FanPost

Nose for the Ball

Basketball is a game of three phases - offense, defense, and rebounding. Last year I wrote a post about that third phase - the phase where possession changes from one team to the other. And I created a home-grown and self-rolled statistic which I called NOSE (as in nose for the ball). Here's the definition, with all the numbers being per 36:

NOSE = Rebounds + Steals + Charges Taken - Turnovers - Missed Shots

Basically this nets together all the times where a player gains possession for the team (rebounds, steals, takes a charge) with the times when they lose possession for the team (turnover, missed shot). The result is a direct measurement of the player's effect on overall possessions for their teammates. Do they give their teammates extra looks, or do they take possessions away from their teammates?

I thought it might be fun to make a follow-up and see how our guys are doing in this stat, compared to last year.

Player

Pos

Avg for Position

NOSE

2011-12

NOSE

2012-13

Jermaine O'Neal

C

4.43

5.0

4.4

Marcin Gortat

C

4.43

5.1

3.7

P.J. Tucker

SF

-1.45

N/A

3.3

Luis Scola

PF

1.85

-3.6

0.3

Markieff Morris

PF

1.85

1.0

-0.6

Jared Dudley

SG

-3.67

-0.7

-2.3

Sebastian Telfair

PG

-4.89

-6.9

-2.5

Goran Dragic

PG

-4.89

-4.6

-3.1

Wesley Johnson

SG

-3.67

-3.1

-4.5

Shannon Brown

SG

-3.67

-6.2

-6.7

Michael Beasley

SF

-1.45

-3.7

-7.1

Things I thought were notable:

Michael Beasley has been a black hole this season. He's had a deserved reputation for being so in the past, but he's wasting almost 7 possessions a game this year. Far worse that the year before. I expect the difference is just shooting percentage.

Sebastian Telfair has really improved this season. His rate of futile possessions has dropped significantly, while his steals and rebounds remain constant. Last year, he was the worst player on the Suns in this statistic. This year, the number he posts is actually well above average for the PG position. Bassy may not be the best creator in the league, but at least he's not out there throwing the ball away. He's sort of the Alex Smith of the NBA.

Luis Scola's numbers are well up over last year, pointing out that perhaps his awful year in 2011-12 was more of an aberration due to injuries than a precipitous decline due to age. That's good news.

P.J. Tucker loves this stat. Not really surprising, but he beats NBA average by by almost 5 possessions added per game. That's saying something.

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