Most of the time when injuries are referenced in sports betting, they all revolve around the quarterback. Obviously in football, if you’re playing without your quarterback, your game plan is completely difference, and point spreads can swing by a touchdown or even more, depending upon who the player is. In basketball though, injuries really aren’t counted for as much as you they perhaps should, and using the Win Share state is a perfect handicapping tool to get a leg up on the sportsbooks in a game that is very hard to consistently win at.
The Win Share Stat
Baseball has always been the king of Sabermetrics, and we have analyzed plenty involving stats like WAR in baseball. The NBA doesn’t have a WAR stat, but there is a very similar statistic that has become very popular over the years known as the Win Share stat.
A win share is an estimation of the number of wins that a player contributes to the his team.
This stat though, is a bit flawed, knowing that players who play more minutes are going to be worth more to their team just out of the pure raw numbers.
That’s why the Win Share Per 48 Minutes stat was created. This now puts players on a level playing field as if they are all playing the same number of minutes, as it prorates the numbers. An average Win Share Per 48 Minutes, or WS/48 for short, is approximately 0.100 according to Basketball Reference.
The Best of the Win Shares
Not surprisingly, the best player in the NBA last year (2013 article) in terms of the WS/48 stat was LeBron James. He posted a .3220 with the 2012-13 Miami Heat, which was the fifth best individual season in NBA history. The others above him were three seasons from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and one from Wilt Chamberlain, and that’s some tremendous company to be in.
What might surprise you though, are the active players that are on this list of the highest ever WS/48. There are 250 individual seasons featuring a WS/48 of greater than .215 in NBA history, and some of the names on the list are puzzling. Tyson Chandler (2010-11, .2182), Elton Brand (2001-02, .2159 and 2005-06, .2294), Chauncey Billups (2006-07, .2158), Ryan Anderson (2011-12, .2187), Marcus Camby (2000-01, .2330), and Manu Ginobili (2007-08, .2324) are amongst the players that are on this list, but what might surprise you are some of the names that aren’t, or aren’t very often as well.
The Worst of the Win Shares
Kobe Bryant’s best WS/48 was .2240 in the 2005-06 season with the Los Angeles Lakers, and he hasn’t posted better than a 0.210 since that point. Carmelo Anthony, the 2012-13 winner of the scoring title, has never had a season on this list, nor has Russell Westbrook, nor Stephen Curry, nor LaMarcus Aldridge.
The list of players that were under the average of .100 WS/48 was astounding. Nicolas Batum, who played a tremendous amount of minutes for the Portland Trail Blazers was statistically hurting his team by being on the court, posting a .099. Jeremy Lin was also a .099. DeMarcus Cousins was a problem off the court for the Sacramento Kings, and he was a problem on it as well. He might have averaged 17.1 points and 9.9 rebounds per game, but his WS/48 was only .092. The same could be said about the Brooklyn Nets’ Joe Johnson.
The Milwaukee Bucks went crazy to trade for JJ Redick from the Orlando Magic, but in actuality, Redick was only slightly better (.091) than the key man that went back to the Magic in that deal, Tobias Harris (.089). Harris actually had a WS/48 of .092 in his time with the Magic, but he only had a .080 with the Bucks in his limited games.