Efficiency Ratings: Game 2

Using the NBA Efficiency Rating Formula, TDD tracks the best statistical performances of 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.

Less than 24 hours removed from a hard-fought victory against Belmont, Duke returned to the court looking to improve the overall floor game. Certainly the opponent offered lesser resistance than Belmont, but the Blue Devils were able to knock down turnovers, execute on the offensive end, and play the entire available rotation in an easy 41 point victory.

v. Presbyterian
(change from previous game)

Per minute Efficiency
  • Austin Rivers 0.857
  • Seth Curry 0.625
  • Andre Dawkins 0.182
  • Mason Plumlee 0.900
  • Miles Plumlee 0.696
  • Alex Murphy 0.00
  • Ryan Kelly 0.789
  • Josh Hairston 0.813
  • Tyler Thornton 0.400
  • Quinn Cook 0.611
  • Michael Gbinije 0.143

Notes: Valuing the basketball and a general improvement on the offensive end of the floor against, admittedly, an overmatched opponent led to several players posting much improved numbers from the opener against Belmont. The biggest two jumps in the starting unit belonged to freshman Austin Rivers and senior Miles Plumlee. Rivers is always going to put up points thanks to a stunning array of moves to get to the basket and draw fouls, but on this night his score jumped a full 10 points thanks to a 6 to 0 assist to turnover ration. Defensively the Florida prospect added three steals despite playing just 21 minutes. Plumlee rebounded from a somewhat weak opening performance to post his first double-double of the season with 13 points and 11 rebounds in just 23 minutes.

Both Miles and Mason Plumlee posted strong numbers (Mason added 13 points, 8 boards, two assists, and three blocks in just 20 minutes), and the numbers could have good from good to incredible if either was able to convert at the free throw line (combined 2-11).

As the game continued to spiral out of control over the last 32 minutes, head coach Mike Krzyzewski continued to go to the bench and test out the different rotations. It made for a balanced attacked that featured 10 players logging double-figure minutes. An amazing number and one that could have been one bigger if not for a concussion sidelining Alex Murphy until the end of the month. Because of the high distribution of minutes played, this was a game that makes the per minute ratings more relevant.

Not surprisingly, Mason Plumlee and Austin Rivers were the two starters who posted the most efficient numbers during their time on the floor. Sixth man Ryan Kelly was next of the top rotational players while Seth Curry and Miles Plumlee were both over a .625 clip. The lone starter to struggle (and for the second straight contest) was Andre Dawkins who continues to be a third level option on the offensive end of the floor. Dawkins is a dangerous shooter from long range (ask Belmont), but seems unable to find a niche in the regular attack. On this night he played 22 minutes, scored four points and grabbed three rebounds. A 0.182 efficiency per minute rate.


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

Ten Most Efficient Performances

  • Mason Plumlee +25 (v. Belmont)
  • Austin Rivers +18 (v. Presbyterian)
  • Mason Plumlee +18 (v. Presbyterian)
  • Miles Plumlee +16 (v. Presbyterian)
  • Tyler Thornton +14 (v. Belmont)
  • Ryan Kelly +14 (v. Belmont)

Five Least Efficient Performances*

  • Quinn Cook -1 (v. Belmont)
  • Andre Dawkins +0 (v. Belmont)
  • Michael Gbinije +2 (v. Presbyterian)
*- players must play at least 3 minutes or factor into the box score to be considered for per game E-ratings

Ten Most Efficient Per Minute Performances

  • Mason Plumlee .900 (v. Presbyterian)
  • Austin Rivers .857 (v. Presbyterian)
  • Josh Hairston .813 (v. Presbyterian)
  • Ryan Kelly 0.789 (v. Presbyterian)
  • Mason Plumlee .714 (v. Belmont)
  • Miles Plumlee 0.696 (v. Presbyterian)
*- players must play at least 3 minutes or factor into the box score to be considered for per game E-ratings

Five Least Efficient Per Minute Performances

  • Quinn Cook -.125 (v. Belmont)
  • Andre Dawkins .000 (v. Belmont)
  • Andre Dawkins .182 (v. Belmont)
*- 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)*
  • Mason Plumlee +43 (22.5)
  • Austin Rivers +32 (16.0)
  • Ryan Kelly +29 (14.5)
  • Seth Curry +28 (14.0)
  • Miles Plumlee +22 (11.0)
  • Tyler Thornton +19 (9.5)
  • Josh Hairston +13 (13.0)
  • Quinn Cook +9 (4.5)
  • Andre Dawkins +4 (2.0)
  • Michael Gbinije +2 (2.0)
  • Alex Murphy --
*- players must play at least 3 minutes or factor into the box score to be considered for per game E-ratings. (Gbinije 1, Hairston 1)

Cumulative Per Minute Season ratings for the Blue Devils. (Eseason/SeasonMinutes)*

  • Josh Hairston 0.813
  • Mason Plumlee 0.782
  • Ryan Kelly 0.617
  • Seth Curry 0.596
  • Miles Plumlee 0.550
  • Austin Rivers 0.542
  • Tyler Thornton 0.432
  • Quinn Cook 0.346
  • Michael Gbinije 0.143
  • Andre Dawkins 0.093
  • Alex Murphy ----
*- players must play at least 3 minutes or factor into the box score to be considered for per game E-ratings. (Gbinije 1, Hairston 1)

Tracking the most and least efficient performances by player
  • Austin Rivers +18 / +8
  • Seth Curry +15 / + 13
  • Andre Dawkins +2 / 0
  • Mason Plumlee +25 / +18
  • Miles Plumlee +16 / +4
  • Ryan Kelly +15 / +14
  • Josh Hairston +13 / --
  • Tyler Thornton +14 / +8
  • Quinn Cook +11 / -1
  • Michael Gbinije +2 / --
  • Alex Murphy -- / --

Notes: Reserve forward Josh Hairston has the highest per minute efficiency rating on the roster with a .813 after he lit up Presbyterian in the second game of the season - his first action of the year. As the season moves forward it's likely the trio of Mason Plumlee, Seth Curry, and Austin Rivers will begin to separate themselves from the pack in the various cumulative categories. Our pick for the fourth spot belongs to Ryan Kelly.

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