Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Notes from the NBA regular season stat audit

First off, here is a weird one: Dominic McGuire of the Kings/Wizards played over 300 minutes and never made a free throw. ...The Denver Nuggets only used 13 players all season.  

I want to throw some love in the direction of Martell Webster. (Pictured to left) The Blazers wing player played only five minutes of one game last season before suffering a season ending foot injury. This year—Webster joined teammate Andre Miller as the only Portland players to play in all 82 regular season games. I like to acknowledge guys with obvious toughness. And Martell Webster fits the toughness bill.

Who do you think had more field goals made this season for Utah: Andrei Kirilenko or rookie Wesley Matthews? That’s right - I would not have asked the question were it not Matthews. The Marquette product made 273 FG’s to AK’s 244.

The problem in Philadelphia was not Eddie Jordan. The problem is their roster. They have legit NBA starters in Lou Williams, Andre Iguodala and Samuel Dalembert but they do not have a superstar. Heck—they barely have a star. Iguodala would be the closest thing to a star. They have solid rotation players in Elton Brand, and Thaddeus Young.

Over in Chicago - how about Brad Miller playing in all 82 games for the first time in his eleven year career? ...Guess which member of the Spurs played in all 82 this season. How about the guy with no ACL’s in either knee; DeJuan Blair.

Since in the past I have not exactly praised Jarrett Jack - I have to come clean and admit that I was wrong about him. He is a better player than I ever gave him credit for being. He plays hard and his shooting has improved to the point that he is now efficient.

Did you know that Ronnie Brewer (pictured below) who was traded by the Jazz to the Grizzlies - had the 19th best assist-to-turnover ratio in the NBA this season? Brewer played some Point Guard in college so maybe that is where Memphis should give him a look going forward. He doesn’t score enough to be an effective TWO and he doesn’t really shoot well enough to thrive as a THREE. (Hey—at least I’m thinking over here). Brewer at PG would be a more efficient option than Marcus Williams. I’m just saying.

You can count on one hand the guys in the NBA with the skill set and the body to effectively play Point Guard, Shooting Guard and Small Forward. You start with Lebron James, and follow with Joe Johnson. You might think Vince Carter would be a stretch at PG but he does own a healthy 2.23 to 1 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Efficiency Ratings by position

Our big batch of work to come up with the Efficiency Ratings, by position, for the 2009-10 season can be found here.

Notes from the stat audit are coming next. ...You can always view archived content at

Monday, April 12, 2010

Late Monday thoughts. Tyreke accomplishes 20, 5 & 5.

Just back from ARCO Arena where we saw Tyreke Evans score 24 points to ensure that he will have rookie season averages of 20 points, five assists, and five rebounds. The other cats that have done that are Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan, and Lebron James.

This would be a good time to remind anyone not paying us (which is everyone) that we had Tyreke listed only behind Blake Griffin on last year's draft board. The guy listed third on my board earned me snickers from veteran posters on some of the big-name draft site forums. I was arguing with anyone who would listen - that Steph Curry was the third best prospect in the 2009 NBA Draft.

I was wrong about Brandon Jennings. I thought he was too immature and I thought his talent was not sufficient to overcome his youthful indiscretions (i.e. - shot selection, leadership).

I rationalize my miscalculation on Jennings due to simply not being capable of seeing him enough. He was in Europe and all I had was stats, and my notes on him from watching him play in high-school all-star games. I don't have the resources that an NBA team has. I don't subscribe to any services (Synergy) that break down tape of players. But I do often wonder how much better at evaluating talent I might be if I could have access to the tools that an NBA scout has. I would LOVE to go to Portsmouth, Virginia for the P.I.T. or to the upcoming NBA Combine.

In lieu of actually attending - I scoured the box scores from Portsmouth and I will record whatever coverage of the combine that there is on ESPNU. (Can I host that show?)

Or maybe the reason I have had any success at evaluating individuals is simply because the majority of my evaluation comes from watching actual games. Meaningful ones too. By not seeing the P.I.T. or the Combine - I am affected less by what a player is "accomplishing" in basically a practice/scrimmage or workout. That is to say that I am less in love with a player's ability to be a "workout wonder" than I am in love with a player who I've seen star in a game. Who knows.

Reggie Williams is making us look smarter. The Golden State Warriors D-League call-up was a guy we had ranked 40th (or as the 10th pick in round two) in the 2008 NBA Draft. Williams was not selected by any team in that draft but through hard work and D League exposure, the NBA could not deny his talent any longer. Williams is averaging 15.5 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.6 assists for the Warriors through 22 games played since his call up from Sioux Falls.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Who got down at Portsmouth?

A computer issue as yet unresolved has kept us from blogging about basketball for seven days. ...The Portsmouth Invitational Tournament took place from April 7th through April 10th. The P.I.T. is a collection of NCAA Seniors that are split into teams who play in front of NBA talent scouts. Last year, Jon Brockman, Wesley Matthews, and DeMarre Carroll emerged from the showcase.

So who played well at the 2010 version? We go game by game - giving you the best player on the winning team and what they accomplished.

Day one:
A.J. Slaughter - W. Kentucky. 6'3" 180 PG, SG ...28 points in 21 minutes on 10-12 FG. w/ 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals.

Donald Sloan - Texas A&M 6'3" 205 PG, SG. (Pictured at left.) ...20 points, 6 rebounds, 8-12 FG in 32 minutes.

Day two:

Roderick Flemings - Hawaii. 6'7" 210 SG. ...14 points (7-7 FG), 6 rebounds, 4 assists in 27 minutes.

Tyren Johnson - Louisiana Lafayette 6'8" 204 SF. ...15 points (5-7 FG), 6 assists, 6 rebounds in 22 minutes

Jerome Randle - California. 5'10" 172 PG. ...18 points (7-13 FG), 10 assists, 4 steals in 31 minutes.

Randle (pictured at left) was named the MVP of the three-day tourney. Readers of this space know that we think Randle has an NBA future. His accurate shooting, ball-handling ability, and instant energy separate him from other small guards.

Day three:

Reggie Holmes - Morgan St. 6'4" 180 SG. ...22 points (7-11 FG), 7 rebounds in 23 minutes.

Jason Love
- Xavier. 6'9" 265 PF. ...11 points (5-9 FG), 7 rebounds, zero turnovers in 25 minutes.

Kevin Palmer - Texas A&M Corpus Christi. 6'6" 204 SG. ...21 points, 11 rebounds, 6 steals in 31 minutes.

Day four:

DeShawn Sims - Michigan. 6'8" 235 PF. ...21 points (10-17 FG), 7 rebounds in 22 minutes.

Hamady Ndiaye - Rutgers. 6'11" 235 C. ...19 points (7-13 FG, 5-5 FT), 9 rebounds, 2 blocked shots, zero turnovers in 23 minutes.

Ben Uzoh - Tulsa. 6'3" 205 PG. ...15 points (6-8 FG), five assists, five rebounds, three steals, in 24 minutes.

Trevon Hughes - Wisconsin. 6'0" 193 PG. ...21 points (7-14 FG, 4-4 FT, 3-5 3PtFG), 7 rebounds, in 32 minutes.

As always you can follow us on twitter @basslinespin

Friday, April 2, 2010

Tweets reveal traits. ...Plus! Relevant thoughts on college hoops and Kings

...I follow several of the NBA Draft prospects on Twitter. It is a valuable tool for anyone with any sense of how human beings operate. Over time - personality traits reveal themselves on Twitter. An example? Two players that I am already a fan of seem to have basketball on their brains all the time. I like that and I think that translates to a better a chance at success in the NBA. Those two are Evan Turner of Ohio State, and Jordan Crawford of Xavier. One prospect - that I won’t sell out (yet) seems to complain on 80% of his tweets. Complainers wear you down over a season and I don’t want them as teammates. Now, this kid is a REAL talent and highly skilled so I’m not saying I would not select him, I’m just saying I devalue him on my “ big board” just a little due to this intangible.

...Baylor lost in their Final Four bid in part due to a lack of touches by LaceDarius Dunn down the stretch. Epke Udoh does some nice things but he is far from a go-to guy offensively yet. Dunn can get you 20 in his sleep.

...The more I watch Nolan Smith of Duke play—the more he is winning me over. He can beat you outside or off the dribble. He scores but is also unselfish. He’s a willing defender that is athletic enough to play in the NBA. And maybe the part I like best; he is all business and no showboat.

...This is a nitpick but I think Gordon Hayward of Butler really needs to tighten up his left-hand dribble. If I saw it - I know Tom Izzo and his coaches saw it too. Michigan State will force Hayward into his left hand Saturday and I bet they get some turnovers. ...I enjoy watching Spartans player Draymond Green. He is a 6’6” ‘Point Power Forward’. His pass to Raymar Morgan in the waning moments of their last game was a play that, if not made, there is no Final Four for Michigan State. (Green is pictured to the left) ...Izzo was also a key with a set play that succeeded out of a timeout in the closing seconds of the first-half. Green scored on a dive to the hoop as the clock ran out. Without those crucial two points - they lose.

...I thought Joe Mazzulla was fantastic in West Virginia’s win. ...If you watch enough hoop you will see some strange things. The Mountaineers didn't have a two point field goal until two minutes (plus) into second half, yet they were leading! Huh?

...The funniest thing I saw all weekend was Tennessee Freshman Brian Williams telling Sr. JP Prince to “StFU”. It was classic. That might have gotten Williams socked by some teammates.

...Kenneth Faried declared for the NBA Draft (without hiring an agent). Faried, from Morehead State, is an NBA rebounder right now but can he improve his shooting enough to thrive at the next level? Faried needs to show he can hit a face-up 17 foot shot with consistency, and improve his ability to pass to open teammates.

...Steve Lavin is a guy I like and I hope he does well at St. Johns. Lavin was very good at recruiting during his UCLA days and he is inheriting a team with potential in D.J. Kennedy and Justin Brownlee.

...North Carolina’s woes this year were not just about their lack of solid guard play but also about missing Ed Davis and Tyler Zeller for a large chunk of the season. Zeller looked good the other night in their N.I.T. semi-final win over Rhode Island. He is a skilled 7’0” sophomore Center that can shoot.

...Al Farouq Aminu declared for the draft as well. He is a scorer that gives opposing Power Forwards fits with his ability to get to the basket off the bounce. That said, he should be more efficient if he is really going to be a lottery pick as many say he will be. He has more than two turnovers for every one assist, and he is just a so-so shooter at 69% FT for his college career.

...Since I have been so high on Joey Dorsey - I feel the need to comment on his release from the Kings. I continue to strongly believe that he is an NBA quality player that should be getting minutes. Knowing your role IS a skill, and apparently my man JD needs to work on that aspect of his game.

...Likewise—I feel compelled to comment on Tyreke Evans. The Kings rookie has made significant strides since December in improving his ability to involve teammates. Evans is scoring just a little less but his assists are coming more frequently. For the season—his assist-to-turnover ratio is 1.89 to 1. That is close enough to the desired 2-1 ratio for me to concede that this version of the evolving Evans can play Point Guard.

...One of the smarter pieces I’ve read recently was written by’s Bill Simmons. Check it out here.

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