Playmaker Rating: Using a New Basketball Metric to Rank NBA Point Guard Play

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Playmaker Rating: Using a New Basketball Metric to Rank NBA Point Guard Play
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

How elite of a point guard is Russell Westbrook?

That's the question that a friend and I were debating when I said that I would put him up there with Derrick Rose and Chris Paul in the top tier of point guards in the NBA. Or if you want to put Rose and CP3 in the super-elite tier, I'd have him leading the next one.

But then his poor assist-to-turnover ratio was brought up and with it the question of how relevant that statistic actually is.

While assist-to-turnover can be useful, it doesn't fully describe a point guard's playmaking ability because scoring matters too. I've always been of the school of thought that pure point guards aren't necessarily the best kind. If you score, that's valuable too.

But there wasn't really a statistic or metric that quantified playmaking ability, so that's what I set out to find.

The result was Playmaker Rating, a metric that you'll see fully explained on the very next slide. Essentially, it measures a point guard's effectiveness when it comes to manufacturing points (through the scoring of baskets, dishing out of assists and limitation of turnovers), but does so with efficiency and involvement taken into account.

Once I came up with the formula, I had to test it out, so I've included a ranking from worst to best of all 30 starting point guards in the NBA. Keep in mind that these ratings only deal with what Playmaker Rating measures. Defense and rebounding ability, for example, are not taken into account at all.

Read on for both the explanation of the formula and the rankings. If you have any questions about the individual point guards or the formula, feel free to leave a comment or question.

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