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Layups: The ‘Black Hole Atlas’

Posted by Neil Paine on February 15, 2011

How in the cosmos did I miss this the first time around?

Two weeks ago, while I was busy with Super Bowl/Hall of Fame work at PFR, SBNation's Tom Ziller posted a story -- and an awesome graphic -- about the biggest "black holes" (players who never pass) in the NBA.

That Kobe Bryant comes out as the biggest black hole among high-usage guards is controversial, and probably turned a lot of people off to the graphic on principle, but it's still a cool concept. For what it's worth, here's my list of the guards (min 30 MPG) who pass the least per touch:

Player Pos G Min MPG T/Min %Pass %Shoot %Fouled %TO
Nick Young G 52 1641 31.6 0.81 27.4% 55.4% 12.0% 5.1%
DeMar DeRozan G 55 1885 34.3 0.84 36.1% 44.2% 13.9% 5.8%
Jason Richardson G 55 1820 33.1 0.78 36.2% 51.8% 7.8% 4.2%
Anthony Morrow G 39 1244 31.9 0.62 36.3% 51.8% 7.1% 4.8%
Kevin Martin G 54 1688 31.3 1.22 36.4% 39.2% 18.9% 5.6%
Wesley Matthews G 55 1871 34.0 0.92 39.5% 42.2% 12.4% 5.9%
Vince Carter G-F 45 1353 30.1 0.98 45.6% 42.1% 7.7% 4.5%
Dwyane Wade G 50 1847 36.9 1.48 48.3% 32.9% 12.8% 5.9%
Brandon Roy G 23 813 35.3 1.17 48.8% 36.7% 10.4% 4.0%
Kobe Bryant G 56 1894 33.8 1.71 50.0% 33.8% 10.9% 5.3%
Ray Allen G 53 1911 36.1 0.95 50.4% 37.8% 7.4% 4.5%
Eric Gordon G 41 1550 37.8 1.39 50.7% 33.0% 11.4% 5.0%
Carlos Delfino G 22 727 33.0 0.91 50.9% 39.8% 4.8% 4.5%
Dorell Wright G-F 53 2073 39.1 0.92 51.0% 37.5% 6.5% 5.0%
Raja Bell G 50 1534 30.7 0.62 51.3% 37.8% 6.6% 4.3%
John Salmons G 45 1544 34.3 1.07 52.1% 33.8% 8.8% 5.4%
Monta Ellis G 53 2180 41.1 1.46 52.3% 33.5% 8.8% 5.4%
Jamal Crawford G 48 1478 30.8 1.26 53.6% 31.6% 9.6% 5.2%
Arron Afflalo G 56 1972 35.2 0.72 54.1% 34.7% 7.0% 4.3%
Tyreke Evans G 46 1740 37.8 1.47 57.0% 29.9% 7.3% 5.8%
Jason Terry G 54 1746 32.3 1.38 58.1% 32.0% 5.3% 4.6%
Joe Johnson G 45 1628 36.2 1.54 58.8% 31.2% 6.4% 3.6%
Brandon Jennings G 35 1155 33.0 1.54 58.9% 29.8% 6.8% 4.5%
Rodney Stuckey G 47 1416 30.1 1.54 58.9% 26.0% 10.5% 4.6%
Manu Ginobili G 55 1706 31.0 1.56 59.3% 26.4% 9.5% 4.8%
Derrick Rose G 51 1936 38.0 2.03 62.4% 26.3% 6.7% 4.6%
Beno Udrih G 51 1757 34.5 1.14 63.1% 26.0% 6.8% 4.2%
Stephen Curry G 45 1529 34.0 1.59 63.5% 25.9% 5.3% 5.3%
Darren Collison G 49 1490 30.4 1.48 63.6% 25.3% 5.6% 5.4%
Chauncey Billups G 50 1610 32.2 1.45 64.6% 21.5% 8.7% 5.2%
Russell Westbrook G 53 1900 35.8 2.14 64.8% 22.3% 7.8% 5.0%
Kirk Hinrich G 47 1440 30.6 1.25 67.0% 23.6% 4.9% 4.6%
Tony Parker G 55 1791 32.6 1.80 67.6% 22.8% 5.4% 4.3%
Andre Iguodala G-F 42 1561 37.2 1.43 67.7% 21.5% 7.3% 3.4%
Jrue Holiday G 54 1880 34.8 1.54 68.3% 22.5% 4.2% 5.0%
Mike Bibby G 54 1621 30.0 1.08 68.7% 25.1% 2.4% 3.8%
D.J. Augustin G 55 1851 33.7 1.58 69.3% 21.6% 5.7% 3.4%
Deron Williams G 51 1929 37.8 2.18 69.8% 18.8% 7.2% 4.2%
Mo Williams G 35 1062 30.3 2.01 69.9% 21.3% 4.0% 4.8%
Devin Harris G 53 1693 31.9 2.07 70.2% 17.6% 7.7% 4.6%
Mike Conley G 56 2009 35.9 1.56 70.3% 20.6% 5.0% 4.1%
Raymond Felton G 53 2038 38.5 1.84 71.8% 20.1% 3.7% 4.4%
John Wall G 41 1511 36.9 1.99 72.0% 17.6% 5.5% 4.9%
Kyle Lowry G 52 1719 33.1 1.54 72.0% 18.7% 5.3% 4.0%
Andre Miller G 54 1762 32.6 1.92 72.1% 17.8% 5.8% 4.3%
Chris Paul G 56 1996 35.6 2.18 75.8% 15.0% 5.9% 3.2%
Steve Nash G 50 1658 33.2 2.50 77.9% 13.6% 4.1% 4.3%
Jose Calderon G 48 1486 31.0 2.05 80.8% 13.8% 2.0% 3.4%
Jason Kidd G 54 1818 33.7 1.80 81.2% 13.7% 1.3% 3.8%
Rajon Rondo G 42 1585 37.7 2.35 82.6% 11.0% 2.0% 4.4%

When it comes to guards who touch the ball once per minute or more, Kevin Martin is easily the most allergic to passing the rock by this metric. He's dishing it off on only 36% of his touches, with the rest devoted to shooting, drawing a foul, or turning the ball over. By comparison, Kobe Bryant looks positively philanthropic with a 50% pass rate (granted, at a level of touches/min where a pass rate as low as Martin's would be unsustainable).

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21 Responses to “Layups: The ‘Black Hole Atlas’”

  1. P Middy Says:

    Nick Young is straight psycho jackin. He's like the Dexter of jacking up shots. 9% points ahead of the field.

    JACKIN

  2. Neil Paine Says:

    Dare I say the ball is getting jacked more than Warren G at a dice game on 2-1 and Lewis?

    (Any excuse for a regulators reference)

  3. Nick Says:

    Huh. Martin gets fouled like crazy.

  4. yariv Says:

    Any chance of getting something similar for other positions? Also, using "guard" as the level of position is quite problematic, putting together PGs and SGs, where you would expect a significantly higher pass% for PGs. Probably using Forward as a definition is less of a problem, except for teams playing "point-forward".

  5. Baseballhead Says:

    When it comes to guards who touch the ball once per minute or more, Kevin Martin is easily the most allergic to passing the rock by this metric.

    Quick! Someone call Henry Abbott!

  6. Nathan Says:

    #4

    I can agree on principle with the idea of putting guards together, but I don't think it takes away from the data. I actually think it helps put a lot of it into perspective. Shooting guards are shooting guards for a reason and Nick Young is still legendary, but I think it's interesting that Brandon Jennings passes it about as often as Joe Johnson does and that the crowd that is stalwart against classifying Tyreke Evans as a PG have some claim. I think it's a good piece of information to have in terms of perspective amongst the most defer centric SGs and shot heavy PGs.

    I'd like to see the data for forwards/centers as well, however, though I think the data would be a whole lot less interesting since black hole big men are nothing revolutionary.

  7. Walter Says:

    it would be interesting to see this for all positions.

  8. AYC Says:

    The biggest black hole of them all, regardless of position, has to be Moses Malone....

  9. Dan Says:

    I would say that Kevin McHale would give Malone a run for his money.

  10. Ryan Says:

    Martin's drawn foul percentage seems to make up most of the difference. Almost twenty percent! I bet that's up there with the Dwight Howard's of the league. And he shoots nearly 90% from the line. Martin shooting free throws is pretty close to an ideal possession by NBA standards. If you're Houston, you want to engineer your offense so that alot of possessions end with him. An additional pass would often just lower your efficiency.

  11. JKnight Says:

    How was Kobe listed as the biggest bloack hole when 9 guards are ahead of him?

  12. Baseballhead Says:

    Tom Chambers! Gotta be on the list. They actually called him The White Hole when he was playing.

  13. AYC Says:

    Moses has the worst assist % of anybody in the HOF at 6.0%, on 25.6% usage. Mchale is fourth worst, at 8.1 ast%, with 22.4% usage.

  14. Nick Says:

    One thing to consider is some of these guys are assisters and some of them are assistees. There's no real problem with taking the shot that was set up for you. "Black Holeyness" is more what you think of when a player takes a lot of unassisted non-transition shots, I think.

  15. Unabashed Rose lover Says:

    #11

    It looks to me like the original graphic is using assists per game and usg% as the axes in order to highlight Kobe and Rondo. Which is really pretty deceptive.

  16. anon x 2 Says:

    Silver SnR has a nice article on Kobe's black hole rating.

    http://www.silverscreenandroll.com/2011/2/11/1987878/where-black-holes-meet-geometry-kobe-bryant-and-the-next-evolution-of

  17. phil Says:

    where the hell is JR Smith?

    I swear he probably belongs at the top somewhere.

  18. kevin Says:

    My vote goes to Elvin Hayes. He didn't care if he was triple-teamed. He was jackin' it up.

  19. Skipper Says:

    Love how USC's two most recent first round draft pick's are nos. 1 and 2. No question that it's an illustrative stat.

  20. Snyde Says:

    Where's Jameer?

  21. Darren Says:

    Really, really interesting. I had never heard the phrase "black hole" used in this way when it comes to basketball and basketball players who never shoot. I imagine they're called "black hole players" because once the ball gets sucked into their vicinity, the ball never comes back out? I love the expression.... and the stats you provided certainly are revealing.