James Anderson out 8 weeks with stress fracture in foot

by

Awesome. Just when things were looking good for the youth and depth of this Spurs team. First, the Spurs waive Garrett Temple, which — though not totally unsurprising — is slightly disappointing. And now, Jeff McDonald reports that Anderson will be out for about two months.

Turns out, it will be the last action Anderson will see for some time. Thursday afternoon, team doctors determined Anderson has a stress fracture in his right foot. He will undergo surgery next week to insert a pin, and is expected to miss eight weeks recovering.

“It’s weird how it happened,” point guard Tony Parker said. “He woke up this morning and told us the news, and it was like, ‘Oh wow.’ It’s bad, because he was playing well.”

Anderson was diagnoses with a stress fracture in the fifth metatarsal, a cumulative injury that typically builds up over time. He was off to a good start to his rookie season, averaging seven points in his first seven games while making half his 3-point shots (10 of 20).

Crap. It’s obvious that Anderson was playing well and looked like he was going to be a vital part of the rotation this season.

Where I’m concerned is what will happen come playoff time. Gregg Popovich is slow to trust rookies when it comes to playoff minutes, but Anderson looked in the early going like he was going to be able to buck that trend.

Now that he’s going to miss two months of his rookie season, I wonder how much Pop will trust Anderson come postseason because of all the repetitions he missed. I fear he’ll have a similar playoff impact to George Hill two seasons ago.

If you’re wondering about his injury, the fifth metatarsal is the bone that runs along the outside of your foot. I actually broke mine playing basketball my freshman year of high school, mine wasn’t a stress fracture though.

The reason it takes so long to heal is because there is very little blood flow on the side of your foot. I didn’t end up getting surgery for mine. Just a whole lot of ice and immobility.

Is Bobby Simmons still unemployed?

[Update: Here is the official statement from the Spurs.]

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that guard James Anderson has been diagnosed with a stress fracture in his right fifth metatarsal. Early next week, Anderson will undergo surgery at which time a screw will be inserted in his metatarsal. He is expected to miss approximately eight weeks.

  • rob

    Jim Henderson

    “It is at that point that I have been known to express a bit of annoyance from time to time. I’m guilty as charged, but don’t take what I say too personally. Just try to keep an open mind.”

    I guess as do we all. And I often look forward to your responses because of your logical context and somewhat elevated knowledge of this game and the players.

    My mind IS open…most of the time.

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Lenneezz

    “Yes, and some are more equipped than others to apply a formula that has more or less better predictive validity. I’ve had a pretty good track record for a long time.”

    Did you use this “formula” to come up with the Manu for James Harden trade? Still advocating that one Jim? You were telling everybody that would listen about this one.

  • Jim Henderson

    rob
    November 15th, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    Thanks for the compliment, Rob. You’re posts are generally quite thoughtful, and you try to stay balanced in your approach. And I’m glad your mind is open. That’s great!

  • Jim Henderson

    Lenneezz
    November 15th, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    “Did you use this “formula” to come up with the Manu for James Harden trade? Still advocating that one Jim? You were telling everybody that would listen about this one.”

    If you remember, an OKC “big” was a part of that deal (probably Collison or Krstic), and the trade was proposed before the draft. And yes, despite Harden’s relatively slow start in the early stages of his sophomore campaign, I would still do that deal. Harden likely has a dozen plus years left in this league, and some of them could very well be as an all-star. If Westbrook wasn’t such a scoring PG Harden would probably be starting on the playoff contending OKC right now, at age 21. As you know, Manu probably has 3 good years left at best. As an owner of a franchise, it’s always good to not only look short-term. That’s the only way to build title winners.

    So when Manu’s out of the league & Harden is an exciting all-star player, why don’t you revisit this issue. Perhaps the smugness will have worn off by then. There could be some regret at some point, especially if we don’t get a title in the intervening years (quite likely in my view). But at least we still have Manu to watch a little longer. He has been fun to watch!

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Lenneezz

    “So when Manu’s out of the league & Harden is an exciting all-star player, why don’t you revisit this issue.”

    There needs to be an “If” in that sentence Jim. If Harden every makes it to an all star caliber player. Or for that matter, if Harden sticks in the league for 10+ years. That is a whopping big “IF”.

  • Jim Henderson

    Lenneezz
    November 15th, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    As a #3 pick in the draft, with obvious talent, projecting Harden to develop into at least occasional all-star status is not a big stretch for most keen observers of the game. And you even think it’s a BIG IF that Harden merely makes it 10 years in the league? Most would not agree with that, barring freak injury. We do know that Manu WILL almost assuredly be gone in 5 years or less, WILL be in decline, and he could be gone much sooner considering his injury history.

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Lenneezz

    Ever hear of a draft bust? These are all top ten picks that severely disappointed. I’m not counting all the top ten picks that didn’t play ten years or become an all star. That list would be far, far to long. So, it’s not exactly a certainty, by any stretch. I wonder how many “keen” basketball geniuses (self proclaimed, of course) were sure these guys had the right stuff.

    Al Wood, Danny Vranes, Bill Garnett, Russell Cross, Melvin Turpin, Leon Wood, Chris Washburn, William Bedford, Tim Perry, Randy White, Bo Kimble, Mark Macon, Doug Smith, Bobby Hurley, Shawn Respert, Ed O’Bannon, Robert Traylor, Micheal Olowokandi, Jonathon Bender, Marcus Fizer, Kwame Brown, Eddy Curry, Eddie Griffin, Jay Williams, Dajuan Wagner, Rafael Araujo, Ike Diogu, Adam Morrison, Saer Sene, Patrick O’Bryant, Joe Alexander

    James Harden was selected before Steph Curry, Brandon Jennings, Ty Lawson and Darren Collison. He’s already hugely under performing for the 2009 draft class.

    How you can be so confident about this guy, it’s a wonder. We will see in 3 years, won’t we?

  • Jim Henderson

    Lenneezz
    November 16th, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    “Ever hear of a draft bust? These are all top ten picks that severely disappointed.”

    I’m quite familiar with draft busts, and based on his first full season in the NBA, it’s highly unlikely that Harden is one of them.

    “James Harden was selected before Steph Curry, Brandon Jennings, Ty Lawson and Darren Collison. He’s already hugely under performing for the 2009 draft class.”

    No he’s not. That’s absurd. He’s easily did more for his team his rookie season, a 50 win playoff team, than pick’s #2, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 11 through 17, which takes us up to Lawson at #18. Most of the guys you mentioned, and others in the top-twenty, played on crappy teams, or had a chance to start because of injury (Clippers, Kings, Hornets), and thus had a much better opportunity to shine in their rookie seasons.

    Two of the guys you mentioned played with a pretty good team (Lawson & Jennings), as did Harden. So let’s take a moment to compare those three players’ productivity. Probably the easiest way to do that is to look at each of their WP48 scores from last year.

    Lawson: .158 (probably the steal of the draft at #18, if not Collison at #21)

    Jennings (#10): .o67

    Harden: .123

    Even if you look at some of the other players that had more of a chance due to crappy team or injury, Harden compares quite well:

    Collison (#21): .101

    Curry (#7): .147

    Harden is about as far from a bust as you could get. He had the 3rd best WP48 of the entire first round of the draft, and played on a very talented playoff team. In fact he may end up with a better career when all is said and done than most of the four players just mentioned. And there’s a very good chance that he’ll be starting in OKC within a year, and a bonafide challenger for the WC title soon after. He’ll just need to improve his “D” just a little bit more to take out the tough-defending Thabo for the starting SG role.

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Lenneezz

    “He’s easily did more for his team his rookie season, a 50 win playoff team, than pick’s #2, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 11 through 17, which takes us up to Lawson at #18.”

    Wrong, wrong, wrong. First off, he is the #3 pick, he is SUPPOSED to outperform all the lower picks. Second, DeRozan and Flynn had slightly better years. Jennings nad Collison had stronger campaigns as well. You can take those worthless WP 48 numbers and throw em out the window. Look at the real stats and it’s clear.

    “I’m quite familiar with draft busts, and based on his first full season in the NBA, it’s highly unlikely that Harden is one of them.”

    Well, based on the beginning of his second season he has alot of improvement to do to even think about an all star game or a prolonged career.

    “And there’s a very good chance that he’ll be starting in OKC within a year, and a bonafide challenger for the WC title soon after.”

    Pure speculation. OKC as a WC champion? Harden as a starter? How about not using a point in an argument until it actually happens.

    If you were an attorney, you’d be laughed out of the courtroom.

  • Jim Henderson

    Lenneezz
    November 17th, 2010 at 12:57 am

    “First off, he is the #3 pick, he is SUPPOSED to outperform all the lower picks.”

    I don’t have to tell you that it almost NEVER works out that way where all draftees’ in their first year outperform all those drafted later than them. Curry clearly outperforming Flynn in his rookie year does not make Flynn a “bust” in the least. I won’t spend the time pointing out all the other countless examples. I will say that the only picks drafted later than Harden that played as well or better in their rookie campaigns were Evans at #4 (big difference from #3!), Curry at #7 (again, not a big difference in draft order), and Lawson at #21, the biggest steal in the 1st round of the draft last year. The WP48 numbers back that up, and TWO of those THREE players played on crappy teams allowing them much more of a chance to shine. What don’t you get about that? As I said, Harden is about as far from a “bust” as you can get.

    “Second, DeRozan and Flynn had slightly better years.”

    Again, these are two players that had all the opportunity in the world by playing for crappy teams. On top of that, neither of them had a better year than Harden.

    DeRozan WP48 = .026

    Flynn WP48 = -.025

    “Jennings and Collison had stronger campaigns as well.”

    No they didn’t. They had more opportunity due to crappy teams, and via injury to a starter in front of them. And as I already pointed out their WP48’s were lower than Harden’s.

    “You can take those worthless WP 48 numbers and throw em out the window. Look at the real stats and it’s clear.”

    First of all, you have no idea what you’re talking about. WP48 is the most valid stat to use, particularly if one’s trying to simplify a discussion, which is apparently what you are attempting to do since you provided NO STATS YOURSELF TO BACK UP YOUR CLAIMS. I can’t wait to hear what you consider “real” stats.

    “Well, based on the beginning of his second season he has alot of improvement to do to even think about an all star game or a prolonged career.”

    Right, we’re going to look at TEN games and rush to judgment on a 21 year old, rather than focus our attention on EIGHTY-TWO games over an entire 2009-10 campaign, which was one of the most productive years the great majority of lottery picks have had in their rookie season over the past several years. In fact, there’s probably only been 2 draft lotteries in the past 10 years that has been better than 2009: 2003 & 2005.

    “Pure speculation. OKC as a WC champion? Harden as a starter? How about not using a point in an argument until it actually happens.”

    So what, are you saying that OKC is not a threat in the West? If so, you’re in a distinct minority of all the sport’s journalists that cover the game. And most would also tell you that Thabo does not have a prayer to hold off Harden for too long as a starter on that very young and talented team, a team that is likely to remain a threat for several years.

    “If you were an attorney, you’d be laughed out of the courtroom.”

    And you’d never make it up the front steps.

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Len

    WP 48 is a joke. Take a look at Jennings and especially Collison’s stat line. Ya know REAL STATS, like field goal %, FT %, PPG, RBG, etc…….

    If you haven’t figured google out yet, here ya go…

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/c/collida01.html

    Darren Collison CLEARLY outpeforms your love child James Harden. To say otherwise is FOOLISH.

    Now, this whole rigamaroll is about whether to trade Manu for James Harden. You have your OPINION and I have mine. There is nothing more to say except WE WILL SEE.

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Len

    Here is an exerpt from a study on the validity of the WP48 method. The metric was applied to the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls team.

    “Per 48 minutes played, Rodman’s productivity even eclipsed Jordan. Rodman’s WP48 of 0.415 was four times the production offered by an average player in the NBA and even surpassed the 0.386 WP48 posted by Jordan.”

    “but to suggest that on a per minute basis Rodman was more productive than Jordan is silly. Why does WoW make such a silly contention? WoW places a very high value on rebounding, a lower value on scoring and completely disregards the value of being able to create a shot (for oneself or for one’s teammates); this also explains how Berri could assert–using the same metric that crowned Rodman over Jordan–that early in the 2007-08 season Andrew Bynum was more productive on a per minute basis than Kobe Bryant.”

    “First of all, you have no idea what you’re talking about. WP48 is the most valid stat to use, particularly if one’s trying to simplify a discussion”

    Oops. Looks like I DO KNOW what I’m talking about. Wp48 analysis doesn’t simplify the analysis of a player. It MISLEADS the value of certain players that rebound. Guess who gets devalued by the WP48 method? Players (point guards) who create shots for themselves and others.

    BETTER DO SOME MORE HOMEWORK. LOL

  • Jim Henderson

    Len
    November 17th, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    “Ya know REAL STATS, like field goal %, FT %, PPG, RBG, etc…….”

    Run the comparisons for me per 36 minutes, otherwise your point is meaningless, and is backed up by nothing.

    “Darren Collison CLEARLY outpeforms your love child James Harden. To say otherwise is FOOLISH.”

    This statement is unequivocally false.

    “Now, this whole rigamaroll is about whether to trade Manu for James Harden. You have your OPINION and I have mine. There is nothing more to say except WE WILL SEE.”

    Yes we will.

  • Jim Henderson

    Len
    November 17th, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    “Here is an exerpt from a study on the validity of the WP48 method. The metric was applied to the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls team.”

    Provide me with a link/source to the study, otherwise I can’t properly evaluate the excerpt you provided. And to make it clear, I never said that WP48 is the only statistic to use when attempting to evaluate a player, and it is far from a panacea in player evaluation. However, if one is going to look at one statistic that will give an idea of how productive a player is in helping his team win games while on the court, WP48 probably does a better job than any other “one” data point out there. So yes, it does in fact do a decent job in helping to simply a debate on player evaluation based on stats.

    “Oops. Looks like I DO KNOW what I’m talking about.”

    No, you’re jumping to conclusions.

    “Guess who gets devalued by the WP48 method? Players (point guards) who create shots for themselves and others.”

    Oh, right, is that why Chris Paul has the highest WP48 in the league right now, and by FAR (.512). And the fact is rebounding in general is more valuable in helping a team win than most other categories.

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Len

    “Run the comparisons for me per 36 minutes, otherwise your point is meaningless, and is backed up by nothing.”

    Run your own numbers if you need to see them (or can’t approximate them in your head).

    BTW, the link I gave you has “per 36″ stats right on that page. Get some glasses.

    “Provide me with a link/source to the study”

    http://20secondtimeout.blogspot.com/2008/12/allen-iverson-and-wages-of-wins.html

    “WP48 probably does a better job than any other “one” data point out there. So yes, it does in fact do a decent job in helping to simply a debate on player evaluation based on stats.”

    The best method for evaluating a player is to watch him play and then compare “traditional” stats.

    Any method that ranks Rodman ahead of Jordan for a perticular year is flawed, period. If Rodman isn’t on that team, they still win 60+. If Jordan isn’t on that team, they win 50-60 games.

  • Jim Henderson

    Len
    November 17th, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    “Run your own numbers if you need to see them (or can’t approximate them in your head).”

    You’re making a “real” stats-based case for the rookies you mentioned as outperforming Harden, but you can’t provide the data? You may think WP48 is not good, but at least I provided the data to back up my stance on the player’s in question. You can’t effectively make a stats-based case without providing the data. It holds NO credibility.

    “BTW, the link I gave you has “per 36″ stats right on that page. Get some glasses.”

    This is a link for just “one” of the players (Collison) that you think Harden has way under-performed (I use that reference all the time). But you didn’t lay out any comparison in the major categories between he and Harden. Even if Collison’s numbers are better, they do not show a “clear out-performance”, especially since Collison had the chance to start 37 games, and on a team that won over a dozen fewer games. It looks like Collison scored 16 ppg vs Harden’s 15 ppg, Collison had more apg., but Harden had more rpg., spg., bpg., and a higher TS% and WS/48.

    Harden’s overall stats per 36 are also comparable to Lawson’s, are slightly better than Jennings, and clearly better than DeRozan & Flynn’s, or anybody else in that draft, other than Evans & Curry.

    “The best method for evaluating a player is to watch him play and then compare “traditional” stats.”

    Perhaps it’s the “best”, but it is not the most simplified, and analyzing traditional stats certainly requires a lot of adjustments and calibrations to present a fair picture when one is trying to compare different players, playing different positions, on different teams. And relying on “watching him play” also certainly gives additional weight to “subjective” views (which I don’t object to at all, but it should be noted nevertheless).

    In response to the link you provided for the “study” you cite, I suggest you read Dave Berri’s response to this complaint at the link provided below. The following is probably the key passage:

    “…. Jordan’s career productivity is even more impressive when we note that he was a shooting guard. It is important to recognize that it is harder for a guard to perform well beyond the average player at his position. Relative to front court players, the supply of quality guards is higher. Therefore, the top front court players are likely to perform further from the average at their position, and consequently accumulate more wins than a top guard. This can be clearly seen in 1995-96, when Jordan produced nearly 25 wins. This lofty total was eclipsed by David Robinson, a center for the San Antonio Spurs who produced 28 victories.

    When we examine how many standard deviations each player is above the average at his position, we have evidence that Jordan had the better season. Robinson’s WP48 of 0.449 was 2.6 standard deviations above the average center. Jordan posted a WP48 of 0.386, but given that shooting guards have a relatively small variation in performance, MJ was actually 3.2 standard deviations better than the average player at his position. When we take into account the realities of NBA production, Jordan’s performance at guard is all the more incredible.

    What does all this mean? One step in calculating Wins Produced is to compare a player’s performance relative to the average at his position. Because there is a “Short Supply of Tall People” (and I still like that phrase), frontcourt players consist of productive players – like Shaq, Robinson, and Rodman – and players that are quite unproductive (insert name of big stiff here). Hence a quality frontcourt player can produce at a level far above the average at his position. In contrast, guards tend to be shorter, so the supply of these players is much larger. Consequently Jordan was being compared to a population of players with relatively more talented athletes, and hence it was harder for Jordan to perform far above the average at his position. In essence, baseball fans might remember that this is the same phenomenon Stephen Jay Gould identified in his discussion of the decline of the 0.400 hitter in baseball.

    To combat how the supply of talent would impact a player’s relative value, we suggested that one could look at how many standard deviations a player performed above the average at his position. And when we take that step, Jordan looks better than Robinson or Rodman. In other words, although in terms of Wins Produced or WP48 Robinson or Rodman might eclipse Jordan in a given year, we still find MJ to be the best when we consider the supply of talent each played faced at his position.

    Of course, you might not like that argument. You might want to focus on just Wins Produced. And when we do that, we can still say Jordan was better than Rodman. Although Rodman did exceed Jordan’s productivity in some years, if we look at the each player’s career we see that Jordan’s Wins Produced far exceeded that which was offered by Rodman.

    And that is the story we tell in The Wages of Wins. Jordan is probably the best player to ever play the game. We do consider the merits of Magic Johnson and Wilt Chamberlain. And although we cannot say that Jordan was clearly better than Magic or Wilt, I feel pretty comfortable saying that Jordan was more productive than Rodman.”

    http://dberri.wordpress.com/2006/12/04/on-jordan-and-rodman-again/

    From the same article, about the the Jordan/Rodman comparison in 1995-96 specifically:

    “This is the quote Kaufman takes from page 144 of our book. “Per 48 minutes played, Rodman’s productivity even eclipsed Jordan. Rodman’s WP48 of .0.415 was four times the production offered by an average player in the NBA, and even surpassed the 0.386 WP48 posted by Jordan.”

    If Kaufman were to read the very next line he would see: Of course when one looks at standard deviations above the average, Jordan was still more productive than Rodman.”

    So Berri suggests two important things:

    (1) That Jordan was far more “productive” than Rodman for his position (SG), and…
    (2) Jordan actually produced 7 more wins than Rodman in the 1995-96 season (25 vs. 18).

    So you probably are about right on this:

    “If Rodman isn’t on that team, they still win 60+. If Jordan isn’t on that team, they win 50-60 games.”

    And to reiterate, if I had all the time in the world, and wanted to be as accurate as possible because my job depended on it, I would never use only WP48, or any other stat, or group of stats, to evaluate a players’ impact on a team’s win total. Such evaluations are unequivocally much more complex than that, and invariably involve exhibiting some skill in subjective observation gained by direct and visual experience with the game of professional basketball over many years.

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Len

    “But you didn’t lay out any comparison in the major categories between he and Harden.”

    The comparison is as easy as point and click. I just figured you’d go to the source yourself and look at the stats, it’s pretty easy to do so.

    All the stats need to be looked at for a comparison. Just cherry picking “some” of the stats doesn’t tell the whole story.

    For example:

    “It looks like Collison scored 16 ppg vs Harden’s 15 ppg, Collison had more apg., but Harden had more rpg., spg., bpg., and a higher TS% and WS/48.”

    You conveniently left out that Collison shot the ball much better than Harden.

    Collison .477 FGA/.400 3ptFGA

    Harden .403FGA/.375 3ptFGA

    Basically, it’s more thorough to go to the webpage and view the stats so nothing is overlooked.

    “Harden’s overall stats per 36 are also comparable to Lawson’s, are slightly better than Jennings, and clearly better than DeRozan & Flynn’s, or anybody else in that draft, other than Evans & Curry.”

    No Jim. Look at the stats yourself.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/f/flynnjo01.html

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/h/hardeja01.html

    Flynn scored more, had more APG, rebounded well for a PG (2.9RBP) and shot the ball slightly better. Harden “clearly better” than Flynn? Not hardly.

    I’ll give you DeRozan. Harden outperformed him last year.

    But, Lawson was better than Harden. Lawson shot the ball superior to Harden. Not even close.
    Ty rebounded very well for a PG (3.4 RBP) and was a quality distributor (5.6 APG)

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/l/lawsoty01.html

    “It is important to recognize that it is harder for a guard to perform well beyond the average player at his position. Relative to front court players, the supply of quality guards is higher. Therefore, the top front court players are likely to perform further from the average at their position, and consequently accumulate more wins than a top guard.”

    “When we examine how many standard deviations each player is above the average at his position, we have evidence that Jordan had the better season. Robinson’s WP48 of 0.449 was 2.6 standard deviations above the average center. Jordan posted a WP48 of 0.386, but given that shooting guards have a relatively small variation in performance, MJ was actually 3.2 standard deviations better than the average player at his position.”

    I’m glad you brought this point up.

    Jordan is clearly better than Robinson (even though I LOVE the admiral, it’s just the way it is). Dave’s WP48 was higher than MJ for 1995-1996 season (.449 vs .386). But Jordan outperformed his backcourt opposition by more standard deviations (3.2 vs 2.6)

    Here is the problem.

    It is stated in the study that: “It is important to recognize that it is harder for a guard to perform well beyond the average player at his position. Relative to front court players, the supply of quality guards is higher”

    Are there different “norms” for the different guard positions? Shooting guards vs point guards. There is a difference in the amount of talent at each position. I would say that there is an unequal amount of quality shooting guards versus point guards.” So, shouldn’t those two positions have there own “norm”? Hence, they should be measured from the standard deviation from there respective norm. However, they aren’t and it is an example of how WP 48 can be “skewed”.

    “Such evaluations are unequivocally much more complex than that, and invariably involve exhibiting some skill in subjective observation gained by direct and visual experience with the game of professional basketball over many years.”

    I appreciate your honestly and thoroughness about this subject. Good debate.

  • Pingback: San Antonio Spurs Sign Danny Green | 48 Minutes of Hell

  • Jim Henderson

    Len
    November 19th, 2010 at 5:31 am

    “Flynn scored more, had more APG, rebounded well for a PG (2.9RBP) and shot the ball slightly better. Harden “clearly better” than Flynn? Not hardly.

    I’ll give you DeRozan. Harden outperformed him last year.

    But, Lawson was better than Harden. Lawson shot the ball superior to Harden. Not even close.
    Ty rebounded very well for a PG (3.4 RBP) and was a quality distributor (5.6 APG).”

    Talk about cherry-picking the data. You use apg. as half of your data to make your case for the two POINT GUARDS in question. LOL.

    Harden had more spg. than both Lawson & Flynn (1.7 vs. 1.3 for both Lawson & Flynn). Harden rebounded VERY very well for a SG, 5.1 per game, way better than Flynn’s 2.9 rpg. for a PG. And Harden’s 3-point %, bpg., and TS% were much better than Flynn’s, regardless of position. Flynn is not really even close to Harden, and as I said, Lawson is pretty comparable.

    “Lawson shot the ball superior to Harden. Not even close.”

    That’s really not true. TS% has to be factored in. Lawson at 60%, and Harden at 55% is clearly not a blow-out, and scoring efficiency was clearly Lawson’s strength last year, as opposed to the early going this year that has him at 45% vs. Harden’s more consistent 53%.

    “I appreciate your honestly and thoroughness about this subject. Good debate.

    Likewise.

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Len

    Seems as though I’m not the only one that has some reservations about Harden.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmonsnfl2010/week11picks/part2

    Scroll down to the OKC write up…..

    Obviously, Hollinger is not the final opinion on players but it’s noteworthy none the less.

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Len

    The above article is Bill Simmons, not Hollinger.

  • Jim Henderson

    Len
    November 20th, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    Yeah, I often disagree with Simmons.

    His obsession with year two in the league, particularly when we’re only 11 games in to year 2 for Harden, is laughable. His basic assessment of Harden is off-base. He has talent and considerable upside in all areas: shooting, rebounding, passing, ball-handling, and defense. And he is in fact an above average athlete. Harden’s defense has improved, and it’s only a matter of time and he will be starting with KD & Westbrook, and getting 30+ mpg. Simmons can come back and talk to me in a couple of years, when Harden’s the grand old age of 23.

    I thought it was amusing that he was making revisions to this years win-loss records for many teams, including for OKC and the Spurs. For OKC, he had them WAY over-performing to the tune of 62 wins to just now dropping them all the way down to 50 wins. I predicted that OKC would be in the low 50’s from the outset, and nothing has changed. And for the Spurs he made this “grand” revision: instead of 49 wins he now predicts us to win 50. Hilarious!

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Len

    I hear ya Jim. I have always thought that Simmons was incredibly trite. His reasoning is usually so far fetched that I wonder if he’s a sports writer or works for “The Onion”. His articles are funny and entertaining if nothing else.

    Still, Harden needs to shape up. 6 games has turned into 12 games and soon it’ll be 20 games, 25 % of the season. He’s under performing from his rookie campaign.

    I watched the Celts vs the Thunder last night and I saw firsthand what’s up with Harden. He just doesn’t look comfortable. He doesn’t have a plan out there. Several times he drove and ran into help defense (shocker, right? Celts have good help D). He would look panicked and throw a bailout pass. No flow, creation or finishing. Granted, the Celts D will do that to alot of players but still, he’s got lots of room to improve.

  • Jim Henderson

    Len
    November 20th, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    “I watched the Celts vs the Thunder last night and I saw firsthand what’s up with Harden. He just doesn’t look comfortable. He doesn’t have a plan out there. Several times he drove and ran into help defense (shocker, right? Celts have good help D). He would look panicked and throw a bailout pass. No flow, creation or finishing.”

    Trust me, Harden will come around in due time. The kid’s just 21 years old. And did you check out his line tonight, against the 3rd ranked “D” in the league, the Bucks? He got a chance to play with the starting unit because of Durant’s absence. In a tight game in which he played a pivotal role, the following was his line:

    23 pts. on just 13 attempts, 6 of 8 from three, 9 rebs., 4 assists, and a steal. He was the Thunder’s leading scorer in the game.

    Harden definitely has game. If OKC/Brooks want to develop him faster, they’re probably making a mistake by not getting him into the starting line-up. Personally I think he’s ready, and in the end playing with and against starters can give a young player the confidence necessary to jump to the next level. OKC’s great strength is youth, speed, and athleticism. It is obviously something that their coach & FO are emphasizing. Adding Harden to the starting line-up would push the peddle to the metal in this regard, making that team hell on wheels to contend with. If I were them, I would have Westbrook, who has above average passing & play making skills, focus much more on running that team as the primary facilitator (less emphasis on scoring), with Harden in the starting line-up as another dangerous scoring threat along with KD & Green. Green is more of a perimeter guy, and Harden, though he likes the three ball as well, also has the ability to take it off the dribble as a pretty effective slasher and finisher. At some point they could also insert Ibaka into the starting line-up in place of Krstic. That would be an unbelievably fast and athletic young team, and could become a terror around the league if they can all learn to share the rock well as a team, and develop into a Hornets nest on defense. Their transition game could conceivably be unstoppable.

  • Pingback: James Anderson nearing return to San Antonio Spurs

  • Pingback: James Anderson, Danny Green and stability | 48 Minutes of Hell