New Orleans Hornets 2012-13 Power Rankings – Week 22
The Hornets finished this week with a much more predictable 1-2 record, falling to the Clippers and Heat before beating the Cavaliers. In this week’s edition, I’ll give a unique stat for each player (with the help of basketball-reference.com’s play index) to help indicate their greatest strengths (or in select cases, weaknesses) in relation to the rest of the NBA.
1) Ryan Anderson, PF - 73 GP, 30.8 MPG, 56.5 TS%, 16.3% DRR, 7.1% TOR, .140 WS/48, 19.1 PER; Last Week: 1
Anderson shot over 41% from beyond the arc this week, highlighted by his 5-7 performance against the Cavaliers on Easter Sunday. He is one of only three players this season averaging 19 or more points per 36 minutes while turning the ball over on less than 8% of his possessions (you may recognize one of the other two names).
2) Anthony Davis, PF – 59 GP, 28.5 MPG, 55.8 TS%, 23.3% DRR, 10.6% ORR, 9.9% TOR, 0.153 WS/48, 21.6 PER; Last Week: 2
Another very strong week for Davis, totaling 47 points on 34 shots to go along with 27 rebounds, 4 blocks, 6 steals, and just 3 turnovers. Davis is doing a better job with each passing game of scoring more efficiently while limiting his turnovers. Davis is one of four qualifying rookies in NBA history with a rebound rate of at least 16%, a true shooting percentage of at least 55%, and a turnover rate of under 11%.
3) Greivis Vasquez, PG – 72 GP, 34.5 MPG, 50.4 TS%, 13.6% DRR, 34.9% AR, 12.2% TOR, .073 WS/48, 16.7 PER; Last Week: 3
Vasquez sat out the Heat game with a hurt ankle, but responded from one of the worst games of his season against the Clippers with one of the best against the Cavaliers. The Clippers’ ferocious back court defense held Greivis scoreless in 28 minutes last Wednesday and also limited him to just 4 assists while forcing 3 turnovers. Against Cleveland, however, Vasquez scored 25 points on 10-14 shooting with 9 assists, 3 steals, and 3 turnovers. While both games were tough draws for him defensively, he continues to look extremely out-matched on that end whenever he tries to guard anyone quicker than him (which is most of the time). He joins just Chris Paul and Magic Johnson as the only three different players to maintain a defensive rebound rate of over 13% and an assist percentage of over 40%.
4) Robin Lopez, C - 74 GP, 25.6 MPG, 57.1 TS%, 12.3% ORR, 10.9% TOR, .126 WS/48, 18.9 PER; Last Week: 4
In 63 minutes of playing time this week, Lopez totaled 22 points on 22 shots with 15 rebounds, pretty poor numbers. Out of those 15 rebounds, 10 were on the offensive end, pushing his offensive rebound rate to 12.3%, putting him within the top 30 in the NBA. In fact, Lopez is currently one of just five qualifying players in NBA history with an offensive rebound rate above 12% but a defensive rebound rate below 13%.
5) Eric Gordon, SG - 34 GP, 29.8 MPG, 52.2 TS%, 14.3% AR, 12.6% TOR, .031 WS/48, 14.9 PER; Last Week: 5
While Gordon only made 42.5% of his shots over the team’s past three games, he turned his 40 attempts into 55 points thanks to getting to the line a whopping 22 times. Unfortunately, those points came with a few turnovers, as Gordon committed 10 of them over that stretch. Still, the ability to get to the free throw line is something that fans have been desperate to see from him. To really get to that next level, though, Gordon needs to improve both his scoring efficiency and turnover rate. He is one of just four qualifying (1,000+ minutes) players this season with a usage rate over 25%, a turnover rate over 14%, and fewer than 4 assists per 36 minutes. One of those players is a big man in Cousins, but the other two are not guys who are very favorable to be compared against.
6) Al-Farouq Aminu, SF - 68 GP, 27.1 MPG, 51.5 TS%, 26.3% DRR, 13.4% AR, 15.6% TOR, .072 WS/48, 13.5 PER; Last Week: 6
Aminu was one of the Hornets’ few bright spots in their forgettable performance against the Heat, as he pulled down 16 rebounds in 34 minutes. One area that would be nice to see him improve upon is his ability to draw fouls. In his rookie year with the Clippers, Aminu averaged 3 free throw attempts per 36 minutes. That number fell to 2.8 last season, and to 2.5 this season. Typically, this number trends in the opposite direction for most players, so it’s disappointing that the opposite has been true for Aminu. Still, he has the highest defensive rebound rate for a small forward since ESPN began recording that stat.
8) Jason Smith, PF - 51 GP, 17.2 MPG, 54.4 TS%, 16.6% DRR, 11.6% TOR, .096 WS/48, 16.8 PER; Last Week: 7
*Out for the rest of the season after surgery on his torn labrum*
7) Brian Roberts, PG - 70 GP, 15.8 MPG, 51.2 TS%, 26.0 % AR, 8.2% TOR, .085 WS/48, 15.2 PER; Last Week: 8
It may be time for Roberts to start getting more credit than he’s been getting from Hornets fans. Over the past five seasons (per basketball-reference.com), there have only been five instances of players averaging 6 or more assists per 36 minutes while maintaining a turnover rate of less than 12%. Those players – LeBron, Wade, and Parker in 2008-09, CP3 in 2011-12, and… that’s right, Brian Roberts this season. Clearly, there are tons of variables here – most importantly, fewer minutes for Roberts, many of which against lesser competition. That being said, he also plays many of his minutes while sharing the court with weaker players on his side as well, which should make assists harder to come by. Scrutinize the numbers all you want, but Roberts has been more than serviceable for the Hornets this season.
9) Roger Mason Jr., SG - 65 GP, 18.2 MPG, 57.7 TS%, 12.1 % DRR, 16.1% AR, 11.2% TOR, .062 WS/48, 10.4 PER; Last Week: 9
Roger Mason has done exactly what he was expected to do when he was signed – provide veteran leadership and knock down shots. Mason is one of four qualifying players this season to achieve the latter two-thirds of the coveted 40/50/90 mark (40% FG, 50% 3P, 90% FT). Only Durant is currently on pace to surpass all three, though Calderon is very close.
10) Lance Thomas, SF - 59 GP, 10.9 MPG, 56.5 TS%, 8.1% ORR, 8.6% TOR, .088 WS/48, 10.1 PER; Last Week: 10
Thomas’s playing time, like many of the Hornets’ reserve players, has greatly fluctuated this season, but he has done what he can when given a chance. Out of players with more than 500 minutes played this season, Thomas is one of only six players with an offensive rebound rate over 8%, a turnover rate under 10%, and a true shooting percentage over 55% (one of which is his teammate).
11) Austin Rivers, SG - 61 GP, 23.2 MPG, 43.1 TS%, 19.9% AR, 11.6% TOR, -0.037 WS/48, 6.0 PER; Last Week: 11
*Out for the rest of the season after surgery on his broken hand*
12) Darius Miller, SF - 44 GP, 14.3 MPG, 56.8 TS%, 25.8% AR, 12.9% TOR, .052 WS/48, 7.6 PER; Last Week: 13
Miller continues to generate more optimism as the season wears on, as he has shown some serious accuracy from beyond the arc with a team-leading 43.8% three point percentage. In fact, Miller is the only player in the NBA this season with at least 500 minutes played to have an effective field goal percentage above 52% and a usage rate under 10%. The obvious conclusion to be drawn here is that Miller needs to get more involved within the offense in order to determine whether or not he can maintain this kind of shooting percentage with increased usage.
13) Xavier Henry, SG - 42 GP, 11.3 MPG, 48.3 TS%, 13.0% DRR, 11.6% TOR, .009 WS/48, 8.0 PER; Last Week: 12
The good news – Henry averages 4.3 free throw attempts per 36 minutes, tied for Anthony Davis for second best on the team (behind Gordon). The bad news – out of the 30 players in the NBA this season to average more than 4 FTA per 36 minutes (minimum 400 minutes), Henry ranks last in free throw percentage at 61.4%, far worse than even the second worst free throw shooter on this list (Alec Burks at 71.1%). With Henry’s career free throw percentage sitting at 61.9%, this issue doesn’t appear to be one that will be remedied any time soon.
14) Lou Amundson, PF – 10 GP, 11.1 MPG, 43.9 TS%, 19.6% DRR, .058 WS/48, 10.8 PER; Last Week: NR
Amundson was far and away the Hornets’ most efficient offensive player this week, averaging 3.5 points per field goal attempt. Of course, that efficiency came in the form of 7 points on 2-2 shooting (3-4 from the FT line). Lou continues to be a contributor both on defense and on the boards (15 rebounds in 56 minutes over his past 5 games).
15) Terrel Harris, SG – 9 GP, 10.6 MPG, 14.0 TS%, 21.3% AR, 21.3% DRR, 24.3% TOR, -.197 WS/48, -0.8 PER; Last Week: NR
Harris continues to struggle to score in limited playing time, but has done a decent job rebounding and on defense.
*Note – Basketball-Reference uses different metrics than ESPN to calculate some of their advanced statistics, such as assist percentage and turnover percentage.
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.