Posted by Neil Paine on October 12, 2010
You probably didn't know this (I admit we didn't exactly advertise it... at all, really), but our Simple Projection System (SPS) has been updated to produce projected stats for the upcoming 2010-11 season. That's good, because today I'm going to use those numbers tocome up with rudimentary "skill indices" for every projected player in the database, if for no other reason than to get a broad view of what each player is good at and how they fit in on their 2011 teams.
If you're curious as to what the SPS actually is, read this first -- or just take my word that it's a very simple method of predicting future performance which meets all the basic requirements for a projection system (account for past performance, regress to the mean, adjust for aging) and nothing more. As simplistic as it is, it actually acquits itself decently against far more complex systems (granted, Basketball Prospectus later improved their method to produce slightly more accurate results than the SPS), so I think it can give us a reasonable set of baseline expectations for future player production.
The next trick is to convert those expectations into skill indices. What I mean by a "skill index" is a unitless, standardized quantity where 100 is average, >100 is above-average, and <100 is below-average -- see Doug Drinen's advanced passing stats at PFR for an example (I've also applied this technique to NBA players' foul-drawing abilities and NFL running backs' yards per carry). For the sake of reference, the resulting scale is essentially like an IQ score, making it easy to understand which numbers are good or bad. For these projected skill ratings, I'm going to run indices on the following stats: Points/36 MP, True Shooting %, Assists/36 MP, Rebounds/36 MP, Turnovers/36 MP (for which an index >100 would represent fewer TOV), Steals/36 MP, Blocks/36 MP, and non-team-adjusted Offensive & Defensive Statistical Plus/Minus.
Here were the leaders in each category:
For the ratings along with each team's current depth chart, click the link below: