Statistical Analysis: Ford does nothing well
I'm doing an evaluation of NBA point guards based on statistics provided by the indispensable site 82games.com. I'm using six of their statistics for my analysis: effective field goal percentage ("eFG"), eFG on jump shots only, eFG on close shots only, eFG on inside shots only, their "passer rating", and what I will call their "ballhandler" rating.
In doing this analysis something stunning has revealed itself. Every professional point guard has a good score in at least one of the six categories (by 'good' I mean an eFG above 50%, a passer rating above 10, or a ballhandler rating above 20) except for 3 players: Damon Stoudamire of Memphis, Chris Duhon of Chicago, and former Buck T.J. Ford. And among those 3, indeed among all point guards, the one with the lowest cumulative numbers (adding all five categories together) is TJ Ford. In other words, unlike almost every other PG in the Association, TJ Ford does nothing particularly well.
For example, Jason Terry is an outstanding shooter and penetrator (all of his eFGs are above 50%) however he is a terrible passer (scoring a 5.0) and a very mediocre ballhandler (scoring a 17.5). On the other end of the spectrum is Brevin Knight. He is a terrible shooter (his jump shot eFG is 38.0%), and a so-so penetrator (his close eFG is 45.8%, his inside eFG is the same), but he is an excellent passer (scoring 15.4) and an outstanding ballhandler (31.2). Over and over I have found the same thing: the elite PGs (Nash, Billups) do several things well, while most all of the rest are either good jump shooters, good penetrators, good passers, or good ballhandlers. Except Ford.
He is not a good overall shooter (eFG: 44%). He is not a good jump shooter (eFG: 41.7%). He is merely an okay penetrator (inside eFG: 47.9%). He is not a sure ballhandler (19.2). And, most stunningly, he is a mediocre passer (9.3). He has no speciality.
I'm not saying he is the worst point guard in the Association. But, based upon these critical numbers, I cannot fathom how anyone thinks he is going to ever be a premier point guard.
And comparing him to the incomparable Nash? That ought to be considered basketball blasphemy.