It’s time for the #STATSTHREAD you’ve all been waiting for. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for a deep dive into the numbers on Dante Exum, Georges Niang, Tony Bradley and Grayson Allen.
To recap, we’re looking at the 2018-19 Utah Jazz roster through a statistical lens. And each week we’ve featured a different player or players (order determined by 2017-18 Win Shares). So far, Rudy Gobert, Derrick Favors, Joe Ingles, Ricky Rubio, Donovan Mitchell, Ekpe Udoh, Thabo Sefolosha, Royce O’Neale, Alec Burks, Jae Crowder and Raul Neto have all gotten the treatment.
Today’s edition will wrap up the series. So, without further ado, here’s a look at Exum, Niang, Bradley and Allen...
- Dante Exum averaged 18.2 points, 6.9 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.3 steals per 75 possessions in 2017-18. Stephen Curry, James Harden, LeBron James, Nikola Jokic, Kyle Lowry, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook were the only players who matched those per-possession averages.
OK, this comes from a very small sample size. Exum only played 235 minutes during the regular season, but he looked as good as he ever has in those minutes. We finally caught a prolonged look at the potential we’ve talking about for four years now.
- Dante Exum’s Box Plus-Minus, Win Shares per 48 Minutes, Player Efficiency Rating and True Shooting Percentage over the years...
2014-15: -3.8 BPM, -0.003 WS/48, 5.7 PER, .457 TS%
2016-17: -2.5 BPM, .046 WS/48, 8.5 PER, .521 TS%
2017-18: -1.2 BPM, .133 WS/48, 16.7 PER, .566 TS%
Exum took an unconventional path to the NBA. Actually, it was unprecedented. Back in 2015, right after his rookie season, I looked into just how rare his path was for Bleacher Report:
According to Basketball-Reference.com’s Player Season Finder, 92 NBA rookies were 19 or younger on February 1 of their respective first years.
Narrowing it down even further, only 16 entered the league without playing for an American high school or college. Exum was the only member of that group without prior professional experience.
So, we always should have been willing to exercise a little patience with Exum. The jump from Australian high school basketball to the NBA is enormous. But the numbers above suggest he’s starting to come around.
- Players shot 33.3 percent from the field when defended by Dante Exum in the playoffs.
Exum’s defense in the playoffs was another indicator for how much potential is still untapped here. His length and ability to make up ground laterally or vertically are among the best in the game.
- Dante Exum defended James Harden for 53 possessions in the playoffs. Harden had 12 points on 3-of-14 shooting on those possessions. Over the same sample, the Houston Rockets scored 103.8 points per 100 possessions. They scored 112.2 points per 100 possessions in the regular season.
No one in the playoffs defended the 2018 MVP as well as Exum. If he can be even close to this level of defense over the course of a season, he’ll be extremely valuable.
- The Utah Jazz outscored opponents by 10.5 points per 100 possessions when Dante Exum and Donovan Mitchell shared the floor.
The so-called DMX backcourt of Exum and Donovan Mitchell was on the floor for just shy of 100 minutes, hardly enough of a sample to go wild over. But the chemistry they flashed in the 2017 Summer League was evident again after Exum returned from injury. As those two keep growing together, they have a chance make up one of the most athletically gifted backcourts in the league.
- Georges Niang averaged 19.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 2.2 threes and one steal, while shooting 57 percent from the field and 45.9 percent from three in the G-League last season.
Niang filled up the stat sheet in the G-League as a playmaking forward. What was perhaps most encouraging was his shot. In his 15 games with the Salt Lake City Stars, he went 39-of-74 from three (52.7 percent).
- The Salt Lake City Stars outscored opponents by 9.7 points per 100 possessions when Georges Niang was on the floor. They were outscored by 12.3 points per 100 possessions when he was off.
And Niang’s well-rounded production clearly helped the team. SLC’s Net Rating was a whopping 22 points better when he was on the floor.
- The Salt Lake City Stars were 5-30 when Georges Niang came over from the Santa Cruz Warriors. The Stars went 11-4 in the 15 games Niang played with the team.
Niang completely changed the Stars.
- Tony Bradley averaged 18.8 points, 12.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per 36 minutes for the Salt Lake City Stars.
Bradley averaged a double-double in just under 30 minutes a game for the Stars. He still looked plenty raw against NBA players last season, but he may be on the track toward another successful developmental project for the Jazz.
- The Salt Lake City Stars outscored opponents by 3.1 points per 100 possessions when Tony Bradley was on the floor. They were outscored by 10.2 points per 100 possessions when he was off.
The on/off difference with Bradley wasn’t as dramatic as Niang’s, but it was still significant. And when those two were both on the floor, Utah outscored opponents by 17.9 points per 100 possessions.
- Jimmy Butler and Naz Mitrou-Long were the only seniors since 2010-11 who were within 0.5 points of 2017-18 Grayson Allen in Offensive Box Plus-Minus, Defensive Box Plus-Minus and scoring average.
It’d probably be a success story if Allen winds up splitting the difference between the careers of Jimmy Butler and Naz Mitrou-Long.
- Grayson Allen averaged 8.7 assists per 36 minutes during Summer League competition.
Allen’s playmaking was perhaps the most intriguing skill he displayed this summer. Smart passing, especially from the wing, always seems welcome in Quin Snyder’s offense. Allen mostly played traditional point guard over the summer, but it’s easy to see him fitting in as a position-less playmaker.
- Grayson Allen posted a 40.5” max vertical leap at the combine, tied for sixth best at the event. He was also sixth in standing vertical leap. He was first in lane agility time.
The old stereotype about white players not being athletic has started to unravel over the last few years, and Allen did his part at the combine this summer.