Stephen Curry is sitting on top of the NBA world these days.
The Splash Brother's squad has the best record in the NBA. Curry owns the top real plus-minus in the NBA. And now, in our first 2014-15 update on the respect rating, Curry remains the king of gravity.
Back in October, we took a close look at the concept of gravity and the players who have the most gravitational pull on the basketball court. What do we mean by gravity? Check out Kevin Pelton's helpful FAQ and a ranking of the NBA's top floor-spacers using STATS LLC's SportVU player-tracking data.
Looking at last season's data, Curry topped the list in my respect rating, which quantifies a player's gravitational pull by using SportVU's proprietary gravity score and distraction score -- two fancy STATS LLC metrics provided to ESPN Insider.
To recap, gravity score measures how closely a player's defender sticks to him off the ball. Higher gravity scores generally belong to bigs because their primary defender must stay close and also protect the basket. On the other hand, guards typically have lower gravity scores simply because defenders have more liberty to shade off their guy on the perimeter. But elite shooters typically generate more attention off the ball.
Then there's distraction score, which quantifies how much a player's defender is willing to help off the ball to stop the ball handler. The worse he is as a shooter, the more likely his defender will be distracted by the ball handler. To identify the most effective floor-spacers in the NBA, I created a composite score that combines the two metrics. The result is what I've called "respect rating," which has now been translated to a 1-to-100 scale with 100 being the most magnetic (think sharpshooters) and 1 being least magnetic (think non-scoring bigs).
And now, as we turn the calendar to 2015, we find that teams are still gluing themselves to Curry like no other. Who else has otherworldly floor-spacing ability? Here are the top 10 in respect rating for the 2014-15 season.
1. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors | Respect rating: 97.9
Gravity score: 97.3 | Distraction score: 98.4
Last season rank: 1st