Vasquez: Why the Hornets won’t miss Jarrett Jack?

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Published: July 24, 2012

Every time I put together advanced stats to suggest why one of last years players weren’t all that fantastic, Dell Demps does something fun: He makes that guy disappear – sometimes before I post. Belinelli? Headed to Chicago. Ariza? Shipped for peanuts. Jack? Salary dump.

“But wait,” you say, “You haven’t said anything about Jack!”

True. That’s what this post is for.

Jarrett Jack

There wasn’t a more polarizing figure on the team last year than Jack. Some of you hated him. He was lambasted for his lack of court vision, lack of crunch-time prowess, lack of passing, lack of athleticism, lack of hair, and reviled for his sad-clown eyebrows.

Some people, however, loved him for his leadership, his moxy, his shooting, his towel-waving skills, his sad-clown eyebrows, and then pointed to his PER, which happened to be the best of his career. In fact, his PER annihilated his previous seasons, as he posted a nice 17.97, compared to his below-average career PER of 13.9. Our own site ranked him number one in our Hornets247 player rankings. That means he was good! Right?

Actually, no. The Hornets’ average numbers last year weren’t good. Reviewing the numbers, however, Jack almost universally dragged them down. Eeesh. Time to review the damage:

Hornets’ Team Statistics

When Jack played, the team’s overall FG%(-2.8%), 3Pt%(-1.9%), rebound rate(-1.2%), steal rate(-3.8%) and free throw attempts(-2.2 attempts) declined, while the various assist and turnover rates got slightly but negligably worse for New Orleans. Only FT% went up(+0.8%). That’s bad enough, but it’s only half the game.

Opponent Team Statistics

When Jack played, opponent FG% (+1.8%), FT% (+2.8%), rebound rate(+1.2%), steal rate(+4.3%), turnover rate(-3.2%) and block rate(+3.4%) all improved – which is, of course, bad for the Hornets. In addition, Hornets’ opponents earned 1 more shot per game, earned 2.7 more Free Throws, drew 1.2 more fouls, and fouled 1.6 the Hornets times less often. The only thing that opposing teams got worse at was their 3Pt%(-1.2%). That’s it.

According to 82games.com, Jack’s opponents shot better than him, got a blistering 23% of their shots at the rim, and earned more assists than Jack. Jack’s advantage was he shot a lot more often than his opponents and had better personal rebounding numbers. That high usage earned him a slightly higher PER than his match-ups. I won’t argue here about the value of low efficiency, high-volume shooters, but there is a reason why players like Rudy Gay and Monta Ellis are “stars” that never help their teams win.

In the end, here are the most damning numbers for Jack:

While Jack played, the Hornets were outscored by 8.2 points over the course of a game, which was the worst on the team for regular contributors. On average, the Hornets were outscored by 3.7. So he made them 4.5 points worse. Over the course of a few games, that wouldn’t mean much. Over the course of 45, it shouldn’t be ignored.

Greivis Vasquez

So what about Jack’s de-facto replacement? Should we be comfortable with him taking the helm?

Sort of.

The team was better with him on the floor, being outscored by 0.1 points over the course of 48 minutes. Considering the above (the Hornets being outscored by 3.7 points per game)that’s pretty good. Still, for everything he does well, something else counteracts it. Opposing teams shoot a little worse with him on the court – but they draw an extra free throw. Opposing teams rebound a little worse with him on the floor – but they get an extra steal. The Hornets shoot a little better, but opponents turn the ball over a little less. The ledger leans a little in his direction, but it’s hardly a landslide.

Further, you have to remember that while Vasquez’ numbers look good when compared to the team averages – the team averages were bad this year. So yes, he improved a bad team – but that doesn’t necessarily equate to good, it may just equate to average.

Still. I’ll take that. And it’s why I don’t think we’ll miss Jarrett Jack. (Would be nice to have a back-up though)

Are you sad Jack is gone? Looking forward to seeing Vasquez running the point? Sound off in the comments!

41 comments
sundance
sundance

Jarrett made some supremely heroic shots while he was a Hornet, and he'll always be remembered for his leadership. I think Jarrett tweeted a while ago that he compares his game to Mark Jackson's, so hopefully MJ will work with him on getting better at running plays and creating better opportunities for his floor mates. As a fan of the Warriors I really hope for that, because Golden State has some very good shooters who need a playmaker foremost, not just another scorer.

Hornets686
Hornets686

I don't see Vasquez making the whole season here! He's just an "asset"

Jeff S
Jeff S

The coach in me says sit Austin Rivers and Anthony Davis while they develop their NBA skills. I have total confidence in Monty to do the right thing. But we have NBA-ready talent from one to five. Vasquez, Gordon, Aminu, Anderson and Lopez. Barring some domination in camp, I want to see these five should start and the rookies (including Miller) come off the bench in order. We will then see what we have for competitors. I will buy my tickets just to see how this young team develops and plays against the bigtime Heat, Spurs, Lakers, Celtics, Pacers, Rockets, Suns, Portland. Orlando is going to be nasty this year. One thing about youth, it is hongry. And hongry wins many a fight. 2012-13 will be a great year to watch Hornets basketball.

Jeff S
Jeff S

I am a basketball player and coach by experience, not an analyst. But mmy feeling when watching Jack play last year was uncomfortable in my own skin - like I was watching a movie where something horrible was about to happen and just wanting to change the channel. I will not miss Jack. And I am very excited about the Lopez acquisition. We got a bruiser. Just what we need. This team is bursting at the seams with potential. What a great value fo the season ticket buyers.

Devon
Devon

Vasquez has one of the most great passing abillity in the league. he has 10 assists per 48 minutes.

Lucas Ottoni
Lucas Ottoni

I love Greivis Vasquez. The Hornets were a much better team with him in court. I can not wait to see Vasquez as our starting PG. I think he may surprise many people. The guy is talented and plays to make the team better. He will be a good mentor to Austin. GO GREIVIS!

Shantadiva
Shantadiva

Instead, he'd hit Kaman with a safer pass after he'd rolled pass the basket. Lucily Kaman could hit that 10-foot jumper. That's one thing he was good for.

Shantadiva
Shantadiva

If Vasquez could learn to hit the pick and roll I'd be happy with him. Kaman was consistantly open on the pick and roll and Vasquez was always too timid to make the pass. Instead, he"d hit Kaman with a safer

LaNative
LaNative

I will miss JJ for his leadership. He was an ultimate team player IMO doing what he could for the team - filling the starting PG need. He did irritate me down the stretch of games when he tried to take the load of winning solely on his shoulders but honestly there weren't options, right? He will benefit from Mark Jackson's coaching since he was a great point guard himself. So, I expect to see JJ improve in Golden State. Again best wishes to him and now our focus turns to Vasquez.

cloud520
cloud520

I'll miss Jack's leadership but not his crunch time performances. Vasquez has so much potential to be great and now he has his shot.

Chantal
Chantal

It's just not Jarrett Jack's fault one player can't do it all even if they r the captin.

kfte
kfte

This teami s in trouble with Vasquez at the point. the Hornets announcers spoke about how the scouting report said to double him during the crucial part of the games and he would turn the ball over. Plus he played poorly for his national team.The only thing more playing time will do for him is expose his weaknesses.Rivers is not ready. Trust me when I say this Vasquez will either be off the team or at the end of the bench at seasons end.

Otis
Otis

Dude averaged over 20 points. Is it his fault he plays for fucking Venezuela? Nobody else around him. Oh! The announcers said, well if Gil showed it to you on the damn Mcgregorstrator it must be correct. This is a REBUILDING team. Thus, everybody, sans AD, EG, Ryno, and Rivers, are auditioning/proving themselves. We will probably be this years version of the T-Wolves(before Rubio's injury). I know some people have compared AD to Bill Russell, BUT we are not starting our run of 8 straight championships next year. Alright? Trust you? Why, you trust the Hornets announcers. Vasquez will be playing significant minutes, all season long, unless injured. Vamos maricon.

ktrufant
ktrufant

Nah @Otis is right. Davis has been compared to Russell. You may disagree but you can't really argue his assertion that the comparison has been made. A simple google search will catch that.

sharpitoulas
sharpitoulas

seriously? AD the next Bill Russell? Haven't heard that one yet. BTW, T'wolves had a true point guard running the show. Not to mention they were in the playoff hunt before the injury. Do you really think we will be in the playoffs next season? The Thunder were 23-59 after the first season of Durant/Westbrook.

Ian H
Ian H

I was the the most excited guy in the city when I saw that Jack had been traded, I completely agree with Ryan. Yes Jack posted career numbers but I'm sure his usage rates were the highest of his career as well. I never ever got the feeling he made any one around him better. When Vasquez came in you would see the backdoor cuts and easy layups for Ayon or the pick and pop with Smith. You would see the little things like a big making a great hustle play, run the floor and Vasquez go out of his way to reward the big in transition. That is huge for a player's psyche and it makes u play harder. Vasquez improved as a spot up straight away 3pt shooter and has a nice runner. Yes he lacks foot speed and turns the rock over more but he has an elite feature and that's his size. I thought last year the Hornets were effective initiating the offense out of the post up on a smaller guard and should have used it more. I think Anderson will be far more productive with Vasquez as compared to Jack, not to mention Davis when he runs the floor after a blocked shot or long rebound. More easy buckets to be had with Vasquez running the show. Just my opinion tho.

gabe
gabe

and in terms of career trajectory, there's a good chance that greivis will get better but that was probably jacks ceiling, right? even greivis' second half of last season was a noticeable improvement from the first half. but, that said, ill miss jack.

Yi
Yi

I am a huge Vasquez fan from the time he was playing for Maryland. His triple double(35 pts, 11 rebound, 10 ast) OT WIN against UNC in 2010 and the clutch shot one after another WIN against duke at Senior night was my best memory. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cg0f23OylkE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiIW27uR56s I am so grateful that Monty let him run the show last season, which the apparently the Grizzliz coach didn't do in Vasquez's rookie year. Thanks Ryan for the post! I just want to add one more great quality for Vasquez. That is clutch! Yes, he is fearless of taking clutch shots if he has to. I have seen too many clutch performances in Maryland. In Memphis, he played big time when Mike Conley getting foul trouble vs spurs in first round. He also beat the buzzle forcing 2OT vs OKC. I am so happy to that now Vasquez is now playing for Hornets with a coach that trust him a lot.

Jo D
Jo D

Good luck to jack in GS... But GOOD RIDDANCE!! Sooooo happy to see a distributor run the show.. Many people forget this will only be his third year in the league... He has already improved his game... Only more room to grow with more minutes... So excited for the season to start! Catch me in section 105 all Season!

Jeff the Barbarian
Jeff the Barbarian

Let's not forget that J Jack was never hired to be a starting point guard. He was hired to be CP3's official sidekick. When Batman leaves town you don't just make Robin the new Batman. Doesn't work like that. Jack found himself in a spot (starting PG) that he should never have been in.

Analyzer
Analyzer

Nice current-movie analogy!

Devon
Devon

i just love how greivis runs the floor he has improved a lot and now he will pass lots of alley opps with anthony davis i the floor i think he will do more than 7,5 assist per game

Josh
Josh

I am a little sad that Jack left, but we now have Vasquez and Rivers. I personally love Greivis Vasquez at point guard with Eric Gordon, so I am excited.

nolahog
nolahog

Jack will be missed. It was frustrating to watch his inevitable drive to the basket to miss a contested layup on the last possession of EVERY GAME, but the guy was a good scorer. He has a solid jumpshot, decent (not great) ballhandling skills, and the guy was a superb free throw shooter. I think his presence will be sorely missed this year, especially if Rivers falters out of the gate. That being said, Vasquez is a vastly superior passer, and probably will fit well with this group.

David
David

I hate these advanced stats, because they don't take into account the other FOUR PLAYERS ON THE FLOOR! If I played w/ LeBron, Durant, Howard, and Kobe, my advanced stats would be a hell of a lot better than if I played w/ McNamara, Gerrity, Calmes, and Schwan. Hate, hate, hate them. There is no variable to take into account what other players are on the court.

Ryan Schwan
Ryan Schwan

Actually, you're wrong. There are advanced stats that tells you exactly how well a player does with different lineups - and then tries to isolate them. This is done with varying degree of success, usually determined by the consistent use of those lineups. If Jack plays 3 minutes with Ayon/Smith/Aminu/Vasquez, it's hard to get any real data out of that. If he plays 150 minutes, then those numbers become more reliable, and you can start comparing lineups. The Hornets, however, are hard to do this with because they had 20 different players and so m any injuries last year that only a handful of lineups played significant time with one another. I can tell you that Jack played better when he wasn't paired with Okafor. When those two guys were together, the Hornets were at their worst.

Ryan Schwan
Ryan Schwan

You could read the post, of course. Then you wouldn't have had to write such a long response. Yes, JJ played a bunch of minutes. Yes, the team was bad. Yes, therefore, he should have a bad +/-. However, his +/- is almost FIVE POINTS WORSE than the team average. His team performs worse in almost every category, including, yes, opponent FT% when he plays. You can recognize that indicates he's not that good, or you can act like it's everyone else's fault - even when none of them have the same indicators.(except Okafor and Belinelli) Oh - and opponent FT%? There is a correlation. Opposing guards were fouled more often when Jarrett Jack played. Who shoots FTs well? That's right, guards. You think sending guards to the line 10% more often than usual won't make the opposing team's FT% go up? Last, I have no clue what game you were watching when Jack was shutting down quick point guards. Vasquez can't do that - but Jack was just as bad. I'll accept the leadership card. He was good at that. Problem with leadership - those guys tend to want to play - and if they are bad, that's not a good thing.

sharpitoulas
sharpitoulas

you've missed the point here. JJ is not a top tier PG. But the lack of offensive talent around him last season was appalling. Here are some stats you fail to mention: We were 29th in Pts/gm as a team and 28th in Off Rating. Which, without even looking at a roster, one could assume we lacked ONE solid offensive player. We used 28 different starting lineups in 66 games (league high?). Our first 30+ point scorer came 42 games in to the season. at Lakers on March 14th. Was who else, Jarrett Jack. (Almost won the game by himself). I know because I was there. (in fact I was at 65 of the 66 games this season). JJ's ast/to ratio was 15th in the NBA The only game JJ played in with EG (our only viable offensive threat), JJ scored 19, dished 11 and had 3 TO. pretty good line for an NBA PG. 2nd on the team in Minutes played (behind EG). why is this important? b/c the team lost 42 of 66 (63.4%) games (with separate losing streaks of 6, 8, & 9 gms). on a team like that the guy who logs the most minutes is obviously going to have negative +/- statistics. (same can be said in some defense of Belinelli - only player to play in every game). And the fact that you used "+2.8 % Opponent FT%" in your argument is laughable (clearly JJ is to blame for that, HAHAHHA!). As a Hornets fan, I want our team to win. But I am afraid we will understand the value of having a true NBA PG (or lack there of) by the end of November. Not sure if ya'll remember a slow footed 6'5" guard in GV guarding the likes of the NBA elite PGs. But "blow-by's" were a recurring theme. take into consideration all factors when pointing blame. Hornets were a bad team last year, please remember it was "by design." was JJ the answer to our problems, no. but could have been a good mentor/stop gap until Rivers is ready. the answer to the title of your article is "YES" he will be missed.

Otis
Otis

Thank you for replying to this ignorance.

Mason Ginsberg
Mason Ginsberg

As the writer who ranked Jack atop the Hornets player power rankings, I’m compelled to deliver at least a brief response, despite some very solid evidence that Ryan has produced. If I had to make just one counter-point, it would be the following: The disparity in talent between the Hornets starting lineup and their opponent’s starting lineup last season was typically much wider than their 2nd unit vs. their opponent’s 2nd unit. If Jack played most of his minutes with Henry/Aminu/Landry/Ayon against backups, I think you would have seen substantially better overall team statistics than the ones that were produced with Jack/Belinelli/Ariza/Smith/Kaman against other teams’ starters. That being said, I am in agreement with the notion that the Hornets won’t miss Jack much apart from his leadership qualities. I think the Hornets’ current roster fits better with Vasquez as the starting PG rather than Jack, provided Greivis can cut back on his turnovers. Whether he or Rivers actually starts, however, is a totally separate conversation. Regardless, this analysis does show that Jack may not have been as good for the Hornets as I originally believed. I still don't think there's any question that he was one of the team's best players last season, but these numbers are pretty eye-opening. Good research, Mr. Schwan.

Analyzer
Analyzer

I too felt that his numbers are skewed because they came against first teamers while Vasquez's were against second teamers. Still, I'm hoping for the best from Vasquez and Rivers.

Otis
Otis

GV did start a third of the games. Its not like he was always playing against or with scrubs. I'd be interested of seeing those advanced stats of the difference for Gravy when he played with various lineups(i.e. the starters as opposed to second unit).

Nate
Nate

Thumbs up for calling him "Gravy".

Mike P
Mike P

I think Jack's statistics are more damning than they should be, simply because he was playing a role he shouldn't be playing. If Jack had been a backup point guard, he would've been a positive. I'll miss his enthusiasm and loyalty, but as a player, he is very replaceable long-term

Nate
Nate

I must admit I am sad to see Jack go. He took the reins as floor leader after the Paul trade and I think he would've been a good mentor to Austin (good, not great). It's not the end of the world though, and Vasquez plays with a passion for the game. He's still very young. We just have to get past the inexperience at the PG. We'll be alright.

Nate
Nate

I also think it's kind of eerie that Vasquez and Rivers BOTH played SG in College and are making the transition to PG in the NBA.

Lucas Ottoni
Lucas Ottoni

As PG, Vasquez had his jersey retired in Maryland.

Yi
Yi

No, Vasquez was a point guard in Maryland. The general averaged 16 pts and 5.7 asts in College career and won the Bob Cousy Award which is for point guard in college.

Jeff the Barbarian
Jeff the Barbarian

Interesting, yes. "Eerie," no. There's nothing supernatural happening here. Let's not get crazy.