Wednesday, September 21, 2011

NBA 2K12 Preview: Philadelphia 76ers

ShamSports Salaries

82 - Andre Iguodala (SF/SG)
80 - Elton Brand (PF/C)
78 - Thaddeus Young (PF/SF)*
76 - Jrue Holiday (PG)
75 - Louis Williams (PG/SG)
71 - Marreese Speights (C)
70 - Spencer Hawes (C)*
70 - Evan Turner (SG/SF)
69 - Jodie Meeks (SG)
67 - Nikola Vucevic (C)#
66 - Lavoy Allen (PF)#
65 - Andres Nocioni (SF/PF)
64 - Tony Battie (C)*
62 - Craig Brackins (PF)

* Denotes Free Agent
# Denotes Rookie

C Spencer Hawes (21) - Starter
PF Elton Brand (34) - Starter
SF Andre Iguodala (37) - Starter
SG Jodie Meeks (30) - Starter
PG Jrue Holiday (35) - Starter
PF Thaddeus Young (29) - Sixth Man
PG Louis Williams (23) - Role Player
SG Evan Turner (22) - Role Player
C Marreese Speights (9) - Prospect
SF Andres Nocioni (0) - Bench Warmer
PF Craig Brackins (0) - Prospect
C Nikola Vucevic (0) - Prospect
C Tony Battie (0) - Bench Warmer
PF Lavoy Allen (0) - 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)

Regarding "NET" - These ratings are 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?).

0.94 OFF (14th)
0.88 DEF (7th)
+6 NET

76 - Jrue Holiday (0.88 OFF, 0.90 DEF, -2 NET)
75 - Louis Williams (0.95 OFF, 0.92 DEF, +3 NET)

Holiday at a mere 21 years of age is on the fast track to be a star.  Had he stayed in school he almost certainly would have been a top 5 pick in this year's draft, so kudos go to Philly's scouting department who drafted him after a subpar freshman season.  Holiday was 13-21 in the Post, with 11 SF% and 7 TO%, quietly ranking him the 6th most efficient post player in the league, which bodes extremely well for his development.  If the 6'4" Holiday can make this a staple of his game the way Chauncey Billups, Andre Miller, and Sam Cassell did it will make him that much more dangerous on the court.

"Sweet Lou" was an excellent compliment to Holiday, and showed an ability to carry the team offensively with Holiday out of the game. (ranking 7th in P/R efficiency).  He split his time at PG and SG (2K Rating 79 @ SG), and his presence keeps Evan Turner on the bench just as much as Iguodala.

70 - Evan Turner (0.87 OFF, 0.93 DEF, -6 NET)
69 - Jodie Meeks (1.07 OFF, 0.85 DEF, +22 NET)

Evan Turner had a much maligned rookie campaign and it's tough to see him substantially improving given the current roster.  He found ways to score in isolations (56th) and in the post (38th), but his jumpshot was much worse than originally thought (223rd on Spotups).  More concerning was that he was EVEN WORSE on the break (only 248th with 0.98 PPP in transition) which is a bit puzzling given his reputation and the Sixers play style.  Improving his jumper and fastbreak decisions would be a step in the right direction as he waits for an Iguodala trade.

Jodie Meeks was one of the season's biggest surprises for a team sorely needing 3pt shooting.  It's worth noting that Meeks was actually a better 3pt shooter coming off screens (42%) and in transition (49%) than he was spotting up (37%).  That adds to his value because lots of players can shoot a high percentage spotting up.  It also means Meeks has room for improvement (though it could also mean he is due for some regression).

82 - Andre Iguodala (0.90 OFF, 0.81 DEF, +9 NET)
65 - Andres Nocioni (0.94 OFF, 1.03 DEF, -9 NET)

Iguodala took a lesser offensive role last season, and this allowed him to return to his defensive stopper roots.    Iguodala will never have what it takes to be a #1 option (or even a legit #2 option) but so long as he can set teammates up, run the break, and hit open threes, he will still prove highly valuable on the offensive end.  Iguodala was 46-117 (39.3%) on Spotup threes and only 18-80 (22.5%) in all other situations, so cutting the others out of his arsenal would do him (and the team) some good.

Nocioni really didn't do much aside from hit threes.  I remember when Nocioni entered the league and he had a defensive reputation, but all he's really shown in the league is that he's not afraid to foul hard.  Nocioni spends most of his time as a stretch PF that can't rebound or defend bigger players, and only sees playing time because Turner and Young can't shoot.

80 - Elton Brand (1.01 OFF, 0.87 DEF, +14 NET)
78 - Thaddeus Young* (1.00 OFF, 0.93 DEF, +7 NET)
66 - Lavoy Allen#
62 - Craig Brackins (0.50 OFF, 0.89 DEF, -39 NET)

Brand had an offensive resurgence and had no short of weapons in the half-court, ranking highly in Post game (32nd), P/R game (84th), and Spotups (82nd).  He won't ever be the scorer he was 5 years ago, but makes a solid #2 man.  Unfortunately, he's the best Philly's got.

Young is quickly becoming the ultimate tweener, and the team's decision to play him predominately at PF is obvious to the statistical community.  Young's Post game (24th) and Pick/Roll game (51st as the Roll man) are great weapons while his Spotup game (323rd) is simply not.  Young also takes advantage of his speed on other PFs by ranking 12th in Transition offense.  Overall this might sound great, but on the defensive end Young doesn't have the strength to match other bigs and his Post Defense ranks 248th (1.02 PPP), meaning he is getting back just as much as he is giving.  Young is still "young" (only 23) and has time to develop but I'm not sure sure leaving as a free agent to be the starting SF of another team (like New Jersey) is much of a solution.

Allen and Brackins will essentially fight Andres Nocioni for 3rd string PF minutes.  That could change quickly if Young leaves as a free agent.

71 - Marreese Speights (0.93 OFF, 0.74 DEF, +19 NET)
70 - Spencer Hawes* (0.82 OFF, 0.86 DEF, -4 NET)
67 - Nikola Vucevic#
64 - Tony Battie* (0.87 OFF, 0.89 DEF, -2 NET)

Even if one doesn't take much stock into Synergy it's pretty easy to see that Marreese Speights did not get a fair shot under Doug Collins, spending most of the season fighting Tony Battie for backup center minutes.  He desperately needs a change of scenery to show the offensive promise he showed his first two seasons was no fluke.

Hawes had a decent year and will probably come back for the qualifying offer (worth about 4 million for him).  It's unlikely he actually develops into Brad Miller as those in Sacramento optimistically predicted, but at the least he's proven he could be a competent backup center on a contending team.

Drafting Vucevic is the Sixers covering their butts in case Hawes gets a huge RFA offer the team doesn't want to match.  He also takes Speights' place when he gets traded, and could also push Battie out of town.

Battie only played 377 minutes over 38 games but was ahead of Speights in the rotation most of the year.  Battie actually played well in his limited time, but at age 35 he's not likely to repeat it.

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 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.


John "Babyface Killah" Banvard said...

Great work Rashidi! Will your roster be available at launch and have all the rookies? Your rosters make the game so much more fun to play. Also, do you plan on editing the legend teams if the game allows it? Thanks for all your efforts!

Rashidi said...

I will be working on the roster come launch day. Realistically it would take a week or two to approach anything near 2K11's completion level (since there are tendencies and what not to edit as well).

Lunatic Wolf said...

I'd like to see the Jazz preview.

Donald Jonathan Wilson said...

Can you PLEASE edit the inflated potential ratings. Im tired of having 1/3 of the league rated 85 or higher by year 4 of an association.