Before the season began, the question in the title would seem preposterous to pose. Jameer Nelson and All-Star, in the same sentence? Prior to this year, the constant critique of the Orlando Magic has always been - "a team in need of an upgrade at point guard."
Turns out that position has been upgraded.
Exit Jameer Nelson, enter JAMEER NELSON.
For the goof, I googled 'Jameer Nelson All-Star' into the search engine just to see what would come up. My MacBook proceeded to crash. The first result I received was an article written by Dime Magazine, roughly two weeks ago. The piece was simple, it just asked the reader if Nelson is an All-Star? If you scroll down below, you'll see a plethora of comments ranging from "No, No, No" to other more graphic responses.
Needless to say, those people couldn't be more wrong.
Nelson IS an All-Star, though unfortunately given the current setup determining the All-Star rosters, he'll probably get snubbed. Doesn't change the fact Nelson is deserving of having the title, All-Star, next to his name.
With the help of some data, I'll show why.
Click after the jump to see the results.
Just recently, Basketball-Statistics released its first Overall Composite Score numbers of the 2008-09 season. Click here for an in-depth explanation about this rating system.
Essentially, the purpose of the OCS is to use a combination of six (three offensive/three defensive) advanced statistical metrics and adjust them based on the player's position & playing time. The result is a rating that determines how good a player is.
The average score is set at 0.
-40 and below: Terrible
-40 to -20: Very bad
-20 to 0: Below average
0 to 20: Above average
20 to 40: Very good
In ranking the players, Basketball-Statistics uses a percentile-based system. For example, the Magic's Dwight Howard places in the 98th percentile among NBA centers according to their rankings, meaning he's better than 98% of the players at his position in the League.
The OCS of a player isn't the 'end all, be all' determiner for how good/bad he is. However, the rating provides nice supporting data when placed alongside other advanced statistics (like PER, for example).
So, looking into the numbers, here's what pops up for Orlando's Nelson.
Minutes Per Game (31.4)
OCS - 65.54 (95.05%)
PER - 20.76 (t-4th)
To put that number in perspective, here's what pops up for Boston's Rajon Rondo and New Jersey's Devin Harris.
Minutes Per Game (31.7)
OCS - 78.86 (97.83%)
PER - 19.93 (7th)
Minutes Per Game (36.8)
OCS - 48.43 (89.78%)
PER - 25.40 (2nd)
As you can see, Nelson fares well statistically when pitted against Rondo & Harris. Between the trio, Nelson ranks second in OCS & PER. Who's the best of the three? There's no wrong answer to be honest.
Given the fact both Rondo & Harris appear to be locks as reserves on the All-Star roster for the Eastern Conference, by simple logic, wouldn't that mean Nelson would be a shoe-in as well?
Again, the stats don't lie.