2013 NBA Anti-Awards!
It’s time again for The NBA Anti-Awards! These awards (playfully) recognize some of the most miserable and discouraging statistical achievements in basketball. The basketball analytics movement has been evolving and using visual and graphic representations to communicate data has become more and more important. I tried to add some of those visual components to the final awards this season, really emphasizing the ugliness of the numbers.
This is also the 3rd season in which I’ve handed out these awards, and so I’ve created an archive page where you can find past winners. Continue the conversation (yell at me about not appreciating Kobe) on Twitter with the hashtag, #AntiAwards.
Without further ado, here are your 2013 winners:
The Shawn Bradley Award – This award goes to the player 6’10″ or taller who has had the highest percentage of his own shot attempts blocked (minimum 500 minutes played).
Ronny Turiaf had a healthy lead at the All-Star break and coasted his way to victory, finishing the season with 18.9% of shot attempts being turned away. Several shorter players had their shots blocked at similar rates, but his closest competitor in the 6’10″ and over category was Omer Asik, who finished with a paltry 13.9 Blkd%. This award-winning season was not just a flash in the pan for Turiaf, but the result of steady decline. This marked the third straight season where the percentage of his own shots that were blocked increased, while the percentage of opponent’s shots he has blocked has remained flat.
The Shawn Kemp Award – This award goes to the player who has fouled out of the most games. From 1986 up through the present, Shawn Kemp is the NBA’s leader in foul outs with 115, 35 more than his next closest competitor.
Jared Sullinger had the lead at the All-Star Break and amazingly was able to hold on for a share of the award, despite not playing a single a minute since the end of January because of season-ending back surgery. Sullinger ended up tied with the Raptors’ Amir Johnson, who fouled out 8 times in 81 games. Sullinger fouled out 8 times in just 45 games, a ridiculous 18% of the games he played in. Looking at the numbers more closely reveals his performance in this category as even more improbable. He averaged 6.2 personal fouls per 36 minutes, but only averaged 19.8 minutes per game.
The Jahidi White Award – This award goes to the player with the lowest ratio of Ast/FGA (minimum 500 minutes played). The award is named for White who assisted on just 1.7% of his teammates’ baskets over a 334 game career.
With a ratio of 0.045, the Nuggets’ JaVale McGee just edged out Amare Stoudemire. This was an extremely close race, but McGee sealed the deal in the months of March and April, pairing 130 shot attempts with just 5 assists. Of the 25 assists he recorded this season, just 2 led to three-pointers for his teammates. He’s clearly become a disciple of the Nick Young Method for Offensive Decision-Making:
The Darrick Martin Award - This award goes to the player with the lowest FG% and a minimum of 300 attempts. The award is named for Darrick Martin, a career 38.2% shooter who played 514 games over 13 NBA seasons.
Ricky Rubio brought home his first career Anti-Award this season, shooting 36.0% from the field. He just edged out Sebastian Telfair and Gerald Green, who finished at 36.2% and 36.6%, respectively. What really gave Rubio the edge was the diversity of his shooting struggles. He made an embarrassing 44.3% of shots at the rim, and just 31.7% of shots from everywhere else. Just take a look at his shooting chart:
The Jason Kidd Award – This award goes to the player with the most turnovers in a single game. Jason Kidd has had a Hall of Fame career with many terrific positive statistical contributions. He’s also had 3 career games with more than 12 turnovers.
Once again, when it comes to single game turnover totals, Kobe Bryant finds himself on top of the heap. His 10 turnovers on November 27th against the Pacers are what brought home the hardware, but for good measure he also added games of 9, 8 and 7 turnovers as well. It certainly wasn’t a cakewalk for Kobe this season as James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Jrue Holiday all had three or more games of 8+ turnovers. But in the end, veteran savvy reigns supreme. Behold:
The Matt Bullard Award – This award goes to the player 6’10″ or taller with the lowest Total Rebound Percentage. (Minimum 500 minutes)
With a TRB% of 5.4% . . . . . Steve Novak, come on down!! As we pointed at the All-Star break, finding enough minutes to meet the minimum requirement is probably the only barrier to Novak winning this award every season for the next half-decade. His TRB% is significantly lower than other notable perimeter bigs like Danilo Gallinari, Andrea Bargnani and Matt Bonner. On average, he grabbed a rebound about once every 11 minutes, and he played of span of 54:54, stretched over four games, without recording a single rebound. Everything is lining up for a historic career in the non-rebounding department.
The Kobe Bryant Award – This award goes to the player who has missed the most shot attempts in a single game. The award is inspired by Kobe’s performance in Game 7 of the 09-10 Finals.
Kobe’s gargantuan 25 missed shots, during a 16 of 41 effort against the Warriors on December 22nd, held up for the entire season. But just to prove that this award is his until he doesn’t want it anymore, he went ahead and missed 22 shots on two separate occasions – January 20th against the Raptors and March 13th against the Hawks. It takes a rare combination of blind grit and determination to so thoroughly dominate this category and sometimes the numbers don’t entirely do it justice. Courtesy of NBAwowy.com, here’s his shot-chart from that award-winning effort against the Warriors:
The Nick Anderson Award - This award goes to the player who missed the most free throws in a single game. Anderson was actually a decent free throw shooter. But his four missed free throw attempts in the 1995 Finals against Houston kind of stand out in my memory.
This is where the chase for The Nick Anderson Award stood at the All-Star Break: Dwight Howard, 12 missed free throws, December 2nd. Dwight Howard, 12 missed free throws, November 20th. Dwight Howard, 9 missed free throws, December 11th. Dwight Howard, 8 missed free throws, December 4th. Shall I go on?
To that I would like to add – Dwight Howard, 14 missed free throws, March 12th. Dwight Howard, 10 missed free throws, April 2nd. Dwight Howard, 10 missed free throws, March 27th. Dwight Howard, 9 missed free throws, April 14th. They’re pretty simplistic, so most stat sites don’t plot free throw attempts, but I whipped this one up for Howard. It pretty much works for all of the games I mentioned above.
The Chris Childs Award – This award goes to the player who has posted the highest Turnover Percentage so far this season. It’s named after former New York Knick, Chris Childs, who retired with a career Turnover Percentage of 22.8%. (Minimum 500 minutes)
Utah’s dynamic duo of backup point guards, Earl Watson and Jamaal Tinsley finished 1-2 in the final tally for this award. Both players actually increased their TO% since the All-Star break, which is amazing considered how bloated those numbers already were. In the end Watson separated himself fairly significantly, turning the ball over on 34.5% of his possessions, compared to just 30.2% for Tinsley. Just to really drive home how little depth Utah had in the backcourt this season, I’ll point out that in addition to their turnover problems, both Tinsley and Watson shot under 40% for the season and still combined to play 2050 minutes for the Jazz. Interestingly for a pair of pass-first point guards, passing seemed to be their biggest challenge:
Kevin Seraphin has pretty much led this category from start to finish, despite strong challenges from Michael Beasley, Austin Rivers, Andrea Bargnani and Ben Gordon. In the end, Seraphin’s box score production contributed -4.9 Wins to the Wizards’ season total. As I noted at the All-Star break, Seraphin has been multi-laterally atrocious. Other than points scored, his per 48 minute averages in every statistical category are worse than an average NBA center. Adding insult to injury, by my shot-selection metric, Expected Points Per Shot, he also had the second worst shot selection in the entire league this season, barely edged out by Richard Hamilton. Seraphin is young and there could be plenty more Anti-Award hardware in his future.