Preseason Stats

Kurt —  October 20, 2006

It’s hard to take much from any one preseason game (even if Mo Evans was +12 and both Odom and Farmar were +9, or if Bynum was -14 against the Clippers). But through five preseason games I thought I’d put up some stats and let people draw their own conclusions:

NameeFG%3pt %TS%Reb. RatePts. P40Reb. 40Ast.40

Okay, one little comment: While Farmar has wowed us all, Smush has put up good offensive numbers. However, to emphasize a point I have made since the end of last season, it is the best point guard defensively that should get the minutes.

A key for the stats:

eFG%: Shooting percentage combining two and three pointers
3pt.%: Shooting percentage from beyond the arc
TS%: True Shooting Percentage, think of this as points per shot attempt, it covers twos, three, free throws all adjusted to be a percentage.
Reb Rate: Percentage of available rebounds a player grabbed while on the floor.
Pts. P40: Points scored per 40 minutes of playing time.
Reb. P40: Rebounds grabbed per 40 minutes of playing time.
Ast. P40: Assists per 40 minutes of playing time.

For more info on these types of stats, check out Kevin Pelton’s primer.

to Preseason Stats

  1. One quick note, these were all before the game against New Orleans.


  2. The Lakers have one thing this year that they didn’t have last year. Something that is always good for a basketball team.

    Upon Mihm’s imminent return, he will push to attain Kwame’s minutes.

    Sasha pushes for Smush’s minutes and Farmar pushes them both for a piece of the clock.

    Walton pushes/ is pushed by Radmanoviic…

    Position battles…I like it.

    Nothing like creative tension.


  3. Kurt,

    The individual stats you present clearly favor the Smusher over the Farmar–but there is another interesting dynamic you might consider, oversimplified as it may be.

    Many Lakers played big time college basketball with prestigeous teams: Farmar (UCLA), Mihm (Texas), Walton (Arizona), Cook (Illinois), Turiaf(Gonzaga), Odom (Rhode Island–but with former UCLA and NCAA champion coach and NCAA results), and Williams (North Carolina). Kobe, Kwame, Andrew, and Smush had no significant exposure to the discipline of college basketball.

    Smush has a natural tendency toward “playground” individualized ball–even though he can resist temptation at times. “Playground” emphasizes showboat scoring, steals, and one on one individualized contests. Some would say it brings out the worst in Kobe, confuses Andrew and Kwame, frustrates the college guys, and tanks any concept of team defense.

    Farmar is a true point guard from an extremely defense oriented team–college style. Except for the “high schoolers,” the other guys are very comfortable and familiar with the Farmar approach. It also transfers well to the triangle.

    We’ve got a clash of cultures that many of us have seen on the floor this preseason, but not in your statistics.


  4. I think the Phoenix game would be ideal to test out a Tex Winter desire: Mo Evans at the 2 and Kobe at the 3. Well maybe that lineup would have to wait for 31 October, but we should really think about it. With Farmar starting (just wishing) we would have a really good defensive triangle backcourt (1,2,3) and we could protect our bigs down low from unnecessary fouls.


  5. chris henderson October 21, 2006 at 9:24 am

    i’m thinking Farmar will be the steal of the draft.


  6. 3. Smush played his college hoops in the Atlantic 10, which is certainly a quality basketball conference. Also, the theory that the players who come out of big conferences are more”disciplined” than those who don’t is questionable when you look at the league.

    But the bottom line is this is the NBA and you have to play within whatever the coach’s system is or you will sit, wherever you went to college. Von Wafer can shoot the ball, he came out of Florida State (big time college ball) but he can’t get or stay within the Tri. Smush has plenty of flaws but he can play in the system and after a year works fairly well within it. One key thing the tri asks of its point guards is to be able to shoot from the outside, Farmar is still working on that part of his game.

    I love what Farmar brings, I think he’s going to be very good for years to come, but don’t let the preseason fool you — he still has to prove it when it matters and earn his minutes (and he’ll get some chances, and he’ll make mistakes and good plays and get better). To use an example from another sport: the Raiders werre 4-1 in preseason. They any good?


  7. Farmar looks great. If he gets some time this year, I think he’ll be a good back-up. But don’t think a decent pre-season means someone is going to have a great year.

    Bynum has some raw talent, no question. But the Lakers will go nowhere if he is a starter, or even if he gets 20 or 30 mins a game. He is not up to par with even some average NBA centers over the course of a season.


  8. Farmar will not get many minutes this year. Jackson isn’t gonna play him..


  9. 6 Kurt,

    I didn’t read where you indicated that Smush needed to earn his playing time during the regular season when he arrived new on the scene.

    Almost exactly a year ago, you said:

    “Smush is not NBA polished, but he’s got plenty of playground grit.

    And the Lakers could use that out top — they need someone who is tenacious on defense, who will slow down Steve Nash and get in the face of Tony Parker or Barron Davis.”

    I’d hope that by this year you’d be looking for a little more polish and a lot less grit.

    It has turned out that Smush’s “grit” has led him to make the same defensive mistakes over and over again: go for the occasional spectacular steal and NOT slow down Steve Nash; rely on yourself solely in futility when you could lead that “other” Parker to a teammate with a few neat lateral steps; let your guy go by so your teammates get fouled or find themselves out of position trying to bail you out. If your guy somehow gets stopped or misses, you get a breakaway the other direction.

    Of course, the irony is that a rookie who studied the game under a defense minded UCLA coach seems to have arrived prepolished with a savvy California toughness rather than playground “grit.” The Farmar may be able to do this year what you wanted from the Smusher last year.


  10. From the OC Register:

    “Kurt Rambis put it about as plainly as it can be when he said Farmar is more likely to play extensively for the D-Fenders of the NBA Developmental League this season than the Lakers.

    “If Shammond Williams is healthy, and Sasha Vujacic is healthy and Smush Parker is playing, it will be hard for him to crack the rotation of the guard position,” Rambis said.”


  11. From LA Times’ Lakers Blog:

    “[Chris] Paul was impressed with [Jordan] Farmar’s play, and had plenty of good things to say about him. He also said the rook is in line for an eye-opening once the regular season starts. It’s just a totally different gig. “


  12. DrRayEye, I think Chris Paul says it pretty well. But let’s be clear about what I said about Smush.

    First, he came after watching a season of Chucky “ole” Atkins at the point, so seeing Smush really trying to play defense was a welcome change. I had high hopes for him, just like I do for Farmar. But I was clear as last season wore on that Smush was not the answer at the point, unfortunately he was the best option on the team. I said after the season that getting a defense-first point guard should have been the top priority.

    I think Jordan can be that guy, but he has to prove it, he has to take the minutes away from Smush (and Sasha and Shammond). If he has been the best player in practice and the games he should get those minutes, but what he is playing against now has been more backups than starters (and even when he was facing Nash and Bibby they were not out there with their full compliment of weapons).

    What I’ve said since the end of Summer League is that by the end of the season I see Farmar getting key minutes. He will get better, but to be “the answer” he will have to get physically stronger (becuase the guards he will be asked to cover are and they will push him around otherwise) and he needs to be more consistent from the outside (that’s what the offense asks of him). He already pushes the ball and is better than the other guards in the open floor. Next year he may be the starter, but right now he’s a rookie.


  13. Kurt,

    Great post. We agree 99% about Smush and Farmar. The other 1% makes it fun!

    In the Phoenix exhibition tonite, Smush started, but made a series of blunders that may have got him pulled in favor of Farmar. Farmar ended the half with 6 assists and seemingly could do no wrong. The second half started out as a repeat of the first, but when Farmar came in to “rescue” the second time, he was the one making the blunders. Smush was able to return for much of the fourth quarter with mostly veteran teammates–and play well! Sasha played like a man possessed in the fourth quarter–though not at the point.

    The battle for playing time has just begun.

    Cook, Walton, Green, Evans, Turiaf–and, would you believe, Bynum all played like they belonged tonite. Even if it was only an exhibition game, beating Phoenix and showing spirit felt very good.

    The preseason is not over, but the battle for minutes is well underway!


  14. If I were Jordan, I would do nothing but work on shooting spot up J’s. Because that really is his only weakness in his game at this point. I think he holds his own defensively, and runs the offense better than any of the Lakers other PGs. As Kurt said ,the triangle demands that its PG be able to hit the three (See: Fisher, Paxson, Armstrong, etc.), so Jordan is going to have to work on that. Stu Lantz also made a good point regarding Jordan in that he needs to develop some sort of guard running hook in the lane. Chris Paul has it. It’s a shot that will enable Jordan to go to the rim and not worry about getting his shot sent back. At his size, that and the tear drop (that he already posses) are the only viable shots for him in the paint. Check the plus minus stats from when Farmar was in the game vs. when he was out of the game. I believe they were plus 10 with him in the game. That’s a pretty impressive stat.

    On another note, I think the Lakers should start Turiaf. I really think he can become a Udonis Haslem type player in the league. I think he might have the potential to be better than UH., because he is better equipped for rebounding and playing D than Udonis. The great thing about Turiaf is that he is going to be all over the floor and hustling. He will sacrifice his body for a rebound or a put back or a block shot. Every good team needs a guy like that playing significant minutes.

    I still think the Lakers are weak in three point shooters from the guard position. They need their designated Steve Kerr/D-Fish/BJ Armstrong on the team. I know that right now they look for Sasha to be that guy, but I am not sure he is the complete answer. They should look to try to deal for a Chris Duhon (who reminds me a lot of Fish in his D and his shooting) or a Delonte West (who shoots 49% from the floor and is going to be the odd man out in the Celtics guard log jam). I especially like Delonte West because he is a Bigger Guard, which we all know is something that PJ covets. Boston already has Telfair, Rondo and Gerald Green at the guard positions. And I think they hold all three in higher regard than Delonte, so it might be worth it to take a swing at him.


  15. What’s the deal with Bynum. He’s torn it up the last games of preseason. Is this a fluke? Or is there a real chance that he bring at least some of this productivity into the regular season?


  16. Count me among those who think that Bynum will bring some of this productivity into the regular season. He showed some really nice offensive moves in the first half last night and those moves will work in the regular season just as they work in the pre-season.

    My biggest concern with Bynum is with exactly how many productive minutes he can give us on a regular basis. The kid seems to wear down quickly, as evidenced by his poor performance in back-to-backs this summer and his lethargic performance out of half-time last night.

    I’m also a little bit concerned about Bynum’s current ability to patrol the paint. Right now, I’d say he’s better defensively than Mihm, but not as good as Kwame.