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Rants, References and Revelations


Thursday morning, life-or-death unexpectedly landed on my laptop. Perusing an innocuous article on possible free agent signings, I stumbled on the quote below and my head nearly exploded.

Now the Bulls could probably use a volume shot creator, and while they’d love one that’s also really efficient, those guys are pretty darn expensive and difficult to get. As such, I don’t want to make it sound like (Jamal) Crawford is worthless. Even a TS% of 52.6% but largely off shots he can create himself, would help this offense tremendously from the second unit.

The quote comes from a piece by Doug Thonus at Chicago Bulls Confidential. I’m obviously being dramatic, and I certainly don’t mean to pick on Mr. Thonus. But the first part of that paragraph strikes me as patently absurd. Why would the Bulls, or anyone else for that matter, be interested in a volume shot creator who doesn’t do it efficiently? What’s the point of creating shots if you can’t also make most of them? Andres Alvarez of the Wages of Wins stepped up with a possible solution if the Bulls are looking for a high-volume shot creator and are willing to let efficiency fall by the wayside:

I will gladly create shots for the Bulls. In fact I will do it for the league minimum. I won’t guarantee any will go in but my usage % will be amazing!

All right, time to be serious. I understand what Thonus was trying to say. The idea that Jamal Crawford‘s particular brand of inefficiency would be a step-up from the previous second unit offense of the Bulls, is not ridiculous. The thing that I find hard to fathom, is that given a choice, Crawford’s brand of inefficiency would be an attractive option for an upgrade. Why not pursue a moderate volume shot-creator with moderate efficiency? Or how about several low volume shot-creators with high efficiency? Instead of running the exact same offense as the first-unit, with a poor stand-in for Derrick Rose, why not tweak the offense with the second unit, finding ways to score points without one player needing to create everything? Players like Mike Dunleavy, Troy Murphy, Leon Powe, Jason Smith, and Shawne Williams should all be unrestricted free agents. Each could provide additional offensive firepower without the need to dominate the ball. If the perfect fit for a system isn’t out there, why settle for an inadequate fit? Why not change the system?

- EvanZ, writing at Golden State of Mind, has put together a new way of looking at efficient scoring at the rim. His PSAMS measure, looks at a player’s attempts and FG% at the rim comparing each to the average for their position. Evan ranked 152 players, and coming in 12 steps from the cellar, at 140, is the starting center for my beloved Pacers, Roy Hibbert.

The average NBA center makes 66% of his attempts at the rim. Hibbert has made 50.0%, 59.0% and 62.9% in his three NBA seasons. Hope still remains, in many corners of Indiana, that Hibbert can become a reliable post threat. Despite the upward trajectory in his at the rim FG%, he’s still a long way off from that. Although his at the rim FG% is approaching average for a center, that average includes all centers; many of whom are not actually post threats themselves. A look at the grouping of centers around Hibbert’s 62.9% will yield names like Johan Petro, Andris Biedrins, and Kwame Brown. Players who can be consistently relied on to score in the post, like Andrew Bynum, Tim Duncan and Marc Gasol, all shoot better than 70% at the rim. Hibbert has improved every year and is approaching average. However, the Pacers’ desparately need a post scoring threat and average probably won’t cut it.

- These two sentences came at the end of a recent post at BlazersEdge:

The short answer to the question is that Portland is banking on its top eight players to come through big time. (The number eight assumes reasonable enough health for Oden and Roy to play a little.)

I’m honestly not sure whether to laugh or cry. I feel for Brandon Roy, Greg Oden, the Trail Blazers organization and their fans. Although it is nothing compared to their personal tragedies, all basketball fans have suffered a great loss by not being able to watch those two in simultaneous primes.

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