Using the statistics compiled by Basketball-Reference.com and the Opponent Statistics compiled by 82games.com, I have calculated the Marginal Win Scores and the corresponding projected “Value” wins over 66 games for the NBA’s top performers this season. To get an explanation of each of the statistics in full detail, please refer to the various Pages I have posted in the “Courtside Reading” section to the right, especially the “GLOSSARY” page and the various pages that lay out how to calculate MWS, etc.
The rankings below include every player who projects as a +10 Value Wins player (Value: number of wins projected over 66 games plus number of Wins above 0.500% projected over 66 games).
NBA MVP Race (through Jan 17, 2012)
According to MWS and Value66 calculations, some interesting things are brewing in this labor shortened NBA season. LeBron James and Dwight Howard are each off to fantastic starts, as is the perennially underrated Andre Iguodala. Ditto for Josh Smith of Atlanta. He may finally be coming into his own. (If you want to see each player’s Value wins from last season, go to the “2010-11 NBA Win Charts” Page in the “Courtside Reading”).
Players who usually make the cut and did not include Carmelo Anthony, who is off to a merely “okay” start and projects only at 6.5 Value Wins for New York. His new teammate, C Tyson Chandler is actually the most valuable Knickerbocker. PF Amare Stoudamire, a player whom MWS has not liked since his set foot in the Big Apple, is actually posting a negative MWS this season, and is nowhere near the MVP chart.
Some interesting newcomers to the list include PF Ryan Anderson of the Orlando Magic, a player whom I projected as a high value player the summer he was drafted (that was on my old blog, Bucks Diary). Finally, with a chance to play big minutes, he is producing big numbers. Another player making the list for the first time is Detroit Piston sophomore C Greg Monroe. Unlike Anderson, he did not project well out of college, but he has proven to be a highly productive player in the professional ranks. Perhaps getting out of the Georgetown system did him good. Although, how do you explain Jeff Green then?
Players who are off to disappointing starts include Chris Paul, a player who is not playing good defense for the Clippers. He makes the list just barely, but he is well below his usual standards. Dirk Nowitzki (Value=4.8) and the aging Steven Nash (Value=9.1) both normally make the list and both are absent so far. I didn’t even bother calculating Tim Duncan, as his comparative numbers on his 82games production page showed it would be a waste of time. He has really declined.
Another two players who are nowhere near the list are LeBron’s buddies DWade and Chris Bosh. I explained their struggles in yesterday’s post.
A newcomer who was the subject of a post a couple of days ago is PG Ricky Rubio of the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Twolves now have two MVP chart caliber players on their roster, and they look to turn the franchise’s woeful ways.
Finally, you have Markieff Morris of Phoenix and James Harden of Oklahoma City. Morris is a rookie and Harden is in his third season. I liked both players coming out in their draft seasons, and both are proving to be productive pros. Harden has the kind of style you love from he otherwise sketchy “swingman” position. Harden will take the ball to the basket, he does not settle for the long bombs. You need that from your perimeter players, but since the NCAA went to the 3 point shot, you don’t see it all that much anymore, hence the high number of SG busts that come out of the draft.