USA Basketball Mini-Camp Scrimmage: White Team or Blue Team?
This afternoon, the official NBA Twitter account posted the squads for today's scrimmage at the Team USA Mini-Camp.
— NBA (@NBA) August 12, 2015
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:
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.