Video: How good was Alonzo Gee at Summer League?

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Alonzo Gee performed well at the Las Vegas Summer League. Good enough to make the Spurs this year, though?
Alonzo Gee of the San Antonio Spurs was one of the frequently mentioned standouts at the Las Vegas Summer League this year. With injuries to the Spurs’ DeJuan Blair, James Anderson and Garrett Temple, and the last minute scratch of Malik Hairston from the roster, Gee became “the man” on the team.

And those his numbers during the week (14.2 points per game, 5.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 2.4 steals and 33% from 3-point range) were solid, was it enough for him to make the Spurs roster this season?

Well, after re-signing Richard Jefferson and adding Gary Neal, the perimeter rotation is awfully crowded. And with one year of D-League eligibility left, Alonzo Gee may very well be the odd man out.

And with San Antonio’s roster moves, a stat line alone isn’t enough to get Gee a roster spot. His team defense and capacity for hitting the corner 3-pointer are way more important to Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich and Co.

So in today’s video, we look at how Alonzo Gee’s summer league was in terms of what the Spurs were probably looking for.

  • bduran

    Actually, it looks like he became a FA, but I’m trying to find out for sure.

  • Jim Henderson

    bduran
    August 1st, 2010 at 8:42 am

    I haven’t gotten as into the “wages of wins” stuff nearly as much as you have. I haven’t looked into exactly how you’re getting your data, or how you’re making your calculations in terms of coming up with “team” wins accounted for by players ranked one through six, etc.

    I wanted to take a minute to manually compile some data that I though might provide just a snapshot about what’s going on here. I don’t have the data sets or appropriate software to look at too many playoff teams, or to go over many years, thus I just zoomed in on last year’s semifinalists, and I threw in last years Spurs team, a second round loser, for comparison.

    I looked at a few data points as it pertained to to groups of players: (1) top-three players, *generally* defined in order of STARTER mpg; and (2) top-three bench players, also *generally* defined in the order of mpg. played.

    RS = Regular Season
    PS = Post Season

    CELTICS:

    Top Three: Rondo, Pierce, Garnett

    Averages:

    Age ……………MPG ………………..WP48
    ………………….RS/PS ………………RS/PS

    30.0 …………33.5/37.6 ………. .228/.187

    ………………..UP 12.2% …….. DOWN – significantly

    6, 7, 8 – Rotation: Wallace, Davis, Allen

    Averages:

    Age ……………MPG ………………..WP48
    ………………….RS/PS ………………RS/PS

    29.3 ………….18.8/17.8 ………. .030/.043

    ……………… DOWN 5.3% ……… UP 43%

    MAGIC:

    Top Three: Howard, Lewis, Carter

    Averages:

    Age ……………MPG ………………..WP48
    ………………….RS/PS ………………RS/PS

    29.0 ………….32.8/35.5 ………. .163/.132

    …………………UP 8.2% ………….. DOWN

    6, 7, 8 – Rotation: Pietrus, Reddick, Williams

    Averages:

    Age …………….MPG ………………..WP48
    …………………..RS/PS ………………RS/PS

    29.0 ………….21.8/17.7 ……….. .107/.087

    …………….. DOWN 18.8%………. DOWN

    SUNS:

    Top Three: Amare, Nash, Richardson

    Averages:

    Age …………….MPG …………………WP48
    …………………..RS/PS ……………….RS/PS

    30.7 ………….32.9/34.5 ………… .205/.200

    ………………….UP 4.9% ………. DOWN marginally

    6, 7, 8 – Rotation: Dudley, Dragic, Amundson

    Averages:

    Age …………….MPG ………………….WP48
    …………………..RS/PS ………………..RS/PS

    23.3 ………….19.1/16.8 ………….. .127/.137

    ……………….DOWN 12% ………….. UP 8%

    LAKERS:

    Top Three: Bryant, Gasol, Artest

    Averages:

    Age …………….MPG ………………….WP48
    …………………..RS/PS ………………..RS/PS

    30.0 …………36.5/38.8 …………. .179/.175

    ………………… UP 6.3% ………… DOWN marginally

    6, 7, 8 – Rotation: Odom, Brown, Farmar

    Averages:

    Age …………….MPG ………………….WP48
    …………………..RS/PS ………………..RS/PS

    25.7 ………….23.4/18.7 ………….. .127/.049

    ………………. DOWN 20% …….. DOWN significantly

    SPURS:

    Top Three: Duncan, Ginobli, Parker

    Averages:

    Age …………….MPG ………………….WP48
    …………………..RS/PS ………………..RS/PS

    31.3 …………..30.3/35.3 ………… .222/.128

    ………………… UP 16.5% ……… DOWN – significantly

    6, 7, 8 – Rotation: Hill, Blair, Bonner

    Age …………….MPG ………………….WP48
    …………………..RS/PS ………………..RS/PS

    25 …………….21.8/20.3 …………. .156/.119

    ……………… DOWN 6.9% ………… DOWN

    A few points to ponder:

    – Minutes went up in all “top three” groups between the RS and the PS.

    – Minutes went down in all “6, 7, 8 rotation” groups between the RS and the PS.

    – WP48 went down in all “top three groups” between the RS and the PS.

    – WP48 went down in two of the “6, 7, 8 rotation” groups between the RS and the PS, but went UP considerably (as a percentage improvement) in the other two groups.

    – The oldest “top-three group” (the Spurs) had the 2nd biggest jump in PS mpg., and the largest drop in PS WP48.

    – The second oldest “top-three group” (the Suns) had the smallest jump in PS mpg., had the smallest drop in PS WP48, and the Suns “6 to 8 rotation group” had the second highest PS gain in WP48, as well as the highest absolute WP48 (.137).

    – The oldest player in the “top-three groups” usually had the biggest drop in PS WP48, except for Kobe & Nash. The same goes for the 30 yr. old+ “6-8 rotation groups”, sans Lamar Odom.

    The following players of the “6-8 rotation groups” appeared to help their teams more per minute played than one or more players in the “top-three groups”:

    Magic PS WP48:

    Out of Top-Three …. “6-8 rotation”

    Lewis: .072 ………….. Pietrus: .127
    Carter: .036 …………. Redick: .085, Williams: .049

    Suns PS WP48:

    Out of Top-Three …. “6-8 rotation”

    Amare: .032 …………. Amundson: .092
    ……………………………..Dudley: .223
    ……………………………..Dragic: .095

    Lakers PS WP48:

    Out of Top-Three …. “6-8 rotation”

    Artest: .008 …………..Odom: .171, Farmar: .040

    Spurs PS WP48:

    Out of Top-Three …. “6-8 rotation”

    Parker: .057 …………..Blair: .394

    This is just a snap shot at last years semifinalists, and one 2nd round loser, but it seems that teams could actually be hurting themselves in the PS at times by playing top-three players too much at the expense of young, solid rotation players, particularly for teams whose top-three are on the “old” side. This appears to be true for the Spurs (e.g. Blair), Suns (e.g., Dudley, Amundson), Magic (Pietrus, Redick), and probably would be true of the Celtics, if they had a more talented & consistent bench.

    Granted, the “top three” players are achieving a higher absolute PS WP48 than the “6-8″ players, but their efficiency appears to be hurt more by their increased minutes between the RS and the PS, than the “6-8″ players “could” be helped by their decrease in minutes between the RS and PS.

    I’m not sure how you’re exactly coming up with “team wins” accounted for by players 1-6, etc., but I would suggest the calculations need to be more complex in order to come to any firm conclusions as to what particular team should increase the minutes of their top players in the PS, and by how much. Otherwise, I need to hear a satisfactory explanation of why the top-three players ALL had WP48 reductions in the PS (when averaging MORE mpg.) compared to the RS (when averaging LESS mpg.). Perhaps they account for more wins in the PS simply because they steal more minutes. The idea is to play your top-three as many minutes as you can without them achieving a larger drop in WP48 than the drop in the WP48 of their counterparts on the opposing team. And that is something that the Spurs were clearly losing the battle in, particularly against the Suns (and Lakers, if they played them).

  • Jim Henderson

    bduran
    August 1st, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Kapono was signed by the Heat as a free agent. Thus, they liked him enough to sign him. The Heat lost him as a free agent in 2007 to the Raptors, primarily because the Raptors overpaid for him (6 mil per over 4 years). He’s never been worth more than about 4 mil. per year (too many weaknesses, as we know all too well). I would only get him because it’s just for one year (if he re-signed, it would be for much less), and we simply must improve our 3-point shooting, particularly in the playoffs.

  • Jim Henderson
  • bduran

    “I haven’t gotten as into the “wages of wins” stuff nearly as much as you have. I haven’t looked into exactly how you’re getting your data, or how you’re making your calculations in terms of coming up with “team” wins accounted for by players ranked one through six, etc.”

    I have posted several times the link to the automated wins site. This is where I got my data. You can find it from wages of wins.

    “need to hear a satisfactory explanation of why the top-three players ALL had WP48 reductions in the PS”

    It’s been noted before in Wages of Wins that in general WP48 goes down in the post season, most likely due to stiffer competition. This happens even for players who only play in the first round where increased minutes shouldn’t hurt too much. This is actually something that’s being discussed in the comments on wages of wins right now and should prompt further investigation. Some were suggesting that “experienced” players had a better carry over in WP48 although clearly this wasn’t true for us last year.

    Most of the studies on wages of wins have pertained to the regular season. Now that more people have easy access WP numbers thanks to the automated wins site, more people are writing posts. So of course one of the topics is what do the regular seasons numbers mean for the post season.

    “Thus, they liked him enough to sign him”

    Sure, but then they didn’t play him much the first year and then let him go after two. All I’m saying is there is no real evidence of how Pat Riley valued him either way.

  • Jim Henderson

    bduran
    August 1st, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    “It’s been noted before in Wages of Wins that in general WP48 goes down in the post season, most likely due to stiffer competition.”

    “….most likely due to stiffer competition.”? That’s pure speculation, as far as I can tell. It’s simply not a sufficient explanation. Maybe it’s adequate as a hypothesis, but that’s about it. Increased minutes is just as likely, at least as a co-factor. For example, at least for 2010, how come the WP48 for the rotation players did better overall compared to the top-three guys? The rotation guys had overall stiffer competition too, didn’t they?

    Any comments on this part of my post?:

    “Perhaps they account for more wins in the PS simply because they steal more minutes. The idea is to play your top-three as many minutes as you can without them achieving a larger drop in WP48 than the drop in the WP48 of their counterparts on the opposing team. And that is something that the Spurs were clearly losing the battle in, particularly against the Suns (and Lakers, if they played them).”

    High age/durability issues, and too much of an increase in minutes during the PS don’t appear to be a very good mix. This requires further investigation, in my view.

    “Sure, but then they didn’t play him much the first year and then let him go after two. All I’m saying is there is no real evidence of how Pat Riley valued him either way.”

    As I said, in year one Kapono was fairly inexperienced, just 24 years old, and they already had both Posey & Antoine Walker still in their prime years. They let him go because the financial geniuses in Toronto though he was worth 6 million per year (which is like 7 million+ in today’s market). They liked him fine, but the price was simply too steep to enter into another multi-year deal at the time.

    Also, I guess the quote from Riley wasn’t good enough. Apparently Riley had some regrets, after the fact, that he didn’t re-sign Kapono, even for the high price.

    “….there is no real evidence of how Pat Riley valued him either way.”

    No “real evidence”? What do you need, a sworn confession from Riley? You need for him to overpay for him to prove that he valued him?

  • bduran

    “That’s pure speculation”

    Yep, I shouldn’t have said most likely. However, I think it’s a good guess that will hopefully lead to further analysis.

    “Increased minutes is just as likely, at least as a co-factor.”

    Except this has already been looked into.

    “at least for 2010″

    Well there you go. For 2010 guys who didn’t get a lot of minutes bucked the trend. So what.

    “Perhaps they account for more wins in the PS simply because they steal more minutes.”

    This is what is happening. Clearly it’s not because their WP48 is going up. It’s because their minute are going up and everyone else’s is going down.

    “And that is something that the Spurs were clearly losing the battle in”

    It’s not clear whether or not our big 3′s WP48 would have gone up if they’d played fewer minutes. You dismiss my suggestion as speculation and then go on to assume your own hypothesis.

    I suggested in the comments section at WoW that they look at regular season WP48 using only games against other playoff teams. This may help answer the question. I don’t know if anyone will do it.

    “No “real evidence”?”

    Sorry, I completely missed that link. That does show that Riley at least thought he had potential. Makes me think less of him :).

  • Jim Henderson

    bduran
    August 2nd, 2010 at 5:28 am

    “It’s not clear whether or not our big 3′s WP48 would have gone up if they’d played fewer minutes.”

    But I’ve only implied that that “might” be the case. The “battle” we clearly lost last year with our aging “top-three” is that their WP48 dropped more between the RS & PS than did any of the “top-three” of the semifinalists.

    “You dismiss my suggestion as speculation and then go on to assume your own hypothesis.”

    You’re “suggestion” was too declarative (e.g., “most likely”). I simply pointed that out. And I did not assume my hypothesis. I asserted the following fact:

    “The “battle” we clearly lost last year with our aging “top-three” is that their WP48 dropped more between the RS & PS than did any of the “top-three” for the semifinalists.”

    …..Which could be used to build a hypothesis for further testing. Something like: “Top-Three” players whose average age is greater than 30, and whose minutes jump by more than 15% between the RS & PS, will on average exhibit a greater drop in their WP48 between the RS and the PS compared to other “top-three” groups that do not meet such criteria.

  • bduran

    Jim,

    Some posters also talked about looking into the link between age and PS WP48. However, they were thinking somewhat the opposite, that experience may allow players to keep up their WP48 better in the post season.

    For example, until the last two seasons, Kobe showed a drop in WP48 in the PS. The last two seasons he actually improved, which is rare. Of course, this is likely just a somewhat random event, but it would be interesting to look into.

    As for the Spurs last season, I think it’s not too hard to figure out why they may have had a larger decrease than normal. TP was coming off an injury (also I think he always has a large drop), TD started playing worse before the start of the PS due to regular season grind. Manu had a broken nose and shot poorly.

    One thing the Lakers managed well was getting Kobe a lot of rest at the end of the season. I think the key for us is correct management of regular season minutes so that guys like TD and Manu can enter the PS healthy. I don’t think a few extra minutes a game would cause a large drop in WP48, at least not in the first round or two which is what we saw. It seems to me that this would more likely cause problems in a Finals or Conference Finals.

  • Jim Henderson

    bduran
    August 2nd, 2010 at 11:37 am

    “However, they were thinking somewhat the opposite, that experience may allow players to keep up their WP48 better in the post season.”

    Age and experience up to what point? 31, 33, 35, 37?…

    As I pointed out in a previous post, for last years semifinalist, & the Spurs, most of the oldest players had the biggest drop in their WP48 between the RS and the PS.

    Garnett
    Duncan
    Ginobli
    Carter
    Williams
    Wallace

    All 32 and above. The other two, Pierce & McDyess, managed to eek out slim gains.

    “TP was coming off an injury (also I think he always has a large drop), TD started playing worse before the start of the PS due to regular season grind. Manu had a broken nose and shot poorly.”

    They all had drops in WP48 in the past 4 playoffs, except for TP’s, which went up last year. Manu’s last playoffs before this past year was in 2008, and he had a steep drop off on WP48 from the RS to the PS: .326 versus .107. Generally, TD has been more durable, and has aged a bit slower than Manu throughout his career. Thus, his WP48 slippage from the RS to the PS has been more gradual than Manu’s, until this year, with the knee, and at age 34.

    “One thing the Lakers managed well was getting Kobe a lot of rest at the end of the season. I think the key for us is correct management of regular season minutes so that guys like TD and Manu can enter the PS healthy.”

    I disagree. Kobe is just an unusually tough, durable, & resilient player. He averaged 38.8 mpg. during the RS, played through for the most part a number of relatively minor injuries, and was only bumped up to 40.1 mpg. during the PS; just a 3.3% increase. Duncan was rested quite a bit during the RS, averaging a career low of 31.3 mpg., but was then steeply bumped up to 37.3 mpg. during the PS (in line with his playoff average over the previous 5 seasons of 37.5 mpg.); which is a “top-three” increase of 19.2%, second onlt to Manu’s 22.6% increase. I would suggest that with TD’s age, and level of physical wear & tear, his playoff mpg. history could very well now be unsustainable, regardless of his rest during the regular season. In fact, his WP48 drop and playoff jump in mpg. suggests that his body may simply be unable to sustain and efficiently handle the ‘shock” to his system that the PS workload represents. And the same could be true for Manu.

  • bduran

    “he had a steep drop off on WP48 from the RS to the PS: .326 versus .107. ”

    Manu injured his ankle in 2008. This year he broke his nose. In 2009 he didn’t even play. In 2007 he was awesome in the playoffs, in 2006 he suffered a drop again. I’m not really sure what this tells us. Like I said Kobe dropped in the post season every year until recently, and you can see large drops in ’06 and ’07.

    We need to be in good position playoff wise earlier in the season and not fighting for a seed so we can give TD and Manu a break.

    “In fact, his WP48 drop and playoff jump in mpg. suggests that his body may simply be unable to sustain and efficiently handle the ‘shock” to his system that the PS workload represents. And the same could be true for Manu.”

    Maybe, the thing is we only played 10 games. Manu played 65 more minutes over those games then we would have expected during the RS, TD 60. Those minutes and 10 games were spread out over 22 days. There were also no back to backs. In some ways the PS schedule is easier even with extra minutes.

  • bduran

    Jim,

    Now this is interesting.

    http://arturogalletti.wordpress.com/2010/08/02/playoff-performers-in-the-nba/

    Has a list of the best active playoff performers. Glancing at the top of list makes me think that rebounding is one of the things that translates the best is rebounding. Look at Ben Wallace. All the guy does is rebound and block shots, and that’s what he does in the PS. Same WP48 in both PS and RS.

    I bet scoring efficiency takes the biggest hit. Certainly TPs lack of an appearance on the under 30 over .100 WP48 list fits this theory. His production is primarily from his efficient scoring.
    Looking at basketball-refernce it looks like he takes a big hit in TS% and assists. It looks like he’s only been above average in the PS twice. Luckily those were 2008 and 2009 so we can hope he repeats that next year if he stays healthy.

  • Jim Henderson

    bduran
    August 2nd, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    “Manu injured his ankle in 2008. This year he broke his nose. In 2009 he didn’t even play.”

    This is what I said:

    “Manu’s last playoffs before this past year was in 2008, and he had a steep drop off on WP48 from the RS to the PS.”

    In this statement, I already clearly implied that Manu missed the 2008-09 playoffs. I was referring to 2007-08, a year in which Manu played 74 games, averaged 31.1 mpg. during the RS, and played in all 17 playoff games, at 32.9 mpg. If he plays that much, we can’t use an ankle injury as an excuse. And it was indeed this year, 2007-08, at age 31, where he had the steepest drop off in WP48 between the RS & the PS.

    “I’m not really sure what this tells us.”

    I’m not sure either, but it’s worth looking into more carefully, including the variables of RS mpg., PS mpg., % differential, and age.

    “Like I said Kobe dropped in the post season every year until recently, and you can see large drops in ’06 and ’07.”

    Okay, let’s take a brief look at Kobe’s numbers:

    Year….Age ….RS mpg….PS mpg ..RSWP48 ..PSWP48

    2006….27…….41.0……….44.8…….. .200 …… .126
    2007….28 ……40.8………43.0…….. .227 …….122
    2008….29 ……38.9………41.1 ……… .257 …… .238
    2009….30 ……36.1………40.9 …….. .234 …… .291
    2010…..31 ……38.8………40.1 …….. .164 …… .212

    It looks to me that there could be a general pattern whereby a “top-three” player, like Kobe, may be able to prevent a significant drop in WP48 in the PS as long as his minutes are held within a certain maximum threshold for that given player, and kept within a reasonable percentage increase from his RS minutes (perhaps 15%?). This should be treated as an incentive to decrease the more intense nature of playoff minutes, not to decrease regular season minutes to keep the range between RS & PS mpg. in line. It is also likely that the maximum mpg. threshold will decrease with age (perhaps beginning to slide at around age 30, depending on the player?).

    For Kobe, it looks like his maximum threshold has been around 41 mpg. (witness his WP48 drops when he exceeded this limit in 2006 & 2007). He’s a pretty durable guy, but based on this small set of preliminary data, I’d be willing to hypothesize that in the next couple of years Kobe’s maximum threshold will begin to drop by about 3-4% per year, barring any more serious injury issues. Also, he looks to be most comfortable when he keeps his RS & PS mpg. range on the narrow side of the spectrum. He only had one year when he exceeded 10% (2008-09).

    Remember, I’m obviously only making a preliminary assessment here. I would need to look at a lot more data before I could offer any even tentative conclusions. I’m just saying that these are the types of things that one needs to look at more carefully to be able to with more confidence make appropriate plans for a given players minutes in the post season.

    “Those minutes and 10 games were spread out over 22 days.”

    Actually, there’s not that much difference during the regular season. A game is played about every 2 days, which would be about 11 games in 22 days.

    “There were also no back to backs. In some ways the PS schedule is easier even with extra minutes.”

    The back-to-back is a valid consideration, but remember, the level of intensity is at a whole different level in the playoffs, and as our body ages and wears down, we simply have more difficulty effectively accommodating steady & increased periods of acute exertion. And the fact is, there’s only so much that resting a few days here and there prior to the playoffs will help in allowing ones body to perform more effectively during those intense bouts of exertion that the playoffs demand. I think minute management during the playoffs is a key consideration if one is to maximize a players’ effectiveness, particularly once that player exceeds a certain age threshold, and of course, also taking into account other individual intangibles for each player (e.g., injuries, general body wear & durability, etc.).

  • Jim Henderson

    bduran
    August 2nd, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    Interesting data-set.

    “Has a list of the best active playoff performers. Glancing at the top of list makes me think that rebounding is one of the things that translates the best is rebounding. Look at Ben Wallace. All the guy does is rebound and block shots, and that’s what he does in the PS. Same WP48 in both PS and RS.”

    Yeah, that makes sense to me. It seems like rebounding is one of the most best ways for a player to be consistently valuable to his team. As long as the rebounder is experienced, and somewhat limited in other aspects of his game (other than defense), as well as consistently aggressive and disciplined in his fundamentals, I see no reason why he should have a large variation in WP48 between the RS & the PS. Ben Wallace fits that model to a “T”.

    I looked at the all-time list too. Magic kicked butt in the playoffs. But did you see the improvement for Jason Richardson between the RS & the PS? Wow! I think it is about a .140 jump.

  • bduran

    “If he plays that much, we can’t use an ankle injury as an excuse.”

    Why not, I mean, it’s the end. Even if you’re injured if you can still play you play. It’s not as simple as either operating at 100% or not. Manu’s a great playoff player, just not as good as in the RS. He on had a .107 because he was injured in the first round. That was clearly an outlier.

    “Wow! I think it is about a .140 jump.”

    Yeah, ridiculous. Does that mean he slacked off during the RS?

    Also, how lucky are the Spurs? TD and Manu are 10 and 39 all time. Crazy.

    I was thinking about the drop in PS performance. If the PS calculation is based on average PS performance, then you’d expect all players production to go down because the average production level would be so much higher. i can’t check this right now, but if you can check by going to automated wins and seeing if the position adjustment is greater for the PS than the RS. i’ll look tonight.

  • bduran

    So for 2010 I looked at the raw production for each position in the PS as compared to the RG and it’s different. So it looks like the numbers are being calculated with PS data only. This would, of course, make everyone’s numbers go down in general because the average player is so much better and that’s who players are being compared to. Go Jason Richardson.

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  • jay-v

    how can people say he aint ready in his first nba start with the wizards he scored 19 points!!!!!!!!!!!! Give me a break if a rookie who was a high pick did this he would be notched as one of the next big things… Gee happens to be tied to an organization who has depth at his position…. sucks to be him if he gets left off the roster then the spurs obviously dont know wat their doing!!!!!!!

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