Statistical Plus/Minus

Neil Paine from the Basketball-Reference Blog calculated statistical plus/minus for this season so far and a projected statistical plus/minus for this season based on the previous 3 seasons.  For more info about statistical plus/minus you should read Neil's blog post, but I'll try to give a brief description.  Statistical plus/minus was created by Dan Rosenbaum, who was a pioneer of adjusted plus/minus, in order to lower the noise of his adjusted plus/minus stats.  So you have fewer cases like Nocioni with terrible stats and a great adjust plus/minus.  Rosenbaum determined weights for the various boxscores stats based on how well they predicted adjusted plus/minus.  So what you have is a boxscore metric like PER, Win Shares, or NBA Efficiency, except it's trying to predict point differential.  In overly simple terms statistical plus/minus is the adjusted plus/minus a player should have based just on their boxscore stats.  It's not meant to be a player rating system by itself, but I think statistical plus/minus is very useful to compare to this season's adjusted plus/minus,and to compare to a stat like PER.

Player          Tm      Pos     G       Min     SPM     projectedSPM
rose,derrick chi PG 54 1989 -1.71 -2.16
gordon,ben chi SG 54 1944 0.15 0.57
deng,luol chi SF 43 1484 -0.66 0.83
thomas,tyrus chi PF 51 1307 1.22 0.38
nocioni,andres chi SF 53 1281 -1.88 -0.74
noah,joakim chi C 52 1115 3.66 1.15
gooden,drew chi PF 31 920 -2.81 -2.67
hughes,larry chi SG 30 792 0.21 -0.95
sefolosha,thabo chi SG 43 735 -0.44 -1.68
gray,aaron chi C 45 662 -0.83 -0.58
hinrich,kirk chi PG 23 611 1.34 1.77
CHICAGO -1.70 -1.99
salmons,john sac SG 53 1980 0.09 -1.04
miller,brad sac C 43 1358 1.39 1.62
thomas,tim nyk SF 36 771 -0.21 -0.33

Few of the statistical plus/minus scores surprised me.  Rose's strong negative doesn't surprise me.  He's just been statistically poor in so many areas of the game.  The difference between Tyrus, Miller, and Gooden, despite similar PERs is very expected.  Noah's great score is expected and fits his adjusted plus/minus scores over the last two years.  I was happy to see that Salmons had a positive number this season.  That at least suggests that there's nothing in his stats this year that would lead to his very negative adjusted plus/minus.  Nocioni's very negative statistical number reinforce that his positive adjusted plus/minus this season was a fluke.

The one real surprise is Hinrich's numbers.  I don't fully understand why his score is that good, yet.  But, I can't just dismiss it because Hinrich's adjusted plus/minus is also positive this year.  And I've seen more times, unlike last game, where the team has genuinely played better with him on the floor.  I can't dismiss the notion that the team plays better with Hinrich as easily as I could before. 

Take a look and read the blog post, but remember that statistical isn't intended to be a rating system by itself.  It's a piece of the puzzle that can help you interpret other stats.

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