The Iguodala Effect, Continued…

We’ve written about the positive outcome that the Golden State Warriors achieve thanks to Andre Iguodala.  Iggy has the unique ability to produce at multiple positions on offense and defense.

In the twelve games Iguodala missed, Mark Jackson‘s team went 5-7.  Contrast this losing record with the Warriors’ 65% winning mark with the former 76er in the lineup.  Nearing the end of his first year in Oakland Iggy’s living up to his $13 million salary.

What Can The Bucks Do Really Well?

The Milwaukee Bucks are possibly the worst team in the NBA.  The 76ers could catch them if they put their tanking boots on but it’s not likely.  Larry Drew‘s team is on pace to win only sixteen games.  Of course it’s not all Drew’s fault.

Who has played the most minutes for Milwaukee this year?  That would be Khris Middleton, a second round draft pick in 2012.

The average age of their top four players by total minutes is twenty-two.

The Bucks’ veteran presence is O.J. Mayo.

That wasn’t a joke.

Milwaukee is inexperienced but they have also been unlucky.  Center Larry Sanders in particular has missed half their games this year.

On the bright side they do one thing exceptionally well.  Protect the rim.  The Bucks have four legit shot blockers.

  1. John Henson
  2. Larry Sanders
  3. Ekpe Udoh
  4. Giannis Antetokounmpo

According to NBA.com there are 82 players with at least 30 blocks this year.  Among these shot blockers the median opponents field goal percentage allowed at the rim is 50%.  Representing the median are guys like Tyson Chandler, LaMarcus Aldridge and Chris Bosh.

Back to Milwaukee, all four of their shot blockers hold opponents to under 46% shooting at the rim.  This is Serge Ibaka and Joakim Noah territory.

The good news is the Bucks are set on defense at the three, four and five spots for years to come.  Now if they get healthy and plug in a top flight scoring wing from the draft they could be competitive in 2015.

Young Forwards: Who Is More Valuable?

Two-thirds of the NBA season is a large enough sample to compare players.  The stat lines below compare two players from one western conference team.  They are both forwards, roughly the same height.  Each is in his fourth NBA season.

Production per 36 minutes played:

G

FGA

FG% ▾

FT%

TRB

AST

STL

BLK

TOV

PF

PTS

41

10.4

.544

.702

10.1

1.5

1.2

1.3

0.9

4.3

13.2

47

12.0

.512

.674

10.5

1.3

1.1

1.7

2.1

3.7

15.4

Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/25/2014.

Which player do you think has been more valuable this year?

The player on top is signed for next season at $1.8 million.  The player on the bottom is signed for next season at $12.8 million.  That’s a difference in salary of $11 million!

The team is the Utah Jazz.

You can probably guess that the player on top is Jeremy Evans.  On bottom Derrick Favors.

In Favors defense he is four years younger than Evans.  He was also drafted 3rd in the 2010 NBA draft while Evans went 55th that year.

The Georgia Tech alum has a higher chance of stardom than does Mr. Evans.  But four years into their careers it’s hard to see a difference between on court performance.

In Favor of Vince Carter’s HOF Case

High-flying Vince Carter is a classic borderline hall-of-fame candidate.  You are familiar with the case against him but the UNC alum is one of the dozen all-time great basketball talents.  In addition to Carter’s elite athleticism and skill he has added longevity.

Through sixteen NBA seasons Vince Carter has made 1,754 three-point field goals.  Earlier this year he passed sharpshooter Dale Ellis, a previous record holder for career three’s, to move into ninth place in NBA history.

Carter has more career three’s than:

In addition to the high volume of three’s Carter shot over 40% from beyond the arc four times in his career.  For someone famous for more than his outside shooting ability Vince Carter has been a really, really good outside shooter.  Just something to remember when considering him for Springfield.

Winning With Swingmen

Only four guys have averaged 6 rebounds and 5 assists per game this NBA season.  Notice the correlation of winning teams and all-star caliber swingmen:

Totals Shooting Per Game
Player Tm G 2P% 3P% TRB AST
LeBron James MIA 52 .638 .366 7.1 6.5
Kevin Durant OKC 56 .547 .403 7.7 5.5
Nicolas Batum POR 56 .570 .342 6.4 5.3
Lance Stephenson IND 53 .554 .338 7.3 5.2
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table Generated 2/25/2014.

According to ‘Wins Produced‘ at Box Score Geeks KD, LeBron, Lance and Batum are four of the five best 2/3’s in the NBA.  Trevor Ariza fills out the handful with one more win produced than Paul George.

Luol Deng’s Comps

General managers around the NBA are watching Luol Deng closely as the long-term deal for the former Bull expires in a couple of months.  Deng earned $14 million this season, the question is will he earn more or less next year?

In 43 games played with Chicago and Cleveland Deng has averaged 17 points and 6 rebounds per game this year.  He has been a league average shooter (52% True Shooting).

With these numbers in mind here are his most similar comps this year:

Deng turns 29 in April so he is at least three years older than these four guys.  If you are looking to make a playoff run in 2015 how badly do you want the former Blue Devil?