Boris Diaw and the Big Man Market (Part 2)

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The Spurs acquired Boris Diaw last Friday. The first part of this statistical introduction to Boris Diaw and the market the Spurs passed on covered offense. This time? I’m covering defense. To start, I’ve collected the overall per-possession rebounding and general defensive statistics on all our comparison players. I’ve collected the following statistics: ORB%/DRB%/TRB% (the percentage of offensive, defensive, and total possible rebounds collected while that player is on the court), STL%/BLK% (percentage of all opposing possessions that player steals or blocks when on the court), CHG (number of charges taken per game played), and the gold standard of per possession defensive statistics, DPPP (points per possession scored on said player when they are the last line of defense on a defensive possession). Along with DPPP, I’ve reported the number of defensive possessions they’ve played, and their rank according to their DPPP among all their NBA peers this season.

In each column of the percentage statistics, I’ve highlighted the highest value among the players. For DPPP, I’ve highlighted in green any players who are above the Spurs’ average, and highlighted in red any who are below it. For the rank column, I’ve highlighted in orange any players in the top 50 (which, given the number of players in the Synergy stats, is top 15% in the league). The overall table is ordered by DPPP. Some main takeaways? Duncan is — even at 35 — still the best rebounder of any of the men on this page. Especially defensively. In actuality, this table might underrate him on that end. His DRB% total of 29.0% is 2nd overall among all NBA players, and within spitting distance of the #1 player overall (Dwight Howard, predictably). To wit, the top 5:

  1. Dwight Howard, ORL. (32.8%)
  2. Tim Duncan, SAS (28.6%)
  3. Andrew Bynum, LAL (27.3%)
  4. Kevin Love, MIN (26.8%)
  5. DeMarcus Cousins, SAC (26.3%)

While Duncan’s less sparkling offensive rebounding pushes him down in the overall TRB% rankings (10th in those), it’s worth noting that his rebounding this season has been a superb bounce-back from last season. It’s the main reason our backup bigs have needed help on the boards when Duncan is out, as well. The backups are trying to replicate the rebounding of a player that’s doing more on that end than almost anyone else in the league. That’s difficult, and although none but Bonner are doing poorly (in Bonner’s case, his rebounding is best described as “virtually nonexistant”), it partly explains why we always seem to miss key rebounds when Tim isn’t on the floor. In terms of our new acquisition, though? We shouldn’t expect a big improvement. Diaw has been a substantially worse rebounder than either Blair or Tiago overall, and he’s barely outperformed Bonner. This is doubly absurd when you look at his role on the Bobcats — he’s played on a team that both misses a ton of shots (which translates to more opportunities, which should incrementally raise your per possession efficacy) and relied on him as the primary rebounder for most of the year. Given these factors, one could argue that Diaw may be the worst rebounder on this list. If you’re expecting him to improve our sans-Tim rebounding problems, prepare to be brutally disappointed.

In a surprise to no one who knows his defensive tendencies, Blair leads the pack in steal percentage, offensive rebounds, and charges drawn. Blair plays defense as more of a large, roly-poly guard than he does a center — fittingly, then, the majority of his positive defensive contributions in traditional statistics come in the form of guard-centric metrics like steals and charges drawn. In terms of shot blocking and steals, Diaw is decidedly middle-of-the-pack — he blocks more shots than Blair or Bonner, but far less than Tim or Tiago. He draws fewer charges than our bigs do, as well — which makes sense, when you consider that he’s large enough that taking charges would have a chance of seriously hurting him. Overall, by these metrics, Diaw is rather middle of the pack — if we wanted the best rebounder available, we would’ve wanted Hickson (or Kaman), and if we wanted the best shot blocker available we’d have given Turiaf the call. Diaw will hurt the Spurs’ rebounding numbers if he takes minutes from either Blair or Tiago, and provide a very marginal improvement over Bonner in rebounding if he gets minutes over Bonner.

• • •

In overall defense, though? That’s another story. Diaw rates as the 2nd worst per-possession defender among all the players, with Blair in absolute last. I’m going to examine the components that make up their DPPP in a moment, but first, I thought it’d be useful to describe per possession defense for our readers who aren’t fully acquainted with it. PPP statistics primarily are found as provided by the team at Synergy Sports. The concept is rather simple in theory. How many points were scored among all possessions where a player’s defensive assignment took a shot, got fouled, or turned the ball over? After you have that, you simply divide by the number of possessions and arrive at your number — the average points per possession an individual player allowed. As a teaching example, imagine a player who allows nothing but makes or misses. 50% of the time, he allows his defensive assignment a completely unguarded two. The other 50%, he forces a turnover. That player would be — first off — an absolutely terrible defender. He would end up with a PPP of 1.00 — for every possession of 2 points, there’s one of zero points. Which averages out to 1 PPP. For an applied example, let’s take the Spurs big men and multiply out their PPP numbers.

  • Tiago Splitter has a DPPP of 0.84, on 177 defensive possessions. That’s 149 points allowed directly by Splitter.
  • Tim Duncan has a DPPP of 0.72, on 223 defensive possessions. That’s 161 points allowed directly by Duncan.
  • Matt Bonner has a DPPP of 0.80, on 260 defensive possessions. That’s 208 points allowed directly by Bonner.
  • DeJuan Blair has a DPPP of 0.99, on 219 defensive possessions. That’s 217 points allowed directly by Blair.

Taking this on a team concept, you can take the total number of points allowed by a team — for this year’s Spurs (at the time I pulled these numbers), 4055. By that measurement, you can thus calculate what percentage of the total points the Spurs allowed were allowed by each of our big men — in this case, Splitter allowed 3.67% of all points scored against the Spurs. Duncan allowed 3.97%, Bonner allowed 5.1%, and Blair allowed 5.3%. Altogether, that means our 4-man big rotation allowed 18.1% of all points scored against the Spurs — a rather small percentage, especially when you consider the fact that those four players have combined to play 35.7% of the minutes available among all players. That gap is both indicative of the Spurs’ big men being relatively effective at containing their own men and indicative of a team that’s not overplaying its hand.

All that said, the cardinal rankings of the bigs by Synergy seem relatively odd on their face. Duncan being first makes sense — few who’ve watched Tim this year could say that he’s been anything but excellent on the defensive end. But Matt Bonner at a close 2nd? J.J. Hickson with a positive rating? DeJuan Blair being that bad? A strange set of results. Let’s go deeper into the stats, by splitting the overall Synergy numbers into the 4 most prevalent defensive assignments bigs have. Click for a larger image.

A few high level observations here. First, the Spurs defense (which I used at the bottom of the table for reference) is overall rather poor — every non-Diaw big on the market has a better overall DPPP rating than the Spurs do overall. Despite being a poor defensive team overall, the Spurs actually do a rather excellent job defending post-up plays, and do a relatively good job defending spot-up shooters and the roll man on the pick and roll. They technically defend isolation plays better than they defend the P&R or Spot-Up plays (0.89 PPP compared to 0.95 and 0.92), but because the league average defense holds isolation plays to around 0.80, the Spurs isolation defense ranks a poor 28th in the league. As for the individual players, a few comments:

  • Boris Diaw is a man of a few elite defensive skills and a few awful ones. A mixed bag. Unlike a player like Chris Kaman, who’s elite in nothing but dastardly mediocre at everything, Diaw is extremely good at isolation defense and defending the rolling big on the pick and roll. Despite this, his overall defensive numbers are awful, primarily because of his couldn’t-be-worse spot-up defense. As we’re all aware, Boris is a large man. This makes him excruciatingly slow on recoveries, and due to his generally slow movements it’s rather elementary for a guard or a wing to get him out of position. If we wanted a big man who could help the Spurs improve their overall defense in isolation, out of all available bigs, Diaw was easily our man. That’s a good thing.
  • J.J. Hickson may have the most misleading numbers here. He has only defended 164 possessions as of this writing, far fewer than the number we’d expect given the number of minutes he’s played. There’s a good reason for that. Unlike most bigs in the NBA, Hickson has no compulsion to challenge a broken play — if his man gets by him, he prefers to let the other big man on the court take the fall and die trying to help on his man. This leads to a lot of plays in the post where the final possession wasn’t technically guarded by Hickson, but where responsibility for a virtually wide open dunk lies squarely on his shoulders. This isn’t to underrate his spot-up defense — for all of Hickson’s faults (of which there are many), he’s always been a pretty dependable spot-up defender when he’s mentally checked in due to his athleticism, length, and hustle. But his lapses elsewhere on the court may not show up in his Synergy numbers, and the Synergy defensive numbers here are probably overrating the quality of his defense more than they are anyone else on this list .
  • Matt Bonner is the 4th best post-up defender in the league, per Synergy. I didn’t believe that at all on first glance, so I spent about 45 minutes watching every single post-up possession Matt Bonner has defended in the past three years. I came away shocked. His post-up defense isn’t pretty, but it’s quite effective. His foul rate is minuscule compared to that of the league average big, and he has a fantastic sense of when and how to lay off his man and use his size to bother the shot. He always keeps his arms up, and he moves in a sort of shuffling gait that more often than not confuses the post-up player. On the pick and roll, that’s generally less Bonner’s acumen than it is Tiago and Tim helping out, but Bonner does his fair share of the work on those possessions as well. He keeps the big close and generally forces them to take shots from angles they aren’t very good at, and again, he does an excellent job keeping his foul rate down.
    • So, Aaron. Tell me. Why, if he’s got a few solid defensive skills, does Bonner have the reputation of a defensive sieve? Simple, voice in my head. The two most avidly watched types of defensive plays by the general populace — isolation and spot-up recoveries — are Bonner’s two absolute worst defensive categories, per Synergy. He’s below league average on isolations and only slightly above it on spot-ups. Worse, for him, is the way he allows shots in isolation and spotting up. He generally has a terrible time covering quick guards on switches, and gets embarrassed physically when an athletic player does a jab step or an up fake. His lateral quickness is poor, and although he’s essentially league average or slightly at both those categories, the downright hilarious way he allows points leads to a reputation that doesn’t actually fit with his defensive play, which appears to be overall better than even I had ever given him credit for. Next time you’re watching the Spurs, I ask that you pay attention to Bonner when players try to post him up. I have for the last few games. Guarantee you’ll be somewhat impressed, if not immediately thereafter amused when he blows an isolation coverage on the next possession of the game. A feast-or-famine type defensive player.
  • On the other end of the spectrum, DeJuan Blair is simply a terrible defensive player. I love DeJuan’s grit and hustle, but in 2011, DeJuan was the worst defensive starter at the center position in the entire league by DPPP. In 2012 he isn’t the worst, but he’s close. Despite defending on 4 possessions fewer than Tim Duncan, he’s allowed 56 more points scored directly on him over the course of the year. That’s quite a gap. And while part of that is Tim’s overall stellar defense, a lot of the blame has to be put on DeJuan himself — while he’s decent on the P&R, he’s poor in isolation and a travesty at recovering on spot-up shooters. Which, by the way, is why he plays center so often. I’ve been asked by friends who don’t follow the Spurs why DeJuan (a 6’7″ player) is forced to play center so often. It isn’t necessarily because Pop wants to do it, it’s because if he cross-matches onto a power forward he gives them a wide open look at a spot-up jumper virtually every time. He’s no great shakes in the post, either, but at least he’s slightly above league average. When you put the whole package together, though, you have a player who’s league average at best in most defensive categories, and who unfortunately averages out as a big liability on the defensive end. Which is a shame, because again — I really love DeJuan, and I really wish he was just a few inches taller and a few pounds lighter. But as of this point, his career has been awful on the defensive end, and it’s really aggravating to watch him work.

• • •

In sum? The Spurs got an interesting player in Boris Diaw, to say the least. He’s not the missing piece. He’s not really better than any of the big men we currently run with, although his isolation defense is worth keeping an eye on. As most Spurs fans noticed during the recent Mavs game, when Diaw really puts an effort into shutting down a sweet-shooting forward like Dirk, he has a lot more success than most Spurs players have had over the last few seasons. On the other hand, fans watching the Sixers game may have also noticed the dark side of Diaw’s play — his difficulty recovering on spot-up shooters and putting requisite pressure on their post-up players, namely. They may also have noticed his abhorrent rebounding fundamentals, and his curious lack of talent for a man so large at boxing out and protecting the paint. Diaw isn’t going to solve all the Spurs’ ills, but the main point of this post isn’t really that. It’s that none of the players available were going to.

Diaw offers as much upside as any of them, and very few downsides. If he doesn’t work out? The Spurs have a minimum contract player sitting on the bench. And, of course, there’s the familiarity aspect — Diaw actually went to high school with Tony Parker, and Parker has been running Popovich offensive sets with the French National Team for years now. Stephen Jackson and Boris Diaw had a relatively potent two man game back in Charlotte during their ill-fated 2010 playoff jog, and given the fact that the Spurs have just 19 games left this season, acquiring a player with some familiarity in the Spurs system may have been for the best. Diaw is not a savior, but he’s not chopped liver. He can help the Spurs if they can do a good job at hiding his deficiencies and put him in a position to succeed. Without injuries, we hope.

Given Pop’s track record, I think we’ll be just fine.

  • theghostofjh

    That rationale does not justify giving a prominent role, starting or not, to a guy that supposedly plays “terrible” defense. In Pop’s mind, Blair’s compensating factors are simply not strong enough to outweigh giving him 20+ minutes if he considers his defense “terrible”. He would either start Bonner or Splitter, and probably run a smaller, faster 2nd unit, with Blair getting inconsistent, situational time, probably averaging at best 10 mpg. 

  • theghostofjh

    As I said, Blair has a similar “standing” reach as Bonner, and bigger “hands” as well.

  • Titletown99030507d

    This will change this playoffs being that we have more fire power at any given position at any time thus allowing any Spur to confidently make that extra pass and if that happens that hot potato could very well land in Bonner’s hands and  he very well may be open to take advantage of it.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Having said that then Splitter’s MVP time in Europe should not be overlooked. Gary played in Europe as well.

  • theghostofjh

    Ah, the old hackneyed cliche, “it’s different this time”. Don’t bet on it.

  • Titletown99030507d

    No thanks. 

  • theghostofjh

    No, Splitter’s time in Europe should not be overlooked at all. It is the reason that he, with modest athletic ability, has a fairly polished all-around game (except for shooting), and has been a productive performer in his role with the Spurs this year.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Bullshit dude. You gonna write home about Blair’s play against 2 crappy teams they just played. No Kaman, No Smith, then No front court against the sixers.. Washed up Elton Brand looked slow to me. 2 good offensive games because of that. Splitter would have had a field day even creating his own shot down low/ posting up against these teams. PAAALEEEZE! If Splitter’s healthy he helps the team more than Blair does PERIOD! Splitter still has a better FG% than Blair does. And I’ll take that in the playoffs.
    And as for Blair starting it’s not because he’s great and desreves it’s BECAUSE POP CAN’T PUT HIM ANYWHERE ELSE WITHOUT GETTING A WORSE +/-.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Yes a healthy Tiago will be needed in this years run. Give him a couple of games to test that back then Pop should be increasing his minutes as the season winds down.

  • TD BestEVER

     You can keep your FG% – Splitter will always get injured. Many said it last year and you tried desperately to defend him saying he played over seas and at the World Championships……And you have asked repeatedly for him to get more PT. Problem is he can’t stay on the floor now with limited minutes, how can he with extended minutes. 

    And while you are talking about +/- Check out the playoffs……I think Blair had a higher +/- than Splitter last year……….

  • TD BestEVER

    thank you for understanding the OBVIOUS……..

    How can ANY RESONABLY INTELLIGENT FAN say POP – who is one of the best coaches in the NBA – would start Blair over 2 players that are superior to him just because he has to.  Why not just let the 2 superior players play those extra minutes and limit Blair in the mean time until he gets his game on pair.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=173600134 Ryan McShane

    Again, it has been well documented that Blair and Tiago do not play well together. In addition, Blair and Bonner is a particularly small frontcourt and is simply unsuitable for defending two respectable bigs. So, Pop HAS to play Blair’s longest stretches with Duncan. Before Diaw, if he hadn’t played Blair at all, there would be 96 minutes to split among 3 bigs (and maybe Jefferson – but we all know even Blair was better as a big than RJ). Now, evenly divided, that’s 32 minutes a piece. Earlier this season, TD was playing 20 minutes a game on some nights… that would mean Bonner and Splitter would have had to have played 38 minutes a piece those nights. In this condensed season, no one should be playing that much time unless their first name is Russell or LeBron. 

    I defer some minute math to this blog post: http://www.thebigfundamental.com/pop-is-playing-tim-too-much/ 

    How am I wrong if what Pop did HAD the effect I suggested? Pop learned from his mistake last year and gave Blair free starts. 

    The real problem is that neither Bonner nor Blair nor Splitter is good enough to to merit excluding the other two on nights Duncan is playing at full strength (or at all). 

    Let me be clear – I like Blair. I like Splitter. I like Bonner. They all bring something different to the Spurs, and they all take something away. IMO Splitter, Leonard, and Parker are the future of this franchise. Everyone else will be replaceable when Duncan and Ginobili retire. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=173600134 Ryan McShane

    I guess Pop was dumb for putting Ginobili on the bench for all those years then. 

    Remember who finished the games though… Ginobili. 

    He’ll always go with Duncan to finish, and he’ll play Blair, Bonner, or Splitter depending on the situation. AKA, none of them is end-all second best big on the roster. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=173600134 Ryan McShane

    I like that you’ve made the assumption that you know what Pop would do. Pop and every other coach in the NBA have to play with what they’ve got. When the wing rotation was particularly small last year and RJ shrank away in the playoffs, Pop was forced to play Neal or Hill at the 3. He has to play five guys, he can’t just throw a 1, 2, 4, and 5 out there. So, he puts Neal or Hill in the 3 spot. 

    Back to the big rotation… If Pop has 4 bigs, he’s going to have to play the bigs. If he needs a solid big on the bench and a solid big to start, he’s going to start Duncan (out of respect if nothing else) and switch him out with Splitter. The other two pieces fall into place. It’s a logic puzzle. 

    There’s overlap in who plays together anyway… 
    http://www.nba.com/statistics/plusminus/plusminus_sort.jsp?pcomb=2&season=22011&split=9&team=Spurs&pager.offset=0 
    You’ll notice that Duncan and Blair have played 696 minutes together and have a +/- of +32. 
    Duncan/Bonner: 300min, +82
    Splitter/Bonner: 520min, +168
    (The other 3 combinations did not register, so they’re at best +15). 

    So, Duncan and Blair together are not as effective as Duncan and Bonner. In fact, Splitter and Bonner are slightly more effective, but it is probably not a statistically significant difference. 

    Logic, again. What changes? Bonner gives a higher +/-. 

    See my post just above this for other goodies. 

    And yes, Blair single-handedly gave the Spurs a 50-11 start last season. By the same logic, I could say that RJ played 81 times last season and as a result the Spurs where 61-20 or 60-21 because of him.

    Good grief. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=173600134 Ryan McShane

    Amen, Titletown99030507d.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=173600134 Ryan McShane

    I guess Hill, Jefferson, Novak, and Quinn are still on the roster, huh? Is Ginobili’s arm going to be broken again too?

    The Spurs have an even more potent offense than last year – Bonner will have more open looks. Whether or not he can hit open looks in the playoffs….

  • TD BestEVER

    Finley started for Manu a few years and Finley was a qualified starting 2 in the NBA then.  And the main reason was we needed a good 6th man.  

    So this doesn’t have anything to do with Blair/Splitter/Bonner

  • TD BestEVER

     Ok cool – you thinking makes more sense now…..I still disagree with some of it, but I get your POV

  • DorieStreet

    I rarely read other Spurs fan forum/blog sites (PtR occasionally); do Bonner/Blair commentaries  generate such detailed, debated, intense, well-participated and repeated discussions seen here at 48MOH?

  • theghostofjh

    The Spurs main play makers have been here for years (Manu & TP), and so has Duncan, who just a few years ago was more dominant inside, which had the effect of drawing more attention away from the perimeter. In the midst of all that, over the past 5 years, Bonner has done nothing for us in the play offs. His 3-point shooting %, and his 3-point attempts per minute have dropped off significantly. And that’s unlikely to change because Bonner is not quick enough to get open in higher intensity play off defense, he has a low release point on his shot, and has a mediocre at best speed of release. And RJ, Hill, and Novak are as good or better 3-point shooters as are Neal, Green, Leonard, or Jackson.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=173600134 Ryan McShane

    But the games closed out with Ginobili, indicating Ginobili was clearly the best/better player at the position (one always wants their “best 5″ on the floor to close out games if one can afford it). 

    I don’t think of any of the Spurs’ bigs as “closers” other than Duncan, so my gut tells me none of them is clearly better than the rest. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=173600134 Ryan McShane

    The latter group includes more cutters, thus creating more open looks for Mr. Spot-up-3. Bonner was a benchwarmer in ’07, but the team didn’t feature enough offense to warrant Bonner’s man leaving him for help defense in ’08, ’09, ’10, or ’11. That changed over the “summer” and in the last couple of weeks. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=173600134 Ryan McShane

    Well at least I’m making more sense now. lol

  • theghostofjh

    No offense, but the logic you just presented is entirely pathetic.

    Did I say that “Blair single-handedly gave the Spurs a 50-11 record last season?!”

    NO

    I SAID that he was a integral member of a 5-man starting unit, and a 4/5 big tandem that HELPED the TEAM achieve a 50-11 start to last season, before Pop pulled the dumb move to start McDyess. In the future, stop blatantly misrepresenting what I actually say.

    And as far as RJ, he was indeed an important cog in what our team accomplished during the regular season last year. But if you notice, the winning % when he started (74%) was not nearly as high as it was when Blair was in the starting line-up (82%). But the main point is this, EVERY one of our starters for most of last season had a meaning impact on the success of our regular season record, and Blair is certainly included.

    Also, do we really have to keep bringing up these very basic +/- numbers in these discussions? The fact is, these numbers are VERY easy to misinterpret. And they often encourage people to draw false “conclusions”. For example, using the data you provided in your post, Splitter & Bonner are by far the best tandem for the Spurs since their positive +/- is a full twice as much as the next leading tandem, Duncan & Bonner. So, why not start Splitter & Bonner, and give them even more minutes than Duncan/Blair?

    I’ll let you produce the reasons why not, but suffice it to say, no coach is going to make decisions about who he starts or doesn’t start based on +/- numbers. And the simple reason is because they’re misleading, and to even try to make sense out of them would require too complicated of a tracking mechanism.

    And by the way, the main point that started this discussion is this:

    If Pop thought that Blair played “terrible” defense (as the author of this article, Aaron, very confidently asserted), why would he play him 21+ mpg.? Why not go mostly with TD, Tiago, & Matt, and go small ball (Leonard is a very good young defender) with a relatively small number of left over minutes? Why would a coach that gives an extremely high premium to defense play a “terrible” defender more than 10 mpg. at best when there’s absolutely no convincing reason to do so?

    But the fact is, you and nobody else on this blog has a satisfactory answer to these questions. Perhaps because none actually exist, and Pop in reality doesn’t see Blair as a “terrible” defender? Perhaps Pop sees Blair as a “below average” defender, but recognizes that the compensating assets that he brings outweighs his “not prohibitive” (i.e., not “terrible”) defensive flaws compared to all the alternatives?

  • theghostofjh

    “So, Pop HAS to play Blair’s longest stretches with Duncan. Before Diaw,
    if he hadn’t played Blair at all, there would be 96 minutes to split
    among 3 bigs.”No, for the most part, Pop could have split Bonner’s minutes between Duncan & Splitter, each playing about 28+ mpg., and went with small ball with Leonard the other 8-12 minutes, and/or sub in Blair for modest situational minutes. He doesn’t HAVE to start or give significant minutes to Blair with Duncan, or even give Blair more than 10 mpg., tops. The reason he plays Blair 21+ mpg. is because it makes our team better. Indeed, the main reason Blair plays with Duncan is because it makes the team better, not because Blair hurts the team if he plays with anyone else.

  • Andres783

     I got to disagree. Good analysis on available bigs and Spurs. Good sobering read on Diaw, and eye opening on Bonner. Will definitely enjoy watching Spurs games more with this info in mind. BB defense might not be rocket surgery, but with the right statistics you can create a whole different game plan that suits your players talents best….

  • theghostofjh

    Your argument doesn’t hold water. Our offenses since 2008-09 have been plenty potent enough. In fact, during all three years our offensive efficiency rating was higher than it is this year. 

  • theghostofjh

    Your argument doesn’t hold water. Our offenses since 2008-09 have been plenty potent enough. In fact, during all three years our offensive efficiency rating was higher than it is this year. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=173600134 Ryan McShane

    Small ball is rarely a good option. 

    PERIOD.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=173600134 Ryan McShane

    I stopped reading this when you decided to retroactively change what you said. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=173600134 Ryan McShane

    I guess Jackson has been on the team all season and RJ off.

  • theghostofjh

    RJ has been a more efficient offensive player than Jackson this season. Jackson will help us the most over the remainder of the year on the defensive end, especially in the playoffs.

  • theghostofjh

    Since your comment was so vague, I’m left to assume that you didn’t like a paraphrase that I used, so I’ll quote for you what I exactly said:

    “It hurt the team for one, and also, what does that tell a 22 year old guy who busts his but to “help” get the team off to a 50-11 start?”

    Now, again, does what I “exactly” said mean anything even close to what you had suggested, which is the following?:

    “And yes, Blair “single-handedly” gave the Spurs a 50-11 start last season.”

    Does “helping” the team to a 50-11 record even remotely resemble “single-handedly gave the Spurs a 50-11 start ….”?

    NO, it most emphatically does not.

  • theghostofjh

    Not true. It can be successful in certain match-ups/situations. And the fact is we now have the personnel to make it even more effective than ever before. And anyway, I said that Pop could also use Blair in a more limited and situational capacity.

  • STIJL

    Glad the research and time was put into this.  Thank you for an in depth article with supporting numbers.

    I’ll take them for what they are…realize sometimes things aren’t as what they seem and some things being what they seem.

    And realize that some just don’t accept things even when brought to light and proved beyond reasonable doubt.

  • theghostofjh

    “And realize that some just don’t accept things even when brought to light and proved beyond reasonable doubt.”

    Care to explain how that’s relevant in the context of this article, and/or in the comments that follow?