Efficiency Ratings: Game 31

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.

All the marbles were on the line. The ACC regular season championship and a chance to sweep a hated rival. Sadly it was the host team who came out and dictated the pace early on to lead the Tar Heels to a remarkably easy victory over the Blue Devils. North Carolina tore through the Duke defense for 51 first half points and shot better than 50 percent from the field. Meanwhile the Blue Devils struggled to find any offense inside and aside from Curry were ice cold from the perimeter. Duke was also severely out-played and produced in the paint as UNC built a working margin and were never really challenged in the last 25 minutes of the game.

v. North Carolina
(change from previous game)

Notes: Nolan Smith and Seth Curry both posted strong and offensively efficient outings in the points category. However, Smith missed out on converting his 30 point outing into a stronger efficiency rating thanks to light numbers on the glass, assists, and steals. (2, 3, and 1 respectively). The same is true of Curry. And while their play may be overshadowed by foul trouble and the seemingly dominant play of the Tar Heels in the paint, the Plumlee brothers were very efficient with Miles posting a +16 and Mason adding a +10 rating. Miles actually had his best game since the NC State contest with 7 points and 11 rebounds while Mason recorded 10 boards despite some questionable foul trouble.

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. St. John's (+30)
  • Nolan Smith v. Boston College (+29)
  • Kyle Singler v. UNC-Greensboro (+29)
  • Kyle Singler v. Temple (+28)

Five Least Efficient Performances*
  • Andre Dawkins v. Miami (-4)
  • Andre Dawkins v. Miami (-4)
  • Tyler Thornton v. Miami (-4)
  • Seth Curry v. Miami (-3)
  • Seth Curry v. Virginia Tech (-3)
*- players must play at least 3 minutes or factor into the box score to be considered for per game E-ratings
Cumulative Season ratings for the Blue Devils. (E/game)*

  • Nolan Smith +630 (20.3)
  • Kyle Singler +492 (15.9)
  • Mason Plumlee +445 (14.4)
  • Ryan Kelly +308 (9.9)
  • Seth Curry +288 (9.3)
  • Andre Dawkins +229 (7.4)
  • Miles Plumlee +219 (7.1)
  • Kyrie Irving +165 (20.6)
  • Tyler Thornton +79 (3.0)
  • Josh Hairston +34 (1.8)
*- players must play at least 3 minutes or factor into the box score to be considered for per game E-ratings. Irving (E/8); Thornton (E/26); Hairston (E/18)

Tracking the most and least efficient performances by player

  • Kyrie Irving +35/+12
  • Nolan Smith +36/+4
  • Mason Plumlee +36/+0
  • Kyle Singler +29/-1
  • Andre Dawkins +23/-4
  • Seth Curry +27/-3
  • Ryan Kelly +31/-1
  • Miles Plumlee +19/-2
  • Tyler Thornton +12/-4
  • Josh Hairston +15/-1

Notes: If there weren't questions surrounding sophomore Andre Dawkins' confidence on the court, Saturday's game certainly raised some. Dawkins posted a -4 efficiency rating (tied for the lowest of the year), and missed every shot he took (three from the free throw line and one from the perimeter). Turning to the season standings, Nolan Smith cemented himself as the team's best player and the top player in the ACC. He finished the regular season with 630 efficiency points - a full 138 points higher than classmate, Kyle Singler. To put it in perspective, it would take Singler a little under nine games of Smith not playing to match the season output in the efficiency ratings. Looking at the post, Duke got a very good year from Mason Plumlee (14.4/game) and sold contributions from the second post position team of Ryan Kelly and Miles Plumlee who combined for 17.0/game. The biggest fluctuations came from Dawkins who ranked as high as third this season before falling to sixth (and in danger of dropping another spot as the elder Plumlee continues to post respectable numbers in limited action). Finally, not that any Duke fans need reminding of what may have been, but Kyrie Irving's eight game season resulted in the highest per game efficiency rating of 20.6 per night.

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