RPM King: Steph continues to own obscure NBA value stat


When it comes to ESPN's Real Plus-Minus (RPM) statistic, Steph Curry is the unquestioned king.

RPM estimates a player's on-court impact on team performance "measured in net point differential per 100 offensive and defensive possessions. RPM takes into account teammates, opponents and additional factors."

Separate numbers are parsed out for offensive and defensive RPM, and an overall number is determined by adding those two figures together.

Outside of the 2019-20 season in which Curry was limited to five games by injuries and the coronavirus suspension of the season, Steph has led the NBA in ORPM in every season since 2012-13.

During the 2020-21 campaign, Curry's 7.08 ORPM was 2.45 points higher than the runner-up, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James. Even with a nearly average 0.10 DRPM, Curry's 7.18 total once again made him the NBA's leader at season's end over James (6.73).


Given that the stat attempts to estimate a player's value, "RPM Wins" determine how many wins a player added to his team's record over a season. Curry finished third in NBA MVP voting this season, but his RPM wins indicate he added more to the Warriors' record than any other individual player did with their team in 2020-21.

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RAPTOR is another advanced stat developed by FiveThirtyEight that attempts to quantify a player's overall value to his team, and Steph also had the best offensive number of any NBA player in 2020-21. However, as with DRPM above, Curry's defensive RAPTOR significantly knocks him down a peg below players like Jokic, Kawhi Leonard and Damian Lillard.


There are quite a few of these advanced stats out there in basketball as more and more decision-makers incorporate analytics into their evaluations of players.

All have their own value, and favor certain statistics and therefore, certain players.

One thing is for sure: when it comes to RPM and specifically ORPM, Curry is in a class of his own.

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