Breaking Down the Latest Trades

» June 27, 2009 1:20 PM | By Erick Blasco

Erick Blasco is a 21-year-old college student attending Brooklyn College on a full scholarship. He is majoring in Television/Radio and minoring in English with the hopes of someday becoming a professional basketball analyst.

The NBA draft is usually a time where teams look to the future, but Cleveland, Orlando, and San Antonio have more immediate concerns—like capturing an NBA championship. That’s why such mega names as Shaquille O’Neal, Vince Carter, and Richard Jefferson have been dealt in the past handful of days.

Here is what each move implies.

San Antonio acquires Richard Jefferson from Milwaukee for Bruce Bowen, Kurt Thomas, and Fabricio Oberto.

The Spurs have lacked three things the past few seasons that have stalled their attempts at recapturing an NBA crown—healthy stars, young athleticism, and another creative scorer.

Fortunately, Jefferson solves all three problems.

With Manu Ginobili’s health a major concern, Jefferson brings stability—he’s appeared in all 82 games each of the past two seasons.

Also, because Ginobili has missed so much action, and Tony Parker isn’t a dangerous jump shooter, the Spurs have lacked that key perimeter player who can both drive to the hoop and hit a jump shot. Jefferson provides that, whether in tandem with, or insurance for Manu Ginobili.

And since Bowen, Thomas, and Oberto are 38, 36, and 34, the Spurs are younger and more athletic with the 29-year old Jefferson.

On the court, Jefferson has a quick first step, is a strong finisher, can pull up off the bounce, shoot the three, and post selective opponents.

He’s also a willing passer and a competitive defender. If those skills have dulled the past few seasons playing for the mediocre Bucks and Nets, being reacquainted with a title-worthy team like San Antonio should reinvigorate Jefferson. So should being a fourth-option on offense, as opposed to being the primary option the second half of last season after Michael Redd went down.

Of the players given away, it’s not unlikely that each will be bought out and can return to San Antonio. Assuming they don’t return, giving up Oberto and Thomas greatly reduces San Antonio’s frontcourt depth, particularly if Drew Gooden isn’t retained.

Is Ian Mahinmi ready to play important minutes for the Spurs? Is Tiago Splitter ready to come stateside? If not, Matt Bonner’s not-quite-ready-for-prime-time shooting stroke and limited athleticism will be Tim Duncan’s lone sidekick up front.

Richard Jefferson could slide in at the power forward and play alongside Duncan, Parker, Ginobili, and either Roger Mason or Michael Finley, but only against select fours.

In other words, the Spurs need an able-bodied big man.

Ime Udoka has been underwhelming as an heir-apparent to Bowen, but can step in and play above-average defense in a pinch. Since Bowen’s defense had been gradually eroding, and since Jefferson can also play quality defense, Bowen’s loss won’t be significant.

In fact, the Spurs are back to being ready to challenge the Lakers for Western Conference supremacy.

Grade: A

Milwaukee acquires Bruce Bowen, Kurt Thomas, and Fabricio Oberto from San Antonio for Richard Jefferson. Milwaukee then acquires Amir Johnson from Detroit for Oberto.

The Bucks were forced into this trade for a myriad of reasons.

Because the plummeting economy and the expected lowering of salary cap and luxury tax thresholds hit’s the bucks hard, they have to save cap space anywhere they can.

Throw in the fact that Michael Redd blew out his knee last year and Andrew Bogut has back issues, and it’s unlikely that, even with Jefferson, the Bucks would have fielded a team capable of making the postseason.

It’s also unlikely that the Bucks assumed Ramon Sessions would turn out to be more than a flash in the pan, and that Charlie Villanueva wouldn’t get banished by Scott Skiles.

Since Jefferson isn’t worth the $14 million dollars you expect of franchise-carriers, trading him off makes nothing but financial sense.

They now have to flexibility to resign Sessions and Villanueva—musts if they plan on fielding a competitive team.

Kurt Thomas can still shoot midrange springers, rebound, and defend in limited minutes, and is an invaluable teacher. He’s a better backup than Dan Gadzuric and is insurance in case Bogut’s back can’t hold up.

Bruce Bowen can still occasionally play stand-up defense, but isn’t the standout he once was. His best asset will be teaching Joe Alexander the ropes.

Amir Johnson has big-time athleticism, but still has limit understanding of where he’s supposed to be on the court and why. His upside is worth a flier.

The Bucks shed a bad contract, got more flexible, and will be able to resign their young stars. Just don’t expect a playoff berth next season.

Grade: B

Washington Wizards acquire Randy Foye and Mike Miller from Minnesota for Etan Thomas, Darius Songaila, Oleskiy Pecherov, and the draft pick they used on Ricky Rubio.

Randy Foye is an undersized two-guard who is tough and can shoot, but is a limited player. Mike Miller should rebound after a disinterested season in Minnesota, but at his best, he’s a bombs away gunner who can sometimes attack the rim, but only rarely play defense.

So the Wizards, already loaded with guards and shooters, acquired two more guards who like to shoot. Brilliant!

Getting rid of Thomas is addition by subtraction and should create more roster harmony, and Pecherov is little more than a young shooting big man himself. Songaila is a tough, smart glue guy now missing from a team devoid of ball movement.

Gilbert Arenas, Deshawn Stevenson, Mike James, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, Nick Young, Mike Miller, and Randy Foye. Of those players, only two of them (Stevenson, Butler) will try defensively, and only one (Butler) will consistently attack contact at the rim.

They better hope Ricky Rubio doesn’t become good.

Grade: D

Minnesota acquires Darius Songaila, Eton Thomas, Oleskiy Pecherov, and the draft pick they used on Ricky Rubio from Washington for Mike Miller and Randy Foye.

Randy Foye isn’t an impact player, and Mike Miller never really bothered in his lone season in the twin cities, so neither player will be missed.

However, the Timberwolves need athletes badly and didn’t get any from the players. That means that their trade hinges on how good Ricky Rubio is and how good he can be.

Songaila fosters ball movement, he works hard, and he can hit open jump shots—all things Ryan Gomes can do and more. Thomas will work hard on defense and make up for some of Al Jefferson and Kevin Love’s defensive shortcomings. All Pecherov will do is shoot long jumpers and shouldn’t play much.

The trade marginally covers up some of Minnesota’s weak points, but they need athletic talent. Even with Rubio, where’s the perimeter scoring?

Grade: B-


Cleveland acquires Shaquille O’Neal from Phoenix for Sasha Pavlovic, Ben Wallace, a 2010 draft pick, and cash.

Since Cleveland should be a title contender next season, the draft pick they gave away shouldn’t be anything of value. Ben Wallace occasionally played impact defense, but he’s a complete offensive non-factor, and Sasha Pavlovic is a non-athlete.

So the Cavs certainly didn’t give anything up to get Shaq.  But are they better with him?

Since Shaq can only operate within eight feet of the hoop, he clogs up vital driving and screen/rolling lanes for teammates, namely LeBron.

Remember how Amare Stoudemire complained about Phoenix’ offensive system no longer providing him with open dunks? That’s what happens when Shaq’s defender doesn’t have to leave the paint and can protect dive cuts to the rim.

Since LeBron has no pull-up game, how will he react to having his runway to the hoop congested with Shaq traffic? It may require him to turn into more of a jump shooter, taking away from his strengths.

Defensively, any screen attacking Shaq will result in an open jump shot. Shaq’s also incapable of guarding any player that can face up, and he lacks the quickness to deal with athletic post players. In fact, the only players who Shaq can guard, are slower brutes that won’t leave him in the dust so he can bang them around.

He’s also not as good a rebounder as he once was, though he’s so big, any loose ball in his vicinity should be his.

What Shaq can still do is get deep position on the block and overwhelm all but the best post defenders into easy shots and foul trouble. He’s the first true low post scorer the Cavs have had in the LeBron-era, and for the first time the Cavs will be able to employ a multifaceted inside-outside offense.

However, Kendrick Perkins and the rest of Boston’s strong-armed goons have the defensive might to keep Shaq out of the paint where he can’t hurt them.

Dwight Howard’s too long and quick for Shaq to handle, and as Howard’s individual defense improves, he should be able to neutralize Shaq’s offense.

The rest of the teams in the Eastern Conference don’t matter.

So while the Cavs are still formidable, they’d still look up at a healthy Boston and Orlando.

Grade: C

Phoenix acquires Ben Wallace, Sasha Pavlovic, a 2010 draft pick, and cash from Cleveland for Shaquille O’Neal.

While Phoenix considers themselves in a transition phase, it’s not unreasonable to think that they can make the postseason with their current starting lineup. With Shaq out of the paint, new driving lanes should appear for the Suns gang of gunners, which should rejuvenate Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire.

And if Phoenix does decide to start over, Wallace and Pavlocic come off the books after this upcoming season, shedding nearly $20 million dollars in cap space. And a draft pick never hurts when looking toward tomorrow.

On the court, the contributions of Pavlovic and Wallace will be negligible. Pavlovic doesn’t have the athleticism to succeed in Phoenix’ open court game.

Wallace’s complete lack of offense will bury him on the bench, though he could still provide brief minutes as a hard working defender in place of the inept Robin Lopez.

But looking at the bigger picture, the trade isn’t about getting better this year, it’s about setting the sun on Phoenix’ decade long run with the hopes of a bright tomorrow.

Grade: C

Detroit acquires Fabricio Oberto from Detroit for Amir Johnson.

It’s not entirely sure what position Detroit is in. They may decide to deconstruct their roster and rebuild, or they may jettison Allen Iverson and Rasheed Wallace and look to rebuild with Richard Hamilton, Rodney Stuckey, Tayshaun Prince, and one or two high impact free agents.

By trading away Johnson, my guess is the latter. Johnson is filled with untapped potential, but is strictly a raw athlete. Oberto is bigger and has a higher basketball IQ. With Jason Maxiell on board, the Pistons already had a backup power forward, now they have a respectable backup center.

Grade: B+



Atlanta acquires Jamal Crawford from Golden State for Acie Law and Speedy Claxton.

Jamal Crawford’s a reckless but talented scorer whose wild athleticism hasn’t yet been tamed. This isn’t necessarily because he’s selfish, but because he’s never had a stable coaching situation to provide discipline and refinement to his game.

Entering his tenth season, Crawford has had Tim Floyd, Bill Berry, Bill Cartwright, Pete Myers, Scott Skiles, Lenny Wilkens, Herb Williams, Larry Brown, Isiah Thomas, Mike D’Antoni, and Don Nelson.

Berry and Myers were brief interims, but in nine full seasons in the league, Crawford has been tutored by 10, soon to be 11 different head coaches.

Since Mike Woodson has neither the credibility, the personality, or the track record to refine wild players (as evidenced by the still undomesticated Josh Smith and Marvin Williams), it’s unlikely Crawford will change his stripes.

Meaning the Hawks will be getting a wildly talented, inefficient scorer that can’t differentiate between good shots and bad shots, believes gambling defense is good defense, and makes poor decisions with the ball.

He’s too aggressive a scorer to run the point, but should Mike Bibby not be brought back, and nobody else brought in, the Hawks will have to live with Crawford’s mistakes at the point. This means that, along with being Mr.Everything for Atlanta, Joe Johnson will also have to expend energy bringing the ball up.

Should the Hawks resign Bibby or a comparable point guard, then Crawford will most likely be Atlanta’s sixth man, a role he’s perfectly suited to. He could also start at shooting guard, moving Johnson to small forward, but if Crawford isn’t a primary scoring option, he provides little else to justify his presence on a court.

In other words, he’s raw, undisciplined, spectacularly talented, and does little off the ball. He’ll fit right in with the Hawks.

Grade: C+

Golden State acquires Acie Law and Speedy Claxton from Atlanta for Jamal Crawford.

Since Golden State doesn’t need a point guard for its “my turn to shoot, your turn to shoot” offense, the fact that Law is a bust and Claxton is a career backup shouldn’t bother the Warriors. They’ll simply plug in Monta Ellis at the point and keep the circus going.

Losing Crawford hurts in the talent department, but it clears up a jumbled wing situation, which should be addition by subtraction.

The problem with Golden State isn’t with the trade, it’s with Don Nelson’s cockamamie approach to basketball.

Grade: C

New York acquires Darko Milicic from Memphis for Quentin Richardson.

Darko is slow, can’t shoot, and isn’t a prototypical shot blocker so it’s confusing as to why the Knicks acquired him. Dealing off Richardson removes a log jam on New York’s wings and frees up more playing time for Wilson Chandler and Danillo Gallinari. In that case, the deal is a success.

Grade: C+

Memphis acquires Quentin Richardson from New York for Darko Milicic.

Quentin Richardson gives the Grizzlies depth on the wing, and becomes their best low post player. With youngsters Marc Gasol, Hasheem Thabeet, and Hamed Haddadi competing for minutes and on-job experience at the center position, there was no reason to hang on to Milicic.

Grade: B+

New Jersey acquires Rafer Alston, Courtney Lee, and Tony Battie from Orlando for Vince Carter and Ryan Anderson.

After the trade, the Nets have only two roster spots and $6.6 million dollars invested in 2010-2011, giving them an enormous amount of flexibility to resign their own youngsters, while targeting the mega free agents on that off season’s horizon.

Since the Nets weren’t contenders anyway, the deal puts New Jersey in full rebuilding mode—something Vince Carter was not going to be a part of. But after Devin Harris’ quantum leap and Brook Lopez’ promising first year, New Jersey shouldn’t be moribund with talented youngsters and a luminous future.

If Rafer Alston griped about backing up Jameer Nelson in the NBA Finals, he’ll get a karma-induced slap in the face, backing up Harris on the bottom-feeding Nets.

Tony Battie shouldn’t figure to get major playing time ahead of Josh Boone, Eduardo Najera, and Yi Jianlian. Courtney Lee is a legit talent, who can create his own shot and defend. He’ll quickly become New Jersey’s featured wing scorer.

With Harris, Lee, Lopez, and the boatload of cap flexibility they have, the Nets should be a very interesting team once fall of 2010 arrives. They just have to suffer through this coming season’s growing pains.

Grade: A+

Orlando acquires Vince Carter and Ryan Anderson from New Jersey for Tony Battie, Rafer Alston, and Courtney Lee.

Ryan Anderson’s a hard working defender with three point range who’ll quickly make Magic fans forget about Tony Battie while adding to Orlando’s long-distance firepower.

Rafer Alston proved during last season’s Finals that he’s full of excuses and not even a championship-caliber backup.

Courtney Lee has a talented future and is the prize heading back to New Jersey.

But Vince Carter is the feature player of the deal, and his presence brings question marks and uncertainties.

Carter is a talented scorer with diminishing athleticism, and an ever-present fear of taking contact. He has unlimited range, is unselfish, and can even post up some. However, he spends too many stretches—minutes, games, weeks—going through the motions, playing lazy uninspired basketball.

He also plays with no competitive edge (except against Toronto) and has a history of disappointing in the postseason.

He’s a worse defender than Lee, and if teaming with Hedo Turkoglu, will make Orlando a perimeter defensive sieve.

Still, the trade isn’t all bad.

  • Assuming Hedo Turkoglu stays put, Carter will be a third or fourth offensive option, a position he should thrive in.
  • Fewer responsibilities will mean less pressure.
  • He has more talent than Lee, and should be able to run Orlando’s high screen/roll game to satisfaction.
  • He’ll rebound, something the Magic don’t do well outside of Dwight Howard.

However, these imply that Turkoglu will remain on the team and continue to be Orlando’s main offense creator.

If Turkoglu isn’t resigned and Carter is asked to be the featured perimeter playmaker, Orlando is in trouble.

  • Because he has less vision than Turkoglu and isn’t as tall, he’s a strictly worse playmaker and decision maker for Orlando’s offense.
  • The difference in Hedo’s pressure shooting and Vince’s are the difference in night and day.
  • Carter’s a slightly worse finisher and gets to the line less often than Turkoglu, even though Carter takes more field goal attempts.
  • Turkoglu rarely loses focus, especially late in games.

If Carter is an add-on to Orlando’s core that went to the Finals, then he’ll make the Magic more explosive and more versatile, traits that could easily allow them to repeat as Eastern Conference champions and contend for another NBA crown.

But if Carter’s a replacement to Turkoglu, then expect the hocus-pocus that made Orlando magical go poof and disappear.

Grade: C-


14 Responses to “Breaking Down the Latest Trades”

  1. xphoenix87 Says:

    I’m not sure I could possibly disagree with you more.

    The Wizards got two quality players, one of whom (Foye), is young and still has plenty of potential, and they’re also going to save some money in the deal. The Wizards aren’t in a position to rebuild right now. They committed last year to paying Jamison, Butler and Arenas big money, so for better or worse they have to try and make it work. They won’t be a championship contender, but Miller and Foye are both big upgrades on what they had, and they should be much improved. Does it suck to miss out on Rubio? Yeah, but nobody realistically thought that he was going to drop to 5th, and you could argue that other than Griffin and Rubio, Foye is a better prospect than anyone else that was in the draft.

    The Shaq trade is a winner for Cleveland because it has no cap ramifications (Shaq will be gone after this year), and they got him for absolutely nothing. Wallace and Pavlovic are non-factors, it doesn’t hurt the Cavs at all to give them away. Shaq is limited, but he’s still a tremendous offensive force and a plus rebounder. He’s not going to defend the pick-and-roll, but it’s not like he’s much worse at it than Zydrunas Ilgauskas is. All the talk about Shaq clogging driving lanes is really just rubbish. He doesn’t clog driving lanes any more than Ben Wallace did, and Dwyane Wade never seemed to have a problem with Shaq clogging the lane. A motivated Shaq is still a force, and getting him for free is a coup.

    “Courtney Lee is a legit talent, who can create his own shot and defend. He’ll quickly become New Jersey’s featured wing scorer.”

    Um…really? I mean, I like Courtney Lee, he’s a nice role player and all, but he split minutes with JJ freaking Redick in the finals. He’s a solid defender and solid shooter, but lets not pretend he’s ever going to be more than a role player. This move was ALL about cutting costs and getting Vince Carter off the cap, and they had to give up Ryan Anderson (who is just as good a prospect as Lee is) to do so.

    The trade is an absolute gangbuster for Orlando though. Even if they can’t resign Turkoglu (which this trade certainly doesn’t prevent them from doing), they improve by replacing him with Carter. Turkoglu is really a vastly overrated player, Carter is better in basically every phase of the game. He has a higher assist rate, lower turnover rate, shoots better percentages, takes on a bigger offensive load, rebounds at a similar rate, and is better in the clutch (http://www.82games.com/0809/CSORT11.HTM). If they do resign Turkoglu, they immediately become the favorite to win the Eastern Conference. The only disadvantage to the trade is that they have to take on one extra year of Carter’s salary, and they already had their cap space locked up by the Rashard Lewis deal, so it doesn’t really hurt them. It’s a fantastic deal for the Magic.

  2. Erick Says:

    With Washington though…with all the money they have guaranteed to their players, do they have any chance of getting out of the first round? They keep spending money and acquiring players like they’re a title contender, and they’re not.

    And if they do fancy themselves contenders, what can Foye accomplish besides being another guard with limited point guards skills, and a player like Miller who looks like he’s career is winding down. All that team has is finesse shooters and Brendan Haywood, who isn’t exactly a superstar.

    The Cavs didn’t give up talent to get Shaq but that doesn’t mean they’re much better. They got massacred by Orlando’s screen rolls and the Lakers’ face up game, and Boston shouldn’t have too much trouble defending Shaq with Perkins.

    Watch Phoenix play and how Amare’s open dunks and layups diminished. The defender who’d usually have to go out and contest Ilgauskas’ jumper now has no reason to leave the paint. Plus defenses don’t have to guard Varejao.

    That means, instead of driving into two defenders, LeBron will now be facing three people at the rim, guaranteed. Since he has no pull up game, he’ll have to beat three players on good defenses to score, something he didn’t really do that often last year. The Lakers, Orlando, Houston, and Boston didn’t get wiped out by LeBron last year, and Shaq does little to change that.

    Also, how do the Cavs defend Orlando’s spread offense? And can Shaq guard Dwight Howard? The answers are Cleveland doesn’t know, and Cleveland doesn’t want to know.

    The only reason he split time with Redick was foul trouble and the fact that Orlando sometimes needed Redick to create spacing with his shooting. He’ll be a third option in New Jersey who’ll develop into a nice option.

    With 82games, beware their system that values 5 point leads over Charlotte with 4:55 to go the same as 3-point deficits against the Cavs with 45 seconds left.

    The past two seasons, and especially last year’s playoffs, were filled with huge Turkoglu buzzer beaters, game-tying jumpers, and late assists.

    Turkoglu makes nothing but correct decisions coming around screens. That’s why Orlando’s offense was so proficient without having a dominant one-on-one player. He’s tall and has better vision than Carter. He also doesn’t wildly jack up jump shots.

    Carter takes on a bigger offensive load because he can’t play off the ball and because he plays on an unbalanced team. Turkoglu IS Orlando’s offense. They start the majority of their possessions with a screen/roll at the top leading into him driving, shooting, or kicking to the wing to enter into Howard. Can Carter make those decisions consistently?

    Turkoglu has a higher assist number than Carter, and has a higher assist-shot attempt ratio because he doesn’t jack up as many wild shots as Carter.

    How can you call a player as smart and versatile as Turkoglu vastly overrated compared to someone like Carter who’s played for disappointing teams his entire career. What team has Carter played for that has defied expectations? He doesn’t even play hard every game, and he’s supposed to be a vast improvement over Turkoglu?

    Good luck with that.

  3. xphoenix87 Says:

    The point is not whether or not Washington is a contender. The point is that there’s no way for them to rebuild right now. They’re stuck with those huge contracts, they can’t start building around young guys because they’re stuck with a bunch of untradeable veterans. They’re better off trying to make their team at least competitive so that they’ll at least field a good team and draw in fans. In Foye, they get a guy who is better than most of the prospects in the draft. Again, if Rubio doesn’t inexplicably drop to 5th, this deal looks like a steal.

    Amare’s open looks decreasing had far less to do with Shaq, and far more to do with the drastic change in philosophy that Phoenix underwent. Instead of playing a small lineup with Amare at center and running all the time, they played Amare at PF with another low post player and slowed down their running game to focus on Shaq more. Remember, in the half-season after they traded for Shaq, we heard all about how trading for Shaq and moving Amare to PF was going to make Amare so much better. From Cleveland’s point of view, how does this change anything? They’re still going to play half-court, slow-down ball, and Shaq is replacing Ben Wallace’s 24 mpg. If nothing else, he’s a vastly improved offensive option to Wallace, and he’s strong enough to keep Howard from getting deep post position like he did constantly in the finals. Obviously, Shaq doesn’t solve all of Cleveland’s problems, but again, they gave up NOTHING to get him.

    “The only reason he split time with Redick was foul trouble and the fact that Orlando sometimes needed Redick to create spacing with his shooting.”

    Lee never had more than 3 fouls in any finals game. Maybe it actually had to do with the fact that Lee just isn’t that great a player, and Redick played significantly better during the playoffs than Lee did.

    “With 82games, beware their system that values 5 point leads over Charlotte with 4:55 to go the same as 3-point deficits against the Cavs with 45 seconds left.”

    Yes, and it does exactly the same thing for both players.

    “The past two seasons, and especially last year’s playoffs, were filled with huge Turkoglu buzzer beaters, game-tying jumpers, and late assists.”

    http://www.82games.com/gamewinningshots.htm – These are all ridiculously small sample sizes (which should point out just how ridiculous the “clutch” argument is), but only LeBron has hit more game-winners than Carter over the last 6 years, and Turkoglu hasn’t hit more than 2 game-winners in each of the last two seasons. Again, it doesn’t actually mean anything, but if you insist on making the ridiculous “clutch” argument.

    “Turkoglu makes nothing but correct decisions coming around screens. That’s why Orlando’s offense was so proficient without having a dominant one-on-one player.”

    Please. Orlando’s offense was not “so proficient”. They were the 11th best offense in the league this year, they won games with their defense. And, as I mentioned before, despite Turkoglu making “nothing but correct decisions” he had a higher turnover rate and lower assist percentage than Carter last year.

    “He’s tall and has better vision than Carter. He also doesn’t wildly jack up jump shots.”

    What? Have you watched Hedo Turkoglu play? The wildly jaked-up jumper is a staple of his game. Last year, 73% of Turkoglu’s shots were jumpers, compared to 75% for Carter. The difference? Carter shot 47.2% eFG, while Turkoglu shot 45.8% eFG, and when they aren’t shooting jumpers, Carter is a vastly better finisher.

    “Carter takes on a bigger offensive load because he can’t play off the ball and because he plays on an unbalanced team.”

    Why does no one understand the usage-efficiency tradeoff? Sigh. The point is not why Carter carried a bigger offensive load. I’m well aware of why he had a bigger offensive load. The point is that he not only had a bigger load, but he was also far more efficient while carrying that bigger load. It’s harder to take a big offensive load and still stay efficient. Carter is both more efficient and takes on a bigger load than Turkoglu.

    “Turkoglu has a higher assist number than Carter, and has a higher assist-shot attempt ratio because he doesn’t jack up as many wild shots as Carter.”

    Carter assists on a higher percentage of his teammates’ field goals than Turkoglu, but it’s not by much. Actually, almost all of their significant assist numbers are basically identical.

    “How can you call a player as smart and versatile as Turkoglu vastly overrated compared to someone like Carter who’s played for disappointing teams his entire career.”

    Oh come on. This is Hedo Turkoglu we’re talking about here. Stop pretending that Hedo Freaking Turkoglu is some sort of great player with a history of leading winning teams. He’s been a mediocre role player for years, and everyone was shocked two years ago when he had such a great season and became a huge part of Orlando’s team. He had one flukey good season, and nobody seemed to realize that he fell off back to his career average this last year. He’s a mediocre player with an overblown reputation, and someone is probably going to overpay him this summer.

  4. Today’s Celtics Links 6/28 at New England Sports 24/7 Says:

    [...] Offseason Seacoast Online   Draft came down to the wire for C’s pick Ballerblogger     Breaking Down the Latest Trades JS online    Ready to make a splash – Sports of Boston     Jekyll and Hyde: the Rondo [...]

  5. Erick Says:

    “The point is not whether or not Washington is a contender. The point is that there’s no way for them to rebuild right now. They’re stuck with those huge contracts, they can’t start building around young guys because they’re stuck with a bunch of untradeable veterans. They’re better off trying to make their team at least competitive so that they’ll at least field a good team and draw in fans. In Foye, they get a guy who is better than most of the prospects in the draft. Again, if Rubio doesn’t inexplicably drop to 5th, this deal looks like a steal.”

    How is trading for Mike Miller a steal though? This isn’t Shaq or Richard Jefferson. It’s Mike Miller. Did you watch Minnesota play last season? Do you know what Miller did for them?

    How does he make the team better besides adding another shooter. They already have perimeter firepower. How exactly are they better with him? Besides, who on the team is going to pass him the ball? All they have is Arenas driving and kicking and that doesn’t really work.

    “Amare’s open looks decreasing had far less to do with Shaq, and far more to do with the drastic change in philosophy that Phoenix underwent. Instead of playing a small lineup with Amare at center and running all the time, they played Amare at PF with another low post player and slowed down their running game to focus on Shaq more. Remember, in the half-season after they traded for Shaq, we heard all about how trading for Shaq and moving Amare to PF was going to make Amare so much better. From Cleveland’s point of view, how does this change anything? They’re still going to play half-court, slow-down ball, and Shaq is replacing Ben Wallace’s 24 mpg. If nothing else, he’s a vastly improved offensive option to Wallace, and he’s strong enough to keep Howard from getting deep post position like he did constantly in the finals. Obviously, Shaq doesn’t solve all of Cleveland’s problems, but again, they gave up NOTHING to get him.”

    Amare’s looks diminished even in the half season under D’Antoni. Plus, Phoenix still ran the same basic spread pick-and-roll offense they’ve always run. They just weren’t so impatient. But Stoudemire’s driving lanes and rolling lanes were closed up with Shaq so he became more of a short jump shooter. LeBron doesn’t have that yet. He’s strictly a bull-to-the-rim or shoot a long jump shot player. There’s no in-between. That’s how it changes. It takes Bron Bron away from what he does best.

    And if Phoenix gave up nothing to get Shaq and played the way they played the past few seasons, would you give them positive marks? Just because you give up nothing, doesn’t mean you win. If Shaq is an outright liability against Orlando and Boston, then the trade is a failure. He also costs a lot of money, preventing the Cavs from targeting other free agents.

    Plus yeah, they’re replacing Wallace with Shaq. Orlando would keep his defender in the paint and just wall off the basket for LeBron and he struggled when Dwight Howard wasn’t fouling him. It’s the same thing with Shaq. He’s still going to have to finish in heavy, heavy traffic because Shaq won’t be drawing defenders anywhere but the paint.

    “Lee never had more than 3 fouls in any finals game. Maybe it actually had to do with the fact that Lee just isn’t that great a player, and Redick played significantly better during the playoffs than Lee did.”

    Now this is how I know you don’t watch the games. Lee played 22 minutes in Game 1, Redick got 7 minutes of garbage duty.

    Lee picked up 2 fouls in the first 7 minutes of Game 2 and played as if he were scared of playing defense without fouling. Pietrus picked up 2 fouls in first two minutes of action after subbing in for Lee. That’s why Redick got playing time, Orlando’s guards were ravaged with foul trouble.

    After Lee came back in the third quarter, Kobe ravaged him for three straight jumpers, forcing Pietrus back in. And that was the only game where Redick got ample playing time.

    In Game 3 Redick didn’t play.

    In Game 4, Lee picked up two fouls in the first three minutes, and Pietrus also picked up 2 fouls in the first quarter, forcing Redick to play.

    Game 5, Lee didn’t pick up early foul trouble and played confident defense. That’s why he played major minutes, while Redick got spot rotations and garbage duty.

    I also love your “Carter has more than Turkoglu” example of Carter’s clutch shooting when 82games lists Carter’s FG% in those situations as 31 percent and Turkoglu’s is 50%. I mean, come on now.

    Carter takes fallaway 28 footers as part of his game with no intention on getting to the rim. And doesn’t turn the ball over much because he rarely makes more than simple passes. He has a better handle than Turkoglu which is why Turkoglu has so many turnovers. Also, because Turkoglu has to make spot decisions on the fly out of screens, much why Nash comits so many turnovers. You have to make snap decisions out of the spread depending on how the defense is sagging.

    Turkoglu, unlike Carter, also takes more chances with his passes to create easy scores while Carter is more conservative with the ball.

    “Oh come on. This is Hedo Turkoglu we’re talking about here. Stop pretending that Hedo Freaking Turkoglu is some sort of great player with a history of leading winning teams. He’s been a mediocre role player for years, and everyone was shocked two years ago when he had such a great season and became a huge part of Orlando’s team. He had one flukey good season, and nobody seemed to realize that he fell off back to his career average this last year. He’s a mediocre player with an overblown reputation, and someone is probably going to overpay him this summer.”

    If you’d read any analyst listened to any announcer, or watched Orlando astutely, you’d know Orlando’s offense the past two years has revolved around Turkoglu at the top. Not Dwight Howard, not Rashard Lewis, but Turkoglu. When he was given the responsibility of being Orlando’s initiator, he and the Magic have responded with terrific seasons.

    You look at numbers way too much. Watch games man. That’s where basketball happens.

  6. xphoenix87 Says:

    Miller and Foye are both significant upgrades over the guys who were playing for Washington last year. Dominic McGuire, Mike James, Javaris Crittenton, DeShawn Stevenson and Nick Young all played substantial minutes at guard or on the wing for the Wizards last season. Young is the only one of those guys who is even remotely close to being an average player. Foye and Miller are distinct upgrades in the backcourt, either as starters or backups, and Foye is insurance if Arenas goes down again. Miller is a quality shooter with an expiring contract (even if he did have a down year last year) who can be moved at the deadline for another asset if necessary. Getting he and Foye and unloading some bad contracts all for the 5th pick in a weak draft is a quality deal.

    “And if Phoenix gave up nothing to get Shaq and played the way they played the past few seasons, would you give them positive marks?”

    But Phoenix didn’t give up nothing, they gave up Shawn Marion and they changed their whole offensive philosophy. Shaq is replacing Ben Wallace. All he has to do is outperform Ben Wallace and the deal is a success.

    “He also costs a lot of money, preventing the Cavs from targeting other free agents.”

    He costs $1 mil more than Wallace and Pavlovic combined. The Suns save money because not all of Pavlovic’s contract is guaranteed, and because they might be able to buy Wallace out if he decides to retire, but it has no implications on the Cavs’ ability to sign free agents since they’re way over the cap anyway.

    “Now this is how I know you don’t watch the games…”

    Blah blah blah. I watched the games, but that’s hardly the point. Your own argument doesn’t make sense. First of all, it’s Lee’s own fault that he picked up early fouls. It’s not as if some random force just pegged him with two fouls and stopped him from dominating the game. Second, so what if he got two early fouls, that doesn’t explain why he proceeded to ride the bench for the rest of the game. Pietrus was in far worse foul trouble than Lee throughout the series, but he played substantially more.

    “I also love your “Carter has more than Turkoglu” example of Carter’s clutch shooting when 82games lists Carter’s FG% in those situations as 31 percent and Turkoglu’s is 50%. I mean, come on now.”

    As I said, the sample sizes are so small that the data hardly matters, and there are all kind of problems since the data spans 6 years and Turkoglu’s role has changed significantly over the past 3 years from spot up guy (where it’s much easier to shoot a high percentage on less shots, ala Derek Fisher) to focal guy. Since we don’t know the numbers from individual years, it’s fairly useless, and the data sizes would be too small to draw any kind of meaningful conclusion out of anyway. Carter’s role though, has remained basically unchanged, and despite his reputation as a softy is second on the list in makes and has done it while shooting a percentage better than league average in that situation. What that page does point out though is that Turkoglu’s last two seasons have not, in fact, been “filled with buzzer beaters”. Since he would have made one of those lists if he had made more than 2 in a season.

    “And doesn’t turn the ball over much because he rarely makes more than simple passes.”

    And yet despite the fact that he “rarely makes more than simple passes” and plays with vastly inferior teammates, all of Carter’s meaningful assist numbers are practically identical to Turkoglu’s.

    “He has a better handle than Turkoglu which is why Turkoglu has so many turnovers.”

    Um, yeah. And you don’t consider that a negative against Turkoglu?

    “Also, because Turkoglu has to make spot decisions on the fly out of screens, much why Nash comits so many turnovers. You have to make snap decisions out of the spread depending on how the defense is sagging.”

    And Nash gets loads of assists to show for it. Turkoglu? Not so much.

    “Turkoglu, unlike Carter, also takes more chances with his passes to create easy scores while Carter is more conservative with the ball.”

    Again, then why aren’t Turkoglu’s assist numbers better than Carter’s?

    “If you’d read any analyst listened to any announcer, or watched Orlando astutely, you’d know Orlando’s offense the past two years has revolved around Turkoglu at the top.”

    If I spat out exactly what analysts say, I wouldn’t be very useful, now would I? I read massive amounts of basketball articles and I watch plenty of games. I also know that in 06-07 Turkoglu played almost exactly the same role and had almost identical numbers to this past year, and Orlando’s offense was 21st in the league that year. I’m going to bet that the emergence of Orlando as an elite team has a lot more to do with the acquisition of Rashard Lewis and the development of Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson than it does with Turkoglu. Turkoglu is a player who takes far too many long two-pointers, and doesn’t shoot as well off the dribble as he thinks he does. He’s a good player and a very versatile asset, but he is far from being the most valuable player on that team, and his role is importance is wildly overblown.

  7. Tsunami Says:

    Nice back and forth.

    As far as the Shaq trade – i don’t understand how ANYONE can not give that move an A. They got a guy that was a legit all star center last year for NOTHING. Even if he’s not Pau Gasol or Dwight Howard – how can you not give that move an A for the Cavs?

    All the stuff about the pick and roll? The Cavs can adjust to pick and rolls – it was Howard commanding double teams and kicking out that killed the Cavs – not the pick and roll. Shaq addresses two huge glaring needs for the Cavs – 1.) A big body to deny howard post position, 2.) A legitimate post scorer. They had neither of these and in one fell swoop they addressed both.

    in addition, all the talk about Shaq clogging the lane? Please. teams didn’t even GUARD Ben Wallace. Lebron would much rather have the lane “clogged” than have 2 defenders on him at all times. Plus, did you watch the Cavs/magic series? Howard dropped anchor in the post the entire game and Lebron had no problem scoring inside or outside against the best defense in the NBA. LeBron is not going to be affected by this move. If anything, he’ll get more assists because his entry passes will actually lead to buckets.

    As far as the Carter move – he is definitely a better player than Hedo, but Turk kills the Cavs – Carter doesn’t. Delonte West is big enough to guard Carter – he won’t create mismatches. I think the Carter move gives Orlando an even better starting 5 but weakens their bench a little and makes them a little easier to defend (at least for the Cavs)

    I think you are too high on Boston. Last year (eriK) I think you predicted the Cavs would finish behind the Pistons? the Cavs won 66 games and will have an improved roster – they don’t look up at a healthy Boston.

  8. Erick Says:

    Dominic McGuire and Javaris Crittenton only played because the team was so ravaged by injuries. Foye is an upgrade over James (why did they even bother acquiring James), but Young can shoot and score off the bounce, while Stevenson is a good defender. All Miller can really do is shoot, and the team already has shooters all over the floor.

    With Arenas healthy, Crittenton and McGuire won’t play, and Young would be the first guard off the bench. Now he’s a fifth guard behind a less creative scorer in Miller.

    And even if the team is a slight upgrade, what’s the point? A first round exit? They have no future and they have no shot at contending in the present. If they want to be contenders, go fill in the places they need help the most. Interior defense, role playing passers and defenders, and muscle. Do they think Brendan Haywood can do ALL the dirty work?

    “But Phoenix didn’t give up nothing, they gave up Shawn Marion and they changed their whole offensive philosophy. Shaq is replacing Ben Wallace. All he has to do is outperform Ben Wallace and the deal is a success.”

    Ben Wallace played 12 minutes per game last postseason off the bench, often when LeBron was getting a breather. You’re not really comparing Shaq to Wallace, you’re comparing him to Ilgauskas since Z is the player shaq is replacing in the starting lineup. Ilgauskas can pull out defenses with his mid range shooting. Shaq can’t.

    “Blah blah blah. I watched the games, but that’s hardly the point. Your own argument doesn’t make sense. First of all, it’s Lee’s own fault that he picked up early fouls. It’s not as if some random force just pegged him with two fouls and stopped him from dominating the game. Second, so what if he got two early fouls, that doesn’t explain why he proceeded to ride the bench for the rest of the game. Pietrus was in far worse foul trouble than Lee throughout the series, but he played substantially more.”

    You’re point was that he was sharing time with Redick and I told you that the only reason Redick played is because of early foul trouble. And Lee didn’t play a whole lot because he never established a rhythm on the court, and he looked timid because of how much success Kobe had against him. Pietrus is a better defender so he was needed to defend Kobe. And in crunch time, Lee was back in the games.

    “As I said, the sample sizes are so small that the data hardly matters, and there are all kind of problems since the data spans 6 years and Turkoglu’s role has changed significantly over the past 3 years from spot up guy (where it’s much easier to shoot a high percentage on less shots, ala Derek Fisher) to focal guy. Since we don’t know the numbers from individual years, it’s fairly useless, and the data sizes would be too small to draw any kind of meaningful conclusion out of anyway. Carter’s role though, has remained basically unchanged, and despite his reputation as a softy is second on the list in makes and has done it while shooting a percentage better than league average in that situation. What that page does point out though is that Turkoglu’s last two seasons have not, in fact, been “filled with buzzer beaters”. Since he would have made one of those lists if he had made more than 2 in a season.”

    50% on 16 attempts to 31% on 51. Clutch shooters make clutch shots regardless of role. Derek Fisher’s three in the Finals wasn’t assisted was it? Turkoglu also had 3 game winning assists (same as Carter’s) with less turnovers.

    “And yet despite the fact that he “rarely makes more than simple passes” and plays with vastly inferior teammates, all of Carter’s meaningful assist numbers are practically identical to Turkoglu’s.”

    So simple swing passes along the perimeter carry equal weight to Turkoglu driving, reading, and making kick passes to the corner, lobs to Howard, or if kicks to the weak side wing?

    Plus, after Turkoglu makes the kick out, Orlando’s first option is to look right back into Howard establishing in the post. Turkoglu doesn’t make that pass, but he has to suck the defenders in so that Lewis or the weak side corner is open.

    “Um, yeah. And you don’t consider that a negative against Turkoglu?”

    Oh it is. It’s why I would like to see Carter play with Turkoglu. Carter’s better with the shot clock running down cause he can create better than Turkoglu. Most of Turkoglu’s turnovers come when he’s forced to create late in the clock, or when he misconnects on lobs with Howard, or if he’s asked to go one-on-one with an exceptional defender.

    “And Nash gets loads of assists to show for it. Turkoglu? Not so much.”

    As I alluded to before though, Turkoglu makes passes that set up other passes and drives, etc. Phoenix is instructed to shoot after Nash makes the first pass, which is why they take so many quick shots, and one reason why Nash has so many assists.

    “Again, then why aren’t Turkoglu’s assist numbers better than Carter’s?”

    Passes that set up other passes, passes that set up the post, passes that set up penetraion, etc.

    “If I spat out exactly what analysts say, I wouldn’t be very useful, now would I? I read massive amounts of basketball articles and I watch plenty of games. I also know that in 06-07 Turkoglu played almost exactly the same role and had almost identical numbers to this past year, and Orlando’s offense was 21st in the league that year. I’m going to bet that the emergence of Orlando as an elite team has a lot more to do with the acquisition of Rashard Lewis and the development of Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson than it does with Turkoglu. Turkoglu is a player who takes far too many long two-pointers, and doesn’t shoot as well off the dribble as he thinks he does. He’s a good player and a very versatile asset, but he is far from being the most valuable player on that team, and his role is importance is wildly overblown.”

    We’re not talking about 2006 though. We’re in 2009. Players evolve. Of course Turkoglu is better because Rashard Lewis is around creating the spacing needed to run the spread pick-and-roll. Of course, since Howard sets massive screens, Turkoglu’s better at coming off those screens to make plays. No player plays in a vacuum.

    But Turkoglu’s presence on Orlando isn’t overblown. He makes their offense go more than Dwight Howard. It’s no suprise that against the Lakers, when Orlando only focused on force feeding Howard in Game 1, their offense suffered, but when they played more pick-and-roll in Games 2-5, their offense flowed a lot smoother.

    To Tsunami

    “As far as the Shaq trade – i don’t understand how ANYONE can not give that move an A. They got a guy that was a legit all star center last year for NOTHING. Even if he’s not Pau Gasol or Dwight Howard – how can you not give that move an A for the Cavs?”

    Because I look at it not as Shaq for Wallace, but Shaq for Ilgasukas. And while Ilgauskas is hardly a good player, he creates space because of his shooting. Shaq’s own individual defense is poor, he’s a worthless help defender, and he limits options offensively because there’s only so much he can do.

    It’s almost like the Mo Williams trade. It’s a definite talent upgrade, and it will look fine in the regular season. But he’s not the kind of player the Cavs need to win a title. They need a post player who can also shoot, or a lockdown defender at center, something shaq is neither. Can Shaq really guard Howard? I don’t think he can, that’s why I don’t think he’s going to be a real factor against Orlando.

    “I think you are too high on Boston. Last year (eriK) I think you predicted the Cavs would finish behind the Pistons? the Cavs won 66 games and will have an improved roster – they don’t look up at a healthy Boston.”

    I did. Boy did I hit a home run with that one, though in fairness I would never have made that prediction with Iverson on the team. I can’t say though that Cleveland would’ve beaten a healthy Celtic team in last year’s postseason. With KG and a healthy Pierce, I’d have taken Boston over Orlando, Cleveland, and the Lakers.

    Thanks for the comments. Even if I sound too harsh, I do appreciate your insights.

  9. xphoenix87 Says:

    Where does it say that Shaq has to start for Ilgauskas and steal all his minutes? Shaq has already said that he’s willing to come off the bench. Even if Ilgauskas sees his minutes decrease, is that such a bad thing? The guy is 34 and has creaky feet. If he and Shaq split time, it keeps both of them fresh. Also, in what way is Ilgauskas a better defender than Shaq? They’re roughly equivalent rebounders and shot blockers, and neither can guard the pick and roll. Shaq at least has the bulk to deny post position and he plays solid, if somewhat foul-prone, 1-on-1 defense in the low post.

    “You’re point was that he was sharing time with Redick and I told you that the only reason Redick played is because of early foul trouble. And Lee didn’t play a whole lot because he never established a rhythm on the court, and he looked timid because of how much success Kobe had against him. Pietrus is a better defender so he was needed to defend Kobe.”

    You just refuted yourself. Foul trouble is clearly NOT the only reason Lee split time. He split time because “he never established a rythym”, “he looked timid” and he couldn’t defend Kobe. That’s a host of reasons why he wasn’t out there.

    “And in crunch time, Lee was back in the games.”

    Lee was not on the court at the end of any of the games. He came out with 7:45 left in game 1 and didn’t return. He came out with 3:36 left in game 2. He came out with 2:21 left in the 3rd quarter of game 3. He came out with 7:58 left in the 3rd quarter of game 4. He came out with 5:50 left in game 5.

    “Clutch shooters make clutch shots regardless of role.”

    What a ridiculous statement. Open shots on kick-outs are much easier than having to create your own shot. I don’t particularly care if you can point out one instant of Fisher hitting a shot off the dribble. The vast majority of his “clutch” attempts come off kick-outs with his feet set. However, as I have pointed out multiple times, these numbers mean hardly anything because of obscenely small sample sizes, and the main point of that page was to point out that Turkoglu hasn’t made tons of game-winners.

    “So simple swing passes along the perimeter carry equal weight to Turkoglu driving, reading, and making kick passes to the corner, lobs to Howard, or if kicks to the weak side wing?”

    Right, because clearly every one of Carter’s assists come from simple swing passes, and all of Turkoglu’s assists are of the Sportscenter highlight variety. Of course, that makes perfect sense, since Carter plays with so many great shooters and Turkoglu doesn’t (oh wait…).

    “As I alluded to before though, Turkoglu makes passes that set up other passes and drives, etc. Phoenix is instructed to shoot after Nash makes the first pass, which is why they take so many quick shots, and one reason why Nash has so many assists.”

    Bull. Nobody on the Phoenix coaching staff is saying “now you need to be shooting right after Steve passes it to you”. Nash gets tons of assists because he gets his teammates wide open looks. Look, if Turkoglu has a higher turnover rate because he takes more risks, then more of his passes should result in assists. If Carter takes less risks on his passes, then less of his passes should result in assists. However, that is not the case. And that’s not a flukey, one-time thing, it’s been that way their entire careers.

    “We’re not talking about 2006 though. We’re in 2009. Players evolve.”

    Except that Turkoglu played the same role in 2006, and his numbers are almost exactly identical. If Turkoglu had truly evolved as a player, and not just had one fluke good season, then you’d expect his numbers to improve, especially being surrounded by much better players.

  10. Erick Says:

    Do you think with Shaq’s ego, that he’s serious that he’d come off the bench and play less than 20 minutes? They’re not going to bench Shaq for Ilgauskas, and they’re going to give Shaq the majority of the minutes.

    Both Ilgauskas and Shaq can only give defenders big bangs in the pivot, but Ilgauskas is longer and his wingspan contests more shots. Shaq would get beasted on, just like Ilgasuskas did. Do you remember the flop incident?

    “You just refuted yourself. Foul trouble is clearly NOT the only reason Lee split time. He split time because “he never established a rythym”, “he looked timid” and he couldn’t defend Kobe. That’s a host of reasons why he wasn’t out there.”

    You can’t establish a rhythm when you’re in foul trouble early on. It throws your normal rotation off, and scattered minutes throw players off. He did look timid and couldn’t defend Kobe, that’s how he got in foul trouble. He gave up size to Kobe and had never been in the position of defending someone as automatic as Kobe is when he’s faced with a non-elite defender. Redick didn’t exactly have any success defending Kobe either, and didn’t exactly have a big impact on the series.

    “Lee was not on the court at the end of any of the games. He came out with 7:45 left in game 1 and didn’t return. He came out with 3:36 left in game 2. He came out with 2:21 left in the 3rd quarter of game 3. He came out with 7:58 left in the 3rd quarter of game 4. He came out with 5:50 left in game 5.”

    Games 1 and 5 had no crunch time. Lee was on the court the end of regulation of Game 2 and had the gamewinning play designed for him. They took him out in OT and Redick did nothing (0-2 with a turnover). But you’re right. I guess I was zeroed in on how Orlando ran their game-winning play and forgot that they didn’t use Lee in their other close contests.

    “What a ridiculous statement. Open shots on kick-outs are much easier than having to create your own shot. I don’t particularly care if you can point out one instant of Fisher hitting a shot off the dribble. The vast majority of his “clutch” attempts come off kick-outs with his feet set. However, as I have pointed out multiple times, these numbers mean hardly anything because of obscenely small sample sizes, and the main point of that page was to point out that Turkoglu hasn’t made tons of game-winners.”

    Assuming two of Turkoglu’s eight game-winner type shots were his shot against Philadelphia, and his shot in game 2 against Cleveland, that’s two instances of Turkoglu creating his own shot to give his team a late lead. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KFL3Gsx5xo&feature=channel

    Here are two more from the past handful of years: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0C2_gcbH3o&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPpo0NyBeLA

    So at the very least, at least half of those clutch shots, Hedo has created for himself.

    “Right, because clearly every one of Carter’s assists come from simple swing passes, and all of Turkoglu’s assists are of the Sportscenter highlight variety. Of course, that makes perfect sense, since Carter plays with so many great shooters and Turkoglu doesn’t (oh wait…).”

    Orlando was 7th in the league in 3-point% while New Jersey was 9th. Bobby Simmons, Keyon Dooling, Ryan Anderson, Jarvis Hayes, and Vince himself all shot 37% and better. The Nets had no problems hitting threes this year.

    And you’re putting words in my mouth, I never said Turkoglu made Sportscenter-esque passes, I said he made the appropriate passes after coming out of screens, passes that initiated Orlando’s offense based on what the defense was doing. New Jersey ran a drive-and-kick.

    Take a couple of dribbles, kick, that player takes a couple of dribbles and kicks, etc, etc, until you find an open lane or the guy you kick too shoots a jumper. It’s not as complicated an offense and uses more isolations than anything else.

    “Bull. Nobody on the Phoenix coaching staff is saying “now you need to be shooting right after Steve passes it to you”. Nash gets tons of assists because he gets his teammates wide open looks. Look, if Turkoglu has a higher turnover rate because he takes more risks, then more of his passes should result in assists. If Carter takes less risks on his passes, then less of his passes should result in assists. However, that is not the case. And that’s not a flukey, one-time thing, it’s been that way their entire careers.”

    Ummmmmmm, you do remember Mike D’Antoni’s 7 seconds or less philosophy right? The first semi-open shot a player has, he takes, usually a jumper, with almost no continuity after receiving the pass.

    “Except that Turkoglu played the same role in 2006, and his numbers are almost exactly identical. If Turkoglu had truly evolved as a player, and not just had one fluke good season, then you’d expect his numbers to improve, especially being surrounded by much better players.”

    He averages 3 points, 2 assists, and a rebound more than he did in 06-07.

    And you put too much reliance on numbers as opposed to court intelligence, trust, and unselfishness. When Carter’s jacking up 30 footers in next year’s postseason, and his isolations aren’t able to break down Paul Pierce, Delonte West, and Andre Iguodala, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

  11. xphoenix87 Says:

    “Both Ilgauskas and Shaq can only give defenders big bangs in the pivot, but Ilgauskas is longer and his wingspan contests more shots. Shaq would get beasted on, just like Ilgasuskas did.”

    We don’t have an official measurement for Ilgauskas’s wingspan, but I’m doubting that it’s much (if at all) bigger than Shaq’s 7′7 wingspan, which is the 5th best ever officially recorded at the combine. Also, Shaq and Ilgauskas’s listed weights differ by 65 pounds, and the reality is probably larger than that. Shaq is much more effective at banging and denying post position.

    “Do you remember the flop incident?”

    Because clearly one play is indicative of how every future play will unfold.

    “Assuming two of Turkoglu’s eight game-winner type shots were his shot against Philadelphia, and his shot in game 2 against Cleveland”

    Which is an incorrect assumption, since the data on that page didn’t include this year’s playoffs. Whatever. I’m done with this ridiculous “clutch” discussion though, since my entire point since the beginning has been that these “clutch” shots are inconsequential because there’s such an absurdly small sample, and because Turkoglu’s role has changed so drastically in the last 6 seasons.

    “Orlando was 7th in the league in 3-point% while New Jersey was 9th. Bobby Simmons, Keyon Dooling, Ryan Anderson, Jarvis Hayes, and Vince himself all shot 37% and better. The Nets had no problems hitting threes this year.”

    We’re not just talking about three-pointers. The worse your teammates shoot on any shot, the harder it is to get assists. Orlando had the third-highest eFG% in the league, New Jersey had the 18th-highest.

    Earlier, you said this: “So simple swing passes along the perimeter carry equal weight to Turkoglu driving, reading, and making kick passes to the corner, lobs to Howard, or if kicks to the weak side wing?”, which is what I was responding to. Now, by your own definition, you said that New Jersey’s offense requires those same things that you just credited Turkoglu with (driving, reading, kicking). You’re making ridiculous excuses for why Turkoglu’s assists are worth so much more than Carter’s, when maybe you’re just overrating Turkoglu’s passing (he’s European, so he must be a great passer, right?) and underrating Carter’s.

    “He averages 3 points, 2 assists, and a rebound more than he did in 06-07.”

    The Magic play 3 possessions more per game than they did in 06-07, which is a substantial increase. His team shoots a 2% higher eFG% this year, again a significant increase, and as we’ve already discussed, higher shooting percentages lead to increased assists. Turkoglu also plays 5 more minutes a game this year than in 06-07, again inflating those statistics. When taking all that into account, his statistics are almost identical from year to year once you account for the increased possessions and minutes played.

    “And you put too much reliance on numbers as opposed to court intelligence, trust, and unselfishness.”

    And you put far too much stock in individual plays, preconceived notions, and intangibles.

  12. Erick Says:

    Intangibles are the difference between maximizing potential or being a consistent disappointment, something Carter’s teams always seem to be.

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