Today's NBA seems to be moving towards positionless basketball. When we see players like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Russell Westbrook all having size, speed, athleticism, and ball handling skills to go along with a three point shot it appears as though that is the logical direction to go on. However, as long as there are going to be ball players who are short with great handles, or really, really big who can block shots without jumping -- you're always going to have positions, even lose ones. For us Utah Jazz fans we've talked about this type of thing for a while. Years ago Jerry Sloan started Matt Harpring and Andrei Kirilenko together for a bit to end one season, you'd be lucky to find out which of those three people actually knew which one of them was starting at shooting guard. More recently we've had to figure out if Derrick Favors is a center or a power forward; or was he just whatever the other bigman wasn't on any given lineup?
And r/NBA user on Reddit, JohnJones55, did the math to figure out what the profile of a player is based upon their stats. And then grouped players by their statistical similarity to what the computer churns out for what a PG, or a SG, or a whatever is supposed to look like. The full details can be found here. If found out about this by reading BrewHoop, our brother site here that talks about the Milwaukee Bucks. (So go over there to find out just what exactly Giannis Antetokounmpo is supposed to be.)
Anyway, well, the data isn't for every single player in the league, but I did collect all of the available Jazz players and former Jazz players I could find, and well, the info is very interesting.
- #MOLO was our most pure point guard by the data, or this just could mean he doesn't get a lot of rebounds, I don't know.
- Trey Burke is, indeed, a short shooting guard, also he does rebound and block more shots than Mo, so maybe this data works out
- Kyle Korver is obviously a shooting guard, despite playing a lot of back up SF in Utah
- DeMarre Carroll is obviously a small forward, but his 3 and D emphasis this season gets him open jumpers
- And . . . G-Time is our point guard. Well, point forward at least.
- Millsap could be a 4/3, but he's really just a pure 4, despite what our logjam meant
- Enes is a power forward, duh.
- Big Al is a center even more than Enes is a PF.
- And our most pure center by the calculation, is Derrick Favors. And he now starts at PF because we have Rudy Gobert on the squad -- which is perfectly understandable.
So thanks again to the good people over at BrewHoop, r/NBA, and John Jones for once and for all helping to give all the info we need to confirm that Tim Duncan is a center (or at least 85.84% of him is).