Efficiency Ratings: Game 4

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.

The fourth game in eight days revealed a somewhat sluggish set of Blue Devils in a first half punctuated with poor defensive rotation, spotty offense, and several mental lapses that allowed Davidson to go into halftime with a one point lead in Cameron. Whatever was said by head coach Mike Krzyzewski during the intermission found its mark, however as Duke rolled to a 20 point lead before cruising to a 13 point victory over the Wildcats.

v. Davidson
(change from previous game)

Per minute Efficiency
  • Austin Rivers 0.324
  • Seth Curry 0.500
  • Andre Dawkins 0.050
  • Mason Plumlee 0.793
  • Miles Plumlee 0.824
  • Alex Murphy 0.000
  • Ryan Kelly 0.583
  • Josh Hairston 0.125
  • Tyler Thornton 0.000
  • Quinn Cook 0.750
  • Michael Gbinije -0.500

Notes: After being both a dominant and deciding factor against Michigan State, Andre Dawkins disappeared back into the shadows with just a +1 performance against Davidson. It was a net change of -25 points after the junior attempted just three shots and made just one. It was the third time in four games Dawkins posted low efficiency numbers (less than +3). Similarly Duke got a somewhat less efficient performance on the offensive end from Seth Curry who still posted a +17, but was 11 points lower than his all around gem against the Spartans in MSG. It's hard to nit-pick Curry's performance too much as +17 would have been the third highest per game rating a season ago behind Kyrie Irving and Nolan Smith.

In the post Duke got another big performance from Mason Plumlee who really began to assert himself throughout the second half run that decided the game. Plumlee finished with a double-double (16 points and 13 boards), good enough for a +23 rating. A number that would have been quite a bit higher if his free throw shooting (2-of-6) was remotely effective. On the flip side of the FT debate, Miles Plumlee hit all six of his attempts to finish with 10 points and four boards and an efficiency score of 14.

Freshman Austin Rivers rebounded from a dismal showing (-2) against Michigan State to post a +12 rating. Rivers has yet to factor in on the boards or in the assist column aside from his first game, and his jump shot has yet to connect. However, the Florida guard is getting to the line quite often and he's Duke's best option off the bounce. Still, to date, has yet to post a highly efficient offense game. Davidson couldn't stay with him off the dribble, and Rivers was constantly going to the basket for layups, posting a +12.

In his first start of the season Ryan Kelly posted a +14 rating that was buoyed by four blocks, two steals, and five rebounds against eight points. With Kelly in the starting five, Miles Plumlee played the role of sixth man. However, the most efficient sub was Quinn Cook who posted a +9 rating and the third highest per minute rating with a .750/minute score. Cook scored nine points and came up with two steals in just 12 minutes.


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

Ten Most Efficient Performances

  • Seth Curry +28 (v. Michigan St.)
  • Andre Dawkins +26 (v. Michigan St.)
  • Mason Plumlee +25 (v. Belmont)
  • Mason Plumlee +23 (v. Davidson)
  • Ryan Kelly +19 (v. Michigan St.)
  • Austin Rivers +18 (v. Presbyterian)
  • Mason Plumlee +18 (v. Presbyterian)
  • Seth Curry +17 (v. Davidson)
  • Miles Plumlee +16 (v. Presbyterian)
  • Tyler Thornton +14 (v. Belmont)

Five Least Efficient Performances*

  • Austin Rivers -2 (v. Michigan St.)
  • Josh Hairston -1 (v. Michigan St.)
  • Quinn Cook -1 (v. Belmont)
  • Andre Dawkins +0 (v. Belmont)
  • Tyler Thornton +0 (v. Davidson)
*- players must play at least 5 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)
  • Miles Plumlee 0.824 (v. Davidson)
  • Josh Hairston .813 (v. Presbyterian)
  • Mason Plumlee 0.793 (v. Davidson)
  • Ryan Kelly 0.789 (v. Presbyterian)
  • Quinn Cook 0.750 (v. Davidson)
  • Seth Curry 0.737 (v. Michigan St.)
  • Mason Plumlee .714 (v. Belmont)
  • Miles Plumlee 0.696 (v. Presbyterian)
*- players must play at least 5 minutes or factor into the box score to be considered for per game E-ratings

Five Least Efficient Per Minute Performances

  • Josh Hairston -0.200 (v. Michigan St.)
  • Quinn Cook -.125 (v. Belmont)
  • Andre Dawkins .000 (v. Belmont)
  • Tyler Thornton .000 (v. Davidson)
  • Andre Dawkins .182 (v. Belmont)
*- players must play at least 5 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 +73 (18.3)
  • Seth Curry +73 (18.3)
  • Ryan Kelly +62 (15.5)
  • Austin Rivers +42 (10.5)
  • Miles Plumlee +37 (9.3)
  • Andre Dawkins +31 (7.8)
  • Tyler Thornton +19 (4.8)
  • Josh Hairston +18 (6.0)
  • Quinn Cook +18 (6.0)
  • Michael Gbinije +1 (0.3)
  • 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 3, Cook 3)

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

  • Seth Curry 0.640
  • Mason Plumlee 0.629
  • Ryan Kelly 0.614
  • Miles Plumlee 0.521
  • Josh Hairston 0.483
  • Quinn Cook 0.450
  • Austin Rivers 0.353
  • Andre Dawkins 0.341
  • Tyler Thornton 0.241
  • Michael Gbinije 0.059
  • Alex Murphy ----


Tracking the most and least efficient performances by player
  • Austin Rivers +18 / -2
  • Seth Curry +28 / + 13
  • Andre Dawkins +26 / 0
  • Mason Plumlee +25 / +7
  • Miles Plumlee +16 / +1
  • Ryan Kelly +19 / +14
  • Josh Hairston +13 / -1
  • Tyler Thornton +14 / +0
  • Quinn Cook +11 / -1
  • Michael Gbinije +2 / 0
  • Alex Murphy -- / --

Notes: Seth Curry and Mason Plumlee appear to be the two players who will continue to battle for the top efficiency rating all season long. Both players have opened up a double digit lead on the field and sit at +73 for the year. Ryan Kelly is 11 points back while the rest of the field is over 30 points back with Austin Rivers in fourth place at +42. Curry, Plumlee, and Kelly are Duke's most efficient players in a per minute by a large margin, meaning they should be considered the most reliable players from game to game. That holds true as each game Duke has been able to rely on solid and sometimes spectacular production from each player. Interesting is the efficiency per minute ratings of Rivers who ranks fourth on the year in terms of cumulative points, but sits seventh on the list in per minute ratings. Similarly, Andre Dawkins finds himself in eighth in per minute ratings as three of his four games have been low scoring affairs.

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