pepe1991 wrote:It's era of ballhandlers and floor spacers. Main issue with BIG is that non of them is good at playing with ball or deadly shooter.
That's basic root and main issue.
As for development, players don't really learn new skills that easy, most of them develop into better versions of themselfs. People tend to get better at shooting over time , but it's rare to see somebody who was as bad as Gordon to turn into career 40% three point shooter, and last two years ,despite major improvments, he is yet to crack league average 36% let alone anything above it.
isaac made lot of threes last 2 games but let's not act like anybody was near him when he took them, with improvments that will change.
League is still about Lebron's Curry, Giannis ,Durant , Harden type of players who take ball in their hands and deliver. That's why guy like Vučević can't be best player on great team and that's why team like 76ers and Nuggets still have ceiling in playoffs.
Fair points and while I dont completely disagree there are a few reasons I can not reach a conclusion. Firstly, ballhandlers and floor spacers (small ball) is based on talent of certain players on certain teams i.e. Harden, Curry etc. Of course lesser teams try to emulate to a lesser degree of success. It is not so much that I am advocating a counter trend roster construction plan, though I do believe that that thought may have some validity as a strategy, but more so that trends are developed based on the talented players at the time and that we should mold our strategy around our young talent, not force to fit a small ball trend based on other teams rosters and talent.
Secondly, though I know you will fairly combat with shooting stats, but in my opinion people have continually under estimated AG's development curve. I know you have seen the both continual but sudden improvement in both his driving ability and play making ability. See examples below just in the last few games, he now is flashing the left hand finish on his drive that he has been missing, and the fancy dribbling is now with purpose of pausing the defender and resulting in lanes to the basket or dump offs to the open big. And as you say above, paraphrase, "it is rare to see somebody improve at such and such rate", the fact is AG continues to improve across the board with no signs of a ceiling yet, other than possibly 3pt shooting percentage. How does his continued across the board improvement factor into your equation which above only touches on shooting percentage. AG is proving he is a winning five tool basketball player, a stand up teammate and person, and I for one am willing to see it through. I think Isaac is on a similar curve. I concede the shooting must continue to improve for both, but the shooting is only one aspect and an over simplification of the equation of whether the pairing can work long term. The factor of the defensive impact of the pairing also should not be under estimated.
See 6:50 mark - improved left hand drive
:10 mark - play making
Flashes and delivery on daily bases are two separated things. You see nonathletic white guys serving facial dunks from time to time, but that doesn't make them Jordan-like dunkers or driviers. Same with Gordon and his ability to drive. Sometimes.
Now let's look how Gordon stacks up with rest of the league with driving skills, for this i used only forwards and minimum required PT of 15 mpg ( to remove scrubs and inflated numbers based on few attemps):
Aaron Gordon scores 3,2 points per game on drives. That puts him around 33# in that category, same as Jabari Parker, Rudy Gay and Kevin Knox.
Kawhi Leonard is, for example averaging 10,1 point from drive, Giannis, Lebron, Griffin, Luka Doncic, Kevin Durant, Ingram , George , Harris and Siakam are averaging all twice as many points from drives than him. So as you can see there are rookie, somphmore and third year player already beating him, 5th year player by double in that skill.
His points percentage from drives is 54%. That puts him in same category as Thad Young ,Powell , Joe Harris, being ranked around 75-80 among around 150 players that made this list ( list is bit odd i have to say , it includes some centers but not all of them , but it's official nba tracking data from nba.com so i can't do much about it. At least it's reliable).
How many times he drives at rim?
6,1 per game.
That't not small sample size but that's also not a lot. And it has nothing to do with athletics ( joe Ingless 10, Doncic second highest in whole league ). It's tied with ability to drive mostly due ballhandling through traffic. So you see Giannis, Doncic, James,George, Griffin, Durant do it a lot more because they simply can. Gordon drives as much as Ariza and Bojan Bogdanovic ( who i know for fact spent 2 summers on working at nothing but ballhandling since he entered nba with terrible handles , to make a point for you. improved a lot at age of 26-28 ).
Now assists from drives that you pointed.
0,6 assits per game. Copy past identical as Andrew Wiggins and Trevor Ariza. Not much of a passers that guys are ,arent't they? Matter of fact idential as Tobias Harris who is still knocked down for lack of passing around this forum.
And lastly how effective he is. He is averaging 46,6% FG when he drives. Do you know who is second Magic player who is averaging 46,6% when he drives, passes more frequentlly, has twice as much assists from drives and in general and drives more ?
Evan is actually player who keeps ball in his hands, per possession less than Gordon ( another example why eye test is fail test ).
And that's the problem in general when you use game and eye test and 1 game to determine your point. It has value of eye test, zero objectivity ( not calling you subjective, it's just not quantifiable or worth anything when you have nothing to compare it with ).
There is good reason why Andrew Wiggins is most hated nba player nowdays, that reason is simple- advance stats. People now view him as what he is - overrated, onedimensional chucker. But if he played in 2000s era he would be superstar like many others onedimensional mid range chuckers were because that's what league was in that period.
Aaron did improve a lot since we saw him for first time , 5 years ago but using passing and driving to say " no signs of ceiling" is pretty bad thing to say since is painfully average at that skills.
In general assists are pretty overrated stat nowdays because if player A passes ball to player B and he usses 3 dribbles and shoots from outside player A will still get assist. In same time guy can have perfect pass for C but he gets hacked for 2 FTs and player won't get assists despite making almost all the work. In general most basic stats in nba nowdays are overrated due inflatation of possessions and 3 ball shooting. I mean Russell Westbrook , 20,30 years from now will be viewed as that amazing super talent like we view Oscar now who averaged triple double for 3 years in a row. In reality... yea, not so much great. Not even best player on own team.
I get that going through some advance stats is boring. Statistic is boring in general. At my college we had professor who was ready to retire and needed his replacement. Nice salary, college,safe job ... among 500 of us literally nobody wanted to pick statistic as course and graduate it. Nobody
And my whole point wasn't even about Gordon, but BIG as unit ,where they flat out lack perimeter skills and non of them is that dominating wing that will take guy off dribble, go at rim and dunk at end of a game, or , if team gives him too much space , make 3 threes in a row to freeze a game. And nowdays you simply have to have that unusual, extra talent to compete . Every contender has one of that guys who is super-duper megastar. Non of BIG is that, at least they don't look they will ever be that. Banking on Gordon's improvment to reach that level is simply unfair to him.