So I figure nows as good a time as any to edit the Knicks since they just made all their trades. And I'm checking out Zach Randolph, who the Insider listed in his "Biggest Movers" section. Let me share these head scratchers with you. As someone whose watched every Knick game this season, to say I disagree with his evaluation would be an understatement.
Overall 86 (from 84)
Worth noting Randolph was an 83 at default so he's jumped up 3 points since the game's release. Let's check out his "substantial improvement", shall we?
Close 95 (from 94)
That gives him the same rating as Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan, 1 point higher than Yao Ming, 3 points higher than Dwight Howard. In case you didn't know, Randolph is shooting a measley 43% from the field. That's poor for a guard, much less a power forward. Here's a nifty chart to show just how off-base that rating is.
Close Shot% (via 82games.com)
Garnett 68% (95 close)
Duncan 62% (95 close
Randolph 53% (95 close)
Yao 52% (94 close)
Howard 53% (92 close)
If Z-Bo is a 95, I guess KG/TD should be 105.
Note that Close% does not include dunks or tips. Let's toss those in since Close rating affects them too.
Inside% (Close/Dunk/Tip via 82games)
Randolph has yet to dunk this year and only did it 4 times all of last season. To give you an idea of how bad that is, Howard dunked nearly 4 times PER GAME last season.
The Insider used this season's data and saw fit to not just leave him a 94 (rather than lowering him), but to actually RAISE HIM A POINT.
Med 81 (from 78)
Randolph is approx. 33-83 from mid-range this season (39%). Let's go back to another chart, listing PF mid-range shots.
Nowitzki: 47% (88)
Randolph: 39% (81)
Garnett: 44% (80)
Gasol: 43% (78)
Amare: 48% (77)
If anyone can find any defensible logic for this guy, please, step up to the plate.
What's most comical is that Amare actually shot 48% from mid-range LAST SEASON as well, and over half his shots are jumpers. To put in perspective how embarrassingly bad that is, the Insider gave a 76 MR to Luc Mbah a Moute. This man is on the 2K Sports payroll and you are all paying his salary. Especially when you defend junk like this.
3PT 77 (up from 76)
Randolph was a 69 at default. He's shooting 29% from deep and has never shot 30% in his entire career. A 77 is only 6 points worse than Dirk, for those keeping score at home.
Randolph season: 7-24 (.292) (11gms)
Randolph career: 60-223 (.269) (8 seasons, 467 games)
Dirk season: 13-32 (.406) (13gms)
Dirk career: 1032-2718 (.380) (11 seasons, 771 games)
Dirk has averaged 1.33 threes per game in his career.
Zach has avreaged 0.12 threes per game in his career.
Again, if any of my detractors can explain this one, feel free.
76 steal (from 65)
Congratulations Insider. I would have thought it to be humanly impossible for someone to think Zach Randolph would ever deserve an above average steal rating. Thanks for defying the odds and making world history.
It's pretty clear to see you have no concept of "pace", something we'll have to illustrate now as it's used later. Randolph is averaging 1.2 spg, up from last seasons 0.9. I'm not exactly sure a 0.3 point improvement deserves an 11 point boost to begin with, but that's not the point. The Knicks are a high tempo team. High tempo = more possessions. That's more opportunities for points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks.
Back in the early days of basketball, there was no shot clock. Forget players averaging 30 points, that's what TEAMS averaged. There was no urgency to take a shot, in fact the point was to get the highest percentage shot possible in order to not waste the possession. This made basketball a very boring sport to watch. Enter the shot clock. This nifty contraption increased statistics across the board because it forced teams to play at a faster pace.
10 rebounds is not impressive if there are 1000 missed shots in a game, but if there were only 10 missed shots all game, that's godly. Player A grabbed only 1% of the game's rebounds, while player B grabbed 100%. Context, context, context.
It should be common sense that the Knicks and other high tempo teams (pre 08 Suns, Warriors, Nuggets, etc) all put up inflated stats because they have more possessions per game than the other teams in the league due entirely to the speed they play the game at.
So when I saw that Randolph was only getting a steal on 1.6% of possessions (barely up from 1.4% last season), it didn't surprise me in the slightest.
Here's another chart, I know you guys are loving them.
2008 Steal% (Rating)
Kevin Garnett: 2.3 (79)
Josh Smith: 2.3 (78)
ZBO 2009: 1.6 (76)
Joakim Noah 2.0 (74)
Chris Duhon: 1.6 (70)
Marcus Camby: 1.5 (69)
Zach Randolph: 1.4 (65)
Guess whose breaking the pattern? Thanks for not understanding a basic concept 2K Insider.
94 Offensive Rebound (from 80)
This one could very well be the worst. Apply the same pace factors as before. Randolph is averaging 3.7 ORB, but in such a high tempo offense, that's nothing. If he were truly a 94 he'd be averaging well over 4 under such circumstances.
What's most maddening is that Z-Bo's ORBs tie into his poor shooting percentage, as more often than not he is grabbing his own missed shot, rather than boxing out during a teammates' missed shot.
Z-Bo is grabbing only 10.5% of his team's missed shots when he's on the floor. To give you an idea of how overrated that is, here's Jeff Foster.
2007: 16.4 (led league)
2008: 15.9 (led league)
Randolph is not even within 5% of last season's league leader yet he is only 5 rating points away. Foster isn't matching his previous numbers right now but he is still grabbing 11.5%, a full point better than Randolph. Randolph only grabbed 9% last season, just in case you were wondering. His 10.0 career% does not exactly compare favorably to Foster's 15.0. The difference between Foster and Randolph is literally the difference between ZBo and Nate Robinson (or the difference between Nate Robinson and nothing at all). And yet, ZBo is 5 points from the top.
Who are the leaders in this category this season?
Offensive Rebound Pct (as per basketball-reference.com)
1. Andris Biedrins-GSW 15.9
2. Erick Dampier-DAL 15.1
3. Dwight Howard-ORL 14.7
4. Jason Thompson-SAC 14.1
5. Carlos Boozer-UTA 13.2
6. Emeka Okafor-CHA 13.2
7. Andrew Bynum-LAL 13.1
8. Andrew Bogut-MIL 12.5
9. Samuel Dalembert-PHI 12.4
10. Luc Mbah a Moute-MIL 12.3
11. Shaquille O'Neal-PHO 11.5
12. Paul Millsap-UTA 11.3
13. Joel Przybilla-POR 11.3
14. Shawn Marion-MIA 11.1
15. Drew Gooden-CHI 11.0
16. Kendrick Perkins-BOS 10.6
17. Zach Randolph-NYK 10.5
18. Tim Duncan-SAS 10.5
19. Jermaine O'Neal-TOR 10.2
20. Tyrus Thomas-CHI 10.0
Randolph is 5 points away from the max rating yet he is only 17th in the league in OffReb%. There are 8 players in the league grabbing a full 2% more. And that's only among qualifiers, as you'll note Foster is absent.
Only two of those players have a higher rating than Randolph, Biedrins and Dampier, both 99). Dwight Howard is tied with ZBo at 94. That's the top 3 in the ****ing league right there. Boozer, who is actually averaging 4 ORB despite playing for a team ranked 23rd in pace, is measley 84.
The 2K Insider is paid to know this stuff and actually evaluate players like I am. He is pushed on us like he knows more than the so-called common fan, and that's what makes him more qualified to do this than a so-called "Outsider". I will continue to stand by my assertation that any defense of his so-called ability falls somewhere between cronyism and sheer ignorance. It's one thing for an employee with an agenda on the company payroll (like a forum administrator) to fully support blindness. It's quite another thing for a human being with the luxury of eyes and ears.