Two Player +/- Stats -- Trends

[I'm running on empty today after the back-to-back game nights, so thought I'd bump this up from the diaries for further discussion. Thanks, Hawk42! -TexSUN]

One of my favorite sites is The +/- stat can be misapplied, and you cannot project a trend when low minutes are involved. However, the stats tell us some very interesting things...

(Beware -- you can spend a long time on this site)

Here is the link:

My observations with grades:

Steve Nash - Nash plays well with just about anyone. Note his assists are highest when playing with Stoudemire. I still say that is the most lethal 1-2 punch in the game. His assists are lowest when playing with Boris, probably because Diaw's passing cuts into that a bit. Steve's shooting percentage is best when Boris is in the game, probably because Boris is setting him up well. A-

Marcus Banks - Marcus plays really well with Grant Hill. Grant is far and away Banks' best +/- partner. This is because Hill sets him up well. He will drive and bring the defense, and kick it to Marcus. Note the very respectable shooting percentage. Another thing I noticed - he is almost always on the court with Hill and/or Diaw, which shows us D'Antoni's lack of confidence in him as a playmaker. D+

Leandro Barbosa - Barbosa with Nash is a lethal combination. They average a plus 10 points per game, easily Leo's best partner, and Hill is second at 7. There is a surprise here, with LB doing well with Amare, but of course Nash or Hill are probably on the court during those minutes also. Leo's highest minutes are with Marion or Diaw, but the +/- is quite a dropoff from his play with Nash. This suggests that Boris may not have yet caught up with LB's speed, and, of course, Marion and LB on the court at the same time with no distributor is a bad idea. B+

DJ Strawberry - What sticks out here in his limited minutes is that DJ has a negative stat with everyone but Barbosa, and it's not even close. The +6.2 suggests that this may be an effective backcourt some day. BTW, take a look at DJ's 40 minute steals projection. Not bad!! B+

Raja Bell - Raja's numbers are pretty steady with anyone. He shoots more with Skinner in the game, and he shoots best paired with Amare. That makes sense, since he needs to score more with Brian in the game, and less with Stoudemire in there. He does not do as well paired with Barbosa, which makes sense, since they are both shooters. B-

Eric Piatowski - It is hard to tell since the sampling of minutes is so low, but Pike obviously needs Nash or Hill. The fact that all of the bench players do much better with Hill than Diaw is proof that Diaw should start, and Grant would be more valuable with the second unit. But that depends on Boris showing some heart. F

Grant Hill - Hill does well with everyone, with a high winning percentage. Curiously, he does not seem to pair well with Skinner. So if He plays with the bench, Skinner should start. As noted in the Banks comments, Grant is the only one that makes a successfull pairing with Marcus, and the stats bear that out, with Grant shooting a blazing 56% with Marcus in the game, easily his best pairing for shooting. And his highest assist total is with Banks. A+

Alando Tucker - Tucker's stats aren't enough to tell us much of anything, although he must have had one heck of a five minute run with Barbosa. wonder which game(s) that 5 minutes was/were in. Incomplete

Shawn Marion - The Nash/Marion pairing is the best on the team, and the 3rd rated tandem in the league behind Garnett/Pierce and Prince/Billups. That alone should make Shawn think twice about wanting to leave Phoenix, since his numbers with Barbosa, the supposed backup PG, aren't nearly so effective. Translated: If Shawn wants to win, his best chance is with Steve. He does well with Hill also, but not so well with Boris, who brings his shooting percentage way down from that with all ofther players with appreciable minutes. B+

Boris Diaw - Boris has a bad net +/- with everyone except Nash and Hill, which is irritating, since D'Antoni is always harping on Boris' ability to make decisions and facilitate. It is clear he is not the man to quarterback the bench, that should be Hill's job. He is best as the secondary playmaker. Also, he needs to figure out how to play well with Amare, or we need to dump him. What is strange, is that his best scoring average, and by far his best shooting, come when paired with stoudemire. But it does not translate to a good +/-. What's even more puzzling in the light of my saying Boris should start and Grant should lead the bench, is that Boris is most effective playing with Hill! See the composite winning percentage. C+

Sean Marks - Sean hasn't even played a whole game yet (42 min). He has an awful +/- with everyone, but that 11 minutes with Bell must've been when he hit those two three pointers. He should not be on the team. F

Brian Skinner - Brian's numbers suggest he is a 'hold the fort' type of player who can help us tread water while giving people a rest. Looking deeper, however, it is clear he is most effective with Nash and Stoudemire. He shoots more with Steve and Amare in the game, and the percentage is over 60%, a number not approached when paired with other players. A-

Amare Stoudemire - His only negative +/- is with Diaw or Banks, further debunking the myth that either is a primary distributor. His best pairing is with Raja Bell. I can only guess as to why that is. Perhaps Raja's few assists go to Amare. Also, Raja may spread the floor better for STAT's forays to the basket. He gets the most free throws and highest scoring average playing with Grant Hill, which throws a monkey wrench in the strategy to let Hill play with the bench. He becomes a rebounding beast when playing with Skinner, producing our best rebounding lineup, and he is reduced to a shell of himself when paired with Marcus Banks, not exactly a ringing endorsement of Marcus' playmaking abilities. A-

Check the page out, and let me know what you think.