NBA All-Defensive Team (using “Opponent Win Score per 48”)

Yesterday I posted my NBA Win Team Charts for the 2010-11 season.  This season the charts feature each player’s Win Score per 48 minutes and each player’s collective opponents’ Win Score per 48 minutes (GLOSSARY).  As a result of the extra information, I was able to easily identify the best “Opponent Win Score” averages at each position.

If one considers Opponent Win Score (which is a measurement of the player’s counterpart opponents collective ability to produce the statistics that produce wins) to be a fair reflection of basketball “defense”, then below is a chart identifying those full-time players who played the best defense at their predominant postions in 2010-11:


    Rebs Ass Stls Blks Tos PFs Pts/Sc att oppWS >avg
PG R Rondo 3.9 7.6 1.7 0.2 4.5 4.2 -0.25  
  WS gain 1.1 0.35 0.08 0.05 1.19 0.35 1.31 3.25
SG K Bryant 5.2 3.9 1.7 0.6 2.3 5.2 0.35  
  WS gain 0.3 0.11 -0.18 -0.05 -0.2 1.29 1.31 2.57
SF P Pierce 6.9 3.1 1.4 0.7 2.4 4.1 -1.01  
  WS gain 0.2 0.12 -0.1 0.1 -0.1 0.51 2.15 2.71
PF C Bosh 10.1 2.3 1.2 1.1 2.1 5.8 0.25  
  WS gain 0.8 0.05 -0.07 0.15 -0.6 0.65 1.36 2.34
C D Howard 11.1 2.3 1.1 1.5 2.2 8.9 -0.75  
  WS gain 2.1 0.05 0.1 0.3 -0.5 1.6 2.35 6.51

The chart shows two things.  First, it shows each player’s opponents production averages per 48 minutes in the various box score statistical categories, with one exception.  Points, field goal attempts, and free throw attempts have been combined into “Points per Scoring Attempt” which is simply (Pts – FGAs – .5FTAs).  I do this because points should never be considered in isolation. Like batting averages, points scored should always be evaluated in relation to attempts used.

The second line is the “Win Score Gain” the player received in the particular category.  By “Win Score Gain” I mean win score points above the average at the player’s positional mix.  For example, the average player playing 86%PF/14%C, as Chris Bosh played, would have an opponent rebounding average per 48 of around 10.9.  Bosh’s opponents averaged only 10.1 rebounds. Since rebounds count for a full win score point, Bosh gains +0.8 Opponent Win Score points in that category.

The table is meant to show that the predominant determinant, in most cases, of Opponent Win Score is Scoring Defense. Each of the player’s showed their largest gain in scoring defense average.  This (along with rebounds and personal fouls) is the main area where a player can retard opponent production.  It is also one of the main areas where two different players can distinguish themselves in Opp Win Score.

So it is not surprising that each of the five who made the Courtside Analyst All-Defensive team is an excellent on-the-ball defender.  Paul Pierce is the best of the group, and not surprisingly, Dwight Howard is right on his tail.

A somewhat surprising inclusion on this season’s All-Defense team is Chris Bosh. He was never a standout defender in Toronto, but he seems to have found religion in Miami.  Plus, he’s playing a lot more at his natural power forward position in Miami than he did in Toronto. 

I don’t think people give Kobe Bryant’s defense the respect it deserves.  He’s always near the top of the NBA in Opponent Win Score average.  Although you wouldn’t know it from his indifferent defensive effort in Game 4 of the Dallas-Los Angeles series.

A final point about Dwight Howard’s defense. It is so dominant that I could not find a second center who was even within 2.7 Win Score points of the Orlando big man. He just buries his opposition. The closest to his 6.81 Opp WS average was, I believe, Andrew Bynum with something like 9.64.  Amazing.  That’s why he wins MWS MVP so often.  His defense alone puts him among the elite win producers in the NBA. When you couple that with his personal production, he’s off the charts when it comes to producing wins.  No center is close to him.  He owns this particular era.

2 Responses to “NBA All-Defensive Team (using “Opponent Win Score per 48”)”

  1. ilikeflowers Says:

    The Chris Bosh as defensive stopper superficially at least seems like more ammo for the team defense is much more important than individual defense argument. Ray Allen and Bosh go to good defensive teams and suddenly greatly increase their measured individual defense.

  2. Brian McCormick (@brianmccormick) Says:

    Any chance that you have a database with these numbers for every player? I’m looking for stats to use for defense for a stats class assignment and haven’t been able to find a full database yet. Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: