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NBA 2017-18: 5 Players with the best net rating in the regular season

SENIOR ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
880   //    26 Jun 2018, 21:33 IST

Golden State Warriors v Houston Rockets
Net rating is the difference between a player's offensive rating and his defensive rating

Among all advanced statistics out there for the general public to avail of, the net rating is one of the more understated but important ones.

Granted, during the course of one game, it could skew one particular player's impact somewhat higher or lower, but these average out over the course of an 82-game regular season in the fashion that the NBA plays.

Net rating, for the uninitiated, is the difference between a player's offensive rating and his defensive rating. Offensive and defensive rating are respectively defined as the number of points a team scores and concede over 100 possessions.

The great advantage of this is that unlike points per game and points conceded per game, this is a pace-neutral stat, thus allowing us to compare players and teams on a more even footing.

Let's take a look at the top five players through the 2017-18 regular season campaign in terms of net rating.

Note: For a player to qualify for this list, he had to play a minimum of 15 minutes per game for 41 or more regular season matches.


#5 Joel Embiid

Los Angeles Lakers v Philadelphia 76ers
The Cameroonian is the best two-way center in the league

Joel Embiid has yet to have a full season with a clean bill of health with the Philadelphia 76ers, but it is quite clear to even casual fans that right now, the Cameroonian is the best two-way center in the league.

Among all centers averaging more than 15 minutes per game and playing 41 or more games through the season, Embiid ranked third in defensive rating (at 99.7 points conceded per 100 possessions) and seventh in offensive rating (111.4 points scored per 100 possessions).

Through 64 games played in the 2017-18 regular season, 'The Process' recorded the best net rating among all centers with a figure of 11.6 points per 100 possessions.

Further proof of his dominance on defense is the fact that he allowed a beggarly 43.6% shot conversion to players from less than six feet out - better than league average by 16.3%.

Embiid is absolutely one of the top ten players in the league today, and the league recognized it this year by naming him to the All-NBA Second Team.

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SENIOR ANALYST
Started as an Arsenal fan at the age of 6. Became a Ronaldo and a Real Madrid fan after the 2002 World Cup. Bandwagon Celtics fan this season, though I've watched the NBA with increasing frequency over the past 14 years or so. Played both games with my high school team at some of the highest levels there are in India. Played against East Bengal u-17s in college. A member of Mercurial FC, 1st division Amateur League team in Bangalore.
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