Manager's Note: This FanPost was front-paged, due to its utter awesomeness.
Well Dallas Mavericks fans, it has certainly been a long time between drinks, but better late than never, no? I did go update the stats for the first part of this post, which can be found here. For the sake of uniformity, the order of players is descending according to win shares provided.
*Plus it's not really end of year anymore, but let's look past this eyesore.
SHAWN MARION (2.1 Win Shares; 0.113 Win Shares/48 minutes; 15.7 PER):
Basic stats: 11.1 PPG, 0.506 FG%, 0.817 FT%, 6.1 RPG, 1.0 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.5 BPG, 1.4 TOV/G
Notable stats: 27.0 MPG, 13.0 TRB%
-To say the least, there really is nothing exciting about watching Shawn Marion. If his PER is something to go by, he's essentially a league-average, playing minutes which comfortably place him as a rotation mainstay, but hardly an impact-maker.
-Even when he signed his contract just over a year ago, it was obvious that Marion wasn't going to put up the fantasy-friendly numbers that he had produced in Phoenix at the height of the D'Antoni-Ball era, because of his age and existing roster requiring him to take on a reduced role. The especially salty stats from those 'Seven Seconds or Less' days, at least to me, was the .55 eFG% or so Marion was able to put up, probably thanks to Steve Nash's intervention, and a TRB% which was around 15%, which is pretty useful.
-However, perhaps the only way to logically assess Marion's performance is to compare what he's produced so far this season, with last season's figures. In general, Marion's first season as a Maverick could be considered somewhat of a disappointment. He put up usable numbers (12PPG/6.4RPG on 50.8% shooting), had a few decent stretches where he supported Dirk well, and his perimeter defense was considered by most Mavs fans to be pretty effective, but he didn't really succeed in fulfilling expectations for him to act as a more reliable second scorer behind Dirk (especially after Josh Howard disappointed yet again) - and was usurped as so with the Caron Butler deal.
-Marion's basic numbers have fallen again this season, with his scoring down to 11.1 PPG, and rebounds to 6.1 RPG. However, the drops in these two categories, which are the statistics where most of Marion's impact on the box score is derived, can easily be attributed to a fall in minutes, from 31.8 last season to just 27.0 this season, as he's adjusted to an off-the-bench role (only started six of thirty-three games so far).
-His base FG% has dipped a tiny fraction as well, from .508 to .506, but when we look closer at his TS% (.535 to .546) and eFG% (.510 to .513), there are quantifiable increases. This could probably be attributed to an improvement in FT% from 75.5% to 81.7%, though as he only attempts a small number of free throws per game, the boost is only negligible.
-Perhaps the major positive trend to take out of this general lake of yawn-stipation, is the improvement in Marion's rebounding rate, which has up-ticked from last season's 11.5% to 13.0%, thanks to a rise in both ORB% (7.7% to 8.2%) and DRB% (15.2% to 17.3%). The increase is small, like every other change in Marion's statistical composition, but every bit counts.
-The remaining stats notable enough to mention might or might not affect the team: Marion's TOV% has increased (10.6% to a career high 12.3%, having been consistently in single-digits throughout his career), perhaps reflecting on the team's holistic regression in that area; also his USG%, sitting at 20.3%, is his highest since 2005-06. This increase certainly hasn't been noticeably felt, and could be just a short-term trend produced by Dirk's current injury, which of course has burdened the rest of the team with additional scoring responsibilities. Perhaps it could stay around there, with Caron's season-ending injury and Marion continuing his reserve role.
-It is probably easy enough to say that Shawn Marion's role on this team is not confined to the numbers which he puts up on the stat-sheet. There, he is the definition of a league-average player. However, it's probably of greater importance to the team's success that he continues to contribute his noted defensive prowess while on the court - either as a one-on-one defender, or as a wing player in the zone. If he manages such a thing successfully, and combines it with his current base stats - 10 or so points a game on 50% shooting, 6 rebounds a game at a satisfactory rebounding rate - he probably will be considered to have fulfilled his current expectations.
DESHAWN STEVENSON (1.7 Win Shares; 0.163 Win Shares/48 minutes; 15.5 PER):
Basic stats: 6.6 PPG, 0.462 FG%, 0.463 3PT%, 0.786 FT%,
Notable stats: 1.6 3P/game, 0.463 3PT% (4th in NBA), 0.655 TS%, 0.634 eFG%, 123 ORtg
-What can I say? I don't think anybody saw this coming. Talk about an out-of-the-blue shooting performance from 'Threevenson', who has used his limited shooting opportunities brilliantly.
-Comparables for DeShawn: he managed to shoot 46% from the field in both 2005-06 and 2006-07. Back then, they came on around 9.5 shot attempts per game - his 46.2% this season has been on 4.7 shots per game.
-In 2007-08, DeShawn had a pretty effective season shooting threes for Washington, making 1.9 a game at a pretty handy 38.3%. He's not too far off from those three-point makes per game so far this season, and it's come in a mere 16.1 minutes per game, compared to the 31.3 minutes per game he managed in 2007-08.
-When looking strictly at the statistics, only Stevenson's three-point shooting numbers and efficiency really jump at the eye. His 15.5 PER is a career-high and good indication of how effectively he's used his limited time on court. Elsewhere, his counting stats are ordinary - it's nice to see he's taken care of the ball while on court as well, with a 9.8% TOV%.
-Like Marion, Stevenson is considered to carry intangibles along with his (currently, and hopefully future) dead-eye three-point shooting. Much has been acknowledged regarding his given role on the team - as a starter by name only, to be selective with his shooting (i.e. mostly open shots, though he's attempted a few fade-away jumpers), and to play physical defense on the perimeter - for the intention of maximizing his effectiveness. So far it has worked, and hopefully that can continue.
BRENDAN HAYWOOD (1.2 Win Shares; 0.098 Win Shares/48 minutes; 10.2 PER):
Basic stats: 3.9 PPG, 0.614 FG%, 0.279 FT% (disgusting), 5.0 RPG, 0.9 BPG, 0.7 TO/G
Notable stats: 0.614 FG%, 0.279 FT%, 15.8% TRB%
-Haywood is the no-brainer winner the title of the most disappointing 2010-11 Mavericks player, at least so far.
-The Chandler/Haywood tandem was in theory one of the best center tandems in the league. In practice, it's been pretty effective and sometimes frustratingly non-existent, but one could easily argue that most of the positives is largely thanks to Chandler's contributions.
-First of all, let's just get the free-throw shooting bit out of the way. I'm going to comment just once on this, and here it is: Brendan Haywood is bad at shooting free-throws. Please improve, Brendan.
-Currently, Haywood's FG% is at a career-high 61.4%, albeit from a career-low 2.8 field goal attempts per game. At least he's making use of the few chances he's gotten himself.
-Actually, I'm going to contradict my above point. Due to his abominable showing at the line (Hack-A-Haywood), despite outstripping his 56.2% FG% from 2009-10, Haywood's TS% this season has actually fallen, to .544 from .588. And .544 is a pretty so-so TS% for a big man to work with.
-Haywood's TRB% is 15.8%. Erick Dampier managed around a 17% TRB% when he was here.
-In fact, I'm being harsh on Haywood - that 15.8% is right around his career average, which is at 14.9%. As I continue to look through the stats for this Mavs team, I keep realizing how I (and probably many other Mavs fans) underrate Dampier's work as a rebounder - he really wasn't that bad over the 25 minutes he played.
-There's not much else of note. Even Haywood's BLK% is down, to 3.8% from 5.1% last season.
-Again, in my final assessment, I'm going to use PER as a quick baseline evaluation - 10.2 is nowhere near good enough. Brendan Haywood has played like absolute bust so far, with only flashes, and right now, he already looks like a sunk cost. He needs to turn it around quickly - or at least in time for the playoffs. It feels like even a slight uptick in play - in terms of consistency or just overall production - would improve this team's playoff prospects, or at least cover for a possible downturn in play by Chandler.
BRIAN CARDINAL (0.7 Win Shares; 0.143 Win Shares/48 minutes; 10.5 PER):
Basic stats: 2.7 PPG, 0.357 FG%, 1.000 FT% (wooo), 0.412 3PT%, 1.6 RPG
Notable stats: none, because he's Brian Cardinal
-I really have no interest in analyzing Cardinal's performance. Sorry for those who expected a deeply thought-out piece on his performance as a 2010-11 Dallas Maverick.
J.J. BAREA (0.6 Win Shares; 0.044 Win Shares/48 minutes; 11.4 PER):
Basic stats: 7.7 PPG, 0.384 FG%, 0.169 3PT%, 0.855 FT%, 2.0 RPG, 3.5 APG, 1.4 TO/G
Notable stats: 28.4% AST%, 23.2% USG%
-I do want to rag on J.J. here, but according to his expected role as a backup point guard for Kidd, one could argue that he's really been quite competent. His job coming off the bench to relieve Kidd (and occasionally in a two-PG/three-guard lineup) is to ensure that the offense maintains some semblance of the ball movement and spacing which Kidd is able to produce with his vision and passing guile. His impressive 28.4% AST% should reflect upon his success in performing such an endeavor, and if he can get it any higher than his current rate, it'll be a bonus and would put more Mavs fans at ease when Kidd is off the court.
-I guess people view Barea's performance at a skewed angle because like Erick Dampier during his stint as a Maverick, J.J. really doesn't inspire confidence according to the eye test. It always feels like he's either dribbling aimlessly in the backcourt, or dribbling around aimlessly in the paint after a good drive, or making an ugly pass, or taking an ill-advised floater over three big men, or air-balling a three-pointer which he never should've attempted. But that strong AST% (which really is good for a backup point guard), coupled with a reasonable 14.6% TOV% (which isn't all that bad when considering Kidd's 21.5%, makes a pretty solid case to argue that J.J.'s distribution is satisfactory enough. And an additional note - J.J.'s AST% and TOV% this season isn't too far from the rates he's put up in 2008-09 and 2009-10 either.
-Unfortunately, the anger of Mavs fans towards J.J.'s seeming tendency to take awful shots appears rather justified. He's shooting just 38.4% from the field, largely produced by .169% 3PT%. This abysmal effort from beyond the arc is only compounded by the fact that he attempts 2.1 threes per game. With this horrid effort in mind, he's cooked up a fairly repulsive .469 TS% and .408 eFG%. The Mavs don't need him to shoot, yet he insists on doing so - his 7.4 shot attempts per game is a career-high, which is reflected in a 23.2% USG%, above his 19.9% in 2009-10.
-The thing is that Barea has actually improved his FG% when shooting from <10 feet in (doubled his attempts from that spot from 0.8/game to 1.6/game, and from 29.5% to 38.2%) and at the rim (55% last season to 60.6% this season, on the same 2.1/game). It's just been his unmistakably poor performance (at a quantifiable volume) from the three-point line which has caused all this trouble.
-The other area where J.J. is constantly battered by Mavs fans, is regarding his sub-par defense. The eye test argues that he's a liability because he's too short and slow. That's probably true. Of course, it's difficult to judge that by statistics, but he has constantly allowed a higher DRtg than ORtg through his career, and that has been no exception this season, with a 97 ORtg to 107 DRtg being the comparison. The Mavs have to deal with this as long as they play him.
-In summary, J.J. Barea does the job assigned to him pretty well - if that is, to keep the offense running while Kidd is off the court, by accentuating ball movement, while keeping his turnovers at a manageable rate. However, the way he's been shooting, it's probably best that he focuses on passing, because his scoring has come at an arguably counterproductive rate. His defensive ineptitude still seems apparent, but once again, that's something which needs to be taken as a cost for his presence on-court
-Like Jason Terry, Barea's role should be an interesting thing to assess when Roddy Beaubois returns to the lineup. Caron Butler's season-ending injury has certainly impacted the entire rotation, especially with the likely requirement of an increased burden to score points. Perhaps Beaubois can help with that, which would reduce J.J.'s need to do so - which would be a plus currently, considering his poor shooting efforts - or reduce his minutes entirely, especially if Roddy shows some semblance of being able to run the offense.
So that brings an end to this segment. I originally obviously planned to analyze Caron Butler, but his season-ending injury doesn't seem to make that such a pertinent issue. I could easily do a write-up on him, if there are requests, but right now, it doesn't feel imperative, and it's probably more important to assess how his injury will affect others.