FanPost

Does a Point Guard's Size Matter?

There's discussion at the moment regarding Trey Burke. Burke is not a good player to draft because he's only six feet tall, he'll be inferior when playing against larger point guards, he has a large wingspan, height doesn't matter at the PG position, etc etc etc. While a height disadvantage does seem like a problem at the professional level, is it really an issue when it comes to the traditionally smallest position on the court? I figured I would look up some statistics from this past season and see if there was a clear difference between point guards 6'1" and shorter, and point guards 6'2" and taller
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There are many ways to go about determining rank through statistics, so the best course of action, in my opinion, is to pull several different advanced stats to see if there's any clear difference between the two height factions. For this post, I'll only be pulling data from two stats - PER, and win shares. We'll start with PER, which is currently the trendiest of advanced statistics. You can read up on how PER is calculated here. A descending list of guards from best PER to worst can be found here, which is what I used for my PG data

Of all the point guards who finished with a PER of 15.0 or greater,

*14 players were 6'1" or shorter
*19 players were 6'2" or taller

It should be noted that of the top eight PGs with the highest PER (Walker, Calderon, D. Williams, Wall, Curry, Irving, Parker, Westbrook, and Paul), only Chris Paul is below 6'2". However, he is the PG with the highest PER this season
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PER primarily factors in offensive statistics and does not heavily feature defensive ability. This time we will look at point guards and win shares. You can read up on how win shares are calculated here. To be perfectly honest, at this moment I find win shares to be the 'truest' worth a player is to their team. A descending list of guards from highest win shares to lowest can be found here, which is what I used for my PG data

Of all the point guards who finished with 5.0 or more win shares,

*8 players were 6'1" or shorter
*15 players were 6'2" or taller

This time, of the top eight PGs with the most win shares (Calderon, Parker, Hill, Conley, D. Williams, Curry, Westbrook, Paul), Mike Conley and Chris Paul were the only ones below 6'2", but again, Paul had the most amount of win shares among all point guards
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So what do all these statistics mean? Well, to be perfectly honest, I think it will provide different answers for different people, reinforce conclusions that had already been drawn, or may make things even more confusing. On top of that, there are several other ways to measure talent between tall point guards and short point guards that I haven't covered in this post, so this is by no means a complete analysis. Personally, what I gathered from this information is that taller point guards do indeed hold an advantage over shorter point guards when it comes to defense (as evidenced by the larger difference in win shares), but when it comes to offense, both sizes are more or less indistinguishable

What conclusions can you draw from this small sample size?

This FanPost was made by a member of the Orlando Pinstriped Post community, and is to be treated as the opinions and views of its author, not that of the blogger or blog community as a whole.

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