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Re: Draft Discussion

Postby Coast to Coast » Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:27 am

silentjim wrote:I feel like So Tex here, but Matt Bonner won a championship while with the Spurs in 07 I think.
Duly noted. I did go back and confirm - he did play a combined total of 24 minutes in 9 of those playoff games and scored a total of 7 points (or less than 1 point per game). I edited my prior post.
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Re: Draft Discussion

Postby Coast to Coast » Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:42 am

hi chi wrote:A washed up 6'10 sg who couldn't guard good sgs in his prime IMO, but is going to now?? :-? He can certainly be unshaven and sit on the bench better than anyone in the league though.


Now, let's tackle this one. Picking on my poor THIRD STRING SF who is arguably the best shooter in the league - 10th highest effective FG percentage among active players and 2nd highest FT percentage among all active players...but I digress - you are talking about defense and it is ABSOLUTELY critical that my THIRD STRING SF OR SG be a top notch defender and not the sharpshooter that I had planned on using him...
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Oh yeah, my tenth round selection won the 3 point contest...yawn...

Now, let's talk about Peja on defense. Not my words, though...let's take a read a third party article written by a Hornets fan of all people....

First read this article written by Ryan Schawn in April 2010 (not ten years ago I might add).

This Year, Peja Stojakovic was a . . . Defensive Specialist?
View Ryan Schwan's profilePosted by Ryan Schwan April 20, 2010 at 12:58 Central

At some point during the next 12 months, I think all Hornets nation understands that Peja Stojakovic will be moving on. He's in the final year of his contract, his production has slipped drastically, and his $15 million dollar contract makes him enticing to teams wishing to start their roster over after next season. That matches with the Hornets desires, as they would be happy to snag a valuable veteran or two in return for that expiring contract. (I, of course, have dreams of Andre Igoudala out of Philly - or Cleveland losing LeBron and blowing things up, making Anderson Varejao available.)

So, in preparation for his departure, I thought I'd write about something else we'll all miss about Peja. And no, I don't mean the threes or the Peja-Heads-on-a-Stick.(Though I will miss that) I'm talking about his defense.

I'll wait for you to stop laughing . . . .

. . .

. . .

. . . Done now?

Good, we'll move on. First, I have to point out I've done this before. Back when the Hornets were good and no one really understood why, I talked about the Hornets defense, Byron's impact on it, and how solid Peja actually was despite claims to the contrary. Since then, despite the slow demise of Peja's offense, Peja's defense has remained as steady as it was two years ago.

Now, given my predilections, you can probably guess I'm about to produce a slew of stats that will prove this claim. You can feel free to dismiss them if you like - because this is prime material for the "Watch the games, loser, those numbers don't mean anything" argument. I will point out, however, that it's not just some numbers that imply Peja Stojakovic is a solid defender. It's every advanced statistical measure that implies Peja is a solid defender. To me, if they all agree, it's wise to listen.
The Stats

The genesis of this post occurred when the TrueHoop Network was given access to a wonderful new tool by Synergy Sports. In return for testing it, we get access to a application that includes every play from every game this season, categorized by the type of play(post, pick and roll, cut, etc), the player using the possession, the result of the possession(turnover, miss, 3, etc) and the primary defender of the possession.

Using that tool, I was able to consider those plays where Peja was tagged as the primary defender - and found out he ranked 87th overall out of about 500 NBA players in the database. That defensive ranking was determined by points per possession - so for every possession he defended, the 87th least amount of points were produced overall. Impressive, but I'm not done yet.

Given that information, I ran over to 82games.com and took a look at his defensive stats there. 82games tracks the opponent output for players. So when Peja was playing as a small forward, what did the opposing small forward produce? Once again, Peja came out smelling pretty good, with an opponent PER of 14.5.

I didn't stop with the PER, though. I took the rest of 82games opponent stats, and compared them to the league average for a small forward from hoopdata.com. (I had to normalize them both to 48 minutes)

The result is the table below:

Player FGA eFG% FTA Rebs Asts Turnovers Blocks Fouls Drawn Pts
SF guarded by Peja 15.6 .490 3.7 5.9 4.8 2.9 0.7 2.8 18.4
Average SF 15.5 .503 4.3 7.7 2.8 2.2 0.7 4.4 19.6

So - this gives us a little more information as to why Peja is a solid defender. Players shoot a little worse against him, they get fewer free throws against him, their rebounding is cut to 75% of normal, they rarely draw fouls, they turn the ball over more often, and they produce slightly less points. In fact, the only thing they are better than normal at against him is getting assists - i.e. giving up the ball. It's pretty telling - particularly the rebounding thing, which illustrates the fact that he is solid at boxing out, even if he doesn't often snare the ball himself.

There's also the interesting fact that once Peja went down with his abdominal strain, an already bad Hornet's defense fell off the cliff. Starting from the game after Peja's injury to the end of the season, the Hornets defense gave up 3.8 more points per posession. In a game like basketball, where 4 points per posession is the difference between an NBA Champion and a bubble playoff team, that's crushing.

And lastly, if all that didn't convince you, I'll turn to Adjusted +/- and DRating, which you can get from Basketballvalue.com. Adjusted +/- is a bit arcane, and I only use it sparingly, but once again, it's a measure that insists Peja is a solid defender. Peja comes in with an Adjusted +/- of +1.89. To put that in perspective, he was only one of only three Hornets to earn a positive rating - and it wasn't due to his offense, which the tool ranked as slightly below average - it was due to his defensive rating of -3.09. That rating means that teams scored 3.09 less points per 100 possessions with Peja on the floor.
Personal Observations

So armed with all those stats, let's go to my own personal observations of Peja. I'll be honest - these results aren't surprising to me. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Peja is good at baiting players into taking low-percentage mid-range shots. I can remember multiple games where it felt like Carmelo Anthony was killing the Hornets by draining mid-range shots over Peja - but the Box score would show he'd have 22 points on 20 shots - because even though he shot 55% he wasn't getting to the line for cheap, efficient points. Of course - there's the fact that in a few games, when Carmelo decided to drive on Peja, Peja was pretty weak - but that still doesn't change the fact that quite often, Peja got the player he was guarding to take the easy shot rather than work for the harder, more efficient shot. That means something.(though probably less in the playoffs than the regular season)

So - what do you think? Peja solid on the defensive end, or am I and my numbers nuts?


Again, not my words...but at a minimum, my third string SF or SG, who is making gasp 8-o $14 million this year, is surely a serviceable 6 foot 10 player on BOTH ends of the floor - DEADLY on ON END BEHIND THE ARC, FROM OUTSIDE AND AT THE FREE THROW LINE and at worst serviceable on the defensive end. I am THRILLED with this pick. Unbelievable value and WAY WAY WAY WAY better than any John Paxson or Eddie House type typically brought in to key games for some scoring punch....I am taking a perennial starter and former All-Star who is ONE OF THE MOST PROLIFIC AND EFFICIENT SHOOTERS OF ALL TIME - EVER and putting him into a bench role to knock down a few threes and stretch the defense. How is that not awesome!
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And the part about being unshaven and sitting on the bench???? He averaged 31.4 minutes per game last season - doesn't leave much time for him to shave, let alone sit on the bench...

Lastly, chicks don't mind the unshaven look, so why does it bother Hi Chi so much??? :-? :-b :-D
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Re: Draft Discussion

Postby Coast to Coast » Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:11 am

hi chi wrote: Lamar Odom who can't guard SFs because he is too slow, but is a decent PF (but he is not playing there for your team).


OK, now to Odom...can't guard blah blah blah...WHAT??? 8-o :-[ 8-o

Did you not watch any of the World Championship in which Lamar was instrumental in helping Durant and co bring in the gold???
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Didn't the dude just score 15 points and 11 rebounds in the gold medal contest. Isn't Lamar both versatile enough and talented enough for me to play him at SF, PF, Center (where he played some in the past few weeks) or even Point Forward...the Dude is an INCREDIBLE talent who also helped the Lakers win some championships - and arguably several more were lost because Odom got hurt....but DON'T BELIEVE ME ...again, let's read an excerpt from a third party source - Draft Express and make sure you read the assessment of his defense, in which you claim he cannot guard SFs - I don't buy it and neither does the expert. Seriously Coach K would laugh at your insult of Lamar Odom.

Overview: One of the League’s most talented and versatile forwards. Doesn’t always play up to his potential. Can play a number of different positions, but has largely become a power forward at this point. Has developed his frame and has excellent length. Athletic, but not quite to the point that it helps define his game. Shows a very good first step. More fluid and skilled than explosive. Possesses a smooth left handed stroke with NBA range. Doesn’t always shoot a consistent percentage from deep. Capable of bringing the ball up the floor and playing a point forward role. Handles the ball as well as most point guards. Uses his size as an advantage when distributing the ball. Shows decent post skills, and can play down low when asked to. Shows good hustle on the defensive end, and does a great job boxing out. Very good fit for the triangle offense. Definitely maturing as a person as his career goes on. Maturation shows on the court as well. Could stand to become more consistent, but is the type of team player that brings a different dimension to the game when on the floor. Has a tendency to fade in and out of games mentally at times and get very passive—tough to know what you’re going to get night in and night out, but also very tough to argue with his incredible talent.

Offense: A very versatile player who gets offense from spot ups, fast breaks, isolations, post ups, offensive boards, and by moving without the ball. Can play virtually every position on the offensive end due to his vast array of skills. Possesses a smooth lefty jumper with inconsistent range out past the three point line. Decent catch and shoot player. Average shooter off the dribble. Great ball handler. A real mismatch facing the basket and taking power forwards off the dribble, especially in the early offense. Tremendous court vision and passing ability. Likes to get to the rim when driving left, much better here than going right. Solid finisher around the rim. Good transition player. Can score in the post, especially on the left block. Very capable distributor and high post player. Brings a lot to the table due to his ability to create matchup problems in almost every scenario. Decision making isn’t always the best.

Defense: A very talented defender who can matchup with a few different positions. Can guard both forward spots effectively, but is also able to defend most guards when he gets switched onto them. Will block some shots around the rim, play passing lanes, and make an effort to collect loose balls. Length helps him stay in front of his man and create turnovers. Will box out and grab a lot of rebounds—which is one of his strong points. Very capable on the defensive end. Plays more aggressive defense than offense. Commits quite a few fouls.
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Odom is a stud who I will use in many, many ways to create match up problems and help secure some championships over the next few years... ;-D
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Re: Draft Discussion

Postby jphanned » Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:12 am

Can someone lock this thread already?
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Re: Draft Discussion

Postby Coast to Coast » Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:21 am

hi chi wrote:And Erick "freaking" Dampier...it is a contract year this year right?? He might be ok this year, but it is still Erick "Freaking" Dampier. On second thought I guess I am not loving your 2nd unit as much as you are.


Now to Erick Travez Dampier....don't really care that he is in a contract year...don't care that someone thought he should be making a WHOPPING $13.1 million this year...WHOAH!!!! 8-o
What I do care about: the Dude is a very reliable big who can help me when I have matchup needs against some of the other giant dudes in the league like Shaq or Superman...you yourself say he is OK...I say that he is more than OK...he is a great big tough center, a great offensive rebounder, a very very high percentage scorer (one of the best even thought he doesn't score a ton) and a very good shot blocker..Will be a GREAT role player on my championship team. ;-D

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Re: Draft Discussion

Postby So-Tex » Tue Sep 14, 2010 6:26 am

Dude, why is it when I read your posts, I picture Brad Evans from Yahoo! Fantasy Football? :-?

:-b ;-) B-)
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Re: Draft Discussion

Postby jphanned » Tue Sep 14, 2010 6:32 am

So-Tex wrote:Dude, why is it when I read your posts, I picture Brad Evans from Yahoo! Fantasy Football? :-?

:-b ;-) B-)


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Re: Draft Discussion

Postby hi chi » Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:43 am

Coast, I will respond very quickly. First, I am not the one bragging about my 2nd unit. I am happy with my team, but realize its limitations and realize while they would be a team that could go very deep in the playoffs the lack of championship experience would be a problem without a doubt. That being said there is no question in my mind that my team vs your team would be no contest at this point in time (head to head or over the course of the season). Your team just doesn't match up well vs my team.

To rebut a few of your points, Peja WAS a good/great player as a SF and is a good 3rd string SF on any team right now, but he is your 2nd string SG. Not a good sign. Odom was a CENTER in the world championships...has never really been able to guards SFs, why would he start being able to do so at the end of his career when he slower and less agile? He is a very capable PF and even a passable C from time to time, but a SF I don't think so. He would get schooled night in and night out. Your argument for Dampier is laughable...Mark Cuban paid him that money and it is condsidered one of the worst contracts in the league. Also, Cuban would pay 13 million for the rotting corpse of any 28 year old big man with limited skills (it is one of his fetishes). As for Beno, am I wrong about his skill set? No. He is a great guy if you want to get 15 minutes or less out of him. If you want any more you are looking for trouble. Nothing in your propaganda changes the facts, but it sure was fun watching you try to spin the facts.
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Re: Draft Discussion

Postby Coast to Coast » Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:41 pm

hi chi wrote:Coast, I will respond very quickly. First, I am not the one bragging about my 2nd unit. I am happy with my team, but realize its limitations and realize while they would be a team that could go very deep in the playoffs the lack of championship experience would be a problem without a doubt. That being said there is no question in my mind that my team vs your team would be no contest at this point in time (head to head or over the course of the season). Your team just doesn't match up well vs my team.

To rebut a few of your points, Peja WAS a good/great player as a SF and is a good 3rd string SF on any team right now, but he is your 2nd string SG. Not a good sign. Odom was a CENTER in the world championships...has never really been able to guards SFs, why would he start being able to do so at the end of his career when he slower and less agile? He is a very capable PF and even a passable C from time to time, but a SF I don't think so. He would get schooled night in and night out. Your argument for Dampier is laughable...Mark Cuban paid him that money and it is condsidered one of the worst contracts in the league. Also, Cuban would pay 13 million for the rotting corpse of any 28 year old big man with limited skills (it is one of his fetishes). As for Beno, am I wrong about his skill set? No. He is a great guy if you want to get 15 minutes or less out of him. If you want any more you are looking for trouble. Nothing in your propaganda changes the facts, but it sure was fun watching you try to spin the facts.


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Hi Chi - do you know what that is? You regurgitating the same baseless facts...

Laughable that you think your team doesn't match up well with your team. My back five picks can probably match up with your starters, but I will have to do an evaluation of my team versus yours in antoher post.

For now, I will correct two points: I never argued that Dampier’s contract means that he is good player for my team. Quite the contrary. I said IGNORING his bloated, ridiculous contract, all that I care about is that he is a very fine and serviceable backup – which he is.

Second, you keep saying Beno is great for less than 15 minutes. The past three seasons he has average 32, 31 and 31.4 minutes per game. Obviously, the Kings disagree and so do I.
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Re: Draft Discussion

Postby hi chi » Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:50 pm

:-) LOL. Nice pic!! I know my points are the same...I don't think you have disproven any of them with your entertaining posts (great Peja pics by the way). And you have made my point about Beno. If you have him playing more than 15 minutes you get a team that runs like the...wait for it...THE KINGS!! I will concede that Dampier is serviceable and that is all anyone wants out of their backup C.
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