Efficiency Ratings: Game 17

As the Blue Devils progress through the season there will be many different theories on how to measure team success. TDD has adopted the NBA Efficiency Formula to track Duke's top players and performances after each game and throughout the season.

A quick way NBA coaches measure a player's game performance is by evaluating his efficiency. In order to find a player's efficiency the following formula is used:

((Points + Rebounds + Assists + Steals + Blocks) - ((Field Goals Att. - Field Goals Made) + (Free Throws Att. - Free Throws Made) + Turnovers)).

For example, compare the following stat lines:

Player A: 17 points (5-of-22 FG, 7-9 FT), 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, 4 turnovers.

Player B: 15 points (5-8 FG, 3-4 FT), 4 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 turnovers

Who had the better game? Using the NBA formula player B, who hit five of eight shots and committed two turnovers registered a +20 efficiency total while Player A who missed 17 shots and had four turnovers had just a +11 rating.

For reference, last year LeBron James posted the two most efficient games of the season with a +54 (37 points on 11-of-17 FG & 9-10 FT, 12 rebounds, 11 assist, 2 steals, 1 block, and 2 turnovers) and +50 (40 points on 16-of-23 FG & 6-6 FT, 8 rebounds, 8 assist, 1 steal, 2 blocks, and 2 turnovers) rating.

The sky seemed to be falling in the opening half. And it was about the only thing as Duke shot just 10-of-29 from the field and 1-of-12 from the perimeter on their way to trailing Virginia by six heading into the break. The second half, however, was a much different story as the Blue Devils got a shot in the arm from Dawkins and another ACC Player of the Year performance from Smith. With a more balanced attack that began with increased defensive pressure, Duke out-scored the Cavaliers 51-29 in the second half while shooting 59 percent from the field and 50 percent from the perimeter.

v. Virginia
(change from previous game)

Notes: As noted above Smith continues to make a strong case for ACC Player of the Year honors. He's also beginning to monopolize the best game performances on the season by posting his fourth +30 or greater score. Had it not been for a couple of loose ball turnovers on rebounds, Smith would have scored higher than his 30 rating. Meanwhile Mason Plumlee posted a +14 score that was brought down by his free throw shooting (1-of-3) and turnovers (4). The second big, Ryan Kelly, managed to post a +9 rating. Off the bench the Blue Devils got a big lift from Dawkins and Curry who rallied from a combined +4 rating against Florida State to a combined +22 against the Cavaliers.

Throughout the season TDD will track the various highs and lows using the formula.

Ten Most Efficient Performances

  • Mason Plumlee v. Marquette (+36)
  • Nolan Smith v. UNC-Greensboro (+36)
  • Kyrie Irving v. Michigan State (+35)
  • Nolan Smith v. Miami (+31)
  • Nolan Smith v. UAB (+31)
  • Nolan Smith v. Virginia (+30)
  • Kyle Singler v. UNC-Greensboro (+29)
  • Kyle Singler v. Oregon (+27)
  • Kyrie Irving v. Princeton (+26)
  • Nolan Smith v. Princeton (+25)

Five Least Efficient Performances*

  • Seth Curry v. Miami (-3)
  • Seth Curry v. Michigan State (-2)
  • Tyler Thornton v. Kansas State (-2)
  • Tyler Thornton v. Virginia (-2)
  • Tyler Thornton v. Bradley (-1)
*- players must play at least 2 minutes or factor into the box score in some what to be considered for per game E-ratings

Cumulative Season ratings for the Blue Devils. (E/game)*

  • Nolan Smith +354 (20.8)
  • Kyle Singler +287 (16.9)
  • Mason Plumlee +222 (13.1)
  • Andre Dawkins +200 (11.8)
  • Kyrie Irving +165 (20.6)
  • Ryan Kelly +149 (8.8)
  • Seth Curry +127 (7.5)
  • Miles Plumlee +126 (7.4)
  • Tyler Thornton +33 (2.5)
  • Josh Hairston +31 (2.6)
*- players must play at least 2 minutes or factor into the box score in some what to be considered for per game E-ratings. Irving (E/8); Thornton (E/13); Hairston (E/12)

Tracking the most and least efficient performances by player

  • Kyrie Irving +35/+12
  • Nolan Smith +36/+4
  • Mason Plumlee +36/+0
  • Kyle Singler +29/+7
  • Andre Dawkins +23/+1
  • Seth Curry +18/-3
  • Ryan Kelly +17/+2
  • Miles Plumlee +19/-1
  • Tyler Thornton +7/-2
  • Josh Hairston +15/+0

Notes: Simply put, for this Duke team to be a contender down the road it will be crucial for a third horse to step up and help carry the team. It's asking a lot of either Seth Curry or Andre Dawkins to do for differing reasons. Dawkins should be a freshman this season, and Curry is adjusting to playing big time competition every night in an offense not centered around him. Inside it is clear that the post game is still evolving as the team slows down the pace and becomes more of a half court tempo. Against Virginia Duke got a boost from Curry and Dawkins while Mason Plumlee worked hard inside and Ryan Kelly combined with Kyle Singler to play the four. As the season progresses the Blue Devils will not be able to get by without more all around from Singler and something from a second big on a consistent basis.

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