With the NBA season already over, statisticians can now finalize the numbers from the whole campaign, including the playoffs. It includes the Regularized Adjusted Plus Minus (RAPM) ratings of players, showing who had the most impact on both ends of the floor.
With the postseason games also accounted for, Golden State Warriors star guard Stephen Curry stands on top of the list, edging out LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard, who are considered the best two-way players in the league today. This goes to show how underrated the back-to-back MVP is as a defender, and his continuous efficiency on offense, despite shooting a lot of shots from distance.
Offensive RAPM ranks Steph most impactful player in 16/17 by a decent margin…again pic.twitter.com/6Wj86GQGwm
— sam esfandiari (@samesfandiari) June 26, 2017
RAPM uses special techniques to avoid standard errors from the often used regular plus-minus scales. NBAstuffer.com explains thoroughly what it is.
“In “Regularized Adjusted Plus-Minus” (RAPM), the goal is to provide more accurate results by employing a special technique called “ridge regression” (a.k.a. regularization). It significantly reduces standard errors in Adjusted Plus-Minus (APM).”
“Conventional adjusted plus-minus is shown to do a poor job of predicting the outcome of future games, particularly when fit in less than one season of data. Adding regularization greatly improves accuracy, and some player ratings change dramatically.
The enhancement with the RAPM is a Bayesian technique in which the data is combined with a-priori beliefs regarding reasonable ranges for the parameters in order to produce more accurate models. That is what ridge regression (a.k.a. regularization) does.”
It may seem too scientific to understand, but in layman's terms, it measures the positive or negative impact of a player on offense and defense. It also includes how much a team outscores an opponent when a specific player is on the court.
That said, it goes to show how good Curry has been this past season despite the spotlight being on Kevin Durant most of the time. Even if that was the case, he has still quietly proven that he is one of the best players of today, and his value to the Dubs is very high.