The (APBRmetric) Top 593 Players of 2012

From Neil Paine of

(Note: File this squarely under "Insane Ideas".)

Watching one of the NFL Network's "Top 100 Players of 2011" shows this weekend, I was inspired to create a similar list for the NBA using APBRmetric stats. But why stop at 100? Instead, I ranked all 593 players who played at least 1 NBA game since 2008-09.


The metrics of choice are roughly the same as I use for the annual APBRmetric All-Star posts:

  • PER: Perhaps the most visible APBRmetric stat out there.
  • Win Shares per 48 minutes (WS48): Basketball-Reference's all-in-one rate stat of choice
  • Basketball-on-Paper Statistical +/- (bopSPM): An SPM variant explained at the bottom of this page; by using only MPG/ORtg/%Pos/DRtg, it is less biased toward PGs (or any other position) than ordinary SPM
  • Multiyear Regularized Adjusted +/- (RAPM): The best version of adjusted +/- currently available to the public.

I ran each boxscore metric through the Simple Projection System process, creating an expected rate for each player in 2012. For RAPM, I applied the SPS's aging adjustment to the predictive ranking found at Jeremias' site.

Each player was ranked according to each metric. I then (arbitrarily) applied the "Russian Judge Method" of discarding a player's high and low ranking, added the two remaining ranks, and re-ranked according to those totals. The results:

I chose to only picture the top 20 just to get a feel of how his rankings look and what they're based on


Bulls player rankings:

17) Derrick Rose

31) Carlos Boozer

35) Joakim Noah

48) Luol Deng

109) Kyle Korver

124) Taj Gibson

148) Omer Asik

169) Ronnie Brewer

260) Kurt Thomas

286) C.J. Watson

311) Keith Bogans

528) Brian Scalabrine

560) Jannero Pargo

Obviously, this doesn't include 2012 rookies. Players who barely played will be closer to average than players who played, but played badly, in 2011, due to regression to the mean.

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