Position Analysis: Center

Position Analysis: Center

Postby trodgers on Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:38 pm

Lakers Positional Breakdown: Center
A quick look at some detailed statistics. Scoring Efficiency is derived from points per shot and points per minute. Passing Efficiency is derived from assist:to ratio and assists per minute. Hustle Efficiency is based off "good hustle":"total hustle" (offensive boards, steals vs. offensive boards, steals, turnovers, and fouls) and "good hustle" per minute. Offensive Efficiency is position-specific. So a 100 Offensive Efficiency for a Center wouldn't necessarily be even decent at the PG spot.

Scoring Efficiency
Howard 6.3
Hill 5.4
Gasol 5.2
Sacre 2.8
-Last season, Howard's 6.3 led the league (Bynum was second at 6.2). Despite FT struggles, Howard is right where he was. Hill's 5.4 is surprisingly hight - but right where it was last season. It's a solid number, similar to Marc Gasol's and Tyson Chandler's from last year. Meanwhile, as Pau's shooting percentage slips, his SCOFF has plummeted from 5.8 to 5.2. It's not a terrible number, but it's not even close to where it was. Sacre's numbers come in limited time, but even Darko managed a 4.7 last season.

Passing Efficiency
Gasol 3.0
Howard 2.1
Sacre 2.0
Hill 1.6
-Gasol's number is good enough to beat any of the big names from last year, including himself (it was 2.9 last season). Howard and Sacre are right around a cluster of other big men (Dwight was 2.1 last year). Hill's 1.6 is actually an improvement from last year's 1.5.

Hustle Efficiency
Hill 4.1
Howard 3.8
Gasol 3.1
Sacre 2.9
-Hill posted a 4.5 for the Lakers last season. The 4.1 is better than any of the big name players. Howard's 3.8, meanwhile, is as good as last season's mark (he had the highest among big name players). Gasol is down a tick from 3.2. Sacre's 2.9 is somewhat poor for a big man.

Offensive Efficiency
Howard 108
Hill 93
Gasol 84
Sacre 39
-Dwight led all bigs last season at 108; he's right there again. Hill's 93 is excellent, right around where both Gasol brothers were last season. Gasol's number falls down to Tyson Chandler territory. Sacre's rating is laughably bad (limited sample size).

SYNERGY
Howard 1.07
Gasol 1.06
Hill 0.93
Sacre 0.57
-Howard and Gasol are virtually tied, but they do it in different ways. Howard relies on high shooting percentage, hustle, and poor skill plays. Gasol makes up for poor shooting with excellent decsion-making and passing skills. Hill's number is not good overall, but it seems to be perfectly solid for a backup Center. Sacre's number is just awful.

Some Thoughts
Hill's performance should justify his salary. Dwight, despite injury, is delivering some dominant play from the Center position. Gasol's play is really quite disappointing. When he returns from knee tendinitis, it will be worth watching these numbers. If they don't improve, it might be time to admit that he does not offer what the Lakers need any longer. Meanwhile it is difficult to get down on a guy like Sacre. The numbers are mostly terrible, but he hasn't even played a full game's worth of minutes yet. As a late second round pick, Sacre deserves to have the jury wait to proclaim him a success or failure.
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Re: Position Analysis: Center

Postby Finwë on Sat Dec 08, 2012 5:46 pm

Great breakdown trodgers. The numbers really do reflect what you get out from just watching. I like stats like that.
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Re: Position Analysis: Center

Postby trodgers on Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:49 pm

I tend to agree with you. Sometimes stats reveal things we can't see so easily. Sometimes they reinforce what we see. I think the few things to take away are these:

1. Howard might not be 100%, but he's been quite effective. And he's already contributing as much as he did last season. If he improves, that's gravy.

2. Gasol has individually played at a pretty high level (70 Positional Rating is good enough to start in the NBA), but he's far from where he was last year. And it's mostly his inefficient scoring that has changed.

3. Jordan Hill is earning his money.

4. Robert Sacre has been unimpressive, but we should see more before we make final judgments on him.
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Re: Position Analysis: Center

Postby Finwë on Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:38 pm

^^ exactly

Regarding Gasol, what's your stance on whether to trade him or not and his role (minutes, starter vs 6th man, play him at the 5 or at the 4)?

I think Pau's been awful, bad enough to trade him without much hesitation if the right package comes along.
Still, considering that he hasn't killed us (he is still a good player, let's not overreact), that he's injured and so is Steve Nash (who I presume will help him be more effective, at least a little bit), I don't think you trade him now, I think we should wait a little longer, it's not as if there's a very good deal on the table we're turning down.
Keeping him a little longer could help up his value, assuming Nash impacts the offense as we hope he does. There's always a chance he does very well, enough for us to want to keep him for the season. If we don't trade him this season, next season he becomes a huge expiring and we'll probably get better return on a potential deal.
So I'd give him a little more time, not because he really earned it but because of these particular circumstances. If he keeps sucking we make the move.
Regarding his role and minutes, I still think he should start games, but play more of a Sefolosha role in OKC, that is, starting but coming out early and playing more limited minutes (30-32 a night seems right). In crunch time, assuming he's playing well, I wouldn't mind getting him in and taking Howard out if he's missing FTs and the opposition is looking to foul him. Pau's still a good decision maker, he makes FTs, and he plays well with Kobe.
I think D'Antoni got it right when he stopped subbing out Dwight early to start him in the 2nd Q and started doing that with Pau. He's a better fit with the second unit IMO, he's better at creating offense for others, which our bench desperately needs. I still need to see him go down on the block more when he's at the 5, that's when he has to really be assertive and get position near the basket.
He should keep working on spot up mid-range Js because he's gonna keep getting those. Nash's return will probably mean even more open Js for Pau.
"The first time I ever saw my uniform hanging in the locker I put it on right away, and it just felt like I was putting on golden armour. From that day forward, I just called it 'the golden armour', it just felt like there was something mystical and magical about it" - Kobe Bryant.
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Re: Position Analysis: Center

Postby trodgers on Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:31 am

The one player I've thought the most about trading over the past few seasons is Pau Gasol, and I'd honestly be fine with moving him. The problem is that IF his biggest issue is knee tendinitis, then I want to see how he plays when his knees have healed up a bit.

More than that, though, I want to see what Gasol can do with Nash on this team. I thought that Nash was brought on because he and Pau were going to be unstoppable in the PnR. Then we added Dwight, who was supposed to be even better at PnR.

So I want to see this team play at least ten games together before making a move. I wouldn't be looking to trade until the deadline, then. Because Nash won't be back until Christmas probably. That means that mid-January would be about ten games for the team. The deadline is Feb. 21st, btw.
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Re: Position Analysis: Center

Postby trodgers on Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:35 am

If we do move Gasol, it HAS to be for a younger player who defends, hustles, is athletic, and has a jumper.

If we're trading with Minnesota, I'd like to get Budinger in the deal.

If we're trading with Toronto, I don't know that there is a trade that both teams would do.
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Re: Position Analysis: Center

Postby Finwë on Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:41 pm

Agreed 100%. Despite it all, gotta give Pau a little more time, we need to see him with Nash & healthier.
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