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A note on the ‘Linsanity’ of measuring the relative efficiency of National Basketball Association (NBA) guards

Lee, Boon & Worthington, Andrew C. (2012) A note on the ‘Linsanity’ of measuring the relative efficiency of National Basketball Association (NBA) guards. [Working Paper]

Abstract

This note examines the productive efficiency of 62 starting guards during the 2011/12 National Basketball Association (NBA) season. This period coincides with the phenomenal and largely unanticipated performance of New York Knicks’ starting point guard Jeremy Lin and the attendant public and media hype known as Linsanity. We employ a data envelopment analysis (DEA) approach that includes allowance for an undesirable output, here turnovers per game, with the desirable outputs of points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks per game and an input of minutes per game. The results indicate that depending upon the specification, between 29 and 42 percent of NBA guards are fully efficient, including Jeremy Lin, with a mean inefficiency of 3.7 and 19.2 percent. However, while Jeremy Lin is technically efficient, he seldom serves as a benchmark for inefficient players, at least when compared with established players such as Chris Paul and Dwayne Wade. This suggests the uniqueness of Jeremy Lin’s productive solution and may explain why his unique style of play, encompassing individual brilliance, unselfish play, and team leadership, is of such broad public appeal.

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ID Code: 50465
Item Type: Working Paper
Keywords: Data envelopment analysis, technical efficiency, basketball players, undesirable output, national basketball association
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ECONOMICS (140000) > APPLIED ECONOMICS (140200) > Applied Economics not elsewhere classified (140299)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Economics & Finance
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 The authors
Deposited On: 21 May 2012 08:21
Last Modified: 21 May 2012 08:51

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