USA Basketball Mini-Camp Scrimmage: White Team or Blue Team?

A Twitter debate is raging on about which scrimmage squad is better. We use our nERD metric to weigh in.

This afternoon, the official NBA Twitter account posted the squads for today's scrimmage at the Team USA Mini-Camp.

Both lists are chalked full of A-list NBA players (and Mason Plumlee), showing yet again that it's just not fair how much basketball talent there is in the USA player pool (said the jealous Canadian basketball writer).

As you would expect, the Twitterverse is ablaze with a debate about which team people would take to win this matchup. It's an entirely subjective (and admittedly pointless) exercise, but it's the dog days of summer and these kinds of debates are really all we have until NBA training camps roll around or someone gets traded.

We're big on advanced metrics here at numberFire and we have our own all-encompassing statistic called nERD that we use to rank players, so naturally we'd like to use that to form our opinion on this.

For the record, nERD is a stat that combines several offensive, defensive, and usage factors to produce one single number that is meant to project a player's overall value to his team. That final number is an estimate of how many games above or below .500 a league-average team would win over an 82-game season with the player in question as one of its starters. Players can have positive or negative nERDs, meant to denote just how much they help or hurt their team.

For the sake of this exercise, we'll be adding up the 2014-15 nERDs of the players on each team and siding with the squad that has the biggest cumulative score. Got it? Good.

Here they are:

Blue Squad

Carmelo Anthony-0.1
Bradley Beal-1.5
Michael Carter-Williams-8.2
Mike Conley4.5
DeMarcus Cousins3
DeMar DeRozan-1.8
Rudy Gay2.1
Draymond Green7.4
Blake Griffin7.5
LeBron James9.1
DeAndre Jordan14.1
Kawhi Leonard9.8
Chris Paul18.8
Mason Plumlee2.5
Klay Thompson7.9

White Squad

LaMarcus Aldridge6.5
Harrison Barnes4.7
Jimmy Butler12.7
Stephen Curry20.5
Anthony Davis19.1
Andre Drummond4.9
Kevin Durant5.9
Kenneth Faried2.7
James Harden19.1
Tobias Harris-0.1
Gordon Hayward6.3
Dwight Howard1.8
Russell Westbrook10.6
Victor Oladipo-4.4

There you have it. Even with one fewer player, the White Squad (with a cumulative nERD of 110.3) is far superior to the Blue Squad (75.1). Because math.

That was fun.

Let us know which team you would pick in the comment section.