With four more games (err… losses) of data at our disposal, we can begin to rank the various members of this Hornets team with a little more confidence. Who looks the best through the season’s first three weeks?
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.
1) Anthony Davis, PF*–*6*GP, 28.3 MPG, 56.7 TS%, 14.1/19.9/17.1% O/D/TRR, 9.6% TOR, 26.1 PER
Now that he has played in 2/3 of Hornets’ total games, I can comfortably slot Davis atop these rankings. He almost looked like he didn’t want this spot after sub-par games against the Rockets and Thunder, but then came roaring back with a monster effort in Milwaukee before being sidelined in last night’s game against the Knicks. Against the Bucks, he poured in 28 points on just 14 field goal attempts while pulling down 11 rebounds (4 offensive) in 31 minutes of action. Defensively, Davis has struggled more than anticipated, but his unexpectedly fast adaptation to the NBA on the offensive side of the ball has more than made up for it.
2) Ryan Anderson, PF*– 9*GP, 30.4 MPG, 56.5 eFG%, 20.2% DRR, 6.7% TOR, 20.0 PER
Ryan struggled from beyond the arc in Houston (2-10 from long range, though he made 9 of his 19 attempts overall), but then proceeded to convert 10 out of 20 three point attempts in his most recent three games. While his rebounding numbers have remained pretty consistent, his turnover rate has drastically improved. After turning the ball over 6 times in his first four games as a Hornet, Anderson has been able to refrain from turning the ball over even once in four of his last five games. That sort of precise three-point shooting combined with a low turnover rate (and high offensive rebound rate) is what made him so valuable in Orlando, and will continue to make him an asset here in New Orleans.
3) Al-Farouq Aminu, SF*– 9*GP, 30.8 MPG, 51.4 TS%, 23.6% DRR, 13.5% AR, 19.8% TOR, 14.6 PER
While Aminu didn’t find points as easy to come by over the past four games (32 points on 33 field goal attempts), he was able to make a statement on the defensive glass, raising his defensive rebound rate to a very impressive 23.6%. Unfortunately, his turnover woes continue, and show no real signs of subsiding. Overall, Aminu still continues to show progress and has still been one of the Hornets’ best two-way players.
4) Jason Smith, PF*– 9*GP, 15.7 MPG, 63.4 TS%, 8.8% ORR, 19.1 PER
Smith’s red hot shooting was bound to regress eventually, and it appears to have begun to do that over the past week, as he was just 4 of 13 from the field. However, his true shooting percentage only fell from 67.1% to 63.4%, mainly thanks to his ability to get to the free throw line during that stretch. Out of his 24 points over the past week, 2/3 of them came at the charity stripe, where he made 16 out of 18 attempts. Unfortunately, his offensive rebounding fell off in a major way, with just one offensive board in 68 minutes of playing time over the past four games.
5) Robin Lopez, C*– 9*GP, 26.4 MPG, 8.3% ORR, 58.0 TS%, 14.2% TOR, 16.5 PER
First things first – it is fairly safe to say that Lopez’s production this season has exceeded most of the Hornets247 staff’s expectations thus far this season. That being said, the motor and effort we saw to start the season, particularly on the boards, seems to have evaporated. As a result, the fact that Lopez continues to see his minutes per game in the upper 20s is somewhat perplexing given the other capable bigs in the team’s rotation. Per NBA.com’s media stats tool, the two-man combos of Anderson/Lopez and Davis/Smith have both posted defensive ratings of under 86, which may mean that those could be worth extended looks (though the former duo has seen many more minutes together -104 than the latter – 11).
6) Greivis Vasquez, PG*– 9*GP, 31.9 MPG, 43.5 TS%, 11.7% DRR, 46.4% AR, 16.7% TOR, 12.9 PER
At last, Vasquez has picked his true shooting percentage back up over 40%, moving him from horrendous to simply bad in that regard. Apart from his shooting, Vasquez continues to do a decent enough job at running the offense, despite how frequently the team waits until half of the shot clock has elapsed before beginning to run a play. His team-leading 3.21 AST/TO ratio is a respectable number as well.
7) Brian Roberts, PG*–*9*GP, 14.7 MPG, 54.7 TS%, 35.8% AR, 11.0% TOR, 17.7 PER
In his last five games, Roberts has averaged 20.2 minutes and 11 points on just under 8 field goal attempts per game along with 4.2 assists and only 1.4 turnovers (equating to a 3 to 1 assist to turnover ratio). Though at times his lack of court vision and ball dominance is concerning, it’s hard to argue with the results for now. The fact of the matter is that the Hornets’ second unit has been starved for scoring, and Roberts has provided a major boost in that area while refraining from turning the ball over. Impressive work as of late for the undrafted rookie.
8) Darius Miller, SF*–*9*GP, 14.0 MPG, 55.6 eFG%, 12.1% AR, 17.8% TOR, 8.5 PER
Miller continues to be a decent team player in the opportunities he is given. Though he may never become a plus starter at the NBA level, if he can get his turnover numbers down and his rebounding numbers up, he can be a valuable rotation player given his above-average shooting ability and high motor.
9)*Austin Rivers, G*–*8*GP, 29.5 MPG, 43*TS%, 15.5% AR, 7.0 PER
After seven very frustrating games to start his NBA career, Rivers put together what was easily his best half of basketball in the first two quarters of the Knicks game last night. In that half, he made 4 of his 6 shots (including 1 of 2 from long range) for 10 points to go along with 3 assists, a rebound, a block, and no turnovers. It’s going to take more than one solid half to help him move up this list, but it’s certainly a strong step in the right direction.
10) Roger Mason Jr., SG*- 9*GP, 18.8 MPG, 55.7 TS%, 5.5% TRR, 10.4% AR, 11.0% TOR, 9.0 PER
Through Mason’s first 9 games, I have come to the conclusion that he either has decent games or terrible games, with no middle ground. When we get the Roger Mason Jr. who doesn’t just look to shoot every time he gets the ball, he can be relatively useful. When black hole Roger Mason Jr. shows up, he makes you want to tear your hair out with some of the horrible shots he chucks up combined with the total lack of ball movement. To compare him to a couple of former Hornets, it kind of feels like we’re either going to get a warm but not hot Marco Belinelli or a cold Jannero Pargo each night, and that’s not a situation that brings a great deal of excitement.
11) Lance Thomas, PF – 4*GP, 10.8 MPG, 21.1% DRR, 10.2 PER
With a last second surge, Thomas avoids the bottom of the rankings with arguably the Hornets’ only truly impressive effort against the Knicks last night. As soon as he replaced Aminu to guard Carmelo Anthony, New York’s superstar had significantly more difficulty scoring. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Thomas get more minutes at SF in the coming games, especially against teams with elite scorers at the position. Michael Beasley hardly fits that “elite scorer” profile, but it’d be interesting to see what Thomas could do against him on Friday night.
12) Xavier Henry, SG*- 5*GP, 12.0 MPG, 40.0 eFG%, 16.0% DRR, 4.7 PER
Monty Williams appears to be trying to find a way to make Henry useful by giving him minutes at small forward, but the results haven’t been anything worth discussing. Unless he can develop a consistent jump shot, it is going to be hard to argue that Henry is even a rotation-worthy player.
NR) Eric Gordon, SG
All statistical data obtained from Basketball-Reference, a fellow member of the ESPN TrueHoop Network.
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