Efficiency Ratings: Game 20

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.

In the most balanced offensive scoring night since the beginning of the season, Duke saw five players score eight or more points en route to a blowout victory over Boston College. Despite the offense was certainly rolling along at times, there is cause for concern as all 84 points came from the starting five. Duke's bench combined to play 36 minutes and posted the following stat line: 0 points (0-4 FG, 4 rebounds, 5 fouls, and 2 turnovers). It didn't matter against an overmatched Boston College team in Cameron, but the Blue Devils have to be hoping that Dawkins and the elder Plumlee start to post better numbers going forward.

v. Boston College
(change from previous game)

Notes: Nolan Smith rebounded from an off-night against Wake Forest to post 28 points, 8 assists, and just one turnover while hitting 50 percent from the field. While that is certainly a tremendously efficient game, and ranks among the top performances of the season, it's also what many have come to expect for the ACC Player of the Year frontrunner. What observers don't expect is 20 points on 6-of-9 shooting from Seth Curry. But that's exactly what the Liberty transfer posted on Thursday while looking at confident and settled as he has all season in a Duke uniform.

Inside the news of the night was Ryan Kelly finally missing a shot. In fact he missed three. Despite that mini-slump the sophomore posted 14 points, four rebounds, and four blocks while playing 30 minutes alongside starting center Mason Plumlee who recorded yet another double-digit rebounding game. In addition to hitting the boards hard, Plumlee added eight points and could have logged a double-double, but for his struggles at the charity stripe (2-of-6).

As noted above the starting five was great, but the bench production wasn't. The four reserves combined to post a +3 rating against the Eagles. Largely thanks to Miles Plumlee's four steals. Most notable in the low ratings is Andre Dawkins who has posted a combined +4 rating over his last three games.

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)
  • Ryan Kelly v. Wake Forest (+31)
  • Nolan Smith v. Virginia (+30)
  • Nolan Smith v. Boston College (+29)
  • Kyle Singler v. UNC-Greensboro (+29)
  • Kyle Singler v. Oregon (+27)
  • Kyrie Irving v. Princeton (+26)

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)
  • Andre Dawkins v. Wake Forest (-1)
*- players must play at least 3 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 +420 (21.0)
  • Kyle Singler +341 (17.1)
  • Mason Plumlee +269 (13.5)
  • Ryan Kelly +218 (10.9)
  • Andre Dawkins +204 (10.2)
  • Kyrie Irving +165 (20.6)
  • Seth Curry +162 (8.1)
  • Miles Plumlee +157 (7.9)
  • Tyler Thornton +44 (2.8)
  • Josh Hairston +33 (2.2)
*- 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/16); Hairston (E/15)

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 +22/-3
  • Ryan Kelly +31/+2
  • Miles Plumlee +19/-1
  • Tyler Thornton +9/-2
  • Josh Hairston +15/+0

Notes: Curry's +22 against Boston College was a season high while Ryan Kelly's continued hot streak has propelled him into fourth in the season ratings over Dawkins. Additionally Seth Curry will likely pass Kyrie Irving's season out-put in the next game and has moved into seventh by leapfrogging Miles Plumlee. Subtracting Irving from the mix, Duke has a regular rotation of nine players. Of those nine, six are posting +8.0 efficiency ratings per game with Nolan Smith leading the way at 21.0 per contest.

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