The NBA Hall of Fame has less than 200 people in it. If you didn’t know, there is a formula that is used to estimate the probability someone will get into the hall of fame. It factors in player metrics and compares them to past players who have either been accepted or rejected. Looking at the formula, it keeps in line with what’d you’d expect. Lebron James and Dirk Nowitzki are as good as in. Kevin Love has a 2/3rd chance to get in, Rajon Rondo has a 2/5th chance, and Paul Millsap has less than an a five percent chance.
The formula seems to be pretty trustworthy.
Which is why I’m baffled to see that Carmelo Anthony has a 98% chance at making the HOF. This is a controversial statement, but Paul Millsap is much more of a hall of famer than Carmelo Anthony.
Think that this a ridiculous statement? Carmelo averaged twenty-four points a game throughout his career. Why would anyone deny him the Hall of Fame? Because he didn’t do it efficiently enough to be a Hall of Famer.
Sure, he was efficient enough to be a good, even star player. He even had great seasons, but he wasn’t a consistently efficient scorer. He was just a consistent scorer. Modern day NBA analysts should know the consequences of that. The most effective way to measure a player’s shooting efficiency is Effective Field Goal percentage. The EFG allocates the extra point for a three point at 150% to factor in the extra point. While Carmelo was amongst the top in scoring, there were less than five seasons where he was above the league average in his entire career.
That’s not to say Anthony wasn’t a good offensive player. He made money on his ability to able to draw fouls and make his free throws. I’m saying, if you are a Hall of Famer based solely on your scoring, you better be able to do it efficiently. The chart below indicates how many points per game would be gained if every single Carmelo Anthony shot was replaced by an average shooter.
The numbers only represent a point a game difference, but if you’re looking at a single player’s production, that’s more impactful than it sounds. Especially if one point per game separates average from a hall of fame worthy player.
It seems backwards to think that Paul Millsap has had a better career than Carmelo Anthony. I understand +98% of you resisting what I’m saying. Carmelo’s skill set and production does seem as if it is better by watching them play and maybe even looking at box scores. Adding value to a team comes in all sorts of different ways. A double-digit per game scorer may be scoring 25 consistently with little to no benefit to the team. I stand by the idea that the continued evolution of basketball will continue to favor the “Paul Millsaps” of the game who execute their roles completely over future “Carmelo Anthonys.” The numbers don’t lie and it’s only a matter of time that no one can argue who provides the most legitimate value to their teams.
Let’s not even go to Paul Millsap’s scoring, yet. We can jump straight to the multitude of things he does better than Anthony at a similar position on the court.
The problem with being Paul Millsap in fast paced atmosphere, where people just want to look at points, is that to the average fan his value is difficult to chart. While more scoring is encourage by the NBA, Millsap put pride in taking away points of the opponent. While Millsap taketh away, Anthony is giving the other team points for half of the game. Imagine, if there was a way to illustrate that to fans. Well, amazingly, there is. Wayne Winston pioneered the first defensive analytic that measures a defensive player’s value to the team. Aside from my personal bias of supporting my old man, I do believe in these metrics. Let’s check out the amount of points Millsap takes away per game via Winston’s adjusted plus/minus. Since these are points taken away. Remember a negative number is good for this metric.
Sure, Millsap averaged one more rebound a game. It doesn’t add much to the HOF argument. Let’s go to the elephant in the room (or probably the front of your mind)… Why people think Millsap is worse than Anthony. No doubt it’s his 14 points per game compared to Carmelo’s 24. Well, I personally am content with an efficient 14 over a forced 24.
Throughout his 13 seasons in the NBA, Millsap’s effective field goal percentage was over 51%. 51%! A number Anthony could barely ever reach over his 16 seasons, but what does that even mean? It means that when he shoots, he’s supposed to have shot. The negative point a game Anthony costs his team by wasteful shooting is something Millsap doesn’t have in his game.
Millsap is on average more efficient than the NBA median of .523. Something, Anthony should be as a scorer. If you still value the extra ten points a game, I don’t have a lot else to say. Either Millsap comes first, or convince me that they’re both out. I’ll listen.