Word on the Street

Suck Differential (suhk dif’-uh-rehn-shul) noun. A descriptor similar to the trillion that not only describes a player’s statistical insignificance, but also quantifies the player’s net negative effect for their team. Can be abbreviated as “suck.”

Usage example:In Wednesday’s Bobcats-Knicks game, Nazr Mohammed’s +1 suck differential was upstaged by Malik Rose’s +2 suck. How much money do they make again?”

Word history: The term was coined and defined by Silent Assassin reader Anaconda. Anaconda has writen a lot of posts lately. However, I did make the following change: A one trillion is still awarded only if a player has zeroes in all categories. Thus a suck differential score has some attributes that are similar to the trillion, only they have racked up some stats …all of which are negative.

Word details: In order to obtain the suck differential descriptor, a player must first earn a trillion in the standard “positive” categories: (0 points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, FGM, 3PTM, FTM). In addition, each FGA, FTA, TOV, and PF increases the suck differential by +1. (Hence, a standard trillion has a suck differential of +0).

Note that +/- points differential is distinctly NOT used in the suck differential. We can’t have better teammates covering for sucky teammates now, can we?

One problem with suck differential is that each suck category is given equal weight. Does 2 missed free throws equal 2 turnovers on the suck scale? What if one personal foul was intentional for clock management? A more complex formula could attempt to describe “team points/possessions lost because of what you did”, and could adjust FGA by +2 (+3 for missed 3PTA), TOV’s by +1.1, etc.

But quite frankly, if your only opportunity to make a game and statistical impact was two free throws and you miss both, you deserve the +2 to your suck differential. And if your only job in the game was to be used for your personal fouls, that’s a pretty solid +1 earned.

Making this post created even more questions in my head. What was the largest single game suck differential last year? Who leads the league with the highest suck-to–minutes played ratio? Could suck differential, applied properly to +/-, actually make a meaningful stat independent of teammate performance? Let’s get 82games.com on this pronto.

Suck Differential? Na, just Fail Differential.

Labels: Nazr Mohammed / Charlotte Bobcats / New York Knicks / Word on the Street

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