This was in Mike Wells' article yesterday:
This is from a few days ago:Second-year guard Brandon Rush has been inconsistent, but has shown potential. He's averaging 8.7 points and 4.1 rebounds. Hopes were high after he averaged 18.3 points and shot 55 percent from the field in the final 10 games last season.
What does "inconsistent" mean? I'm asking this because, when you look at the numbers, Rush is no more inconsistent than the rest of the team. This chart shows, for each player, their season high in scoring, their low (which is zero for everybody but Granger and Price) and their average. I included only games in which the player played five minutes or more.Coach Jim O'Brien can't talk about the second-year swingman without looking flustered or throwing up his arms in annoyance.
This shows that every player is inconsistent. Most people are deceived by the average into thinking that the player will consistently score that number. But it ain't necessarily so.
This next chart shows the standard deviation for scoring for each player. (Standard Deviation is the range below and above the average into which about 2/3rd of all the player's games fall.) A larger number means less consistency.
Rush's standard deviation for scoring is in the middle. And it is worth noting that some of the players with the least deviation are those who haven't played much or who never score much at all.
OK, so what does Wells mean by repeatedly saying Rush is "inconsistent"? My numbers show that he isn't notably inconsistent in scoring. His defense is pretty good. If he is inconsistent in defense, it is because he wavers between very good and merely good. That's not worth fussing about on a team that is not consistently good overall at defending.
Wells has not said Rush has made an "inconsistent effort" or that he has played "an inconsistent role" on the team. He does say that Rush is unemotional, but unemotional does not mean inconsistent.
What does all this talk mean?