With no NBA basketball being played until Thursday, we figured we would use the time off to take a look at Cerebro Sports’ 5-Metric Suite to see which New Orleans Pelicans’ players perform the best in certain statistical categories.
For this installment, we look at playmaking ability through the lens of Cerebro’s Floor General Skills (FGS) metric. According to the website, FGS is “a playmaking metric that combines volume, efficiency (ast:to). As well as a sprinkling of perimeter defense (steals) to show the strongest floor generals.”
The combination of playmaking volume and efficiency makes sense, but why include steals? The best playmakers are the ones who have a great “feel” for the layout of the court. They know what buttons to push and what will happen to the defense when they push those buttons.
Anyways, historically speaking, steal percentage has been a strong indicator of a player’s “feel.” For instance, no one would question the floor general acumen of New Orleans’ legend Chris Paul. For his career, in every season except for 2020-21, his steal percentage has been in the 84th percentile or higher for his position (per Cleaning the Glass).
Now that we understand why the cake (FGS) is baked the way that it is, let’s see how our Pelicans (minimum 20 games played) fare in this measure.
And as we have for the entirety of this series, we’ve also provided each player’s percentile ranking in comparison to the rest of the league (minimum 20 games played):
So it looks like the title of team’s best floor general goes to CJ McCollum, which makes sense considering he is the team’s nominal starting point guard when the team is fully healthy (you’ll recall that on opening night, they started him alongside Herbert Jones, Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson, and Jonas Valanciunas).
One area of semi-concern is how low Trey Murphy III is on this list. He has the third-lowest FGS score of any of the Pelicans who have appeared in at least 20 games this season. He’s even behind two centers – neither of whom is known for their offensive playmaking abilities – despite being a forward himself. Moving forward, he will definitely need to improve that area of his game. But since he’s still so young, it’s not that worrisome.
If you enjoyed this statistical overview, be sure to keep checking the website this week for a look at how the team stacks up in Cerebro’s other archetype metrics.