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The Clippers

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  • Dean Oliver <deano@rawbw.com>
    The tough question I ve been struggling with this year is the Clippers. I don t know anyone who predicted that they would get worse this year with the
    Message 1 of 16 , Feb 11, 2003
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      The tough question I've been struggling with this year is the
      Clippers. I don't know anyone who predicted that they would get
      worse this year with the acquisition of Miller. The question is
      Why? And Could this have been predicted?

      Is there any reason not based on the premise "The Clippers are a bad
      organization"?

      I can think of one -- there was almost no way that Brand was going to
      have as good a year this year as last, based on his previous
      performances. Last year was so far above his previous seasons and
      this year looks more like those previous seasons (though I need to do
      some analysis to see whether that is predictable).

      Miller's decline is weird. Is it reason to think that he'll be back
      to normal next year?

      Before last year, there was talk in this group that Brand wouldn't do
      as well out west because the forwards there were so much better than
      in the east. It proved wrong, but this year is a different story.
      On the other hand, Miller played in the east, where guard play is
      supposedly better (or at least they said so during the All-Star
      Game), but has struggled coming to the west. Is that a blip? Was
      Brand's performance a blip?

      Any good ideas?

      DeanO
    • Michael Tamada
      ... From: Dean Oliver [mailto:deano@rawbw.com] Sent: Tuesday, February 11, 2003 8:54 AM To: APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com Subject:
      Message 2 of 16 , Feb 11, 2003
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        -----Original Message-----
        From: Dean Oliver <deano@...> [mailto:deano@...]
        Sent: Tuesday, February 11, 2003 8:54 AM
        To: APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [APBR_analysis] The Clippers

        [...]

        >The tough question I've been struggling with this year is the
        >Clippers. I don't know anyone who predicted that they would get
        >worse this year with the acquisition of Miller. The question is


        A slow start was predictable, given their injuries.

        And there were questions about their attitude -- during the
        preseason Olowakandi was grumbling about his lack of a contract
        extension, and would the players seek to jump ship.

        So the *possibility* of a downturn was there; however I don't know
        of any way to have come up with a firm prediction that the downturn
        would actually occur. Along with most people, I was predicting a
        somewhat improved Clippers team this year, although I thought they
        would miss the playoffs. But just barely, I thought.

        [...]

        >Is there any reason not based on the premise "The Clippers are a bad
        >organization"?

        Team attitude. However it was impossible to predict with confidence which
        way the attitudes would go.

        [...]

        >Miller's decline is weird. Is it reason to think that he'll be back
        >to normal next year?

        The LA Times sportswriters reported that even early in the season the
        returning players for some weird reason had some resentment against
        Miller and made him "prove" himself: instead of cutting, setting
        picks, and running plays, they stood around and made Miller generate
        the offense all by himself. He's a good point guard, but not good
        enough to be a 1-man show in the manner of Jordan or Kobe.

        I don't know how valid that explanation is, but given Miller's
        promising early history, and the Clippers current underachievement,
        there's every reason to believe that Miller's downturn this year
        is due to his environment -- i.e. his teammates -- rather than
        a reduction in his inherent quality.

        With Miller's contract running out, he's a prime candidate for a
        trade. Sonics' fans are salivating at the notion of being able
        to move their high-quality, final-year, expensive PG (Payton)
        for another high-quality, final-year, not-quite-so-expensive
        and substantially younger PG: Miller. Because Miller will be
        expensive and probably will not provide that much value to the
        Clippers. But he could provide a lot of value to another team,
        if he returns to his previous level.

        There's no particular reason for the Clippers to be interested
        in Payton or for Payton to be interested in the Clippers, so
        this would probably have to be a 3-way trade.


        --MKT
      • harlanzo <harlanzo@yahoo.com>
        ... bad ... Not really. THe clippers usually make no bones about the fact that they won t sign free agents and this can make for a poison atmosphere which
        Message 3 of 16 , Feb 11, 2003
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          --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "Dean Oliver <deano@r...>"
          <deano@r...> wrote:
          >
          > The tough question I've been struggling with this year is the
          > Clippers. I don't know anyone who predicted that they would get
          > worse this year with the acquisition of Miller. The question is
          > Why? And Could this have been predicted?
          >
          > Is there any reason not based on the premise "The Clippers are a
          bad
          > organization"?
          >

          Not really. THe clippers usually make no bones about the fact that
          they won't sign free agents and this can make for a poison
          atmosphere which apparently can't be underestimated in terms of team
          performance. you will note that this is not the first time that the
          clipps had a bunch of prospective free agents and a team that seemed
          to be peaking. (for a shameless plug, I wrote about this last week,
          at http://www.hoopsanalyst.com/clippersfreeagents.htm). each time
          the clipps had young talent the team collapsed even before the free
          agents were traded/set free.

          i suspect this fall off happens on the defensive side of the ball
          where coach motivation can make a big difference (i think DeanO has
          mentioned this before). the defeatist attitude of the free agents-
          to-be may have taken away from the defensive side of the ball.


          > I can think of one -- there was almost no way that Brand was going
          to
          > have as good a year this year as last, based on his previous
          > performances. Last year was so far above his previous seasons and
          > this year looks more like those previous seasons (though I need to
          do
          > some analysis to see whether that is predictable).



          >
          > Miller's decline is weird. Is it reason to think that he'll be
          back
          > to normal next year?
          >
          > Before last year, there was talk in this group that Brand wouldn't
          do
          > as well out west because the forwards there were so much better
          than
          > in the east. It proved wrong, but this year is a different
          story.
          > On the other hand, Miller played in the east, where guard play is
          > supposedly better (or at least they said so during the All-Star
          > Game), but has struggled coming to the west. Is that a blip? Was
          > Brand's performance a blip?
          >
          > Any good ideas?

          the only good idea i can come up with on miller is that he was a
          jonh lucas point guard and previous lucas point guards have had
          inflated stats that came down after they left his system (see Dana
          Barros 94-95, Vernon Maxwell 95-96 and Trevor Ruffin 95-96). Still,
          Miller "looked" like the real deal while it was obvious that the
          other guys were not as good as their numbers.
        • monepeterson <mone@sigma.net>
          ... The Clippers stunk last year on D, though. I haven t looked closely at the numbers, but I think the main dropoff has been on the offensive end. I live in
          Message 4 of 16 , Feb 11, 2003
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            > i suspect this fall off happens on the defensive side of the ball
            > where coach motivation can make a big difference (i think DeanO has
            > mentioned this before). the defeatist attitude of the free agents-
            > to-be may have taken away from the defensive side of the ball.

            The Clippers stunk last year on D, though. I haven't looked closely
            at the numbers, but I think the main dropoff has been on the
            offensive end.

            I live in L.A., so I get to watch the Clips a lot, but I wouldn't
            care to speculate what's going on in the locker room. It's easy to
            attribute individual characteristics to a group, but I think the
            reasons for why a team acts the way it does are more complex than
            what can be assumed from the outside.

            Statistically speaking, what is the biggest difference between this
            year and last year? I can't imagine that Miller, even with his fall
            in production, is any worse than McInnis was last year. So we have
            Brand's fall in production... what else? Olowokandi has been used
            more, and he's a low-efficiency player. How much is that responsible
            for the offensive collapse?

            It should be noted that team finished really poor last year, 3-10
            over their last 13, with two of those wins coming against Memphis and
            Denver. I'm inclined to think they were much poorer than their record
            showed, and the record wasn't all that great.

            Moné
          • Dean Oliver <deano@rawbw.com>
            ... has ... agents- ... You re right on this point. The main drop off has been on the offensive end. ... responsible ... McInnis was, by my evaluations,
            Message 5 of 16 , Feb 11, 2003
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              --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "monepeterson <mone@s...>"
              <mone@s...> wrote:
              > > i suspect this fall off happens on the defensive side of the ball
              > > where coach motivation can make a big difference (i think DeanO
              has
              > > mentioned this before). the defeatist attitude of the free
              agents-
              > > to-be may have taken away from the defensive side of the ball.
              >
              > The Clippers stunk last year on D, though. I haven't looked closely
              > at the numbers, but I think the main dropoff has been on the
              > offensive end.

              You're right on this point. The main drop off has been on the
              offensive end.


              >
              > Statistically speaking, what is the biggest difference between this
              > year and last year? I can't imagine that Miller, even with his fall
              > in production, is any worse than McInnis was last year. So we have
              > Brand's fall in production... what else? Olowokandi has been used
              > more, and he's a low-efficiency player. How much is that
              responsible
              > for the offensive collapse?
              >

              McInnis was, by my evaluations, underrated at PG. He wasn't stellar,
              but he was good -- offensively at least. Defensively, ugh. He
              didn't like playing it at UNC either when I was there. Supposedly,
              McInnis is a clubhouse cancer (he went out with coach's wives), but
              he was always a decent ballplayer. Getting rid of him for the more
              upstanding Miller should have helped the clubhouse in some vague
              way. Miller's offensive rating last year was about 113. It's 103
              this year (McInnis' was 107.)

              But Brand is a big one. If he were shooting 53% like last year and
              going to the line as much as last year, the team would be a couple of
              points better per game. Q is also way off last year, with injuries
              being part of the problem. Why have these guys declined so much?
              That I can't answer.

              Other reasons why the team seems to have declined (that could be
              considered predictable in some sense) include

              -Lamar Odom is still very much overrated and getting relatively more
              time this year.
              -Olowokandi is still about the biggest negative on any team by
              getting so many minutes and being so bad with them. He is actually
              slightly worse. Why? (A better question is How could he get even
              worse? But I just like ragging on him.)
              -Earl Boykins is gone and, though he wasn't as good last year as
              this, he was a backup who was playing as well or better than Miller
              is playing this year on the offensive end.
              -Keyon Dooling is not a good offensive player who is getting
              relatively more time this year. (Miles was better offensively than
              Odom and Dooling, who seem to be getting some of Miles' lost minutes.)

              > It should be noted that team finished really poor last year, 3-10
              > over their last 13, with two of those wins coming against Memphis
              and
              > Denver. I'm inclined to think they were much poorer than their
              record
              > showed, and the record wasn't all that great.

              Overall, the team won about what any win-loss prediction method would
              say from points scored-allowed.

              It also seems that the D fell apart in those last 13. That doesn't
              mean that it's not linked. A young team that is fighting for a
              playoff spot and blows it like they did -- they very easily could
              have gotten down on themselves rather than looking at the positive
              and seeing how they improved. 5 of those losses were close games.
              They could have gotten down, made a bigger deal out of losing than
              just playing well. (There are actually some statistics that
              generally says that young teams _shouldn't_ compete so hard and
              should be working to improve.)

              So we're left with

              -Why did Brand decline so much?
              -Why did Miller decline so much?
              -Why did Q decline so much?

              We can blame the 2nd on the John Hollinger cover curse.

              I gotta think that Miller is going to get better in the 2nd half. He
              hasn't played this poorly ever (but the trend has been downward this
              year). Brand's offense is not that far off from where it was in
              Chicago, so it may not get better, though I think it will a little.
              Richardson's O numbers are so far below both of his first 2 years
              that I have to think he'll get better, too. If they don't, I'll just
              be perplexed.

              DeanO
            • monepeterson <mone@sigma.net>
              ... What about touches? Is Brand handling less of the offense than he did last year? Miller was obviously destined to take a smaller role than he did in
              Message 6 of 16 , Feb 12, 2003
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                > But Brand is a big one. If he were shooting 53% like last year and
                > going to the line as much as last year, the team would be a couple
                > of points better per game. Q is also way off last year, with
                > injuries being part of the problem.

                What about touches? Is Brand handling less of the offense than he did
                last year? Miller was obviously destined to take a smaller role than
                he did in Cleveland, but he's handling the ball much less than I
                would have expected. During a recent game against the Lakers, a close
                game that the Clips had a chance to win, he touched the ball twice in
                the final ten trips down the floor. He wasn't even carrying the ball
                out of the backcourt, Odom and Maggette were.

                > Other reasons why the team seems to have declined (that could be
                > considered predictable in some sense) include
                >
                > -Lamar Odom is still very much overrated and getting relatively
                > more time this year.
                > -Olowokandi is still about the biggest negative on any team by
                > getting so many minutes and being so bad with them. He is actually
                > slightly worse. Why? (A better question is How could he get even
                > worse? But I just like ragging on him.)
                > -Keyon Dooling is not a good offensive player who is getting
                > relatively more time this year. (Miles was better offensively than
                > Odom and Dooling, who seem to be getting some of Miles' lost
                > minutes.)

                So that's certainly part of it. The talent that the Clips have isn't
                as good as people thinks it is. Also, the D was lousy last year and
                there was very little to suggest that it would improve, other than
                replacing McInnis with Miller. Miles was one of the Clips better
                defensive players and he left. Odom and Olowokandi were due for more
                time and both are awful on the defensive end.

                Re: Miller, I'm trying to think of any comparable collapse from a
                player of Miller's age and ability that didn't result from injury.
                Anyone want to take a crack at this?

                > -Why did Brand decline so much?
                > -Why did Miller decline so much?
                > -Why did Q decline so much?
                >
                > We can blame the 2nd on the John Hollinger cover curse.

                Would it be too much to ask John to put a Laker team photo on the
                website?

                Moné
              • bchaikin@aol.com
                Miller was obviously destined to take a smaller role than he did in Cleveland, but he s handling the ball much less than I would have expected. During a recent
                Message 7 of 16 , Feb 12, 2003
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                  Miller was obviously destined to take a smaller role than he did in Cleveland, but he's handling the ball much less than I would have expected. During a recent game against the Lakers, a close game that the Clips had a chance to win, he touched the ball twice in the final ten trips down the floor. He wasn't even carrying the ball
                  out of the backcourt, Odom and Maggette were.

                  Re: Miller, I'm trying to think of any comparable collapse from a player of Miller's age and ability that didn't result from injury. Anyone want to take a crack at this?

                  here's some of andre millers numbers:

                  FG%   effFG%   2ptFG%   3ptFG%   pts/g     tndx/min  year
                  .449    .456         .466          .204       11.1        .444     99-00 
                  .452    .461         .465          .266       15.8        .472     00-01
                  .454    .464         .472          .253       16.5        .539     01-02
                  .394    .408         .419          .222       14.7        .339     02-03


                  touchs/min    %shoot    %fouled    %TO   %pass    year
                     1.80               20           7             4         69      99-00
                     1.90               18           7             5         70      00-01
                     2.22               16           6             4         74      01-02
                     1.61               20           9             5         66      02-03

                  and here %shoot, %fouled, %TO, and %pass means how often miller shot, passed, got fouled, and turned the ball over per individual ball possession....

                  as you can see first off miller's possession factor (touches/min) is way down from last year. the reason is that his poss fact was way up in 01-02 because two of his cavalier teammates that played major minutes in 01-02 were wesley person (0.76 touches/min) and jumaine jones (0.67 touches/min). they each handled the ball much less often than your average SG and PF, and thus miller handled the ball much more often than he would have on another "typical" team.....

                  think of this as having a really good center fielder on an average baseball team (avg LFer and avg RFer), who then gets traded to a team with really slow left and right fielders - that center fielder will have alot more putouts and chances in the outfield because the LFer and RFer don't have the range to get to alot of balls, and then that really good CFer looks really great because of the extra chances he gets in the outfield due to his slow LFer and RFer. a very similar situation existed on cleveland in 01-02, and also in 00-01....

                  so because of his teammates in cleveland miller handled the ball more often than he would have on a "normal" team (one with 4 starting teammates that handle the ball like the average SG, SF, PF, and C do). thus because he's getting more touches/min his overall numbers are higher (more ball possessions, FGA, ASTs, etc).....

                  now miller gets traded to a team like the clippers who in elton brand, quentin richardson, and especially lamar odom (even tho he's played just 20 games to date) who handle the ball more often than players like person and jumaine jones and miller's touches/min go down. this was easily predictable (well...i certainly knew it would happen). what i cannot explain is miller's very poor shooting and could not have predicted that. per ball possession miller is pretty close to the same player he was last year (%shoot, %TO, %fouled, %pass), and even moreso in 00-01. but his production (tendex) is way down first and foremost because he's handling the ball about 25% less often than last year, and also because his shooting is so poor...

                  i really wouldn't call this a collapse for miller, if he was handling the ball just as often as last year but shooting worse it wouldn't look like such a collapse, but with handling the ball so much less plus shooting poorly it appears so. and with lamar odom heathy and now getting major minutes (he's like a PG in the frontcourt, his touches/min last year was 1.51 - just as high as a typical PG) look for miller's touches/min to stay low for the rest of the season...

                  bob chaikin
                  bchaikin@...



                • monepeterson <mone@sigma.net>
                  Yeah, Miller s usage last year made him look better, but the fact is he was able to remain extremely efficient with that amount of use. Out of curiosity, what
                  Message 8 of 16 , Feb 12, 2003
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                    Yeah, Miller's usage last year made him look better, but the fact is
                    he was able to remain extremely efficient with that amount of use.
                    Out of curiosity, what ARE the average number of touches/minute for a
                    point? And are touches/minute scaled for team pace?

                    One could infer from this data that it could be predicted that Miller
                    wouldn't be a good fit for the Clippers, since he was destined to
                    have a much lower usage rate. Ideally, Odom would reduce his touches
                    to let Andre do his job and handle the ball more, but if you watch
                    him, you just know that isn't Lamar's game (I was actually hoping
                    they would trade Odom instead of Miles).

                    So what about Brand's touches this year as opposed to last year?

                    Moné
                  • Dean Oliver <deano@rawbw.com>
                    ... is ... a ... His touch rate doesn t help in the efficiency numbers I look at. He s a lot less efficient and using only 23% of team possessions vs 25% on a
                    Message 9 of 16 , Feb 12, 2003
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                      --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "monepeterson <mone@s...>"
                      <mone@s...> wrote:
                      > Yeah, Miller's usage last year made him look better, but the fact
                      is
                      > he was able to remain extremely efficient with that amount of use.
                      > Out of curiosity, what ARE the average number of touches/minute for
                      a
                      > point? And are touches/minute scaled for team pace?
                      >

                      His touch rate doesn't help in the efficiency numbers I look at.
                      He's a lot less efficient and using only 23% of team possessions vs
                      25% on a worse offense last year. That's an odd combination.
                      Usually if you have better offensive teammates and use fewer
                      possessions, you get more efficient. Structurally, there is
                      something fundamentally wrong with this team. If Odom is playing the
                      point, that would be a big part of it.


                      > So what about Brand's touches this year as opposed to last year?

                      I don't have touch info, but Brand is using almost exactly the same
                      number of possessions, so that wouldn't explain the efficiency drop.
                      A collapsed interior defense would -- the increased use of zones
                      would. The general decline in outside shooting on the team probably
                      has hurt him, now that I look at it. Piatkowski has been hurt.
                      Miller and Odom aren't outside shooters. Richardson is way off last
                      year. So it would seem to me that Brand probably has been hurt by
                      the lack of outside shooting presence. (He'd do better in Seattle,
                      right, MikeT?)

                      DeanO
                    • Michael Tamada
                      ... From: Dean Oliver [mailto:deano@rawbw.com] Sent: Wednesday, February 12, 2003 9:27 PM To: APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com Subject:
                      Message 10 of 16 , Feb 12, 2003
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                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: Dean Oliver <deano@...> [mailto:deano@...]
                        Sent: Wednesday, February 12, 2003 9:27 PM
                        To: APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: [APBR_analysis] Re: The Clippers

                        [...]

                        >year. So it would seem to me that Brand probably has been hurt by
                        >the lack of outside shooting presence. (He'd do better in Seattle,
                        >right, MikeT?)

                        Yeah, the Sonics' opponents have learned that the Sonics have no
                        inside threat and all they have to do is bottle up the outside shooters
                        until the Sonics' outside shots stop falling. Sonics fans would
                        salivate over the possibility of say trading Payton for Brand. But
                        not even the Clippers would be that stupid. Plus Payton would
                        probably veto the trade.

                        Rashard and Barry poised at the three point-line to shoot open 3s;
                        Drobnjak 18-20 feet straight away keeping the defensive C occupied;
                        Brand free to operate down low. Oh well dream on.


                        --MKT
                      • lilnemoinslumber <lilnemoinslumber@yahoo
                        I don t think Andre Miller s performance has adversely affected the Clippers play. Lets take a look at some numbers: Last year Jeff McInnis made 183 of 219
                        Message 11 of 16 , Feb 13, 2003
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                          I don't think Andre Miller's performance has adversely affected the
                          Clippers play. Lets take a look at some numbers:

                          Last year Jeff McInnis made 183 of 219 FT's. This year, Andre Miller
                          has made 233 out of 290 FT's. In 32 less games. Last year Jeff
                          McInnis made roughly 41% of his FG's. This year, Andre Miller has
                          made roughly 39%.

                          Now for the Clippers as a team. Last year the Clippers made roughly
                          45% FG & 36% 3P. This year they have made 43% FG and 33% 3P.

                          What can we glean from these numbers?

                          Jeff, as we all know was strictly a mid-range shooter, and his 6
                          assists a game where an aberration, which Portland heartily pays for.
                          He would often wave off teammates, and settle for long to mid-range
                          jumpers. Which could explain Elton's slightly dipped offensive
                          rebound numbers.

                          Andre, on the other hand is not a shooter. He does however draw
                          fouls. Drawing fouls allows the Clips to score, stop the clock, allow
                          them to build a lead, or as is more often the case, play catch up.
                          Hence, where Jeff used to shoot the Clips out of games, Andre is now
                          giving them chances.

                          The problem then falls onto shooting. As has been stated before Andre
                          is not Kobe or Jordan. He can create his own drives, but he doesn't
                          have the heighth for a good fallaway/pullup/clock-beater game.
                          However, because he has been put in the position of trust he is often
                          saddled with buzzer-beater type scenarios. This highlights a MAJOR
                          problem with the Clipper roster.

                          THEY DO NOT HAVE A MOBILE SHOOTER.

                          Odom, Maggette, and Richardson for all their perimeter forays are all
                          Small Forwards. Period. End of sentence. When was the last time any
                          of them ran off a curl and hit a 17 footer? Ever?

                          Piatkowski is strictly spot-up, as is just about everyone else.

                          Best case scenario for the Clippers would be to get rid of
                          Olowokandi, resign Brand, Miller, finally choose between Odom,
                          Maggette, Richardson and beg a mobile shooter to join their club.

                          Exorcising Kandi opens the paint for Brand. Because I'm sorry, Kandi
                          is 3 years away from effective post play. Where is the left hand hook
                          turning into the lane from the right box? He always shoots that off
                          balance jumper with his right hand that EXPOSES the BALL to the D. I
                          take my chances with Wilcox and Ely, at least their coordinated
                          enough to get out of Brand's way.

                          Andre will keep the offense running. Whatever it will be.

                          A mobile shooter will open up the paint more for Brand, keep the D
                          honest, and allow for more driving oppurtunities(and assists) for
                          Miller. Let's not forget, as crappy as the Cavs were last year they
                          had perimeter guys who could hit shots(Person, Davis, even Murray &
                          Jones on occasion) and Andre could fine them.

                          What do you guys think?
                        • lilnemoinslumber <lilnemoinslumber@yahoo
                          ... they are ... find them. ... What do you guys think about the Clips, not my typing.
                          Message 12 of 16 , Feb 13, 2003
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                            --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "lilnemoinslumber
                            <lilnemoinslumber@y...>" <lilnemoinslumber@y...> wrote:
                            > I take my chances with Wilcox and Ely, at least their coordinated
                            > enough to get out of Brand's way.
                            they are
                            > Andre will keep the offense running. Whatever it will be.
                            >
                            > A mobile shooter will open up the paint more for Brand, keep the D
                            > honest, and allow for more driving oppurtunities(and assists) for
                            > Miller. Let's not forget, as crappy as the Cavs were last year they
                            > had perimeter guys who could hit shots(Person, Davis, even Murray &
                            > Jones on occasion) and Andre could fine them.
                            find them.
                            > What do you guys think?
                            What do you guys think about the Clips, not my typing.
                          • Dean Oliver <deano@rawbw.com>
                            McInnis is defintely playing poorly this year. Last year may have been an aberration. ... Miller ... Don t forget turnovers, though. McInnis made 147 with
                            Message 13 of 16 , Feb 13, 2003
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                              McInnis is defintely playing poorly this year. Last year may have
                              been an aberration.

                              --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "lilnemoinslumber
                              <lilnemoinslumber@y...>" <lilnemoinslumber@y...> wrote:
                              > I don't think Andre Miller's performance has adversely affected the
                              > Clippers play. Lets take a look at some numbers:
                              >
                              > Last year Jeff McInnis made 183 of 219 FT's. This year, Andre
                              Miller
                              > has made 233 out of 290 FT's. In 32 less games. Last year Jeff
                              > McInnis made roughly 41% of his FG's. This year, Andre Miller has
                              > made roughly 39%.
                              >
                              > Now for the Clippers as a team. Last year the Clippers made roughly
                              > 45% FG & 36% 3P. This year they have made 43% FG and 33% 3P.
                              >

                              Don't forget turnovers, though. McInnis made 147 with about 1120
                              shots. Miller has 148 with about half as many shots. McInnis had
                              more assists, too.

                              > What can we glean from these numbers?
                              >
                              > Jeff, as we all know was strictly a mid-range shooter, and his 6
                              > assists a game where an aberration, which Portland heartily pays
                              for.
                              > He would often wave off teammates, and settle for long to mid-range
                              > jumpers.

                              I don't disagree with this, though his assist rate wasn't that
                              different from Miller's this year.

                              > Andre, on the other hand is not a shooter. He does however draw
                              > fouls. Drawing fouls allows the Clips to score, stop the clock,
                              allow
                              > them to build a lead, or as is more often the case, play catch up.
                              > Hence, where Jeff used to shoot the Clips out of games, Andre is
                              now
                              > giving them chances.

                              Andre is doing other things to take the team out of games this year.
                              His turnover rate is pretty high.

                              >
                              > The problem then falls onto shooting. As has been stated before
                              Andre
                              > is not Kobe or Jordan. He can create his own drives, but he doesn't
                              > have the heighth for a good fallaway/pullup/clock-beater game.
                              > However, because he has been put in the position of trust he is
                              often
                              > saddled with buzzer-beater type scenarios. This highlights a MAJOR
                              > problem with the Clipper roster.
                              >
                              > THEY DO NOT HAVE A MOBILE SHOOTER.
                              >
                              > Odom, Maggette, and Richardson for all their perimeter forays are
                              all
                              > Small Forwards. Period. End of sentence. When was the last time any
                              > of them ran off a curl and hit a 17 footer? Ever?
                              >
                              > Piatkowski is strictly spot-up, as is just about everyone else.
                              >
                              > Best case scenario for the Clippers would be to get rid of
                              > Olowokandi, resign Brand, Miller, finally choose between Odom,
                              > Maggette, Richardson and beg a mobile shooter to join their club.
                              >
                              > Exorcising Kandi opens the paint for Brand. Because I'm sorry,
                              Kandi
                              > is 3 years away from effective post play.

                              (They said that 3 years ago, too. Kandi makes Benoit Benjamin look
                              like Wilt.)

                              > Where is the left hand hook
                              > turning into the lane from the right box? He always shoots that off
                              > balance jumper with his right hand that EXPOSES the BALL to the D.
                              I
                              > take my chances with Wilcox and Ely, at least their coordinated
                              > enough to get out of Brand's way.
                              >
                              > Andre will keep the offense running. Whatever it will be.
                              >
                              > A mobile shooter will open up the paint more for Brand, keep the D
                              > honest, and allow for more driving oppurtunities(and assists) for
                              > Miller. Let's not forget, as crappy as the Cavs were last year they
                              > had perimeter guys who could hit shots(Person, Davis, even Murray &
                              > Jones on occasion) and Andre could fine them.

                              I don't think it has to be mobile -- just any guy with range.
                              Piatkowski does get taken seriously but he is just one guy. My sense
                              is that teams look at everyone else's FG% from outside and
                              think "Stop Brand" first.

                              But, frankly, I am not even sure that will bring Brand back to where
                              he was last year. Last year was remarkably good for him. Weird for
                              a guy to play so well in his 3rd year then fall back so much. I
                              honestly don't know what to make of his future.

                              DeanO
                            • lilnemoinslumber <lilnemoinslumber@yahoo
                              ... I still don t buy that Elton s play has hurt the team as much as Kandi s. Actually, I think Elton s dropoff is direct result of Kandi s play. It seems to
                              Message 14 of 16 , Feb 15, 2003
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                                --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "Dean Oliver" wrote:
                                > My sense
                                > is that teams look at everyone else's FG% from outside and
                                > think "Stop Brand" first.
                                >
                                > But, frankly, I am not even sure that will bring Brand back to where
                                > he was last year. Last year was remarkably good for him. Weird for
                                > a guy to play so well in his 3rd year then fall back so much. I
                                > honestly don't know what to make of his future.

                                I still don't buy that Elton's play has hurt the team as much as Kandi's. Actually, I think Elton's dropoff is direct result of Kandi's play. It seems to me that Kandi has been given the green light in the paint, but he forces too many awkward shots and passes. I've seen too many Clip possessions end with Kandi passing out of SINGLE COVERAGE to Elton at the top of the key. The usual result is either a t/o or Elton putting up a jumper or running hook.

                                I just don't think Elton has the skill set to be a high post player(yet). He's shown the ability to make the correct pass from the high post to keep the offense running, to set the right picks. I just haven't seen the consistent mid-range jumper. Will he develop that high post jumper a la Kemp in '96? Maybe. But I'd prefer it if they put Elton on the box with a tall shooter at the elbow. Thats why they pay Wang, Parks, etc. isn't it?

                                I think Elton, much like Barkley, and Malone is a back to the basket, feel where the contact is coming from-type banger. He just has better post-defender awareness than Kandi does. How does a 6-8(?) PF shoot a higher FG% than a 7-1 C?

                                I think Brand shapes up the minute Gentry pulls Kandi, and force-feeds him in the post.
                              • John Hollinger <alleyoop2@yahoo.com>
                                Sorry I didn t get in on this one sooner. First, some background on the Prospectus cover curse. I am now in the employ of two separate organizations (Brassey s
                                Message 15 of 16 , Feb 18, 2003
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                                  Sorry I didn't get in on this one sooner.

                                  First, some background on the Prospectus cover curse. I am now in the
                                  employ of two separate organizations (Brassey's and Sports
                                  Illustrated), both of whom have well-known cover curses.

                                  Baseball Prospectus hit curse-level a few years ago when Adrian
                                  Beltre graced its front and almost immediately had a life-threatening
                                  appendectomy that wiped out half his season. Football Prospectus did
                                  it's part by putting Brian Urlacher on the cover. I'm pleased to
                                  announce that the curse is just as effective in hoops. Maybe this
                                  year I'll put Rasheed Wallace on the cover.

                                  As far as the Clippers, I agree with most of what has been said, to
                                  wit:

                                  - Most of the decline is offensive.

                                  - Brand is off from last year, although he also had knee surgery just
                                  before the season, so I'm not as worried as Dean is about his long-
                                  term prognosis.

                                  - Miller has been a huge disappointment, though he's not any worse
                                  than McInnis.

                                  - Olowokandi sucks.

                                  - Perhaps because of the ankle problems, Quentin Richardson has taken
                                  a major step backwards.

                                  - The Clippers have basically no respectable outside shooters,
                                  especially with Piatkowski out, and if they play Piatkowski it puts
                                  Odom, Maggette or QRich on the pine.



                                  A few other thoughts:

                                  -- They have literally not run a post-up for Miller all season. He
                                  kills opposing guards down low, but with Brand on one block and The
                                  Big Fraud on the other, there's no place for him to go.

                                  -- Especially early in the year, Gentry was very clearly calling
                                  plays for El Fraudo at the expense of Brand and everyone else.

                                  -- Despite their lack of shooters, and the fact that their center
                                  can't play, Gentry refuses to play Wang Zhizhi. I find this
                                  absolutely bewildering.

                                  -- Gentry's track record developing young players is still a perfect
                                  0-for-life.
                                • Dean Oliver <deano@rawbw.com>
                                  ... It s a lot tougher to run guards on the post this year, not just Miller. The zone D really really hurts guard post ups. Too hard for them to shoot over
                                  Message 16 of 16 , Feb 18, 2003
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                                    --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "John Hollinger
                                    <alleyoop2@y...>" <alleyoop2@y...> wrote:
                                    > A few other thoughts:
                                    >
                                    > -- They have literally not run a post-up for Miller all season. He
                                    > kills opposing guards down low, but with Brand on one block and The
                                    > Big Fraud on the other, there's no place for him to go.
                                    >

                                    It's a lot tougher to run guards on the post this year, not just
                                    Miller. The zone D really really hurts guard post ups. Too hard for
                                    them to shoot over and too easy for defenses to poach in the middle
                                    of the lane. Gary Payton is struggling with that, too.

                                    > -- Especially early in the year, Gentry was very clearly calling
                                    > plays for El Fraudo at the expense of Brand and everyone else.
                                    >

                                    Sunk cost effect. So many people refuse to believe that someone
                                    drafted so high could be so bad.

                                    > -- Despite their lack of shooters, and the fact that their center
                                    > can't play, Gentry refuses to play Wang Zhizhi. I find this
                                    > absolutely bewildering.

                                    Completely agreed.

                                    >
                                    > -- Gentry's track record developing young players is still a
                                    perfect
                                    > 0-for-life.

                                    Didn't realize that. May be true.

                                    DeanO
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