NBA Rookie Ladder: Analyzing the analytics

This week’s edition of the NBA Rookie Ladder breaks down some numbers on this year’s top rookies.

Can you believe it has been a month already? Through four weeks of the NBA season the rookie class has shown us many things. First, they displayed some great on-court performances. Next, they put us on notice for sleeping on some of them Then, we looked at the lottery picks that weren’t yet performing to expectations.

This go around, we will be looking at this year’s crop through an analytical lens. With the improvement and availability of technology more and more numbers and stats are making their way into the NBA game.

Teams like the Houston Rockets have modeled their entire franchise off the advice of advanced analytics. Sam Hinkie relied on numbers to spearhead his way through the process in Philadelphia before he stepped down.

For this week’s Rookie Ladder we will look at which rookie leads in five (assist percentage, Offensive Box Plus-Minus, block percentage, true shooting percentage and usage percentage) advanced stats categories.

A brief background on each stat above: assist percentage is the percentage of a team’s made baskets that a player assisted on while he was on the floor, Offensive Box Plus-Minus is a compilation of a player’s box score stats used to estimate a player’s impact per 100 possesions, block percentage calculates the percentage of shots blocked by a player when they are on the floor, true shooting percentage accounts for how efficiently a player shoots by combining field goals, free throws and 3-pointers, and usage percentage is the percent of a team’s of possessions (when they are on the floor) that end with that player shooting, scoring or turning the ball over.

(NOTE: All stats are as of games played through Thursday November, 17, 2017 and all leaders are based on players that have played AT LEAST 10 games this season)

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