Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

2012 Report Card: Iman Shumpert

Stats:

Player Age G MP MPG PER TS% eFG% TRB% AST% TOV% USG%
Iman Shumpert 21 59 1705 28.9 10.8 0.484 0.446 6.3 15.6 16 18.2

Per 36 Minutes:

FGA 3PA 3P% FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
11.3 3.3 0.306 2.3 0.798 0.9 3 3.9 3.5 2.1 0.2 2.3 3.7 11.9

First, this: Iman Shumpert is a gifted defensive player.  He has the full tool kit of a great on-ball defender: good form and footwork, quick hands, long arms, a strong core, the ability to stop on a dime and pivot, and a good sense of when to pounce.  He ranked in the top seven in the league this year in both steals per game and steal rate.  While Mike Woodson and Tyson Chandler have been credited with the Knicks’ defensive renaissance, Shumpert became the best one-on-one perimeter stopper the Knicks have had in at least a decade.  So the story goes.

So why can’t I find a stat that tells that story?

The Knicks forced more turnovers with Shumpert on the court than with him on the bench, it’s true, but they also committed two more fouls and allowed two more free throw attempts per 100 possessions of Shumpert time.  Though this could be explained away as a byproduct of Shumpert’s aggressiveness, the more surprising discovery is that opposing offenses were generally more  efficient with Shumpert in the game, scoring 102.9 points per 100 possessions (on a 49.1% eFG) compared to 101.3 with Shumpert off (on a 47.7% eFG).

Given all the different identities the Knicks had this year, statistics that are this broad may be unreliable.    So let’s look at a more specific example:

These were the two most commonly used Knicks lineups this season.  The only difference between the two is that one includes Shumpert and one includes Jeremy Lin, a folk hero to be sure but nobody’s idea of a lockdown defender.  And the Lin lineup is not just better on the defensive end, but enormously better.  The 9 points per 100 possessions drop-off is bigger than the difference between the overall defensive efficiencies of the Celtics and Pistons this year and, considering that those teams had similarly efficient offenses and Boston won 14 more games than Detroit, you could say that the gap is a pretty big deal.  Lin’s dynamic stretch came during a particularly electric moment in the Knicks’ season and against some fairly weak competition, which likely accounts for some of the margin.  Still, considering that Shumpert nearly made second-team all-defense and DID make first-team all-rookie, it’s possible that our defense-starved fan base has overreacted a bit to the emergence of a player who, while possessing the physical tools of an all-world defender, simply needed his first year to get up to NBA speed.  This is totally acceptable by the way — there aren’t a lot of players who enter the league with perfectly honed defensive instincts.  But we should be open to the possibility that Shumpert wasn’t quite as effective a defensive player this season as it felt like while it was happening.  More likely he was a good defender with the potential to develop into a truly great defender.

And he might need to be a great defender because the other side of the ball was a pretty big problem.  Since 2000, 4 rookie guards have logged 1,000 minutes for the Knicks and you can probably guess who they are.  Nate Robinson.  Toney Douglas.  Landry Fields.  Iman Shumpert.  Based on essentially all traditional and advanced statistical metrics, Shumpert was by far — and I mean by F-A-R — the worst offensive player of the four.  And we’re not exactly talking about a group whose jerseys are flying off the shelves of the Modell’s at 37th and 7th; while some optimism remains about Fields even after an up-and-down sophomore season, Douglas and Robinson’s once-bright futures with the franchise are now topics not discussed by Knicks’ fans in polite company.  And yet, as rookies, both players out-shot Shumpert (as measured by FG%, 3P%, TS%, or eFG% — so basically pick your metric).  Both had higher assist rates and lower turnover rates despite higher usage.  And, despite giving up 10 inches, rookie Nate also topped Shumpert’s 2011-2012 rebound rate:

So again, on at least one side of the ball Shumpert is off to a demonstrably worse start than a couple of guys who were (rightly!) never really expected to become anything more than effective bench players.  And on the other side, despite considerable physical and technical tools in evidence, his shifts paled in comparison to those played by a diminutive guard from Harvard who most thought to be too slow to have any role in the league, let alone provide meaningful defensive resistance against NBA perimeter players.

And yet, I would submit that optimism for Shumpert currently exceeds that of any Knick guard at this stage in his career since Rod Strickland (and he got traded for Mo Cheeks like, 20 minutes later and then Cheeks got traded for a draft pick and the draft pick became Charlie Ward so….yeah).  I would say that, at this point, most Knicks fans believe that if Shumpert fully recovers from his knee injury, he will make (and deserve to make) several all-defense teams and polish his offensive game to the point of being a solid #1 defender and 4th offensive option on a contending team.  This could totally come to pass, but I think there’s more room between his head and the ceiling than most are allowing for.  Here’s some of what needs to happen:

OFFENSE: He’s simply being misutilized, although this was a much larger problem at the beginning of the year than at the end.  As Sebastian Pruiti covered at length in his must-read rookie rankings on Grantland, his positional and play-type splits made it clear that the two things Shumpert should definitely NOT be doing were quarterbacking the offense and being the primary option in pick-and-roll sets — in other words, the two most important functions of the D’AntoniBall point guard role that injuries forced Shumpert to play so much of in the early part of the season.  The emergence of Lin and the return of Baron Davis largely relieved Shumpert of this responsibility.  For a while, he thrived playing the two guard off of Lin, whose chaotic slash-and-look style pulled defenders out of position and created the driving lanes that Shumpert’s isolation skills and raw athleticism were able to exploit.  Then D’Antoni resigned, Lin got hurt, and Woodson’s iso-Melo offense took hold.   And iso-Melo is decidedly not iso-Shump.  It’s a system where catch-and-shooters thrive and, though a hot March saw a spike in Shumpert’s shooting numbers, there is nothing in his college or pro stats before or since that indicate it to be anything but an anomaly.  Maybe when Lin comes back next year he’ll get some of that off-the-ball magic going again.  But in the long run, this is Melo’s offense and Shump best learn to thrive in it.  Which means as soon as that knee is healed up, get thee to a gymnasium for 500 threes a day.

DEFENSE: I cop to being a little bit stumped (Shumped?  No?  You want me to leave now?  Sorry, two more paragraphs); I have the same eyes as the rest of you and it doesn’t look like he’s doing anything wrong.  I do think he can get caught trying to jump lanes and over-help when teammates miss assignments.  I have seen him close out on stray would-be shooters only to have them make the extra pass to the player that Shumpert left behind.  I think it’s really just a matter of his knee coming all the way back (not a given, but his age and body type profile would seem to be ideal) and him getting more used to the NBA game (which should not be a problem).

The most recent data point in a startling run of Knick drafting competence, Iman Shumpert had an encouraging rookie year in which he showed incredible promise on the defensive end of the ball and the requisite athleticism to be a plus offensive player if utilized and developed properly.  If he was a bit overrated, it was only because of the excitement that comes with watching a player whose youth and explosiveness can at times make his potential seem limitless.  Depending on the success of his recovery from major knee surgery, Shumpert’s rookie season will either stand as a first glimpse of potential that has yet to be fully harnessed or a burst of brilliance that was never allowed to be completely realized.  No matter how the future plays out, this was a strong debut by an unheralded prospect that has left us all unafraid to ask for more.

Grades (5 point scale):

Offense: 2

Defense: 4

Teamwork: 4

Rootability: 4

Performance/Expectations: 4

Final Grade: 3.6

46 comments on “2012 Report Card: Iman Shumpert

  1. Marc R

    Is it possible that Shump’s on-court/off-court split is due to his teammates? I recognize the Lin/Shump sub you did, along with the accompanying disclaimers, but those are pretty small sample sizes. Also maybe Shump is better at guarding shooting guards instead of lead guards.

    Basketballvalue.com gives Shump a very favorable adjusted +/- even though is unadjusted defensive score is pretty low.

  2. jon abbey

    “So why can’t I find a stat that tells that story?”

    because publicly available basketball stats are mostly worthless.

    that was easy, next question? :)

  3. Marc R

    Kevin,

    I must confess, I’m more than a bit confused by the basketballvalue methodology. That said, it looks like the unadjusted numbers support your conclusion that most of Shump’s positive differential come on the offensive end. But I’m not sure how much those unadjusted numbers relate to the adjusted numbers since the latter account for teammates and opponents.

    Indeed, it’s not surprising that since Shump was 4th in minutes played for NYK this year that he played a lot of time with the defensively challenged and offensively potent first unit, thus skewing his +/-.

  4. TelegraphedPass

    I don’t think our first unit was defensively challenged or offensively potent. But that’s just me.

    Shumpert’s individual defensive numbers show him to be a superb man defender. Not sure why the team defense seemed to struggle with him on the court.

  5. johnlocke

    Synergy numbers tell more of the story:
    Article from April 7th noted that he averaged about 0.6 points per possession on isolation plays, which was about 28th best in the league – better than Toney Allen, Iguodala and Luol Deng. Shump has allowed opposing players to score on just 30.7% of their isolation plays while forcing turnovers 28.4% of the time.

    What he can improve on is his off-the-ball defense, keeping post-up guards away from the basket, help-defense and pick and roll defense, but his on-ball defense is beastly.

    A better metric may be to look at the overall efficiency of the best perimeter players in the game who he typically guards and their league average efficiency. That’s how defensive lock-down players typically make their name.

    jon abbey:
    “So why can’t I find a stat that tells that story?”

    because publicly available basketball stats are mostly worthless.

    that was easy, next question? :)

  6. johnlocke

    On offense his overall numbers are poor, but the trend is good. His shooting numbers from the field and three increased over the course of the season – better shot selection / form and confidence:
    FG%
    Dec: .231
    Jan .376
    Feb .400
    Mar .437
    Apr .427

    He also had a few bad shooting games that threw of the averages at the beginning of the season usually due to poor shot selection when he was playing PG — Memphis fiasco (25% shooting on 20 attempted field goals, 3-13 against Boston 1st game of the season)

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/s/shumpim01/splits/

  7. thenamestsam

    I think this was a very fair and informative write-up. I do think Shump’s defense was pretty overrated around here for large parts of the season largely because there were times when his defense was unreal, but the consistency wasn’t there. Not only game-to-game but even quarter-to-quarter there were times when he was less of the lock-down guy and more of the unfocused rookie. I don’t think that’s a big issue, rookies who don’t struggle with consistency and focus at times are pretty damn rare, but it does fit well with the idea that the net impact of his defense was significantly less than our perception of it.

    Anyway he’s already among my favorites on this team and I hope he makes a total and speedy recovery. The team won’t be as much fun to watch until he gets back.

  8. Kevin McElroy Post author

    Thanks all for the feedback — I am far from an expert in visually evaluating on-ball defense so I welcome input on that front. I wanted to be clear about my topics sentence regarding Shumpert’s defense, which I think may be easily misinterpreted.

    What I don’t mean to say:

    “Iman Shumpert is an average to bad defensive player, worse than Jeremy Lin actually, and Knicks fans have massively overrated him.”

    What I DO mean to say:

    “Watching Iman Shumpert all year, it seemed that he was the linchpin of the Knicks improved perimeter defense, but I was surprised to find that on/off court statistics tell a different story — here is what I think might be going on.”

  9. jon abbey

    Kevin McElroy:

    What I DO mean to say:

    “Watching Iman Shumpert all year, it seemed that he was the linchpin of the Knicks improved perimeter defense, but I was surprised to find that on/off court statistics tell a different story — here is what I think might be going on.”

    you can’t do this without using Synergy numbers, though. the numbers more easily available to us for defense just don’t work.

  10. Kevin McElroy Post author

    jon abbey: you can’t do this without using Synergy numbers, though. the numbers more easily available to us for defense just don’t work.

    It’s a fair critique but it’s still worth pointing out that no matter his performance, he did not seem to have a major positive impact on team defense when on the court. I’m totally aware of the issues with the stats employed — I cited them in the article — and I still went with a 4 out of 5 for Shumpert on the defensive end. My objection is only to the claim that he is essentially a finished product as a lockdown, all-NBA type defender.

  11. johnlocke

    That’s fair. At this point, I’d say he’s a lock-down, All-NBA potential isolation defender, but still an improving help/team defender. That might help to account for some of the difference btw the individual defensive numbers and team numbers. Chandler I bet would have better team numbers because he’s defending at the rim and helping guard other players on the floor. If Shump’s man is not an aggressive isolation player (Kobe, Wade, Rose, etc), then his defensive prowess wouldn’t really play out that much in the team numbers.

    Kevin McElroy: It’s a fair critique but it’s still worth pointing out that no matter his performance, he did not seem to have a major positive impact on team defense when on the court.I’m totally aware of the issues with the stats employed — I cited them in the article — and I still went with a 4 out of 5 for Shumpert on the defensive end.My objection is only to the claim that he is essentially a finished product as a lockdown, all-NBA type defender.

  12. Kikuchiyo

    Sorry, but what does 3.6 out of 5 mean in terms of a grade? Is that a good grade? Is it a C- (a 72 out of 100)?

    I think Shump is a solid B. Not better—his shot is still awful and his play is uneven. But not worse—what a great high energy defender he is. And, other than—GAWD!—that injury, his weaknesses look like things that can be addressed. If Shump can learn to make a moderate amount of open shots and complement that with some monster drives (and that’s possible with his hops), he’ll be a favorite. He seems focused and coachable. I’m glad he’s on our team.

  13. Kikuchiyo

    And, as is obvious, we should all give Shumpert credit for playing through the absolute chaos of the lockout season/Linsanity/Melodrama/Woodsonity as a rookie. It can only get easier, you would think.

  14. Kevin McElroy Post author

    Kikuchiyo,

    I was asked to grade out of 5. To me a 3 would be average and a 4 would be very good while a 5 would be basically perfect or as near to it as one could expect (like I would have given Chandler’s defense a 5, for example). So a 3.6 is between “good” and “very good” — pretty close to the B you’re looking for, maybe even a B+.

  15. LinsaneinLA

    Here’s my theory: Could the gap between stats and perception be caused by the fact that Shump seems to be often put on the opposing team’s biggest offensive threat? When shump reduces their star player’s effectiveness, maybe that means the opposing team would have scored 120pts without instead of 105 with Shump. When their star is benched for rest, Shump can come out. Lin, who is not known for his defense, was probably not put on their top guy as often.

  16. ephus

    On Shumpert’s offense, my visual observation (have not looked at stats) was that he did not finish at the rim nearly as well as I would have expected, given his insane vertical leap. And, memorably, two of his biggest dunks of the year were punctuated by technical fouls for inappropriate celebration. If Shump’s knee recovers, I expect that he will be better at the rim this year and can (at least) maintain the shooting percentages from the last two months of the season.

    On defense, Shumpert seemed to have problems getting over ball-picks, even at the end of the season. For the first half of the year, he was instructed to switch on everything, so it is not a skill he was implementing in game-conditions. But he has to improve at fighting through ball screens if he is going to be a true lock-down defender.

  17. nicos

    One difference in Lin vs. Shumpert with the same lineup numbers is that a good chunk of Lin’s minutes with those guys came in that stretch just after D’A resigned when the Knicks (especially Amar’e and Melo) played their best defense of the year by far.

    As for his defense- he was absolutely incredible at forcing turnovers- his 17.8% was the best I could find on synergy, the only guys who were even close were Paul at 15.5 and Conley at 15.3. He struggled a bit in the pnr and closing out on shooters (and fouled too much) but that’s stuff that should improve with experience- I thought his pnr defense improved late in the season as he worked harder to get over screens.

    Offensively, he was obviously much more suited to the 2. His numbers in iso’s were actually pretty encouraging- he ranked 67th in the league- especially when you consider how much trouble he had finishing at the basket. And his outside shot looked better towards the end of the year- his TS% was .535 (.357 fg% from 3) under Woodson- giving hope that he could at least become an average 2 offensively, if not better. Considering he was a rookie who played a lot of the year at a position he probably wasn’t suited for and had no summer league and hardly any training camp, I’d say he had a pretty great season- he certainly exceeded my expectations.

    Unfortunately, he’s going to miss summer league and training camp again and with the ACL, he may not be 100% at all next season.

  18. JC Knickfan

    A good offense does help your defense by decreasing amount transition points. In theory you make basket no team should be able to run on you. I’m sure showtime laker would beg to differ.
    So I personal think stat are skewed against Shump because he did play PG during that 8-15 stretch.

    But to me most telling time of Shump superior man-to-man defense was Toronto game where Lin hit the game-winning 3. Calderon was 11-15 going in 3rd with Lin covering him. Lin continue to do some ill-advise help defense leaving Calderon open. Come 4qt – MDA put Shump on Calderon. Shump blanket him and Jose goes 0-2. Shump also steal the ball twice from him including crucial steal for breakaway dunk. Without that Linsanity would not have continue that night. Beside being on Jeremy high, I thinking wow Knicks might have very good backcourt for years to comes.

  19. jon abbey

    nicos:

    Unfortunately, he’s going to miss summer league and training camp again and with the ACL, he may not be 100% at all next season.

    yep. to me this is the second most depressing thing about this team currently, after the perennial #1 of Dolan still owning the team, but ahead of Amare’s contract, Melo’s deficiencies, who the coach is, etc, etc.

  20. 2FOR18

    jon abbey: yep. to me this is the second most depressing thing about this team currently, after the perennial #1 of Dolan still owning the team, but ahead of Amare’s contract, Melo’s deficiencies, who the coach is, etc, etc.

    I agree.
    And I want to get this in somewhere – you and Simmons (he wrote an article after game 2 calling San Ant unbeatable) really put the kibosh on Parker and S.A. :)

  21. ruruland

    As others have mentioned and a few of us talked about during the season, Shumps pick and roll defense was average at best. I’d actually say it was subpar. But he has all the tools to get better and there’s no reason to believe he won’t be very good in the current Knicks defensive culture.

    Pick and roll defense is the most important aspect on defense for guards in the NBA. But his hands and anticipation are simply off the charts good, you combine the mindset and the immense tools and of course he’s going to be a great defender, a true impact defender, barring injuries (and I think he’ll be fine after the ACL, knock on wood)

    And if he works hard he will become a better catch and shoot shooter.

    Raja Bell was a below average college 3pt shooter and shot 27% his first full season in the NBA before becoming arguably the best catch and shoot guy in the league.

    Look at how similar their college numbers are:

    http://statsheet.com/mcb/players/player/florida-international/raja-bell

    http://statsheet.com/mcb/players/player/georgia-tech/iman-shumpert

    First year pro: http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/b/bellra01.html

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/s/shumpim01.html
    ————————————————————-

    I have little doubt Shumpert will become a great defender and will be a part of the NBA’s best starting group here in the next couple of years.

    Frank or JohnLocke, can we get the Synergy numbers for Shumpert in just catch and shoot situations.

    To me, Shump has decent form and good balance. It’s all about repetitions and decreasing those much more difficult pull-up shots he was so prone to take last year.

    Shump shot 33% from 3 in the final 38 games of the season, not coincidentally these were the games he was moved off the ball.

    From the time Lin made his first start, Shump’s TS went up to .514 in the final 40 games of the year.

  22. max fisher-cohen

    Nice article, Kevin. Interesting details, thought provoking, well written. I’ll make a guess about the difference between the two lineups.

    While Lin was starting, Anthony went through a terrible slump. His FG% dropped 4% and his 3pt % dropped 5%. This seems the more likely explanation for our poorer offense.

    Our defense was also much better for reasons that perhaps are better equated with the adrenaline spike that Mike D’Antoni’s resignation caused. During 7 games before Lin’s season ended, we went 7-1 and played all-decade level defense, enough to raise the much less effective defense that we played between Linsanity and D’Antoni’s resignation — when our lineup was the same but Anthony was sulking — up to top level. During that run, we even saw Stoudemire trapping screens…!

  23. Kevin McElroy Post author

    ruruland:

    I have a couple issues here.

    1) Not sure where you’re going with the Bell comparison — his 3P% his last year in college was way better than Shumpert’s. While I don’t think it’s impossible that Shumpert will get better (he has had at least one very good month and he is still quite young) the Bell comparison doesn’t do much to make the point. It’s not like Shumpert has a great stroke and the shots just aren’t falling — he puts it up way too flat and needs some directed attention from a shooting coach.

    2) While his second half was much better than his first, it’s not like it was a steady incline. He had a monster March and came back down in April. In fact, he was 12 for 26 on threes the week of March 26 — if you remove that ONE WEEK, his post-All-Star 3p% was 28.6%. This is not a guy who learned to be a three point shooter as the year wore on, he still has a ton of work to do on this front.

    2a) Jeremy Lin’s last game this year happened on March 24 which means that, oddly enough, Shumpert’s hot jump shooting started immediately after he lost Lin. So while the Lin + Spot-ups = Shumpy 3-point Goodness narrative is tempting, it is false.

    3) His TS% in the last 40 games was indeed .514. Exactly one NBA player had a .514 TS% for the full year this season. It was Brandon Jennings. A paragon of efficient offense, he is not. Also, Shumpert played 14 more minutes after the ASB than before but took 80 less shots. His increase in efficiency likely had a not insignificant amount to do with a lower usage rate/decrease in bad shots. While this is encouraging from a decision-making perspective, it’s not the same as improving his shooting.

    4) The one statistical category where Shumpert made massive strides as the season progressed was turnovers. By month he had 43, 25, 21, 20. The reason for this has little to do with him and everything to do with his being moved off of point guard.

    I like Shumpert a ton. He is not a good offensive player yet.

  24. ruruland

    Let’s compare Shumpert’s last 2 years in college and first full season in the NBA with Bell’s last two seasons and first full season in the NBA

    Bell: 32.6%

    Shumpert: 30.3%

    I’d venture to guess that Shumpert’s been a better catch and shoot 3pt shooter than Bell was during that 3 year period. Shumpert took a ton of off-dribble 3s in college and last year.

  25. ruruland

    2)We need Frank to to provide some synergy numbers for Shumpert in catch and shoot. With Lin, the Knicks finally had an MDA penetrate and kick guard, while Lin was injured, the Knicks turned into a double and kick team with Melo, which did result in a lot of open catch and shoot for guys like Shumpert (Remember the Orlando game and Atlanta games)….

    Each scenario was different than Shumpert playing point guard and shooting a high percentage of off-dribble 3s.

  26. ephus

    One of the most amazing defensive stretches for Shumpert was when he took on D Rose. When Rose tried to take him off of the dribble, Shumpert shut him down. When Rose ran the PnR, Shumpert kept getting stuck on the screen. But Shumpert clearly got under Rose’s skin, because near the end of the game, Rose kept waving off the screen because he wanted to prove that he could beat Shumpert one-on-one, which he could not.

  27. ruruland

    “3) His TS% in the last 40 games was indeed .514.Exactly one NBA player had a .514 TS% for the full year this season.It was Brandon Jennings.A paragon of efficient offense, he is not.Also, Shumpert played 14 more minutes after the ASB than before but took 80 less shots.His increase in efficiency likely had a not insignificant amount to do with a lower usage rate/decrease in bad shots.While this is encouraging from a decision-making perspective, it’s not the same as improving his shooting.”

    I’m certainly not arguing that Shumpert was even an average offensive player last year. His dreadful offensive play early in the year was a big reason behind the team’s offensive struggles.

    However, he has great promise offensively, even if his first year numbers don’t suggest it.

  28. Bison

    Perhaps the defensive differential between Shump+Lin and Shump+otherPg is explained by Lin being better at defense than any of the other Knicks PGs.

    Baron Davis, for example, has a reputation for being better than Lin at defense, but the numbers don’t show it. Per 82games, the team gives up 104.3 points per 100 possessions when Baron is on the court, versus 101.6 when he’s off. Lin’s corresponding numbers are: 100.6 and 102.8. So the Knicks are defensively negative when Baron is on the court, and positive when Lin is on.

    Of course, Shumpert was often the SG when Lin was on the court. Perhaps they are complementary: Shump is great individually, and Lin is pretty good at help defense. And both are deadly at ripping the ball away from an attacker. Shump was often able to immobilise the ball handler, and Lin would sneak over and steal the rock.

    Regardless of the explanation, Shump is one of my favorites. I really hope his knee recovers fully.

  29. Bison

    From the previous thread (because nobody reads old threads):

    jon abbey:
    first of all, I’d like to see details on that statement, when Jordan actually said it and if he really did. google has a bunch of people like you claiming he said it, but nothing first-hand.

    I remember reading Jordan’s “teamwork wins championships” in a book; the quote has really stuck in my mind. So I did a search restricted to amazon.com and found the following:

    http://www.amazon.com/Michael-Jordan-Speaks-Greatest-Champion/dp/0471345644

    It’s not the book I remember reading, but the quote is almost certainly genuine.

    secondly, Jordan has proven in recent years that while he was the GOAT as a player, he may be one of the worst of all time at assembling talent and knowing what it takes for others to win.

    Non sequitur. Playing is a different skill from managing. Jordan’s ineptitude at the latter affects his playing reputation not one bit.

    and lastly, of course they had a lot of assists, Jordan was swarmed constantly, and people would rather let guys like Paxson and Armstrong shoot open 18 footers than let Jordan beat them again and again.

    Of course Jordan was swarmed. As Melo will be in the playoffs, if we only play Melo ball — and that is why I anticipate an early exit.

    anyway, I’d say that Jordan statement (if he actually made it) is pretty close to 180 degrees wrong. you are welcome to cite me in the future if you like:

    “in the NBA, teamwork may win regular season games, but talent wins titles.”-Jon Abbey

    Ha ha. It looks like your favorite iso team, the Heat, is not winning anything this year. They seem about to be knocked out by a real teamwork team. (Not that I like the Celtics much, mind you, but that’s only because they are the Celtics. I like some of the…

  30. Bison

    Looks like #33 got truncated. Here’s the last paragraph again:

    Ha ha. It looks like your favorite iso team, the Heat, is not winning anything this year. They seem about to be knocked out by a real teamwork team. (Not that I like the Celtics much, mind you, but that’s only because they are the Celtics. I like some of the players a lot though.)

  31. ruruland

    Bison:
    Looks like #33 got truncated.Here’s the last paragraph again:

    Ha ha.It looks like your favorite iso team, the Heat, is not winning anything this year.They seem about to be knocked out by a real teamwork team.(Not that I like the Celtics much, mind you, but that’s only because they are the Celtics.I like some of the players a lot though.)

    You want me to post his average assist numbers in combination with the jump shot percentage of his teammates in the post-season?

  32. ruruland

    Bison:
    Looks like #33 got truncated.Here’s the last paragraph again:

    Ha ha.It looks like your favorite iso team, the Heat, is not winning anything this year.They seem about to be knocked out by a real teamwork team.(Not that I like the Celtics much, mind you, but that’s only because they are the Celtics.I like some of the players a lot though.)

    Ball movement is great when you have 5 guys on the floor who can make open jump shots and the second best passing pg in the NBA.

    The Heat create a lot of open shots. It turns out that Boston’s balance was too much for Miami through 5 games, in large part because there has been little support behind Wade and James — that’s not because Wade and James have been selfish.

  33. Bison

    TelegraphedPass: A guard has more assists per game than a forward wtf HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE???? Drop moar gems of knowledge plz.

    It’s not only the guards; here are some forwards who lead their teams to championships:

    Rick Barry averaged 6.1 assists per playoff game in his championship year (1975)

    Larry Bird averaged 8.2 assists per playoff game in 1986

    Melo has averaged 3.1 assists per playoff game, and that is not nearly good enough. You’re out of excuses, TP, as is Melo.

    Carmelo averages more assists per game than Kevin Durant. This means something I’m not sure what tho.

    Durant is successful in spite of not having many assists because he rarely keeps the ball for long. Someone who hogs the ball for 10 seconds, 15 seconds, or more, like Melo, had better be good at passing.

  34. ruruland

    Bison: It’s not only the guards; here are some forwards who lead their teams to championships:

    Rick Barry averaged 6.1 assists per playoff game in his championship year (1975)

    Larry Bird averaged 8.2 assists per playoff game in 1986

    Melo has averaged 3.1 assists per playoff game, and that is not nearly good enough.You’re out of excuses, TP, as is Melo.

    Durant is successful in spite of not having many assists because he rarely keeps the ball for long.Someone who hogs the ball for 10 seconds, 15 seconds, or more, like Melo, had better be good at passing.

    Dirk Nowitzki. Any post player — ever.

  35. jon abbey

    OKC is my favorite ISO team, not even close.

    and it’s easy to be a “real teamwork team” when you have one of the 3-4 best PGs in the league (to prevent arguments) and three future Hall of Famers alongside him.

  36. Frank

    sorry for the late posting of these – been busy and not obsessively following the threads as much as during the season:

    Shumpert:
    Overall 0.8 PPP (344th in the league)
    Isolation 0.83 PPP (67th)
    PNR BH – 0.55 PPP (yikes. 171st)
    Post up – only had 4
    Spot-up – 0.87 PPP (237th) – 3P% only 32.6% on 92 shots
    Off screen – 0.65
    Hand-off 0.56
    Cuts – 1.09
    Transition – 1.18 (125th)

    In a nutshell – Shump was an awful offensive player this year, although I would wager that all these numbers got a big bump in March and April, and that those #s in Mar/April were actually pretty good. I can’t figure out how to look at Synergy #s by month (not sure it is possible with this type of subscription).

  37. ruruland

    Frank:
    sorry for the late posting of these – been busy and not obsessively following the threads as much as during the season:

    Shumpert:
    Overall 0.8 PPP (344th in the league)
    Isolation 0.83 PPP (67th)
    PNR BH – 0.55 PPP (yikes. 171st)
    Post up – only had 4
    Spot-up – 0.87 PPP (237th) – 3P% only 32.6% on 92 shots
    Off screen – 0.65
    Hand-off 0.56
    Cuts – 1.09
    Transition – 1.18 (125th)

    In a nutshell – Shump was an awful offensive player this year, although I would wager that all these numbers got a big bump in March and April, and that those #s in Mar/April were actually pretty good. I can’t figure out how to look at Synergy #s by month (not sure it is possible with this type of subscription).

    Thanks, Frank. That spot-up number is disappointing.

  38. TelegraphedPass

    Bison: It’s not only the guards; here are some forwards who lead their teams to championships:Rick Barry averaged 6.1 assists per playoff game in his championship year (1975)Larry Bird averaged 8.2 assists per playoff game in 1986Melo has averaged 3.1 assists per playoff game, and that is not nearly good enough. You’re out of excuses, TP, as is Melo.Durant is successful in spite of not having many assists because he rarely keeps the ball for long. Someone who hogs the ball for 10 seconds, 15 seconds, or more, like Melo, had better be good at passing.

    I’m not making excuses. That would imply a level of guilt that I don’t feel. I don’t need to make excuses for Carmelo, because I don’t think you need to have at least 5 assists per game as a scoring small forward to have a chance at a title. Kevin Durant is a clear example of that. The Thunder spent the season at the absolute bottom of the league in assists per game, yet earned the 2 seed.

    Assists are not the problem with this team. Carmelo spending most of the year unable to efficiently score, without a starting point guard, with a 2 guard utterly incapable of spacing the offense is the issue I see.

  39. Brian Cronin

    Overall 0.8 PPP (344th in the league)
    Isolation 0.83 PPP (67th)
    PNR BH – 0.55 PPP (yikes. 171st)
    Post up – only had 4
    Spot-up – 0.87 PPP (237th) – 3P% only 32.6% on 92 shots
    Off screen – 0.65
    Hand-off 0.56
    Cuts – 1.09
    Transition – 1.18 (125th)

    In a nutshell – Shump was an awful offensive player this year, although I would wager that all these numbers got a big bump in March and April, and that those #s in Mar/April were actually pretty good. I can’t figure out how to look at Synergy #s by month (not sure it is possible with this type of subscription).

    DAY-um. I didn’t think it would be that bad. That is…wow…that is just….wow.

  40. Thomas B.

    P>In a nutshell – Shump was an awful offensive player this year, although I would wager that all these numbers got a big bump in March and April, and that those #s in Mar/April were actually pretty good. I can’t figure out how to look at Synergy #s by month (not sure it is possible with this type of subscription).

    Yeah I made that same point last week during the discussion of the Fields report card. Basically, I said that if the readers want me to bash Landry for his offense, then we should have to dig a ditch to dump Shump in for his offense. Why he got away with this all season is beyond me. I guess it has something to do woth being the fan fav. Funny how we overlook such things when we are in love.

    Fantastic work Kevin. Really just awesome.

  41. Bison

    My comment in the Wednesday thread has been held up (“awaiting moderation”) for almost an hour. Which is strange, as it has no swear words, nor is it attacking anyone here. And it is absolutely on topic. Very strange.

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