Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Chris Paul Is Apparently Awesome

If you haven't heard of Dave Berri, please check out his amazing blog which houses his ongoing research, the grounds of which were firmly laid in his fantastic book, The Wages of Wins. For those of you who follow basketball and feebly attempt to make heads or tails out of statistical significance (one of my favorite pastimes), Dave is a godsend who always has a very interesting take on the world of sports.

Similar to other more experimental statisticians like Dean Oliver and John Hollinger, Berri has devised his own method of determining player value. His is known as "wins produced." I couldn't find a breakdown of the stat online, but the basic premise is that by applying a certain juju to the statistics of any NBA player, Berri computes the amount of wins that said player will produce. He often presents the statistic as a wins per 48 minutes (WP48). For the purposes of comparison, an average NBA player posts a .100 WPA.

Interestingly enough (though certainly not surprising), CP3 ranks among the highest in the league when it comes to wins produced. In fact, in Berri's recent midseason analysis of the Hornets, he details just how special Paul and his contributions truly are to this team:

From Table One we see that Paul - after 41 games in 2008-09 - has already produced 15.9 wins. In 2007-08, only ten players produced more wins for the entire season (and one of these was Paul). If Paul continues at this pace in 2008-09 he will finish with 31.8 Wins Produced. And if he eclipses the 30 win mark he will be first player to do this since Kevin Garnett (30.7 wins) did this in 2002-03.

Not surprisingly, Berri attributes the Hornets' general struggles to the lack of rebounding by both West and Chandler. As suggested above, Paul's production has actually increased, so if West and Chandler see a return to form over the second half of the season the Hornets could be looking at a true return (or entry?) into the NBA's elite. Here's to hoping.

Additionally, Berri takes the time to compare Paul to another great point guard:

Chris Paul in 2008-09 compares favorably to Magic Johnson. And that is a point I would emphasize. Chris Paul is developing into one of the all-time great players in NBA history. It’s not a stretch to start thinking of him in terms of players like Magic, MJ, and Bird. Yes, Paul is that good.

Quite a statement, indeed. True, us Hornets' fans have been hawking this point for quite some time, but it's nice to see other folks recognizing what's lying in plain sight.

Who knows, perhaps a rejuvenated front-court and a strong second half will put the Hornets back on top in the West. If not, though, we can always rest easy knowing that our insanely awesome point guard will not rest until he has reached that zenith. And the scary part is that he might just be good enough to do it all by himself.


In case you have any interest, check out Berri's midseason reports for the remaining 29 teams, and be sure to check the blog next week as he's promised a league-wide analysis for the halfway point.

In case you missed it, At the Hive did a Hornets-themed interview with Berri before the season.

And while we're shouting out to cool stuff on the interwebs, be sure to swing by Hornets 24/7 for a cool article about the Hornet's shot charts through the halfway point.

Peace out.

1 comment:

mW said...

After CP broke the consecutive steals record for what we assumed would be just among the first few of many, I joked to a friend, "you just saw history," expecting it to be broken the next game again. Only we did. The next game the streak was broken. But that's really how it is every game. History in the making. Chris Paul is indeed special.