NBA Ball Hog Statistical Ranking: February edition

Jan 7, 2020; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Portland Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony (00) scores the winning basket during the fourth quarter against the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

My task was simple enough – I wanted to figure out, statistically, who the biggest ball hog/black hole/teammate from hell/etc. was in the NBA.  With the plethora of stats available today, it shouldn’t be too hard to figure that out, I surmised.  While I was researching what stats I should use – Usage %, Assist % – I stumbled across a now defunct site – Basketball-Statistics – that had already done this back in 2009.  Perfect!

After giving their formula some thought and test drives, it seems to pass muster.  You can check out the formula here, but in summary it takes into account how much a player uses up his team’s possessions (Usage %), how well he shoots (True Shooting %) and how often he sets up his teammates (Assist %).  It also takes into account what position on the court the player plays and adjusts the formula based on the average numbers players playing the same position puts on the board.  So, for a true ball hog, we are looking for a guy with an above average Usage Rate (above 20%) who shoots poorly and doesn’t pass.

New #1! Veteran Terrence Ross takes over the dubious honor as the league’s biggest black hole. At the other end of the spectrum, Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Spencer Dinwiddie are as anti-ball hog as you can get.


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 NBA Ball Hog Statistical Ranking

(only players with a qualifying amount of minutes played included, stats up to All-Star break)

Rank Last Ball Hog Score
1 3 Terrence Ross Wing 80.3
2 4 Frank Jackson Point Guard 78.3
3 5 Kristaps Porziņģis Big 75.2
4 8 Kelly Oubre Wing 71.6
5 10 Carmelo Anthony Big 71.3
6 9 T.J. Warren Wing 65.9
7 13 Dillon Brooks Wing 65.4
8 16 Marcus Morris Big 62.9
9 7 Kyle Kuzma Big 61.8
10 14 RJ Barrett Wing 61.1
11 17 Jaren Jackson Big 58.7
12 NR Kendrick Nunn Point Guard 57.6
13 12 Malik Beasley Wing 55.6
14 15 Bojan Bogdanović Wing 55.3
15 NR Patty Mills Point Guard 54.8
16 19 Darius Garland Point Guard 53.3
17 NR Jaylen Brown Wing 52.2
18 18 Serge Ibaka Big 51.5
19 NR Dennis Schröder Point Guard 50.8
20 NR Lauri Markkanen Big 49.6