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Houston Rockets: How John Wall is outplaying Russell Westbrook

SAN ANTONIO, TX - JANUARY 16: John Wall #1 of the Houston Rockets breaks up assistant coach John Lucas as talked with him and Eric Gordon #10 before the start of their game against the San Antonio Spurs at AT&T Center on January 16, 2021 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that , by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - JANUARY 16: John Wall #1 of the Houston Rockets breaks up assistant coach John Lucas as talked with him and Eric Gordon #10 before the start of their game against the San Antonio Spurs at AT&T Center on January 16, 2021 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that , by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
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Houston Rockets
John Wall #1 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Houston Rockets: How John Wall and Russell Westbrook’s advanced metrics look

John Wall’s advanced metrics far outpace Russell Westbrook’s this season. As discussed earlier, Westbrook’s inefficient shooting and proclivity for turnovers do a lot to undo his excellent rebounding and passing.

On a per 100 possession basis, Russell Westbrook has been one of the worst players in the league this season. His offensive rating is 93 and his defensive rating is 113, which adds up to a -20 net rating per 100 possessions.

John Wall hasn’t been great by this metric either, as his offensive rating of 102 and a defensive rating of 110 also give him a negative net rating. However, the difference between a net rating of -8 and -20 is massive and it shows how Westbrook has tanked what could have been a promising start to the season for the Washington Wizards.

Per 100 possession statistics are not perfect but they do a good job of giving one a general idea of a player’s overall impact on offense and defense. A more precise and predictive stat is win shares which calculates how many wins a player has added to their team. A 10 win share season usually earns a player around a top-ten season.

Over Wall’s first seven games he has accumulated 0.3 win shares. While this is a minuscule number, over the course of an 82 game regular season he would be on pace to produce 3.5 win shares. This is not the type of production that someone who makes over $40 million is expected to put up but compared to what Westbrook has done it looks downright amazing.

Westbrook has been worth -0.2 win shares in seven games, which over an 82 game season would be worth -2.3 wins. The Rockets, by virtue of swapping Westbrook for Wall, are on pace to add 6.4 wins to their record over an 82 game schedule.

So while Wall is dramatically underperforming his contract, Westbrook’s struggles have made it negligible. The advanced metrics show that Westbrook has been one of the worst players in the league this year and that John Wall has been pretty much average. In the end, every franchise would take an average player over a putrid one.

Next: Player tracking data

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