Al Thornton: The NBA's LEAST Productive Player?

Al Thornton had a promising rookie season.  He was the second leading scorer among rookies behind Rookie of the Year Kevin Durant, and boasted scoring outbursts of 33 and 39 points after becoming a starter.  Many nights he was the Clippers go to scorer down the stretch, and was the only Clipper with the ability to effectively create his own shot.  Because he spent a lot of time playing out of position, his rebound rate was below average, and it was no secret that AT's defense needed work.  But for a rookie who slipped to #14, Al played well overall.

Perhaps the sophomore jinx is real, because Al Thornton clearly regressed in his second season.  On the surface, his numbers improved.  He averaged almost 17ppg and shot slightly better from the field.  A deeper look, however, puts Al into a whole new light.

Using the incresingly popular Wins Produced metric, Al Thornton was last season's least productive player.  Here's the list of the least:

Rank

Player

Team

Games

Played

Games

Started

Minutes

Played

Wins Produced

WP48

1

Al Thornton

LA Clippers

71

67

2,654

-2.88

-0.052

2

Antoine Wright

Dallas

65

53

1,552

-2.70

-0.083

3

Bobby Brown

Minnesota-Sacramento

68

2

931

-2.48

-0.128

4

Donte Greene

Sacramento

55

4

725

-2.43

-0.161

5

Andrea Bargnani

Toronto

78

59

2,453

-2.31

-0.045

6

Jason Kapono

Toronto

80

12

1,831

-2.24

-0.059

7

Ricky Davis

LA Clippers

36

9

785

-2.09

-0.128

8

Al Harrington

Golden State-New York

73

56

2,546

-2.01

-0.038

9

Glen Davis

Boston

76

16

1,637

-1.98

-0.058

10

Nick Young

Washington

82

5

1,837

-1.94

-0.051

 
Other Clippers and former Clippers (Maggette) made the bottom 10%, but Al Thornton held the top, er, bottom spot. This metric is hardly and outlier.  Al also managed to have the worst plus/minus of anyone in the NBA.  The worst 5::

 1. Al Thornton -575.

2. Kevin Durant -502.

3. Spencer Hawes -490.

4. Antawn Jamison -472.

5. Eric Gordon -462. (way to support your teammate, EJ)

Hence all the talk around here of going a different direction at the 3.  (Sorry, Al).  The point of this is not to pick on Thornton.  He is hardly the only one to blame for the Clippers struggles last year (hello, Baron Davis).   The point is to maybe convince AT to, well, just, try to be more productive out there. 

For those interested in Wins Produced, here is a list of the league leaders by position.  Marcus Camby was 13th overall in the NBA, while Zach Randolph was the 13th ranked Power Forward, and 110th ranked player overall.  (Note:  this metric does tend to skew in favor of centers and point guards.  Power Forwards seem to have the most difficult time satisfying the parameters.)

Also, here is the Wins Produced by the Clippers thru 74 games last season.  Baron Davis had the most signifigant drop off, but, as a unit, this roster was not poised to win many games anyhow.

Lots of work yet to be done

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