Wednesday, September 28, 2011
NBA 2K12 Preview: Charlotte Bobcats
79 - Tyrus Thomas (C/PF)
77 - Corey Maggette (SF)
77 - Kemba Walker (PG/SG)#
75 - D.J. Augustin (PG)
75 - Boris Diaw (PF/C)
72 - Kwame Brown (C)*
71 - Bismack Biyombo (C/PF)#
70 - Gerald Henderson (SG)
69 - D.J. White (PF/C)
66 - Dante Cunningham (SF/PF)*
66 - Dominic McGuire (SF)*
60 - Matt Carroll (SG/SF)
58 - DaSagana Diop (C)
56 - Eduardo Najera (PF)
* Denotes Free Agent
# Denotes Rookie
C Kwame Brown (25) - Starter
PF Boris Diaw (34) - Starter
SF Corey Maggette (31) - Starter
SG Gerald Henderson (33) - Starter
PG D.J. Augustin (33) - Starter
PG Kemba Walker (31) - Sixth Man
C Tyrus Thomas (22) - Role Player
SF Dante Cunningham (17) - Role Player
C Bismack Biyombo (14) - Prospect
PF D.J. White (0) - Prospect
SF Dominic McGuire (0) - Bench Warmer
SG Matt Carroll (0) - Bench Warmer
PF Eduardo Najera (0) - Bench Warmer
C DaSagana Diop (INJURED) - Bench Warmer
OFF = Points Per Possession, calculated by Synergy Sports
DEF = Points Allowed Per Possession, calculated by Synergy Sports
NET = The difference between these two (OFF-DEF = NET)
AVS = Average rating of starter at position)
This rating is not meant to say player X was more important to his team than player Y. If a player with a limited role has +20 NET it means the player could handle more offensive touches or tougher defensive assignments (since backups typically face more lenient competition). It can also mean the player was used expertly by his coach. Conversely, a starter with a negative NET rating would likely benefit from fewer touches or better coaching. It goes without saying that a star with +20 NET is just doing business as usual while a 3rd string backup with -20 NET is more or less wasting a roster spot (if you can't beat other 3rd strings in garbage time, who can you beat?).
0.91 OFF (22nd)
0.90 DEF (13th)
POINT GUARD (AVS = 77)
77 - Kemba Walker#
75 - D.J. Augustin (0.93 OFF, 0.92 DEF, +1 NET)
I am leaning towards Kemba starting in Charlotte... perhaps not at first but certainly before the end of the year. They need scoring and a star caliber presence to sell tickets. Augustin is also in a contract year and the team probably can't afford to pay him if he has another season like the last (where he went from an inefficient scorer that couldn't run an offense to a passable 3pt shooter with an extremely solid A/T ratio. Augustin really isn't anything more than a backup due to his defensive deficiencies anyway, and the time to sell high before losing him for nothing is effective immediately.
SHOOTING GUARD (AVS = 74)
70 - Gerald Henderson (0.93 OFF, 0.88 DEF, +5 NET)
60 - Matt Carroll (0.95 OFF, 1.12 DEF, -17 NET)
Henderson rebounded from a really poor rookie year to become a serviceable starter. He won't score much, but he can defend, and he'll need to playing next to undersized PGs.
Carroll, like other Bobcats, clings to the league solely because of his guaranteed contract. He can still shoot when left open, but not much else.
SMALL FORWARD (AVS = 76)
77 - Corey Maggette (0.96 OFF, 0.95 DEF, +1 NET)
65 - Derrick Brown (0.95 OFF, 0.98 DEF, -3 NET)
66 - Dante Cunningham (0.95 OFF, 0.95 DEF, 0 NET)
66 - Dominic McGuire (0.76 OFF, 0.80 DEF, -4 NET)
Maggette replaces Stephen Jackson as the high volume scorer of the team, a role he is surely better suited for than Jackson. Maggette won't get his teammates involved, which is great, because most of his teammates are AWFUL offensively. I question his ability to stay healthy (or rather, his willingness to play hurt, given the team's lottery projection and his large guaranteed contract), and he doesn't really fit the defensive mindset the rest of the team shares.
Cunningham and McGuire are both free agents, and assuming both are brought back, they will fight for the right to be the anti-Maggette. McGuire actually IS the anti-Maggette since he is one of the best defenders and worst offensive players in the league. Cunningham is the tweener in the middle - he has a solid mid-range jumper but not much else on offense, while he is a bit undersized to defend PFs and not quite quick enough to defend SFs.
POWER FORWARD (AVS = 79)
75 - Boris Diaw (0.94 OFF, 0.86 DEF, +8 NET)
69 - D.J. White (1.08 OFF, 1.04 DEF, +4 NET)
56 - Eduardo Najera (0.76 OFF, 0.98 DEF, -22 NET)
Diaw does a lot of the little things, ranking 8th in offensive rebound efficiency, and 7th in transition. He also ranked 38th in post offense (0.97 PPP), 90th in post defense (0.90 PPP), 70th as a P/R Roller (0.99 PPP) and 59th defending it (0.92 PPP) which is a bit surprising given how undersized he usually is at PF and C. I guess that's why he still plays those positions after all these years rather than his natural SF.
White has shown in his limited minutes that he can play, and could use some real burn now that it's his contract year.
Najera does not belong in the NBA at this point, and hasn't for the duration of the contract he signed with New Jersey 3 years ago. What makes this inexcusable is that the Bobcats could have opted out last season but instead decided Najera would be worth 5 million over last season and the upcoming season. Big mistake.
CENTER (AVS = 75)
79 - Tyrus Thomas (0.92 OFF, 0.88 DEF, +4 NET)
72 - Kwame Brown* (0.96 OFF, 0.89 DEF, +7 NET)
71 - Bismack Biyombo#
58 - DeSagana Diop (0.52 OFF, 0.86 DEF, -34 NET)
Tyrus Thomas is listed at center because he actually played a little more than half his minutes there (Diaw plays heavy minutes at PF and never misses games, I would obviously switch him back if Diaw were traded though). Tyrus has quietly developed a solid mid-range game, and even sports a mediocre post game nowadays (which is much improved from where it was 4 years ago). Creating shots off the dribble is never going to be a strength for him though, and 12% of his shots came in Isolation (with only 0.65 PPP). Flat out giving up on those types of shots and giving them to Kemba and Maggette would go a long way towards making him a very efficient offensive player. I think Tyrus will finally break out this season if he can finally stay healthy. Larry Brown is finally gone, Diaw has an expiring contract, Kwame may not even return as a free agent, and Biyombo is as raw as Tyrus was all those years ago.
Speaking of the rawness that is Biyombo, he will be brutal offensively, but all signs are that he will rebound and block shots at an elite level. He might be able to give 15 solid minutes the way prime DeSagana Diop did.
Diop is DONE as an NBA player as he wasn't doing much on the court and that was BEFORE tearing his achilles which knocked him out for the year. He will not return until January 2012 at the earliest. The former "High School Shaq" is 30 years old already, and after a major injury and minimal contributions, it's tough to see an NBA team taking another flier on him. He's made his money and can sail off into the horizon.
Unlike Diop, Kwame doesn't seem to be going anywhere and had a career renaissance last season. Kwame was actually ranked 67th at Post offense (27% of his possessions) thanks to an excellent foul drawing rate (19.5% vs 8.1 TO%). He would do well to stay in Charlotte, the only team he's had substantial success for, the only team that can offer him a starting job, and perhaps most importantly, the only team that would be willing to offer him a decent contract.
Rashidi is not employed by 2K Sports and these are not NBA 2K12's actual ratings. These are the personal ratings of Rashidi, "The Real 2K Insider", calculated on NBA 2K11 using all available data/sources including but not limited to: Basketball-Reference, 82games, Hoopdata, SynergySports, and DraftExpress. Rashidi calculates his ratings using the same formulas 2K Sports does but is FAR more consistent in their implementation (and thus maintains his roster is what 2K Sports' would look like if they had him on the team). Rashidi's current NBA 2K11 roster "The Real NBA 2K12" can be downloaded for XBox360 via 2K Share.
SYNERGY SPORTS NOTE
Synergy is an excellent tool and I highly recommend you SUBSCRIBE to it (IF you have a quality computer and internet connection). Back in June I was working nights and wasn't able to watch the NBA Finals as they happened. Every night I got home from work and was able to watch every game commercial free thanks to Synergy. No timeout delays (when the game returns from commercial break and takes 20 seconds to get back to game action), no unwanted replays, no players complaining to the referees before lining up at the FT line. Just the on-court action straight through. The ability to select any play from any game for viewing is completely invaluable. Please, give them your hard earned money just like EA Sports did for their basketball game that doesn't even exist.