Last March, I unveiled a college basketball squad featuring five players that I believed to be the most overrated in the nation. The purpose of the exercise was less to single out and humiliate individual players (although Greivis Vasquez has never been a favorite of mine), and more to educate about the deceptive nature of certain basketball statistics. As I mentioned then, traditional per-game statistics can be awfully misleading about a player’s performance. Points, assists, and rebounds per game do not account for factors such as pace and efficiency. Because of this, I have begun looking at players like Monta Ellis in a whole new light. Ellis’ 25-5-4 line is superficially impressive, but when you realize that he plays in the NBA’s fastest-paced offense, shoots mediocre percentages, and turns the ball over as often as he assists it, his value takes a tumble. Ultimately, that’s why I single out these overrated and underrated players – so that you and anyone else who reads this can learn to evaluate players more intelligently using metrics that shed more light on players’ true ability.
Here are my selections for the 2010 All-Overrated Team and the honorable mentions. As always, I welcome your comments and criticisms, as long as you don’t use terrible statistics, selective memory, and mysticism to back them up. Read the rest of this entry »