Shocking isn’t it? Before you close this page and never come back, just go ahead and read this…
Deseret News: Luke Walton of the Los Angeles Lakers is a solid NBA player, but nobody would consider him a superstar by any stretch of the imagination. After all, the fifth-year small forward has never averaged more than the 11.4 points he scored per game last season.
Yet Walton may do more to help his team win than any other single player in the NBA, if you are to believe recent statistical analysis done by Brigham Young University statisticians.
BYU statistics professors Gil Fellingham and Shane Reese and master’s student Garritt Page compared the value of 13 box score statistics from an entire NBA season across the five player positions to see how much each contributed to winning games.
Their findings? Small forwards who assist teammates and don’t turn the ball over are golden. Of all the combinations of stats and positions, the study found that assists by small forwards contribute the most to a team’s likelihood of winning. Meanwhile, turnovers by small forwards do more harm than turnovers by players at other positions.