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Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard

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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#401 » by dckingsfan » Wed Aug 28, 2019 10:24 pm

Ruzious wrote:
dckingsfan wrote:
nate33 wrote:...So is Vucevic the closest comparison? I'm hoping Bryant pans out to be a better defender.

That was going to be my pick - but I thought folks would think I was nuts. More like a slightly better Vucevic (hopefully one that doesn't disappear in the playoffs).

I don't think that's a bad comp, but I think Bryant is more physically explosive and better near the hoop, while Vuc is better away from the hoop.

And I think that Bryant has the "potential" (ouch) to be as good or better from the 3point line. So... a slightly more explosive and better Vuc (can't remember - was he an all-star?).
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#402 » by nuposse04 » Thu Aug 29, 2019 3:10 am

Bryant is already a bit more useful on defense then Vuc, albeit he needs to get better. I don't think Bryant is a black hole on offense but Vuc has some more passing abilities.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#403 » by payitforward » Thu Aug 29, 2019 7:33 pm

nate33 wrote:
gtn130 wrote:
payitforward wrote:This is common sense -- how could anyone disagree? The one point I'd make is that it might be better to say "a Dwight Powell/Javale McGee style player" rather than "tier...." Especially compared to Powell, Bryant did things so much better last season that it's hard to put them on the same tier (now, long-term... we have to see).

As to comparing him w/ Javale, really it would be shooting the 3 that would differentiate him -- he is started on that, & for sure it's an area where we are all hoping he will improve rapidly (& therefore shoot lots more of them).

This post doesn't seem all that consistent with other stuff you've said tbh.

Instead of re-litigating the various arguments in this thread, I would be curious to hear who you think Bryant's realistic comps are. Which player does he compare favorably to? What in your mind is his most likely career outcome?

That's a good question.

It's hard for me to come up with a comparison. Bryant doesn't have the hyper athleticism and bounce of guys like D'Andre Jordan, Chandler and McGee and yet he rolls and finishes as well as any of them. He doesn't have the precision of Gortat in setting picks, yet he frees himself up for roll opportunities such that, despite being a rookie, he scored more often than Gortat on a per minute basis. He doesn't have the lateral mobility of guys like Capela and Adams so he doesn't project to be as switchable, but he does have great height and wingspan so he should pan out to be a pretty good rim protector.

He shoots better than all the guys I just mentioned. As a pick and pop guy, he compares more to guys like Marc Gasol and Al Horford. Those guys have extremely high b-ball IQ's though. It's risky to project that Bryant masters the game mentally as well as those guys, because so few players do. I guess Marc Gasol with less bball IQ would be a guy like Vucevic.

So is Vucevic the closest comparison? I'm hoping Bryant pans out to be a better defender.

I can't see Vucevic as a comparison -- above all not if you look at him in his first few years. But even now it's hard, because V. is a volume shooter but nowhere near as efficient.

Horford does come to mind, but again he has never been as efficient a scorer as Bryant was last year -- & if you look at his first few years in the league the comparison really doesn't seem right.

One illustration -- both Vucevic & Horford get lots of assists for Centers. But... go look at their first 2-3 years in the league. Not so many assists.

To put it another way, if I gave you Horford's rookie numbers anonymously & asked "who's your comp for this guy" -- you wouldn't come up with Al Horford as the answer! :)

I'm not sure I have a comp for Bryant right now. We've got 1500 minutes of a 21 year old kid. They show an above average rebounder, an incredibly efficient scorer inside, an excellent FT% for a young guy, & an appealing glimpse of his possibly becoming an excellent 3-point shooter. Suppose his 3-point shooting were to take the path of, say, KAT. If everything else stayed like last year, he'd be through the roof. He'd be turning into a superstar.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#404 » by payitforward » Thu Aug 29, 2019 7:55 pm

dckingsfan wrote:...I think that Bryant has the "potential" (ouch) to be as good or better from the 3point line. So... a slightly more explosive and better Vuc (can't remember - was he an all-star?).

So, this is what I mean by the difficulty of finding a comp for Bryant right now.

In his first 5 years in the league, Vucevic averaged .1 three-point attempt per 40 minutes. In his 6th year in the league, he zoomed all the way up to 1.5 3 point attempts per 40 minutes!

In his 7th year in the NBA, all of a sudden Vucevic started shooting lots of 3's: 4.75 per 40 minutes. His % on them? 31.5% His 8th year, last year, he shot 3.66 per 40 minutes at a, finally!, respectable 36.4%.

Thomas Bryant is likely to be a way way better 3-point shooter than Vuc. Not to mention that he's already a way better FT shooter & enormously better on 2-pt. shots. In all, in his 8 years as an NBA player, Vuc has had a TS% above 55% in exactly one year!

This is not about how good Vuc is -- he's good in other ways -- it's about him as a "comp" for Thomas Bryant. No way. Makes zero sense.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#405 » by tontoz » Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:29 pm

Horford in Atlanta was allergic to taking it to the basket. He really had a mental block about it. Very good midrange shooter though and very good team defender.

I don't see him as a comp for Bryant. Aside from being good jump shooters I don't see much they have in common.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#406 » by nate33 » Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:38 pm

payitforward wrote:
dckingsfan wrote:...I think that Bryant has the "potential" (ouch) to be as good or better from the 3point line. So... a slightly more explosive and better Vuc (can't remember - was he an all-star?).

So, this is what I mean by the difficulty of finding a comp for Bryant right now.

In his first 5 years in the league, Vucevic averaged .1 three-point attempt per 40 minutes. In his 6th year in the league, he zoomed all the way up to 1.5 3 point attempts per 40 minutes!

In his 7th year in the NBA, all of a sudden Vucevic started shooting lots of 3's: 4.75 per 40 minutes. His % on them? 31.5% His 8th year, last year, he shot 3.66 per 40 minutes at a, finally!, respectable 36.4%.

Thomas Bryant is likely to be a way way better 3-point shooter than Vuc. Not to mention that he's already a way better FT shooter & enormously better on 2-pt. shots. In all, in his 8 years as an NBA player, Vuc has had a TS% above 55% in exactly one year!

This is not about how good Vuc is -- he's good in other ways -- it's about him as a "comp" for Thomas Bryant. No way. Makes zero sense.

Dude, relax. There's no need to be argumentative. I already said that it was very hard to come up with a comparison. Bryant has a roll game similar to Gortat in that it is very effective even though it's not all that vertical. I'm assuming he has already come pretty close to maximizing his volume with that roll game alone. (Capela is about the only guy who managed significantly higher points per possession on exclusively diving to the rim, and Bryant's not going to have Harden and Houston's spacing to help him.) To get more shots, he's going to add a pick-and-pop game to that roll game. But when he does so, his shooting percentage is sure to drop a bit as his volume rises, because even good shooters aren't as efficient as dunkers.

Right now, Bryant averages 24 points per 100 possessions with a TS% of .674. Vucevic averages 32.5 points per 100 possessions with a TS% of .573. If Bryant maintains his current roll-game volume and offensive efficiency, and adds to it another 8 points per 100 possession on a marginal efficiency of, say, 53% TS% (which is outstanding for a perimeter shooter) then I expect his numbers to come close to Vucevic this year.

I realize Vucevic isn't the perfect comparison. But there aren't a lot of guys who have both a roll game and a pick-and-pop game to compare him to.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#407 » by dckingsfan » Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:43 pm

nate33 wrote:I realize Vucevic isn't the perfect comparison. But there aren't a lot of guys who have both a roll game and a pick-and-pop game to compare him to.

This - and what might end up making him pretty special.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#408 » by gtn130 » Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:13 am

PIF,

You're comparing efficiency numbers between a guy in 2011-12 and and a guy in 2018-19. The league as a whole has gotten significantly more efficient on offense over the last seven seasons.

For context, Orlando was 15th in the league in offensive efficiency in Vucevic's rookie season at an ORtg of 104. In 2019 that's dead last in the NBA.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#409 » by payitforward » Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:21 am

nate33 wrote:
payitforward wrote:
dckingsfan wrote:...I think that Bryant has the "potential" (ouch) to be as good or better from the 3point line. So... a slightly more explosive and better Vuc (can't remember - was he an all-star?).

So, this is what I mean by the difficulty of finding a comp for Bryant right now.

In his first 5 years in the league, Vucevic averaged .1 three-point attempt per 40 minutes. In his 6th year in the league, he zoomed all the way up to 1.5 3 point attempts per 40 minutes!

In his 7th year in the NBA, all of a sudden Vucevic started shooting lots of 3's: 4.75 per 40 minutes. His % on them? 31.5% His 8th year, last year, he shot 3.66 per 40 minutes at a, finally!, respectable 36.4%.

Thomas Bryant is likely to be a way way better 3-point shooter than Vuc. Not to mention that he's already a way better FT shooter & enormously better on 2-pt. shots. In all, in his 8 years as an NBA player, Vuc has had a TS% above 55% in exactly one year!

This is not about how good Vuc is -- he's good in other ways -- it's about him as a "comp" for Thomas Bryant. No way. Makes zero sense.

Dude, relax. There's no need to be argumentative. I already said that it was very hard to come up with a comparison. Bryant has a roll game similar to Gortat in that it is very effective even though it's not all that vertical. I'm assuming he has already come pretty close to maximizing his volume with that roll game alone. (Capela is about the only guy who managed significantly higher points per possession on exclusively diving to the rim, and Bryant's not going to have Harden and Houston's spacing to help him.) To get more shots, he's going to add a pick-and-pop game to that roll game. But when he does so, his shooting percentage is sure to drop a bit as his volume rises, because even good shooters aren't as efficient as dunkers.

Right now, Bryant averages 24 points per 100 possessions with a TS% of .674. Vucevic averages 32.5 points per 100 possessions with a TS% of .573. If Bryant maintains his current roll-game volume and offensive efficiency, and adds to it another 8 points per 100 possession on a marginal efficiency of, say, 53% TS% (which is outstanding for a perimeter shooter) then I expect his numbers to come close to Vucevic this year.

I realize Vucevic isn't the perfect comparison. But there aren't a lot of guys who have both a roll game and a pick-and-pop game to compare him to.

I didn't mean to sound argumentative. It would be great to find a comp for Bryant -- I can't see Vucevic as that, however. Having trouble finding an alternative.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#410 » by payitforward » Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:26 am

gtn130 wrote:PIF,

You're comparing efficiency numbers between a guy in 2011-12 and and a guy in 2018-19. The league as a whole has gotten significantly more efficient on offense over the last seven seasons.

For context, Orlando was 15th in the league in offensive efficiency in Vucevic's rookie season at an ORtg of 104. In 2019 that's dead last in the NBA.

That's a great point -- thanks. Not that Vucevic was with the Magic that year. :)

And all the same, shooting .1 three-pointer per 40 minutes over a period of 5 years... ??? I just find it hard to see Vuc (a player I like, btw) as an appropriate model for comparison with Bryant.

Edit: average team TS% in 2011-12 was 52.7%. In 2018-19 it was 56%. So that's the adjustment you'd have to make.

Vucevic's TS% in his rookie year was 46.7%. In 2012-13, it was 53.4%.

Thomas Bryant's TS% last year was 67.4%.

Your point was meaningful, needed to be made. But... it's not really changing much.

Again, if it's not obvious -- I'm not trying to ding Vucevic, just pointing out the difficulty in finding an appropriate comp for what the 21 year old Thomas Bryant did last season.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#411 » by gtn130 » Fri Aug 30, 2019 1:35 am

payitforward wrote:Edit: average team TS% in 2011-12 was 52.7%. In 2018-19 it was 56%. So that's the adjustment you'd have to make.

Vucevic's TS% in his rookie year was 46.7%. In 2012-13, it was 53.4%.

Thomas Bryant's TS% last year was 67.4%.

Your point was meaningful, needed to be made. But... it's not really changing much.


The 2018-19 Wizards would have led the league in offensive efficiency in 2011-12 (tied with the Spurs).

It really is difficult to compare efficiency numbers between players from today's 3pt GSW era and players who predate today's game. Thomas Bryant has been put in a role where he can be exceptionally efficient early on in his career, so looking at advanced numbers with age/development curve in mind is really going to be misleading when today's game has only been widely adopted since 2016 or so.

If TB started his career in ~2010 he'd be taking zero 3s per game and would be working on developing his post-up offense, so I think it's worth adding to your calculus that his TS% would almost certainly go way down had he played his "rookie" season around the same time Vucevic did.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#412 » by payitforward » Fri Aug 30, 2019 9:57 pm

gtn130 wrote:
payitforward wrote:Edit: average team TS% in 2011-12 was 52.7%. In 2018-19 it was 56%. So that's the adjustment you'd have to make.

Vucevic's TS% in his rookie year was 46.7%. In 2012-13, it was 53.4%.

Thomas Bryant's TS% last year was 67.4%.

Your point was meaningful, needed to be made. But... it's not really changing much.

The 2018-19 Wizards would have led the league in offensive efficiency in 2011-12 (tied with the Spurs).

It really is difficult to compare efficiency numbers between players from today's 3pt GSW era and players who predate today's game. Thomas Bryant has been put in a role where he can be exceptionally efficient early on in his career, so looking at advanced numbers with age/development curve in mind is really going to be misleading when today's game has only been widely adopted since 2016 or so.

If TB started his career in ~2010 he'd be taking zero 3s per game and would be working on developing his post-up offense, so I think it's worth adding to your calculus that his TS% would almost certainly go way down had he played his "rookie" season around the same time Vucevic did.

There's a limit to the accuracy of any comparison between anything current & anything a decade ago. Change is a constant. That does make it "difficult" to do the comparison, in the sense that you have to do it carefully, trying to take those changes into account, & that you have to accept that you can't attain the accuracy you'd be able to attain in the absence of change.

But, it doesn't make comparing the present with the past a bad idea -- what else are you going to compare the present with but the past? You can't compare it to the future!

These are not facts about basketball, they're just facts. Facts of life. To one degree or another, they apply to any set of comparisons.

Anyway, I can't figure out whom you're arguing with -- my point was that it was NOT fruitful to compare Bryant last year w/ Vukevic's first few years. The reasons are obvious, & you just point them out a little differently from the way I did.

What you say about Bryant, however, doesn't make sense. Bryant's 3-point shooting didn't help his TS%; it brought it down!

OTOH, as a rookie Vucevic shot 52.9% from the foul line. In his 2d-6th years he shot 68.3%, 76.6%, 75.2%, 75.3% & 66.9%. As a 21 year old last year, Bryant shot 78.9% Has free throw shooting changed too?

Vuc's 2 point %s over his career started at 45.2% & never hit 53% until last year when it was at an all time high for him of 54.9%. Thomas Bryant shot 68.5% on twos last year.

On his career, Vuc turns the ball over 47% more than Bryant.

OTOH, Vucevic got almost 20% more boards per 40 minutes in his second year than Bryant did last year. Of course, teams were less efficient, so I guess more rebounds were available? Should we lower Vuc's total? Then again, he got even more last year when efficiency was higher, so.... ??

I'm sure you have a point, & I would really like to understand it. & I'm also sure you mean to differ with me -- I just can't figure out in what way, since by and large you are making my point for me.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#413 » by dangermouse » Sat Aug 31, 2019 4:05 am

Vuc doesnt jump out at me as a great comparison based on the eye test rather than stats

If Chris Bosh had a baby with Myles Turner and they raised it on a diet of three pointers instead of defense
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#414 » by BigRedDog » Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:09 pm

nuposse04 wrote:Bryant is already a bit more useful on defense then Vuc, albeit he needs to get better. I don't think Bryant is a black hole on offense but Vuc has some more passing abilities.


believe it or not Vuc has transformed himself into one of the top interior defenders in the league over the last two seasons. It's true that early in his career he was a defensive liability, but defense (along with footwork in the post) is actually one of his biggest strengths now.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#415 » by payitforward » Mon Sep 2, 2019 2:47 am

Vuc is a good player. He was one of the guys I had in mind as possible for us @#18 in 2011, but he went a little higher than expected.

He's just not much like Bryant. Certainly wasn't back when he was first in the league, & obviously you can't learn much by comparing the 21-year-old Bryant with Vuc now, going into his 9th year in the league.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#416 » by Ruzious » Mon Sep 2, 2019 8:22 am

dangermouse wrote:Vuc doesnt jump out at me as a great comparison based on the eye test rather than stats

If Chris Bosh had a baby with Myles Turner and they raised it on a diet of three pointers instead of defense

Bosh was such a different kind of player - he had more skills than some 3's and was an elite athlete, but I can see Turner - as far as tools. Turner's a much better shot-blocker, but I expect Bryant to improve in that area - as he seems to be in better shape. Bryant's a much better percentage shooter. Turner has poor shot selection, while Bryant has good shot selection and is sturdier near the hoop. Tools-wise, there's a comparison to be made - though they're very different players.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#417 » by payitforward » Mon Sep 2, 2019 2:11 pm

I'm sure I'll hear it for writing this, but I wouldn't trade Thomas Bryant straight up for Myles Turner. No way.

Last year was Turner's best year as a pro. Per 40 minutes, he scored more points, had more rebounds, blocked more shots, committed fewer fouls -- & even had more assists -- than he'd ever had before.

But, Bryant scored more points, had more defensive rebounds, had more offensive rebounds, turned it over less, had more assists, took fewer shots, had a higher 2 point %, a higher eFG% (by 11+ % points!!), a higher FT%, & a higher TS% (also by 11 % points) than Turner. In fairness, Turner did block more shots & had an edge in steals.

In case the question of spacing should come up, note that, b/c he took slightly more 3's than Bryant & made them more efficiently, Turner accounted for 1 more made 3-pointer per 80 minutes on the floor.

Though he's already played almost 8000 minutes in the NBA, Turner only turned 23 in March, so if all goes well he still has plenty of room to develop. Obviously, so does Bryant, who is 16 months younger than Myles Turner & has played under 1600 NBA minutes.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#418 » by nate33 » Mon Sep 2, 2019 2:38 pm

payitforward wrote:I'm sure I'll hear it for writing this, but I wouldn't trade Thomas Bryant straight up for Myles Turner. No way.

Last year was Turner's best year as a pro. Per 40 minutes, he scored more points, had more rebounds, blocked more shots, committed fewer fouls -- & even had more assists -- than he'd ever had before.

But, Bryant scored more points, had more defensive rebounds, had more offensive rebounds, turned it over less, had more assists, took fewer shots, had a higher 2 point %, a higher eFG% (by 11+ % points!!), a higher FT%, & a higher TS% (also by 11 % points) than Turner. In fairness, Turner did block more shots & had an edge in steals.

In case the question of spacing should come up, note that, b/c he took slightly more 3's than Bryant & made them more efficiently, Turner accounted for 1 more made 3-pointer per 80 minutes on the floor.

Though he's already played almost 8000 minutes in the NBA, Turner only turned 23 in March, so if all goes well he still has plenty of room to develop. Obviously, so does Bryant, who is 16 months younger than Myles Turner & has played under 1600 NBA minutes.

The one thing about Turner is that he's an excellent defender. Indiana was the 3rd best defensive team in the league last year despite playing 5-11 Darren Collison at PG, washed up Wesley Mathews at SG, and slow-footed Bojan Boganovic at SF. They did it because Miles Turner is really good. It's guys like that that allow you to scrape together 48 wins in a season when your best player misses 50 games.

Miles is clearly a better defender than Bryant. Bryant is the better offensive player. In general, it's easy to get your center involved on a high percentage of defensive possessions, and it's hard to get him involved in a high percentage of offensive possessions; so it's more important for your center to be good at defense than at offense. If I had to choose right now, I'd say Turner is the more useful player.

That said, I absolutely love Bryant's attitude. I'm convinced he is going to be the type of guy that gets better and better every year. Turner is better now, but I'd be willing to bank on Bryant's work ethic and coachability.

I'm still disappointed that we didn't sign Bryant to a 4-year deal. I'd have given him a substantial raise each year just to lock in that 4th year. Instead of the 3 year $25M he got, I'd have paid him 4 years $36M or even 4/$40.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#419 » by payitforward » Mon Sep 2, 2019 5:52 pm

Can't disagree with any of what you write, nate, though it doesn't affect my take that I wouldn't swap Bryant for Turner straight up at this point. (& of course, especially, I agree that I would have paid a premium to lock him up for 4 years rather than 3)

One thing worth mentioning about defense -- or, rather, about the relationship of defense & offense in the NBA: there are "offensive" stats which are better understood as having a defensive aspect as well.

Presumably, overall, team defense is judged by the % of the opponent's possessions which turn into points (w/, obviously, an adjustment for possessions that become 3 - or sometimes even 4 - points). But, this leaves out 2 elements which, to me, seem quite relevant. The first is that effective rebounding limits the number of possessions your opponent gets -- yet, how are rebounds calculated into effective "defense." Even a rebound on offense has the effect of preventing the opponent from initiating their offense.

The second (& related) point is that the more effective your team is on offense, the more occasions on which the opponent initiates their offense by taking the ball out under the basket. W/o checking, I postulate that teams score with much lower efficiency in those situations than via a defensive rebound or a steal -- & that lower efficiency improves your team's defensive rating. Yet, it was created via efficient offense.

And, obviously, a guy w/ a 68.7% TS% is doing an outstanding job of creating that situation for the opponent. Not to mention that your team's offensive efficiency may force your opponent into a different offense from the one they prefer, because they are playing from behind.

I have no numbers to support any of the above, but it does seem to make sense. Or... does it?

One more point: since basketball is a zero sum game, defensive effectiveness is only really measurable with offense in mind. The ultimate measure is how many points are you up or down to the league on the season. If a team that measures well using metrics that isolate defense from offense is nonetheless ineffective in winning games, then there's room to doubt the significance of those defensive metrics.

Moving that notion from "team" to "individual" would allow someone to argue for Bryant over Turner based on box score numbers -- since those numbers translate 100% into wins & losses.

The intellectual effort to build any/all of the above into a model w/ predictive power, using "real" (i.e. quantitative/statistical) tools, is beyond my capacity/training/interest (despite what people here may think, mostly I just like to watch the game!! :) ), but I bet it's been worked on.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#420 » by nuposse04 » Mon Sep 2, 2019 6:48 pm

Myles turner is basically the most valuable type of "role playing" center in the modern NBA. Elite defender (big gap between what you can do defensively with him and Bryant) and can provide floor spacing (better 3 pt shooter right now and takes more of em per 36). I think he would be probably more useful in playoff basketball then a guy like Capela, who basically has no half court offensive utility outside of lobs and put backs. One of Turner's problem is that he has to share the floor with Sabonis, who affords minimal if any floor spacing, and before that, Thad young(think he is gone now). I'm curious how much rim running Turner will do this upcoming season or if they will primarily use him as a stretch 5 (which will also lower the oh so beloved offensive rebounds for some folk :P ).

Turner does need to cut down on his mid range attempts if he wants to bring his TS up, although I don't see a 57% TS "bad" for a perimeter oriented big. Bryant barely takes any long 2s, so thats a plus that I hope he can continue. I'd say Turner is better now, but if Bryant becomes defensively above average, then he'd be better. I doubt any team is particularly mad with either guys. They're both fun to watch.

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