How do the Sacramento Kings compare with the 2012 NBA Eastern and Western Confe..."/> How do the Sacramento Kings compare with the 2012 NBA Eastern and Western Confe..."/>

Sacramento Kings by the Numbers


How do the Sacramento Kings compare with the 2012 NBA Eastern and Western Conference Champions? To answer that question I looked at Hollinger’s Player Efficiency Numbers (PER) for each team.

PER is considered one of the best singular numerical predictors any one player’s efficiency, which translates to value to a team over given period of time. It is a compilation of a player’s stats all rolled up into one convenient number.

I broke the comparisons down to the total PER values for the Big Three (adding together the PER values for the top three players on the team), Top 5 (adding together the PER values for the top five players on the team), Bottom 5 (adding together the PER values for the bottom five players on the team), and Total Team (adding together the PER values for the top 10-ranked PER players on each team).

Let’s take a look at what these numbers look like for each of these three teams, and then make an analysis. I am taking the top 10 players on Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Sacramento Kings, at the end of the 2011-2012 Season. They are listed by Rank as determined by PER ranking, name, with PER. For example: LeBron James is ranked first in the league with a 30.80 rating.

Miami Heat:
1  LeBron James 30.80
3  Dwayne Wade 26.37
48 Chris Bosh 18.94
Big Three = 76.11
215 Mario Chalmers 12.98
255 Mike Miller 11.40
Top Five =  100.49
272 Udonis Haslem 10.89
285 Joel Anthony 10.30
293 Shane Battier 9.76
294 James Jones 9.08
334 Norris Cole 7.99
Bottom Five = 48.02
Team Total = 148.51

Looking at the Heat, their top three players consist of two ranked in the top ten nationally, with all three ranked within the top 50 nationally. Having two players ranked in the top ten is significant to begin with. There are 30 teams nationally. All things being equal, one would expect a team to be lucky with one player in the top ten.

There is a falloff from the Top 5 to the Bottom 5 (100.49 for the top five ranked players versus 48.02 for the bottom ranked players). The bottom five have less than half the value for their PER scores. The top two players combined have a higher value than the bottom five players put together.

Oklahoma Thunder:
4 Kevin Durant 26.26
10 Russell Westbrook 23.00
30 James Harden 21.13
Big Three = 70.39
46 Serge Ibaka 18.98
235 Nick Collison 12.11
Top Five = 101.48
268 Nazr Mohammed 11.02
292 Thabo Sefolosha 9.81
303 Daequan Cook 9.26
307 Reggie Jackson 9.22
319 Kendrick Perkins 8.19
Bottom  Five = 47.50
Team Total  = 148.98

Oklahoma City like Miami, have two players in the top ten, but their Top Three are more evenly matched, all ranked within the top 30 nationally.  Comparing the top five players of OKC to the top five players of Miami, they are fairly even with values 101.48 for OKC to 100.49 Miami.

Looking at the bottom five, just like Miami, they have about half the PER value that the top five have. The surprising thing, to me at least, these two teams have nearly identical PER values for the total team: 148.98 for Oklahoma to 148.51 for Miami.

Sacramento Kings:

21 DeMarcus Cousins 21.72
73 Isaiah Thomas 17.68
81 Marcus Thornton 17.43
Big Three = 56.83
97 Tyreke Evans 16.48
98 Jason Thompson 16.41
Top Five = 89.72
207 Terrence Williams 13.17
240 Donte Green 11.85
274 Jimmer Fredette 10.84
276 Francisco Garcia 10.74
294 Travis Outlaw 9.68
Bottom Five = 56.24
Total Team = 145.96

Unlike the Heat or the Thunder, the Sacramento Kings do not have a player ranked in the top ten nationally. The Sacramento Kings needs two more players who have PERS in the 20’s to compare, given this model.

Looking at the top five as a whole, the Sacramento Kings aren’t that far off from Miami or OKC. Players four and five compare quite favorably. Again, the difference seems to stem from the higher rated players in the top three, specifically top two spots.

Of note, the bottom half of the Kings players have higher PER ratings as a whole than Miami or OKC.

These results suggest, based on PER ratings, the biggest difference between the Sacramento Kings to the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Champions is the absence of any player in the top ten. Each of those two teams has two. Other than that, all other things being equal, the Sacramento Kings players match up well to these two teams.