Using efficiency and win % to determine the 2011 All-Stars

Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers (R) prepares to shoot as Kevin Love (L) of the Minnesota Timberwolves defends in first half action at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California USA 19 January 2011. EPA/MIKE NELSON CORBIS OUT fotoglif919014

Since the All-Star reserves will be announced tonight on TNT, I thought I’d try to come up with some sort of formula to calculate who should make the All-Star Game.

What’s important in an All-Star? Well, to me, it comes down to two things: stats and wins. So I took my favorite (and flawed) all-encompassing stat, efficiency, and calculated it on a per-game basis for each player. Then, I multiplied each player’s efficiency with his teams win percentage to come up with a new stat: Win Efficiency. (Please note that rebounds are easier to come by than assists, so big men tend to do better in overall efficiency than guards do.)

From there, picking the All-Stars would be simple. Take out the five starters for each conference, and fill out the roster with three guards, three forwards and a center. Surprisingly, the results came out pretty well. (By the way, I put an arbitrary minimum of 35 games played.)

Here’s a look at the top 20 players from the Eastern Conference:

As you can see, the five starters (denoted by an asterisk) all fell within the top 10 in Win Efficiency. The Eastern Conference reserves would be Rajon Rondo (G), Paul Pierce (GF), Ray Allen (G), Kevin Garnett (F), Chris Bosh (F), Josh Smith (F) and Al Horford (C). Are there any major gripes amongst those players left off? I don’t think so.

How about the West?

First of all, it’s clear that David Stern should replace the injured Yao Ming with Pau Gasol. The Western Conference reserves should be Tony Parker (G), Russell Westbrook (G), Deron Williams (G), Manu Ginobili (GF), Dirk Nowitzki (F), Lamar Odom (F) and Tim Duncan (C).

I listed Ginobili as a guard/forward since according to his numbers at 82games.com, he does play quite a bit of small forward. By counting him as a forward, it allowed Deron Williams to make the team over David West, and that consideration is justified by Williams’ Win Efficiency.

Interestingly enough, according to these numbers, Carmelo Anthony shouldn’t even make the All-Star Game, much less be a starter. West should get his spot given his production and the solid season the Hornets are having, and Duncan or Nowitzki should get his spot in the starting lineup.

High efficiency guys like Zach Randolph, LaMarcus Aldridge, Steve Nash, Blake Griffin and Kevin Love are left out because their teams are mediocre to very bad. If there’s one player on this list that should get strong consideration for a spot, it’s Griffin, who has emerged as one of the biggest storylines of the 2010-11 season despite the Clippers’ record. I’m sure most NBA fans would prefer to see Griffin make it instead Lamar Odom. Maybe we should take the top six players in Win Efficiency and then have one wild card spot set aside for a player like Griffin…hmm.

So what do you think? Is this a reasonable way to pick the All-Stars or am I totally insane for trying to quantify the process?

Update: Blake Griffin was named to the All-Star Game while Lamar Odom was left off the Western Conference roster. Otherwise, all of my West picks made the team. In the East, all of my reserves made the team except for Josh Smith, who was snubbed in favor of his teammate, Joe Johnson, who is not having as good of a year, numbers-wise. I think I’m on to something here.

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