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

Lee, Boon L. & Worthington, Andrew C. (2013) A note on the ‘Linsanity’ of measuring the relative efficiency of National Basketball Association guards. Applied Economics, 45(29), pp. 4193-4202.

View at publisher


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% of NBA guards are fully efficient, including Jeremy Lin, with a mean inefficiency of 3.7% and 19.2%. 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.

Impact and interest:

3 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

288 since deposited on 17 Apr 2013
219 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 59161
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: data envelopment analysis, technical efficiency, basketball players, undesirable output, National Basketball Association
DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2013.770125
ISSN: 0003-6846
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 2013 Taylor & Francis
Deposited On: 17 Apr 2013 22:17
Last Modified: 08 May 2014 14:20

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page