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The Bobcats MVP of 2007-08

When John Hollinger was breaking down the Mike Bibby trade for ESPN a couple of months ago, he made a remark that caught my eye:

A basic rule of thumb is that every additional point of PER is worth one additional win over 2,000 minutes.

While PER is not a perfect measurement, due to its inability to properly guage defensive contributions, it still serves a role in analyzing player performance. So, when I started thinking about how to guage which Bobcat was most valuable this year, an easy way to do so jumped out me: Calculate the wins each player's performance (and mintues) added to the team over the course of the season (relative to an “average” player, which in PER corresponds to a PER of 15). Given that one player led the team in both minutes and PER for the season, it is not hard to tell where this first list is going to lead us. But here it is any.

Player Mins PER Wins Added
Jason Richardson 3149 18.4 5.35
Emeka Okafor 2618 17.4 3.14
Gerald Wallace 2376 17.6 3.09
Nazr Mohammed 1422 16.2 0.85
Walter Herrmann 174 12.1 -0.25
Othella Harrington 166 5.8 -0.76
Jermareo Davidson 322 9.7 -0.85
Ryan Hollins 532 11.4 -0.95
Jared Dudley 1384 13.6 -0.97
Derek Anderson 396 10.0 -0.99
Earl Boykins 577 10.0 -1.44
Raymond Felton 2972 13.8 -1.78
Primoz Brezec 267 1.5 -1.80
Matt Carroll 2016 10.7 -4.33
Jeff McInnis 1410 6.5 -5.99

You may have noticed that only 4 Bobcats actually contributed “wins” on the season – and certainly not enough to outweight the “contributions” (I would use air-quotes if I were talking to someone face to face) of everyone else. By this measure, Jason Richardson is the clear MVP of the team (and Jeff McInnis…I can not even do it, I have reached a point where I do not even feel like pointing out his negative impact this season). But like I mentioned previously, PER does not measure defense…but if you had the PER put up by the man each Bobcats was guarding? That might be useful…and 82games.com has just that. So, now how about a look at Defensive Wins Created (using the same basic setup as for a player's own PER).

Player Mins Opponent
Wins Added
Othella Harrington 166 13.5 0.11
Raymond Felton 2972 15.0 0.04
Earl Boykins 577 15.3 -0.09
Jeff McInnis 1410 15.2 -0.13
Walter Herrmann 174 19.5 -0.39
Derek Anderson 396 18.5 -0.69
Matt Carroll 2016 15.7 -0.69
Primoz Brezec 267 21.9 -0.92
Jermareo Davidson 322 21.9 -1.10
Ryan Hollins 532 20.7 -1.52
Nazr Mohammed 1422 18.4 -2.40
Jared Dudley 1384 18.7 -2.55
Jason Richardson 3149 17.5 -3.91
Gerald Wallace 2376 20.6 -6.70
Emeka Okafor 2618 20.4 -7.04

Surprised? I was too – though, part of that was the players who did not get many minutes were spared greater embarassment in both of these tables (do not worry, I will fix that). Another part? Quality of the opponent faced – something tells me Jason, Gerald, and Emeka were getting their minutes against better opposition than say, Ryan Hollins and Othella – so, these results need to be taken with a grain of salt. With that said – I would have to say the clear defensive MVP is…Raymond Felton. After commenting about his defense in the links the other day, I guess I cannot be too shocked, at least not by his performance. But I was stunned by where Gerald and Emeka placed. Two of supposed better defenders…and they are getting pretty well abused by the guys they guard? Not sure I want to think about that more right now.

So, time for one more table. In this one, I look at the difference between a player's PER and the man he was guarding to get the Net Per, and then I used that to calculate out the impact to a full-season's worth of minutes. No more hiding behind only 267 minutes played Primoz – your ineptitude will be demonstrated. And here it is:

Player Mins Net PER Wins Added
Jason Richardson 3149 0.9 1.80
Raymond Felton 2972 -1.2 -2.30
Nazr Mohammed 1422 -2.2 -4.29
Emeka Okafor 2618 -3.0 -5.86
Gerald Wallace 2376 -3.0 -5.98
Matt Carroll 2016 -5.0 -9.80
Jared Dudley 1384 -5.1 -10.01
Earl Boykins 577 -5.3 -10.44
Walter Herrmann 174 -7.4 -14.48
Othella Harrington 166 -7.7 -15.41
Derek Anderson 396 -8.5 -16.70
Jeff McInnis 1410 -8.7 -17.08
Ryan Hollins 532 -9.3 -18.27
Jermareo Davidson 322 -12.2 -23.84
Primoz Brezec 267 -20.4 -40.10

What do we have? One Bobcat player who (by the measure of PER) was better than their opposition over the course of the season. I guess that makes Jason Richardson the Bobcats MVP, along with Raymond Felton as the Bobcats Defensive MVP. As for the LVP, I am having a hard time decided between Primoz and Jeff – Primoz was far worse in the time he actually player – but Jeff hurt the team a great deal more due to number of minutes he go (not his fault the coaches continue to see Felton as a SG, who cannot shoot). I think I have to go with Jeff though – basically he was the difference between where the team finished and the playoffs (his -6 wins created on the season, with the Bobcats finishing 5 games back of the 8th spot) – not sure if you can get much less valuable than that. Unless you start talking about the people who signed/played him…
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