Trying to determine a new way to analyze scoring output here. I'm a huge Wolves fan, and will argue the case for Kevin Love being the best in the biz as far as young PFs go, however I'll be the first to say the guy isn't yet the scorer some casual fans think he may be when they look at his statistical output this past year.
I'd like to intro this consistency measure by first starting off with a few known scoring stats and use them to compare Love and a couple other of the top flight up and coming power forwards in the NBA - LaMarcus Aldridge and Blake Griffin, who all 'get theirs' in vastly different ways.
P40PA - Points Per 40 Minutes Pace Adjusted
TS% - True Shooting Percentage
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Player P40PA TS%
LaMarcus Alrdidge 23.6 0.560
Blake Griffin 23.1 0.557
Kevin Love 25.8 0.568
First glance it seems as though Kevin Love takes the crown as the best young scoring power forward in the game fairly easily, being that he does lead Aldridge and Griffin in both points and efficiency.
But what about consistency?
The goal here is to come up with another metric to measure the top NBA scorers; that is, as mentioned, some sort of a scoring consistency measure. One can view consistency in what I realize as two different aspects:
(1) Does the player score the same amount of points each game? and,
(2) Does the player score those points at the same efficiency rate each game?
Now, for me, the second question above is most important. There are a multitude of different reasons why a player's actual scoring output may vary from his average: blowout, ejection, injury, etc. However, the manner in which those points are scored should always be consistent, - as long as they are of course efficient - right?
Don't get me wrong - I believe a top scorer should of course be consistent in terms of the amount of points scored each game. I don't jive with the Monte Ellis' and others of the like in the NBA that score so inconsistently. It's just that consistency in the efficiency in which the points are scored in my opinion is the best barometer of a successful scorer. In my opinion it is better to be consistent in efficient output - whether that be scoring a lot of points and/or getting teammates involved - rather than being consistent in just 'getting yours'. I won't detail in the consistency of player in terms of points scored in this particular post, but obviously - that's not to say it isn't important (just know that for this post, all of Aldridge/Grffin/Love were fairly equal in terms of points scored variance).
With that said, to measure consistency I took the game-by-game log for each player and looked at the metric that measures scoring efficiency (TS%), and calculated the season average to equate the standard deviation for each player during the 2011/12 season.
For this comparison, here are the results:
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Player Consistency (TS%)
LaMarcus Aldridge 0.187
Blake Griffin 0.176
Kevin Love 0.253
Looking at this measure - Kevin Love deviates from his above average efficiency much more often that does his counterparts in LaMarcus Aldridge and Blake Griffin (who both average similar rates of above average efficiency). Sure, he puts up better scoring numbers and holds a slight edge in TS% - but is it doing his team more harm that he's not scoring those points at the same level of efficient consistency as often as his competition are? Would his team not be more successful if he could sustain more consistent levels of efficiency, thus leaving it to the more inconsistent role players to determine the outcome of each game?
I calculated all of 2011/12 using this consistency metric, but also chose a few of my favorite all-time dominant scorers since I've been watching basketball and will include the results in this post (picking and choosing seasons).
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Player Year TS% Consistency (TS%)
Michael Jordan 1990-91 0.605 0.149
Shaquille O'Neal 1998-99 0.584 0.123
Kevin Durant 2009-10 0.607 0.182
Not even including LeBron, which I'm sure would own this metric.
So, what flaws do you see with using this metric as a measure of consistency amongst scorers? How can it be improved? Do you believe it, as currently calculated, is fair to be utilized to compare scorers of the same position with similar true shooting percentages?