I've been bored recently and decided to do some number crunching. Some people have justified small ball on the basis that it is born out of necessity, or in other words, that we are lacking in legitimate front court players, and this is why we resort to small ball.
I guess my question would be, should it EVER be justifiable to say, play D. Jones at the PF spot? Some people are ok with this because they seem to feel Josh Mcroberts, for example, does not belong in the NBA in any way shape or form.
Now before I go any further, I wan't to say I'm sick of all this Josh Mcrobert's hyperbole. If anyone so dares to suggest he should be getting any minutes at all, it is always met with some sort of sarcastic crap about "The legend" of Josh Mcroberts. I'm pretty sure nobody thinks Mcroberts is a future all star or anything of that nature... but I think it is a pretty relevant question to ask if he is really "so bad" that it would be justifiable to match up a gaurd against Chris Bosh? I would presume plenty of reasonable minds disagree.
Josh got a look this season due to injuries, he got big minutes in about 4 straight games and then disapeared once again from the rotation, presumably because he wasn't getting the job done? The numbers don't really bear that out... here are his numbers in those 4 games averaged. (we went 1-3)
24 MPG: 8 pts, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 61% FGP.
Nothing earth shattering, but pretty good production for a backup PF. I even checked out his Plus Minus to see if he was hurting team play when he was on the floor. Here is where he ranked amongst his teammates in those games in plus/minus. Usually a 9 man rotation.
VS. Chicago 12/29: 2nd on the team in 28 minutes.
VS. Memphis 12/30: 3rd on team in 23 minutes.
VS. Minnesota 01/02: 6th on team in 25 minutes
VS. New York 01/03: 2nd on team in 19 minutes.
Top half of the team in 3 out of 4 games. I don't try to take too much from the plus minus stat, but one thing I think this clearly shows is this. Josh being on the floor was not hurting the team. The offense was not grinding to a halt, the team defense was not totally screwed up, because if it were, the plus minus would reflect that.
I realize its a pretty small sample space, but it was 4 straight games of pretty steady production... and with Hansbrough and Foster out, I don't see how playing gaurds out of position is a better option than playing a real big man with legit size and athleticism.
I also did Tylers numbers for the purposes of comparison, only using games where he played AT LEAST 20 minutes. Of which there were 15 games, here are his averages in those 15 games.
23 MPG: 12 Points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 0.3 Blocks, 36% FGP.
Worse than Josh in Assists and Blocks, and only clearly better in one category. Points per game. Then there is is the issue of efficiency... Ill give the floor to Seth on this one. Would you rather have 12 points at 36%? or 8 points at 61%?
Not trying to say Josh is better, just saying Tyler had a spot in the rotation, and with him hurt, why shoulden't Josh get that spot when he has shown similar (if not better) production? Why do I have to endure a lineup with Troy Murphy at center and Mike Dunleavy at power forward????
Unclebuck will point out that the coaches see the team every day and they have a better idea who belongs on the floor than any of us. Fair enough. However, when I look at how this coach has treated Roy Hibbert, yanking him because of matchups, starting Troy over him, I begin to question this coach and his evaluation of our players.
The constant insistence to play Troy 30-35 MPG despite his terrible defense and worst plus/minus on the team is just another example. I think I trust my own eyes, I just don't have much faith in this coach when it comes to his evaluation of who should be getting minutes. He would ultimatly prefer to put the team on the floor with the capability of jacking up the most shots, and Josh doesn't really fit into that eqaution. Defense is a non factor in the man's decision making, or so it would seem.
I am not proposing that we give Josh 15 MPG and all our troubles will be over. Not at all. It probably wont make much difference at all in the win/loss column. However I think it is unfair to keep him glued to the bench this way when he should clearly be getting an oppurtunity with the current injury situation... and I also think it is unfair to constantly play players out of position, thus putting them in position to fail.
What I would really like to see is an end to Obrien's gimmicky game plan, and some sort of traditional offense/defense installed where players play their actual positions and we don't jack up 30 three pointers a night. Either way, we are gonna lose a lot of games, it would be nice if we could teach good basketball along the way instead of gimmicks.