So the Grizzlies are now in talks with the Suns about Rudy Gay.
I think this is a big mistake for Memphis. They're playing really good ball, and with Randolph out no less.
But in comes John Hollinger, and he identifies Gay as inefficient, and so a good team is going to tamper with a good thing and send out the one player on the roster who can create his own shot.
An advanced stat-head like Hollinger looks at a recent boxscore and thinks: Hmm, Gay shot 8-19 in delivering another 21 point game, ho hum. Well, that's pretty inefficient, and pretty typical -- if only he would take 11 shots, and we could distribute those other 8 shots. 8 possessions: we could be so much more efficient!
As if those other 8 shots are guaranteed to be better shots in other players hands.
As if subtracting Gay would make things more coherent and not harder for the rest of the players.
I can't think of a team other than the Pistons of Hamilton, Wallace, Prince et. al. that distributed shots so evenly among its key players.
You need a guy to create, and yes, that guy often takes more shots than his teammates. He is also often relied upon at the end of halves or on key possessions or when all else breaks down to go one-on-one, thus driving down his "efficiency."
(I personally dislike the term "efficiency." It smacks of the Third Reich whenever I hear it. What's wrong with the word "effective." Ah, not so NOW, not so sexy.)
Does anyone know if there are stats to measure what a player like Kobe Bryant or another, ball-dominating star does -- drawing double-teams or traps and thereby freeing up space for other players? My read on things is that the advanced stat-heads are very unforgiving of ball-dominating players, while being overly enamored of the "efficient" (ooh, chills) player who makes few mistakes and drills his shots when he gets them. The latter guy can only succeed, it seems to me, in an environment in which you have a focus-pulling player like Bryant or Melo, etc.
I'm not putting Gay in their class. But I really doubt that Gay is keeping that team back, and that removing him from the mix is going to put that team in a better position. (In a better position financially, sure -- but to do what, ultimately?)
I think it's stat-head hubris.