New Way to Measure a Player’s Impact


Even though the NBA season has concluded, there is still much to be discussed. I have created a new statistic called “Impact rating” (IMPR). This statistic attempts to quantify the number of points that a player adds to his team’s performance.  It is very different from other methods – I am not simply adding points, rebounds, assists and other attributes. This stat recognizes that each NBA possession produces about 1 point on average. It then looks into which players over the course of a game create or subtract from possessions and add to the average value of a possession over the course of a game. It is also different because it penalizes missed shots with the view that these ended a valuable possession.

So, here is the formula: Free throws made (0.5) + 2pt shots made + 3pt shots made (2) + blocks (0.5) + steals + assists (0.5) + defensive rebounds (0.29) + offensive rebounds (0.71) – free throws missed(0.5) – field goals missed(0.71) – turnovers ÷ minutes played. The reason for the values is based on the fact that for each possession, on average, one point is expected. Now of course we know that a team can get 0, 1, 2, 3 or 4 points for/during each possession, but it averages out to right around 1. As for rebounding, 29% of rebounds are grabbed by the offense, so they are harder to come by than defensive rebounds. Therefore, defensive rebounds are worth less than offensive rebounds.  However, this cannot be calculated properly for players from earlier eras when Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlin played because there was no 3-point line and there was no distinction between offensive and defensive rebounds.

I took 30 random players from as far back as Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson, to as recent as Karl Anthony Towns to see where they all stood, and the results are fascinating! Last season, Stephen Curry had a score of 14.5, the highest calculated yet! Kawhi Leonard had a score of 11.1, while Paul George only had a 5.4. While Allen Iverson’s MVP season was great, his score rolled in at a 3.5! That is due to the number of missed shots- yet of course it does not factor in any of his other options on offense (there weren’t many). Michael Jordan, the greatest of all time had a career score of nearly 12, which shows not only his greatness, but also his consistent durability. Karl Anthony Towns had nearly a 9, much better than Kristaps Porzingis and D’Aneglo Russell combined! Chris Paul needs to be shown some respect as his score was a whopping 12, one of the highest calculated for last season. But don’t worry, even though Lebron James tends to coast during the regular season he came in at about 10.5. At the bottom of the barrel was Ben McLemore who scored a measly 1.25.

Now, this statistic should not solely define a player, as it is only one statistic out of many. However, this is another effective way to measure players. Unlike plus/minus, this stat does not take into account how one’s teammates are performing; it is only one measure of a player’s impact on the game. Although there has not yet been enough data collected, a ranking sheet will come out shortly! There can and will be improvements to this as on-ball defense is undervalued in this stat (opponent field goal %).

Stay tuned, as there will be a handful of things being covered in the near future such as the scores of the last 20 MVPs, player comparisons, and more!

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About me: I’m Spencer Alexander Zied, a rising 12th grader from New York, New York. I love to play basketball and tennis, and am a big fan of the Knicks, Giants, Yankees and the Oregon football team. I’m also a big fan of First Take and Sportscenter on ESPN2. You can email me at or connect with me on Twitter, on Facebook, or on Instagram (szied713).

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