Toronto Raptors: Lucas Nogueira, The King of Advanced Stats?

Lucas Nogueira may be just a backup center on the Toronto Raptors but the advanced stats show that he provides much more value than the average second unit big

Lucas Nogueira has enjoyed a breakout season in 2016-17. He is averaging career-highs in nearly every category including minutes (19.2), points (4.8), rebounds (4.9) and field goal percentage (71.9%).

While the numbers don’t exactly jump from the page, Nogueira has been much more valuable to the Raptors than his numbers may suggest.

In fact, as of 12/30/16, Nogueira ranks first in the league among qualified players in the following categories:

  • Offensive Rating (142.1)
  • Block Percentage (8.0%)
  • Effective Field Goal Percentage (72.7%)
  • True Shooting Percentage (74.7%)
  • Total Shooting Percentage (196.1%)
  • Efficiency Differential (39.2)

That is a total of six advanced stats that Lucas Nogueira ranks first among the entire league in.

Nogueira is also the center in the lineup (Lowry, DeRozan, Powell, Patterson, Nogueira) that has the highest offensive rating and net rating among all NBA lineups.

With this being said, it is clear that Lucas Nogueira is currently the “King of Advanced Stats.”

But the question is – how much do these stats really matter?

And the answer is they really do matter.

Offensive Rating is a measure of how many points a player produces per 100 possessions. Nogueira produces 10.4 more than any other qualified player.

Block Percentage measures the percentage of blocks a player records in relation the opponent’s two point field goal attempts. Nogueira is one of only three players with a block percentage above 7.0 (joined by Joel Embiid and Myles Turner). He is also the only qualified player in the league with a block percentage equal to or above 8.0 percent.

Effective Field Goal Percentage is a measurement of efficiency as a shooter in all field goal attempts but with three-point attempts weighted fairly. Nogueira is the only qualified player with an eFG% above 70 percent.

True Shooting Percentage is a measurement of efficiency as a shooter in field goal attempts, three-point field goal attempts and free throws. Nogueira is first again and is only joined by Rudy Gobert as qualified players above 70 percent.

Total Shooting Percentage is the sum of a player’s field goal, free throw and three-point percentage. David West and Darrell Arthur are the only other qualified players to top 190 percent.

Finally, Efficiency Differential is the difference between a player’s Offensive Rating and Defensive Rating. With a top 40 Defensive Rating and the far away number one Offensive Rating, Nogueira tops the list again as the only qualified player above 35 and one of only three (Rudy Gobert and Kevon Looney) above 30.

What does this all mean?

Now in no way does this make Nogueira the best or one of the best centers in the league.

But what it does show is that in the 19.2 minutes a game that Nogueira plays for the Toronto Raptors, he provides them with incredibly efficient shooting as well as a nice percentage of blocks and the ability to play both sides of the floor.

The other names at the top of advanced stats prove that advanced stats can’t always be trusted.

Kevon Looney is in the top five for Offensive Rating and Efficiency Differential. He only plays nine minutes a game and they are mostly in garbage time.

However, Nogueira’s complete dominance over the league in efficiency statistics prove that he is still more valuable to the Raptors than any regular statistic could show.

Just like his haircut (which I ranked here), Lucas Nogueira’s rank amongst NBA players cannot be simply ranked by only regular or advanced statistics.

Nogueira is a very good backup center enjoying a breakout season and everyone should know just how lucky the Raptors are to have an extremely efficient center in their backup unit.

Agree? Disagree? Leave your opinion in the comments section below!

This article originally appeared on