Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Notes from midseason NBA efficiency audit. ...Who should be playing in Sacramento

Efficiency matters. The top five NBA Point Guards by efficiency are all on winning teams. The five are: Chris Paul, Steve Nash, Deron Williams, Chauncey Billups, and Rajon Rondo. At Shooting Guard - eight of the top ten (not counting Gilbert Arenas) are on teams that would qualify for the playoffs if the season ended today. Those eight are: Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant, Brandon Roy, Manu Ginobili, Joe Johnson, Jason Richardson, Jamal Crawford, and Vince Carter. The two exceptions are Nor-Cal’s Tyreke Evans (I call him a TWO), and Monta Ellis. Kevin Martin, who has yet to hit his stride since a return from injury, ranks eleventh. I, for one, am hopeful that the Kings do not trade Martin. Efficient Shooting Guards are a valuable commodity in the NBA and although I feel Evans and Martin duplicate each other to some degree - I think you could say the same of Johnson, and Crawford in Atlanta, and that is working out okay last time I checked. If Sacramento does not want to play Evans at Small Forward (where I believe he could play, thus opening up the PG for Sergio Rodriguez, or Beno Udrih) then maybe Martin needs to embrace a sixth man role because it is clear to me that the Kings offense is more cohesive with Rodriguez initiating it. Rodriguez actually gets the Kings into sets - giving a chance for movement by both ball and players. Yes, Rodriguez can be out of control but I think you have to live with that because of his uncanny vision and ability to involve teammates. It is a FACT that the great Steve Nash has more turnovers than any NBA player. It is also a fact that the more involved a player can be on offense - the more likely that player is to be enthused about playing defense. The Kings energy rises with Rodriguez (pictured) at the helm. The most efficient lineup the Kings can have (and this is pure science) is Rodriguez, Martin, Evans, Jason Thompson, and Spencer Hawes. Udrih would spell Rodriguez. Omri Casspi would replace either Martin or Evans, and Jon Brockman would be the first BIG off the bench. When Francisco Garcia returns - his historical efficiency would put him into the mix as the ninth man. The efficiency rating says that Andres Nocioni and Donte Greene would be seldom used as the tenth and eleventh players. Ime Udoka, Sean May, Kenny Thomas and Hilton Armstrong would be the odd men out in this plan. ...Oh yeah - I was breaking down the annual league wide mid-season efficiency rating audit when I digressed into my Kings rant. At Small Forward - four of the top five are on winning teams; Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, and Gerald Wallace. 70% is the number at Power Forward. Seven of the top-ten are on winning teams. Tim Duncan, Chris Bosh, Carlos Boozer, Dirk Nowitzki, Zach Randolph, Josh Smith, and Kevin Garnett are the seven. At Center we find that efficiency may not matter as much. Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah, Nazr Mohammed, and Marc Gasol are the only top-ten Centers on current playoff teams. Meanwhile these five cats in the top-ten are on losing squads: Marcus Camby, Andrew Bogut, Brook Lopez, Samuel Dalembert, and Marresse Speights.

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