December 6, 2009

Updated Plus-Minus Numbers, 12/09/09

Per the always lovely Updated early yesterday, so last night's heartbreaker is not accounted for in these numbers.

Caveats: this is only one narrow way of looking at production, it's still early in the season, and the opponent production numbers (the aggregate PER of the opponents each guy has been slotted against) are dicey at best. Nellie doesn't even seem to know who plays what position for us out there; it's not likely that 82games has been able to account for individual matchups with much accuracy. Grains of salt abound, and really the data sets for Law, Bell, Biedrins and Turiaf are so small that they should be ignored entirely. But let's take a gander at the other folks.

* Yes, we should probably ignore Chris Hunter's limited results, as well. But I ain't gonna. I don't think we'll continue to outscore opponents by 14 points a game when he's in, but it is *not* coincidental that we do dramatically better when he's on the floor... he is the one big that's made his presence known in the defensive post for us, and he's playing very, very smartly. We need to 1) keep this guy for the rest of the year, and not hesitate to cut Devean George if that's what's required, and 2) give him at least 20 minutes per going forward. Unless and until he turns into a pumpkin, there is no excuse for giving Maggette minutes at the four over him.

* Anthony Morrow, same thing: he doesn't actually make us 17 points better, but we are a genuinely better team when he's on the floor. Why? Because when he's on the floor, we have more of a plan. "Penetrate and look to kick out to Morrow" is a much better strategy than "penetrate and just, y'know, go for it, bro." Morrow is ruthlessly efficient, he rebounds credibly for his position, he almost never turns it over, and he's even showing some signs of being a capable defender; we have consistently defended better with him on the floor so far this year. This guy is getting pretty damn good, and he needs more shots... the team needs to find him, and he needs to focus on creating more for himself.

* C.J.'s numbers are inflated by a couple big garbage-time comebacks he and Law engineered; he has not made nearly as much of a difference in competitive situation as these numbers suggested. He's played well, though, and we were better when he was on the court last year, too. Warriors fan underrate this guy by a good bit. He's gonna be real useful to a good team in the near future.

* Jack's strong showing here is annoying. The opponent production number holds no water... they rate Jack as having shut down every guy he covered, which he simply didn't. At first glance, it looks to me like they gave him credit for covering fours that 'Buike actually covered; as a result, Jack's defensive numbers should be worse, 'Buike's should be better. The superior offense results we got with him on the floor are harder to explain away, as it has seemed for all the world like the offense improved when he left. Could just be a small-sample-size mirage. On the other hand, he's helped the Bobcats' offense a good bit since arriving there, and Hoop Numbers rated him as a moderate asset on that end from '06-'09. I'm certainly glad he's gone, but like Maggette, Jack is a better offensive player than the ugliness of his game suggests.

* Thanks to last night, Randolph's numbers are already a bit better than this. His line accords with what you'd think from eyeballing him: he makes too many mistakes to be a big asset right now, but he does more than enough to justify heavy minutes on a team this small and crappy.

* I just don't think there's anything to Azubuike's poor plus-minus... he rated +2.8 last year and played extremely well on both sides of the ball before going down this year. "Small sample size" seems like the only plausible answer here.... it's not 'Buike's fault he was only around for the worst, grimmest, Jack-cloudiest stretch of the season.

* Maggette has played pretty well, and yet we do badly when he's in. Six points worse on D, but that's more a function of Nellie's smallball insanity than anything else... Maggette's been working hard on that end. Our offense has also been worse, albeit slightly, when he's out there. It'll be interesting to see if that trend continues... Maggette may be the piece that just don't fit.

* Curry's the opposite: his point-guard opponents out-produce him by a good bit (probably by more than this indicates, given his wretched defense), but we're more competitive when he's in. I'm guessing that's because Monta is more effective when the playmaking's not all on him.

* Speaking of Monta... YIKES. We'll come back to this one.

* Poor showing across the board for Radmanovic -- his plus-minus numbers have always been pretty bad, at every stop of his career, so no reason to think fluke here. Careful, Warriors: do not fall in love with Vladimir Radmanovic. He does some fun little things, but he does not do enough big things -- rebounding, altering any shot ever -- to be valuable overall. If you think he's more than an eighth man, he will break your miserable heart.

* Mikki's numbers are still nightmarishly bad, far worse than those of anyone else who's played as much as he has... we just bleed freely when he's on the court. Put quite simply, Mikki has done more to hurt his team than any other NBA player, and if we'd had, say, Kwame Brown in his place, we might be 10-9 right now. Mikki's minutes seem to be waning, so this dead horse may not see many more beatings. But for the love of God, let us never forget what happened here.

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