Advanced Metrics can make any basketball player who doesn't shoot strong percentages look like an absolute fool.
New Orleans Hornets 2012-13 Power Rankings – Week 8
Another three games and another three losses for the Hornets. After falling on the road to the Clippers and Spurs, New Orleans blew a 22-point second quarter lead at home to the Pacers. Here are the latest season-to-date power rankings updated with the team’s most recent games.
1) Ryan Anderson, PF – 27 GP, 33.0 MPG, 57.0 TS%, 16.6% DRR, 5.8% TOR, .143 WS/48, 19.8 PER; Last Week: 1
Brutal week for Anderson offensively, scoring just 25 points in the three-game stretch on 37 field goal attempts, including 4-20 from beyond the arc. In his four games since moving back into his sixth man role, Anderson is shooting just 28.8% from the field and 23.5% from 3-point range. Right now, chalk it up to a mere shooting slump, but if his scoring numbers keep trending in this direction, Monty may have to consider placing him back into the starting lineup and moving Davis into that sixth man role. Regardless, Eric Gordon’s return should help Anderson get back on track.
2) Robin Lopez, C – 27 GP, 26.3 MPG, 10.7% ORR, 58.6 TS%, 11.3% TOR, .137 WS/48, 20.8 PER; Last Week: 2
An outstanding week from Lopez, averaging 18.7 points (66.7% shooting), 8.7 rebounds, and 3 blocks in the three games since last week’s rankings. Lopez is currently one of just two NBA players with a true shooting percentage over 55% and a usage rate of over 19%. Sure, Hornets fans can’t expect quite this level of play to continue, but over the course of the season, I can’t see an argument for any other Hornets player to be ranked in this spot.
3) Anthony Davis, PF – 14 GP, 31.2 MPG, 57.0 TS%, 20.9% DRR, 11.2% TOR, 0.147 WS/48, 21.3 PER; Last Week: 4
The way things have gone so far, Davis is the only player who has a realistic shot of taking the #2 spot away from Lopez within the next month, as his production has been similar, but the playing time has been lacking due to injury. He struggled to get to the free throw line over his past 3 games, which hurt his scoring efficiency numbers over that stretch (44 pts on 42 shots), but still did a decent job on the glass (23 rebounds) and took good care of the ball (3 turnovers). His 38 minutes per game over that stretch is also a clear indication that he is totally healthy again, which is quite comforting.
4) Greivis Vasquez, PG – 27 GP, 33.2 MPG, 48.4 TS%, 13.5% DRR, 34.5% AR, 13.4% TOR, .024 WS/48, 14.5 PER; Last Week: 3
After getting manhandled by the CP3/Bledsoe combo in Los Angeles last Wednesday night in which he produced more turnovers (6) than points (5), Vasquez fared better in his most recent two. That being said, he was far from great, scoring 28 points on 32 shots in those two games along with just 12 total assists. The three total turnovers were a nice step in the right direction, though. It is my hope that upon Gordon’s return, Monty decides to move Vasquez to the bench and start Rivers alongside Eric.
5) Jason Smith, PF – 21 GP, 17.7 MPG, 50.9 TS%, 7.6% ORR, 12.2% TOR, .055 WS/48, 15.2 PER; Last Week: 5
According to Monty Williams, Smith should be back this week. With a healthy Eric Gordon and four legitimate healthy big men, trade rumors could start to swirl.
6) Brian Roberts, PG – 27 GP, 16.4 MPG, 51.3 TS%, 23.8% AR, 9.7% TOR, .059 WS/48, 15.9 PER; Last Week: 6
At this point, Roberts’ role is clearly defined – score-first point guard off the bench. Once Gordon is back and healthy, a second unit of Roberts/Vasquez/Henry/Smith and either Anderson or Davis should have a fairly decent amount of scoring punch. Defensively, it would probably be a mess, but in limited action, it could be a playable group.
7) Lance Thomas, F – 21 GP, 13.6 MPG, 54,0 TS%, 9.1% ORR, 6.7% TOR, .083 WS/48, 11.1 PER; Last Week: 9
It’s clear at this point that Lance Thomas is the Hornets’ best option at small forward. Defensively, he’s the strongest, and offensively, he makes the fewest mistakes. He’ll never be an above average NBA player, but his work ethic and passion for the game will help push him to compete every single night. Hopefully, he can continue to improve his rebounding and become even more of an asset to this Hornets team.
8) Al-Farouq Aminu, SF – 23 GP, 27.1 MPG, 50.9 TS%, 22.0% DRR, 13.4% AR, 17.2% TOR, .030 WS/48, 12.8 PER; Last Week: 7
Over the Hornets’ past three games, Aminu played as many minutes as I did for the Hornets, which should tell you how he is viewed in the eyes of his coaching staff at this point. To make matters worse, I wonder if his one strong advanced metric – his defensive rebounding rate – is more a product of him camping out around the rim than actually being a legitimate rebounding threat. Before the Pacers played in New Orleans this past weekend, I reviewed the game film of Paul George’s nine 3-pointers in the two teams’ first meeting; what I found was immensely disturbing. Every one of George’s 7 second half long balls were aided significantly by laziness on the part of Aminu. All too often, he refuses to chase his man out to the perimeter and instead opts to hang back close to the rim, assuming he’ll get help from a teammate and he’ll be able to collect an easy board. Unless he’s running the floor in transition (without the basketball) or crashing the offensive glass, Aminu brings nothing to this Hornets team.
9) Austin Rivers, SG – 26 GP, 28.2 MPG, 42.9 TS%, 20.0% AR, 11.3% TOR, -0.042 WS/48, 6.7 PER; Last Week: 8
After the best week of his young career two weeks ago, Rivers came back down to earth this past week, scoring just 17 points on 24 shots. However, his 12 rebounds over his past two games are reason for encouragement; given his 6’5″ height, there is reason to believe he can become at least a decent rebounder for his position.
10) Xavier Henry, SG – 18 GP, 13.8 MPG, 48.8 TS%, 14.9% DRR, 12.1% TOR, -.009 WS/48, 9.0 PER; Last Week: 12
Henry has been receiving many of his minutes at small forward recently, and hasn’t done too badly, surprisingly enough. Coach Williams apparently realizes that X’s jumper hasn’t improved, and serving as a “slasher-type” 3 instead of a shooting 2 gives him a better chance to succeed offensively. His play as of late demonstrates as much; over the past week, he has a free throw rate of 1.13 (9 free throws on 8 field goal attempts). The question, however, is whether he can keep up enough defensively to make himself a legitimate rotation player at the position.
11) Roger Mason Jr., SG – 25 GP, 19.8 MPG, 52.4 TS%, 12.1% DRR, 15.8% AR, 12.7% TOR, .018 WS/48, 8.6 PER; Last Week: 10
After turning the ball over just 16 times in his first 22 games, Mason has committed 8 turnovers in his past three games. Add that to his poor 3-point shooting over that stretch (1-9), and it’s pretty easy to see that it has been a rough week for Roger. Hopefully, Mason’s minutes are eliminated entirely upon Gordon’s return.
12) Darius Miller, SF – 23 GP, 13.6 MPG, 49.90 TS%, 28.2% AR, 14.1% TOR, .029 WS/48, 6.0 PER; Last Week: 11
Miller appears to have fallen behind Thomas, Henry, and McGuire on the Hornets’ depth chart at small forward. He has played in just two of the team’s past five games, and has almost as many turnovers (3) as points (4) in those two games (16 minutes total).
13) Dominic McGuire, SF – 5 GP, 15.4 MPG, 32.4 TS%, 19.0% DRR, 8.7% TOR, .027 WS/48, 8.0 PER; Last Week: NR
Talent-wise, McGuire is deserving of the minutes he is currently getting in the Hornets’ rotation (which says a lot about how weak the Hornets are at his position). That being said, I would still like to see Miller get some of those minutes, since he is much more of a wild card than McGuire at this point in their respective careers.
NR) Eric Gordon, SG –Last Week: NR
All season long, these player power rankings will be presented alongside various “advanced stats” in order to more accurately evaluate each Hornets player’s impact (click here for a glossary of the statistic abbreviations). In addition, we also have created a chart with the goal of standardizing advanced stat categories to distinguish the good numbers from the bad ones. Hopefully, these tools give each of you the means to comprehend the advanced statistical metrics used in these rankings as well as other columns throughout Hornets247.com.
For historical power rankings, click here.
As of today, our big 3 is behind only those of Miami, Clippers, San Antonio, and OKC in PER ranking. Of course, ours is the only such group without a guard in it. They will have to learn to pass to each other. And the other groups are clearly better on defense which doesn't show up in PER. But, it's been a long time since we had a core group that was elite.....
I don't take ESPN all too seriously anymore. In the preseason rankings by their "experts", Rivers is ranked below Jan Vesely and Hakim Warrick. I'll admit that I don't watch much basketball other than Hornets games (which I rarely miss), but Vesely looked awful when we played Washington with more experience. These are the same experts who ranked Ayon, Jordan Hill, Joel Anthony, Belinelli, Tyler Hansbrough, World Peace and Derrick Williams ahead of Jason Smith in their preseason player rankings. Also, looking at Bradley Beal's numbers, they aren't that far off Austin's. Beal is has a higher FG% but Rivers' 3 pt FG% is higher. Austin gets more assists per game and Beal has a higher PPG. I don't hear many similar complaints about him. I feel like I did with Reggie Bush with Rivers; both came in with the resume to be stars, get overrated, then are subject to being underrated when there's a backlash against them. Ultimately, they fall somewhere in between. Anyway, assuming EJ moves into the top few spots, I can see Austin moving to the 7 spot ahead of AFA, Thomas and Roberts by season's end. He's shown enough flashes and improvement for me to be on board. We need that too considering 4 of the top 5 are frontcourt players.
Just checked out jason terry's numbers from his rookie year. very similar to rivers. both play with a great amount of confidence. hopefully he can develop into close to the player that terry has been over the past 10 years or so. Also almost the exact same numbers as jamal crawford early on and kind of the same funky looking shot. He needs to work hard but there has been other players similar to him that have excelled as sixth men in the nba
Thank you espn, for completely wrecking my recent string of positive rivers mojo. Any numbers that we can throw back? Like just the last 10 games? Please?
Just saw an article on ESPN headlined "Is Austin Rivers having the worst season ever?" This makes me depressed..