A couple months ago we asked “Who is the oldest team in the NBA?” if you take into consideration minutes played. We updated the graphic to include data up to 01/08/11. The left column is the average player ages using standard averages, the right column is the average player ages after adjusting for minutes played. The thickness of the lines represents the amount of change in average age.
The teams playing the oldest players are hands down performing the best. The five teams with a win pct of .700 or better (Mavs, Celtics, Heat, Lakers, Spurs) are the oldest teams in the league.
Suns, with a win percentage of .412, is the only team among the six oldest teams, with a win percentage below 700 .pct. This is a depressing thought for Suns fans as their team is neither winning games (14 -20) nor actively adding young talent (30.27).
The Cavs are equally depressing, with the worst win percentage in the league (.222) with an average age of 28.26. Old and losing no way to go through life…
On the bright side, two of the youngest teams in the league, the Knicks (avg age 24.96), and the Thunder (avg age 23.97), are both currently above a .600 win .pct
In addition to updating the data for minutes and age, we shifted from measuring player age to the year, to measuring player age to the day, which should result in a more accurate outcome. Many thanks to our newest collaborator Matt Gordon who collected the birthday data. We look forward to collaborating with Matt more on future posts.
Thanks again to Ben Fry who’s MLB graphic on salary vs performance was borrowed from heavily for the format of this graphic and for co-developing and sharing the processing programming language which we use for the majority of our work.
Also, be sure to check out Tom Ziller’s recent post on the impact of age on team performance. We thought it was pretty cool stuff.