Bucks Diary

Monday, July 24, 2006

Ranking the Central Division's Small Forwards


Continuing my on-going series "Ranking the Central Division Starting Fives", today I turn to the division's starting small forwards (as projected by hoopshype.com). I ranked them according to nine statistical categories provided by 82games.com. The rankings are listed below.

Obviously, in a division featuring LeBron James, its basically a race for second place. That's what it turned out to be. Here are my rankings.

1) LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers (18)
Lebron is an elite level player in the Association, so it is no surprise he is the class of this division. He is an extremely productive player, especially for a 3. GOOD: He is an exceptional ballhandler (his ballhandler rating is above most point guards) and a tremendous finisher around the basket. As a passer, he has unique "point forward" skills. He is terrific at drawing fouls and getting to the line. BAD: He is an adequate rebounder. And while his defensive stats are okay, his technique needs serious improvement. His one glaring weakness is his outside shooting. He is a very poor jump shooter, especially from range. Once he tightens that up, look out world.

2) Andres Nocioni, Chicago Bulls (26)
I love Nocioni. Before the play-offs, I was hoping the Bucks could steal him away from the Bulls. After his tremendous play in the Miami series, however, that thought perished. GOOD: Nocioni is an exceptional rebounder from the 3 spot. He is also a very good jump shooter, and he is quite productive. BAD: His defensive numbers shocked me. I thought defense was one of his specialities, but his opponent eFG is too high at over 51%. He is a very bad passer and ballhandler for a wingplayer. He doesn't draw many fouls, and he lacks a strong inside game.

3) Danny Granger, Indiana Pacers (27)
Here's an up-and-comer. Granger is a strong 3 who is likely to only get better. GOOD: Granger is a terrific rebounder, a strong defender, and quite effective at getting to the line. BAD: He needs to improve his outside shooting, ballhandling, and passing. He is middle-of-the-pack as far as efficient productivity, but that should improve.

4) Bobby Simmons, Milwaukee Bucks (28)
Simmons could and should be the second best small forward in the division, but he is wasting some of his physical talents. He needs to be more aggressive offensively, and he needs to tighten up his defense. Though he is an excellent shooter from range, he needs to start taking the ball to the hole more often. GOOD: Simmons is far-and-away the best jump shooting 3 in the division. He is also a decent ballhandler. BAD: With his physique, he should be a much better inside player. Indeed, he's a pretty good finisher. However, he has fallen in love with the jump shot and almost never ventures into the lane. Hence, he is very bad at drawing fouls, and he isn't a very productive rebounder. In medical circles this is referred to as "Tim Thomas Disease". Finally, his defensive numbers from last season are awful. He can do much better.

5) Tayshaun Prince, Detroit Pistons (31)
To some extent, this ranking does not adequately reflect Prince's value. He is an exceptional defender, and in spots he can be an excellent offensive player. What he lacks is consistency. It should be noted that he is a very good postseason player. He dominated Simmons in their play-off matchup. GOOD: As mentioned, his defense is usually superb. He is also an above average ballhandler. For such a skinny guy, he also finishes well around the rim. BAD: He is a terrible jumpshooter. He is a weak rebounder. He is not a good passer. And he is pretty unproductive.

Overall eFG

1) Bobby Simmons, Bucks........................51.8%
2) Andres Nocioni, Bulls............................51.7%
3) Lebron James, Cavs..............................51.6%
4) Danny Granger, Pacers.........................49.4%
5) Tayshaun Prince, Pistons......................48.8%

eFG on Jump Shots Only

1) Simmons, Bucks...............................51.9%
2) Nocioni, Bulls...................................49.4%
3) Granger, Pistons..............................44.5%
4) James, Cavs......................................41.7%
5) Prince, Pistons...................................41.5%

eFG on Inside Shots Only

1) James, Cavs.....................................69.1%
2) Prince, Pistons.................................62.6%
3) Granger, Pacers...............................59.1%
4) Nocioni, Bulls....................................56.1%
5) Simmons, Bucks...............................51.9%

"Draw Fouls" % (Times Fouled/FG attempts)

1) James, Cavs...........................................16.3%
2) Granger, Pacers....................................12.3%
3) Nocioni, Bulls.........................................9.8%
3) Prince, Pistons.......................................9.8%
5) Simmons, Bucks....................................7.6%

82games.com Passer Rating

1) James, Cavs............................................9.7
2) Simmons, Bucks.....................................4.0
3) Prince, Pistons........................................3.4
4) Granger, Pacers.....................................2.0
4) Nocioni, Bulls..........................................2.0

82games.com Rebounder Rating

1) Nocioni, Bulls...........................................22.9
2) Granger, Pacers.......................................22.2
3) James, Cavs..............................................17.5
4) Simmons, Bucks........................................14.0
5) Prince, Pistons...........................................12.7

82games.com Ballhandler Rating

1) James, Cavs..............................................22.3
2) Prince, Pistons..........................................15.1
3) Simmons, Bucks........................................11.0
4) Nocioni, Bulls..............................................8.4
4) Granger, Pacers.........................................8.4

eFG % of Player Guarded (Defense)

1) Prince, Pistons................................45.5%
2) Granger, Pacers..............................47.9%
3) James, Cavs.....................................49.8%
4) Nocioni, Bulls....................................51.4%
5) Simmons, Bucks...............................53.0%

Efficient Productivity/48 minutes (Eff48)

1) James, Cavs..................................33.19
2) Nocioni, Bulls................................24.94
3) Granger, Pacers............................21.84
4) Simmons, Bucks............................19.17
5) Prince, Pistons...............................18.18

5 Comments:

At July 25, 2006 at 9:07 AM, Anonymous Matt said...

I would run the same numbers with Luol Deng instead of Nocioni. I doubt Nocioni will get a majority of his time at the 3 this year (I personally like him better as a backup 4)

 
At July 25, 2006 at 10:13 PM, Blogger Sky Hook said...

cool, thanks for the tip, Matt. Yeah, I think some of the hoopshype.com projections are a little off.

I may have to revamp here.

 
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