Kobe Bryant's CPOE Over the Years
 
In my 2017-18 NBA Data Google Spreadsheet you can look up any current player and see their created points over expectation, which shows how many points a player scored above/below the expectation based on the types of possessions they had.

But you can't do that for any historical players. Luckily I can. And I did for Kobe. And I can for anyone else (going back to the 2005-06 season), so let me know if you think of anyone you'd like to see.

Anyway, here's how Kobe's career (from the data I could get) looks as far as CPOE:

We see stable and solid success over the first four years. We also see a HUGE drop off in his abilities post achilles injury (which happened at the end of the 1.6 CPOE season in 2012-13), followed by an ascent year after year of him getting back into form before retiring.

I was surprised to see his CPOE climb over the final three years. It was ugly at times, and from my recollection was seeming to get worse. Kobe still was taking some pretty awful iso shots. But to his credit, his CPOE was able to increase each of those years.

So what do those values mean? For some context, here are players this season with CPOE scores equal to those that Kobe had:

2.8: Jimmy Butler. Kobe would be 7th in the NBA this season with his 2.8 CPOE from the 2005-06 and 06-07 campaigns. Only (in order) Curry, Harden, Irving, Lillard, AD, and KD would be ahead of him.

2.5: DeMar DeRozan. This would put Kobe 14th this year, which is still fantastic. This would add Chris Paul, Giannis, LeBron, and Oladipo to the current players ahead of where Kobe would be.

0.7: Donovan Mitchell and Joel Embiid. This would drop Kobe to 75th, but still above average production and contributes to a winning team.

1.4: This is now Paul George and Jayson Tatum territory. Kobe would be 34th with a 1.4 CPOE in this year's NBA.

0.0: This is the Buddy Hield and Julius Randle range, where you're scoring exactly what you're expected to score. That'd put Kobe 175th in today's NBA. This isn't top player on a team level, but it can be valuable to have a high number of possessions with average performance surrounded by role players who are helping the team win at the margins.

1.6: Kobe really rebounds this season into Trey Burke(!!!) and Gary Harris territory (two of my favorite players). Kobe would be 27th of all players in CPOE this season at 1.6, which (purely offensively) would be close to all-star caliber.

-3.8: And here's where the injury makes an impact. He just played 6 games this season before adding another injury, so we'll ignore this season. But for context's sake, a -3.8 would place him 2nd worst of all NBA players this season, only behind Markelle Fultz's -4.1 CPOE.

-2.4: Mindaugas Kuzminskas. Yeah. Not great. This would be 3rd worst this season, sandwiched between Josh Jackson and Lonzo Ball. This is officially the old man gunner level. Most players around this level will only get to a CPOE this low because 1) they're an aging star with years of credibility that result in more volume for them than they should, or 2), they're a high draft capital rookie who is going to get minutes regardless due to that high investment but are very inefficient (as rookies usually are), resulting in a large negative impact.

-1.5: This is a little better, but still 459th of 480 players. Dion Waiters, Russell Westbrook, and Marc Gasol are right in this range. Still very negative (considering it'd take a top 30 player to have a 1.5 CPOE to cancel this -1.5 out).

So that's what a star looks like and what it looks like when he falls.

And again: If you have any players you'd like me to take a look at (as far back as the 2005-06 season), let me know.


That's all for today. More coming tomorrow!

Cranjis

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