What kind of point guard WAS he?

My post from a few days ago was relatively well-received at reddit, and one of the readers there said that he’d like to see the same graph for some of the all-time great point guards.

So with a little help from Basketball-Reference.com, I compiled a list of (all?) the Hall of Fame point guards: Oscar Robertson, Lenny Wilkens, Bob Cousy, Jerry West, John Stockton, Isiah Thomas, Magic Johnson, Dennis Johnson, Tiny Archibald, Calvin Murphy, Pete Maravich and Walt Frazier. Unfortunately, the NBA didn’t start keeping track of turnovers until the 1977-78 season, so there’s no assist-to-turnover data for the first four (Robertson, Wilkens, Cousy, West) and the data for Archibald, Murphy, Maravich and Frazier is incomplete, so I could only use their post-1977 numbers.

I also compiled a list of the top non-HOF point guards who are both retired and still active: Jason Kidd, Mark Jackson, Steve Nash, Gary Payton, Rod Strickland, Maurice Cheeks, Terry Porter, Tim Hardaway, Andre Miller, Muggsy Bogues, Kevin Johnson, Derek Harper, Stephon Marbury (yes, Stephon Marbury), John Lucas, Norm Nixon, Mookie Blaylock, Sam Cassell, Avery Johnson, Baron Davis, Nick Van Exel, Allen Iverson, Chauncey Billups and Mike Bibby. All of these players have at least 5,400 career assists, which seemed to be the cutoff for players I was interested in using for this study.

Lastly, I added seven of the top current point guards who have yet to break the 5,400-assist barrier: Tony Parker, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, Rajon Rondo, Derrick Rose, Deron Williams and of course, Chris Paul.

I first tackled this subject two years ago, and settled on the shot-to-assist ratio to determine whether a player is “pass-first” or “shoot-first.” The higher the number, the more of a “shoot-first” player he is. To determine whether or not a player is “turnover-prone,” I calculated each player’s assist-to-turnover ratio. The higher the number, the better the player is at taking care of the ball, relative to what he’s asked to do as a playmaker for his team. The graph takes a gentle downward slope because assists are part of both calculations. (Note: While I do like FGA/A as the criteria for shoot-first/pass-first, I am not completely sold on A/TO as the criteria for turnover-prone. Perhaps (A+FGA)/TO would show shoot-first guards in a better light? Maybe I’ll try that next year.)

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Blogging the Bloggers: Thursday

DEADSPIN discusses a recent Rolling Stone article about a twentysomething female teacher (right) who had an affair with a 15 year-old wrestler/football player. There’s a double standard when it comes to female (versus male) teachers that have an affair with a student. Men are typically thrown in jail while women usually get a much lighter sentence. The article is a good read.

LA BALL TALK is not pleased with the decision of Kobe Bryant’s website, KB24, to move to a subscription-based format. Kobe apparently wants each of his diehard fans to pony up $50 to be a member.

NESW SPORTS has a funny video of Gary Payton (at the height of his stardom in Seattle) doing an interview about a new company he was starting, Gary Payton Wireless. That’s right — GP wanted to start a wireless phone company.

MIDWEST SPORTS FANS has the story of the mayor of Pittsburgh changing his last name — legally — from “Ravenstahl” to “Steelerstahl.” Seriously.

SPORTSbyBROOKS says that there’s a high school cheerleader in Florida who has sent out more than 35,000 text messages in a single month…twice. That’s 72 messages per hour, once sleep is factored in. Wowsers.

– Should Fox replace Joe Buck? One writer thinks so, and DEADSPIN comments. I have just two words to say about this — Gus Johnson.

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