Earlier today SML and I had a friendly disagreement in the comments section over at Cobra Brigade
over where Andre Iguodala ranks among the elite small forwards in the league. He put a bunch of offensive guys ahead of Iguodala, I disagreed, so I tried to come up with a fair way to gauge a player's impact on both ends of the floor. As Tray can tell you, I'm not a huge fan of PER, because I think in a vacuum it doesn't take defense into account (blocks and steals can be misleading indicators).
What I came up with was a way to use PER in some context. Namely, looking at a player's PER as compared to his opponent's PER. Here's the table with the statistics. These numbers come from 82games.com
and they are only for minutes played at small forward. (Whether SF is his ultimate position and whether these numbers translate to SG is another debate for another time).
As you can see, Iguodala ranks #8 in difference between PER and opponent's PER. He's #8 overall in PER only, #9 in opponent's PER. Most impressive is that only LeBron, McGrady and Pierce top Iguodala's numbers in both categories.
It's a limited view, obviously, but I think a telling one. It's very hard to quantify a player's impact on defense and finding a way to place a value on that relative to offensive production is even more difficult.
What do you think? Where does Iguodala rank? Did I waste way too much time digging up these stats?