Statophile, Version 12 – Power Forward Edition

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The “Love thy current PFs” edition:

How good is Ed Davis versus other rookies?

One of the easiest (and among the best) ways to measure his performance is Player Efficiency Rating, which was developed by ESPN’s own John Hollinger. In John’s words, PER “sums up all a player’s positive accomplishments, subtracts the negative accomplishments, and returns a per-minute rating of a player’s performance.” This article shows us how it is calculated.

While PER is more offensively-biased, I believe we can always make the case that Davis is having a solid year defensively as well (see Arsenalist’s great post as one example.)

Notice Mr. Davis’ PER ranking versus draft order. It’s one of the best “deltas” (3rd ranking in PER vs being picked 13th), making him look like one of the best steals in the draft to date. The other big deltas are largely those picked late in prior drafts and/or are older (read: more experienced) players, including: Splitter (age: 26), Neal (26), Asik, (24). Landry Fields (age 22, 39th pick) appears to be the overall steal of the draft, but certainly Davis is proving to be an excellent choice at 13.

Rebounding – another reason to appreciate our current PFs

I like rebounding. I often have to defend (at length) how important it is. Perhaps this is a simple way to do it:

It’s pretty glaring. Obviously, the Raptors likely did more than rebound poorly in losses this year. There are many factors at play. However rebounding significantly better than our opponents give us the extra chances we need (and limits theirs). It’s quite clear.

Speaking of rebounding and our current (and former) power forwards, I dug this up last night:

While Mr. Bosh certainly has a much more rounded game than our PFs, our chart shows all of the Raptors’ PFs ahead of him in rebounding rates. My favourite “effort” statistic if offensive rebounding. Obviously you need the body and instincts to rebound, but I believe offensive rebounding is as much about heart and hustle than anything.

I know that there are players way taller than me. I am one of the smallest centres in the league. But at the same time I think that I have one of the biggest hearts in the league. – rebounding machine DeJuan Blair

On Wednesday night, when Mr. Bosh comes into town, you have a few choices. You could exhaust your energy into player that no longer plays for the home team or perhaps reward those that have pride in wearing a Toronto Raptors jersey and hustle for you every minute – trying to provide a return for that ticket that you paid with your hard earned dollars. You absolutely have the right to do either.

Do you want to send the message to current players that you’re behind them and their effort is appreciated? Or would you prefer ignore our troops and fire up an opponent to victory? The choice is yours.

Toronto is one of the greatest cities in the world. Let the players know it. Have some pride.

By forgiving and choosing to move on, one takes the power back to morph it into positive energy. – Eugenia Triputti

Questions? Email me: [email protected] or find me on Twitter.



  1. Nice one. Didn’t realize George was so high up on the PER.

    As for the whole booing debate, let’s not get too philosophical Tom. It is possible to boo the bad team AND cheer on the good guys. Sports is supposed to be fun. Booing the bad guy is fun. I remember when ESPN did a study on which sport does home court advantage matter the most. Guess what? It was basketball.

    Go Raps

    • “boo the bad team AND cheer on the good guys” – Good point. Although if history is a guide, every time VC came back there isn’t a lot of the latter unfortunately.

  2. Davis looks like he’ll develop into a very solid defender who can clean up misses and have a nice short game on offense. My biggest concern for him is that he picks up bad habits like not always hustling up and down the court.
    The Bosh booing thing is gonna happen but just to show we’ve got something thats lacking in Cleveland I like the idea of the appreciative applause when he is introduced. After that the silent treatment would be my favorite option but the sheep are gonna hear someone booing and just follow suit.

    • That has to do with conditioning, speed of the NBA and getting used to playing 25+ minutes for 82 games of the year. It’s just the rookie wall he’ll be fine next year.

  3. A lot of talk right now about how we give it up to Bosh … or give it to him, depending on how you feel. With so many writers and fans wondering or trying to nudge those who’ll be there one way or the other, the moment of truth is one that most of us have been looking forward to in each, our way. So, here’s hoping the telecast is set up right to capture it all, as it happens, instead of, you know, a “here’s what happened moments ago” type of thing. (It’s kind of nice to feel a part of it as it’s actually going on, you know?) Personally, if I’m there I’ll contribute to a long and loud first ovation … and then, cheer the Raptors like a madman for the rest of the game, as long as the effort holds up. As for that ‘first ovation’ I mention, well, as I see it, CB gave us a lot of great basketball over the years, so no matter what else went on, I’ll always appreciate what he brought most of those nights that he was a Raptor. And while he might’ve gotten douchy at the end and afterwards – and no one was more pissed about it than I was – any one of us is capable of saying stuff we’d later (probably) rather not have said. So … what are ya gonna do? Whatever WE do, I’ll hope we kick it off by giving Bosh a nice welcome, and then boo away … or not. Mostly, I hope we remember to give our team all the noise and support we can muster, maybe even enough to help cheer the Raps on to a memorable win over the self-stacked Heat from Miami. (A lot to ask for, but not impossible and would be sooo sweet.) So go Raps.

    • Definitely agree, I didn’t appreciate Bosh but at the end I think at least giving him a Standing Ovation before booing the hell out of him would be ok. Silence isn’t going to happen, so people asking for that are dreaming, the guy is your leader in scoring and rebounding and you just stay silent? what does that about us?

      You either cheer or boo, I prefer latter, but ignoring him doesn’t look good on us.

    • I agree with everything you said. We should show appreciation for everyone that gives a significant portion of their careers with this team. CB did alot for the Raps and we should applaud him for that. Standing-O during the intro’s seems appropriate and if I could go to the game I would be among the first in the stands to get up for the man.

      After that, he becomes an opponent and will be treated as such. Booing and general dis-respect included. But first he deserves our recognition as one of the greatest raptors of all time

  4. Liston… always love your posts. You work hard on them, you do an excellent job, they provide a lot of ‘not easy to find’ information. Awesome.

    But not really sure the ‘too boo or not too boo’ debate is really relevant here (maybe I’m just annoyed with people debating this, as I see its a non-issue… fans should boo who they want, cheer who they want…. its not really a big deal. And if the fan base has the capacity to boo a player each and every time the show up at the ACC for the rest of their career, I think that shows some serious dedication by a fan base). Plus Bosh was overrated to begin with.

    I would though be quite interested if you could find a correlation between booing and player success or failure though.

  5. bosh was my favourite raptor when he was here, so i’ll cheer him at the intros, but i’m gonna chant “mvp” if he gets to the line to mock him.

    save your boos for turkoglu..give it to that f-er as bad as we ever gave it to vince.

  6. This again raises the issue of what we do with our starting PF position going forward. I’m not a fan of the platooning system (it worked for half a season with Ford and Calderon, but that was it), plus NBA players simply have too much of an ego for it to be a realistic strategy.

    At some point, whether this year or not, both Davis and Amir will want (and deserve) to play 35 minutes per night. I like both guys, but I think the smart move would be to dangle Amir to see what he can fetch in a trade. Davis has certainly shown a lot of promise, and there’s no reason to think that upward trend won’t continue.

    • Is this really going to be an issue? I think Ed will eventually clearly be the starter, and Amir shouldn’t be to unhappy about that because I think he will get payed (again) and play 25-30 a night in the perfect roll for him: the first big off the bench. He’ll probably play a lot of crunch time too because of his newfound FT shooting (he’s an easy target to inbound the ball to late in the game when you know the other team is fouling, you can’t just hack him after an offensive rebound to save time on the clock, etc.).

  7. I had no idea PER was being so kind of Ed Davis – it actually measures him as a slightly above league average player! (which I’m not sure he is yet, although I think he has a couple of All-Defensive first/second teams in his future and maybe an All-Star nod if he plays on a winnah)

    Another sweet edition of Statophile, but I really don’t like that straight up rebound differential comparison. I understand you acknowledge it’s not a great way to look at how rebounding influneces the Raps’ success, but to me it seems as though it tells us nothing.

    I’ll briefly argue why I don’t like it: If the Raps hit the glass just as well as another team (ie. grab the same % of defensive rebounds available), but simply miss more shots, then a naive interpration of the total rebounding differential would lead one to say, “Oh, they killed us on the glass.” when that is not necessarily the case – same deal if the Raps get ridiculously hot, or if we turnover the ball a lot and don’t get as many possessions, etc.

    Do you know what the Raps record is when we grab some percentage more of available def. rebs than the opponent (which tells us at the same time how they rebounded at both ends of the floor)? It’s obviously not perfect (it certainly doesn’t differentiate between uncontested and tough rebounds) I feel that’d be a lot more telling about how controlling the glass leads to wins/losses.

    • “but simply miss more shots, then a naive interpration of the total rebounding differential would lead one to say, ‘Oh, they killed us on the glass.’ ”

      Excellent point. In trying to keep things simple, I may have oversimplified. One of my very first post on RR was on this very topic:

      Toronto does allow opponents to gather a high percentage of the offensive rebounds, even if a few more drop due to poor defense. They also have a high offensive rebound rate which offsets this somewhat. But your point is well taken, its not that simple. I’ll try to do something with DRR etc…

  8. I absolutely HATE Bosh, how can you leave your team w/o giving them no inclination that is what you are going to do, Melo has made it abundantly clear he won’t be part of denver’s future and even though they don’t like it, it gives them a chance to not be left reeling with nothing after his departure. I hate how much power these boys in mens body’s have, there’s way too much of this in the league……..and yeah I personally think its a predominantly(there are exceptions of course) black problem.

    • “black problem”??? — as in being outta the red??? Hopefully, you not bringing up racial epiteths in the RR… HOw lame of you if it is as it seems — if so, in recognition of your more than likely stupidity you shall be renamed Alvin-the-Chipmunk-Who-Couldn’t-Find-Chips… LoseR/Hater is really a compliment for some1 sooo unnecessarily,inherently, ignorantly stupid… as U have chosen to be in this instance!!!

      • EVERYBODY IN THE NBA HAS GOT TOO MUCH POWER, RED, WHITE OR BLACK! That’s why there’s only about 400 spots in the whole world–THE OWNERs aren’t innocent of being Nice Guys either, ever heard of Donald Sterling of the Clippers?!?

    • Last statement is retarted. . . a lot of athletes of varying races are assholes and have way too much power. Comes with the territory. As with Melo, him telling Denver straight up hasn’t exactly helped them, and has caused a whole lot of drama which has hurt all the players faith in their team as they hear their names thrown around. There’s really only one way to leave a team. . . play hard, give it your all then say thanks for the memories when your contract is up, or if your team has no chance of making the playoffs, then let the GM know you won’t be returning quietly, not by announcing it at another athletes wedding. Melo should have kept the media out of it and spoke directly to the front office, and because he didn’t hes just as much a douche as Lebron and Bosh are in the way they handled things.

  9. What Wienermobile said. If we give up 50+ FG% to the opposing team, there will be less defensive rebounding opportunities, and chances are we will have a bad rebound differential. But that’s not bad rebounding, that’s bad defense. And we all know the Raptors biggest problems are on the defensive end.

  10. RAPTORS FUTURE … by position …

    The Rapts should draft by need, not on talent, with 5 positions to fill going only with talent would be a mistake as they have a good crop of PF/SG in my opinion … in order of how solid we are at each position (for the future)

    PF – Amir Johnson & Ed Davis – these two guys are only going to get better and it’s too early to decide against that …
    SG – DeMar DeRozan – he’s already turned the corner into an offensive weapon
    PG – Jose Calderon – I could take him or leave him …
    C – Andrea Bargnani – he can score, but that’s all, and for a C he needs to do more … we could call him the SG, but we already have a good one there … TRADE HIM, NOW
    SF – Sonny Weems – I like him, but he’s the worst of our 5 starters

    The way I see it we need to draft or sign an inside C because that position is hardest to fill … if there isn’t one remotely close to top 5 in the draft (where I think we’ll be) then move to PG or lastly SF … I think the SF is easiest to fill / least important position to have a star in, so even though I think Weems is the worst of our starting five I can live with him …

    Conclusion trade Bargnani for either a second high draft pick (ie, our #28 and Barg for a second top ~8 pick) and draft a C and a PG (potential C’s – Kanter – Kentucky; Valanciunas – Lithuania; Motiejunas – Lithuania); (potential PG’s – Irving – Duke; Fredette – BYU; Knight – Kentucky; Walker – UConn) … all these guys have potential to go top 8 in early mock drafts (some also can be found as low as ~20)

    I’d trade Barg and that second pick for any of the following Horford (atl), Jefferson (uta), Bynum (lal), Gortat (Pho) … because they’re big (over 6-10, over 240), young (born in/after 1984) & they rebound (and they are not 7 foot SG’s) … Utah wouldn’t do the trade, Atlanta or LA might do Bargs straight up for Bynum or Horford – may have to throw in a draft (+ our 2nd rounder), we might get Gortat plus something for Barg …

    Maybe Minnesota will trade one of their extra small dudes? They seem to have an excess of PG’s (Flynn, Ridnour, Telfair, Rubio) … I’d take a flyer on Rubio for Calderon … Flynn or Ridnour (the best two out of the three they currently have) packaged with Telfair (the worst of the three) for Calderon …

    Thoughts …

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