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Thread: October 9th - New Orleans Pelicans @ Chicago Bulls - 1-0

  1. #251
    Quote Originally Posted by Pelicanidae View Post
    Seen a lot of people complaining on twitter (yeah, twitter, again) that all of Zion's shots came at the rim, so going 12 of 13 is somehow not something to be impressed by.

    There's this weird thing out there where people don't realise that a layup or dunk is pretty much the most efficient shot you can get in basketball and that it's almost always the best option, especially if you're automatic at the rim like Zion is. If he was taking long twos or tons and tons of threes, it would be stupid and we would be complaining about it.

    Zion shot 75% at the rim in college. That means if he takes 100 shots at the rim, he produces 150 points (assumes his shooting percentage holds) which translates to 1.50 points per shot.

    By contrast, Steph Curry shot threes at 43% last year. So if he took 100 threes, at 43% he produces 129 points. That's 1.29 points per shot.

    Assuming that it's not some end of game scenario where you desperately need 3 points and 2 will not suffice, it is literally better to have Zion shoot a layup than to have Curry shoot a 3.

    People need to understand this. Giannis just won an MVP taking shots pretty much exclusively at the rim: if you can get there and nobody can stop you, there is no better shot in basketball than a shot at the rim by an elite finisher.

    I get that making an easy layup doesn't look as flashy as making a turnaround fadeaway midranger with three people in your face, but it's better.
    People just want to hate on Zion because he went to NOLA. Anyobe with a half a brain cell knows that rookies outside Klay and Curry haven't been super efficient at the 3pt shoot.

    It's just petty haters trying to find anything to hate on Zion.

    Oh, he isn't breaking Curry 43% rookie 3pt shooting record. Bust.

    I never understand the urgency with bigs coming out of college with a 3pt shoot. NBA fans made excuses for Ben Simmons for the longest time. 2 preseason game into Zion's career. 0% at 3pt. He's somehow trash..

    Whatever. Probably Laker and New York fans being bitter as hell.

  2. #252
    To be fair, I would probably be doing the ssme. I tend to root against underdogs (the Pelicans might be underdogs but Zion himself is not) and I like to poke against mainstream opinions. When "the next coming" comes out, I like to go for the lower drafted player. Those are the people making these claims.

  3. #253
    Quote Originally Posted by msusousaphone View Post
    To be fair, I would probably be doing the ssme. I tend to root against underdogs (the Pelicans might be underdogs but Zion himself is not) and I like to poke against mainstream opinions. When "the next coming" comes out, I like to go for the lower drafted player. Those are the people making these claims.
    Unfortunately, I don't think that's the case. This isn't people rooting against him because of the hype, this is people rooting against him because they wanted him and missed out and now they have sour grapes. The first is misguided, but perhaps admirable in a way. The second is just petty and bitter.
    Zion ''The Earthquake'' Williamson

    Paying attention to the next draft too early.

  4. #254
    Quote Originally Posted by Taker597 View Post
    People just want to hate on Zion because he went to NOLA. Anyobe with a half a brain cell knows that rookies outside Klay and Curry haven't been super efficient at the 3pt shoot.

    It's just petty haters trying to find anything to hate on Zion.

    Oh, he isn't breaking Curry 43% rookie 3pt shooting record. Bust.

    I never understand the urgency with bigs coming out of college with a 3pt shoot. NBA fans made excuses for Ben Simmons for the longest time. 2 preseason game into Zion's career. 0% at 3pt. He's somehow trash..

    Whatever. Probably Laker and New York fans being bitter as hell.
    I know, but I honestly think the problem extends further than just bitterness, or weird expectations for rookies. I think that because of which players of have been held up as icons over the last 30 years or so, people just don't understand what good basketball looks like.

    Take Michael Jordan, for example. Arguably the greatest of all time, certainly top 3. There can't really be any debate about him being lower than 3rd. He was an incredible player, but he played in an era before analytics, so while people knew that 3 points was worth more than 2, there wasn't really any focus on it and because of the focus on man defense, there was more of this idea of ''beating your man'' built into the game than today, where there aren't illegal defense rules.

    As a result, Jordan took a lot of long 2s. We all know that. He is absolutely famous for his turnaround jumper from the midrange. Was that the ''best'' shot? No, not really, but he made a lot of success out of that sub-optimal shot because he was good at it, and because the other teams weren't out-strategising the Bulls because they weren't using analytics either. Then, of course, Kobe came along and did much the same thing, shooting a lot of contested midrange turnaround fadeaways. These are, fundamentally, bad shots, but when you make them they're impressive, and because they're difficult enough as it is they're a kind of ''inelastic'' scoring: defenses can't do too much about it the majority of the time.

    Because the last two generations of NBA fans grew up watching MJ, and to a lesser extent, Kobe, shoot these awful shots and have good success with them, a lot of people live with this idea that good basketball looks like that. It doesn't. If you can get to the rim and nobody can stop you, that is always better than a contested midrange shot. Every single day of the week. Both shots are worth 2 points, but it's realistic for someone to finish at 65% at the rim, whereas even the best midrange shooters don't really get over 50% very often.

    It's Kobeitis. People would rather see someone brick a turnaround midranger than finish a layup, because one is the aesthetically flashy basketball they've grown up watching, and the other doesn't look as difficult so they think it's worse despite being better in pretty much every single way.
    Last edited by Pelicanidae; 10-10-2019 at 01:43 PM.

  5. #255
    Quote Originally Posted by Pelicanidae View Post
    Agreed.

    I think the problem is that a lot of people (not saying this is the case with SoCal, just speaking generally) don't really know what good big man defense looks like when it's not swatting shots. Take this possession, for example:



    It doesn't look that much, but it's a lot. Right as the ballhandler lowers his stance, Favors shifts his balance to his left, ready to provide help. Sees the ballhandler going right, recovers to fill the lane from the top of the key, immediately notices the guy coming in off the screen that Jrue's on, drops into the lane. Notices the pass on the short roll and immediately adjusts his hips to get square on to the roller, and goes up vertically to contest without fouling. Doesn't get a block, so it doesn't show up as anything in the stat sheet, but you cannot defend this play any better.

    That's everything. At every single point of the play, he's on a threat, covering a lane, squaring up, etc etc. But there's a lot of people who will watch that play and not see anything until the end when he jumps.
    I would absolutely agree that probably a lot of casual fans only assume solid D from 5's is swatting shots into the stands. Of course they would be incorrect, and it is my strong opinion that watching Draymond Green somehow be in five places simultaneously on defense is currently one of the best watches in all basketball.

    Thanks for posting that clip--Favors has solid anticipation and positioning here, but my opinion is that clip doesn't match the attached hyperbolic tweet. I see solid fundamentals there, but there were several times where I saw him out of position and unable to move his feet fast enough to recover, as well as multiple Bulls taking it to the rim with aggression with no regard for whether he was nearby or not. My eyeball test might be colored by my higher expectations for the vet than I have for other players, and hopefully what I noticed was just having to do with cardio and getting used to the system. But I will definitely keep my eye out more for more good fundamental D like the above clip.

    Otherwise, I saw pretty much what I expected from the rest of the guys (apart from Zion, NAW, and Frank, which exceeded my expectations). Jrue is so smooooth and under control, such a pleasure watching him; will be interesting watching him try to find that ragged edge where he can maximize his aggression without affecting his efficiency too much. BI actually had good arch on this 3 even though he missed, and picked his spots pretty well I thought. Hart was solid as usual and adds some intensity and shooting off the bench, and Lonzo's staying aggressive/confident with his 3, which, historically, can be a good or a bad thing. As others I am sure have noticed, his form is less wonky this season than last, so hopefully that pays dividends.

  6. #256
    Quote Originally Posted by SoCal4Pels View Post
    My eyeball test might be colored by my higher expectations for the vet than I have for other players, and hopefully what I noticed was just having to do with cardio and getting used to the system. .
    I honestly think this is a huge part of it. I think this has actually impacted everyone a bit, particularly the getting used to the system thing. There have been several players who have made poor choices where it's not necessarily an IQ issue, just one where they clearly don't realise what they're supposed to do.

    Zion did this a lot last game too. I've seen people say that Zion played really bad defense last game, and I'm not sure that that's entirely true: what's more accurate is that he played very very inconsistent defense. He had plenty of plays where he rotated well, tagged the roll man, closed out properly, shaded the passing lane, etc etc. But he also had plenty of plays where he overhelped and left his man, or was slow on a close out because he had committed too hard to the passing lane, or where he gambled in a poor moment. That screams ''learning curve'' to me more than it does ''bad defense''. He did the same stuff at Duke last season to start the year, particularly the steal-gambling, and improved steadily as he adjusted more to the system.

  7. #257
    I hope Lonzo gets a bit more confident at finishing at the rim.

    Driving and Attack instead Dish is a big step that needs to make. He needs to build confidence in his FT. I like his new form tho. Much improved. He is a dog on defense. Just keep taking baby steps on developing his offense. He taking leaps that took Ricky Rubio like 6 season to get to at this point. So, I'm very encouraged.

  8. #258
    Through 2 games (miniscule sample size!) these are some pre-season advanced stats:

    Zion: 69% True Shooting, +23.1 Net Rating, 27.9 PER, 0.32 WS/48
    Lonzo: 36.7% True Shooting, +7.7 Net Rating, 15.7 PER, 0.13 WS/48
    Favors: 87% True Shooting, +33.1 Net Rating, 18.21 PER, 0.12 WS/48
    Ingram: 55.1% True Shooting, -3 Net Rating, 14.9 PER, 0.07 WS/48
    Jrue: 74.7% True Shooting, +22.9 Net Rating, 27.9 PER, 0.22 WS/48

    Kenrich: 80% True Shooting, +19.4 Net Rating, 12.16 PER, 0.11 WS/48
    Jahlil: 85.2% True Shooting, +55.4 Net Rating, 32.26 PER, 0.28 WS/48
    NAW: 52.6% True Shooting, -2.7 Net Rating, 18.36 PER, 0.07 WS/48

    Obviously the more minutes someone has played, the more reliable their numbers will be because there's more of a sample, but over 2 games everyone's sample is super small. Will change from game to game.

    So right now, I'd say that Zion's is the most representative of his actual play (because he's played the most minutes) whereas NAW and Favors are probably the two least representative, due to Favors playing barely 9 minutes in game 1, and due to NAW only playing in the second halves, almost exclusively with bench units.
    Last edited by Pelicanidae; 10-10-2019 at 02:00 PM.

  9. #259
    I honestly think this is a huge part of it. I think this has actually impacted everyone a bit, particularly the getting used to the system thing. There have been several players who have made poor choices where it's not necessarily an IQ issue, just one where they clearly don't realise what they're supposed to do.

    Zion did this a lot last game too. I've seen people say that Zion played really bad defense last game, and I'm not sure that that's entirely true: what's more accurate is that he played very very inconsistent defense. He had plenty of plays where he rotated well, tagged the roll man, closed out properly, shaded the passing lane, etc etc. But he also had plenty of plays where he overhelped and left his man, or was slow on a close out because he had committed too hard to the passing lane, or where he gambled in a poor moment. That screams ''learning curve'' to me more than it does ''bad defense''. He did the same stuff at Duke last season to start the year, particularly the steal-gambling, and improved steadily as he adjusted more to the system.
    Agreed, haven't read every post in this thread but you really cannot blame any rookie in their 2nd preseason game for really ANY defensive lapses. Defense has a massive learning curve, from the schemes to faster, stronger, more talented players than in college, and different spacing. I will make the prediction that once he figures it out, Zion is going to be getting quite a few more steals than most of us were expecting.

  10. #260
    Quote Originally Posted by SoCal4Pels View Post
    Agreed, haven't read every post in this thread but you really cannot blame any rookie in their 2nd preseason game for really ANY defensive lapses. Defense has a massive learning curve, from the schemes to faster, stronger, more talented players than in college, and different spacing. I will make the prediction that once he figures it out, Zion is going to be getting quite a few more steals than most of us were expecting.
    For sure. Zion posted historically great steal and block rates during college, and he has fantastic hands and good anticipation. I wouldn't be shocked if he averaged close to 2stls a game in his rookie year, potentially even leading the team. That's not because he's the best defender on the team (that will probably still be Jrue, followed by Favors, with Lonzo and Zion fighting it out for 3rd place) but just because his style of defense tends towards creating events more than the others.

  11. #261
    OAKS's progress is a very pleasant surprise. He is looking more and more like a keeper. We will have his early bird rights which should help give us the upper hand if he continues to improve.

  12. #262
    Quote Originally Posted by Silver Nail View Post
    OAKS's progress is a very pleasant surprise. He is looking more and more like a keeper. We will have his early bird rights which should help give us the upper hand if he continues to improve.
    yeah seems like he has a lot more energy and he's playing aggressive just snatching rebounds out the air and going up strong

    Sent from my SM-S903VL using Tapatalk

  13. #263
    A Soulful Sports Fan Contributor Eman5805's Avatar
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    I love how easy the narratives track. The bias couldn't be clearer. Suddenly +/- is the end all be all to judging a player. And...Zion should be taking harder shots because...versatility matters more than getting results?

  14. #264
    Quote Originally Posted by Eman5805 View Post
    I love how easy the narratives track. The bias couldn't be clearer. Suddenly +/- is the end all be all to judging a player. And...Zion should be taking harder shots because...versatility matters more than getting results?
    Not just +/0, Eman.

    SINGLE GAME +/-

    A year ago, Steph Curry had a -24 +/- in a game against Milwaukee. Somebody should let them know to trade him, since he's useless and single game +/- is clearly the best metric.

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