The WoW All-NBA Teams

Posted on May 14, 2009 by


We are currently racing to finish our second book.  So although I don’t want to completely ignore this forum, I need to keep my posts as brief as possible.

With that in mind – and given the media’s selection of the All-NBA Teams this week – let me simply post the Top 15 players at each position from this past season. 

Table One: Top 15 at Each Position in 2008-09

As one can see, the players are ranked in terms of Wins Produced.  And I suspect there will be a few surprises for the casual fans. Unfortunately, as noted, I don’t have time to offer much explanation or thoughts for further discussion.

Let me do my best to kick off the discussion by re-posting something that jbrett offered in the comment section this week.  As jbrett notes, it appears that a number of comments offered in this forum are repetitive.  Consequently, we might see a gain in efficiency by assigning letters to the comments that most frequently appear.  Hopefully everyone will find jbrett’s observation as funny as I did.

It seems to me your blog could benefit from posting, at the beginning of each Comments section, a list of time-saving conventions for the new or unindustrious poster. I only found it a few months ago; I spent a long time reading the older articles, and eventually I bought the book. This seemed the sensible approach, though, judging from the tone of many of the comments left, not the favored one. For the benefit of the many posters who consider this site homework-optional, I submit the following list of generic positions that NEED NOT EVER BE ELABORATED UPON EVEN ONE MORE TIME:

A. I have little or no training in statistics (me, for one)

B. Obviously, any metric that says Player A (let’s say, oh, Jermaine O’Neal) is not as good as Player B (how about, um, David Lee) is clearly flawed

C. Anyone who’s ever watched a game can see that Superstar A (Allen Iverson, anyone?) is ten times the player that Serviceable Role Player B (Chauncey Billups, maybe–or how about Andre Miller?) will ever be

D. Superstar A and his ilk cannot be quantified in the same way as mortal players can; they only shoot 42 percent from the field and 28 percent from 3-point range because their teammates DEMAND they do so, by leaving them with the tough shots at the end of the 24-second clock

(See how much space that one will save, when all you have to type is ‘D’?)

E. My friend/ brother-in-law’s boss/ opinionated alter-ego hasn’t read or studied your work, but I told him the results say Mike Miller is way better the Richard Jefferson OR Rip Hamilton, and he says you’re clearly deluded

F. I haven’t read THE WAGES OF WINS, nor am I likely to, and as a result I will begin by gainsaying basic tenets of the book

G. I read your book, and I say “Nunh-unh.”

I’ll stop there–but, obviously, as other arguments become hackneyed, they can be assigned the next letter. Think how much easier it will be to find the genuinely interesting discussion when the endless repetitive jabber is distilled to a handful of letters one can note and skip past. It seems like an idea whose time has come. Any thoughts?

– DJ

The WoW Journal Comments Policy

Our research on the NBA was summarized HERE.

The Technical Notes at provides substantially more information on the published research behind Wins Produced and Win Score

Wins Produced, Win Score, and PAWSmin are also discussed in the following posts:

Simple Models of Player Performance

Wins Produced vs. Win Score

What Wins Produced Says and What It Does Not Say

Introducing PAWSmin — and a Defense of Box Score Statistics

Finally, A Guide to Evaluating Models contains useful hints on how to interpret and evaluate statistical models.