NBA Finals Top Players: During Playoffs, Season, and College

Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker may have grabbed the spotlight last night in San Antonio. But entering the NBA Finals, the top three performers in the playoffs have been: 1. LeBron James, 2. Tim Duncan, and 3. Dwyane Wade. The top three regular seasons were by: 1. James, 2. Wade, and 3. Duncan. The top three Value Add players in their college days were 1. Michael Beasley, 2. Wade, and 3. Norris Cole. Here is the table of all 30 players on the floor for the series.

PLAYER Playoff Eff Rnk Season PER Rnk College Rnk College/other
LeBron James, MIA 29.6 1st 29.4 1st na   St. Vincent/Mary HS
Tim Duncan, SA 21.1 2nd 21.4 3rd 79th/2009 13th Wake Forest
Dwyane Wade, MIA 18.5 3rd 22.1 2nd 3rd/2003 2nd Marquette
Chris Bosh, MIA 16.8 4th 19.1 6th 25th/2003 10th Georgia Tech
Kawhi Leonard, SA 16.5 5th 19.4 5th 17th/2011 8th San Diego State
Manu Ginobili, SA 14.6 6th 20.1 4th na   Argentina
Tiago Splitter, SA 14.3 7th 16.6 11th na   Brazil
Tony Parker, SA 13.8 8th 19.0 7th na   France
Boris Diaw, SA 12.1 9th 14.1 15th na   France
Chris Andersen, MIA 11.6 10th 18.6 9th na   Blinn College
Danny Green, SA 10.9 11th 13.9 17th 42nd/2009 11th North Carolina
Mario Chalmers, MIA 9.9 12th 14.1 16th 4th/2008 4th Kansas
Ray Allen, MIA 9.5 13th 12.8 18th na   Connecticut
Marco Belinelli, SA 6.2 14th 15.1 13th na   Italy
Patty Mills, SA 6 15th 18.8 8th 349th/2009 17th Saint Mary's
Norris Cole, MIA 5.3 16th 8.8 27th 3rd / 2011 3rd Cleveland State
Udonis Haslem, MIA 4.8 17th 10.6 24th na   Florida
Rashard Lewis, MIA 4.4 18th 10.7 23rd na   Elsik HS (TX)
James Jones, MIA 3.7 19th 15.5 12th 98th/2003 7th Miami (FL)
Aron Baynes, SA 3.4 20th 9.8 25th na   Washington State
Shane Battier, MIA 3.2 21st 8.7 DNP na   Duke
Cory Joseph, SA 3.1 22nd 14.7 14th 146th/2011 14th Texas
Greg Oden, MIA 3 23rd 12.4 19th 24th/2007 9th Ohio State
Matt Bonner, SA 1.6 25th 11.3 20th 52nd/2003 12th Florida
Jeff Ayres, SA 1.6 24th 11.2 21st na   Arizona State
Toney Douglas, MIA 1 26th 9.2 26th 8th/2009 6th Florida State
Michael Beasley, MIA 0.7 27th 16.8 10th 1st/2008 1st Kansas State
Damion James, SA 0.0 DNP 4.1 DNP 4th/2010 5th Texas
Justin Hamilton, MIA 0.0 DNP 8.0 DNP 205th/2012 15th LSU
Austin Daye, SA 0 DNP 11.1 22nd 254th/2009 16th Gonzaga

PLAYOFFS. NBA Efficiency is a figure used by NBA coaches to evaluate each player's game. It gives one point for every good stat the player has and takes away a point for every bad thing he does. James has been by far the best playoff player on either roster based on an average playoff game of 27.1 points + 6.8 rebounds + 5.0 assists + 1.8 steals +0.6 blocked shots - 2.8 turnovers - 7.3 field goals missed - 1.7 free throws missed = 29.6 Efficiency.

That easily tops second-ranked Duncan (21.1), Wade (18.5), Chris Bosh (16.8), Kawhi Leonard (16.5) and Manu Ginobili (14.6).

REGULAR SEASON. When we go to Hollinger's PER Ratings for the Regular season, the top three are the same but with Wade rating as better than Duncan. The next three are also the same three, but in reverse order-- 4. Ginobili, 5. Leonard, and 6. Bosh.

COLLEGE. For those who like their old college's former players, the Value Add rankings only go back to 2003. That was the year Dwyane Wade of Marquette was the third best player in the country--getting the second highest ranking of anyone on the court in the Finals. However, the top Value Add player in the Finals is Kansas States' Michael Beasley, who was the top Value Add player in the country during his 2008 season, but has struggled with drugs and other issues since being drafted.

The Heat did a pretty good scouting job to find Norris Cole out of Cleveland State, who was an unknown to most but the third best player in 2011 according to Value Add with the third highest mark of anyone on the court for the playoffs. The next best Value Add players are: 4. Mario Chalmers (4th at Kansas in 2008); 5. Damion James (4th best while at Texas in 2010); and 6. Toney Douglas (8th best while at Florida State in 2009).

Ray Allen and other greats played before Value Add's first year (2003), LeBron James went straight from high school to the NBA, and the Spurs in particular have brought many players from overseas.

Hopefully the Heat's Chalmers and Beasley can put away the Kansas St-Kansas rivalry to work together for the Heat and Udonis Haslem and Matt Bonner can put away any old Miami Hurricanes allegiances to battle each other. There does not seem to be any problem with Tony Parker and Boris Diaw of France working together for the Spurs, and we assume Cory Joseph and Damion James could work together as former Texas Longhorns turned Spurs if either made it on the court.


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