Efficiency Ratings: Game 37

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 2010-2011 season which began with so much promise and proved to be a wild ride with many twists and turns, ended with a decisive "thud" on Thursday night against Arizona. After taking an 11 point first half lead, the Blue Devils were out-classed on the boards and flat out beaten in every facet of the game over the last 20 minutes. Arizona out-scored Duke 55-33 in the second half and it could have been worse. Duke fans certainly relished the return of Irving to high level play, but the freshman's emergence corresponded with a serious decline for Smith, who couldn't hit anything from the field. It resulted in Duke's season ending with a 16 point loss.

v. Arizona
(change from previous game)

Notes: Smith's second negative efficiency rating was due in large part to his poor shooting performance (3-of-14) and high turnover count (6). On the flip side, Singler goes out with one of his more efficient performances on the season. The 6'8 Oregon native scored 24 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and shot very well from the field (7-of-11). Additionally, Singler didn't turn the ball over. Kyrie Irving posted a +24 rating thanks in large part to his scoring (28 points), but oddly enough the freshman didn't record any rebounds and had just three assists despite significant minutes played. Inside Duke got a big game from Mason Plumlee, who posted a +19 thanks to four blocks, strong shooting, and solid numbers on the glass (7 boards). However Miles Plumlee and Ryan Kelly combined for just a +2 rating.

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)
  • Kyle Singler v. Maryland (+34)
  • 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)

Five Least Efficient Performances*
  • Nolan Smith v. Miami (-6)
  • Nolan Smith v. Arizona (-4)
  • Andre Dawkins v. Miami (-4)
  • Tyler Thornton v. Miami (-4)
  • Seth Curry v. Miami (-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 +698 (18.9)
  • Kyle Singler +599 (16.2)
  • Mason Plumlee +527 (14.2)
  • Ryan Kelly +363 (9.8)
  • Seth Curry +340 (9.2)
  • Miles Plumlee +284 (7.7)
  • Andre Dawkins +269 (7.3)
  • Kyrie Irving +216 (19.6)
  • Tyler Thornton +84 (2.9)
  • Josh Hairston +39 (2.0)
*- players must play at least 3 minutes or factor into the box score to be considered for per game E-ratings. Irving (E/11); Thornton (E/29); Hairston (E/20)

Tracking the most and least efficient performances by player

  • Kyrie Irving +35/+12
  • Nolan Smith +36/-6
  • Mason Plumlee +36/+0
  • Kyle Singler +34/-1
  • Andre Dawkins +23/-4
  • Seth Curry +27/-3
  • Ryan Kelly +31/-1
  • Miles Plumlee +21/-2
  • Tyler Thornton +12/-4
  • Josh Hairston +15/-1

Notes: The final game didn't move anyone up or down the final standings for the season efficiency ratings. Nolan Smith was, by far, the most efficient player on the roster for the duration of the year. However the way the final game ended, begs the question on whether or not Smith and Irving were compatible. Irving left after eight games as the team's most efficient player. However, in his return, Smiths's numbers took a major dip as his +20/game average ended up falling to 18.9 per game in the final tally while Irving finished with a team high +19.6/game rating. Meanwhile, despite season long struggles from the perimeter, Kyle Singler finished with a +16.2 rating per game thanks in large part to terrific rebounding from the small forward position. And though he got a fair amount of criticism - especially when Duke's offensive production changed without Irving, Mason Plumlee finished 2010-2011 with a very high efficiency rating. The 6'10 sophomore's rebounding was impressive (309 boards) and he led the team in blocks (62) while finishing third in assists (62). For the year Duke had eight players post games of +21 or higher.

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