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valade16
01-10-2017, 02:21 PM
So I was reading this article talking about Steve Nash and how many #1 offenses (by Ortg)compared to other PGs but it only had a few on the list so I wanted to look at most of what we consider the "top" PGs of all-time.

I looked up: Magic, Stockton, Isiah, Nash, Payton, Kidd, Frazier, Kidd and Curry. I did not do it for Oscar (or Jerry West) because the 60's had so few teams a "top 10" or "top 5" isn't indicative of a top offense. I believe those 9 plus Oscar are generally considered the top 10 PGs of all-time by most on this site.

I broke it down by year and then numbered up their top 10, top 5, and #1 offenses. I only used seasons where they played over half the games, started most and played at least 24 MPG. Here are the results by PG:

Magic Johnson
Year Ortg
1980 1st
1981 7th
1982 2nd
1983 1st
1984 5th
1985 1st
1986 1st
1987 1st
1988 2nd
1989 1st
1990 1st
1991 5th
1996 4th

# of years: 13
Top 10: 13
Top 5: 12
#1: 7

In terms of leading top offenses, Magic is clearly #1. If he was your PG you were guaranteed a Top 10 offense and nearly guaranteed a Top 5 one. Now the caveat is he had tremendous players supporting him in Kareem and Worthy. But even in 1996 upon his brief return he guided the Lakers to a Top 5 offense.

Steve Nash
Year Ortg
1999 15th
2000 7th
2001 4th
2002 1st
2003 1st
2004 1st
2005 1st
2006 2nd
2007 1st
2008 2nd
2009 2nd
2010 1st
2011 9th
2012 9th
2013 9th

# of years: 15
Top 10: 14
Top 5: 10
#1: 7

Guided as many #1 offenses as Magic (albeit in 2 more qualifying years). Him and Magic are the ultimate "chicken vs. the egg" argument in terms of why they led so many #1 and top 5 offenses. Was it because of their brilliance at the PG position or was it because they played with such stellar offensive support like (in Nash's case) Dirk and Finley, Amare and Marion, etc.?

John Stockton
Year Ortg
1988 16th
1989 17th
1990 10th
1991 11th
1992 4th
1993 7th
1994 7th
1995 4th
1996 2nd
1997 2nd
1998 1st
1999 3rd
2000 6th
2001 3rd
2002 10th
2003 9th

# of years: 16
Top 10: 13
Top 5: 7
#1: 1

What surprised me given how long he played was how relatively few qualifying years he had. Spent some time on the bench early in his career. Also surprised the Jazz only led the league in Ortg once during his tenure but he still near guaranteed a top 10 offense and a top 5 one once him and Malone got rolling.

Gary Payton
Year Ortg
1991 9th
1992 9th
1993 4th
1994 2nd
1995 2nd
1996 8th
1997 3rd
1998 3rd
1999 6th
2000 9th
2001 10th
2002 5th
2003 19/2
2004 6th
2005 9th
2006 7th

# of years: 15
Top 10: 15
Top 5: 6
#1: 0

Got to admit I was surprised to see Gary Payton lead so many Top 10 offenses (every qualifying year) since he is more known for defense. Although there are 16 years there he was traded midway through 2003 and I don't know what the Ortg for each team was before and after his departure so I didn't include it as a qualifying year.

Chris Paul
Year Ortg
2006 26th
2007 23rd
2008 5th
2009 12th
2010 18th
2011 19th
2012 4th
2013 4th
2014 1st
2015 1st
2016 8th

# of years: 11
Top 10: 6
Top 5: 5
#1: 2

Paul's numbers are night and day from NO to the Clippers. Once he got some offensive help his teams were almost always top 5. He has also led 2 #1 overall offenses, which ties him for most of those I looked at after Nash/Magic.

Walt Frazier
Year Ortg
1969 3rd
1970 5th
1971 8th
1972 7th
1973 3rd
1974 10th
1975 12th
1976 12th
1977 10th
1978 15th

# of years: 10
Top 10: 7
Top 5: 3
#1: 0

The caveat with Frazier is that in the beginning of his career there were very few teams (14), however his offenses were still near the top of the league during that point. 5 years of good offenses then 5 years of mediocre offenses.

Isiah Thomas
Year Ortg
1982 17th
1983 11th
1984 1st
1985 9th
1986 7th
1987 9th
1988 6th
1989 7th
1990 11th
1991 12th
1992 15th
1993 18th
1994 23rd

# of years: 13
Top 10: 6
Top 5: 1
#1: 1

I was surprised how well IT looks given his horrible perception on PSD. He actually led a #1 offense, and Pistons offenses were Top 10 about half the time he led them. Still they were never really elite outside that one season, his only leading a top 5 offense (by Ortg)

Jason Kidd
Year Ortg
1995 15th
1996 19th
1997 28/6
1998 12th
1999 4th
2000 16th
2001 22nd
2002 17th
2003 18th
2004 25th
2005 26th
2006 25th
2007 16th
2008 25/8
2009 5th
2010 10th
2011 8th
2012 22nd
2013 3rd

# of years: 19
Top 10: 5
Top 5: 3
#1: 0

Kidd was very difficult because he was traded so much so it was difficult to discern his impact on offenses and teams since I don't have the before/after numbers (though we can surmise his impact was substantial in cases like his trade to NJ where they went from middling team to Finals contender from him and Marbury being swapped).

Steph Curry
Year Ortg
2010 14th
2011 12th
2012 14th
2013 11th
2014 12th
2015 2nd
2016 1st
2017* 1st

# of years: 8
Top 10: 3
Top 5: 3
#1: 2

Curry is very difficult to surmise anything from his rankings because for much of his career he was either forced into an awkward roster (alongside Monta Ellis) or used improperly (Mark Jackson as the HC). We can see once the modern Warriors came together they have been the best offense in the league.


CONCLUSION: What did I learn from this? It seems to me in the cases of almost all the PGs, their team's Ortg fluctuated largely by the amount of offensive support they received rather than on their individual play. Not sure if that means a PGs effect on an offense is overrated or not, and I couldn't verify that hypothesis with Nash and Magic because it was difficult to find a season where they didn't have lots of offensive support.

Anyways, what did you take away from this (if anything)?

mngopher35
01-10-2017, 03:04 PM
As I was scrolling through I found myself thinking what you stated about it having a lot to do with support. I have always rated Nash higher than say Kidd for his offense and this is probably an argument to help with that.

Again though it means very little without looking into the context of each situation, it looks like you considered that as well which is great.

Hawkeye15
01-10-2017, 03:10 PM
remember, Paul was a very high lottery pick, went to a crap team, and that team really never gave him much. I think it's a BIT easier to "lead" a team to high efficiency when you have Worthy, Jabbar, Coop, Scott, Wilkes, etc, versus David West (who you made an all star, literally), and Tyson Chandler as your running mates...

Each team the players above led had different styles of play, skillsets, etc. Time periods mean something to, before the late 90's, teams didn't even measure per possession stats consistently, how the hell do the Pistons know they are 14th in offensive efficiency, and did they even care with their identity?

valade16
01-10-2017, 06:16 PM
remember, Paul was a very high lottery pick, went to a crap team, and that team really never gave him much. I think it's a BIT easier to "lead" a team to high efficiency when you have Worthy, Jabbar, Coop, Scott, Wilkes, etc, versus David West (who you made an all star, literally), and Tyson Chandler as your running mates...

Each team the players above led had different styles of play, skillsets, etc. Time periods mean something to, before the late 90's, teams didn't even measure per possession stats consistently, how the hell do the Pistons know they are 14th in offensive efficiency, and did they even care with their identity?

That is what was so evident to me as I looked, it seemed that in nearly every case (Paul, Stockton, Kidd, Curry, Frazier, etc. the efficiency of the offense they led was heavily predicated on how talented their offensive supporting cast was. Obviously it's difficult to determine if there was the same effect with Magic and Nash because they mostly had incredibly talented supporting casts.

It was very interesting to see and I'm not sure I would put a heavy emphasis on the efficiency of offenses PGs led to determine who was superior to the other given the correlation (at least here) between teammates and increased/decreased efficiency.

I was thinking of doing the same thing for defensive anchors but apparently there isn't a lot of interest lol.