The Rufus Rating

Everyone has a little rant blog that they put out every once in a while, and this is mine. What I'm ranting about this time? JOHN HOLLINGER!!! Any one who has come into contact with me on this site know that I can't stand the man. He presses my buttons with almost everything he writes. Even if it's about a team other than the Bobcats. His way of thinking just pisses me off. He gathers all these statistics and really tries to predict the future with them. But his system is severely flawed. It removes all of the "common sense" out of basketball. Sometimes, he'll make a case for why a player is terrible based on their shooting percentages, but then portray volume shooters like Kobe and Durant like they are kings. I mean, I know they are great, but the way that he comes to the conclusion is just weird because it doesn't take everything into account. I was reading an article on ESPN this morning that talked about how his system was the most accurate popular in the world when predicting NBA basketball.

Well, I'm about to try to fix all of that. I'm really going to try to come up with a system that should accurately predict how good a team will be. I know that people have done this before, coming up with their own systems and such, but I'm really going to dig into it to try to figure out how to really make this work. So, how would I go about this? I'm making this up on the fly, so don't try to point to all the FLAWS in it because the idea is to gather all of your opinions on how to to improve the system and what all should be taken into account. After all of that info has been gathered, we'll use last season's statistics to make a prediction on where teams will end up this year, and periodically check how the system's predictions are holding up. So, let's get to it. THE RUFUS RATING!!!

It's going go look like a terrible mess at first, but trust me, I'll get it worked out after I have all the suggestions in.


1. Like all rating systems, we'll need to use numbers, and I just think it makes more since for a players with higher ratings to be valued more than lower ratings. So, lets get that out the way.

2. I think a team's RR should be a combination of player RR and the coaches RR. Naturally, Phil Jackson and Greg Popovich would have the highest RR coaching ratings and unproven coaches like Monty Williams and Keith Smart would have low RR until they have some success in the league.

3. Looking back over the years, teams need super stars to win championships for the most part. So, a players RR rating should be given an extra boost for superstar points, if they are, well, a superstar. (Kobe, Wade, LeBron, Durant, Paul, Howard and so forth).

4.  A team's RR should take a hit if they aren't classified as a well put together team. This will give false hope to some garbage teams that fit together well, but don't play well, but I think it should be taken into account. Team's that are built the "right way" should get a small extra rating. By "built the right way", I mean the PG is a pass first PG, the SG is a good shooter, inside and out, the SF's biggest strength should be defense, the PF's biggest skill being rebounding, and the C's biggest skill being defending the paint. Not many team's meet this criteria across the board, so, points would be taken away if a team is lacking.

5. A team's success from previous years should play a part in not the team's rating, but the player's individual rating. For example, someone putting up big numbers on a 12 win team shouldn't be treated the same as someone putting up big numbers on a championship team.

6. There needs to be a way to discredit fluke years. So, to me, if a person has been in the league for 7 or more years and all of the sudden had a huge boost from what they've been doing, then that year should be excluded when predicting their future.

7. Injuries should take part in a rating, and players that have missed games throughout their career should be counted on to miss games and that should effect a team's rating.

8. Chemistry should be taken into account as well. A group of guys playing together for over 2 years should  have a higher chemistry rating then one put together.

9. Now I need all of your suggestions.

My idea is to reverse all of the data to include all of the common sense stuff. Like, this year, the Heat, Lakers, Celtics, Magic, Thunder, and Mavericks should end up all being top 10 in RR which would make the analysis credible. Like I say, I know it sounds dumb and like a huge mess, but I just feel like there has to be something out there better than Hollinger's B.S. And damnit, if ain't nobody else gonna come up with it, I'll do it myself. Plus, we could do Team by Team previews using the Rufus Rating and hopefully get the rest of Sports Nation to start using the term and increase traffic even more on the site (which is pretty much my aim with everything I post anyway). Don't worry about the scoring, shooting percentages, rebound rates per 40 and all of that, those stats will work their way into the player and team ratings naturally.  But, what else should be included when predicting what teams will REALLY be successful this year and which ones will be terrible?

The first rough draft of the new ranking system has panned out like this so far

Among starting PG's in the NBA, their RR's are

Derron Williams (Utah) 68

Steve Nash (Phoenix)  55

Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City) 51

Derek Rose (Chicago) 49

Rajon Rondo (Boston) 45

Chris Paul (New Orleans) 44

Maurice Williams (Cleveland) 43 (To fix this, I'm thinking about using the "Superstar Effect". The fact the he was on a team with LeBron and no longer is should have his rating go down by 5).

Stephen Curry (Golden State) 41

Chauncey Billups (Denver) 36

Tony Parker (San Antonio) 29

Devin Harris (New Jersey) 28

Jason Kidd (Dallas) 28

Jose Calderon (Toronto) 21

Derek Fisher (Lakers) 21

Beno Udrih (Sacramento) 20

D.J. Augstin (Charlotte) 14

Now, although the system is terribly flawed (see who Mo Williams is better than), it's not as flawed as I thought it would be initially as most everybody else is in their true position of rank among competitors. I've never thought as D Williams as being the best PG in the NBA and I never thought Rondo was better than CP3, but they are at least debatable. I feel like the more data added to the ratings would give a better idea of who is who, but that'll come in time. Right now, I see I have to try to eliminate the fluke that is Mo Williams before it can be taken seriously.


TEAM RATINGS=(Sum of player ratings+chemistry rating+coach rating+cohesiveness rating+?+?+?)

PLAYER RATINGS=(Positional Statistics(i.e. PG's assist, PF's rebounds)+Team Success+Superstar Rating+?+?+?)

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