPM) stat and see if there are any big surprises.
Here is the Efficiency calculation as developed by the NBA:
EFF = ((Points + Rebounds + Assists + Steals + Blocks) - ((Field Goals Att. - Field Goals Made) + (Free Throws Att. - Free Throws Made) + Turnovers))
This yields a total number for a particular game, but I like to look at EPM to better compare a player that plays 40 minutes a game with one who only plays 20.
Here are the top 10 players at each position, assuming at least 150 minutes played. I’ll discuss any surprises as we go along.
The Raptors have the luxury of having two good point guards in Calderon and T.J. Ford. Calderon is only playing about 26 minutes a game, but on a recent seven-game stint where he filled in for the injured Ford, he averaged 11.9 points and 10.7 assists in 36.4 minutes per game, so it’s clear that the guy is a player.
6. T.J. Ford, 0.579
7. Jason Kidd, 0.578
8. Deron Williams, 0.571
Farmar is averaging just 20.7 minutes per game playing behind Derek Fisher, and while his scoring is a little spotty, his per game averages of 10.1 points, 2.9 assists and 2.8 rebounds mean that he’s playing well enough to earn more minutes. His free throw accuracy is down, but he has improved his FG% and 3PT% dramatically and is becoming one of the key players on the Lakers’ bench. He looks like he’ll be ready to start sooner rather than later.
10. Allen Iverson, 0.532
It’s not surprising to see Ginobili on this list, but it’s a bit of a shock that he’s #1. The whirling dervish is averaging 19.4 points (a career high), 4.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists in just 28.7 minutes of play. He is also shooting a career-high 48.0% from the field and a blistering 45.2% from long distance. If he keeps this up, he’s a virtual lock to win the Sixth Man of the Year award.
2. Kobe Bryant, 0.690
3. Tracy McGrady, 0.596
4. Michael Redd, 0.585
With Elton Brand out, the Clippers are leaning on Maggette to do the bulk of the scoring, and he hasn’t disappointed. He is averaging 20.3 points and 6.7 rebounds, and has shown an improved touch (39.4%) from long range. As always, he is one of the best in the league at getting to the charity stripe, where he usually makes them pay (84.7%).
7. Mike Miller, 0.525
8. Kevin Martin, 0.513
Last year’s first-round draft pick has made huge strides this year as he moved into the Jazz’s starting lineup, averaging 14.1 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists while ranking second in the league with 2.4 steals per game. For a guy with a pretty funky shot, he shoots pretty well from the field (52.0%), though he doesn’t attempt many from long range (1.1 per game). He and Deron Williams should give the Jazz a great backcourt for years to come.
10. Dwyane Wade 0.479
AK-47 seems to be back in the saddle again after a pretty miserable 2006-07 season. (He was so unhappy that he actually threatened to walk away from his huge contract and play overseas instead.) He’s still not scoring like he used to, but with all the options on the Utah roster, the Jazz are using him more as a distributor, as evidenced by his career-high 5.9 assists. His steals, blocks and rebounds are all back up and he is once again a valuable contributor in Utah.
7. Ron Artest, 0.548
8. Paul Pierce, 0.546
It’s clear that Dunleavy has found new life in Indiana. After a disappointing stint in Golden State, Dunleavy is now averaging 16.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game for the Pacers. He is shooting a career-high from the field (47.3%), from long range (41.8%) and from the charity stripe (85.3%). It looks like the 27 year old is finally having his breakout season.
Playing behind Luol Deng, Nocioni doesn’t typically start but he anchors the Bulls’ bench with 15.0 points and 6.0 rebounds a night. He has scored in double figures in 18 of the Bulls’ 20 games and provides great consistency and hustle off the bench. Considering the duplication the Bulls have with Nocioni and Deng, both players’ names will continue to come up in trade rumors, but the Bulls were wise to re-sign him. He’s proven to be a valuable asset.
Jefferson was the key acquisition for the Wolves when they traded away Kevin Garnett, and the youngster has lived up to expectations, averaging 19.6 points and 11.0 rebounds while shooting 50.6% from the field. He doesn’t pass the ball well (1.3 assists per game) but the Wolves want him to be a force inside and that’s exactly what he is. Minnesota is in a world of hurt, but at least they have a young star to build around. Unfortunately, they still have the same GM (Kevin McHale).
A perennial tease, Swift isn’t getting much run (17.1 minutes per game) in Memphis, but he’s producing 8.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in that span, which is why he’s on this list. With his athleticism, he is benefiting from the Grizzlies’ new up-tempo attack. Swift was never very good in the half court.
The Sonics only have three wins, but Wilcox is not to blame. He is averaging a career-high 15.3 points along with 7.8 rebounds per game. At just 25, he is a nice complement to Kevin Durant and should be able to grow alongside the youngster, giving the Sonics the makings of a solid front line.
10. David West, 0.569
Bynum is in his third year and the Lakers are starting to see some consistency to go along with the promise he showed last season. He is averaging 10.9 points and 10.0 rebounds in 26.0 minutes. He has cut down on his propensity to foul, but not by much, because he still sometimes has trouble staying on the court. Considering that the team has turned down several trades involving Bynum (even one that would have brought Jason Kidd to L.A.), the Lakers have a lot invested in the big fella.
4. Marcus Camby, 0.726
5. Yao Ming, 0.685
6. Tim Duncan, 0.681
Kaman is another player who is benefiting from Elton Brand’s absence. He has been an absolute monster, averaging 18.3 points, 13.9 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game. After his disappointing performance in 2006-07, it wasn’t clear if he was worth the fat contract he received before last season, but his performance thus far has squashed those concerns. Now it looks like the Clippers actually got a bargain when they re-signed Kaman.
8. Andris Biendrins, 0.654
9. Shaquille O’Neal, 0.604
10. Rasheed Wallace, 0.573
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