You seem to know more about advanced stats than most. What's your opinion on PER, WARP, Win Shares, Hollinger's EWA? I usually only look at PER, but I'm not sure which of those statistics hold the most weight. Are WARP ratings flawed by defensive ratings? I think it's tough to throw defensive ratings into determining a player's efficiency/value because it seems so team & scheme reliant.
Pelton wrote an article ranking the Top 10 NBA players by the numbers. He compiled WARP, WS, and EWA data to rank the best players in the NBA. Anthony Davis was eighth on the list.
quote: Image: http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2014/0324/insider_e_pelton11_576x324.jpg
Gazing at this season's NBA cosmos has created more answers than questions. While it's clear that the stars of Kevin Durant and LeBron James shine the brightest, the order after them is subject to debate. Early in the season, Paul George looked like the league's third-best player. Then LaMarcus Aldridge took his turn. More recently, Blake Griffin seems to have attained that honor, but cases can be made for any number of players.
To help answer the question of who's next after Durant and James and rank the league's best players, let's take a look at this season's numbers, focusing on three measures of player value: my wins above replacement player (WARP), Basketball-Reference.com's win shares and John Hollinger's estimated wins added (EWA).
Besides Durant's dominance, a couple of things stand out. First, notice the consistent differences between the three stats. EWA values are the highest because replacement level is set lower than in WARP. Win shares don't explicitly use replacement level, but because credit for defense is divided equally among players on the same team, it has a smaller spread between the best players and the worst ones.
Perhaps the most interesting thing to note from the chart is how quickly talent levels off outside the top two to three players. For example, the difference in WARP between Durant and Anthony Davis (fifth, at 14.5) is larger than the gap between Davis and the 20th-best player. The top 10 is an arbitrary standard, and the difference between finishing eighth and 12th is mostly a matter of taste. So without further ado, here are the top 10:
8. Anthony Davis | New Orleans Pelicans
Though poor defensive numbers for Davis and the Pelicans as a team remain a concern, it's becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the way he's torching opponents at the other end of the floor. Within weeks of my suggesting Davis could eventually become a 30 PPG scorer, he's averaging 32.3 points in his past eight games (on 58.0 percent shooting) with six 30-point games in the past month. Even win shares, which reflect New Orleans' defensive woes, now has Davis as a top-10 player (he's fifth in both WARP and EWA).
I'm not going to post the write ups on the other players in the top 10, but here is the list:
10. James Harden
9. Paul George
8. Anthony Davis
7. Russell Westbrook
6. Blake Griffin
5. Stephen Curry
4. Chris Paul
3. Kevin Love
2. Lebron James
1. Kevin Durant
Honorable Mention - Aldridge, Bosh, Cousins, Dragic, Lowry, Howard, Noah, Dirk, Wade, Tony Parker, Melo