In the Hornets’ most recent slate of games, they hosted three more potential playoff teams, falling to the Jazz and Thunder but finishing with their largest margin of victory of the season against the Bucks. How will these games impact the rankings?
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.
1) Ryan Anderson, PF - 16 GP, 32.8 MPG, 60.3 eFG%, 20.2% DRR, 6.2% TOR, .164 WS/48, 20.7 PER
Finally, a player holds the top spot for more than one week! As I wrote about last Friday, Anderson has proved that his success was not strongly correlated to playing with Dwight Howard. His offensive rebound rate and free throw rate are down from last year, but his defensive rebound rate and true shooting percentage are up, leading to a very similar level of overall production. If he can boost his offensive rebound rate, the free throws will come, and potentially an all-star game appearance as well if he can do so while playing at his current level in all other areas of the game.
2) Robin Lopez, C - 16 GP, 27.6 MPG, 10.1% ORR, 57.4 TS%, 10.8% TOR, .129 WS/48, 19.8 PER
In these rankings,spots 2-5 and spots 8-11 are not separated by much, and as a result, one excellent week is enough to make a big jump within these spots. Lopez’s past three games certainly qualify, as he averaged an elite 1.76 points per field goal attempt in that stretch, scoring 51 points in 80 minutes of play (about 23 points per 36 minutes).
3) Greivis Vasquez, PG*– 16 GP, 32.8 MPG, 50.5 TS%, 12.5% DRR, 34.7% AR,* 13.7% TOR, .036 WS/48, 14.9 PER
Vasquez had a decent three-game stretch over the past week, averaging just over a point per field goal attempt to go along with 8 assists per game in 30 minutes per game of action. His assist/turnover ratio during those games was a respectable 3.0, doubling his 1.5 ratio from the week before. Still, it seems like in order for Greivis to lower his turnover numbers, his scoring has to suffer, which is keeping him from progressing significantly.
4) Jason Smith, PF - 16 GP, 17.4 MPG, 53.2 TS%, 8.2% ORR, 13.1% TOR, .077 WS/48, 15.9 PER
Pretty rough week for Smith, as he saw his PER fall over 2 1/2 points from 18.5 to 15.9. The reason? Fewer points than shot attempts (24 shots for 21 points) and about one turnover for every eight minutes played (8 turnovers in 63 minutes). The vast majority of his shots came from the mid-range area, and while he is typically very good from this distance, he’s at his best when he’s finishing inside as well. Things won’t get easier for Jason this week, as he has to deal with the likes of Dwight Howard and Marc Gasol.
5) Anthony Davis, PF*–*6*GP, 28.3 MPG, 56.7 TS%, 14.1% ORR, 9.6% TOR, 0.191 WS/48, 26.1 PER
The good news is that Davis was seen walking around without a walking boot yesterday, but he is probably still at least a week or so away from returning to action. It’s too bad, because the Hornets could really use his versatility on offense.
6) Al-Farouq Aminu, SF - 16 GP, 31.0 MPG, 52.0 TS%, 20.7% DRR, 14.1% AR, 18.0% TOR, .033 WS/48, 13.6 PER
Well, so much for the early season Aminu; looks like he was just messing with us after all. For the most part, Chief has regressed to his one above-average NBA skill – rebounding. His rebound rate for a wing player is very strong, but his true shooting percentage continues to fall back down towards 50% (he was around 49% over his first two seasons) while his turnover rate remains sky high. His defense hasn’t even been that great, either. To his credit, his passing has gotten better (his assist rate is above average for NBA small forwards this year), and somehow the offense is scoring 6 points more per 100 possessions while he is on the court; I guess that’s what happens when you replace him with Xavier Henry.
7) Brian Roberts, PG - 16 GP, 15.6 MPG, 56.5 TS%, 23.3% AR, 9.6% TOR, .100 WS/48, 18.1 PER
Roberts continues to shine off of the bench for the Hornets by demonstrating his ability to knock down open jumpers and take care of the basketball – 29 points on 22 shots and just one turnover per 20 minutes of action over the past week. Additionally, he looks like he is making a stronger effort to get teammates the ball, even if those passes don’t directly result in assists. In a second unit that can struggle to score, he and Smith have done a respectable job at picking up the slack.
8) Lance Thomas, F - 11 GP, 12.1 MPG, 55.4 TS%, 10.9% ORR, 4.3% TOR, .141 WS/48, 15.5 PER
Thomas continues to make the most of his increased opportunities as a result of Anthony Davis’ injury. After last night’s 10 point, 3 rebound performance off of the bench, all 5 of the Hornets’ big men have PERs above the league average of 15. He has achieved this rating through smart shot selection, strong effort on the offensive glass, and a microscopic turnover rate. It will be interesting to see what happens to his minutes when Davis comes back; he isn’t really a small forward, but I’d much rather see him playing there than Henry in relief of Aminu.
9) Roger Mason Jr., SG - 16 GP, 20.8 MPG, 54.1 TS%, 11.3% DRR, 18.6% AR, 7.1% TOR, .054 WS/48, 9.7 PER
Mason’s solid past three games coupled with Rivers’ poor week and a continued low usage rate for Miller results in a two-spot jump for Roger in the rankings. When Mason focuses on his own shot and nothing else, he can be frustrating to have on the court. When he is helping the team in other ways in addition to his shooting, however, he can be a useful player. Roger accumulated 7 rebounds, 5 assists, two steals and a block over his past two games while just committing two turnovers. Given what the Hornets have gotten out of this position overall this season, I’ll take it.
10) Austin Rivers, SG - 15 GP, 27.3 MPG, 39.0 TS%, 23.6% AR, 12.0% TOR, -0.057 WS/48, 5.7 PER
Rivers followed up the best game of his season against the Clippers with three duds at home this past week. He produced as many turnovers as made shots (3-18 overall), converted as many 3-pointers as I did (despite attempting 6 of them),* and only attempted one free throw (don’t worry, he made it). He did pull down seven rebounds and dish out four assists over his past two games, but statistically speaking, that’s about all there is to his credit. Patience is the name of the game with Rivers, but even I was expecting more than this from him so far this season.
11) Darius Miller, SF - 15 GP, 14.0 MPG, 54.4 TS%, 31.2% AR, 9.8% TOR, .059 WS/48, 7.9 PER
For the life of me, I cannot understand why Monty Williams will sometimes give Xavier Henry time at SF while leaving Miller riding the pines. He’ll get 15 minutes one game, and 2 minutes the next. How is Darius supposed to get into any sort of rhythm with that kind of sporadic playing time? His advanced numbers indicate that he could be successful if he becomes a regular rotation player, but* he has not seen consistent enough action to this point, which could explain his incredibly low usage rate.
12) Xavier Henry, SG - 9 GP, 12.6 MPG, 36.8 TS%, 6.8% TOR, -.076 WS/48, 4.0 PER
Standing by what I said last about Henry week.
NR) Eric Gordon, SG
All statistical data obtained from Hoopdata.com (WS/48 stat obtained from Basketball-Reference.com).
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