LA Positional Analysis: SF (Trodgers)

LA Positional Analysis: SF (Trodgers)

Postby trodgers on Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:58 pm

http://blog.travisjrodgers.com/2012/06/13/lakers-positional-analysis-small-forward.aspx
SCORING EFFICIENCY (LeBron 6.9)
Eyenga 5.7
Barnes 5.2
World Peace 4.8
Ebanks 4.5
Walton 3.9
-The Scoring Efficiencies of LA's Small Forwards reveal one of the huge problems: LA does not get efficient scoring from its wing players other than Kobe Bryant. Eyenga's number comes in incredibly limited minutes (on the season, including time in Cleveland, the number fell to 4.8), so its projectibility is questionable at best. Metta World Peace was pretty bad (largely because he got off to an atrocious shooting start). Barnes's was better, but it's the kind of number that can be tolerated only if his other contributions are considerable. His outside shooting was very bad, but he also blew many layups in transition--the shots he needs to hit to maintain offensive value. Ebanks seems to be developing a decent jumper, but his whole offensive game needs work. Luke Walton, playing in very limited minutes, was amazingly (but not surprisingly) ineffective.

PASSING EFFICIENCY (LeBron 3.6)
Barnes 2.8
World Peace 2.7
Walton 2.6
Eyenga 2.2
Ebanks 1.7
-The Lakers have a trio of people who do a decent job of handing out assists and not turning it over too much. Barnes's number is not great, but it's in the neighorhood of good SFs like Durant (2.8) and Carmelo Anthony (3.0). World Peace is a touch below him; PAFF is Walton's strong suit, and he did a decent job at it. Eyenga was not good in limited time and even worse over the course of the full season (1.9 cumulative). And well below that was Devin Ebanks's number. As passive as LA's Small Forwards are, this number should be a stroing point.

HUSTLE EFFICIENCY (LeBron 3.0)
Barnes 3.1
Walton 3.1
Eyenga 3.0
Ebanks 3.0
World Peace 2.8
-Apparently LA's Small Forwards are all hustle players. Their numbers are good, competitive with the best at the position. All of their numbers are noticeably better than Kobe's 2.4 and Pierce's 2.3, and even outshine Durant's 2.6, and Melo's 2.7. This is clearly the strength of the position for the Lakers: all of the players who saw significant minutes are hustle players who can deflect balls and clean the offensive glass well for their position.

OFFENSIVE EFFICIENCY
Eyenga 73
Barnes 71
World Peace 61
Ebanks 50
Walton 49
-Compare these numbers to some of the elites at the position: LeBron James 113, Durant 99, Kobe Bryant 97, Carmelo Anthony 95, Paul Pierce 89. Don't bother looking at Eyenga's number. It fell to 51 over the course of the season. This means that Barnes posted the only reasonably decent number on offense. Metta's number is not good, and Ebanks's performance was even worse. Again, the strength of this position is NOT scoring though. Metta World Peace is one of the best wing defenders in the game. Matt Barnes is a competent wing defender who can guard the best wings for stretches. Even Devin Ebanks took the challenge of guarding Durant...and did well. The fact is, though, that the talent is seriously lacking on the offensive side of the court.

CONTRACT SITUATION
To the delight of many Lakers fans, Luke Walton is gone. His health was a huge question mark, and his lack of athleticism made his contributions at best a mixed bag. Metta World Peace is under contract for at least one more season ($7.3M next season and then a Player Option in 2013/2014). Matt Barnes is a Free Agent who accepted a humble fee for two years' service in Los Angeles ($1.9M last season). Christian Eyenga is under contract at $1.2M; the next season includes a Team Option at $2.1M. Devin Ebanks earned $740k this season; he is a Free Agent.

ANALYSIS
There are certainly some questions for the Lakers to answer regarding Small Forward. On one hand, when Metta World Peace got into shape, he was actually very good; he was perhaps the Lakers' second best player in the series against OKC. At the same time, he isn't getting any younger, and he won't likely redevelop a consistent offensive game. While Matt Barnes might be a cheap option at SF, whether he will return is likely complicated by what will happen with Devin Ebanks. Paying World Peace over $7M means that the Lakers cannot afford to pay two backups (say, Barnes and Ebanks) more than $2M per season each. That would be a waste of cash. If Ebanks is willing to return for a salary close to Barnes's this season, LA probably accepts that (barring some massive trade). With Eyenga's salary included, the Lakers would still be paying in the neighborhood of $11M per season. Ebanks's upside is really interesting, so if the Lakers can lock him up for a few years at a reasonable salary, he could be the Ariza type player LA did not hold onto. Looking outside the team for help, there are likely going to be some Free Agents with strong offensive games.

FREE AGENTS (for Comparison)
Nick Batum 75 (5.8 SCOFF, 2.9 HUFF)
Geral Wallace 72 (5.4 SCOFF, 2.6 PAFF)
Vince Carter 70 (5.4 SCOFF, 2.8 PAFF)
Michael Beasley 69 (5.8 SCOFF)
Tracy McGrady 67 (3.3 PAFF)
Josh Howard 62 (5.3 SCOFF)
Mickael Pietrus 50
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Re: LA Positional Analysis: SF (Trodgers)

Postby therealdeal on Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:54 am

I feel like the offensive deficiencies of the SF position were most pronounced when Ron was struggling and we weren't giving Ebanks a chance. I'd love to see Ebanks get a real shot at some backup minutes. Mike Brown's excuse for not giving Goudelock minutes was that he was defensive liability, but Devin's potential defensively is there if he's given a chance.

I think realistically we see Barnes leave and either Ebanks or Eyenga gets the backup spot. Mitch showed with the Derek Fisher trade that he is willing to make moves to force Brown's hand and make him play certain players. I'm hopeful that whatever he comes up with this off-season, barring a giant trade, will include sending Eyenga out and giving Ebanks a shot.

Ebanks has shown a nice jump shot when he's wide open and some flashes of defensive ability as well.
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Re: LA Positional Analysis: SF (Trodgers)

Postby Doc Brown on Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:18 am

Walton - It still makes me smile to this day that Cleveland took him off our hands + paid his trade kicker. :man10:

Barnes - Needs to go. Oft-injured, inconsistent and getting up there in age. If I had to choose between him and Ebanks, it's Ebanks 10 out of 10 times. Keep Ebanks give him that backup SF spot and let the kid get consistent minutes in a roll that is more suited for his skill set right now. (Hustle/Energy/Defense/Hitting open shots).

Ebanks - Keep him. Explained why above.

Eyenga - He can stay or go doesn't really matter to me. No way we pick up his option after next season for 2 million if he doesn't show something. He can be a throw in for a trade or he can stay here for cheap (1.1 mil) and show what he has in the D-League. Either way his future is not with this team, unless he truly impresses this offseason.

MWP - After his postseason play and end of the season play as well, I think we have to keep him. There are only two scenarios where MWP won't be back next season....

- 1.) In the Pau trade we get a serious upgrade at the 3 (Granger/Iggy/Deng...someone like that)
- 2.) A team is willing to trade for MWP and gives us a 3 that can shoot the 3 and plays above average defense + another solid role player. I can see a team in the East or a team like the GSW doing this as in this day and age in the NBA having a plethora of perimeter defenders is a must.

I can live with going into next season with MWP/Ebanks at the 3 spot. But at the same time, I'm kind of hoping that we upgrade this position. We need another person on the wing that can create/score/make plays other then Kobe.

I'd like to see a move where we get that player that can score/create/make plays, off the bench, keeping MWP in the starting lineup and moving Ebanks to the 2 (Yes I think he can play there and guard opposing bench two guards).

This is off topic but...

Having a bench of.....Sessions / Ebanks / Glock / McFly / Hill / Legit Bench Scorer makes us a pretty deep team IMO. Glock plays over Ebanks at the 2 when the matchup calls for it. I can live with McFly in the starting PF role, if Pau nets us a starting PG and bench scorer.
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Re: LA Positional Analysis: SF (Trodgers)

Postby trodgers on Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:57 am

therealdeal wrote:I feel like the offensive deficiencies of the SF position were most pronounced when Ron was struggling and we weren't giving Ebanks a chance. I'd love to see Ebanks get a real shot at some backup minutes. Mike Brown's excuse for not giving Goudelock minutes was that he was defensive liability, but Devin's potential defensively is there if he's given a chance.

I remember that for most of the early to middle season the PG and SF spots had the worst statistics. And it wasn't clear which was worse. There was that weird exchange between Brown and MWP about stats and using your eyes. I think the stats confirmed what we were seeing: we got very inconsistent but more-often-than-not poor play offensively from our SFs. Much of this can be blamed on the poor shooting. We really don't have a good outside shooter at the SF spot. It's been a tradeoff: we can get good hustle and defensive efforts from all of our SFs, but we can't get consistent shooting.

I think realistically we see Barnes leave and either Ebanks or Eyenga gets the backup spot. Mitch showed with the Derek Fisher trade that he is willing to make moves to force Brown's hand and make him play certain players. I'm hopeful that whatever he comes up with this off-season, barring a giant trade, will include sending Eyenga out and giving Ebanks a shot.

Ebanks has shown a nice jump shot when he's wide open and some flashes of defensive ability as well.

I think you're right here, too. Eyenga is certainly interesting, but I have a much better sense of Ebanks's abilities...and I think he has great potential as a defender/slasher, but he won't likely give us the outside shot we could use. Maybe that's not a bad thing though. I'm wondering more and more whether we need to add a PF/C who has range and isn't over the hill.
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Re: LA Positional Analysis: SF (Trodgers)

Postby trodgers on Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:01 am

Doc Brown wrote:Barnes - Needs to go. Oft-injured, inconsistent and getting up there in age. If I had to choose between him and Ebanks, it's Ebanks 10 out of 10 times. Keep Ebanks give him that backup SF spot and let the kid get consistent minutes in a roll that is more suited for his skill set right now. (Hustle/Energy/Defense/Hitting open shots).

Ebanks - Keep him. Explained why above.

It could be about money and a guarantee of PT for Ebanks. There were rumors (through his agent) that he was very frustrated with this season. And I can't blame him. If someone else will pay him more than we're willing, or if he doesn't believe he's going to play, he will leave.

Eyenga - He can stay or go doesn't really matter to me. No way we pick up his option after next season for 2 million if he doesn't show something. He can be a throw in for a trade or he can stay here for cheap (1.1 mil) and show what he has in the D-League. Either way his future is not with this team, unless he truly impresses this offseason.

With you here. He's under contract, so I take it that he doesn't "leave" unless it's in a trade. I have seen flashes, but I don't know his game that well.

- 1.) In the Pau trade we get a serious upgrade at the 3 (Granger/Iggy/Deng...someone like that)

I'm going to run their numbers in a moment here and see where they come in. I need to work on the Defensive Efficiency stat, too. Don't know of a site that has enough info to do it like my offensive one.
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Re: LA Positional Analysis: SF (Trodgers)

Postby trodgers on Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:10 am

I can't calculate Offensive Efficiency without my spreadsheet at home because it's normalized to the top 5 players' number, but here are the individual ratings:

SCORING
Granger 6.2
Deng 5.4
Iggy 5.2

PASSING
Iggy 2.2
Deng 2.2
Granger 2.2

HUSTLE
Iggy 2.7
Granger 2.7
Deng 2.6

Overall:
Granger will have the highest, followed by Deng and Iggy.

I lied: I can eyeball it. Granger 82, Deng 66, Iggy 64
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Re: LA Positional Analysis: SF (Trodgers)

Postby Doc Brown on Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:28 am

I like Granger for this team. He's not a true number 1 option, but being option 2 on the perimeter behind Kobe and option 3 overall behind Kobe/Drew, I think it would do wonders for the team and especially the starting unit.

Pau for Granger/West would be phenomenal. A man can dream.
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Re: LA Positional Analysis: SF (Trodgers)

Postby trodgers on Thu Jun 14, 2012 12:44 pm

Granger would give us someone whose offensive game from the perimeter is better than anyone except Kobe's. It really would do wonders. West wouldn't even be much of a declince at the PF spot, I'd wager. Granger strokes the three well, too. He would be a HUGE acquisition. I used to fear his fragility. After two seasons where he had missed 15+ games it might've been warranted. Now over 7 years, he has gone at least 62 games every season, and he hasn't missed more than a handful of games in 5 of the 7 years. Great news.
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Re: LA Positional Analysis: SF (Trodgers)

Postby therealdeal on Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:53 pm

Granger is certainly one of the SFs that I think would make this team great. Say we had the same roster, but traded Gasol/Artest for Granger/West we'd have:

Sessions/Blake
Bryant/Goudelock
Granger/Ebanks/Eyenga
West/McRoberts
Bynum/Hill

Hill/Collison/Price
George/Barbosa
Artest/Jones
Gasol/Hansbrough/Amundson/Pendergraph
Hibbert/Fesenko

Both of those teams are very solid looking teams. The Pacers clear away Granger to make room for George and in return get probably the league's best front court. I think the Lakers get a SF that's a capable athlete, a capable scorer, and a capable defender. I think the Lakers would then look to upgrade their PG spot somehow. I think the Lakers could look to move Sessions for money or maybe a pick and try to find an older PG like Andre Miller to come here and win a ring. With Kobe, Granger, and Bynum I don't see that team looking for a ball dominant PG. I'd love Sessions as a backup, change of pace guard but not for his price. Blake is simply not good enough for this team.
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Re: LA Positional Analysis: SF (Trodgers)

Postby Doc Brown on Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:59 pm

That Gasol/Hibbert duo would dominate the East. It could very well get them to the Eastern Conference Finals next season, as the Heat would be the only team IMO that could beat them.

Chicago - On the ropes until Rose comes back
Orlando - Never will be the same again
Boston - Remains to be seen what happens there, most likely a rebuild
Atlanta - Same team, same story every year
New York - With Melo/Amare that team is doomed
Philly - I think they are at the ceiling with their current squad.

That trade definitely will put them right there in the race to play for the chance to play in the Finals. Add that with their cap room and if they sign someone like Mayo/Gordon/Batum/Crawford/Young....

Watch out for that team in the playoffs.
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Re: LA Positional Analysis: SF (Trodgers)

Postby Doc Brown on Thu Jun 14, 2012 4:49 pm

We would still need a scorer off the bench though....

I'm putting some faith into McFly coming back next season and being more aggressive in his role. If he could play like he did vs. Sacto and with Indy and shoot/pass with aggression instead of deferring all the time we could get 8-12 points a night from him. Doesn't seem like much, but that starting lineup would have no problems scoring.

I'd get rid of Blake however I could and try to get my hands on...

Jason Terry / Delonte West / Nate Robinson / Andre Miller / Gerald Green / Jodie Meeks / Ray Allen / Mickael Pietrus / Willie Green / Terrence Williams

for the mini-MLE.

25-30 bench points a night and we would be in good shape.
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Re: LA Positional Analysis: SF (Trodgers)

Postby therealdeal on Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:13 am

I definitely would love to be rid of Blake. I think ultimately the Lakers are saving the amnesty for a situation like this where a player can be amnestied when it's needed. Amnestying Artest during the season would have been premature and cost the team. I feel like once they've got an idea in place and things start falling into place, they'll amnesty whoever they have to and it very well could be Blake. It'll be someone who is deadweight with no trade value, so I don't think Artest, Bynum, Gasol, or Bryant will ever see the amnesty come their way.

Blake I think can actually be moved for a pick or for some sort of expiring somewhere. He's not a great PG by any stretch, but he's still a good shooter and defender. If Hinrich can make in the league right now, Blake should be able to as well.

For the sake of the argument let's say that Blake can be had for a second round pick or a TPE, something that isn't a player in return which would be ideal.

Sessions/ (Morris)
Bryant/ Goudelock
Granger/Ebanks/Eyenga
West/McRoberts
Bynum/Hill

I think that the Lakers could probably trade McRoberts/Eyenga for a true backup 1 and move Hill to the backup 5 where he belongs. Then either use the mini-MLE on a backup 5 or a backup 2 like you said.

I like Josh and I think he could be a solid PF if he were given consistent opportunities (thanks Mike Brown), but if he and Eyenga could net us a guy like Will Bynum, Chris Duhon, CJ Watson (S&T), Jarret Jack (I know stretching it, but maybe a pick or something helps?), Earl Watson. I think of those Will Bynum could be had. I know he's got some injury problems, but he's explosive and could definitely help our bench out. I'll use him as an example.

We could use the mini-MLE on another backup 2/3 then. I think of the names you mentioned Jodie Meeks, Willie Green, and Delonte West could probably be had. I honestly think Pietrus stays in Boston, Ray Allen and Jason Terry go to Miami, Chicago, or some other contender to start, Miller and Green are going to get more money than we can offer, and Williams is too much of a project for us.

Then use the vet's minimum to get a true backup C like Fesenko or maybe Prybilla. Some big body that can give Bynum a 15 minute rest or so every night.

Sessions/Bynum
Bryant/West/Goudelock
Granger/Ebanks
West/Hill
Bynum/Fesenko

That's a deep squad right there and capable of attacking from all angles. We didn't really add too much salary either which the Lakers would enjoy.
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Re: LA Positional Analysis: SF (Trodgers)

Postby Doc Brown on Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:02 am

Now I want that trade to happen because there is no doubt in my mind Mitch would fill out the bench with 2 solid players and we would have a team that could go 10 deep if we had to.
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Re: LA Positional Analysis: SF (Trodgers)

Postby Rooscooter on Fri Jun 15, 2012 9:47 am

I saw the SF position as our biggest weakness by far this year. MWP rounded into shape and helped a little but the issue we have is that we don't have a "traditional" SF on the team. MWP's game is more like a PF than a SF, Ebanks isn't able to create his own shot, post up or shoot consistently, Barnes did all of the "little" things but none of the "big ones" (shoot consistently) and the whole group is not good at ball handling.

Not having a SF that could create his own shot, handle the ball or shoot the 3 consistently created difficult situations for Kobe and the Bigs.

I like the way MWP was playing at the end of the year and would keep him if we can get a Stretch PF and A consistent 12 to 15 point a game threat off the bench. Our issues on offense, other than the system change, are centered on balance. Kobe, Pau, MWP and Bynum all play their best in the paint or in post up situations.... not having 2 players on the floor that can shoot the 3 or create off the dribble made us easy to defend..... way too easy...

I like the Granger Idea..... and if we could get West in the deal as well that would be huge. Granger, West, Bynum, Kobe and Sessions all complement each other much better than what we had before. Use the Odom TPE to get a guy like Jamal Crawford and pair him with MWP and others off the bench and we would be improved.
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Re: LA Positional Analysis: SF (Trodgers)

Postby trodgers on Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:08 am

The Granger/West idea is surely something that sounds appealing. But if we bring in more salary in any trade, I'd be surprised if LA will hold onto MWP (unless they shop him at the trade deadline?).

Injuries (Barnes) and a lack of preparation (MWP) really played havoc with our SF production. It was frustrating. On top of that, not giving Ebanks PT meant that it was largely a year in which we didn't improve the position internally.
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Re: LA Positional Analysis: SF (Trodgers)

Postby Rooscooter on Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:44 pm

I guess I see the Ebanks situation differently than most..... Realideal and I have been back and forth a couple of time alone....

Ebanks got a huge opportunity to start the season. Going from barely playing in garbage time last year to starting several games to begin the season.... He had some moments but that was just it... no consistency at all and then real lapses that hurt us. He went to the bench and was never able to get past Barnes/MWP after that...

My issue is when he was sent to the D-League to get some time and work on his game... he didn't excel at that level and showed the same inconsistency against vastly inferior competition. There were some rumblings about his work ethic and drive as well... all of that combined I just don't see how he can solve our SF issue. He's only on the team IMO because of how horrible we are at the position. Maybe on a team with weapons at all of the other positions a team could afford a marginally skilled hustle type player at the 3 but we aren't that team right now.... and I'm not sure we will be by next year.

I would consider a MWP/Ebanks SF position to be a downgrade next season...... If we get a good/great SF like Granger I'd say we keep MWP for a season more.... Then re-signing Ebanks makes even less sense because it would be another year of not playing and a multi-year guaranteed contract to boot.....
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