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Archive for August 2011

Kevin Love, Dirk Nowitzki, Spencer Hawes, Andrea Bargnani and “Vertical” vs “Horizontal” rebounding

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Kevin Love, the 5th pick

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Measuring an individual’s impact on team rebounding is a tricky, mystifying subject. In a way, rebounding is analogous to scoring in that it’s not as simple as measuring points per game and assigning impact from that alone. When a player takes a shot, he may be infringing on another player’s effectiveness or drawing enough defensive attention to improve it. Corey Maggette appears to get in the way of teammates by selfishly stopping the ball, Dirk Nowitzki appears to help teammates greatly by drawing defenders out of the paint. Even staticians favored stats like True Shooting %, measuring points per shot, can miss the whole picture.

Rebounding has even less statistics differentiating it. We have rebounds per game, Rebound %, plus/minus stats… and that’s about it. The rest we have to judge ourselves.

There are rebounders who have higher numbers on the boards who draw skepticism. Among those are Kevin Love, David Lee and Marcus Camby. The reason for this is that it looks like that instead of boxing out an opponent to get a rebound, they prefer to chase the ball to where it’s going to go. This is fine, but if they guess wrong, the man they’re not boxing out is open to get it. If they do get it, they may be taking a rebound a teammate was already going to get – thus despite being credited with the rebound, they are giving their team no additional value on the play. Thus the defensive rebound on this play is a misleading stat. On the other hand, if a player like Dirk Nowitzki shuts down his opposing PF’s bid to grab a rebound by boxing out and the ball is going towards him, but at the last moment a horizontally moving teammate grabs it, the player who grabbed it gets the rebounding credit, but it’s likely Dirk who deserved it.

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NBA Franchise Power Rankings – #27: Detroit Pistons

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Ben Gordon of the Detroit Pistons during a gam...

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Previous rankings:

#30 – Charlotte Bobcats (+ introduction)

#29 – Phoenix Suns

#28 – Denver Nuggets

#27 – Detroit Pistons

Total Trade Value Ranking: #27 (Feb. 2011 ranking: #27)

Best Assets: C Greg Monroe (young, projects as borderline all-star to legitimate starter), PG Brandon Knight (rookie, projects as legitimate starter to borderline starter), 2012 1st, 2013 1st, RFA SG Rodney Stuckey (borderline starter), SF Jonas Jerebko (borderline starter), PF Austin Daye (young, projects as bench player to borderline starter), PG Will Bynum (bench player)

Bad contracts: PF Charlie Villaneuva (3 years, 24 million), SG Ben Gordon (3 years, 27.2 million), Richard Hamilton (2 years, 25.2 million), PF Jason Maxiell (2 years, 10 million)

Other chips: C Ben Wallace (expiring)

Managerial Grade: B

Financial grade: C

Estimated record next year: Bottom 12

Overall synopsis: The Pistons got their first major rebuilding piece in the 2010 draft by taking Greg Monroe at #7. In our 2010 redraft, we decided Monroe would be taken 2nd overall if the draft was replayed. His early results and skillsets show a possible future all-star at the most important position, center. Brandon Knight from this year’s draft could be a nice pick at #8 in the 2011 draft, but needs to prove he’s a real PG and not another combo guard like Rodney Stuckey and Will Bynum. Together, Monroe and Knight should at least give the Pistons a good character and hard work ethic grounding they’ve been missing lately. Aside from those two, the Pistons have a mix of combo position players doomed to the bench like Rodney Stuckey and Jonas Jerebko, and terrible contracts like Charlie Villaneuva, Ben Gordon and Rip Hamilton. The 2012 and 2013 draft picks project to help the Pistons, but not as much as a few teams just ahead of them. The Pistons right now know they have a future starting big man and they have a good chance of having a guard in their top 6 rotational fixture. What they now need is starters at the other big man spot, small forward position and other guards spot, and need to find all-stars despite their middling position in drafts. They may have found one in Monroe, but nevertheless he will have to prove it first – and even if he is one, the Pistons need to get many more starting caliber players and other all-stars around him.

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