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

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, 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!


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