MVP Race: who are the best players based on advanced analytics and impact metrics?


As part of a new series on HoopsHype, we’re taking a look at who is expected to win the NBA MVP award based on what we can learn from advanced analytics.

For this survey, every impact metric was included because it was considered one of the most trusted by NBA executives when asked by HoopsHype in the last offseason.

Metrics extracted included Daily Plus-Minus (DPM), Over-Under Estimate (EPM), JAMES (BBall-Index), RAPTOR (FiveThirtyEight), Regularized Adjusted Over-Under (RAPM) and Box Plus-Minus (Basket-Reference). We have also added the Box Plus-Minus model of as well as the latest impact measure, the daily updated score of individual performance (DROP).

ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus has not been included as data has yet to be released this season. However, if it’s made public in our next update, the RPM will also be calculated.

Since each of these metrics is rated on a possession-by-100 scale, we adjusted playing time by multiplying their contribution to impact on each metric by the percentage of possible minutes they played for their team up to. ‘now this season.

As with the official vote, the best player received 10 points, the second received seven points, the third received five points, the fourth received three points, and the fifth player received one point. If a player finished outside the Top 5, they did not receive any votes for that measure.

Only players who reached the Top 5 on at least one of these eight metrics were included in our rankings below. Some of the more notable omissions include DeMar DeRozan, Young Traé, Zach lavine, Karl-Anthony Towns, LaMelo ball, Luka Doncic, Paul Georges and Devin Booker.

To see where our staff at HoopsHype think the MVP race is right now, however, click here. To see who should make the All-NBA ballots based on HoopsHype’s Global Scoring, click here.

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Share of votes: 1.25% of the maximum possible amount

Even after adjusting for playing time, Miami Jimmy butler still managed to finish in the Top 5 on Basketball Reference’s Box Plus-Minus (BPM). Butler has only played 18 of the 31 games the Heat have played so far this season, but he looked fantastic when he was on the pitch. If he’s able to play more minutes as the season progresses, Butler could easily move up that leaderboard in our next update.

For the latest Jimmy Butler rumors, click here.

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Share of votes: 1.25% of the maximum possible amount

Based on preseason expectations, Minnesota D’Angelo Russell had arguably the most surprising appearance of these rankings. But he was one of the leaders of the Adjusted Regularized Plus-Minus (RAPM), which makes sense when looking at his numbers on-off so far this season – the Timberwolves are 21.5 points per 100 possessions better when he’s playing than when he’s not. As pointed out by The ring Rob mahoney, DLo plays a central role in the league best roster of five men.

For the latest D’Angelo Russell rumors, click here.

Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Share of votes: 1.25% of the maximum possible amount

It’s a bit confusing for Utah Donovan mitchell hasn’t shown up higher in those rankings considering how he and the Jazz have played so far this season. Mitchell is in the middle of averaging 25.2 points while adding 5.0 assists and a career-high 1.7 steals per game so far this season. His ability to bring his opponents into oblivion earned him one of the top spots using the version of Box Plus-Minus courtesy of Ben taylor.

For the latest rumors from Donovan Mitchell, click here.

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Share of votes: 5.00 percent of the maximum possible amount

One of the reasons Toronto Fred van vleet has appeared on several charts because the best capacity is uptime. The goalie currently leads the league in minutes played per game, appearing in more than 75 percent of all possible minutes for the Raptors. Even though his offensive role gives him a lower utilization rate than other top finishers, VanVleet is currently the league’s most efficient – and one of the most productive – player in the NBA when he shoots the hook.

For the latest Fred VanVleet rumors, click here.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Share of votes: 7.50 percent of the maximum possible amount

Considering the fact that the Phoenix Suns have the best winning percentage in the NBA, it makes sense that they have a strong presence in these rankings. In this case, that player is Chris paul, which has had a huge impact on the success of the organization since his arrival. He performed particularly well in the daily assessment of TheAnalyst’s individual performance (DROP).

For the latest Chris Paul rumors, click here.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Share of votes: 8.75 percent of the maximum possible amount

When adjusted for playing time, the Cleveland Darius garland currently has the second best score on Regularized Adjusted Over-Under (RAPM) so far this season. Garland is having a best career year so far and is running an All-Star campaign for the Cavaliers, who have exceeded expectations throughout the season. The 21-year-old goaltender is averaging 19.1 points and 7.3 assists per game and the Cavs have the league’s fourth-best net score.

For the latest rumors from Darius Garland, Click here.

Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Share of votes: 11.25 percent of the maximum possible amount

It’s not hard to see why someone like the one from Utah Rudy Gobert has such a huge impact on winning. If you only look at unadjusted defensive metrics, the big man is currently at the top of the list for Daily Plus-Minus, JAMES, DROP and RAPTOR. If you watch him play with some regularity, it’s even more evident how he changes the flow of the game. Utah has the best net mark in the league right now and Gobert is one of the main reasons why.

For the latest Rudy Gobert rumors, click here.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Share of votes: 36.25% of the maximum possible amount

While all of the aforementioned players are having incredibly strong seasons, at the moment there are only four serious contenders for this season’s MVP award. One of those players is the one from Brooklyn Kevin Durant, whose outstanding talent levels will always give him serious consideration for such a trophy. Durant currently leads the league with 29.7 points per game and is the main reason the Nets have the best record in the Eastern Conference despite the fact that James harden showed some regression and Kyrie Irving does not play yet. Durant, however, is not the overall leader in any of the catch-all statistics included in this survey.

For the latest Kevin Durant rumors, click here.

Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Share of votes: 41.25 percent of the maximum possible amount

Already double MVP and reigning MVP of the NBA league finals, Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo is one of three players who currently ranks in the Top 5 on all of the metrics we polled. Although he only leads on DARKO’s Daily Plus-Minus (DPM), this is actually the extent to which most NBA executives said they were most confident when we asked them so much this last offseason.

For the latest rumors from Giannis Antetokounmpo, click here.

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Share of votes: 67.50 percent of the maximum possible amount

It certainly sounds like the kind of season where Golden State’s Stephen Curry – who is now the league’s all-time leader in all three points – could win another MVP award and he is currently leading the race based on our voters here at HoopsHype and ESPN Straw Poll media voters. While he already has two of those trophies under his belt, the Warriors star is undoubtedly enjoying another special season. Curry is averaging 5.3 career best three points per game and the Warriors are back near the top of the standings. Curry tops all players in the daily updated leaderboard of individual performance (DROP) and adjusted plus-minus (RAPM) so far this season.

For the latest Stephen Curry rumors, click here.

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Share of votes: 78.75 percent of the maximum possible amount

It’s time we gave reigning league MVP Denver’s Nikola Jokic, the respect that he deserves. Jokic currently does not have the support he had on the Nuggets last season considering Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. are both absent for long periods. However, he enjoys the same success as when he won the MVP title. The Big Man is currently leading all players in Over-Under Estimate (EPM) as well as LEBRON (BBall-Index), RAPTOR (FiveThirtyEight), Plus-Minus Box (Basket-Reference) and BP Box Plus-Minus (Backpicks) in 2021-2022. At the moment, according to the analyzes, he is the MVP of the league.

For the latest Nikola Jokic rumors, click here.


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