By Ron Chambers
Sports are flooded with all sorts of stats. Many of us fantasize about a single stat that can tell us how good a player is. Thatwill never really happen. One of the closest stats is the PER (Player Efficiency Rating). It is a great stat that tries to be a stat that tells us how good a player is. But, a couple of my favorite stats are Offensive Efficiency and Defensive Efficiency. These stats basically tell us how many points a player will score (or allow scored) in 100 possessions of effort. I always like to look at the difference in these two stats. If a player has an offensive efficiency of 105 and a defensive efficiency of 95 then they on average would score 10 more points than they allow. That is obviously very important.
When looking at stats I realized that sometimes players with a great PER don’t have good offensive verses defensive efficency. This means the player is putting up great stats but I question if they are really helping the team win. Other times there are players with good offensive verses defensive efficiency but they have a terrible PER andwhile i like those players a team does need players who actually put up stats.
So, I deciced to combine the three stats to come up with what I call the Difference Maker Stat or DMS. The DMS is meant to show not only how talented and productive a player is but how much they help the team to win. Are they really difference makers on the team.
I went through the entire league and calculated that the DMS for every player over 20. That gave me 79 players so obviously these are some of the best players in the league. In calculating this several weeks ago I found out that there were 4 players over 40…these are the true elites; 8 players between 35-39.9; 16 players between 30-34.9; 26 players between 25-29.9; and 27 players between 20-24.9. Today there are only two players who are still above the illussive 40 point mark.
This article will only look at the top 11 players in the league. Those who who have a DMS of 35 or higher.
#1 Mario Bailey, Brooklyn 46.6
Bailey is a true diference maker in the WBA. His PER of 31.1 is the best in the league which shouldn’t be surprising since he fourth in the league in scoring, 2nd in rebounding among shooting guards, 6th in passing among shooting guards, 4th in the league in steals, and tied for the most blocks among shooting guards. He also has the best FG% of any shooting guard, is 4th in the league for FTA per game, and has the best Points Per Shot of any SG. All that to say that this kid is the real deal and is a star among stars.
As his stats show in addition to being a great scorer he is a great defender. His Offensive Efficiecy is 14.4 better than his Deffensive Efficiency which puts him in an elite category of players who are over 10. All this is to say Bailey is the #1 Difference maker in the league.
#2 Walt Jackson, Toronto 45.5
There should be no surprise that Jackson is high on this list. Many argue that he is the best player in the league. His PER of 30.9 is second in the league and his Offensive/ Deffensive Efficiency difference is impressive at 13.7. He is a scoring and rebounding machine and a solid passer and defender.
#3 Parker Mason, Cancun 39.9
Mason is the heart and sole ofthe best defensive team in the league. He scores and rebounds well but passes a little less than most teams like at the PG. But, for Cancun’s slow controlled style of play he works perfectly. His one weakness is his turnovers.
#4 Abdiel Gordon, Capetown 39.6
Abdiel is the big man that every big man wants to be. He scores efficienty and rebounds. But, most importantly he leads one of the best teams in the league. He is the highest scoring bigman in the league and despite the fact that he doesn’t put up big defensive numbers he has an excellent O Eff/ D Eff ratio.
Tied #5 Kent Mercer, Cancun 38.6
This guy does everything. He has spent all 11 years of his WBA career in Cancun and I can’t imagine he will go anywhere. He is a career 20/9 guy but that doesn’t showhow huge his impact really is. Since he joined Cancun they have never had a losing season. Their worst year was 45 wins and that is theonly year they were not over 50. THeir next worst was 55 wins and they have gone as high as 65 with Mercer’s leadership. They have averaged 58.5 wins with him on their team which is astounding!
Tied #5 Austyn Williams, Salt Lake City 38.6
It is hard for someone who doesn’t score in bunches to make this list but Austin Williams is something special. He passes well, scorers efficiently when he wants to, and defends like a beast. He is shooting 48.2% from 3-pt land which is just painful…for the opposing team.
#7 Ahmed Dougherty, Cacnun 38.2
Dougherty is mostly a pure scorer and not what we would typically expect to see on this list. But, he is a better defender than he is given credit for and plays on the team with the best team deffense in the league which has certainly helped him out. But, don’t be fooled. He isn’t on this list by accident. He is a real talent and not the defensive hole that Cancun’s aopponent’s wish he was.
#8 Charlie Meyer, Gabon 38.0
Meyer has slowly and steadily improved over the years and now he has finally become a star. There is nothing this 26 year old can’t do. He is a good efficient scorer, rebounds well, andis a shut down defender. Most importantly he is the floor general for one of the top teams in the league.
#9 Omar Jefferson, Brooklyn, 37.7
With the emergence of Mario Bailey this year as arguably the best player in the WBA Omar Jefferson has not gotten as much attention. But, this guy is still a stud. He is sixth among PGs in scoring, 9th in assists, and 8th in steals and 2nd among PGs in +/- & double doubles. He is also a huge long range threat. Among PGs he’s 5th in 3Pt%, 3rd in 3pt attempts, and third is points per shot. He is also second in overall FG% for PGs.
#10 Cordell Parks, Salt Lake City, 37.0
Cordell is Mr. Steady. You always know what you are going to get from him and it is always amazing. His minutes are down this year as SLC has not had to rely on their stars as heavily since they keep blowing people out. Parks is the type of player you want to build a team around and that is exactly what SLC has done. He is a great on both sides of the ball and a real leader for a newly emerged powerhouse team.
#11 John Devine, Gabon, 35.5
Devine is a Power Forward who would play shooting guard if he wasn’t so darn slow…and 6’11”. He takes more 3pters than any other big man and makes just a hair under 50% of them. The odd part is that as much as this guy likes to play outside he also gets 9.0 rebounds a game. So as much as his opponents would like to call him soft they just can’t.