Comments on: Derrick Favors, Superstar? The ESPN TrueHoop Utah Jazz Site Wed, 17 Sep 2014 00:39:36 +0000 hourly 1 By: Clint Johnson Sun, 12 Jan 2014 18:04:50 +0000 DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis are context. If you are talking about the most likely young bigs in the NBA to achieve superstar status, those are the names. (Maybe Andre Drummond, but I’m reluctant to go that direction because his skills are so rudimentary at this point. He’s shooting 38% from the line!) You have the shot charts above. I didn’t address defensive potential because that is far less in question with Favors. League consensus is Favors has All-Defensive team potential. A statistical comparison to other bigs is certainly worth exploration, but was not the point of this post either. All I wanted to do here is challenge the narrative that Favors has limited potential to his total game because of his offensive ability.

To do so, I chose to use my room to establish two things: first, his offensive efficiency recently has been elite; and second, that this efficiency is not a matter of simply dunking or getting uncontested layups at a particularly high rate. The TS% is as good a quick measure of offensive efficiency as there is, and I’d like to see an interpretation that says a .595 TS% is not stellar. The shot charts (in combination with free throw percentages) show the diversity of his developing offensive game in the context of his greatest young competitors.

As for your complaint about projecting from a single season, we use what we have. We have less than one season of Favors starting, and less than that of him starting with a respectable point guard, which is always a huge factor in assessing a post player’s offense. As time goes on, we’ll have more to project. But as of now, I find it hard to understand anyone who argues that Favors has not shown offensive ability worthy of greater utilization offensively. The only way we’ll really know if my suspicions about his ceiling are realistic is if he’s given the chance to test that ceiling. I think the things I’ve mentioned in his article give ample justification for such.

By: Clint Johnson Sun, 12 Jan 2014 17:29:07 +0000 I mean listen to the podcast, of course.

By: Clint Johnson Sun, 12 Jan 2014 17:27:19 +0000 Note Ben said “evolving.” The strategy of having Favors and Kanter drop near the free throw line is relatively recent this season. Just watch this weeks podcast and you’ll hear that from Ben himself.

And I didn’t parallel Favors to Duncan in any way, shape, or form other than age. The point of that comparison was only to illustrate how young Favors is, nothing more or less.

By: Clint Peterson Sun, 12 Jan 2014 17:15:54 +0000 Here’s a sample comparison of only a few of the players that Favors will have to compete with to reach star status, let alone superstar status, compared to Tim Duncan at age 22. It’s far too easy to compare the stats of a player in a vacuum without context and say that player could reach or exceed said comparison based on a single season:

By: cw Sat, 11 Jan 2014 21:04:20 +0000 Clint,

I also like reasonableness here. I’ve tried commenting on this other site for a while and everyone there seemed possessed by a group psychosis.

I’m not sure history shows only two teams winning a championship through the draft or 2nd tier FAs. If I remember correctly, lots of first team all-NBA were aquired via draft day trades that we don’t remember. Kobe is a case of this. He was drafted 13th by Charlotte and LA traded Divac and someone else for him. I think there are a bunch more. That’s not the same as drafting someone but I’m not sure the difference is meaningful. The teams still get a player in the draft and he stays with the team through championships. But there may be something to the idea that it takes five or six years for a player to come into his prime, and having a first teamer in his prime is a requirement for winning championships. And over the course of six years or whatever, there is obviously plenty of chances for trades and FA movement.

And about the definition of contending. I don’t think you can say you are in contention if you don’t have any chance of winning a championship. And to have virtually any chance, history suggest you have to have a first team all-nba player of recent vintage and another all-nba player. And lots of teams that lost in the conference final or the finals had that, but they just didn’t win. So in any year there are three or four teams at least that are in contention.

Like I said before, the best chance to become contenders Jazz have had in years, or will have in years, is to have a top five pick in *this* years draft. It’s not their only chance–Indiana picked George at 13–but it is by far their best chance. I think it was something like 75% of first team all-NBA payers over the past 20 years were drafted in the first 5 rounds.

By: Clint Peterson Sat, 11 Jan 2014 20:40:49 +0000 According to your colleague Ben Dowsett, Corbin does not have Favors hedging too far from the basket regularly as you claim:

And you’re still discounting the other current crop of bigs in your defense of Derrick as a “superstar,” instead comparing his current stats to Tim Duncan’s. Again, Favors does not play in a vacuum and only a select few players reach “superstar” status.

A favorite comparison previously for Favors was Dwight Howard, arguably the only big man “superstar” in the NBA today. Now it’s Tim Duncan, an all-time HOF’er? Seems like there’s a lot of bending of stats to one’s will happening concerning Favors’ potential.

By: Clint Johnson Sat, 11 Jan 2014 16:53:07 +0000 My apologies, Miami traded for Shaq. They didn’t him as a free agent. It looks like I was engaging in revisionist history!

By: Clint Johnson Fri, 10 Jan 2014 23:46:34 +0000 It’s true, using TS% to evaluate his offensive potential is limited because of variables. But I don’t think that means it isn’t still useful. As for trying to compare apples to apples, okay. Here are all the bigs shooting 9 or more shots a game (a comparable offensive role to Favors, who is taking 10.5) and who have shot better than Favors has with Burke in the lineup:

1. Brook Lopez
2. Chris Bosh (third option, mind you)
There is no three

It isn’t like he’s Tyson Chandler, leading the league in TS% by shooting six or fewer times a game (which Chandler did three times). Favors is shooting roughly double the shots Chandler takes when he’s at his best. There is no escaping that Favors’ offensive efficiency has been off the charts good with a usage at right around 20. What would happen if that usage went up? Who knows.

I hope we see.

By: Clint Johnson Fri, 10 Jan 2014 23:36:12 +0000 First, I LOVE this conversation. Thank you, and others who are posting, for being so articulate and well reasoned. This is the type of dialogue we want to generate here at Salt City Hoops.

As to your points here, just a few things. First, whatever contending means, it clearly does not mean winning titles. “Winning” means winning. Contending means something other than (but not necessarily mutually exclusive to) winning. Otherwise, neither the Stockton and Malone Jazz nor the Buffalo Bills that went to four straight Super Bowls were contending teams. I think such a claim is clearly inaccurate.

Myself, I define a contending team as a team that makes multiple conference finals in close succession, as I believe such a team has a realistic possible chance to win a championship. If the goal is to win a title or bust, I think that is a poorly actionable goal. If the goal is to build a team that can make multiple conference championships, I think that may be actionable.

As for some chance (a franchise changing draft pick) being greater than no chance (building any other way), I think that is revisionist history. While San Antonio and Miami both won titles led by players they drafted in the top five, Miami does not win that title, or come close, without the free agent signing of Shaquille O’Neal. Miami won by getting a Hall of Fame free agent who put up 23 and 10.4 his first season with that team. How good a free agents is that? Other than O’Neal, only Dwight Howard and Yao Ming have put up numbers that good at that position since 2000. If we accept that the Jazz do not get that grade of free agent (which they do not), we must also accept that the method Miami used to win it’s first championship is not repeatable in Utah. It hinged on an elite free agent signing.

That leaves two remaining patterns to follow: San Antonio (draft Tim Duncan) or Detroit (build through second tier free agent signings, opportunistic trades, and wise drafting). History shows one team, and only one team, doing it each way. How then can one chance be greater than the other? The impartial truth is, neither are at all likely, which is why bringing an NBA title to Utah is both difficult and unlikely. But if it is done, history suggests it can be done by either method. If I were the Jazz front office and I trusted my ability to do my job, I would rather the Detroit model because it counts on a series of predominantly good decisions, rather than a single shot trying to hit the jackpot.

By: Clint Johnson Fri, 10 Jan 2014 23:10:16 +0000 This is a fair point, but in the team’s defense, a large section of the fan base has been loudly critical of the team’s “failure” to fully commit to development in the past. Such individuals (and I don’t mean you, cw, but there are many) would be talking out both sides of their mouths, condemning the organization for doing something for their own purposes then condemning them for NOT doing the same thing for other purposes.

But to me, it’s a non-issue. I think they can develop their players while making moves to increase the chances of getting a high draft pick. In fact, I would argue that the one glaring weakness of both development and assessment at this point is the Favors/Kanter combo. They traded for and drafted these guys to build around them. Playing Marvin Williams IS the best course to win games now, but it is inevitable that the team has to start Favors and Kanter for a prolonged period of time to assess whether or not the two can play together going forward. In the long term, that decision is far more important than winning now. The longer the team delays the experiment to see if the two-big plan is viable, I would argue, the more they are hampering both development and assessment in favor of winning now.