Category Archives: The Red Shirt Theory

The Red Shirt Theory: WNBA


As previously reported in the many parts of the Red Shirt Theory, we examined the least essential member of each NBA team. The Ensigns of the SS NBA, the Red Shirts provide the least on the court while being there enough to be noticed. Today we tackle the Red Shirts of the WNBA.

Atlanta Dream

Celine Dumerc

The lowest PER for a regular contributor, Dumerc pulled down 8.3 PER on a .420 True Shooting percentage, but I don’t think Dumerc was blazing as the Dream were pretty stacked and held tight to their starting rotations against a weak eastern conference. She averaged 3.3 ppg, on a .295 FG%. She was a rookie last season, so she’s more on the floor than the ceiling at this point.

Chicago Sky

Tamera Young

The eight-year veteran played in every game and averaged 6.7 points per game, but with 9.8 TOV% and an Offensive WinShare of 0.3, that leaned her more to the negative scale. Her FG% per game was.438, but no three point attempts. Young may have just been a victim of her surroundings, as the offensive direction running through Epiphanny Prince, Elena Delle Donne and Sylvia Fowles, it seems she may have just been too cold to really get going.

Connecticut Sun

Kayla Pedersen

Pedersen only put in 313 minutes in 31 games, so she was pure garbage time player, but someone has to be a Red Shirt. Her  6.6 PER, WinShare of 0.2, TOV% of 23.8 (the highest of her career) was coupled with 1.5 ppg on only 1.4 FG attempts a game. So, no shooting and a losing the ball is not a great combination, even if you’re wasting time until the end of a quarter.

Indiana Fever

Sydney Carter

Carter was on the lower scale of games played with 23, but in a 34 game season that’s more than enough to get an opinon of her Ensign status. Her third team in three years, Carter had a 3.9 PER, TOV% of 26.1, WinShare of -0.8, 3.2 ppg, FG% of.288 per game earned her a measly one game appearance in playoffs for all of 5 minutes.

Los Angeles Sparks

Lindsey Harding

Harding is another 8 year vet, but took a steep decline in her production from the 2013 season. Dropping from 360 points to 178 points, her game average declined from 10.9 to 5.7. Her PER was 8.4, TOV% 16.5 and WinShare/48 is -0.019. She did average 3.2 assits and 1 steal per game, but her offensive prowess might be done for if she can’t recover.

Minnesota Lynx

Tan White

It was hard to find a weak link the Lynx this year, but Tan White’s 4.9 ppg, especially on .400 FG% is a little low. Only attempted just under 5 shots a game is difficult with a team with a number of ball handlers, but a TOV% of 15.4 and an Offensive WinShare of 0.0 means the Lynx players are going to think twice before getting her the ball.

New York Liberty

Alex Montgomery

The Liberty are almost a little too similar to their coaches former team. While Bill Laimbeer has had success in coaching the Liberty are the 8th in Pace, the last in offensive rating, but the 4th in defensive rating. So maybe that explains the 8.8 PER of Montgomery. She also has a 13.4 Usage Rate, while holding a Turnover Percentage of 18.0%. Five points per game, 3.9 rebounds per game and her total points dropped. While off the bench for the Liberty last season, Montgomery did better, but starting 20 of the Liberty’s games was maybe too much for her.

Phoenix Mercury

Anete Jebabsone-Zogota

The Mercury mopped the floor with the rest of the WNBA this season, but were still without some weak spots. Fortunately for the Mercury, the Latvian guard only put in 340 minutes in 32 games because otherwise they might have been in more trouble. Zogota’s PER dropped to 3.9, her TOV% spiked to 19.1 and her WinShare/48 drops to -0.043. Woof.

San Antonio Stars

Shameka Christon

Ten years in the league and Christon actually had a bounce back year from 2013. Her PER jumps from 7.9 to 9.8, but her ppg sinks to 3.6. Her FG% was .355, which wasn’t that bad for her, but it’s probably her ceiling at this point. A TOV% of 6.6 and a Usage Rating of 17.0% is decent, she gets the Red Shirt based on rebuilding, but her shooting needs to do something more positive.

Seattle Storm

Alysha Clark

The third-year forward has been slowly ascending on the Storm, but the worry about her is that she might plateau. Her WinShare/48 stayed the same from 2013 to 2014 and was cut in half compared to her rookie performance. Her PER was a 9.6 and True Shooting Percentage dipped to .525. Her TOV% dropped considerable to 15.1, while her Usage Rate stayed mostly the same. In her two games she played in the playoffs, she averaged 7 points and 5 rebounds in 18.5 minutes per game. Those are promising stats, but the fact that you haven’t seen that production during the season could be worrisome.

Tulsa Shock

Angel Goodrich

In her second year, Goodrich’s per dropped to a 5.8 in 28 games. Her TOV% ballooned to 42.5% and her usage rate dropped to 11.8%. She also managed 1.0 ppg. She attempted less than a shot a game, so that point actually gives her .500 FG%, but for 6.3 minutes a game that’s really bad. She finished the year with 29 points, dropping from the previous year of 136.

Washington Mystics

Bria Hartley

The Mystics were without much offensive firepower and with the possibility of Ivory Latta leaving, Bria Hartley needed to step up. That mostly did not happen. There were worse statistical players on the Mystics, but none had the expectations that Hartley had. A PER of 10.1 is pretty good, but her TOV% of 19.9 cannot be long term for a guard that started 29 games.Her assits of 3.1 and rebounds of 2.1 per game are an okay start, but the Mystics need a lot of help.













The Red Shirt Theory: Central Division


Here be the remains of the 2013-14 Red Shirt Theory for the NBA. This time we go after the Central Division in all it’s gritty glory.

Milwaukee Bucks

Ekpe Udoh

Generally I try to find a player that has been in at least 50 games in order to give the stats a fair shake, but the Bucks were in such a tank mode that only 8 players played more than 50 games. And of those, only 4 played more than 70! So Ekpe and his book club get the Ensign treatment for this team, with a 7.6 PER in 42 games. 3.4 points, 3.5 rebounds and a block a game for a team lacking frontcourt depth. His turnover rate was 18.8% and a Win Share/48 of .000. He was dealt at the end of the season.

Detroit Pistons

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Poor KCP, on a team with a handful of ball stoppers in Rodney Stuckey, Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe, Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith. KCP put up a 9.4 PER in 80 games. He only attempted 5.8 FGs a game, and only 2.3 three point attempts, concluding in 5.9 points per game. His turnover rate was 5.4%, but for a guy who is a shooter, he just went to waste in the land of a thousand iso’s.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Alonzo Gee

Even more shocking than his appearance on this list to to discover Gee played in all 82 games for the Cavs in 2012-13. The 26 year old was in 65 games this season, squeezing out a 8.6 PER, with a 14.3 TOV%, wrapping up with 4.0 points, 0.7 assists and 2.3 rebounds. He was used as a trade piece to re-build the Cavs for LeBron James and wound up on the cutting room floor a month before the season when the Sacramento Kings waived him on September 25th.


Chicago Bulls

Tony Snell

The 22 year old Snell put time in 77 games in a weak bench Bulls team and managed an 8.0 PER with a 11.1 TOV%. He averaged 4.5 ppg on 4.4 FGA in 16 minutes per game. The Bulls shooting was abysmal and it’s a shame Snell never found his footing, but his defensive prowess trades off on the court. Since the Bulls finally added some shooters, Snell may thrive this coming season, but last year, he was Ensign class.

Indiana Pacers

Evan Turner

Oh god you guys, Evan Turner. Now the starting PG of the Boston Celtics, because why not just keep trying to blow it up? Yes he came over in a trade, but Turner is almost Red Shirt Hall of Fame already. TOV% of 14.2, True Shooting percentage of .468 and 7.1 ppg, 2.4 assists and a per game FG% of .411. And all he’s supposed to do is shoot! It was a huge miscalculation to bring him to the Pacers, because Lance Stephenson basically did the same job and the two of them blew up at each other while the Pacers team melted on court.








The Red Shirt Theory: Atlantic Division


The delay in the Red Shirt Theory wrap up is almost done! Today we tackle the most expendible player for each team in the Atlantic Division.

Philadelphia 76ers

Brandon Davies

The Sixers were terrible last year. Their openfaced attempt at tanking for the draft was so egregious that the NBA is now going to change the rules in regards to the draft. The 76ers were also a young team who should have gotten some decent rotation off of their young core. Brandon Davies was a rookie last year, but was more in the dumps. A 7.5 PER in 51 games was the lowest PER for anyone with over 50 game appearances. He only attempted 2.5 field goals per game. And for a 6-10, 240 pound power forward, he only got 2 rebounds a game. It’s hard to blame Davies entirely since the whole organization was out front begging for change, but somebody has to be an Ensign.

Boston Celtics

Phil Pressey

The Celtics were another young-ish team and with Rajon Rondo having limited games due to injury, Pressey was pushed into a very rought guard corps. In 75 games, he had an 8.8 PER, averaging 2.8 ppg, 3.2 assists and a turnover percentage of 24.02% gets Pressey the red shirt. The Celtics also saw him as expendible, even after that one year, they drafted Marcus Smart, leaving Pressey to probably waste away on an ice planet, probably.

New York Knicks

Iman Shumpert

The third-year guard was really supposed to start to stand out, but in 74 games his PER was 9.6, a turnover percentage of 13.3% and an Offensive Win Share of 0.4. Shumpert was caught on a bad team with a bunch of ball hogs, so it’s been hard to tell his ceiling, but after a while he may be tagged with underperforming for too long. It will be interesting to see how he thrives in the Triangle, but for now, it’s not looking good.

Brooklyn Nets

Alan Anderson

In 78 games, his most in his NBA Career, Anderson knocked a 9.5 PER, a 10.4% turnover rate, a 1.7 winshare but 7.2 points a game. Anderson is a journeyman in the NBA, having knocked around overseas, the D League and in some garbage time in the league. The Nets had issues off the bench and Anderson contributed to it, the points aren’t bad considering how poorly the second unit was at scoring, but he wasn’t carrying much else for the program with 2.2 rebounds and 1 assist a game.

Toronto Raptors

John Salmons

An eternal trade piece, Salmons was racking up a 7.6 PER with a 1.4 Win Share and an 11.2 turnover rate. The 5 points a game matched with a 1.7 assists and 2 rebounds to make a miniscule per game line for someone in there 21.4 minutes a game. The Raptors were also pretty deep on their bench, but it was easy to see why he was traded at the end of the season for Lou Williams and Lucas Nogueira.




The Red Shirt Theory: Northwest Division

Here’s the recap of the genesis of the Red Shirt Theory. Now we’re covering the Northwest division.

Utah Jazz

Diante Garrett. 1048 minutes in 71 games and he managed a 21.7 turnover percentage. 3.5 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. So not only did Garrett not do much in his 14.8 minutes per game, but also turned the ball over over 1/5th of his handles. The Jazz were crazy bad last year even though they have a young promising lineup, but if Garrett is eating up that many bench minutes, they won’t exit the cellar for a while.

NBA: Preseason-Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Lakers

Photo credit: rantsports

Denver Nuggets

Darrell Arthur. A PER of 9.4 in 68 games. He had the second worst Offensive Win Share of the team with -0.5. 5.9 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. His FG percentage was 39.5%. Arthur was in his fourth year out of the pedigree college of University of Kansas, but those numbers on a poor team like the Nuggets were hard to hide.

Minnesota Timberwolves

Alexey Shved. The Twolves guard who was once famously told by teammate Ricky Rubio to “Put a smile on your face” had little to smile about last year. He had a 10.2 PER with a 32.1 FG% and an average of only 4.0 points per game. Shved was highly touted as another European prospect supposed to take off in the NBA, but so far, has not even taken off his warmups in an effective manner yet.

Portland Trailblazers

Joel Freeland. 52 games, but no starts, and in 14 minutes a game, averaged 3.3 points a game. His FG average was 47.5% but he only averaged 3.1 attempts a game. Being a backup will get you some limited time, and being behind Robin Lopez probably didn’t help. But Freeland could learn a few things from Sideshow Rob.

NBA: Houston Rockets at Oklahoma City Thunder Photo credit: sbnation

Kendrick Perkins. Oh Perk. The Thunder lost in the Western Conference Finals and were derided all playoffs by Scott Brooks insistence of using Kendrick Perkins. His ineffectiveness on the floor lead to a 6.3 PER. He had 8.8 points, 12.7 boards, but also 7.4 fouls and 3.7 turnovers. His OWS was -0.9 and DWS 1.7. For a team without much depth behind Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, the fact that Perkins was allowed to be on the starting five is a poor showing by Scott Brooks. And it seems he’ll be back next year!


The Red Shirt Theory: Pacific Division

Recapping the genesis of the Red Shirt Theory, today we tackle the always entertaining Pacific Divison.


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Sacramento Kings

Ben McLemore. This isn’t such a condemnation of McLemore as much as it how poorly he was handled by the Kings. The rookie SG had a 7.7 PER, 8.8 points on a field goal percentage of 37.6% is not the worst, but McLemore played in every game and started in 55 of them. And while the Kings are deep in guards, they’re like the opposite of the Phoenix Suns in that they seem to have no way how to use them correctly. And McLemore was subject to that this season. He will improve and his stats will rise, but being doubled by the limited-ness of Grevis Vasquez shows not a great season.

Los Angeles Lakers

Ryan Kelly. This one was actually difficult. The Lakers had a terrible record, a patchwork team and only 6 games of Kobe Bryant. Ryan Kelly was a rookie out of Duke, a program that almost never translates to NBA success, but given how open the field became once Bryant went down, only weird players stepped up.
Kelly had 42% shooting, but ended with 8.0 points per game. He had 25 starts. He occupied the Power Forward position with Jordan Hill and Shawne Williams. And with Hill re-signing, Kelly is on the bench for a while. How long until Kobe yells at him?

Phoenix Suns

Ish Smith. Even that name should put him in the Red Shirt Theory Hall of Fame. Jeff Hornacek turned the NBA world on it’s ear, at least temporarily, by playing two traiditonal point guards together and it mostly worked! The Suns finished 48-34 behind their young and quick team. And then there was Ish. In 70 games, Hornacek as guard mastermind coach, could only garner 3.7 points and 2.6 assists per game. He put in 1006 minutes total and still had the lowest True Shooting Percentage, 44%, of the entire team. But don’t worry Suns fans, with Eric Bledsoe seemingly at odds with Suns brass about a contract extension, they’ll always have old Ish in the chamber ready to go!


Photo credit: cbs sports

Golden State Warriors

Harrison Barnes. Barnes was supposed to be part of the Warriors future along with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, but after this season, it looks like he hit his ceiling. His PER dropped to 9.8, his FG % went to 40%, he went from 81 starts in 2012-13 to only 24 starts this season. His FG attempts went up, but his made shots stayed the same. Andre Iguodala and, even, Draymond Green seems to have put Barnes on the bubble. But if he pulls off another decline, he’s burst.


Photo credit: rantsports

Los Angeles Clippers

Jared Dudley. 6 field goal attempts in 23.4 minutes per game. A PER of 8.9 and a FTr of .130. Jared was such a dud, that coach Doc Rivers sought to bring in the animated corpse of Danny Granger in mid-season after Stephen Jackson and Hedo Turkoglu failed to make a run at replacing him. His points-per-game dropped by 4 fromlast year and his field goal percentage went from 46.8% to 43.8% in a season. Dudley seems to be another in a long line of players bolstered by the system in Phoenix, only to be exposed for how bad they are on another team.

The Red Shirt Theory: Southwest Division

We previously ranked the Southeast Division in who is the most expendable, and now we tackle the Southwest Division.


New Orleans Pelicans – Greg Stiemsma

Stiesma put in 55 games for the Pellies and showed them a whopping 9.7 PER, 2.9 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. You shouldn’t say one person held back the development of Unibrowed Phenom Anthony Davis, but imagine if the Pelicans had an actual center to put in the front court?

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Dallas Mavericks

Photo credit: mavsmoneyball

Dallas Mavericks – Shane Larkin

The Mavericks pulled out a surprise playoff run to end the season where they were 4th in the SW division. But not because Shane Larkin was helping. His PER was 8.3 while he chipped in 2.8 points a game in 10.2 minutes a game. He also shares the dubious honor of a negative Offensive Win Shares alongside Gal Mekel, both having -.04.

Houston Rockets – Francisco Garcia

The high octane Rockets went  53-29 in the regular season before being bounced in the first round by the Trailblazers. Grancisco Garcia played in 55 games and averaged 5.7 points in 19.7 minutes a game. Oof, the Rockets bench unit was exposed badly during the playoffs and even though D League star Troy Daniels saved a game, the rest of the pack looked sauced next to the Blazers.



Photo credit: espn

Memphis Grizzlies – Tayshaun Prince

Because of course. The fact that Tayshaun Prince played and started in 76 games last year for the Grizzlies was enough to cause the fandom in Beale Street to throw down their bbq in disgust. Prince was a black hole on the team.He scored 454 in the entire season. A PER of 8.2, one of the lowest on the team, only bested by the 4.7 of Jamaal Franklin (who got garbage time all year) and Seth Curry (who was picked up on waivers and played his first game for 4 minutes and was then cut later that night).

His 6.0 points-per-game is surprising to anyone that watched him this season and yet, coach Dave Joerger kept plugging him in. Now that the Grizz finally drafted some athletic guys, Prince’s days and his huge contract might finally be on the outs.

San Antonio Spurs – N/A

Yeah, sorry, nothing clever here. They were just that good.



The Red Shirt Theory: Southeast Division

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Fans of the original series of Star Trek are very familiar with the Red Shirts. Dispensible crew members who often attended missions with the core group of characters and were usually sacrificed when whatever they were investigating attacked the group.

They almost never spoke, almost never provided any kind of meaningful characterization, but were often a part of moving the plot forward. The Red Shirt became synonymous with Expendable. They were a cog in a machine, they went to work on a Starfleet ship, contributed a little, but generally were left behind without much thought. You almost never saw another crew member grieve for a killed Red Shirt, or any mention of them after they were attacked.

Red shirt in sports applied to a college player who is a member of the team, but for whatever reason, ineligable to play. We’re dispensing with that notion of red shirt and applying the Star Trek Red Shirt to a player on every team.


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Miami Heat

Mario Chalmers. It’s a little unfair that Rio gets Red Shirt status, but at the same time, with the firepower that was on the Miami Heat last season, all he had to do was dribble the ball and hand it off to any number of scorers on that team. And when things went bad, he was the first one to get yelled at because he was so expendable. Even the President of the United States thought so.

 Orlando Magic

Andrew Nicholson. Nicholson played 76 games for the limping Magic this season and at age 24 and in his second year in the league, his stats were supposed to start ascending. But he averaged 5.7 points and 3.4 rebounds a game, his points dropped from last year, but his rebounds stayed the same. His PER average was 9.9, dropping from 15.1 last year. At 6-foot-9 and 250 pounds, Nicholson seems to be the paramount “Put a big body in there” kind of player. Did I mention he developed a three-point shot? On 89 attempts, he made 28 of them. The Magic took a big step to clean house in the offseason and currently Nicholson is still on the roster, because of course Captain James Tiberius Elfrid needs an extra body to take a blow.


Photo credit: rantsports

Atlanta Hawks

Shelvin Mack. Playing 73 games and averaging 7.5 points a game, Mack put the avg in average. His PER of 13.3 isn’t all that bad actually. It’s a little unfair that Mack gets the Red Shirt, he’s a back up dual guard to a pretty potent tandem in Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver and being paired with other lesser guards like Dennis Schroder, Jared Cunningham and John Jenkins. But with the lack of depth on the Hawks and his middling stats just sort of there, it is hard to see that another player could not just get Mack’s minutes and put up the small numbers on a pretty anemic bench unit.

Charlotte Hornets

Bismack Biyombo. Also suffering from the “Let’s just throw a big body in there” syndrome, the Bis Mackie played 77 games and averaged a career low of 2.9 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. Given his size at 6-foot-9, a player like that could get those kind of stats in his sleep. He only played 1072 minutes, but did start 9 games and his FG% was his career high, but still wound up with less than 3 points a game.

The Hornet name and teal colors may have returned to Charlotte, but Bismack needs to strap on a red shirt.


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Washington Wizards

Garrett Temple. Garrett logged in 75 games for the Wizards last season and only amassed 638 minutes in those games, none as a starter. On a team with a thin backcourt behind stars John Wall and Bradley Beal, Temple fell in the dept chart behind 38 year old Andre Miller. Temple’s FG% was .362 and his three-point percentage was .207. All of his stats from last season, when he played only 51 games, but did start 36 of them, except for free-throw attempts. One of the last free-agent signings the Wizards did this offseason was bring back Temple for another 2 years, so we will get a lot of him beaming down on the floor of the SS Wiz-terprise.