Dennis, Eddie, Frank, Gus, Joe, Kevin, Linton and Neil

All Johnsons, all Phoenix Suns players. In fact, some of the greatest Johnsons to ever play the game played some of their best seasons for the Suns. Looking at Winshares, over the history of professional basketball, approximately 2.4 percent of all wins can be attributed to players with the Johnson surname. For the Suns franchise, however, that number jumps to 7.8 percent. A look at the Suns’ Winshare franchise history gives a sense of just how pivotal these Johnsons have been:

Barkley had the all-time most valuable season for a Sun in 1992-93, but it certainly looks like Stoudemire has the potential to take that title away. Amare had a huge rookie year in terms of Winshares, and was duly recognized for the Rookie of the Year award. Since then, he has essentially doubled his win production, and his best years are likely still ahead of him.

Another pattern of interest in this visualization is the recent history of all-star quality point guards. Kevin Johnson, Jason Kidd, Stephon Marbury (when he was a productive player), and Steve Nash, all played large roles in their teams’ success. However, it’s equally interesting to note that they played very different types of games. Just looking at their playing type spectrum coloration (see this post for more detail), it is possible to see that KJ and Nash are much purer perimeter players, while Kidd, as evidence by his slightly bluish tinge, was more of a rebounder, and mustard-colored Marbury shows evidence of a proclivity toward scoring along with his perimeter play–at least moreso than the other three.

What other trends do you notice in this history? Is it possible that Nash hasn’t ever been the Suns’ most valuable player, even in his MVP years? Can any of you basketball historians comment on the Westphal, Davis and Nance years?

Note: Since this post was published, the Winshares formula has undergone some revisions of some substantive import. To see the most current iteration and accurate tables and graphs, please see the Winshares page.

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One response to “Dennis, Eddie, Frank, Gus, Joe, Kevin, Linton and Neil

  1. This is really interesting stuff. It is great to see actual statistical analysis that forms an opinion. Keep up the good work!

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