The Final Count
With the regular season over, we present the overall data for the year in this Statophile. Yes, most of the metrics are a bit ugly, but were expectations all that much higher?
Nothing overly surprising: defense was the major issue for losses this year. Wonder if this guy may have helped? Man games missed due to the mid season trades as well as significant injuries certainly doesn’t help build a cohesive unit on defense. And perhaps a center that helped on D or blocked a shot (57th out of 64, really?!). Finally, having the league second youngest roster means a step learning curve on defense.
The Raptors were in the middle of the pack in both turnover rate differential and offensive rebound rate differential. So overall, these two were not major factors, although if it wasn’t for Evans’ and Johnson’s offensive rebound prowess, ORR would have been (hello Bargnani defensive rebounds). The Raptors committed way too many fouls (with Dorsey, Johnson, Davis and Evans being the main culprits). Without the PG and wings slowing their men down and little to no help defense from your Center, this is not a surprise. The other issue was effective field goal differential; the biggest problem being defensive three point FG% – where the Raptors ranked 28th in the league with eFG% 56.4%.
Our inaugural “Statophile MVP” is Amir Johnson. Yes, most of you realize that I
may be am biased, but it was advanced statistics that made me a fan of his last year. Many were “surprised” at many of his performances this year. However, advanced statistics helped identify him as a potentially effective player over the last several years. His 1.08 points per possession (PPP) this year ranks him 17th in the league in this category. He’s 22nd in the league in blocks per game. He also leads the team is most advanced measures, even despite playing injured for a portion of the year. Perhaps his contract may be good value after all.
Our “Worst Teammate of the Year” award goes to Sonny Weems. His True Shooting Percentage was 67th out of 79 qualified shooting guards. Looking up his points per possession (PPP) data at Synergy Sports, we find he is ranked 340 at 0.85 per. This year Mr. Weems took 5 field goal attempts for every one he assisted on.
Our productive rook (yeah, Solomon Alabi wasn’t really considered, so no need for an “award”): Ed Davis Despite not being projected to be in the ROY mix, Mr. Davis showed up in several top 5 lists at the end of the year. He’s proving to be one of the steals of the draft when you look at his rookie rankings over at Basketball Prospectus (where he’s ranked 5th, just behind John Wall) or the Wages of Wins blog (also ranked 5th, again just behind Wall).
The “Advanced-Statistics-Told-You-For-Years-He-Should-Be-Traded-And-Now-Every-Reporter-Is-Writing-About-It” Award goes to Andrea Bargnani, who still pretends its the position he plays that makes a difference. (Seriously, I mean, seriously – we’ll call you a 4, great. Which means we need you to post up more and take less threes. And 4s have to rebound to. And help on defense. So…. your statistics will improve “at the 4”?! No. Mr. Bargnani, you have some qualities of a 3, 4 and 5 on offence and largely fit the 5 on defense. It’s not the position we put you in that’s the problem.). Andrea Bargnani was ranked dead last out of 59 Centers for rebound rate. Whoops, I forgot he was a 4. Okay, he would rank 76th of our 80 of Power Forwards. Assist ratio? 42nd among Centers (62nd among PFs). Blocks per 48 minutes? 78th out of 85. The opponents he guarded had a Player Efficiency Rating (PER) of 21.1 against him – almost 5 points higher than Bargnani’s 16.2. The good news? His contract isn’t too bad for a big and he has enough diversity on offense to be attractive to several teams. He may fit quite well with a team with a penetrating PG and/or a big defensive center. The other good news? The media and many fans have finally accepted the idea of moving Bargnani, making it much easier for Bryan Colangelo to do so without significant negative repercussions.