The Red Shirt Theory: Central Division

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Here be the remains of the 2013-14 Red Shirt Theory for the NBA. This time we go after the Central Division in all it’s gritty glory.

Milwaukee Bucks

Ekpe Udoh

Generally I try to find a player that has been in at least 50 games in order to give the stats a fair shake, but the Bucks were in such a tank mode that only 8 players played more than 50 games. And of those, only 4 played more than 70! So Ekpe and his book club get the Ensign treatment for this team, with a 7.6 PER in 42 games. 3.4 points, 3.5 rebounds and a block a game for a team lacking frontcourt depth. His turnover rate was 18.8% and a Win Share/48 of .000. He was dealt at the end of the season.

Detroit Pistons

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Poor KCP, on a team with a handful of ball stoppers in Rodney Stuckey, Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe, Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith. KCP put up a 9.4 PER in 80 games. He only attempted 5.8 FGs a game, and only 2.3 three point attempts, concluding in 5.9 points per game. His turnover rate was 5.4%, but for a guy who is a shooter, he just went to waste in the land of a thousand iso’s.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Alonzo Gee

Even more shocking than his appearance on this list to to discover Gee played in all 82 games for the Cavs in 2012-13. The 26 year old was in 65 games this season, squeezing out a 8.6 PER, with a 14.3 TOV%, wrapping up with 4.0 points, 0.7 assists and 2.3 rebounds. He was used as a trade piece to re-build the Cavs for LeBron James and wound up on the cutting room floor a month before the season when the Sacramento Kings waived him on September 25th.

 

Chicago Bulls

Tony Snell

The 22 year old Snell put time in 77 games in a weak bench Bulls team and managed an 8.0 PER with a 11.1 TOV%. He averaged 4.5 ppg on 4.4 FGA in 16 minutes per game. The Bulls shooting was abysmal and it’s a shame Snell never found his footing, but his defensive prowess trades off on the court. Since the Bulls finally added some shooters, Snell may thrive this coming season, but last year, he was Ensign class.

Indiana Pacers

Evan Turner

Oh god you guys, Evan Turner. Now the starting PG of the Boston Celtics, because why not just keep trying to blow it up? Yes he came over in a trade, but Turner is almost Red Shirt Hall of Fame already. TOV% of 14.2, True Shooting percentage of .468 and 7.1 ppg, 2.4 assists and a per game FG% of .411. And all he’s supposed to do is shoot! It was a huge miscalculation to bring him to the Pacers, because Lance Stephenson basically did the same job and the two of them blew up at each other while the Pacers team melted on court.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Podcast Episode 11: Fool Upside Down

Pre-season reviews, injury talk and the XPPS points scored and points against system all discussed. As well as tarot card previews for the rest of the pre-season and part three of the Spirit Animals discussion.

NCAA Prospect Comparison: Porter & Rice

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Photo credit: Jim Mone/AP

Thanks to the always great Nylon Calculus, we can project comparisons of players based on college performance. And use that data to give us an idea of how these players will flesh out in the NBA.

We have a pretty good idea of who the Wizards are this season, except for Otto Porter and Glen Rice Jr, who did not spend a lot of time on the floor. Although they both performed well in the Summer League, the competition levels of that are low.They have both had good and bad games in the pre-season this year, but with the injury to Beal, their already high expectations for this season have busted through the roof.

First a look at Otto Porter’s comparison

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This is quite a mixed bag. The VAL is the overall prospect value, measured in percentile (0 to 1) Positive values mean that the comparison looked better overall in college than the focal player, negative values mean the comparison looked worse. The three biggest comparisons are the ones in the middle. Mike Miller and Ray Allen are spot up, long range experts who have lasted years. Vince Carter was a dunk machine, athletic freak who wowed on the court, but was not ready mentally for the game in those early days. He has now matured into a much desirable role player who can still hit a clutch shot. All solid role players who at one time (at least for Allen and Carter) were viewed as number one options offensively. Which is what the Wizards need him for right now. He could possibly develop into a bigger offensive option and I think that’s where the front office should see his trajectory, but right now, he’s a bench player.

Another interesting player to look at in that list is Jason Richardson. Another long time role player, Richardson always averaged double-digit in points and had three seasons where he was averaging over 20 ppg. He has a career FG average of 44% and a career 3-point average of 34%. If Richardson serves as Porters ceiling, that is still a pretty good bench/occasional starting option.

Glen Rice Jr

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If you see the positive portion of the VAL, that operates as a “Rich Man’s” option to that player (the negative being the Poor Man’s version). So Rice’s is the Rich Man’s Vincent Yarbrough (one season with the Nuggets averaging 6.9 ppg), Jeryl Sasser (two years in the league, career avg 2.6 ppg) and the Poor Man’s J.R. Giddens (4 seasons, career avg 1.9 ppg).

The intriguing comparison is to be a Rich Man’s James Johnson. Johnson was drafted in 2009 as a big wing prospect, but was dogged by personal issues. He bounced around a lot before being pulled up out of the D League last year by the Memphis Grizzlies. He lead that team on a spark when they were thin from injuries. His offense was streaky and dried up entirely in the playoffs, but if Rice is the Rich Man’s version of him, the Wizards have less to worry about. Johnson was an ace on perimeter defense for the Grizzlies, and that’s where the development of Rice needs to be watched. Rice is three inches shorter than Johnson, so he may not be the same level of animal on the perimeter, but the ability to trade off some of that defense for offense will make him a solid rotational member.

Last Nights Number: Wizards vs Maccabi Haifa

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Glen Rice Jr had 11 points in 11 minutes on 5 for 11 shooting. He also had one personal foul, one turnover and went 1-for-1 in free throws. He then sprained his ankle in the third quarter and was seen walking out of the arena with a large walking boot due to swelling.

Clearly he cracked the Illuminati code and was punished. Stay Woke.

The Wizards won 101-95.

Your Guide to NBA Noise: The All Drone Metal Team

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Drone Metal, the popular yet elusive branch of metal that reaches into the cranium of the most stoned hesher on the block as well as the hipster elite. It’s a slow and mesmerizing turn of traditional metal that begs for your attention all the while keeping you locked in its trance.

Point Guard

Andre Miller

Probably the most astute basketball observation I ever made about Andrew Wiggins was that Andre Miller was his opposite in speed. It looked like someone aged Wiggins and gave him a bunch of lean and left him on the court.

Shooting Guard

James Harden

He is not without a quick step to get past a defender, but the Beard stands so still on defense it brings his speed average down. He also deceptively has a lot of fast break points, but when you’re already heading back towards the offensive end before the play is over, that will happen.

Small Forward

Paul Pierce

The Truth likes his spots and hits them, one of the better shooters to be in the NBA, but Pierce has never been much of a hustler. Even watching him in his twilight years, the speed in which Pierce moves seems to be Youtube clips in Paulstretch.

Power Forward

Zach Randolph

Zbo in the post is enough to put the average NBA fan in a deep K hole. Being a lynchpin in a Grizzlies offense that had the worst Pace in the league last means the ball stops when it comes into his hands. And that ball generally never gets out of his mitts, meaning you get to watch him take 10-20 seconds of the shot clock setting up his post moves and banging his opponent into oblivion.

Center

Roy Hibbert

Georgtown center Pedigree means Hibbert was meant to go slow, bang into people and grab boards.Couple that with a frame over seven-feet tall and 278 pounds, the most athletic I remember seeing Hibbert last year was when he tried to drag Lance Stephenson across the court when Lance started to pout.

 

The Best of the Washington Bullets on Etsy

Etsy is in many ways the crafty younger sibling of Ebay. Although Ebay is still the best place to find sports memorabilia, but Etsy does pop up with some lesser known, thrift store-esque items. We look at some of the more memorable ones.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/204739169/vintage-pervis-ellison-basketball-school?ref=sr_gallery_8&ga_search_query=washington+bullets&ga_ref=auto1&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery

A 1992 Pervis Ellison shirt. For a mere $30, this nod to the marketing machine to a team that doesn’t have much going for it, is a steal!

https://www.etsy.com/listing/178937918/calbert-cheaney-figurine-starting-lineup?ref=sr_gallery_21&ga_search_query=washington+bullets&ga_ref=auto1&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery

A Calbert Cheaney Starting Lineup figure. Oh man, these were the crack of pre-teen sports fanboys. In violent fits of nostalgia I wind up peeking at these on Ebay before I realize I’m an adult and owning them would be insane.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/204780195/vintage-washington-bullets-lacoste?ref=sr_gallery_14&ga_search_query=washington+bullets&ga_ref=auto1&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery

Vintage Washington Bullets Lacoste sweater. Sure it’s $216 dollars, but people would literally melt of jealously as you walked past them.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/198272044/vintage-washington-bullets-starter-coat?ref=sr_gallery_7&ga_search_query=washington+bullets&ga_ref=auto1&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery

And in the winter, when the Lacoste cardigan isn’t cutting it, you can style down the street in this vintage Starter jacket. Did anyone else try and collect things on the strings for the hoods of your starter jacket? Or was that just a regional thing. It faded out of fashion once this kid Armando got his dad to drill holes into a pair of dice to add to it.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/168411819/washington-dc-bullets-chris-webber-nba?ref=sr_gallery_4&ga_search_query=washington+bullets&ga_ref=auto1&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery

A Chris Webber jersey. This just makes me sad.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/205504967/70s-vintage-washington-bullets-1978-dick?ref=sr_gallery_9&ga_search_query=washington+bullets&ga_ref=auto1&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery

1978 Dick Motta “Fat Lady” t shirt. Totally worth the $90.00

https://www.etsy.com/listing/199497915/super-rare-michael-jordan-washington?ref=sr_gallery_29&ga_search_query=washington+bullets&ga_ref=auto1&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery

Bootleg Michael Jordan throwback. Yeesh.

 

The Red Shirt Theory: Atlantic Division

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The delay in the Red Shirt Theory wrap up is almost done! Today we tackle the most expendible player for each team in the Atlantic Division.

Philadelphia 76ers

Brandon Davies

The Sixers were terrible last year. Their openfaced attempt at tanking for the draft was so egregious that the NBA is now going to change the rules in regards to the draft. The 76ers were also a young team who should have gotten some decent rotation off of their young core. Brandon Davies was a rookie last year, but was more in the dumps. A 7.5 PER in 51 games was the lowest PER for anyone with over 50 game appearances. He only attempted 2.5 field goals per game. And for a 6-10, 240 pound power forward, he only got 2 rebounds a game. It’s hard to blame Davies entirely since the whole organization was out front begging for change, but somebody has to be an Ensign.

Boston Celtics

Phil Pressey

The Celtics were another young-ish team and with Rajon Rondo having limited games due to injury, Pressey was pushed into a very rought guard corps. In 75 games, he had an 8.8 PER, averaging 2.8 ppg, 3.2 assists and a turnover percentage of 24.02% gets Pressey the red shirt. The Celtics also saw him as expendible, even after that one year, they drafted Marcus Smart, leaving Pressey to probably waste away on an ice planet, probably.

New York Knicks

Iman Shumpert

The third-year guard was really supposed to start to stand out, but in 74 games his PER was 9.6, a turnover percentage of 13.3% and an Offensive Win Share of 0.4. Shumpert was caught on a bad team with a bunch of ball hogs, so it’s been hard to tell his ceiling, but after a while he may be tagged with underperforming for too long. It will be interesting to see how he thrives in the Triangle, but for now, it’s not looking good.

Brooklyn Nets

Alan Anderson

In 78 games, his most in his NBA Career, Anderson knocked a 9.5 PER, a 10.4% turnover rate, a 1.7 winshare but 7.2 points a game. Anderson is a journeyman in the NBA, having knocked around overseas, the D League and in some garbage time in the league. The Nets had issues off the bench and Anderson contributed to it, the points aren’t bad considering how poorly the second unit was at scoring, but he wasn’t carrying much else for the program with 2.2 rebounds and 1 assist a game.

Toronto Raptors

John Salmons

An eternal trade piece, Salmons was racking up a 7.6 PER with a 1.4 Win Share and an 11.2 turnover rate. The 5 points a game matched with a 1.7 assists and 2 rebounds to make a miniscule per game line for someone in there 21.4 minutes a game. The Raptors were also pretty deep on their bench, but it was easy to see why he was traded at the end of the season for Lou Williams and Lucas Nogueira.

 

 

 

Last Nights Number: Wizards vs Detroit Pistons

Indiana Pacers v Washington Wizards: Game Six

Photo credit: ESPN

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Andre Miller helped the Wiz against a surging Pistons in the second half with 11 assists. His last one came up big with a penetration and dish to Kevin Seraphin who slammed down the winning basket. The Wizards won 91-89.