Top overachievers, underachievers

Breaking down this season's most impressive and disappointing NBA players

Updated: December 18, 2013, 1:14 PM ET
By Bradford Doolittle | ESPN Insider

Paul GeorgeRonald Martinez/Getty ImagesPacers forward Paul George, who is averaging 23.8 points per game, is an early MVP candidate.

We're at an interesting juncture of the NBA season in that we have enough accumulated data to get a bead on the storylines generated by our preseason projections but it's early enough that these solid-seeming trends can turn into fool's gold.

With that in mind, let's run through some of the key overachievers and underachievers among the league's players so far in the 2013-14 campaign.

I'm labeling an overachiever as anyone whose WARP to date outstrips the preseason forecast set by ATH, the projection module in my suite of analysis tools. The converse is true for underachievers. Note that the players I'm expounding on below are simply the ones I find most interesting in each group, so please don't read this as a leaderboard.


Key overachievers

George
Paul George, Indiana Pacers
WARP: 2.73 over projection

George has become one of the NBA's premier shot-makers, and the Pacers have accordingly shifted the heavy lifting of their offense onto his shoulders. His usage rate has jumped 5 percentage points, and the increased workload has left George's efficiency unaffected. His true shooting percentage has improved from .531 to .590. Plus, his turnover rate has decreased. George's floor stats are all either stagnant or down, but the huge uptick in point production has more than boosted his bottom-line value.


To read Bradford Doolittle's full breakdown of this season's most notable overachievers and underachievers, sign up for Insider today.