Why can't Monty say to BR, "Pass or sit. If you dribble more than 5 seconds, you sit."? After all, he's not a high-paid star.
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New Orleans Hornets 2012-13 Power Rankings – Week 11
After a win in Philadelphia last night, the Hornets finished Week 10 of these power rankings 3-1, giving them their second week in a row without a losing record. The team improved to 6-2 with an active Eric Gordon and has as many wins in its past 9 games as it totaled in its first 29 games. How have the team’s power rankings changed as a result?
1) Ryan Anderson, PF – 38 GP, 31.9 MPG, 55.8 TS%, 17.2% DRR, 5.4% TOR, .144 WS/48, 19.1 PER; Last Week: 1
Anderson has struggled a bit lately, but it hasn’t been anywhere near enough to bump him from the top of these rankings. Every player who makes his living with his 3-point shot will go through slumps, and that is what Anderson is dealing with right now. Combine that slump with a deep Hornets front court, and Monty doesn’t feel the need to force things if Ryan isn’t playing well. He’ll turn things around, and last night was a good move in that direction, totaling 14 points on 11 shots to go along with 9 rebounds in 29 minutes.
2) Robin Lopez, C – 38 GP, 26.0 MPG, 58.5 TS%, 11.1% ORR, 10.6% TOR, .146 WS/48, 20.5 PER; Last Week: 2
Another quiet but solid week for Lopez. Although he scored just barely over a point per field goal attempt this past week, he made up for his lack of scoring by taking care of the ball on offense and being a force on the defensive end, committing only about one turnover per 36 minutes and contributing 2.85 blocks per 36 minutes in that 4-game stretch. Eventually, a lack of minutes could cause him to fall a spot or two in these rankings, but not yet. Lopez’s body of work over the course of this season has been too solid to knock him from the #2 spot right now.
3) Greivis Vasquez, PG – 38 GP, 34.4 MPG, 51.5 TS%, 13.8% DRR, 34.5% AR, 12.9% TOR, .071 WS/48, 16.8 PER; Last Week: 4
Another very good week for Greivis earns him a place back into the top 3. While his 2.31 assist/turnover ratio for the week is below his season average of 2.74 (it was at 2.80 for the week before last night’s 9 assist, 6 turnover performance), he has become a legitimate scoring threat for this Hornets team and one who needs to be planned for by opposing defenses. Arguably the biggest addition to offensive game has been his suddenly dangerous 3-point shot; after shooting 31.9% from long range in his first season with New Orleans, that percentage has skyrocketed to 39.7% this season after making 7 out of 15 over the past week. For comparison’s sake, Ryan Anderson is shooting 39.5% from beyond the arc so far this year.
4) Anthony Davis, PF – 25 GP, 29.6 MPG, 54.2 TS%, 10.6% ORR, 20.8% DRR, 10.2% TOR, 0.129 WS/48, 19.8 PER; Last Week: 3
Davis was generally solid while in the game over the past week; 38 points on 30 shots isvery solid, although his 18 rebounds over those four games leaves a lot to be desired. If I had to point to one reason for dropping out of the top 3, though, it’s his playing time. As Andrew noted last night, his minutes are down considerably over the past week; though he has averaged 30 minutes per game this season, that average has dropped to just 24 minutes over his past four games. This change has more to do with Monty riding the hot hand than anything Davis hasn’t done well, but it’s enough to help Vasquez leapfrog him in the rankings.
5) Eric Gordon, SG – 8 GP, 29.3 MPG, 48.0 TS%, 16.1% AR, 10.9% TOR, .018 WS/48, 15.8 PER; Last Week: 6
Production-wise, Gordon hasn’t done what we expected of him based on his reputation, but the fact of the matter is that it took the Hornets 8 tries to win as many games with him as they won without him in 30 tries (six). That has to count for something, and as of right now, that’s a move into the top 5 of these power rankings. He played in all four games over the past week, averaging 15.5 points on 13.8 shots to go along with 3.8 assists and 2.5 turnovers in 29.5 minutes. He really stepped up his scoring efficiency over the past two contests, pouring in 41 points on just 27 field goal attempts. If that kind of offense is what we see from Eric Gordon going forward, good things will happen for the Hornets.
6) Jason Smith, PF – 31 GP, 17.6 MPG, 52.4 TS%, 16.8% DRR, 12.1% TOR, .074 WS/48, 15.5 PER; Last Week: 5
Apart from the Hornets’ loss in New York during which he was a non-factor (only 7 minutes played), Smith once again played well this week, scoring 37 points on 28 shots in addition to 22 rebounds in the team’s three wins (70 minutes played). Jason continues to be a solid fourth big man in this Hornets rotation, earning the confidence of his coach who will comfortably stick with him over more talented Hornets big men like Davis if he has the hot hand.
7) Al-Farouq Aminu, SF – 32 GP, 26.3 MPG, 50.6 TS%, 24.6% DRR, 14.5% AR, 17.4% TOR, .048 WS/48, 12.9 PER; Last Week: 9
Over the past week, Aminu has averaged an impressive 10.5 rebounds per game, 4 more per game than any Hornets player, which comes out to 14.4 per 36 minutes. If he were able to sustain that per-36 rebound total over the course of the season, he would trail just Kevin Love and Reggie Evans this year and be tied with Anderson Varejao for 3rd best in the entire NBA. Equally important to his rebounding prowess was his mere 1.5 turnovers per game over that stretch and improved shot selection, attempting slightly less than 5 field goal attempts per game (and making just over half of them!). Early returns show that maybe Coach Williams has finally gotten through to Aminu in regards to his role on the court, and if so, he could prove to be much more useful and efficient from here on out.
8) Brian Roberts, PG – 35 GP, 14.8 MPG, 50.1 TS%, 22.5% AR, 9.1% TOR, .062 WS/48, 14.8 PER; Last Week: 7
His minutes are still down, but a better set of games from Roberts this week, as he appears to be figuring out how to make positive contributions even with less playing time. It’s even more impressive when you consider how he’s doing it; he is just 1-9 from 3-point range over his past 4 games, but he has made up for that by earning 9 free throw attempts and making all of them. As a result, he has scored 1.38 points per field goal attempt in that stretch with five assists and just one turnover in 41 minutes, very solid numbers for a backup guard. As was the case with Davis, Roberts dropped a spot mainly due to lack of playing time.
9) Lance Thomas, SF – 31 GP, 13.9 MPG, 51.4 TS%, 7.9% ORR, 6.8% TOR, .069 WS/48, 9.0 PER; Last Week: 8
Aminu’s very solid week has unsurprisingly led to less playing time for Thomas, culminating with a DNP-CD last night in Philadelphia. In the prior three games combined, he played 32 minutes and totaled 6 points on 5 attempts, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, and just 1 turnover. Not bad by any stretch, but not enough to take minutes back from AFA.
10) Roger Mason Jr., SG – 35 GP, 19.3 MPG, 59.9 TS%, 13.2% DRR, 17.8% AR, 11.7% TOR, .074 WS/48, 11.0 PER; Last Week: 10
Mason may have just had his best 4-game stretch since turning 30, scoring 43 points on just 24 shots in 86 minutes of action largely thanks to making 8 out of his 9 attempts from beyond the arc. He also contributed 13 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 blocks, 2 steals, and just 1 turnover in that stretch. Mason has picked up a lot of the slack in the 3-point shooting department with Anderson’s recent struggles, but if they can both get hot at the same time, this Hornets team will be dangerous.
11) Xavier Henry, SG – 24 GP, 12.3 MPG, 50.6 TS%, 13.8% DRR, 10.6% TOR, .047 WS/48, 10.9 PER; Last Week: 12
After not playing in the game against Houston last Wednesday, Henry received more minutes in each progressive game this past week, and rewarded Coach Williams for his trust. Henry played just 29 minutes total, but was 7-11 from the field and finished with 16 points in that time, also contributing 5 rebounds and 2 assists with just 1 turnover. The bulk of those minutes came last night, with Henry looking very solid in 15 minutes of action, most coming at small forward position instead of shooting guard. As I mentioned last night, playing the 3 is Henry’s best shot at carving out a role in this league, so I’m glad he’s seeing more of his action at this spot.
12) Austin Rivers, SG – 37 GP, 24.7 MPG, 39.9 TS%, 20.5% AR, 12.0% TOR, -0.058 WS/48, 5.4 PER; Last Week: 11
Just, yuck. After missing all five of his shots in his 20 minutes against Houston a week ago, Monty finally said “enough is enough” and dropped him in the rotation. As a result, he has played just 13 minutes over the past three games, contributing just a single point on two shot attempts, one rebound, two assists, and five turnovers. I’m not sure what he’s doing in the NBA at this point, as he would probably be better served getting more playing time in the D-League.
13) 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: 13
Miller remained in the D-League over the last week.
NR) Donald Sloan, PG
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.
I think that people MASSIVELY underrate the value of mental confidence when it comes to any sport, especially basketball. Though Eric Gordon hasn't played particularly well on the court, he allows everyone else to a) fit into their more natural position and b) believe that if we are in a close game at the end, EG10 will make the plays to win. That combination allows our team to play a much more loose version of our former selves and you are finally starting to see the talent outweigh the youth. EG10 is the most important person to this team, whether we like it or not, by a mile. He may be the most important single player to ANY team in the league right now, if for no other reason than our team finally BELIEVES they can win games. 1) Gordon 2) Vasquez 3) Anderson 4) Lopez 5) Davis 6) AFA 7) Roberts 8) Smith 9) Mason 10) Thomas
I think it might be time someone wrote an article on the pros and cons of sending Rivers to the D-league. Maybe like a point/counterpoint article. I'm not trying to demand new content or anything. Just throwing a suggestion out there.
That may very well be true, but you have to keep in mind the fact that he has only appeared in 21% of the team's games this season (8 out of 38). These rankings evaluate the team's entire season. Can't put him that high when he has played in so few games.
ISM I'd also love to hear that soundbite because I'm at every home game & head every pre-game press conference & have a highlighted quote sheet from the postgame & I don't recall him ever saying that or seeing anyone else report that he said that. #BeWell
42, I'd never even suggest that we were arguing. I don't get into arguments with you, it's nearly impossible for anyone to at that. I'm referring to JC-incarnate himself MM.
And don't even kind of act like you didn't stoop down to my level you ignorant hypocrit. I don't sit here and act holier than thou when it comes to these arguments. You want to sit here and throw out insults like childish, uneducated, and unfocused. Then you act like because they are big boy words you are being less emotional and jaded than I am. Give me a break. Everyone on this site sees through you except the 2 mods that thumbs up'd your dumb a** retort cause they don't want you looking like an idiot AGAIN. You want to trade barbs? Step up. I don't mind trying to match your overinflated ego and whit.
MM, you are insecure and a hater. Why else would you so openly be so hostile to my hypothesis that the intangibles EG10 brings to the team are more important than any single trait any other player on the team has brought to us this season? You and 42 like to act like I pick these fights when in reality, you're opening reply to my initial argument is quite hostile. Take in the fact that you're an actual writer for this site and that leads one to wonder where your head is at. At no point did I ever downplay ANYTHING that anyone else on the team has accomplished, only stated how important I think Gordon's being there is. Go read my initial post and find me one spot where I downplay the significance of what anyone else on the team has done and then read your initial reply.
The future won't tell us anything. I have not said that Gordon is not important. In fact, if you want to follow my logic, go look at my preseason picks. I stated that this is a good team if Gordon is here, a terrible one if he is not. All there for you in writing, ISM: http://www.hornets247.com/2012/10/29/hornets-beat-season-preview-part-2/ Scroll to the bottom. What I am saying about THESE two weeks, is that Gordon is not even close to 100% and while our shooting guard position has gone from horrid to average, that is not the #1 reason we are winning, instead it is just one of several pieces. But whatever, I am insecure and a hater. Heard it all before. If that makes people feel better, good for them. Any objective person would read this thread and see whose arguments are clear and concise and could also identify the poster who resorts to overexaggeration and name calling. It's too bad really, because if that energy was focused and mature, this could be a good conversation with valid points on each side.
Look, you can point to stats all you want. I see a different team on both ends of the floor. The ball moves better on O by a "country mile" and the lane penetration on D is better by a "country mile". These were out 2 biggest problems by a "country mile". I really am done this conversation and am only responding because it's you 42 and I respect you. I don't even know why I respond to McNamara and get baited into his anti-Gordon crusade. Oh, wait, I do. Because someone has to stand up to the insecure people that keep whining about EG10 and painting everything he does in a negative light without giving the guy a real chance.
To respond to you 42, even if you take into account the entire season, a 6-2 record is more impressive than anything else we've done all season (especially our rockin .200 winning percentage pre-EG) and he is the best/most important player on the floor during that stretch, not even having played that well. He's our best defender, our best floor stretcher on O, our best ball handler, our best late game playmaker, our best decision maker with the ball in his hands, our best foul drawer, I don't think that's ridiculous to put him #1. Those guys put up whatever stats they put up with us being the 2nd worst team in the NBA? YIPPEE. I'd rather us look like a legitimate playoff team over an 8 game stretch and give credit where it's due.
Look, without the PHX comments and the nagging knee issues, everyone would be all over this guy and claiming him to be the savior of our franchise with how things have gone since his return. People let their personal bias cloud their judgment. Gordon brought a culture of winning back to a losing team. No way we win that Charlotte game w/out him and make that comeback. We looked awful. He single handedly carried us that 2nd half. Then bad game. From there, he proceeds to dominate an overtime in which we have been struggling hard this season and gets us our first overtime W. Than we play a complete game against the Spurs and Gordon's D, hustle, and offensive firepower was a massive boost. Now all of a sudden we're winning games again and people believe. The city is energized because of EG10. The team is. The organization is. I'm done arguing. I've heard more Hornets chatter around the city in the last week than I have in the previous 2 1/2 months. I actually enjoy the games thinking we will win instead of getting rocked by 20. The crowd is way more into the games. Argue it all you want. All I know is I'm damn happy to have EG10 back and I really do hope that MM isn't proven wrong with how important EG10 is.
I have never once said this is all Eric Gordon. MM just wants to make it sound like that cause I'm saying that he should be #1 in our power rankings and is easily the most important player to our team, mentally and physically.
Honestly, MM, if it was any other writer on this site maybe I wouldn't take it with a grain of salt but you've been outspoken about Gordon from day 1 to the point where they had to make sure you weren't posting on the official Twitter anymore because you were going FAR overboard. No surprise, you are the biggest detractor still now.
Thank you for explaining my argument to me. Needed that. I thought my argument was more similar to: The Hornets as a team and as individuals were improving individually and when you compared that with the massive upgrade from Rivers to Gordon at shooting guard, the multitude of factors led to more wins than losses. In other words, give everyone credit rather than just heaping it all on one man and acting like the rest of the guys are bums. Especially when those other guys are playing better than the guy in the imaginary cape. But maybe you are right, my argument is about magic. Who am I to know my own argument?
I'm sorry MM! You are right. It sounds more logical that the stars aligned and all the tiny things came together in a cosmic smattering of good, coincidental fortune than our best basketball player came back and made us a lot better. Nothing "straw man" about that. That's the argument in a nutshell that you are making vs the argument I am making.
Not to defend ISM's "idiotic" and "moronic" comments, but I kind of agree with his initial argument. I look at it like this: - this team was clearly built personnel wise around eg. for example, greivis can get the ballhandling and defensive (against quick guards)help he needs from the quicker 2 guard allowing his size, energy and scoring to create matchup problems the other way. Shooters were emphasized to complement eg's forays into the paint and provide him spacing. - Monty is a coach that strongly emphasizes players roles. When eg surprised management by not being ready to start the season, everybody's proper roles were modified and they were asked to take on responsibilities that were in many cases challenging to say the least. eg's return allowed the other players to refind their roles, do what they were signed and coached to do, get in a groove, and thus improve their confidence. playing outside of yourself and trying to do to much does not bolster confidence. Add that to the fact that greivis, sideshow rob and others were able to expand what they could offer by trying to do more (while losing constantly) earlier in the season, we have a better qualified team now with or without eg.
ISM, What you just used was what is called a "Straw Man" fallacy. You exaggerated an opponent's argument in order to try and demean it and make your argument look stronger. We are too intelligent on this site to fall for that. Has anybody "completely dismissed" the impact of Gordon? Or have people said that others should be given credit for their improved play as of late in addition to Gordon returning and improving our SG spot as well? It's not an either/or thing. Giving credit to other players does not mean you are saying Gordon contributed nothing. I agree, that would be "borderline moronic". But nobody has said that. You just apparently read that. Like Manti Te'o- you simply saw something that wasn't really there.
ISM, I'd love you to find that soundbite. Not only does that not sound like Monty, I do not believe any statistcal analysis will support that statement. For example Lopez's and Davis's numbers would support they were playing hard the entire season. In Davis's case, his numbers pre-Gordon might be better. And Monty reinserted Aminu into the line-up, apparently as a better compliment to Gordon. That seems like a coaching decision not a player deciding to play harder. I don't see this as about Gordon and the summer, just about objectively understanding a lot of things came together at the same time, including Vasquez's great play just before Gordon returned.
Ya'll are being quite ridiculous. Even Monty Williams admitted that everyone but GV and J-Smoove was playing scared on the team and "waiting" for Eric Gordon to come back and save them. Not a quote from a press clipping, an actual audio quote from Monty himself. If you don't think EG10 coming back didn't breathe new life and confidence into this team, you're just trying to find ways to hate on the guy because you're still B-hurt about the summer. Trust me, I go to every home game and have to hear idiotic comments all the time, some even going so far as to say we should just trade EG10 for whatever because he's "cancer" to the team, even if that means taking a terrible contract back in return. Yes, people are stepping their game up and EG10 is not puppeteering their arms and legs, making the shots for them, playing D, and hustling but to completely dismiss the impact he has on the team is borderline moronic.
Uh, him being in uniform gave us confidence? I got killed for saying this and was labeled a Gordon hater but I honestly felt it was more correlation than causation with regard to Gordon returning and Hornets winning more. I really feel like several players have stepped their games up outside of Gordon. Add Gordon to that, in place of Rivers, and you get a ton of wins, but it is more about those other guys taking it to another level than most people are giving them credit for. Aminu played great tonight and it had nothing to do with Gordon. Give the credit for Aminu to Aminu, not Gordon.
please explain tonight’s win without Gordon playing a minute. Carryover. Put another way, "residual confidence".
Just making sure. I was just responding to this "You and 42 like to act like I pick these fights." It's all fine. We'll see how next week's power rankings come in.
ISM, I don't think I'm picking a fight with you, think you are picking a fight with me, or think I'm painting you in a negative light. I'm bringing up information, and you are. I think you should talk less about others' intentions and more about the topic. For what it's worth, I never thumb up or down anything. If I had my way, we'd take that stuff out. I find it reprehensible.
Your passion is appreciated. You should settle down on the ribbing of the particular people involved. Time will bear out your argument if it's correct. Let that be enough. Let's hope in two weeks that this is all much, much clearer. I would like to point out, however that so far this season his shooting is the worst of his career, even factoring in getting to the line, his rebounding is the worst of his career, while his assists are up and turnovers, steals, and blocks are all stable, all while his usage his higher than it's ever been and the highest on the team. WHEN his shooting returns to him, everything you think about Gordon will be insufficient to describe his effect on the team. That should be something to excite everyone. ETA: I'm glad you liked that country mile phrase.
Mason has him 5th, behind three people who played 38 games and one who played 25. He's played 8, going 6-2 with the rest of the team out there. Even if he's responsible for one third of those wins (2), leaving 4 wins to divide among the rest of the team, he'd be below or right in line with the players Mason has 1-4. Also, if one goes by win shares through the season, Mason's 1-4 are the top 4 by a country mile, though he has a different order. EJ is 13th. I'd guess that by the season's end he may just pass up everyone but maybe Anderson if he stays healthy. This is all good discussion, but I don't see the data to say that's he's done the most to give the team the record they have even if he's been the most important player in 8 of those games (and he was horrible in a couple of them, so that's not entirely true).
ISM, why should he be the Hornets that has contributed the most to the team in aggregate over the entire season, which is what these power ranking, for better or worse, are? Let's focus on the topic, not MM.
I tend to agree with Mike on this. We've been tracking Aminu's ups and downs, Lopez's surprising production, and more. many things are heading in the right direction. Plus, the Heat couldn't just jump right in to wins, so why would this worse team? To lay that all at the feet of Eric Gordon is jumping the gun. Time will tell, but to ignore the contributions due to the others guys' and coaches' hard work is unfair. Gordon may be more important than any other player, so more than 1/14 if we want to pin it to a number, but he's not the majority of it either, even if he's the highest paid by far.