FanPost

Comparing Bad Teams Part 1 - Starters


I started thinking about this post after reading Tennessee Dolly's comments in Amar's post on the SB Nation blogger's power rankings. Tennessee maintains that the Jazz will be a bottom three team next year, with only the 76ers as being worse. (At least that was how I understood Tennessee's position, sorry if I'm wrong!) The justification for this position is that we don't know if our main players will be good starters, and that our bench is just plain awful. I thought I would take a look at those two assumptions, and this is part one.

Focusing on the bottom 9 teams on SB Nations rankings, (and the Trailblazers because I've heard us compared to them frequently) I started by grabbing the projected depth chart for the upcoming season from ESPN. Granted, the rosters aren't final, and there were some errors. (They listed the 7'0, 33 year old Brendan Haywood as the Bobcats starting SG ahead of Ben Gordon.) If I found an error I made my best guess as to what the actual lineup would be.

I then started looking at stats. I decided to use PER and Win-shares per 48 as my metrics. I like these stats because they're normalized each year, and are pace adjusted. The combination also seems to give a fairly good representation of both offense and defense. Rookies are assigned values of zero, since there is no way to predict what their stats will be. I also decided that using a player's career numbers would likely give a more accurate representation of what to expect this upcoming season, so if numbers seem too high or low, that's most likely the reason.

I also added in NBA experience and minutes per game to indicate whether or not a player has played starter's minutes in the past.

On to the data:

Jazz

Exp.

MPG

PER

WS/48

Celtics

Exp.

MPG

PER

WS/48

Trey Burke

0

0

0

0

Rajon Rondo

7

32.9

17.2

0.135

Alec Burks

2

16.9

12.6

0.058

Avery Bradley

3

20.4

9.6

0.037

Gordon Hayward

3

25.4

14.9

0.103

Jeff Green

5

32.4

13.2

0.076

Derrick Favors

3

21.4

16.2

0.105

Brandon Bass

8

21.6

14.6

0.122

Enes Kanter

2

14.4

16.2

0.098

Kelly Olynyk

0

0

0

0

Averages

2.0

15.6

12.0

0.073

Averages

4.6

21.5

10.9

0.074









Bobcats

Exp.

MPG

PER

WS/48

Kings

Exp.

MPG

PER

WS/48

Kemba Walker

2

31.4

17.3

0.053

Greivis Vasquez

3

24.5

14.5

0.06

Ben Gordon

9

28.8

15.2

0.083

Ben McLemore

0

0

0

0

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

1

26

14

0.051

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute

5

25.1

11.7

0.094

Cody Zeller

0

0

0

0

Jason Thompson

5

27.4

14.5

0.079

Al Jefferson

9

30.6

20.6

0.129

DeMarcus Cousins

3

29.8

18.6

0.071

Averages

4.2

23.4

13.4

0.063

Averages

3.2

21.4

11.9

0.061









Magic

Exp.

MPG

PER

WS/48

Bucks

Exp.

MPG

PER

WS/48

Jameer Nelson

9

28.9

15.8

0.114

Luke Ridnour

10

27.4

14.3

0.086

Arron Afflalo

6

26.2

12.3

0.092

O.J. Mayo

5

33.4

14.1

0.072

Tobias Harris

2

18.3

15.5

0.089

Ersan Ilyasova

5

23.7

16.7

0.141

Glen Davis

6

22.3

12.4

0.088

John Henson

1

13.1

18.2

0.109

Nikola Vucevic

2

26.3

17

0.107

Larry Sanders

3

18.9

15.8

0.112

Averages

5.0

24.4

14.6

0.098

Averages

4.8

23.3

15.8

0.104









Suns

Exp.

MPG

PER

WS/48

Raptors

Exp.

MPG

PER

WS/48

Goran Dragic

5

22.2

15.7

0.091

Kyle Lowry

7

27.4

16.2

0.121

Eric Bledsoe

3

19.6

13.6

0.053

DeMar DeRozan

4

32

13.8

0.063

Caron Butler

11

34.4

15.6

0.089

Rudy Gay

7

36.1

16.1

0.08

Markieff Morris

2

21.1

12.4

0.05

Amir Johnson

8

20.8

16.5

0.148

Marcin Gortat

6

22.3

17.5

0.147

Jonas Valanciunas

1

23.9

15.6

0.127

Averages

5.4

23.9

15.0

0.086

Averages

5.4

28.0

15.6

0.108









76ers

Exp.

MPG

PER

WS/48

Trailblazers

Exp.

MPG

PER

WS/48

Michael Carter-Williams

0

0

0

0

Damian Lillard

1

38.6

16.4

0.088

Jason Richardson

12

34.4

16.3

0.098

Wesley Matthews

4

31.5

14.1

0.108

Evan Turner

3

28.5

11.9

0.051

Nicolas Batum

5

28.9

15.5

0.123

Thaddeus Young

6

29.3

16.8

0.12

LaMarcus Aldridge

7

35.4

19.7

0.142

Spencer Hawes

6

23.7

14.1

0.064

Robin Lopez

5

17.4

16.4

0.116

Averages

5.4

23.2

11.8

0.067

Averages

4.4

30.4

16.4

0.115

The Jazz are projecting to start Burke, Burks, Hayward, Favors, and Kanter. That's a really young group. In fact, when looking at NBA experience, it's the youngest starting five in the league with an average of 2 years experience. (By comparison, the Lakers are the oldest with 12.4 years average experience, and the Cavs and Kings are tied for the second youngest with 3.2 years average experience). Our projected starters also haven't played extensive minutes before, averaging 15.62 minutes per game. If we define starters minutes as 25 or more per game (more than half of every game), then Hayward is the only player to have played starters minutes. (Again, by comparison, the Kings are the second most inexperienced group, averaging 21.36 minutes while the Nets are the most experienced, averaging 35.68 minutes per game.) That lack of experience is probably going to cost us a few wins

On the plus side, while we are the youngest team, we aren't the least productive. The Celtics, 76ers, and Kings all have a worse collective PER than the Jazz. The Kings, Bobcats, and 76ers all have a worse collective WS/48. In both categories, we rank as the fourth worst team in the league. So as it stands, our starters should be better than the 76ers and the Kings, and most likely better than one of the Bobcats or Celtics.

But wait, you say, all of this data comes from rookies having a zero PER and zero WS/48. What if we plug in below average data for all rookies, say a 10 PER and .050 WS/48? I won't reproduce the table, but suffice it to say that we don't look any better. You see, the bump we get from adding in Trey Burke's stats isn't enough to move us up, we're projected to be that bad.

We do have one advantage in being young and inexperienced: The Millsap Doctrine. The Millsap Doctrine (discussed here) basically states that players who are given more minutes and an increased role will actually become better. If we take that into account and give all non-starting minute players a small bump (+1.5 PER, and .01 WS/48), then the Jazz... don't get much better. We pass the Celtics in terms of WS/48, but don't move up in PER.

Overall, our starting 5 are projected to be the third to fifth worst in the league. If that also reflects our standing in the league, that would put us at about 24 wins. We can argue that we'll be better, that our players will improve more than I've projected here, or that Trey Burke will be far better than other rookies. All of those things may happen, but as far as I can tell, the stats show that our starting 5 will not taking us out of the basement.

What do you think?

All comments are the opinion of the commenter and not necessarily that of SLC Dunk or SB Nation.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SLC Dunk

You must be a member of SLC Dunk to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SLC Dunk. You should read them.

Join SLC Dunk

You must be a member of SLC Dunk to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SLC Dunk. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker