Friday, May 4, 2012

You make the call! Blind resume on two NBA players

Earlier this morning I was thinking about how I was surprised at a certain player's final efficiency rating for the 2011-12 NBA regular season. While the number was nothing special, it did show a slight improvement for the third season in a row. And - ...and this is the important part - the efficiency rating number that surprised me a bit, signifies that the player would be a top tier backup - given the current "landscape" at his position. 

Before I reveal the player - let's do a blind resume comparison with another player. What makes this blind comparison interesting is that both guys are from the high school Class of 2007, but one played one year of college and just finished his fourth NBA season. The other went to college for four years, and just finished his first NBA season with a positive buzz. Both players are probably best suited to play small forward. 

Player A: 23 years old. 6'9" 227. Overall efficiency rating .398 (ranked tied for 31st at SF). Player A has more assists than turnovers but he shoots just 55% from the line. He shot 45% FG, and 33% from three-point range. Player A would be considered an average to below-average athlete relative to the NBA. Player A scores .33 points per minute. He gets .16 rebounds per minute. Player A gets one assist for every 13 minutes of playing time. Player A is not known for his defense. 

Player B: 24 years old. 6'11" 226. Overall efficiency rating .381 (ranked tied for 35th at SF). Player B also had more assists than turnovers (barely), but is a better free throw shooter at 80%. He shot only 40% FG, and 23.8% from beyond the arc. Player B has above average athleticism. Player B scores .36 points per minute. Player B rebounds at .171 boards per minute. Player B gets one assist every 22 minutes of playing time. Player B is recognized as a good defender that can defend SG's, SF's, and PF's. 

Player A is seen as someone who surprised many in the NBA by playing significant minutes as a rookie. In general - if you said Player A's name - most in the NBA would think this "kid" had a nice future. Player B, on the other hand, is only eight-months older but he is generally seen as a disappointment in the league. He has "under-achieved". 

But if you REALLY look at the statistical comparison between the two - there is not much difference. Player A - the rookie, has a nice feel for the game. He shoots better from distance and sets up his teammates better than Player B. Player B is very slowly learning. But Player B is the more gifted athlete, the better scorer, the better defender, the better at rebounding, and by far Player B is the better finisher in transition.  

Click here to see who Player A is
Click here to see who Player B is.

The point of all this is to show that sometimes we are too quick to dismiss a player simply because they have not met OUR expectations.

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