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January 18, 2012, 08:49 PM ET
PET for the NBA

by Kevin Pelton

Over the course of this week, our Drew Cannon has introduced a new offensive rating for college players he calls Four Pettinella Score, or PET. Using data from Basketball-Reference.com, I applied the same method to the NBA. Here’s the top 10 so far this season (minimum 200 minutes):

Player             ORTG    Usg    PET

LeBron James        121   33.0   120.0
Kobe Bryant         106   39.7   119.2
Carmelo Anthony     107   35.4   117.0
Kevin Durant        113   31.9   116.5
Louis Williams      118   28.2   114.8
Kevin Love          115   28.7   114.4
Andrea Bargnani     111   28.7   113.3
Derrick Rose        115   27.1   112.9
Kyrie Irving        107   29.5   112.8
Russell Westbrook   101   31.6   112.5

As you can see, PET conforms to conventional wisdom a bit better in the NBA than it does in college. I find this instructive in terms of reinforcing that the biggest issue with any kind of comprehensive college metric is accounting for strength of schedule. Applying a team-level adjustment to player stats may not go far enough.

In the NBA, we don’t really have that problem, so even after just three weeks, seven of the top 10 players were All-Stars a year ago. Andrea Bargnani’s scoring ability has never been the question, and he’s off to a great start; rookie Kyrie Irving might get there sooner rather than later. The only real fluke in this group is Philadelphia’s Louis Williams, a career 33.5 percent three-point shooter who is making 41.7 percent of his triples thus far this season. (By the way, neo-Peja Stojakovic Ryan Anderson is just outside the top 10, ranking 11th.)

This comes as no surprise to me; Four Pettinella Score utilizes the same logic as the offensive portion of WARP. The way I get to individual offensive rating is somewhat different and I make a slightly smaller adjustment for usage (adding one point of Offensive Rating per point of usage, rather than 1.25), but the only philosophical difference between the two metrics is my inclusion of an adjustment for floor spacing. So I certainly think there’s merit to using PET, especially among players with similar schedules.

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