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Mavs Moneyball Blog Off

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Here is Stan Syckes and his player profile of James Singleton

James Singleton has a dark secret and, try as he might to contain it, that secret is about to be let out. Perhaps you've felt it too - as you witness the 6-foot-8, 216 pound forward fashioned from pure energy take step onto the court. That little pulse of fear that suddenly sparks in the back of your brain, almost too small and imperceptible to describe ... well, not only have I felt it as well, but I've been tasked with putting it into words! Fear no longer, readers, for I have investigated the gentleman thoroughly and have discovered the question ... the ONE secret, dark question that haunts James Singleton's soul.

"Where is James Singleton?"

Before I go any further, let's take a breath and figure out his, until now, convincing cover up. Let me be the first to admit that the man has such an amazing supply of energy - near limitless - that it not only keeps up his mystery but also spills out into what he can do on the court. Rebounding? Check ... he was thiiiiis close to topping Dampier last year in Total Rebounds per Minute, and that was with playing almost 1000! fewer minutes!

NOTE: All tables require minimum of 500 minutes (or about just a hair over 6 MPG)

Rank Player MIN TRB TRB/MIN
1 Erick Dampier 1836 565 0.308
2 James Singleton 884 250 0.283

Singleton is also underrated in the defensive martial arts. He actually has earned dual-black belts in both the vertical (blocks) and horizontal (steals) defensive studies.

Rank Player MIN BLK BLK/MIN
1 Erick Dampier 1836 95 0.052
2 Brandon Bass 1574 55 0.035
3 James Singleton 884 28 0.032

Rank Player Position MIN STL BLK/MIN
1 Jason Kidd Guard 2886 160 0.055
2 Jason Terry Guard 2491 97 0.039
3 Josh Howard Forward-Guard 1663 55 0.033
4 Devean George Guard-Forward 708 23 0.032
5 Antoine Wright Guard 1552 46 0.030
6 James Singleton Forward 884 26 0.023

Ok, so his thieving greatness may not be as easy to perceive as the previous two tables but please note Singleton is competing in a category with strictly Guards who attack play makers. Singleton must rely on stealing from low post scorers and slashing guards who are already cradling their layup. Cut out those who no longer are with this team and he slides up to 4th (maybe 5th considering Matrix).

I'm not the hugest fan of Win Shares as a stat but let me remind you that Singleton was actually second in the entire league in terms of Win Shares (super-sensitive Mavs fans ... don't read the next three words) after Marcin Gortat among players with fewer than 1000 minutes played. The man is obviously crucial defensive asset for a team that can't shake their soft perception.

Now, of course, it must be repeated that James is performing these miracles coming off the bench in a supporting role. But, to Singleton, that's just where he is deadliest! That way his secret is less in the public eye and he can continue to be his normal, robot-sent-from-the-future-to-defend self. But that was so last year ... does Singleton have a place on this year's squad?

With heavy heart, I must admit that it was during this very off season that I first decoded Singleton's ugly secret. I finally put 2 and 2 together to realize the mystery of "Where's James Singleton?" when his contract negotiations started off terribly and there was a possibility he wasn't even going to be a Mav at all. He held out so long that he even inspired that "We just lost to the Phoenix Suns (circa 2006)" look Mark Cuban sports occasionally (re: pissed off boss). The Mavericks had just lost Gortat to the Machiavellian dirty pool skills of Otis Smith (Magic) and now I was starting to wonder "Where is James Singleton in all of this?"

Well, he did manage to accept the $1.03 million qualifying offer and (not surprisingly) continued to impress Coach Carlisle (who calls him the "ultimate role player"). But let's take a hard look at the cold preseason stats (just the games he actually played in). I think things are beginning to crystallize here:

Opponent MIN FG-FGA 3P-3PA FT-FTA ORB TRB AST TO STL BLK PF PTS Note
ORL 19:19 1-6 0-3 1-2 2 6 2 0 0 1 1 3 Dirty rebounding but "Where is James Singleton's shot?"
WAS 6:46 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 2 1 1 0 0 1 0 Carlisle was probably playing Humphries, instead, but "Where is James Singleton's shot?!"
DET 12:10 0-3 0-0 0-0 1 1 0 2 1 1 0 0 Decent defense but, again, "Where is James Singleton's shot?"
CLE 9:19 1-2 0-0 1-2 1 2 0 1 0 0 2 3 Welcome to the scoring board, but "Where is James Singleton's defense?"
DET 12:10 0-3 0-0 0-0 1 1 0 2 1 1 0 0 Decent defense but, again, "Where is James Singleton's shot?"
CLE 29:12 0-5 0-1 0-0 1 9 4 0 1 3 2 0 There he is!
HOU 9:34 2-5 0-0 0-0 4 6 0 0 0 0 3 4 There he is!

Look ... James is just not supposed to be shooting the ball (clearly). He needs to come in and calm down the weapons of this Maverick team by utilizing his stifling defense, energetic rebounding, and superior big-man stealing. He just needs to learn when he hears the horn, throws off his warm ups, and gets onto that basketball court exactly who and where he is ... and, most importantly, what he's there to do!

I don't know how many of you caught the game last night (hopefully many). But as I was witnessing the seemingly never ending swarm of Wizard boards, lights-out shooting from unexpected big men, and a confused/passive defense against a slashing Arenas I suddenly came to a realization. My brow broke out in a cold sweat as an old, familiar phrase came back to haunt me.

"Where is James Singleton?"

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