Player Evaluation

Published by patrick honner on

The New York Knicks have agreed with Amare Stoudemire on a 5-year, $100 million contract, which will likely be their only major acquisition during this much-hyped NBA free agent bonanza.  I like Stoudemire, but he strikes me as a player who, like many others, looks much better playing with Steve Nash than he’ll look with whomever the Knicks sign to play point guard.

Stoudemire can’t really create his own shot, so someone has to get Stoudemire the ball, and Nash gets scorers the ball as well as any point guard in the league.  Is Stoudemire going to look like a $20 mil / year player with Sergio Rodriguez setting him up?  As a longtime Knick-hater, I’m looking forward to 5 years of “No”.

It would be interesting and useful to quantify a player’s efficiency conditioned on whether a certain teammate is playing with him or not.  My hunch is that, for example, Stoudemire would look a lot less efficient playing without Nash than playing with him.  There is a basic evaluation of player-pairs here, but these numbers don’t tell us how Stoudemire performs when Nash isn’t on the floor.

An effective analysis along these lines might have saved the Knicks some money.  In theory, anyway.

patrick honner

Math teacher in Brooklyn, New York

1 Comment

Sam Kolins · July 7, 2010 at 5:06 pm

I imagine if such a stat could be quantified, the variety of variables would be rather large… perhaps too large. We’re not just talking about shot set-ups through the point guard here, though. We may be talking about players just passing to each other, for example. Or perhaps how good they work on defense.

Definitely something that would require meticulous attention and hours of mundane statistical work, but I agree that if such a feat could be accomplished, it would save everyone a ton of money.

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