Quote Originally Posted by BillS View Post
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But this is where you have to look at more than just raw numbers to understand WHY.

We have a guy with a good per-36 number. OK, that isn't unusual, a scrub playing 5 minutes of garbage time can have a great per-36.

In this case, though, you have two things that make West's per-36 worth considering. First is that he's a starter. He's not playing garbage time nor is he matched up against scrubs. Second is that when he has games where he place close to 36 minutes his scoring actually approaches the per-36 number. That is pretty important because it means the per-36 isn't somehow due to a burst of production in short minutes.

So, you point out, his OVERALL average was MUCH lower than his per-36, and a guy with similar numbers is considered to be a much better player.

This is where you have to start looking around to explain WHY that is instead of just saying that somehow the statistics are wrong. Is it that West commonly played far fewer minutes and therefore didn't have the opportunity to hit the scoring he could hit when playing over 30 minutes? If so, WHY was he playing fewer minutes? Were his shooting percentages bad in the games he played fewer minutes (in other words, he is inconsistent offensively)? Is it that he was pulled for defensive reasons (which I know you would focus on)?

Fitting a team together isn't about picking a statistic and finding everyone who is best at that statistic - all single statistics are flawed because they only show part of the picture. It is about figuring out WHY guys have certain statistics and whether another player can help overcome the weaknesses that are shown in this player's statistics while allowing him to use his strengths.
You are making some good points but there is a reason why I go with the raw numbers of 12.8ppg and 6.6rpg, there are too many variables, by looking at West's games last year he played more than 36 minutes only 5 times, are people really expecting him to play 36+ minutes a game this year when he was only able to play 36+ minutes 5 times? the odds are against it.

There is also the age issue, I don't think he is going to be able to play that many minutes anymore, his defense is also going to affect his ability to stay on the floor, I expect West to put good numbers in the beginning of the year by the way and I know I'm going to get crap for it but at the end of the year I expect him to stay right were he was last year, not bad but not top 10 or top 15 as many think here.