For those who haven’t visited 82games.com, I highly recommend it. 82 games tracks a number of stats, the most important being every player’s plus/minus rating. The plus/minus rating rarely lies, and essentially values each and every player on an NBA team (and their relevant level of effectiveness on the court). For our Hawks, the numbers aren’t too surprising. Joe Johnson rates in at +6.6, second best on the team behind Josh Smith, who after four games clocked in at a team high 9.9. Bibby has a respective +4.7 rating with Williams following closely at +2.7. Al Horford, who has been a slight disappointment offensively up to this point in the season (and who has also been hampered by injury), has a +1.6 rating.
What’s interesting to note, however, is that while every Hawks starter has a positive plus/minus rating, every bench player has a negative rating. While this may seem like it makes sense (after all, the five starters on the Hawks are their best players), not all bench players have negative +/- records. Take for instance the Celtics. Leon Powe, a highly effective (and underrated) bench player has a +4.6 rating. In fact, the Celtics have two bench players (Tony Allen has a +5.3 rating) who rate in the positives. Both Powe and Allen rate higher than Rajon Rondo (+1.8), a starter.
While all of the Hawks reserves have disappointing plus/minus ratings, the two which stand out are Maurice Evans (a surprising -7.1) and Solomon Jones (-8.9). Evans, to the naked eye, has appeared to be a rather effective player off the bench. He plays good defense and provides good touch from the outside, something this Hawks team lacked last season. Jones’ atrocious rating, however, comes as no surprise. Given Jones’ minimal offensive output, he would have to put up a staggering defensive output in order to boost his own plus/minus rating. Such has not been the case. While Solo may be seeing steady playing time with the injury to Josh Smith, its doubtful that time will last as we approach the trading deadline. Solo is – simply put- the worst regular on the roster.