Point Guard Rankings Update & Surprises: Cappie Pondexter and Jia Perkins...Top 10? (Late Edit)

. Tuesday, June 23, 2009
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Yesterday, I posted the first point guard rankings of the season including an analysis of the three rookie point guards drafted in the first six picks of the draft.

However, I did not initially post the full stats of all the point guards due to time constraints, so I figured I would do that today since there were no games yesterday.

As I got ready to post the tables of stats for all 25 point guards, I noticed that a few players had impressive games on Sunday that might be worth accounting for (e.g. Sue Bird: 9 assists, 0 turnovers against the Mercury on Sunday).

Then I just got curious about a few things.

Comments on last week's post about Briann January regarding whether the Chicago Sky should start Kristi Toliver over Dominique Canty made me wonder how well Jia Perkins is doing as a potential point guard option this season. And then I started thinking about another off guard who often plays the facilitator role: Cappie Pondexter of the Phoenix Mercury.

Both players have not only posted impressive point guard numbers this season, but have also managed to crack my top 10.

Update: Stats were updated @ 3pm PST due to a small Excel error and the addition of a new stat, Tendex. Some minor typos were corrected as well.

The skeptics will say there must be a flaw with this process if so many non-point guards – Perkins, Pondexter, Taurasi – can rank in my top ten. However, I would respond that the statistics are only describing very impressive play on the part of these players as lead guards thus far this season. And maybe, as these rankings initially set out to do, there are things beyond being the shortest player on the court that make someone an effective lead guard.

Pondexter’s point guard numbers, for example, really shocked me. I have watched her bring the ball up and initiate the offense, but never really thought much of her as a playmaker or facilitator for her team. The numbers tell a different story – Pondexter is among the most efficient lead guards in the league, making plays for others while limiting turnovers and still managing to score efficiently. You can only imagine what this team would have done with Lauren Jackson surrounded by such talented perimeter players.

Sorry for the oversight Cappie.

The Rankings (as of 6/21/09)

Below are the numbers for the top 10 point guards in each category: facilitator ability, scoring ability, and game impact. (Click here for the full explanation of why I’m using these statistics)

Ticha Penicheiro (injury) and Shannon Johnson (recovering) have been removed from the list to accommodate Perkins and Pondexter.

There is a lot to chew on here, so I will look forward to feedback from others.

Does Cappie Pondexter's performance thus far this season seem to match these impressive stats? What might the stats be missing/exaggerating?

Facilitator Ability
 PLAYERAst. RatioTov%PPRTot. Rank

1. Harrower, K.

2. Johnson, T

2. Bird, S.

4. Whalen, L.

4. Harding, L.

6. Teasley, N.

7. Pondexter, C.

8. Lawson, K.

9. Mitchell, L.

9. Moore, L.

Scoring Ability
 PLAYERTS%2 pt%Pts/Z pt posTot. Rank

1. Brown, K.

2. Taurasi, T.

3. Bevilaqua, T.

4. Pondexter, C.

5. Johnson, T.

5. Perkins, J.

7. Teasley, N.

8. Bird, S.

9. Whalen, L.

9. Hammon, B.

9. Montgomery, R.

Game Impact
 PLAYERPlus/MinusTendexTot. Rank

1. Perkins, J.

2. Bird, S.

3. Johnson, T.

4. Harding, L.

5. Pondexter, C.

6. Wiggins, C.

7. Taurasi, D.

7. Brown, K.

9. Lawson, K.

10. Harrower, K.

10. Hammon, B.

 PLAYERFacilitatorScoringImpactTot. Rank

1. Johnson, T.

2. Bird, S.

3. Pondexter, C.

4. Brown, K.

5. Perkins, J.

6. Harrower, K.

7. Whalen, L.

8. Teasley, N.

9. Taurasi, D.

9. Bevilaqua, T.

(Late) Transition Points:

The Tendex metric is described at Dougsstats.com. H/t to Scott for letting me know about it -- it makes more sense to me than Win Score. And if you look at the numbers from last season, the ordering of point guards looks much more reasonable.

Coincidentally, the two players who benefitted from the switch from Win Score to Tendex most were Perkins and Pondexter. Among the players hurt most were Kiesha Brown and Vickie Johnson.

Tendex hurt the rookie point guards: For the record, with the shift to Tendex, there was a shift in position for Briann January, Renee Montgomery, and Kristi Toliver who I looked at previously:

January, 77, #19
Montgomery, 73, #20
Toliver, 69, #23

In other words, they each have weaknesses that they will need to work on...