Points Per Opponent's Score
Who is more of a scorer, someone who gets 22ppg on a team that gives up on average 80 points to the opponents, or someone who gets 25ppg on a team that gives up an average 110 points to the opponent?
There are lots of ways of adjusting the points scored by a player to determine the value he really brings to the franchise. One such way is to calculate the points per possession he scores or his team generates and compare it to the points per possession the other team scores. Another way is to scale the points to a per-48 minute basis so that differences in playing time are neutralized.
I want to calculate it as a percentage of the opponent's score. This means also doing it on a per-48 minute basis, or equivalently but alternately, scaling the opponent's score to equal the average minutes played of the player.
Here's what I want to look at. Take the average points per game of each player, divide by the average number of minutes played per game, multiply by 48, and divide by the average points scored by that team's opponent. For players traded midway through the season, just use their final team's numbers for simplicity.
The top scorers in the regular season were Allen Iverson with 30.7, Kobe Bryant with 27.6, and LeBron James with 27.2.
After adjusting for the calculations above, the top scorers as a percent of the allowed defense were Allen Iverson with 34.9% of the opponent's score, Shaquille O'Neal with 33.9% of the opponent's score, and Amare Stoudemire with 33.5%.
O'Neal jumped from being the 12th top scorer in the league to the second-overall in terms of what he brings relative to the defense. And that wasn't the biggest jump. Yao Ming went from 27th in the league in scoring to 11th by this new ranking. And still that wasn't the biggest jump.
The biggest jump was by rookie Ben Gordon, who went from 46th in the league with a 15.1 scoring average to 7th in the league with scoring 31.8% of the allowed points. Much of that, of course, was due to the fact that he plays about half the game on average. Just doubling his scoring average puts him into second place ahead of Kobe.
The biggest drop is Gilbert Arenas who goes from the league's 7th highest scorer to the 13th