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Best and Worst: Individual Game Performances

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Remembering the highest and lowest single game efforts from the 2017-18 season.

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Los Angeles Lakers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the second installment of this retrospective series taking a look at the highs and lows of the previous season. In this article, we are looking at the five best and five worst performances by Game Score on an expected basis - a only mildly scientific approach. Simply, each player had his Game Score calculated for each game, each game was subtracted from his overall mean, and then divided by his standard deviation. That way, each player’s own variability is baked into the score. Game Score is counting stats only, so keep that in mind. Best/worst events were limited to games with at least 15 minutes played.

Top Five Worst Games

Table 1: Five Worst Game Score Performances by Expectations

Player Date Matchup WL MIN FGM FGA FG_PCT FG3M FG3A FG3_PCT FTM FTA FT_PCT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS PLS_MIN GS Avg. GS SD GS Diff
Player Date Matchup WL MIN FGM FGA FG_PCT FG3M FG3A FG3_PCT FTM FTA FT_PCT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS PLS_MIN GS Avg. GS SD GS Diff
Robert Covington 11/27/2017 PHI vs. CLE L 27 1 11 9% 0 9 0% 0 0 0% 0 4 4 4 1 0 3 2 2 -7 -4.1 9.8 6.3 -2.20
Ben Simmons 12/30/2017 PHI @ DEN W 32 3 9 33% 0 0 0% 0 0 0% 1 5 6 6 0 1 5 5 6 -11 1 15.8 6.8 -2.19
Dario Saric 11/13/2017 PHI @ LAC W 34 1 8 13% 0 5 0% 0 0 0% 2 1 3 2 2 0 3 2 2 -2 -1.9 11.4 6.4 -2.08
Ben Simmons 12/12/2017 PHI @ MIN W 40 3 8 38% 0 0 0% 1 3 33% 0 3 3 8 1 0 7 0 7 3 2.3 15.8 6.8 -1.99
Robert Covington 1/11/2018 PHI vs. BOS L 30 2 8 25% 1 5 20% 0 0 0% 1 2 3 1 0 0 4 2 5 -25 -2.6 9.8 6.3 -1.97

#1 Worst and #5 Worst: Robert Covington

As a volume three-point shooter, it’s unsurprising that RoCo makes an appearance on this list on two occasions. He went 3-for-19 and 1-for-14 from three in the two games, and no surprise, the Sixers lost both, one against Boston and one against Cleveland. He combined for a -32 plus/minus in 57 minutes as well.

#2 Worst and #4 Worst: Ben Simmons

As a measure of how good Ben is, his worst Game Score of the season was still above zero, and he fittingly put up a 6/6/6 line, although with 5 turnovers and 5 fouls. Ben went 3-for-9 from the field with no free throw attempts. The Sixers actually won this game at Denver. His other game was a 40-minute run at Minnesota where he had 7 points and 7 turnovers on 3-for-8 shooting and 1-for-3 at the foul line.

#3 Worst: Dario Saric

Similarly to RoCo, Dario’s appearance on this list was a night when he was ice cold from the field. In a game against the Clippers, he shot 1-for-8 from the field and a ghastly 0-for-5 from three. Combined with 3 turnovers and 2 fouls in 34 minutes, he somehow only put up a -2 plus/minus in this win.

Worst Fun Fact

Ben’s game against the Charlotte Hornets earlier this week was briefly (by Game Score) the fifth worst game of his Sixers career, behind the two games above, a 1/22/2018 loss at Memphis, and last year’s regular season finale against Milwaukee. Last night’s game in Toronto then pushed it out of the bottom five.

Top Five Best Games

Table 2: Five Best Game Score Performances by Expectation

Player Date Matchup WL MIN FGM FGA FG_PCT FG3M FG3A FG3_PCT FTM FTA FT_PCT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS PLS_MIN GS Avg. GS SD GS Diff
Player Date Matchup WL MIN FGM FGA FG_PCT FG3M FG3A FG3_PCT FTM FTA FT_PCT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS PLS_MIN GS Avg. GS SD GS Diff
Joel Embiid 11/15/2017 PHI @ LAL W 34 14 20 70% 2 3 67% 16 19 84% 2 13 15 7 0 7 2 4 46 19 47.9 17.2 7.1 4.31
Robert Covington 11/13/2017 PHI @ LAC W 35 9 12 75% 5 8 63% 8 8 100% 1 5 6 4 4 0 2 3 31 10 32 9.8 6.3 3.54
T.J. McConnell 11/25/2017 PHI vs. ORL W 37 7 12 58% 1 1 100% 0 0 0% 1 6 7 13 3 1 1 2 15 12 22.9 7.0 5.8 2.73
Justin Anderson 4/11/2018 PHI vs. MIL W 32 9 17 53% 5 12 42% 2 2 100% 3 3 6 1 1 1 2 1 25 16 19.7 6.3 5.0 2.69
Ben Simmons 4/6/2018 PHI vs. CLE W 36 12 17 71% 0 0 0% 3 5 60% 3 12 15 13 4 1 3 4 27 -3 34 15.8 6.8 2.67

#1 Best: Joel Embiid

I am fairly confident that you all remember his destruction of the Lakers where he put up a casual 46 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists, and 7 blocks on 14-for-20 shooting and 16-for-19 at the charity stripe. I have provided the highlights below for your perusal.

#2 Best: Robert Covington

RoCo makes an appearance here for the flip side of a volume shooter — going 9-for-12 and 5-8 from three combined with 6 boards, 4 assists, and 4 steals in 35 minutes, good enough for a +10 plus/minus in a win at the Clippers. Unusually for RoCo, he also attempted 8 free throws, making all of them.

#3 Best: TJ McConnell

TJ makes the 3rd spot for his 15-point, 13-assist, 7-rebound, 3-steal performance in 37 minutes against Orlando. He shot 7-for-12 from the field and only had one turnover. This was peak good TJ, and he was a +12 plus/minus on the night in a win.

#4: Justin Anderson

Just squeaking by Ben for the #4 spot, Justin put up a staggering 17 shots, including a Curry-esque 12 threes. He finished with 25 points and 6 rebounds in 32 minutes, with a +16 plus/minus, in the end-of-season demolition of the Bucks when the Sixers turned into the Dream Team.

#5 Best: Ben Simmons

In 36 minutes against the Cavs, Ben put up 27 points on 12-for-17 shooting, with only 5 free throw attempts. He rounded out his night with 13 assists, 15 rebounds, 4 steals and a block. He was somehow a -3 plus/minus on the night, in the 132-130 win.

Best Fun Fact

Since 1983, the Sixers have four of the top-5o Game Scores: #38 Joel Embiid (46/15r/7a/7blk); #34 Allen Iverson (60/4r/6a/5stl/1blk; #28 Charles Barkley (41/22r/5a/6stl/1blk); and, who else? Click here to find out. Funny enough, this mystery player was tied with Charles for #28 all-time. MJ holds the top spot with a 69/18r/6a/4stl/1blk line resulting in a Game Score of 64.60.