NBA Ball Hog Statistical Ranking: January 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.

You can see why Kevin Love is so frustrated, as Collin Sexton comes in at #1, with fellow Cav Darius Garland also making the top 20. 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 and including Jan 28th)

Rank Last Ball Hog Score
1 15 Collin Sexton Point Guard 81.8
2 10 Jordan Poole Point Guard 81.5
3 6 Terrence Ross Wing 81.3
4 1 Frank Jackson Point Guard 81.2
5 2 Kristaps Porziņģis Big 79.0
6 NR Coby White Point Guard 76.6
7 3 Kyle Kuzma Big 74.4
8 9 Kelly Oubre Wing 69.2
9 6 T.J. Warren Wing 68.5
10 NR Carmelo Anthony Big 68.2
11 8 Lonnie Walker Wing 67.3
12 NR Malik Beasley Wing 62.4
13 12 Dillon Brooks Wing 61.0
14 16 RJ Barrett Wing 60.8
15 17 Bojan Bogdanović Wing 60.2
16 11 Marcus Morris Big 57.8
17 13 Jaren Jackson Big 55.6
18 NR Serge Ibaka Big 55.5
19 14 Darius Garland Point Guard 53.5
20 18 Tim Hardaway Wing 52.1