Center Rankings per RAPM, defense

While briefly browsing the trade and transactions board on realgm, i stumbled across this debate involving Asik vs Lopez between blazer fans and others. Someone mentioned the concept "RAPM" to justify Asik's superior defensive impact, so naturally i had to research on it.

Here is one translation:

I can write 3000 words explaining just what RAPM is, but here’s the very short version. RAPM is an estimate of a player’s on-court impact. If a player has an RAPM of +2, that means the player improves his team’s performance by two points per 48 minutes, compared to an average NBA player. Check out Engelmann’s ratings for the 2011-12 season, and you’ll see LeBron James at the top of the list, with an RAPM of +9.5. That means if James was replaced by a league-average player, the Miami Heat would be an estimated 9.5 points worse per 48 minutes because of it.

And the site of the creator of the RAPM metric, with updated stats:

Using the above source, i decided to manually typein the top 50 centers [min. of 1.0 required] (Thabeet is excluded due to mainly playing against 2nd units/garbage time. Of course, this applies to others as well. Al Jefferson should've maybe been listed as well since Pekovic is. ) going by this system and then sort them descending through excel by listing highest to lowest.

Here is the sheet: (edited in instead)

Player Rating

Duncan 6.3
Howard 6.3
Sanders 6.1
Garnett 5.9
M. Gasol 5.6
Asik 5.4
Noah 4.9
Andersen 4.5
Chandler 4.4
Hibbert 4.3
Bogut 3.9
A. Johnso 3.6
Ibaka 3.6
Nene 3.6
Splitter 3.5
J.O'neal 3.5
Stiemsma 3.4
Okafor 3.4
Odom 3.4
Jordan 3.1
Favors 3.1
Udoh 3.0
Haywood 2.7
Gortat 2.6
Brand 2.6
Haddadi 2.5
Martin 2.4
Koufos 2.4
Varejao 2.3
Biyombo 2.3
Dalemb 2.2
B.Lopez 2.1
R.Lopez 2.1
Bosh 2.0
P.Gasol 1.6
Cousins 1.5
Collison 1.5
McGee 1.5
Hayes 1.5
Vucevic 1.4
Drummon 1.3
Horford 1.3
Pachulia 1.2
E.Davis 1.2
B.Wright 1.1
Pekovic 0.3


Biedrins 4.0

Perkins 3.3

(late additions)


Asik passes the eye-test, and it's verified by this stat.

Something to ponder however; Lopez had below-average teammates defensively in New Orleans and played high paced in Phoenix (same can be said about Koufos, who ranks better than Lopez) while Asik today has below avg teammates defensively yet benefited from an elite defensive system under Thibodeau.

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