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NBA Plus/Minus Leaders

While we're fond of our Roland Ratings that take plus/minus stats and look at the performance of the team with and without the player, there's also a place for looking at the numbers at a raw level, and on a sliding time scale.

Thus we present a quick overview of some of the standouts (good and bad) in the plus/minus department including games played through January 25th.

1) Season To Date Plus/Minus Leaders
Rank
Player
Team
+/-
1
 Miller
SAC
+332
2
 Garnett
MIN
+316
3
 Christie
SAC
+281
4
 Cassell
MIN
+280
5
 Stojakovic
SAC
+273
6
 Divac
SAC
+271
7
 Duncan
SAS
+270
8
 O'Neal
IND
+266
9
 Sprewell
MIN
+261
10
 Ginobili
SAS
+243
11
 Artest
IND
+232
12
 Hassell
MIN
+222
13
 Bibby
SAC
+222
14
 Turkoglu
SAS
+217
15
 O'Neal
LAL
+212
16
 Payton
LAL
+208
17
 Miller
IND
+202
18
 Nowitzki
DAL
+199
19
 Foster
IND
+199
20
 Hamilton
DET
+194
And the envelope please...yes indeed that's Brad Miller at the top of the pile, and he must rank as the player pickup of the off-season at the present time (we'll see how that little Lakers thing works out come the playoffs). The Kings hold down five of the top thirteen ranks due to a starting 5-man unit that's the best in the biz on a raw cumulative total. Even sixth man Bobby Jackson earns a #42 place in the standings.

Pretty much any stat feature we run seems to turn up Kevin Garnett as one of the best, and here he is a solid second place with a good chance of earning top honors if Miller's minutes eventually drop when Webber returns.

Tim Duncan also has a shot at closing the gap, given he missed some games early on, but he faces more tough tests in the grueling Western Conference, whereas Jermaine O'Neal could rise even further by putting some more hurt on the East.

2) Plus/Minus per 48 minutes
Another way to look at the numbers is by scaling everything to a per 48 minute (eg one game) basis. This will help players with lesser minutes or some injury problems, but doesn't severely damage the chances of a workhorse player either.
Rank
Player
Team
+/-
Net48
1
 O'Neal
LAL
+212
+10.9
2
 Divac
SAC
+271
+10.7
3
 Turkoglu
SAS
+217
+10.6
4
 Christie
SAC
+281
+10.5
5
 Miller
SAC
+332
+10.0
6
 Hassell
MIN
+222
+9.5
7
 Ginobili
SAS
+243
+9.4
8
 Garnett
MIN
+316
+9.2
9
 Foster
IND
+199
+9.1
10
 Cassell
MIN
+280
+8.8
This time the much-maligned big guy Shaq holds king of the hill position, and yeah he may not care all that much about playing every game during the regular season, but he's still a dominating player.

The "best passing big man" Vlade Divac is right behind, with the reborn Hedo Turkoglu looking much better now he is away from the Kings. It's also noteworthy that Jeff Foster of the Pacers, their 4th highest raw plus/minus guy is the best on a per minute level.

3) Plus/Minus over the last 30 Days
The season ebbs and flows, and in particular the teams with lots of player turnover may take some time to get it together. What do the plus/minus numbers show over the last 30 days of play?
Rank
Player
Team
+/-
1
 Tinsley
IND
+133
2
 Cassell
MIN
+130
3
 Christie
SAC
+123
4
 Divac
SAC
+122
5
 Hamilton
DET
+116
6
 Garnett
MIN
+116
7
 Jackson
HOU
+114
8
 O'Neal
IND
+113
9
 Stojakovic
SAC
+111
10
 Turkoglu
SAS
+109
Gosh! Don't think we could have picked Jamaal Tinsley as the numero uno guy over the last month, but there he is at the top of the charts.

Sam Cassell has certainly been making a very strong case for all-star status this season, but the other guy to catch our eye is multi-team cast-off Jim Jackson who has an interesting career to say the least and proves day in and day out that he knows how to play the NBA game to win.

4) Worst Plus/Minus over the last 30 days
We get a lot of requests to show the bottom end of sorted player lists, and while we generally refrain since the numbers taken out of context can be a slander to a good player's reputation, we'll throw out some guys whose teams have been suffering lately.
Rank
Player
Team
+/-
382
 Stoudamire
POR
-114
381
 Davis
CHI
-100
380
 Gooden
ORL
-100
379
 Magloire
NOH
-87
378
 Randolph
POR
-85
377
 Williams
CHI
-79
376
 Crawford
CHI
-78
375
 Wallace
POR
-76
374
 Dunleavy
GSW
-75
373
 Hinrich
CHI
-74
The Trailblazers have been in the tank on occasion lately, and the Rasheed Wallace rumors need to get resolved soon to end the uncertainty. Who knows how many Portland players might be elsewhere by the trading deadline? One thing is for sure, Zach Randolph isn't going anywhere.

The Bulls put four guys onto this ignominious list, but all four guys can play, although there too we may see another shakeup of the roster by the February cutoff.

5) Game-by-Game Won-Lost record for the last 30 days
Looking for the players with consistent game-winning minutes for their team? By rating each individual game as either a win or a loss on the plus/minus stat (i.e. if the player's team is ahead with the player on the floor in a game it counts as a win, if the team's behind then it's a loss), we can record a Won-Lost record for each player.
Rank
Player
Team
W
L
W%
1
 Cassell
MIN
13
1
92.9%
2
 Sprewell
MIN
11
1
91.7%
3
 Tinsley
IND
14
2
87.5%
4
 Williams
NYK
7
1
87.5%
5
 Hamilton
DET
13
2
86.7%
6
 Francis
HOU
12
2
85.7%
7
 Garnett
MIN
12
2
85.7%
8
 Jackson
HOU
10
2
83.3%
9
 Billups
DET
13
3
81.3%
10
 Finley
DAL
12
3
80.0%
Hail the Floor Generals, as five of the top ten are ostensibly Point Guards. With Minnesota being arguably the league's hottest team, it's no head scratcher that the three key guys all have shining marks.

Marbury may be bringing the thrill back to New York basketball, but we hope it won't be at the expense of Frank Williams -- some other team might want to look at what it would cost to "take him off their hands."

On the bottom side of this view you'll find the rookie most likely to have hit the proverbial wall: Chris Bosh, who sports a sad 1-9 game by game W/L record over the past 30 days. Has Jalen Rose worn down his teammates this quickly this time? And proving that playing hurt isn't always a good idea, Nick Van Exel was just 1-8 before conceeding the knee needed rest.

6) Best Plus/Minus Road Warriors
They always tell us that the good teams can win on the road, not just with the home cooking. A query on the top away plus/minus leaders reveals the following:
Rank
Player
Team
Away +/-
1
 Garnett
MIN
+143
2
 Cassell
MIN
+115
3
 Turkoglu
SAS
+103
4
 Duncan
SAS
+100
5
 Sprewell
MIN
+92
6
 Miller
IND
+88
7
 Hassell
MIN
+87
8
 Hart
SAS
+70
9
 O'Neal
LAL
+67
10
 O'Neal
IND
+65
These numbers are for the season-to-date, and current head of the class for MVP honors is Kevin Garnett (see, we told you this guy keeps popping up in category after category).

Current NBA MVP title-holder Tim Duncan is in striking range, while the foremost threat in the league to any team's title hopes when he's on his game, Shaquille O'Neal, could be right there too if he hadn't missed so much time.

7) "In the Clutch" Plus/Minus leaders
Well, it really all boils down to this some would say. [Actually, we'd disagree, better to be the team which builds a big lead early and never has to face crucial moments!] We are going with a tighter definition of "clutch time" (at the urging of Rick Barry among others) than what we were using at the start of the season. It's now based on looking at those moments in game where it's the last five minutes of the game, and neither team is ahead by more than five points.
Player
Team
+/-
W
L
W%
 Prince
DET
+73
19
8
70%
 Billups
DET
+68
18
10
64%
 Wallace
DET
+62
17
8
68%
 Hamilton
DET
+61
17
9
65%
 Cassell
MIN
+47
13
7
65%
 Garnett
MIN
+47
13
6
68%
 George
LAL
+46
12
4
75%
 Hassell
MIN
+46
11
3
79%
 Smith
MIL
+43
13
6
68%
 Payton
LAL
+42
11
4
73%
 Miller
IND
+41
14
8
64%
 O'Neal
IND
+41
15
8
65%
 Davis
NOH
+40
16
8
67%
 Artest
IND
+38
12
7
63%
 Lewis
SEA
+37
12
8
60%
 Sprewell
MIN
+36
12
7
63%
 Gasol
MEM
+35
11
11
50%
 Brown
NOH
+33
18
9
67%
 Posey
MEM
+32
11
7
61%
 Maggette
LAC
+30
10
6
63%
Care to guess which team has been the best in the clutch so far this season? That's right, the Detroit Pistons have shown a real knack for playing well in the close games.

The ubiquitous Timberwolves, and yes, the ever-present Garnett are again making noise that they are an elite team. Meanwhile the Kings and Spurs are not represented in the top twenty, although Sacto does have some guys at #22 and #23.

The story here may be Tim Duncan, who ranks near the bottom of the list with a -27 clutch plus/minus (7-8 Won-Lost). Duncan's been having very obvious difficulties making his free throws, which can be doubly important of course down the stretch, but if anything suggests the Spurs are a step below their play of last season, the clutch numbers might be it.


The following are quick links to the team "floor time stats" pages, with full season-to-date numbers for ALL players:
Atlanta Hawks
Boston Celtics
Chicago Bulls
Cleveland Cavaliers
Dallas Mavericks
Denver Nuggets
Detroit Pistons
Golden State Warriors
Houston Rockets
Indiana Pacers
Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Lakers
Memphis Grizzlies
Miami Heat
Milwaukee Bucks
Minnesota Timberwolves
New Jersey Nets
New Orleans Hornets
New York Knicks
Orlando Magic
Philadelphia 76ers
Phoenix Suns
Portland Trailblazers
Sacramento Kings
San Antonio Spurs
Seattle Supersonics
Toronto Raptors
Utah Jazz
Washington Wizards


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