Tag Archives: Nylon Calculus

Player Consistency: Charlotte Hornets

Nylon Calculus posted their updated Player Consistency Stats  and I wanted to take a look at some of the more inconsistent teams and what this stat can tell us about those inconsistencies. So I chose to start with the Hornets, because why not kick a lame mule? With the rumors swirling that they might already be trying to move Lance Stephenson after signing him and suffering from the loss of Michael Carter-Williams, but as the chart will hopefully illuminate that there isn’t just one problem with the Hornets.

A quick primer on the Variance definition:

Variance: By how much a player is likely to perform above or below his average on any given game. Represented by a value in which about 68% of games will be within a range of the Average +/- Variance. Higher variance = lower consistency. Highly dependent on volume of scoring. About 75% of players fall between a variance of 2.1 and 6.8, so anyone outside of that range can be considered to exceptionally consistent or exceptionally inconsistent. The average is 4.8.Consistency: How likely a player is to perform outside of the typical “range” set by his variance. Higher consistency score means the player is more likely to play within the range set by his variance. Lower means their performance is more erratic. Far less dependent on volume, but the extreme highs and lows are less dramatic. About 75% of players fall between a consistency of 1.1 and 3.6, so anyone outside of that range can be considered exceptionally consistent or exceptionally inconsistent. The average is 2.3.

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Higher variance equaling lower consistency is one key to access this info. The highest consistencies on the team belong to Marvin Williams and Kemba Walker and then a swift dip into quality until we hit heavy number guys like Al Jefferson and Gerald Henderson. Marvin Williams’s consistency has only lead to 6.3ppgs and has only gotten to the free throw line TWICE. Not twice a game, but twice the entire season. He didn’t get his first free throw attempt until November 24th.

Al Jefferson has the highest ppg average for the Hornets, but a look at his game log has shown 9 games where he has scored 20 points or less. Not a great look for a team that runs left side isolation plays for Jefferson on a consistent half court set. He will still get those post points, but the consistency at 2.39 is way to on the bubble for being called to steer the offense.

Kemba Walker came out the gate with 26 points against the Milwaukee Bucks, but since then has not scored more than 20 points in a game all season. And in three games he scored in double figures. And these are the numbers of your second most consistent players.

I don’t watch every Hornets game, but I try and keep up with some bloggers covering them and it doesn’t appear to be the fault of Steve Clifford. The Hornets floor spacing is abysmal and the energy can look like the floor is covered in maple syrup.  So is it still Lance’s fault?
The 1.25 consistency is the worst on the team and he is getting the second most minutes on the squad. In his first 6 games for the Hornets, his ppgs were all over the place: 7,2,14,2,8, & 17. He has scored in single digits 9 times with only two of those games resulting from wins.

With the years in Indiana he was known for being a volatile yet sparky first-off-the-bench player. Primed for a starting spot, his head is now out for sale but with numbers like that, who would be buying? After the implosion with the Pacers and the Hornets regressing that the Orlando Magic sits over them in the Southeast Division, what exactly do you do?

Andy Livingston

Marcin Gortat: The Polish Rim Protector?

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Nylon Calculus has released it’s up to date rim protection stats and I wanted to take a look at the rim protection issues that the Wizards are facing.

First the Wizards stats-

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Gortat has been the best rim protector for the Wiz, but he’s still not saving points as much as contesting them. And that’s fine, contesting almost half of the shots coming to you is definitely what is asked of him. But he’s not saving any points. Their defensive rating is 101.8 making them the 8th best in the league defensively, but their offense is sputtering to 104.8, making for only the 20th best. Yes, this includes that just recently returned Bradley Beal and Martell Webster is scheduled to come back at the end of November, but their differential in points is less than 3 points a game. It’s stable, for now, but with Nene suffering from plantar fasciitis and his appearances will be about as consistent as Derrick Rose sightings, it could get ugly. What’s worse for the inside game for the Wizards is Kevin Seraphin has been pretty bad defensively and DeJuan Blair has only appeared in 3 games with 3.7 minute averages. Kris Humphries has stepped up as a great first off the bench interior player, but he’s not known for blocks.

Now let’s look at Gortat on and off the court-

http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/g/gortama01/on-off/2015/#on-off::none
+7.2 on Blocks when he is on the floor, but +8.3 blocks when he’s off the court. Unfortunately it’s not broken down by blocks by position on the court, so it could be blocks on the perimeter. Humphries has moved to the starting 4 position while Nene is resting, and Paul Pierce has recorded many minutes in that spot, but their block average is about the same. If Pierce takes that Power Forward spot, the lane will be more open for penetration since he’s just a little slower to catch those guys.

So for the moment, Gortat has his hands full with the rim protection for the Wiz, unless DeJuan Blair can ever get off the bench.
Andy Livingston

 

Guard Profile of John Wall: Q&A with Seth Partnow

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (either by your choice or your cult leader’s choice) you will have noticed that there are a lot of Hot Takes about what kind of point guard John Wall should be. But what kind of stats are out there to determine that?
Seth Partnow blew the doors off how we can look at point guards with his take at Nylon Calculus and then doubled down over at The Cauldron with his examination of how Wall is trying to be Chris Paul and how that is not working. Seth was very kind to answer a few questions about the what kind of PG Wall is and can be.

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Wall’s Shot:Assist Chance was 1:01, squarely in the middle of the pack. Even though his assists blossomed last year, do you think he needs to be more aggressive in his decision making?

Seth Partnow: “Aggressive” is a tough one. Do I think he needs to be more assertive in using his quickness to attack the feet of big men in the pick and roll? Yes. On the other hand, he’s not exactly shy about high degree of difficulty passes so I don’t want to offer a blanket statement beyond that if “aggressive” = “not shooting so many 18 footers off the dribble” I’m all for it.

On the Driving versus Probing section, Wall’s Drive percentage was 7.7%, on the lower end of the drive, and leaning him more towards a prober. What are the benefits and deficits of being a probing guard?

SP: In general, probing guards are lower turnover because driving gets you into traffic and charges and all that good stuff. On the other hand, driving gets you layups, free throws and assist chances. Wall already has the turnovers, so he’s getting little of the benefits from probing and all the downside, so why not attack?

Wall’s on-ball TOP% was top five in the league and his assits were a career high last season, but his Shot:Assist Chance seems low for the amount that the ball is in his hand. Should be be quicker to let the ball go?

SP: He doesn’t strike me as a guy who pounds the ball over much – in fact as I said in the article, a little MORE patience in terms of keeping his dribble alive and making a play would serve him well. I think with a guy like Pierce in the fold this year, that TOP will naturally drop, as it will the more Nene (an excellent facilitator from the post) can stay on the floor and healthy.

Wall’s 3PA/36 was 3.77, which makes his spacing look like roughly in the middle. Is it possible that his spacing is like that based on the way the offense runs? Last season he had two spot up shooters on the wings and one big that wasn’t mobile all the time.

SP: At least last year, Wall was a perfectly fine catch and shoot 3 point shooter. He’s never going to be Steph Curry, but giving his potential as a penetrator, that’s ok. Especially for a guy who can do as much with the ball as Wall, floor spacing is less important than for a more sedentary player.

In your Cauldron piece, you said he shouldn’t model himself after Chris Paul’s game. Who do you think he SHOULD model his game after?

SP: Westbrook isn’t quite right, because that’s maybe going to far the other direction, maybe Derrick Rose or a bigger, more durable TJ Ford. A more talented Jeff Teague?

Thanks to Seth for answering these questions. He is a MUST FOLLOW on twitter. Seriously, beware if you don’t.

Wizards Rookie-scale Options

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Photo credit: Associated Press

Over at Nylon Calculus, Layne Vashro concocted a rookie scale projection based on winshares and the amount of the contracts option. He created a 5-tier scale from Bust to Star.

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In the last three years the Wizards have had three lottery picks. In those three years, the picks have resulted in one up-and-coming star, one complete bust and one player who is still a question mark, but looks to be headed in the right direction.

First, let’s look at the obvious star of this field-

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Beals shooting, not without some issues, helped push the Wizards into the second round of the playoffs last year. Given the scale provided, Beal is a 0% Bust, a 34% starter and a 25% star. His option was already picked up before this season has started, even after his broken wrist. Although many fans would wish to see Beal push his shooting back behind the three-point line over a long two, his value in shooting has earned him a solid starting place. Already since he has disappeared from the lineup, the Wizards offense has yet to replace his offensive output. By his omission, it’s obvious the importance he has on the team.

The question mark

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Otto’s dismal rookie season was marred by a couple of injuries and a coaching decision by Randy Wittman to keep his bench short. Although Porter has stepped up from Summer League and Pre-season and looked much improved, he still has to shake the Bust off his shoulder. 22% bust and 38% Bench Warmer were earned last year as he averaged 2.1 ppgs. But his potential just really hasn’t even had a chance to get warmed up, so given that he has a 30% scale to be a starter is very promising. Now that so many vital parts of the team are now MIA, Porter needs to step up big to push those low numbers on Stud and Star into the double digits. Porter was also signed to his extension before the season started, it was a bargain for the team and given the way his production blossomed over the summer, it would have been impossible to turn down.

And we all know who’s left

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Poor Jan couldn’t even benefit from a change of scenery in Denver as he was waived by the Nuggets and will play overseas this year. He could never catch onto his lottery pick status and even if he was picked by the Wizards, he could have benefitted from a stash overseas. Maybe. You can’t even call Vesely’s bust an unique experience because of all the draft busts of the Wiz front office, but the fact that he’s finally off the team means someone is doing something right.

 

NCAA Prospect Comparison: Porter & Rice

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Photo credit: Jim Mone/AP

Thanks to the always great Nylon Calculus, we can project comparisons of players based on college performance. And use that data to give us an idea of how these players will flesh out in the NBA.

We have a pretty good idea of who the Wizards are this season, except for Otto Porter and Glen Rice Jr, who did not spend a lot of time on the floor. Although they both performed well in the Summer League, the competition levels of that are low.They have both had good and bad games in the pre-season this year, but with the injury to Beal, their already high expectations for this season have busted through the roof.

First a look at Otto Porter’s comparison

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This is quite a mixed bag. The VAL is the overall prospect value, measured in percentile (0 to 1) Positive values mean that the comparison looked better overall in college than the focal player, negative values mean the comparison looked worse. The three biggest comparisons are the ones in the middle. Mike Miller and Ray Allen are spot up, long range experts who have lasted years. Vince Carter was a dunk machine, athletic freak who wowed on the court, but was not ready mentally for the game in those early days. He has now matured into a much desirable role player who can still hit a clutch shot. All solid role players who at one time (at least for Allen and Carter) were viewed as number one options offensively. Which is what the Wizards need him for right now. He could possibly develop into a bigger offensive option and I think that’s where the front office should see his trajectory, but right now, he’s a bench player.

Another interesting player to look at in that list is Jason Richardson. Another long time role player, Richardson always averaged double-digit in points and had three seasons where he was averaging over 20 ppg. He has a career FG average of 44% and a career 3-point average of 34%. If Richardson serves as Porters ceiling, that is still a pretty good bench/occasional starting option.

Glen Rice Jr

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If you see the positive portion of the VAL, that operates as a “Rich Man’s” option to that player (the negative being the Poor Man’s version). So Rice’s is the Rich Man’s Vincent Yarbrough (one season with the Nuggets averaging 6.9 ppg), Jeryl Sasser (two years in the league, career avg 2.6 ppg) and the Poor Man’s J.R. Giddens (4 seasons, career avg 1.9 ppg).

The intriguing comparison is to be a Rich Man’s James Johnson. Johnson was drafted in 2009 as a big wing prospect, but was dogged by personal issues. He bounced around a lot before being pulled up out of the D League last year by the Memphis Grizzlies. He lead that team on a spark when they were thin from injuries. His offense was streaky and dried up entirely in the playoffs, but if Rice is the Rich Man’s version of him, the Wizards have less to worry about. Johnson was an ace on perimeter defense for the Grizzlies, and that’s where the development of Rice needs to be watched. Rice is three inches shorter than Johnson, so he may not be the same level of animal on the perimeter, but the ability to trade off some of that defense for offense will make him a solid rotational member.