Gary Neal spent some a few years overseas working on his game after college. That extra time has made the 26-year-old rookie a valuable memeber of the 9-1 Spurs.Two weeks ago, I looked at the nine rookies who were averaging at least 20 minutes per game and compared their advanced impact stats. We saw that Eric Bledsoe was higher than expected, John Wall was nowhere near the top, and DeMarcus Cousins had a lot of nerve busting on Derrick Favors. Here I’ll update those comparisons, but I’ll be using the 10 rookies who have played the most minutes overall for the season.
The impact stats only judge how well the player impacts his team’s ability to win with him on the floor and in no way considers their regular statistics (ppg, rpg, apg, etc.). For a detailed breakdown of what the three advanced impact stats are, look here. For quick reference, the average Wins Produced per 48 Minutes (WP48) is 0.100, the average Pythagorean Winning Percentage (PythWin%) is 0.500 (I also included Offensive Rating and Defensive Rating), and the average Advanced Plus Minus (APM) is 0.00.
1. Landry Fields, New York Knicks
28 minutes per game, 0.331 WP48, 0.886 (125-108) PythWin%, +20.50 APM
His ridiculously high numbers are a result of a hustling style of play on both ends of the floor, great shooting efficiency due to his aggressiveness (63% eFG), and good rebounding and passing skills for the SF position.
2. Derrick Favors, New Jersey Nets
21 minutes per game, 0.161 WP48, 0.758 (115-106) PythWin%, +19.11 APM
His WP48 and PythWin% have tempered themselves a bit, but the APM jumped and his shooting and rebounding efficiencies are still among the very best of the rookies (53% eFG, 19% Reb%). Favors and Fields are the only two rookies to have all three impact stats above average right now; most of the guys only have one.
3. Gary Neal, San Antonio Spurs
14 minutes per game, 0.138 WP48, 0.467 (105-106) PythWin%, +20.11 APM
Neal is not one of the ten rookies with the most minutes, but I wanted to include him because I love players like him who play their roles well, and I coached against his team while he was in high school. He’s a great long-range shooter (45% from deep on 3.1 attempts per game) and he busts his tail. Hard guy not to like – the type of bench player SA always ends up.
4. Al-Farouq Aminu, Los Angeles Clippers
16 minutes per game, 0.180 WP48, .228 (99-108) PythWin%, -5.97 APM
Showed a lot of potential against New Orleans (20 points on 7-for-10 shooting, 8 rebounds, 2 steals), but for the most part we’re seeing a very raw player in Aminu right now.
5. John Wall, Washington Wizards
39 minutes per game, 0.150 WP48, 0.308 (101-107) ORtg-DRtg, -6.32 APM
Wall is a curious case because his numbers started to get better, but the team didn’t, and then he missed the last two games, and his team picked up their best win while he sat. The Zards are bad and he looks to be just as responsible for that happening as anyone, maybe moreso considering he’s the PG and they have the league’s worst Offensive Rating.
6. Evan Turner, Philadelphia 76ers
31 minutes per game, 0.096 WP48, 0.071 (89-107) PythWin%, +8.07 APM
Still sort of in the midst of a slow start (for a #2 pick), his impact numbers have all stayed the same or gone up just a little bit. More than anyone else on this list, Evans will benefit from more games under his belt.
7. Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
35 minutes per game, 0.119 WP48, 0.260 (103-111) PythWin%, -15.43 APM
He’s still great fun to watch and looks like he has the most potential as a team centerpiece, but his impact numbers have dropped while the Clippers keep losing. It might take him a little while to really bring it all together. He’s got his head on straight and has Jerry Rice-like workouts, so you expect that to happen.
8. Wesley Johnson, Minnesota Timberwolves
29 minutes per game, 0.013 WP48, 0.195 (103-114) PythWin%, +4.97 APM
He has his moments, but still pretty sloppy and raw overall.
9. Eric Bledsoe, Los Angeles Clippers
31 minutes per game, 0.075 WP48, 0.134 (98-112) PythWin%, -3.49 APM
As Bledsoe has seen more playing time, all of his numbers have gotten worse, and his impact has dropped considerably.
10. DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings
23 minutes per game, -0.041 WP48, 0.096 (92-108) ORtg-DRtg, -8.04 APM
He started bad and somehow got much worse at everything. Believe it or not, having one of the worst attitudes in the history of the sport doesn’t please the basketball gods and can severely hinder one’s ability to reach their potential.
11. Ishmael Smith, Houston Rockets
19 minutes per game, 0.015 WP48, 0.074 (91-109) PythWin%, -9.57 APM
A quick little jitterbug who has gotten some minutes (and even a few starts) while Aaron Brooks recovers from a sprained ankle. Great story for an undrafted rookie, but he’s not doing a lot on the court to help the Rockets win.