The grand design- same old or new?

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Re: The grand design- same old or new? 

Post#121 » by bbms » Thu Jan 28, 2021 5:23 am

Seems congruent with other analytics such as RAPTOR and ePM.

Kenrich Williams is really underrated on the eye test.
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Re: The grand design- same old or new? 

Post#122 » by nolang1 » Fri Jan 29, 2021 3:03 am

jambalaya wrote:Luck adjusted RAPM estimates are out and Thunder have 3 in bottom 20. Bazley, 6th lowest and Maledon and Roby. Long climbs needed.

K Williams at 106 and second best on team behind G Hill. SGA at 209.

Pokusevski, 33rd best on LA-D-RAPM estimate right now. Small sample. Signal and / or noise.


Pokusevski is 11th in the league in blocks per 36 and has a lower foul rate than anyone above him. He averages just over a steal per 36 and by the eye test is not getting blown by on the perimeter or making egregious positioning mistakes. He even rebounds at a perfectly acceptable rate for a PF despite lacking bulk. I'm not sure why people think it's some huge fluke that he's grading out as a good defender.
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Re: The grand design- same old or new? 

Post#123 » by jambalaya » Sun Jan 31, 2021 10:39 am

The offense has been very weak and the defense appears to have degraded to almost as weak for season. Must have been really terrible recently.

There is no Thunder line up without Horford that is positive and used much over 1 minute per game. The only one anywhere close to positive is an all bench unit probably playing non-starters.

80% of the 20 most used player pairs are negative. Take away Hill and Horford from the directly included list and the only pair left in this group even close to neutral is SGA - Dort. And Hill and Horford are still hidden partners for this pair and are unlikely anywhere near neutral without them. In fact, they are -17 pts / 100p in 99 minutes without them.
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Re: The grand design- same old or new? 

Post#124 » by jambalaya » Thu Feb 11, 2021 4:56 am

At this time, the only player pair in 20 most used even close to neutral without directly naming Hill or Horford is Diallo - Williams at neutral.
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Re: The grand design- same old or new? 

Post#125 » by jambalaya » Thu Feb 11, 2021 8:01 pm

Thunder weak on all offensive factors.

30th on offensive rebounding. That factor might be easiest to fix. Would require Williams, Roby and / or Brown to play substantially more minutes and / or acquire somebody new. They are fairly likely to not do any of these things this season. So it will either remain unfixed or get attention later.

Diallo doing less offensive rebounding every season. More focus on spotting up and / or less self rebounds off misses?
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Re: The grand design- same old or new? 

Post#126 » by slick_watts » Sun Feb 14, 2021 1:46 pm

diallo's orb% drop coincides with the ball being in his hands more.
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Re: The grand design- same old or new? 

Post#127 » by slick_watts » Sun Feb 14, 2021 1:46 pm

also, i have a hard time 'trusting' rapm on such small samples of a season.
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Re: The grand design- same old or new? 

Post#128 » by jambalaya » Sat Feb 20, 2021 11:31 pm

Last game was enough to push Thunder into last place on offensive efficiency. Will they stay there for rest of season? I dont expect "internal development" to help that much even into next year or two. Likely to be worse after expected trades. Defensive bias only yielding 1 pt better than average defense.

If they expect to improve offense thru the draft, they have to draft that way and probably wait 3-5 years. It will take several well above average offensive players to raise team offense to or above average. Elite offense will take even more.
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Re: The grand design- same old or new? 

Post#129 » by jambalaya » Sun Feb 21, 2021 6:49 pm

Thunder lose by a couple points less with SGA off vs. on. Lots goes into that including team assist rate. Way lower with SGA than without. With SGA it is at level of about 5th lowest assist rate team in league.

Start SGA- Dort and they are going to be a low assists lineup... unless they start a PG or point forward. Low assist rate will probably contribute to below average to terrible offense as it does now.

Probably going to be big minute opportunities for Maledon and Krejci later and other guys to be obtained. Need for additional passing probably means they won't have / play a guy who is primarily a great shooter. Passing probably remains a weakness as does shooting if Dort remains a starter, especially at SG.
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Re: The grand design- same old or new? 

Post#130 » by jambalaya » Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:49 pm

Moses Brown will eventually have a role. Yurtseven, at least a look.

Ty Jerome probably at least a look.

Other G leaguers might get a look but roster numbers are generally against them getting one.
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Re: The grand design- same old or new? 

Post#131 » by ThunderBolt » Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:51 am

jambalaya wrote:Moses Brown will eventually have a role. Yurtseven, at least a look.

Ty Jerome probably at least a look.

Other G leaguers might get a look but roster numbers are generally against them getting one.

Maybe. Dakari Johnson was also good in the g league.
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Re: The grand design- same old or new? 

Post#132 » by jambalaya » Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:01 pm

It is a different context. Dakari was 3rd / 4th string on a 48 win, now team.
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Re: The grand design- same old or new? 

Post#133 » by jambalaya » Tue Mar 2, 2021 3:09 am

There are no SGA lineups over 20 minutes for season not involving Horford that are positive, neutral or anywhere close to neutral.

That could suggest several things:

1. Test more and find such lineups.

2. Consider keeping Horford until you find such lineups.

3. Ask why those lineups do not exist right now and make adjustments to surrounding cast and strategy.

SGA Dort Williams
Bazley Roby is a nice positive in 18 minutes. If they are at all serious about Roby playing some center, get it another 100 minutes this month.

There are a couple of non SGA, non Horford, non 20 plus minute lineups that could get more test too.

Pick a couple handfuls of lineups, whatever construction, and get 100-200 minute tests of them. Then react to the results as appropriate.
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Re: The grand design- same old or new? 

Post#134 » by jambalaya » Thu Mar 4, 2021 8:05 am

The only SGA pairs that are positive or anywhere that near are ones where the Thunder have an edge on 3pt fg% compared to opponent. That suggests these lineup measures are very influenced by 3pt randomness and related 3pt skills (offensive and perhaps defensive). Enhancing 3pt related skills should probably be a major factor in most to all future personnel decisions.

Kenrich Williams is by far SGA's best performing pair. How much is random vs. real? That should be studied carefully. Net 3pt fg% is a factor there though not the only one.

SGA with Dort, with Bazley and with both are bad to horrible. They are effective tools for tanking but show no sign of being effective future core. Pretty much everything right now points to Bazley not being a positive as a starter now. Perhaps that could change but it must change massively to be good. Could Thunder keep Bazley as a bench piece? Theoretically yes with RFA. But how much will he cost and would he fight it by going to 5th year UFA? There should be a lot of front office research and debate about how to handle Bazley. I would be somewhat concerned if that activity is not far along and is still in the stage of "he is a young player just being to develop". He is and I could be evaluating too quick but there is potential issue with being too relaxed / hopeful just as there is in being too quick to judge talent & fit.

Are SGA and Bazley just teammates, friends, close friends, distant, rivals or what? I dunno how much that matters but I don't know where this stands. It might make a difference in on the court and future decision-making.

Right now Maledon is a horrible pair partner for SGA (-15pts / 100 possessions). They have the worst net 3pt fg% of any main rotation SGA pair. Again, how much of that is random vs real? I dunno but they better be studying that and trying to change that, at least in future. Maledon also on average bad with Dort and very good with Williams though there are combinations which are exceptions.

The super early data for Ty Jerome is: good with SGA, amazing with Dort, worst with Bazley. Need more data but it starts there. Jerome pairs in general have large net 3 pt fg% deficits but ultra huge 3pt frequency advantages. Again how much is random vs. real? More time, better answer.

SGA Dort Jerome Williams is a quad I'd want to test. Used just 7 minutes so far. The trio without Jerome has done well in moderate minutes.

There has been little discussion about J. Jackson. His stats have generally been moving toward better Jan. to Feb. His pair data is good with SGA, Horford but not much else. Should he be retained? Time to decide is pretty much here. The answer is probably no; but it deserves a final look and cost to re-sign is a factor to try to gauge and consider. A bench player, medium or small role.

In terms of need, I'd say the top draft priority should be a forward with a quality 3 pt shot. Like Kispert or Wagner and I guess I may need to further consider J Johnson.
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Re: The grand design- same old or new? 

Post#135 » by jambalaya » Fri Mar 5, 2021 6:29 pm

Other players will be coming in, but I'd like to see this lineup play:

SGA Jerome Williams Roby Brown

to see what it can do and to see what it needs different.

It probably needs a different SF and it could be Dort but I don't want that to be an unquestionable lock in.

For bench lineups using likely to continue players, I see SGA or Jerome with Maledon, one of Dort or Bazley, one of Williams or Roby, Yurtseven and somebody else (Krejci, Pokusevski, a rookie or other). Variations with those ingredients.
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Re: The grand design- same old or new? 

Post#136 » by jambalaya » Mon Mar 8, 2021 3:36 pm

To be comparable to the average of top 8 contenders, the Thunder would need to improve offensive efficiency by about 11 pts / 100p. To be a defensive bias clone of the #1 defense Lakers would still take 7pts improvement of offense and 4pts on defensive efficiency. Perhaps they could push the defensive bias past the Lakers another 2 points. That would require 5 pt gain on offense and 6 on defense. So to become a conventional contender, it will require super massive offensive improvement. To get in that game emphasizing defense to the max will require large and roughly equal sized improvements on offense and defense (or more on offense if not taken to absolute max defense).

Which path do they try to take? Probably one with required improvement on both. Defensive improvement alone won't be enough. Offensive gain needed to contender status if alone unlikely to be achievable and unlikely to be tried. Coach and players will need to make substantial offensive improvements... or be replaced. They probably need to show some signs of that offensive improvement in next 12 months or face tough questions / review.

Who are last teams to make 11pt improvement and how long did it take? Sonics to Thunder did it in 2 years with 3 future hall of famers and lots of other contributors. If one hopes for SGA to be a hall of fame piece then they might be 1 piece of many toward such a transformation. Probably takes longer, if it fully happens. Halfway happens won't be easy but is more achievable (fwiw). To get halfway or better, could require SGA becoming a top 10 player, and Dort / Bazley and Maledon all becoming average players (far from it right now) and replacing Horford & Hill with achievers of similar impact levels (quick rising rookie contracts or other acquisitions) and retaining or adequately replacing pieces like Diallo and Muscala.
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Re: The grand design- same old or new? 

Post#137 » by jambalaya » Tue Mar 9, 2021 10:42 pm

Thunder have 6th highest 3pt frequency, 2nd worst 3pt fg% and lowest offensive rebounding. That's the recipe for a lousy offensive efficiency and a quick way to get the opponents attacking on the other end.

Absolutely have to improve the latter two rankings in future.
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Re: The grand design- same old or new? 

Post#138 » by jambalaya » Sun Mar 14, 2021 9:40 pm

The competition for playing time is rough and will keep getting rougher and rougher.

Looking ahead to next season, here is a draft rotation. For it I assume no minutes for Hill, Horford, Ariza, Muscala, Miller, Hall, Bazley and Jackson. Some might stick around for awhile but probably not long-term. No Miici. Or rookies til identified and worthy of bumping others out.

SGA Dort Williams Pokusevski Brown 12 minutes

SGA Jerome Dort Pokusevski Brown 10

SGA Jerome Krejci Pokusevski Yurtseven 10

Maledon Mykhailiuk Williams Roby Brown 6

Jerome Dort Williams Roby Yurtseven 6

Maledon Mykhailiuk Krejci Roby Yurtseven 4


Minutes per game (typically, when healthy):

SGA 32
Maledon 10
Jerome 26
Dort 28
Mykhailiuk 10
Krejci 14
Williams 24
Pokusevski 32
Roby 16
Brown 28
Yurtseven 20

If they obtained another forward, he could take up to 16 minutes from Pokusevski. Or keep Bazley involved. This is just my draft starting point to see how it might look. There will be no endpoint for a long time probably.
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Re: The grand design- same old or new? 

Post#139 » by jambalaya » Tue Mar 23, 2021 4:29 am

NBA says they want a massive increase in next national TV contracts. NFL just got theirs. NBA may not be as successful but they will probably still get at least a pretty good increase.

With current contract running to summer 2025, it would be massively helpful to sign long term deals in summer 2023 and 2024 before the salaries also balloon. That will be right timing for 2nd contracts of 2021 and 2022 draftees (after 4th yr or 3rd by extension) and the 2020 draftees and Dort, Brown. Some but not much advantage with SGA and some others to be re-signed soon.

I would rather not pay rookie contracts in summer 2025 or after, or new deals for role players or especially stars. So assemble the entire team by summer 2024 or trade deadline 2025. If they maximize this time strategy, they will probably be able to afford 3 stars after 2025, or 5 good or better starters and maybe a good / deep bench too. Move distant future draft assets forward if possible at a reasonable cost.
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Re: The grand design- same old or new? 

Post#140 » by jambalaya » Tue Mar 23, 2021 5:42 am

Thunder already have 7 contracts up for renewal or replacement in 23 or 24. Will have more after next drafts. That is good. No contract extends beyond 24, though would change with SGA extension or some other possible moves.

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