Justin Kubatko of Basketball-Reference.com uses Win Shares to compare the various Rookie of the Year Candidates for the New York Times' Off The Dribble blog, ultimately concluding that Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard can be expected to take home the hardware.
Win Shares is a statistic that estimates the number of victories a player contributes to his team through his offense and defense. Lillard leads all rookies with 5.6 win shares, the most by a rookie since the 2010-11 season.
On the surface Lillard's .432 field-goal percentage is not impressive, but he is in the top five in the league in both 3-pointers made and attempted. Lillard's effective 3-point shooting combined with his .859 percentage from the free-throw line gives him a true shooting percentage - a measure of scoring efficiency that takes into account scoring from both the floor and the free-throw line - of .550, well above the league average of .534.
[Anthony] Davis is second among rookies with 5.1 win shares, but he has done that while playing 1,119 fewer minutes than Lillard. On a per 48 minute basis, Davis' average of .152 win shares is the best among qualified rookies, well ahead of Lillard's .099 win shares.
This is basically a contest of volume (Lillard) versus efficiency (Davis), and historically speaking volume usually wins out. Expect Lillard to win the rookie of the year award come May.
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