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Nerd alert time:
The coefficient of variation is a great statistic that measures consistency of a player. It pretty much divides the standard deviation by the mean.
So in short:
Coefficient of Variation = Standard Deviation/Mean
Why is this important?
When applying it to points scored, one can see how a consistently a player scores closest to his season average. If a player scores 0 points one game and 30 points in another game, his CV will be higher than a player who scores 15 points in one game and 15 in another game. Their average is the same, but Player A is the less consistent player.
In other words, the lower the CV, the more consistent the player.
Let's apply this to the Lakers. Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol both have low coefficients of variation.
| ||Kobe Bryant ||Pau Gasol
|Points Per Game ||25.9 ||16.9
|Standard Deviation ||7.29 ||3.08
|Coeff. of Variation ||0.28 ||0.18
Now let's compare their coefficients of variation to some of the key Lakers bench players.
| ||Metta World Peace ||Josh McRoberts ||Steve Blake
|Points Per Game ||8.6 ||5.7 ||8.7
|Standard Deviation ||6.53 ||2.66 ||4.82
|Coeff. of Variation ||0.76 ||0.48 ||0.55
As you can see, the Lakers bench has played pretty inconsistently. MWP, Josh McRoberts and Steve Blake all have coefficients of variation that are significantly higher than Kobe's and Pau's.
In simpler words, these guys are basically scoring no points in one game and 19 in another, which is actually true in MWP's case.
More consistent bench play for the Lakers is necessary, especially if Kobe hits one of his scoring droughts which have become more prevalent these days.