##### Improving the ranking: Discounting scoring

As I mentioned below, I’m not happy with the overall scoring system as I think it is overvaluing scoring points, but I wasn’t sure how to adjust for this. I could make up a fudge factor to lower the value of points scored, but that would have been an ad hoc, arbitrary solution. Thinking it over, I’ve come up with something better, although it’s still not perfect.

I’m happy with the way I’ve valued everything else besides points. I think those numbers are good both in themselves and in relation to each other. The question is how to scale the value of points scored to the value of all the other stats. To do this, I went back and looked at the total value of the stats for an averge team. Adding up all their rebounds, assists, etc., I found a total non-scoring value for the team of 38.4 points. Since they scored 94.8 points per game, that means the remaining value from points should add up to 56.4. Now, the efficiency adjusted scoring value for the team was 106.5 points (this value is higher than the actual points scored because of the way I calculated it, by excluding TO’s from consideration. This makes sense to me, as there is some value in simply chucking up a shot, since it avoids the possibility of a turnover that possession. You can’t score unless you shoot, so even a bad shot has a slight advantage over a pass, in a certain sense.)

Anyway, this gives a normalization factor of 0.53 for the points scored, discounting my previous value by almost a half. I’m still not entirely happy with this, since it’s scaling everything onto offensive production, when properly speaking blocks and steals are defensive contributions, as are defensive rebounds. But removing them from the calculation above still leaves me with a system that, in my opinion, greatly overvalues points scored. While including them gives numbers that I find more reasonable. So there’s a philosophical issue there, but practically it seems to work. And since I’m still not sure how to factor in defense, I’m left with lumping everything into an offensive contribution.

Anyway, with the new, adjusted ranking systems, the top players in the league grade out as follows:

Duncan:

**27.2**

McGrady:

**26.6**

Shaq:

**26.0**

Kobe:

**24.6**

Garnett:

**24.2**

Pierce:

**23.3**

Nowitzki:

**22.4**

Webber:

**22.1**

Jermaine O’Neal:

**20.8**

Steve Francis:

**19.8**

Ben Wallace:

**19.5**

Payton:

**18.6**

Iverson:

**18.34**

Kidd:

**18.29**

Stackhouse:

**17.8**

Antoine Walker:

**17.2**

Jordan:

**16.2**

So, Kidd still grades out lower than I think he probably should, but it’s better than before. And I think the problems that remain are simply intrinsic to the process of boiling everything down to a single number. Some thoughts on that in the next installment.