Counterpoint: Not just our PGs

In particular, everybody but KLove is costing this team wins. This is primarily based off of Arturo Galleti's analysis Most important players of the season so far.


This article is mainly based around point differential as extrapolated from Wins Produced (where Love is a stud producing .429 wp48). The initial discussion is about the 50 best players and we see Love at #2, but shortly after that the worst 52 players in the NBA (all costing their teams at least 1.5 points per 48 minutes) are shown where the Timberwolves have such players as Wesley Johnson, Sebastion Telflair, Darko Milicic, Nikola Pekovic, Michael Beasly, Wayne Ellington, and Corey Brewer. Holy $%@#*


By simple extrapolation that means we have Martell and Johnny unaccounted for since this was written on 12-16; Luke, Koufos, Tolliver, Lazar and Gaines are doing better than -1.5pp48. That is far worse than just than the simplistic PGs are costing us games that's been the refrain around here. In fact considering what percentage of time Luke see's the floor the PG spot is doing better than anywhere but PF.


So I guess the point of this is where is the disconnect between WP48 and these derived thoughts and the eyeball test? Off the top of my head here is a mishmash of thoughts about each player where I try to reconcile what I see with what the stats see.


Point Guards

Luke: Plays ok most of the time but takes some stupid shot and makes crunch time turnovers which tend to overshadow his good contributions in my mind. In short I can believe that he is our best PG (sigh).

Bassy: Takes a lot of stupid shots and except for the fact that he seems to be the only pass first PG that we play I don't care for his play. I really didn't expect him to grade out that poorly.


Flynn: Not a large enough sample size

Gaines: ditto.


Shooting Guards

Martel: Not a large enough sample size.

Wes Johnson: To tentative to pull the trigger. He has also had a lot of very difficult matchups and to me he seems to get lost when he has to switch off of his man. His shooting is slowly coming around but his unwillingness to pull the trigger probably leaves us worse off which impact offensive efficiency so I understand where the poor grade comes from even if I'm willing to give him 25mpg for the rest of the year to try and figure it out. Lately I have been very frustrated by his lack of cutting and the Twolves inability in general to set/use screens off the ball.

Corey Brewer:Ugg the man who does just enough that I hope he figures it out. Since wp48 is based on efficiencies, his turnovers and gambling makes him not the defensive specialist many think he is leading to his terrible grade. If he could learn how to get a steal or two w/o getting burnt when he misses I think he'd be the defensive specialist we want him to be. WP48 since it is based on efficiency surely hates his terrible shooting percentages and thus his usage rate which I completely agree with.

Wayne Ellington: Clearly not good enough except as a specialized 3ppt assassin, the early games where he started bear this out.


Small Forwards

Michael Beasly: Skittles has such promise that we have to give him more chances. First off to explain his attrocious grade, I think we can all see that he loses focus and thus his man at times on defense. I would argue vehemently that he has the physical ability to stay with the 3s in this league, and every so often he shows that, but not often enough. As Kurt Rambis said "I can't wait to see Michael Beasly play defense". On offense right now he is sadly a high usage, low efficiency scorer. It's clear that he has the gifts to be average to high efficiency and I think the key is for him to learn how to not charge and also draw more FTAs. I guess I can see where the metric comes from but considering that this team needs someone to take those shots, I wouldn't give them to anyone else. I can only hope that once he learns more about his game he learns how to drive and dish, no one on this team does that well right now and I have more hope for Beasly than I do for our PGs.


Lazar Hayward: Too small of a sample size to really comment but I don't think he's more than a 9th man.


Power Forwards

Kevin Love: I'm a little amazed that the efficiency metrics like him this much. Specifically that the DE doesn't kill him. I still want him to recognize that some guys (Landry) need to be denied uncontested 3pt shots. If they go past him, so be it that's why you have teammates.


Anthony Tolliver: Honestly I think he's just about the ideal bench player. He could stand to make his pass/shoot decisions faster but he's not turnover prone and plays excellent defense.



Darko Milcic: Another source of endless debate. I personally think that he's going to be marginally better here than elsewhere but that's at best a serviceable starter on a bad team at a great cost. The problem with being a head-case (and this might apply to Skittles too) is that you can have 3-4 great games and 3-4 terrible games and I would rather have 8 mediocre games. Everyone has bad days but it's very hard to gameplan when you don't know if you're going to have a 14/6/3 guy or a 8/3/1 guy who takes 16 shots to get those 8 points. Due to the who the other centers on this team are, I don't see any option but to play him.I do believe the early (terrible) games influenced the fact that he's on the list, but considering his location (14th worst) it's hard to argue he's going to climb off of the list any time soon and I'm not sure I agree with that. I would be very happy to see him be a net neutral player.


Nikola Pekovic: Disappointment. How many times can you be called for 3 second violations without learning? Those are all turnovers and it reaches an unacceptable level. Please learn faster.


Koufos:  Color me shocked that he's not on the naughty-list. If Darko continues to be injured I fully expect to see him there soon.



Anyhoo I'm not sure if any of that changes anyone's mind, but I'm also intrigued by the differences between stats and eyeballs.

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