Basketball is a team game. The definition of a good player is somebody who makes his team better, not a player who scores 40 points per game. My favorite story about what defines a good player is told by Terry Pluto in his excellent book Tall Tales.1 The late great Celtics coach Red Auerbach said that whenever the Celtics practiced, KC Jones's team always won. This must mean he was a good or great player. Yet during his peak years his PER rating was around 10, indicating he was a poor player. KC must have done some great things that did not show up in the box score.

Pure +/– Ratings and Their Flaws

The first statistic that tied a player rating to team performance was hockey's +/– statistic. A player's +/– statistic ...

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