Wednesday, January 30, 2013

NBA 2K13 Roster Analysis 1/30/13

With today's roster update, 2K Sports once again shows us that their grip on the NBA is tenuous at best.  Seven players were edited, but four of those players have already received multiple edits this season.  Some other interesting figures regarding this update...

Missing Players: 13
Players on Wrong Teams: 6
Incorrect Head Coaches: 1
Incorrect Injuries: 2
Missing Injuries: 5
Incorrect Starting Lineups: 5

2K simply is not doing enough with their product on a day-to-day basis.  Frankly, I am getting extremely bored of online play as 2K barely makes any changes to their rosters despite more people playing their game than ever.  The list of blatantly mis-rated players grows every day, and meanwhile we're getting the FOURTH update to Jrue Holiday.

Oh, but we have the All-Star team (for offline play) for those who have the DLC.  Like any of you care.



Player attribute edits per roster
1/30: 7
1/24: 0
1/21: 0
1/17: 18
1/12: 2
1/5: 16
1/3: 1
12/25: 0
12/21: 0
12/18: 9
12/13: 1
12/8: 15
12/5: 14
11/17:  16

Editor's Note: My statistical breakdowns and analysis of the individual rating changes will come later in the day.


Jrue Holiday
Jrue Holiday
88 Overall (+1)
91 Inside (+3)
82 3pt (-2)
78 FT (-2)
92 Layup (+3)
71 Traffic (+3)
71 SOD (+3)
72 Steal (-4)
48 OffReb (+10)
92 OffAwr (+4)
99 Stamina (+1)
90 Speed (+4)
92 Quickness (+3)
86 Hustle (+4)
85 Durability (+11)

PER: 19.2
Synergy OFF: 0.87 PPP (238th)
Synergy DEF: 0.88 PPP (208th)
Inside: 106-168 (63.1%)
Close: 95-221 (42.9%)
Med: 67-164 (40.9%)
3pt: 44-123 (35.8%)
FT: 106-136 (77.9%)
STL%: 2.0
ORB%: 3.2

PER: 14.7
Synergy OFF: 0.87 PPP (252nd)
Synergy DEF: 0.72 PPP (29th)
Inside: 137-253 (54.2%)
Close: 125-330 (37.8%)
Med: 87-210 (41.4%)
3pt: 85-220 (38.6%)
FT: 94-120 (78.3%)
STL%: 2.5
ORB%: 2.9

Aside from Holiday making the all-star team, I'm not sure what the precedent is to tweak Holiday AGAIN.  Don't get me wrong, player edits are (almost) always welcome, but these adjustments are minor and Holiday has now been edited four times this season.   There are tons of players who haven't been adjusted in years.

As with most players, a bigger offensive role has lead to a drop off in defensive effort.  Holiday's defense was elite last season but is merely average this season.  His steal rating has dropped, but the rest of his defensive ratings (86 Off-Ball Defense, 86 Defensive Awareness) are still quite high.  The Sixers are only 18th defensively this year, well down from last season's #3 ranking, and Holiday's diminished efffectiveness is a big part of that (though most of it can be attributed to replacing Andre Iguodala's minutes with Evan Turner).

I'd say Holiday is pretty overrated now.  His numbers are a product of his increased offensive role, and efficiency-wise they don't blow anyone away.  The team isn't winning games and one has to think that Andrew Bynum's presence would kill Holiday's numbers but also help the 76ers immensely.  We'll find out when Bynum makes his return after the all-star break.

Rashidi's Rating: 86


Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving
88 Overall (+3)
83 Medium (+5)
80 Steal (+12)
92 Hands (+5)
92 OffAwr (+8)
74 DefAwr (+8)
92 Durability (+9)
93 Potential (+4)

PER: 22.4
Synergy OFF: 0.98 PPP (75th)
Synergy DEF: 0.83 PPP (119th)
Inside: 81-145 (55.9%)
Close: 90-200 (45.0%)
Med: 68-141 (48.2%)
3pt: 69-169 (40.8%)
STL%: 2.6
Isolation: 1.05 PPP (5th) - 30.9% of offense

PER: 21.4
Synergy OFF: 0.95 PPP (113th)
Synergy DEF: 1.03 PPP (447th)
Inside: 167-272 (61.4%)
Close: 60-161 (37.2%)
Med: 50-131 (38.2%)
3pt: 73-183 (39.9%)
STL%: 1.8
Isolation: 1.01 PPP (10th) - 15.9% of offense

As with Holiday, the main reason Irving got this boost is he made the all-star team.  The difference is Irving actually needed an upgrade. Fans have been calling for Irving to get a much needed boost to his mid-range shot.  He got it, but looking at his shooting stats it wasn't enough.

It should be very clear that looking at Irving's Synergy data that he's one of the best Isolation players on the planet.  What's scary is that he's doing this playing next to players opposing teams don't even need to bother guarding!

Irving has also improved his defense quite a bit.  Last year he was the worst defensive PG in basketball but this year he has been above average (thanks to an improved steal rate) while carrying the load offensively.

(Pointed out by BewmHedShot, Irving has yet to show he can stay healthy.  After an abbreviated college career, Irving has suffered injuries in both of his NBA seasons, having played 76.7% of his games so far.  What is the logic behind raising his Durability?  If anything, it should have went down.)

Rashidi's Rating: 88


Dwight Howard
Dwight Howard
89 Overall (-3)
92 Inside (-6)
92 Dunk (-3)
64 Steal (-8)
90 DefAwr (-5)
70 Consistency (-15)
82 Vertical (-6)
81 Hustle (-6)

PER: 19.7
Synergy OFF: 0.94 PPP (129th)
Synergy DEF: 0.68 PPP (9th)
Inside: 178-255 (69.8%)
Close: 71-166 (42.7%)
Med: 1-8 (12.5%)
3pt: 1-4 (25.0%)
STL%: 1.5
Dunks: 98 (55% of Inside FGM, 3.21 Dunks per 48 minutes)
Post-Up: 0.76 PPP (80th) - 45.9% of offense

PER: 24.2
Synergy OFF: 0.96 PPP (93rd)
Synergy DEF: 0.75 PPP (45th)
Inside: 274-375 (73.1%)
Close: 142-342 (41.5%)
Med: 0-2 (0%)
3pt: 0-7 (0%)
STL%: 2.1
Dunks: 137 (50% of Inside FGM, 3.17 Dunks per 48 minutes)
Post-Up 0.88 PPP (55th) - 57.5% of offense

2K Sports simply does not understand WHY Howard isn't performing at his usual offensive standards.  Yes, he is limited by his back injury, but that hasn't stopped him from dunking nearly three times per game.  It's Howard's post game that has diminished.  His drop in efficiency is concerning since he is surrounded by far more talent than he had in Orlando.  Generally a player's efficiency is supposed to go up when they aren't being relied on as heavily or focused on by the defense.

Rashidi's Rating: 89


Steve Nash
Steve Nash
83 Overall (-2)
86 Close (-5)
93 FT (+3)
87 Layup (-5)
91 Pass (-3)
63 Steal (+5)
66 BallDef (-4)
65 DefAwr (-2)
80 Consistency (-10)
93 Stamina (-2)
81 Speed (-4)
83 Quickness (-5)

PER: 16.3
Synergy OFF: 0.94 PPP (129th)
Synergy DEF: 0.93 PPP (294th)
Inside: 16-23 (69.6%)
Close: 32-63 (50.7%)
Med: 20-36 (56.6%)
3pt: 24-54 (44.4%)
FT: 33-35 (94.3%)
AST%: 37.2
STL%: 1.2
Shot Assisted%: 15.6
Pick and Roll: 0.82 PPP (41st) - 51% of offense

PER: 20.3
Synergy OFF: 0.92 PPP (164th)
Synergy DEF: 0.82 PPP (147th)
Inside: 77-104 (74.0%)
Close: 77-150 (51.3%)
Med: 86-160 (53.7%)
3pt: 55-141 (39.0%)
FT: 127-142 (89.4%)
AST%: 53.1
STL%: 1.0
Shot Assisted%: 46.7
Pick and Roll: 0.92 PPP (28th) - 61% of offense

As evidenced by his percentages, Nash has the best shot selection in the game.  Rather than drop any of his shooting ratings, I would advocate dropping his Shoot Off Dribble rating as we haven't seen the pick and roll mastery that he's otherwise shown throughout his career.  Last year Nash was assisted on only 40% of his three-point shots, but this year he's getting many more spotup looks and has been assisted on 92% of them.

Nash was an adequate defender last season (despite his reputation), but age seems to have caught up to him here.  He has been a step slow on both ends, and is notably recovering from a leg injury he suffered early in the season.

Rashidi's Rating: 80


Jerry Stackhouse
Jerry Stackhouse
67 Overall (-2)
74 3pt (-2)
68 Layup (-6)
60 Dunk (-10)
71 SOD (-4)
68 OffAwr (-4)
50 DefAwr (-2)
50 Consistency (-15)

PER: 8.0
Synergy OFF: 0.84 PPP (279th)
Synergy DEF: 0.79 PPP (69th)
Inside: 4-7 (57.1%)
Close: 11-25 (44.0%)
Med: 6-18 (33.3%)
3pt: 25-77 (32.5%)
Shot Assisted: 67.4%

PER: 11.5
Synergy OFF: 0.84 PPP (300th)
Synergy DEF: 0.70 PPP (20th)
Inside: 8-18 (44.4%)
Close: 7-19 (36.8%)
Med: 9-25 (36.0%)
3pt: 13-38 (34.2%)
Shot Assisted: 78.4%

At 38 years of age, Stackhouse hasn't really been an NBA level player in 5 years.  At this stage of his career he isn't much more than a spotup shooter, and not a particularly good one at that.  It goes without saying that Stackhouse hadn't been updated by 2K in quite some time and that a player his age isn't a good finisher at the rim anymore.

Rashidi's Rating: 63


Alan Anderson
Alan Anderson
70 Overall (+4)
79 3pt (+3)
85 FT (+3)
73 Layup (+4)
69 Traffic (+4)
63 Security (+7)
74 Steal (+14)
71 OffAwr (+19)
55 Consistency (+10)
82 Hustle (+5)
79 Durability (+5)
72 Potential (+2)

PER: 14.1
Synergy OFF: 0.92 PPP (170th)
Synergy DEF: 0.79 PPP (69th)
Inside: 29-44 (65.9%)
Close: 28-72 (38.8%)
Med: 10-48 (20.8%)
3pt: 54-160 (33.8%)
FT: 75-88 (85.2%)
STL%: 2.3

PER: 8.7
Synergy OFF: 0.90 PPP (202nd)
Synergy DEF: 0.70 PPP (20th)
Inside: 13-21 (61.9%)
Close: 7-30 (23.3%)
Med: 11-30 (36.7%)
3pt: 24-61 (39.3%)
FT: 29-34 (85.3%)
STL%: 0.6

Anderson has arguably been Toronto's best wing player this season.

DeRozan: 14.4 PER, 0.062 WS/48
Anderson: 14.1 PER, 0.067 WS/48
Ross: 11.4 PER, 0.033 WS/48
Fields: 9.0 PER, 0.023 WS/48
Kleiza: 8.3 PER, 0.005 WS/48
Pietrus: 6.2 PER, -0.011 WS/48

Of course, when Alan Anderson is your top wing player, that'll lead you to do things like trade the farm for Rudy Gay on a max contract.

Gay: 14.3 PER, 0.085 WS/48

Don't expect too much of an upgrade, Raptors fans.

Rashidi's Rating: 73


Tiago Splitter
Tiago Splitter
70 Overall (+6)
88 Inside (-7)
64 Close (+3)
73 FT (+4)
56 Traffic (+10)
33 Pass (+4)
68 Steal (+10)
51 Hands (+16)
81 OffReb (+8)
72 DefReb (+2)
62 OffAwr (+21)
74 DefAwr (+6)
55 Consistency (+15)
83 Hustle (+16)

PER: 20.3
Synergy OFF: 1.13 PPP (8th)
Synergy DEF: 0.85 PPP (156th)
Inside: 162-227 (71.4%)
Close: 23-77 (29.8%)
Med: 0-2 (0%)
3pt: 0-1 (0%)
FT: 119-161 (73.9%)
AST%: 8.7
STL%: 1.6
ORB%: 8.8
DRB%: 19.7
Pick and Roll: 1.38 PPP (2nd) - 28% of offense

PER: 20.5
Synergy OFF: 1.08 PPP (13th)
Synergy DEF: 0.91 PPP (341st)
Inside: 197-254 (77.6%)
Close: 45-131 (34.3%)
Med: 0-5 (0%)
3pt: 0-0 (N/A)
FT: 125-181 (69.1%)
AST%: 9.2
STL%: 1.0
ORB%: 9.7
DRB%: 21.4
Pick and Roll: 1.32 PPP (5th) - 29% of offense

The majority of Splitter's ratings are based on his 2011 season, and he has been one of the most underrated players in NBA 2K for the last two seasons.  Even with this update, he is still grossly underrated.

Splitter is one of the league's top options at finishing on the pick and roll which makes him a perfect fit with Tony Parker.  Offensively he resembles Tyson Chandler, but with more post-up ability.

Rashidi's Rating: 76



Alvin Gentry is still coach of the Suns.  Lindsey Hunter replaced him on 1/18.



Please note that you cannot use the All-Star teams UNLESS you have the All-Star DLC.

84 - Kevin Garnett (PF)
99 - LeBron James (SF)
90 - Carmelo Anthony (SF)
91 - Dwyane Wade (SG)
89 - Rajon Rondo (PG)
88 - Kyrie Irving (PG)
88 - Jrue Holiday (PG)
83 - Paul George (SG)
83 - Joakim Noah (C)
83 - Luol Deng (SF)
82 - Chris Bosh (C)
77 - Tyson Chandler (C)

I'm guessing 2K did not notice how awful their Chandler rating has been for the last 30 months.
With Rondo out for the season, he was replaced on the team by Brook Lopez (though 2K has not reflected this yet).

89 - Dwight Howard (C)
86 - Blake Griffin (PF)
95 - Kevin Durant (SF)
95 - Kobe Bryant (SG)
94 - Chris Paul (PG)
90 - Russell Westbrook (PG)
87 - Tim Duncan (C)
86 - James Harden (SG)
86 - LaMarcus Aldridge (PF)
84 - David Lee (PF)
84 - Tony Parker (PG)
83 - Zach Randolph (PF)

I expect Chris Paul to sit out the game due to his nagging knee injuries, which leaves the door wide-open for Stephen Curry to take his spot.

87 - Josh Smith (PF) - Hawks
86 - Rudy Gay (SF) - Grizzlies
85 - Andre Iguodala (SG) - Nuggets
83 - Amare Stoudemire (PF) - Knicks
83 - Kemba Walker (PG) - Bobcats (-1 from Tony Parker LOLOLLOLOLOLLL)
83 - Monta Ellis (SG) - Bucks
83 - Joe Johnson (SG) - Nets
82 - J.R. Smith (SG) - Knicks
82 - Evan Turner (SF) - 76ers
81 - Caron Butler (SF) - Clippers
80 - Wilson Chandler (SF) - Nuggets

Expect 2K to address this list sometime next year.



Rajon Rondo's torn ACL is the first big monkey wrench thrown into the NBA season.  The Celtics absolutely need a PG now and will be actively looking for a trade partner.  While on paper it would seem to hurt the Celtics, I'm skeptical a player like Jose Calderon wouldn't get their offense shining (Rondo has lead a team with Pierce, Garnett, and Terry to the league's 3rd worst offense).

Chris Paul has missed 7 of the last 9 games his return date is unknown.  Hopefully this nerfs the countless Clippers fans we see online.  On second thought nevermind, as the Heat/Thunder users are surely going to double.

Andrew Bogut made a surprise return and played well in his debut.  Bogut should improve the Warriors immensely, especially online where his replacement Festus Ezeli was only 52 Overall (gook luck getting 2K to upgrade that now).

Chris Paul (94/PG) - Clippers
Daniel Gibson (65/SG) - Cavaliers
Rajon Rondo (89/PG) - Celtics

Steve Blake (68/PG) - Lakers
Royce White (68/PF) - Rockets
Andrew Bogut (79/C) - Warriors

Chris Kaman (76/C) - Mavericks: Out indefinitely with a concussion.
Tornike Shengelia (56/SF) - Nets: Out indefinitely with a concussion.
Corey Maggette (75/SF) - Pistons: Sprained ankle and has not played since 12/15.  Even if technically healthy, there is no reason for him to be on Pistons active roster.
Linas Kleiza (64/SF) - Raptors: Has not played since 12/28 due to a sore knee.
Royce White (68/PF) - Rockets: Not making D-League debut until 2/11. NBA still ways away.

Hedo Turkoglu (72/SF) - Magic: Returned on 1/29, scoring 4 points.
Sam Young (68/SF) - Pacers: In a "DUH" moment, Young wouldn't have been signed if he were still hurt.

OUT FOR SEASON (6 total)
Rajon Rondo (89/PG) - Celtics
Anderson Varejao (76/C) - Cavaliers
Louis Williams (78/SG) - Hawks
Jordan Hill (70/C) - Lakers
Channing Frye (67/PF - Suns
Brandon Rush (71/SG) - Warriors

INJURED LIST (33 total)
76ers: Andrew Bynum (87/C)
Bobcats: Byron Mullens (69/PF)
Bucks: N/A
Bulls: Derrick Rose (92/PG)
Cavaliers: Anderson Varejao (76/C), Daniel Gibson (65/SG)
Celtics: Rajon Rondo (89/PG)
Clippers: Chris Paul (94/PG), Chauncey Billups (81/PG), Trey Thompkins (63/PF)
Grizzlies: Quincy Pondexter (61/SF)
Hawks: Louis Williams (78/SG), Anthony Morrow (66/SG)
Heat: N/A
Hornets: N/A
Jazz: Mo Williams (78/PG), Raja Bell (71/SG)
Kings: N/A
Knicks:   Marcus Camby (73/C), Rasheed Wallace (71/PF)
Lakers: Jordan Hill (70/C)
Magic:  Hedo Turkoglu (72/SF), Al Harrington (71/PF)
Mavericks: N/A
Nets: N/A
Nuggets: N/A
Pacers: Danny Granger (83/SF), Sam Young (68/SF)
Pistons: N/A
Raptors: Andrea Bargnani (73/PF), Jonas Valanciunas (68/C)
Rockets: N/A
Spurs: N/A
Suns: Channing Frye (67/PF)
Thunder: N/A
Timberwolves: Kevin Love (89/PF), Brandon Roy (80/SG), Nikola Pekovic (76/C), Alexey Shved (71/SG), Chase Budinger (71/SF), Malcolm Lee (SG/65)
Trail Blazers: Elliot Williams (66/SG)
Warriors: Brandon Rush (71/SG)
Wizards: Cartier Martin (67/SF)



Jannero Pargo (64/PG) - Hawks (from Free Agents)
Sam Young (68/SF) - Pacers (from Free Agents)



This is the second week in a row we've had these errors, which is frankly pathetic.  Dominic McGuire joins the original five players with expired contracts to make it six.  They seriously couldn't waive Wayns and put Mack on the Sixers AGAIN?

Maalik Wayns (63/PG) - 76ers (10-day contract expired, team opted to sign Shelvin Mack instead)
Josh Harrellson (54/C) - Heat (10-day contract expired, team opted to sign Chris Andersen instead)
Donald Sloan (63/PG) - Hornets (10-day contract expired, team did not re-sign)
Damion James (70/SF) - Nets (10-day contract expired, team did not re-sign)
Dominic McGuire (66/SF) - Pacers (10-day contract expired, team opted to sign Sam Young instead)
Shelvin Mack (65/PG) - Free Agents (Was signed to 10-day contract on 1/17, four rosters ago)



No new players were added.


Kevin Jones (PF) - Cavaliers (15 games, 9.0 mpg)
Chris Johnson (SG/SF) - Grizzlies (4 games, 17.8 mpg)
Jarvis Varnado (PF) - Heat (7 games, 4.3 mpg)
Kevin Murphy (SG) - Jazz (7 games, 4.0 mpg)
Mike James (PG) - Mavericks (9 games, 9.9 mpg, played 539 games prior to this season)
Julyan Stone (PG/SG) - Nuggets (2 games, 5.5 mpg, played 22 games prior to this season)
Ben Hansbrough (PG/SG) - Pacers (16 games, 8.4 mpg)
Patrick Beverley (PG) - Rockets (9 games, 11.1 mpg)
Aron Baynes (C) - Spurs (1 game, 1.0 mpg)
Diante Garrett (SG) - Suns (6 games, 5.0 mpg)
Mickael Gelabale (SF) Timberwolves (5 games, 21.8 mpg)
Chris Johnson (C/PF) - Timberwolves (5 games, 17.2 mpg, played 41 games prior to this season)
Kent Bazemore (SG/SF) - Warriors (30 games, 3.5 mpg)

Mike James and Jarvis Varnado were signed for the rest of the season. James has been in previous 2K games and his re-addition to the game should not be particularly difficult.

Patrick Beverley quickly supplanted Toney Douglas as the Rockets backup PG, and needs to be added to the game.  IIRC correctly, he was previously in an NBA 2K game despite not playing until this year, which should make his addition easier.

Mickael Gelabale and Chris Johnson have played extremely well for Minnesota, garnering a ton of minutes (for 10-day contract players) due to injuries.   Both need to be added, however 2K will likely only add one as the Wolves have 16 players on the roster with a game max of 15.  In my roster I simply released Brandon Roy, who is unlikely to play again (while also dropping his ridiculous 80 rating to avoid another team from signing him).



Jrue Holiday (PG), Jason Richardson (SG), Evan Turner (SF), Thaddeus Young (PF), Lavoy Allen (C)
Spencer Hawes replaced Allen in the starting lineup on 1/26.

Jeff Teague (PG), Kyle Korver (SG), Josh Smith (SF), Al Horford (PF), Zaza Pachulia (C)
Devin Harris has been starting at SG, moving Pachulia to the bench and everyone back to their natural spots.  2K also has DeShawn Stevenson on the inactive list for no reason whatsoever - Stevenson logged 29 minutes in his last game on 1/27.

Raymond Felton (PG), Iman Shumpert (SG), Carmelo Anthony (SF), Amare Stoudemire (PF), Tyson Chandler (C)
Amare Stoudemire has yet to start a game since returning on 1/1.  It would be nice if 2K Sports also dropped his rating about 5 points (from a ridiculous 83) as he isn't anywhere near the athletic finisher he was during his prime.  Since Felton returned from injury, Jason Kidd has been starting at SG, pushing Shump to SF and Melo to PF.

Jameer Nelson (PG), Arron Afflalo (SG), DeQuan Jones (SF), Andrew Nicholson (PF), Nikola Vucevic (C)
Glen Davis returned to the starting lineup on 1/16.

Darren Collison (PG), O.J. Mayo (SG), Shawn Marion (SF), Dirk Nowitzki (PF), Chris Kaman (C)
Kaman was demoted and is also hurt.  Bernard James has started the last two games for Dallas.


Liked the in-depth breakdown of 2K Sports' roster update?  Check out Rashidi's roster, The Real NBA 2K13.

Monday, January 28, 2013

NBA players in 1987 vs 2013

Scott O'Gallagher (and a few others) contended with me on Twitter today that NBA talent has gotten worse since the 1980s.  Scott's arguments are that the 80s had some of the all-time greatest players and also hosted some of the all-time greatest teams. 

I however contend this is NOT the case because Scott is only looking at the top talent and not the league as a whole.

1987 Players sorted by position and Win Shares (the actual WS score doesn't actually matter for this case-study).  I used 1987 because I wanted a 25 year gap and forgot it's not 2012 anymore >_<

15.9 Magic Johnson (MVP, All-NBA 1st)
10.3 Doc Rivers
10.0 Sleepy Floyd
9.7 Fat Lever (All-NBA 2nd)
9.4 Derek Harper
7.9 Maurice Cheeks
7.6 Isiah Thomas (All-NBA 2nd)
7.0 Vern Fleming
6.8 Terry Porter
6.0 John Paxson
5.6 Rickey Green (backup John Stockton w/ 6.7)
5.2 Dennis Johnson
4.5 Jay Humphries
4.3 John Lucas
4.1 Nate McMillian
3.3 Ennis Whatley
3.0 John Sundvold
2.9 Gerald Henderson
2.6 John Bagley
1.1 Darnell Valentine
0.7 Pearl Washington

Aside from Magic Johnson, point guard in 87 gets WAXED by today's NBA talent.  Lafayette Lever was All-NBA 2nd team which pretty much says it all.  Fast forward to today and Stephen Curry was just snubbed from the All-Star team.  The majority of these players were not better players than Charlotte Bobcats' starter Kemba Walker or his backup Ramon Sessions.  In fact, the vast majority of NBA backups are better players than the worst 8 starters in 1987.  Nobody is taking John Bagley over Kirk Hinrich much less backups Nate Robinson, Andre Miller, Jarrett Jack, or Kyle Lowry.  NOBODY.

PG is the position that has evolved most in the NBA.  The quality of guard play has improved throughout the years, and it's not just the rules changes that have made them more effective.  Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, and John Wall are athletic PGs with blinding speed who can throw it down on opposing defenders with even the slightest separation.  Magic Johnson didn't exactly have to deal with that when he was guarding Vern Fleming.  The only players with that level of athleticism were wings like Jordan, Drexler, and Dominique Wilkins.  Now it is common place.

16.9 Michael Jordan (All-NBA 1st)
10.3 Clyde Drexler
9.3 Dale Ellis
8.0 Rolando Blackman
7.7 Byron Scott (backup & Defensive Player of Year Michael Cooper w/ 6.1)
6.7 Danny Ainge
6.2 Reggie Theus
5.8 Walter Davis
5.6 Jeff Malone
5.3 Alvin Robertson
5.2 Chris Mullin
4.2 Joe Dumars (Sixth man Vinnie Johnson w/ 4.8)
4.2 Ron Harper
4.2 Randy Wittman
3.5 Julius Erving (36 years old)
3.3 Gerald Wilkins
2.9 Sidney Moncrief (Sixth Man of Year Ricky Pierce w/ 9.4)
2.6 Bob Hansen
2.4 T.R. Dunn
2.1 John Long
1.6 Derek Smith
1.3 Tony Brown
0.9 Mike Woodson (yes, that Mike Woodson)

Shooting guard of course was headlined by Michael Jordan, the man who revolutionized the position.  Before Jordan, there were no superstar SGs.  Of course, with that groundwork laid, we now have a league with Kobe, Wade, and Harden producing at a high level (whereas only Drexler was anywhere close to MJ), with a collection of elite 6th men scorers like Manu Ginobili, Kevin Martin, Jamal Crawford, J.R. Smith, J.J. Redick, and Ray Allen, far replicating the microwave scoring players like Vinnie Johnson started.  For every Danny Ainge or Reggie Theus there is an Andre Iguodala or Joe Johnson, a former star w/ an all-around game sacrificing touches.  Paul George is an All-Star 6'10" shooting guard which should say it all about how far the position has come.

On the George note, perhaps most important is the growth of the position.  When Jordan burst on the stage he was considered a big guard.  Most SGs were 6'3" to 6'4".  Jordan changed all of that.  6'6" guards are far more common, and we've seen wingspan of these players grow as well.  We have long, athletic, tenacious defenders like Thabo Sefolosha, Avery Bradley, and Tony Allen pairing the effectiveness of guys like Sidney Moncrief and Alvin Robertson with the 3pt shooting that most SGs frankly lacked in the 80s.  Starters like John Long, Derek Smith, etc would not even sniff the D-League in todays game, which of course does not speak very highly of most backup players.

15.2 Larry Bird (All-NBA 1st)
12.2 Dominique Wilkins (All-NBA 2nd)
10.8 Kiki Vandweghe
10.3 Adrian Dantley
10.2 Larry Nance
9.4 Rodney McCray
9.3 James Worthy
8.9 Mark Aguirre
8.1 Alex English
7.4 Xavier McDaniel
6.8 Orlando Woolridge
6.4 Jerome Kersey
5.6 Chuck Person
5.5 Paul Pressey
4.5 Roy Hinson
4.2 Robert Reid
3.7 Rod Higgins
3.6 Gene Banks
3.6 Terry Cateledge
3.3 Phil Hubbard
3.3 Kelly Tripucka
3.1 Kenny Walker
2.9 Terry Tyler (6th man Eddie Johnson w/ 4.3)
2.2 Walter Berry
1.0 Rory White

Bird, Nique, Kiki versus LeBron, Durant, Melo?  No contest up top.  With respect to Larry Legend, LeBron is an all-time great on the heels of Jordan.  Save the Bird comparisons for silky All-Around Kevin Durant, the perennial MVP candidate who can do no wrong on or off the court.  Nobody is taking Kiki or Dantley over Melo right now (Dantley was basically Melo w/o 3pt range).  After that, it's a bit of a dropoff for the modern era but 35 year old Paul Pierce, even in his advanced age is a more valuable offensive player than most 1987 small forwards.

SF has evolved over the years.  In the 80s it was a position where you'd get volume scoring whereas now SFs are all-around wing players, defensive stoppers, three point gunners.  English and Kiki's no-defense gunning approach might have worked in 1987 but coaches nowadays prefer guys like Andrei Kirilenko, Nicolas Batum,  Luol Deng, and Shane Battier, players who can defend multiple positions and kill you with the three ball w/o dominating the ball on offense.

14.8 Kevin McHale (All-NBA 1st)
12.0 Charles Barkley (All-NBA 2nd)
9.0 Otis Thorpe
8.8 Terry Cummings
8.6 Kevin Willis
7.9 Buck Williams
7.6 A.C. Green
7.5 Sam Perkins
7.5 John "Hot Rod" Williams
7.4 Tom Chambers
7.2 Michael Cage
6.9 Karl Malone
6.2 Ed Pinckney
6.2 Dave Greenwood
5.8 Bill Cartwright
5.4 Larry Smith
4.7 Herb Williams
4.7 Jim Peterson
3.5 Charles Oakley
3.5 John Williams
3.4 Sidney Green (rookie backup Dennis Rodman w/ 2.9)
2.6 Caldwell Jones

McHale, Barkley, and Karl Malone pioneered the PF position, as prior to those players there was no such thing as a star PF.  The league revolved around centers until these PFs came in and changed the game.  In 87 we can clearly see most PFs were blue-collar rebounding types, but that responsibility has now shifted to that of the center (Tyson Chandler, Joakim Noah, DeAndre Jordan, etc).  Instead we now have a collection of highly-skilled post-up PFs like Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol, Kevin Garnett, Zach Randolph, Carlos Boozer, LaMarcus Aldridge, David Lee, David West, Luis Scola, and Blake Griffin.  Sam Perkins was the first good 3pt shooting stretch-four, something Dirk, Ryan Anderson, and Kevin Love ran with far beyond what anyone imagined possible in 1987.

10.9 Hakeem Olajuwon (All-NBA 1st)
10.5 Bill Laimbeer
10.4 James Donaldson
9.4 Moses Malone (All-NBA 2nd)
9.2 Robert Parish
9.0 Steve Stipanovich
7.5 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (39 years old)
7.4 Jack Sikma
6.0 Brad Daugherty
6.0 Tim McCormack
5.4 Mike Gminski
4.9 Artis Gilmore (37 years old)
4.9 Tree Rollins
4.6 Joe Barry Carroll
4.5 LaSalle Thompson
4.4 Steve Johnson
4.2 Dave Corzine
4.1 Alton Lister
3.6 Mark Eaton
3.5 Patrick Ewing
2.8 Alvan Adams
2.0 Wayne Cooper
1.1 Benoit Benjamin

One of Scott's biggest contentions is that few centers can play with their back to the basket nowadays.  Well, looking at this list, it's not like Tim McCormack and Tree Rollins were big back to the basket players.  Aside from the big names we're all familiar with, there are a lot of BUMS on this list, and this is ONLY THE STARTERS we're talking about, not the backups.

You don't have to like Chris Bosh's faceup game, but it doesn't (or at least shouldn't) take a rocket scientist to figure out that he would have his way with the majority of these players both offensively and defensively (Bosh's defense is easily the most underrated part of his game).  Though I digress that Bosh is a natural PF and we're talking about a league with Tim Duncan, Dwight Howard, Tyson Chandler, Joakim Noah, Marc Gasol, Brook Lopez, Andrew Bynum, Al Jefferson, Al Horford, Nikola Pekovic, Larry Sanders, etc not being able to match up with the likes of Mike Gminski on a nightly basis.  These guys all would have had their way with these scrubs just as Hakeem did.


Overall what we see is that the top 10 players in the NBA match up well, but after that it's a significant drop-off in talent.

There are 30 NBA teams today, yet players of Kyle Lowry, Andre Miller, Javale McGee, Jarrett Jack, Carl Landry, Ryan Anderson, Manu Ginobili's caliber (etc, etc, etc) are coming off the bench.  The quality of depth in the NBA and THE WORLD increases with every passing season and you'll be hard pressed to convince me the 80s were more skilled based on a top 10 players list.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

2013 All-Star breakdown

All-Star selections are always a hot topic of debate, as there are many deserving players every season, and only 12 slots available (pending injuries).  The fans get to pick 5 players, while the coaches get to pick 7.

Most fans have only casual interest in the NBA, reside in major markets, and many are unfamiliar with players on teams other than their own.  All of these factors lead to a heavily biased process in ALL major sports (not just the NBA).  The majority of controversial all-star starters have been due to fan voting, and the 2012-13 season has been no exception.  This is a game FOR the fans, so this process isn't going away anytime soon.  However we absolutely need to note that fan bias towards popular players often leads to better, more talented players not being selected.  B.J. Armstrong, Steve Francis, rookie Yao Ming, and this season, Dwight Howard.

On the coaching side, they are much more involved in the NBA and have a much more insightful approach than the vast majority of fans (and even analysts).  A debatable aspect of coach selections is that they will look at player's statistical production, but also look at how many wins that player's team has won, often rewarding secondary stars on good teams while penalizing similarly talented players playing next to fringe talent.

Shareef Abdur-Rahim was snubbed numerous times in the 90s while playing by himself in Vancouver.  At the same time we saw FOUR Los Angeles Lakers players selected in 1998: Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, Eddie Jones, and Nick Van Exel.  While the fans wanted to see an exciting 19-year old Kobe who was good but not an all-star yet (Eddie Jones, coach selection who started over Kobe was the better player), the coaches made an even worse pick with the erratic Van Exel.

Reggie Miller was snubbed in 1994 in favor of the likes of B.J. Armstrong (fans), Kenny Anderson (fans), John Starks (coaches), Mookie Blaylock (coaches), all players whose teams had better records than Miller's.  As we all know, "non-star" Reggie carried his 5th seed Pacers to game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals that year, where he did this...

You may notice coach selection John Starks getting worked.  The mere thought of the erratic Starks having to carry a team like Reggie did is nauseating. Yet the coaches still took Starks, because he was a key contributor on a top 2 team in the east while Reggie was the best player on a "mediocre" team.

Finally, NBA commissioner David Stern is not without fault in the selection process either (he selects any injury replacements).  As recently as 2010, Stern snubbed Carlos Boozer (20/12 on 53 win team) in favor of Chris Kaman (19/9 on 29 win team).

If we are to use the criteria of Individual and Team Success, there must be a balance between the two in order to get the right players selected.  Not only do fans want to see the best players, but there is a ton of money tied into the careers of players that do and don't make it.   Aside from players having all-star incentives in their contracts, they become more marketable by becoming "stars".  The players named to the all-star team are essentially the faces of the NBA.  They're the players teams highlight in their ticket packages.  Stars make and break sports, ESPECIALLY in the NBA.  The idea of an elite talent like Kyrie Irving missing the game because his team of D-Leaguers won fewer games than decent players on good teams (J.R. Smith or Jamal Crawford, for example) would simply be a disappointing development for ALL fans of the NBA, whether they realize it or not.

Thus, we need to find some kind of balance between the primary factors individual and team success.  How best can we separate those who are truly worthy from the pretenders?

Player Efficiency Rating (PER) and Win Shares (WS) are some of the more popular advanced statistics out there and I believe we can use them jointly to determine who the most deserving players are.   One other factor to consider is minutes played, as a player who has missed a significant portion of the season should not be rewarded over a player who has played the majority of his team's games (consequently having a larger contribution to their success).

PER is a great, all-encompassing stat that can be an effective measure of individual talent when taken in context, but is not without it's flaws, and it's important to understand what they are.  PER does not quantify defense other than steals, blocks, and defensive rebounds.  It also favors high-usage players, who can often be sixth men/role players in limited minutes, or players on bad teams (not limited to legit stars here).   WS weights a player's contributions towards his team's success (wins), which I believe makes it the perfect counterbalance, as it should weed out the players who are putting up big numbers on bad teams AND the decent players on good teams who aren't contributing as much to their teams as the media would like you to think.  WS also favors players who have played more minutes (PER ignores games missed due to injuries, suspensions, etc).



(Listed players played a minimum of 1000 minutes prior to 1/24/13)

Player Efficiency Rating
22.2 Kyrie Irving
20.0 Jose Calderon
19.2 Kemba Walker
19.0 Ramon Sessions
18.8 Jrue Holiday
18.3 Deron Williams
18.2 Rajon Rondo (Starter)
17.5 Brandon Jennings
16.2 Jason Kidd
16.0 Jameer Nelson
15.9 George Hill
15.1 Jeff Teague
12.7 Brandon Knight
12.2 Mario Chalmers
10.0 Kirk Hinrich

Win Shares
4.7 Deron Williams
4.4 George Hill
4.1 Jose Calderon
3.5 Brandon Jennings
3.5 Jason Kidd
3.2 Kyrie Irving
3.0 Rajon Rondo (Starter)
2.8 Kemba Walker
2.5 Jrue Holiday
2.5 Jeff Teague
2.4 Ramon Sessions
2.2 Jameer Nelson
1.7 Kirk Hinrich
1.4 Brandon Knight

Right from the jump we can see the top 5 PER PGs in the east all play for sub .500 teams.  I wouldn't box Kyrie in with Calderon, Kemba, Sessions, or Holiday though, because his PER is 2-3 points better and a lot of his production would surely carry over to a more talented team.  The same cannot be said for guys like Kemba, Sessions, and even Jrue Holiday whose increase in statistical production has gone hand-in-hand with Philadelphia's fall from the playoff picture this season.

Interestingly (but not shockingly), Deron Williams leads all East PGs in Win Shares.  Many so-called "experts" have been calling for D-Will to miss the game, fueled by his own comments when Avery Johnson got fired, that he wasn't having a good season.  A below average season for Deron Williams is still a better season than most everyone else.  The Nets have played much better since Avery Johnson was fired however, and they are 3rd in the eastern conference.  and if Deron DOES get snubbed by the coaches, it is a gigantic sham.

George Hill ranking 2nd in WS is somewhat surprising, but at the same time the Pacers are winning ball games and Hill does play 35 minutes per game.  We can see from Hill's PER that he isn't a great individual player.

Jose Calderon is atop both PER and WS lists, which makes tons of sense to Raptors fans.  Toronto has been playing much better ever since Calderon became the full-time starter.   He is a poor man's Steve Nash and I honestly think he makes a better pick than Kyrie Irving or Jrue Holiday would.  Calderon is a free agent next summer and a candidate to be traded at the deadline - take note of this if he ends up on a championship caliber team.

Rajon Rondo is only middle of the pack on both lists, which makes sense, as his team has been decidedly mediocre, a game under .500 residing in 8th place.  His PER is right there with Deron Williams, and looking at the team records it's easy to say the fans made a mistake in taking Rondo over D-Will.

Given how well Kyrie has played, I would give him a pass for generating only slightly fewer wins than Brandon Jennings and Jason Kidd.  I think it's also clear you have to take him over Jrue Holiday who seems to be getting more consideration.  Holiday's team is also losing, but unlike Kyrie he actually has some talent around him.  Give Jason Richardson, Evan Turner, and Thaddeus Young to Irving instead of Dion Waiters, Alonzo Gee, Tyler Zeller, and his team would be in 9th too.

Player Efficiency Rating
23.4 Dwyane Wade (Starter)
16.6 J.J. Redick
16.4 Louis Williams
16.1 J.R. Smith
15.8 Monta Ellis
15.8 Jordan Crawford
14.7 Joe Johnson
13.9 DeMar DeRozan
13.5 Arron Afflalo
13.3 Rodney Stuckey
12.9 Bradley Beal
12.7 Dion Waiters
11.8 Lance Stephenson
11.6 Jason Terry
10.7 Kyle Singler

Win Shares
4.5 Dwyane Wade (Starter)
3.4 Joe Johnson
3.1 J.J. Redick
2.7 Louis Williams
2.6 J.R. Smith
2.0 Arron Afflalo
2.0 Kyle Singler
1.8 Monta Ellis
1.8 DeMar DeRozan
1.8 Jason Terry
1.5 Bradley Beal
1.3 Jordan Crawford
0.5 Dion Waiters

You'll notice that only six qualifying SGs had a PER above 15.0 (league average), compared to twelve PGs.  The reason for this is simple - PGs are far more ball dominant and almost always more valuable than their SG counterparts.  After Dwyane Wade (who might as well be a PG playing next to Mario Chalmers), four of the next five players are high-volume sixth men (while the 5th, Monta Ellis, is a bonafide chucker who SHOULD be coming off the bench).

Contrary to what Charles Barkley and the TNT panel would have you believe, Dwyane Wade is alive and well.  He is averaging 21/5/5 and leads all SGs with 51 FG%. and 1.7 BLK%.  Overall, he has been the best guard in the eastern conference, and anyone who thinks he could no longer lead a bad team to a .500 record (like James Harden) should stop kidding themselves.

Joe Johnson has not played at his usual all-star standards, but has still been a solid contributor to a winning team.

Many NY fans have been making an argument for J.R. Smith to get consideration, and glancing at this list, it's easy to see why as there is no other SG anywhere close to Dwyane Wade's level.  However we aren't selecting "Shooting Guards" to the All-Star team.  We are selecting "GUARDS".  We can go back to the PG list and find plenty of players who are having seasons just as good (if not better) than J.R. Smith.

The coaches SHOULD take all point guards with their "backcourt" selections for the same exact reason why they are taking "frontcourt" players rather than forwards and a "center".  If J.R. Smith really is the 2nd best SG in the east, the coaches shouldn't (and hopefully won't) feel pigeon-holed into selecting him, because he hasn't been a top five GUARD.

Redick and Sweet Lou rank above J.R. Smith on both lists, and I simply do not understand the argument for Smith to be named an all-star.  He is playing the best basketball of his career, but that doesn't mean it has been all-star caliber play.  Smith is allegedly playing better defense, which might be a little more meaningful if the Knicks weren't 17th defensively this season (down from 5th last season).  He has had just as many bad games as he's had good ones.  Smith has scored 78 points on 91 shots over his last five games.  The Knicks went 2-3, beating the lottery bound Pistons and Hornets while losing to the playoff-bound Pacers, Bulls, and Nets.

It has seemingly gone unnoticed that J.R. Smith himself is the one who started beating the drum for his all-star candidacy.  Smith of course, is in a contract year and the monetary reasons behind some shameless self-promotion are obvious.  I don't think the coaches will be fooled, as J.R. still has a long history to overcome, and let's face it, J.R. on a bad team is no different than O.J. Mayo on a bad team.  He'll score a ton of points, but will he win them more games?  On a good team?  He's the erratic super-sub that we all either love or hate.

Player Efficiency Rating
30.3 LeBron James (Starter)
25.2 Carmelo Anthony (Starter)
19.0 Paul Pierce
17.4 Paul George
15.6 Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
15.2 Luol Deng
14.2 Kyle Korver
13.7 Gerald Wallace
13.4 Evan Turner
13.3 Martell Webster
13.2 Tayshaun Prince
11.0 Alonzo Gee

Win Shares
8.9 LeBron James (Starter)
4.9 Carmelo Anthony (Starter)
4.7 Paul George
3.7 Luol Deng
3.6 Paul Pierce
2.7 Martell Webster
2.4 Tayshaun Prince
2.2 Gerald Wallace
1.7 Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
1.6 Evan Turner
1.1 Alonzo Gee

This is LeBron's sixth consecutive season leading the league in PER.  Where does that accomplishment place him in NBA history?

PER League Leaders
9x Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (over 11 seasons)
8x Wilt Chamberlain (including 7 straight)
7x Michael Jordan (7 straight)
6x LeBron James (6 straight)
5x Shaquille O'Neal (5 straight)

LeBron is the dominant player of his generation, and may yet prove to be the most dominant of all-time.  This is also another instance where Michael Jordan's temporary retirement hurts him, as we have no way of knowing whether Jordan could have kept it up another two seasons to match Kareem.  As it stands, LeBron may well tie Jordan next season.

Carmelo Anthony's career season (finally) justifies his selection to the starting lineup by the fans.  However, by also voting for Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett, Celtics fans may have unwittingly snubbed Paul Pierce.  Pierce leads the Celtics in both PER and WS yet could find himself watching the all-star game from home, as the coaches may feel reluctant to select a 3rd player from an 8th place team.

Paul George is also having a solid season filling in for Danny Granger.  While George's individual performance isn't quite star caliber, the team is winning games and if the choice for the final spot comes down to George or J.R. Smith (who would be the 3rd star taken on a marginally better Knicks team), the coaches should not hesitate to reward the young swingman.  It bears noting that the coaches may vote for George as a guard, rather than as a front-court player, which would make him more likely to be selected.

Player Efficiency Rating
19.2 David West
18.4 Carlos Boozer
17.4 Josh Smith
17.4 Thaddeus Young
15.1 Tristan Thompson
12.9 Jason Maxiell
11.0 Brandon Bass

Win Shares
4.7 David West
3.8 Carlos Boozer
3.6 Thaddeus Young
2.7 Tristan Thompson
1.9 Jason Maxiell
1.8 Josh Smith
1.7 Brandon Bass

The list of qualifying players is small, and it's because most quality PFs have since moved on to play the center position (facilitating the NBA's need to get rid of the "center" distinction.

David West and Carlos Boozer have drawn some consideration as they and their teams have played well.  I would give the edge to West over Boozer, as while they are similar players on similar teams, West does play two more minutes per game than Boozer.

Josh Smith might have gotten consideration in previous seasons but he started off the year poorly, and did not do himself any favors getting kicked out of practice recently.  A quick look at his WS shows us that his PER is merely a function of high high usage rate, and that his inefficient scoring means he isn't helping the team as much as former all-star Al Horford (who is getting no consideration this year despite out-playing the volatile Smith all season).

Player Efficiency Rating
25.4 Brook Lopez
21.4 Tyson Chandler
21.0 Chris Bosh
18.5 Greg Monroe
18.4 Kevin Garnett (Starter)
18.2 Al Horford
17.9 Amir Johnson
16.9 Joakim Noah
16.9 Nikola Vucevic
15.2 Roy Hibbert
10.7 Tyler Zeller
9.8 Bismack Biyombo

Win Shares
6.5 Tyson Chandler
4.9 Chris Bosh
4.4 Joakim Noah
4.2 Al Horford
4.1 Brook Lopez
3.5 Amir Johnson
3.3 Nikola Vucevic
3.1 Kevin Garnett (Starter)
3.0 Greg Monroe
2.4 Roy Hibbert
0.8 Tyler Zeller
0.4 Bismack Biyombo

As with the PG/SG PER comparison, Centers are much more important to NBA teams than PF play in today's NBA.  There are very few "true centers" left in the NBA as we have shifted to an era where speed and skill matter much more than size and brute strength.  Ironically enough, the rules changes actually will actually help deserving centers make it this season.  Instead of being forced to take PFs like Boozer or West the coaches could opt to take all centers with their frontcourt selections, since players like Chris Bosh and Kevin Garnett are natural PFs.  That decision is also made easier with two SFs being to the starting lineup.

Tyson Chandler has by and large been the best center in the Eastern Conference ever since coming to New York.  Chandler is the league's most efficient player, leading the league in True Shooting% handily thanks to his finishing ability around the rim, and was named Defensive Player of the Year last season (though he hasn't been as effective on that end this season).  It should not be lost on NBA fans (and certainly not Knicks fans) that Tyson has the 2nd highest WS in the Eastern Conference.  Tyson is a lock for the game which is yet another reason why I don't understand the J.R. Smith sentiment, as there's no way J.R. makes the team before it's heart and soul.

Brook Lopez has been nothing short of spectacular this season, ranking 4th in the league in PER, having improved his defense and rebounding substantially, and is surely Comeback Player of the Year after missing nearly all of last season due to foot injuries.  Lopez's WS would be higher if he didn't miss time this season, and also played more minutes (29 mpg is low for a star).  There is actually a chance Lopez will NOT be selected simply because of how deep the position is.  With that said, I think he is a lock to make it especially since there is some Anti-Deron sentiment floating in the coaches minds and that at least one of them needs to be selected.

Chris Bosh has quietly had another all-star caliber season playing behind LeBron James and Dwayne Wade, and if there's a team in the league that will bring three all-stars to the All-Star game, it will be the Miami Heat (J.R. Smith fans should also take note of what a real 3rd all-star looks like).

Carlos Boozer leads the Bulls in PER, but Joakim Noah leads them in WS as he plays seven more minutes per game as the core of their elite defense.  He deserves to be the Bulls' All-Star this season.

A case could be made for Al Horford, but due to position depth and the Hawks collapse in the standings, he will likely be passed over.  It's a shame, because the Hawks have had a better season than fan voted starter Kevin Garnett's Celtics


Rashidi's East All-Stars
PG: Rajon Rondo, Deron Williams, Kyrie Irving
SG: Dwyane Wade, Paul George
SF: LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony
PF: Kevin Garnett, Chris Bosh
C: Tyson Chandler, Brook Lopez, Joakim Noah

Paul Pierce is surely a better player than Paul George (for now), but I could not with good conscience send three Celtics and no Pacers.  I have a feeling the coaches will see things that way as well.  I also think it's likely the coaches will see things my way and give George guard votes due to a lack of better alternatives (he is normally at SG when Danny Granger is healthy).  David West is having a good year but simply not at the level of his front-court counterparts.

Notable Non-Qualifiers
Ed Davis (PF): 983 minutes, 18.4 PER, 3.0 WS
Larry Sanders (C): 976 minutes, 18.5 PER, 3.2 WS
Anderson Varejao (C): 901 minutes, 22.0 PER, 3.4 WS
Andray Blatche (C): 855 minutes, 23.1 PER, 3.2 WS
Andre Drummond (C): 838 minutes, 22.9 PER, 3.7 WS
Kyle Lowry (PG): 808 minutes, 22.0 PER, 3.3 WS

Anderson Varejao was well on his way to the all-star game before injuries knocked him out for the season.

Andray Blatche has been crazy good behind Brook Lopez, which begs the question of whether their numbers are a product of the Nets system.  Blatche very well may be a legit starting center, but we won't find out until next season.

Andre Drummond leads the Pistons in PER and WS (despite playing on 22 mpg!) yet the Pistons won't play him over Jason Maxiell.  Drummond is only 19 and it's conceivable the Pistons have a superstar that they're treating with kid gloves.  Don't be surprised to see him in the all-star game next season.

The Raptors have a decision to make with Kyle Lowry and Jose Calderon.  Both are putting up fantastic numbers but they can only keep one beyond this season.  Which one gets traded?



Player Efficiency Rating
26.1 Chris Paul (Starter)
23.0 Russell Westbrook
22.9 Tony Parker
19.8 Stephen Curry
17.3 Goran Dragic
17.0 Jarrett Jack
16.8 Michael Conley
16.8 Grevis Vasquez
16.6 Damian Lillard
16.4 Darren Collison
15.2 Andre Miller
14.9 Ty Lawson
14.3 Jeremy Lin
13.3 Luke Ridnour

Win Shares
7.8 Chris Paul (Starter)
6.2 Tony Parker
6.0 Russell Westbrook
5.1 Stephen Curry
4.2 Michael Conley
3.5 Damian Lillard
3.3 Jarrett Jack
3.0 Goran Dragic
3.0 Darren Collison
2.5 Andre Miller
2.3 Grevis Vasquez
2.3 Ty Lawson
2.3 Luke Ridnour
2.1 Jeremy Lin

Westbrook and Parker are locks to be selected to the All-Star team, while Stephen Curry also has a good argument to make it.  Unlike the east, the west is more clear cut as the best PGs are all playing for the best teams.

Player Efficiency Rating
23.4 Kobe Bryant (Starter)
22.0 James Harden
16.7 O.J. Mayo
16.7 Jamal Crawford
16.3 Kevin Martin
16.2 Gordon Hayward
15.9 Jared Dudley
14.3 Shannon Brown
14.2 Wesley Matthews
14.0 Andre Iguodala
12.9 Klay Thompson
12.6 Randy Foye
12.4 Tony Allen
12.2 Alexey Shved
11.9 Thabo Sefolosha

Win Shares
6.1 Kobe Bryant (Starter)
6.0 James Harden
4.3 Kevin Martin
3.3 Thabo Sefolosha
3.2 Jared Dudley
3.0 O.J. Mayo
2.9 Jamal Crawford
2.8 Wesley Matthews
2.7 Danny Green
2.5 Gordon Hayward
2.4 Klay Thompson
2.4 Tony Allen
2.3 Andre Iguodala
2.2 Randy Foye
1.4 Shannon Brown
1.1 Alexey Shved

While the quality of SGs out west is much better than the east, PG is still the more talented position.  Beyond Kobe and Harden, no other SG should make the all-star team, paving the way for a PG like Curry to make it.

As with J.R. Smith in the east, Jamal Crawford has been getting all-star consideration and I simply don't get it.  He is a volume scorer and would have to be the 3rd player taken on his team to make it.  Frankly, Crawford isn't even the best backup on his team (that honor goes to Matt Barnes who is quietly in the middle of a career year).  Crawford hasn't done anything to separate himself from Kevin Martin or O.J. Mayo either.

The consideration for Crawford and J.R. Smith surely stems from the fantastic season James Harden had last season, as the media has finally realized the value that sixth men can have.  With that said, Harden was historically efficient last season, while Crawford and J.R. are absolutely not (and never will be).  There is a reason Harden was drawing comparisons to fellow super-sub All-Star player Manu Ginobili, while the likes of Crawford and Kevin Martin are not.

Player Efficiency Rating
29.2 Kevin Durant (Starter)
18.5 Andrei Kirilenko
17.6 Nicolas Batum
17.6 Matt Barnes
16.8 Danilo Gallinari
16.4 Vince Carter
16.2 Shawn Marion
14.9 Corey Brewer
14.3 Rudy Gay
14.2 Metta World Peace
14.2 Chandler Parsons
12.3 John Salmons
11.2 Harrison Barnes

Win Shares
10.8 Kevin Durant (Starter)
4.3 Nicolas Batum
4.3 Danilo Gallinari
4.2 Matt Barnes
3.9 Andrei Kirilenko
3.3 Metta World Peace
3.2 Chandler Parsons
2.4 Rudy Gay
2.4 Vince Carter
2.3 Shawn Marion
2.1 Corey Brewer
1.5 Harrison Barnes
1.3 John Salmons

Durant is 2nd in the league in PER and leads the league in WS which makes him my pick for MVP in the first half of the NBA season.  Durant is right there with LeBron as a player which is interesting because they both play the same position.  I can't recall another time in NBA history where the top two players played the same position.  One can make a case for David Robinson and Hakeem Olajuwon in 1994 and 1995, so anytime LeBron and Durant matchup as they did in last season's Finals, it is truly something special.

After Durant there is a huge dropoff in SF talent.  There are plenty of solid players in the west like Kirilenko, Batum, and Gallinari, but none who have taken the next step to that all-star level.  I'm not sure I would take any of them with so many talented frontcourt players at PF and C.

It's crazy how good Matt Barnes has been, outplaying starter Caron Butler by a large margin.  Barnes also outplayed Metta World Peace last season also, yet has been unable to get contracts paying better than the minimum.  Something tells me he won't have that problem this summer.

Player Efficiency Rating
22.8 Blake Griffin (Starter)
20.5 Tiago Splitter
20.4 Paul Millsap
19.6 David Lee
19.6 LaMarcus Aldridge
19.3 Ryan Anderson
19.1 Zach Randolph
18.8 Kenneth Faried
18.7 Serge Ibaka
18.0 Carl Landry
17.2 Luis Scola
15.4 Jason Thompson
12.3 Boris Diaw

Win Shares
5.9 Blake Griffin (Starter)
5.0 Tiago Splitter
4.9 David Lee
4.7 Zach Randolph
4.6 Serge Ibaka
4.5 Kenneth Faried
4.4 Paul Millsap
4.2 Ryan Anderson
4.0 LaMarcus Aldridge
3.7 Carl Landry
3.0 Boris Diaw
2.4 Luis Scola
2.1 Jason Thompson

Tiago Splitter might be the most underrated player in the NBA right now, and would be an easy candidate this season IF he were getting more minutes (only 26 mpg).  Despite playing only 26 mpg, Splitter is 2nd among west PFs in Win Shares, ahead of All-Star caliber players like David Lee, Zach Randolph, and LaMarcus Aldridge who are playing 10 more minutes per game.  Splitter, who had 25 points on 10-11 shooting last night (DNP for Tim Duncan) is primed for a larger role as the rest of the Spurs core continues to age.

Between Lee, Randolph, Ibaka, Millsap, Anderson, and Aldridge, the competition is so tight and all are worthy of all-star consideration. In this instance I would give the nod to Lee, Randolph, and Ibaka because of their team success.  Millsap and Anderson aren't playing as many minutes as the other guys.  Aldridge also has an outside chance since his team is (surprisingly) in the playoff picture and he's playing a ton of minutes.  However Aldridge is actually having a down year and he's getting a ton of help from his teammates (notably Damian Lillard and J.J. Hickson).

Player Efficiency Rating
24.9 Tim Duncan
21.1 DeMarcus Cousins
20.6 Al Jefferson
20.0 J.J. Hickson
19.8 Dwight Howard (Starter)
19.9 Nikola Pekovic
19.9 Robin Lopez
19.1 Marc Gasol
16.6 DeAndre Jordan
16.5 Marcin Gortat
14.6 Omer Asik
8.3 Kendrick Perkins

Win Shares
5.8 Marc Gasol
5.6 Tim Duncan
4.3 Al Jefferson
3.9 J.J. Hickson
3.7 Dwight Howard (Starter)
3.4 Nikola Pekovic
3.1 Robin Lopez
3.0 DeAndre Jordan
3.0 Marcin Gortat
2.6 DeMarcus Cousins
2.4 Omer Asik
1.3 Kendrick Perkins

While the west is stacked at center just like the east, there isn't really a sizable gap between the PFs and Cs, while there also aren't any PFs playing out of position either (aside from J.J. Hickson, whose game is extremely ill-suited for PF).

Tim Duncan has had a resurgent season and will be voted in by the coaches, as it's been blatantly obvious to all except Lakers/Howard fans that Tim Duncan should be starting in this game.

Speaking of Howard, whose Lakers have one more win than the Sacramento Kings, it should say something that J.J. Hickson has outplayed him this season.  Howard's selection by the fans likely means that one of either Marc Gasol or Al Jefferson will be snubbed, as I think the majority of the basketball world is in agreement that Howard has not played at an all-star level (something the numbers also back up).

DeMarcus Cousins had a great PER but that's due to his high usage on his awful team.  He ranks 3rd worst among WS qualifiers.  I for one am not looking forward to the max contract extension he'll end up getting next summer.


Rashidi's West All-Stars
PG: Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Tony Parker
SG: Kobe Bryant, James Harden
SF: Kevin Durant
PF: Blake Griffin, David Lee, Zach Randolph
C: Dwight Howard, Tim Duncan, Marc Gasol

I personally would love to have Stephen Curry make the all-star team, but unfortunately coaches have to take three guards and four frontcourt players. Westbrook, Parker, and Harden have all had better seasons than Curry.  I opted not to take any other SFs besides Durant as there were simply too many deserving PFs and Cs.  Al Jefferson deserves to be an all-star but could not make it due to Howard's presence in the starting lineup.


Notable Non-Qualifiers
Kosta Koufos (C): 996 minutes, 17.0 PER, 3.8 WS
Manu Ginobili (SG): 896 minutes, 20.9 PER, 3.7 WS
Anthony Davis (PF): 845 minutes, 20.9 PER, 2.6 WS
Javale McGee (C): 839 minutes, 21.4 PER, 2.8 WS

Damian Lillard might be the favorite for Rookie of the Year, but as with Damon Stoudamire getting ROY over Kevin Garnett, you can bet that Anthony Davis will have the far better career.  The Brow missed some time with injury this season and is nowhere near his ceiling yet.  Don't be surprised if he makes the leap to All-Star status next season.

NBA 2K13 Roster Analysis 1/24/13

No player ratings were changed by 2K Sports this roster update (once again).  The main changes have been some minor player movement, although quite a few of them are missing.  The missing players list has also grown as D-Leaguer players continue to sign in the NBA faster than 2K Sports can seemingly keep up.

What might be the most significant change is that 2K removed the Acrobat signature skill from ALL players who had it.  I assume that the skill was game breaking.

All 20 players who lost the skill did not receive a replacement skill from 2K Sports.

Unfortunately, due to poor design users cannot remove signature skills from players without replacing them with another skill.  Only 2K can do this, for whatever reason.  Meaning if you likewise want to take Acrobat out of your roster as well, you'll need to find a skill to replace it with.

Kemba Walker (83/PG) - Bobcats
Brandon Jennings (83/PG) - Bucks
Monta Ellis (83/SG) - Bucks
Derrick Rose (92/PG) - Bulls
Kyrie Irving (85/PG) - Cavaliers
Jerryd Bayless (70/PG) - Grizzlies
Jeff Teague (75/PG) - Hawks
Dwyane Wade (91/SG) - Heat
Austin Rivers (71/SG) - Hornets
Tyreke Evans (80/SG) - Kings
Isaiah Thomas (75/PG) - Kings
Marcus Thompson (75/SG) - Kings
Andre Iguodala (83/SG) - Nuggets
D.J. Augustin (75/PG) - Pacers
Brandon Knight (73/PG) - Pistons
Manu Ginobili (86/SG) - Spurs
Tony Parker (84/PG) - Spurs
Russell Westbrook (90/PG) - Thunder
Damian Lillard (82/PG) - Trail Blazers
John Wall (82/PG) - Wizards



Player attribute edits per roster
1/24: 0
1/21: 0
1/17: 18
1/12: 2
1/5: 16
1/3: 1
12/25: 0
12/21: 0
12/18: 9
12/13: 1
12/8: 15
12/5: 14
11/17:  16



The big injury news is that Raymond Felton has been activated, and inserted into the Knicks' staritng lineup.  Frankly, I think it's absurd that Felton has been activated this early, as he had been targeting 1/26 as his return date, but it's unclear if he'll be ready for it.  Meanwhile Alexey Shved is day-to-day and practiced on Tuesday, but he's on the sidelines.  There isn't any consistency and 2K is once again favoring the big markets.

Minnesota's season-long decimation due to injury continues. Shved and Pekovic will be back in a few days but fans will be without them until then.  There are currently only 8 healthy players on the 2K rosters.  Mickael Gelabale and Chris Johnson have been playing big minutes, but 2K is unlikely to add either until they are signed for the duration of the season.  Johnson is averaging 10/4 w/ 1.7 mpg in only 17 mpg and is almost certainly a lock to stick.

Louis Williams also became the 5th NBA player to sustain an injury that will knock him out for the season.

Louis Williams (78/SG) - Hawks
Hedo Turkoglu (72/SF) - Magic (1/21 roster)
Nikola Pekovic (76/C) - Timberwolves (1/21 roster)
Alexey Shved (71/SG) - Timberwolves (1/21 roster)
Cartier Martin (67/SF) - Wizards

Raymond Felton (79/PG) - Knicks
Manu Ginobili (86/SG) - Spurs
Meyers Leonard (59/C) - Trail Blazers

Linas Kleiza (64/SF) - Raptors
Has not played since 12/28 due to a sore knee.

OUT FOR SEASON (5 total)
Anderson Varejao (76/C) - Cavaliers
Louis Williams (78/SG) - Hawks
Jordan Hill (70/C) - Lakers
Channing Frye (67/PF - Suns
Brandon Rush (71/SG) - Warriors

INJURED LIST (33 total)
76ers: Andrew Bynum (87/C)
Bobcats: Byron Mullens (69/PF)
Bucks: N/A
Bulls: Derrick Rose (92/PG)
Cavaliers: Anderson Varejao (76/C)
Celtics: N/A
Clippers: Chauncey Billups (81/PG), Trey Thompkins (63/PF)
Grizzlies: Quincy Pondexter (61/SF)
Hawks: Louis Williams (78/SG), Anthony Morrow (66/SG)
Heat: N/A
Hornets: N/A
Jazz: Mo Williams (78/PG), Raja Bell (71/SG)
Kings: N/A
Knicks:   Marcus Camby (73/C), Rasheed Wallace (71/PF)
Lakers: Jordan Hill (70/C), Steve Blake (68/PG)
Magic:  Hedo Turkoglu (72/SF), Al Harrington (71/PF)
Mavericks: N/A
Nets: N/A
Nuggets: N/A
Pacers: Danny Granger (83/SF)
Pistons: N/A
Raptors: Andrea Bargnani (73/PF), Jonas Valanciunas (68/C)
Rockets: Royce White (68/PF)
Spurs: N/A
Suns: Channing Frye (67/PF)
Thunder: N/A
Timberwolves: Kevin Love (89/PF), Brandon Roy (80/SG), Nikola Pekovic (76/C), Alexey Shved (71/SG), Chase Budinger (71/SF), Malcolm Lee (SG/65)
Trail Blazers: Elliot Williams (66/SG)
Warriors: Andrew Bogut (79/C), Brandon Rush (71/SG)
Wizards: Cartier Martin (67/SF)
Free Agent: Sam Young (68/SF)



Yesterday's 3-for-1 trade left the Grizzlies with only 11 players on their 2K roster.  The Grizz signed swingman Chris Johnson to a 10-day contract to get their roster up to 12, and will be working out various veterans to fill out the rest of the roster.  Memphis has already been linked to Delonte West, Bill Walker,  Samardo Samuels, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Josh Childress, and Sasha Vujacic

Marreese Speights (70/PF) from Grizzlies
Josh Selby (65/SG) from Grizzlies
Wayne Ellington (64/SG) from Grizzlies

Jon Leuer (63/PF) from Cavaliers

Jannero Pargo (64/PG) from Free Agents

Chris Andersen (66/C) from Free Agents

Damion James (SF) from Free Agents

Jeremy Pargo (PG) from Cavaliers
Lazar Hayward (SF) from Timberwolves



Maalik Wayns (63/PG) - 10-day contract expired, team opted to sign Shelvin Mack instead.

Josh Harrellson (54/C) - 10-day contract expired, team opted to sign Chris Andersen instead.

Donald Sloan (63/PG) - 10-day contract expired, team did not re-sign.

Damion James (70/SF) - 10-day contract expired, team did not re-sign.

Shelvin Mack (65/PG) - Was signed to 10-day contract on 1/17, three rosters ago.



No new players were added.


Kevin Jones (PF) - Cavaliers (15 games, 9.0 mpg)
Chris Johnson (SG/SF) - Grizzlies (1 games, 7.0 mpg)
Jarvis Varnado (PF) - Heat (7 games, 4.3 mpg)
Kevin Murphy (SG) - Jazz (5 games, 2.6 mpg)
Mike James (PG) - Mavericks (10 games, 10.9 mpg, played 539 games prior to this season)
Julyan Stone (PG/SG) - Nuggets (2 games, 5.5 mpg, played 22 games prior to this season)
Ben Hansbrough (PG/SG) - Pacers (16 games, 8.4 mpg)
Patrick Beverley (PG) - Rockets (6 games, 14.3 mpg)
Aron Baynes (C) - Spurs (0 games)
Diante Garrett (SG) - Suns (6 games, 5.0 mpg)
Mickael Gelabale (SF) Timberwolves (3 games, 20.7 mpg)
Chris Johnson (C/PF) - Timberwolves (3 games, 17.3 mpg, played 41 games prior to this season)
Kent Bazemore (SG/SF) - Warriors (26 games, 2.6 mpg)

Patrick Beverley has quickly supplanted Toney Douglas as the Rockets backup PG, and needs to be added to the game.  IIRC correctly, he was previously in an NBA 2K game despite not playing until this year, which should make his addition easier.

Mike James is clearly part of Dallas' rotation, and needs to be added.  He has been in previous 2K games and his re-addition to the game should not be particularly difficult.  He has been missing since last year though, so don't expect him to be added until he is signed for the rest of the season.

Mickael Gelabale and Chris Johnson have played extremely well for Minnesota, garnering a ton of minutes (for 10-day contract players) due to injuries.   Both need to be added, however 2K will likely only add one as the Wolves have 16 players on the roster with a game max of 15.  In my roster I simply released Brandon Roy, who is unlikely to play again (while also dropping his ridiculous 80 rating to avoid another team from signing him).



Jason Kidd (PG), Iman Shumpert (SG), Carmelo Anthony (SF), Amare Stoudemire (PF), Tyson Chandler (C)

Amare Stoudemire has yet to start a game since returning on 1/1.  It would be nice if 2K Sports also dropped his rating about 5 points (from a ridiculous 83) as he isn't anywhere near the athletic finisher he was during his prime.  Chris Copeland and Kurt Thomas have been drawing the majority of PF starts.

Jameer Nelson (PG), Arron Afflalo (SG), DeQuan Jones (SF), Andrew Nicholson (PF), Nikola Vucevic (C)

Glen Davis returned to the starting lineup on 1/16.  That's 4 games and 3 rosters ago.

A.J. Price (PG), Bradley Beal (SG), Trevor Ariza (SF), Trevor Booker (PF), Emeka Okafor (C)

Nene has been starting at PF and Booker hasn't started a game since 11/14.  On a side note, it's amusing to see John Wall on the bench while Amare starts for the Knicks.  Big market double standard much?


Liked the in-depth breakdown of 2K Sports' roster update?  Check out Rashidi's roster, The Real NBA 2K13.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

NBA 2K13 Roster Analysis 1/17/13

2K Sports released another comprehensive roster update for NBA 2K13, making up for a lackluster effort 5 days ago.  Numerous players have been edited, including the top two players in the league, LeBron James and Kevin Durant.  Who else saw adjustments?  Read on.

Editor's Note: I will also be running some online games, featuring players who had rating adjustments in this update.  Check out my stream on Twitch Friday afternoon.

Editor's Note: Two more players w/ rating changes, courtesy of deadchild.



Player attribute edits per roster
1/17: 18
1/12: 2
1/5: 16
1/3: 1
12/25: 0
12/21: 0
12/18: 9
12/13: 1
12/8: 15
12/5: 14
11/17:  16


Tyrus Thomas
Tyrus Thomas
70 Overall (-1)
68 Inside (-4)
72 Close (-14)
74 Med (-6)
73 FT (-3)

PER: 8.6
Inside: 3-12 (25.0%)
Close: 6-23 (26.0%)
Mid: 16-45 (35.6%)
3pt: 0-0 (N/A)
FT: 22-25 (88.0%)

PER: 9.0
Inside: 35-73 (47.9%)
Close: 36-103 (34.9%)
Mid: 48-148 (32.4%)
3pt: 1-3 (33.3%)
FT: 63-83 (75.9%)

I have no idea why Thomas' shot attributes weren't properly adjusted after last year's nightmare season, but it's good to see 2K come to their senses.  Thomas showed up out of shape after the lockout and has yet to recover.

As a bit of a nitpick, there was no need to reduce Thomas' FT rating.  Thomas is a career 73% shooter but that is due to the 60% he shot as a rookie.... SEVEN YEARS AGO.  Thomas is 192-244 (79.8%) over his last three seasons which is more relevant than his overall career rate.

Rashidi's Rating: 68


Monta Ellis
Monta Ellis
83 Overall (-2)
84 Inside (-2)
86 Close (-4)
86 Med (-5)
70 3pt (-6)
81 FT (+1)
74 Traffic (-4)
89 OffAwr (-3)

PER: 15.5
Inside: 110-182 (60.4%)
Close: 65-178 (36.5%)
Mid: 54-169 (32.0%)
3pt: 32-126 (25.4%)

PER: 17.5
Inside: 166-263 (63.1%)
Close: 105-263 (39.9%)
Mid: 117-313 (37.4%)
3pt: 62-201 (30.8%)

Monta Ellis is having a horrific offensive season and it seems everyone except for Monta Ellis is warming up to the idea that he isn't very good.

Monta Ellis have it all.  Except for an effective jump shot outside of 15 feet.  The numbers blatantly show how overrated Ellis has been overrated from mid-range, and despite 2K's decrease in this attribute he is still grossly overrated.

Rashidi's Rating: 83


Brandon Jennings
Brandon Jennings
83 Overall (+1)
83 Inside (-2)
83 3pt (+4)
84 FT (+3)
73 Traffic (+4)
82 Steal (+6)
88 Hands (+7)
89 OffAwr (+2)
80 Consistency (+15)
97 Stamina (+3)

PER: 17.2
Inside: 67-129 (51.9%)
Close: 62-160 (38.7%)
Mid: 44-115 (38.3%)
3pt: 73-203 (36.0%)
FT: 113-133 (85.0%)
STL%: 2.7

PER: 18.4
Inside: 168-294 (57.1%)
Close: 108-281 (38.4%)
Mid: 64-158 (40.5%)
3pt: 129-388 (33.2%)
FT: 193-239 (80.8%)
STL%: 2.3

The idea of Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis with 80 Consistency (equivalent to Chris Paul and 10 points higher than Dwyane Wade) is absolutely sickening.

Rashidi's Rating: 80


Jared Sullinger
Jared Sullinger
72 Overall (+3)
63 Close (-12)
75 FT (-2)
60 Block (+10)
58 Steal (+7)
76 Hands (+2)
85 OffReb (+7)
81 DefReb (+22)
83 Hustle (+9)

PER: 14.1
Inside: 55-79 (69.6%)
Close: 22-64 (34.3%)
Mid: 17-41 (41.5%)
3pt: 1-3 (33.3%)
BLK%: 2.2
STL%: 1.1
ORB%: 12.7
DRB%: 22.7

It was curious to see Sullinger with low rebound ratings to start the year, given that this was an obvious strength of his in NCAA.  2K fixed their mistake with this update, which will probably be the only one Sullinger receives for a full calendar year.

Rashidi's Rating: 71


Tony Allen
Tony Allen
76 Overall (+2)
81 Inside (-6)
90 OBDef (+3)
94 DefAwr (+4)
75 Consistency (+10)

PER: 11.5
Inside: 74-128 (57.8%)
Close: 15-45 (33.3%)
Mid: 22-71 (31.0%)
3pt: 0-11 (0.0%)

PER: 15.5
Inside: 152-261 (58.2%)
Close: 35-115 (30.4)
Mid: 33-86 (38.4%)
3pt: 8-31 (25.8%)

Allen gets increases to his defensive attributes that solidify him as the best defensive guard in the NBA... he also gets a higher Consistency rating than Dwyane Wade despite being in the middle of a putrid offensive season (I promise, I won't harp on this again, at least for the duration of this post).

Rashidi's Rating: 75


LeBron James
LeBron James
99 Overall (+1)
78 Steal (-2)
60 OffReb (+5)
77 DefReb (+9)

PER: 29.8 (1st in NBA)
Inside: 179-234 (76.5%)
Close: 80-173 (46.2%)
Mid: 62-148 (41.9%)
3pt: 49-123 (39.8%)
STL%: 2.3
ORB%: 4.2
DRB%: 20.3

PER: 30.7 (1st in NBA)
Inside: 418-549 (76.1%)
Close: 225-477 (47.1%)
Mid: 153-411 (37.2%)
3pt: 76-234 (32.5%)
STL%: 2.6
ORB%: 5.0
DRB%: 19.7

I'm shocked we didn't see more changes for LeBron as he is certainly worthy of them.  His jumpshot has noticeably improved this season, yet his 3pt rating has gone completely untouched.

LeBron hit another milestone this week - he is the youngest player to hit 20,000 points in his career.  He also racked up his 5,000th assist in the same game.  What does the man need to do to get a 99 Offensive Awareness rating?  Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, and Dirk Nowitzki have it and they sure as hell aren't 10th in the league in assists per game whilst scoring at a high rate.

I'm pretty sure all 2K did was look at LeBron's ratings versus Kevin Durant's and say "Hmm... we probably shouldn't have LeBron with lower rebound ratings than Durant... okay let's give them IDENTICAL rebound ratings so nobody gets mad".

For those who foolishly complain about LeBron's 99 Overall rating, be advised that your beloved Michael Jordan (1996 version) is 104 Overall.  99 Overall has NEVER meant "maximum ratings" or "perfect player".

Rashidi's Rating: 99


Robin Lopez
Robin Lopez
69 Overall (+4)
70 Med (+4)
78 FT (+7)
63 Dunk (+5)
52 Traffic (+3)
55 Fade (+5)
29 Pass (+4)
72 OffPost (+3)
75 DefPost (+2)
51 OffAwr (+11)
80 DefAwr (+1)
50 Consistency (+25)
74 Stamina (+2)
82 Hustle (+2)
78 Durability (+8)

PER: 20.5
Inside: 111-153 (72.5%)
Close: 68-170 (40.0%)
Mid: 13-24 (54.2%)
3pt: 0-0 (N/A)
FT: 68-86 (79.1%)
AST%: 6.0

PER: 15.2
Inside: 70-111 (63.1%)
Close: 44-131 (33.5%)
Mid: 10-27 (37.0%)
3pt: 0-0 (N/A)
FT: 100-140 (71.4%)
AST%: 3.4

While a slight boost to Lopez's Medium shot was nice, his Inside and Close shot ratings went completely untouched and his improvements in those areas are the main reason why Lopez is one of the NBA's most improved players.

I would also gander that a player averaging 12 points in only 26 minutes is worthy of slightly more than 51 Offensive Awareness, lest 2K thinks Lopez gets his points from dumb luck.  Even with an 11-point improvement, he still has the lowest mark on the Hornets (who employ Al-Farouq Aminu, Xavier Henry, and Lance Thomas).

Rashidi's Rating: 77


Steve Nash
Steve Nash
85 Overall (-2)
94 Pass (-4)
67 DefAwr (-4)
90 Consistency (-5)

PER: 17.2
Inside: 11-18 (61.1%)
Close: 23-41 (56.0%)
Mid: 13-22 (59.1%)
3pt: 11-33 (33.3%)
AST%: 42.1

PER: 20.3
Inside: 77-104 (74.0%)
Close: 77-150 (51.3%)
Mid: 86-160 (53.7%)
3pt: 55-141 (39.0%)
AST%: 53.1 (lead league)

I expect more edits for Nash as 2K slowly accounts for his decline.  The next rating to drop will probably be his Inside shot and Layup ratings.  It is also time to decrease Nash's 99 Offensive Awareness, as he is unlikely to be a top-tier offensive player again (certainly not with the Lakers).

Rashidi's Rating: 81


Earl Clark
Earl Clark
67 Overall (+3)
76 Med (+3)
63 3pt (+8)
75 FT (+11)
61 Traffic (+3)
42 Pass (+8)
66 DefReb (+5)
65 DefAwr (+4)
35 Consistency (+10)
80 Stamina (+4)
66 Speed (+4)
69 Quickness (+3)

PER: 16.6
Inside: 12-19 (63.2%)
Close: 3-12 (25.0%)
Mid: 10-22 (45.5%)
3pt: 2-4 (50.0%)
FT: 9-12 (75.0%)
AST%: 14.9
DRB%: 26.4

PER: 8.1
Inside: 32-57 (56.1%)
Close: 13-44 (29.5%)
Mid: 14-56 (25.0%)
3pt: 0-0 (N/A)
FT: 21-29 (72.4%)
AST%: 5.2
DRB%: 18.6

Clark's numbers should be taken with a heavy grain of salt, as he's only played 188 minutes on the season and 1,588 total in his 4-year career.

Rashidi's Rating: N/A


Devin Ebanks
Devin Ebanks
64 Overall (-1)
73 Inside (-6)
71 Med (-8)
53 3pt (+21)
72 FT (+2)
58 Steal (-6)
61 Hands (-7)
72 OBD (-6)
60 DefAwr (-4)

PER: 5.9
Inside: 9-16 (56.2%)
Close: 1-12 (8.3%)
Mid: 6-19 (31.6%)
3pt: 5-18 (27.8%)
STL%: 0.8

PER: 8.3
Inside: 25-45 (55.6%)
Close: 8-29 (27.5%)
Mid: 20-42 (47.6%)
3pt: 0-12 (0.0%)
STL%: 1.5

Lakers scrubs who don't even get court-time can get rating edits from 2K Sports, but not Tyson Chandler, Steve Novak, Tiago Splitter, Matt Bonner, Nick Collison, Hasheem Thabeet, Marvin Williams, A.J. Price, Lavoy Allen, etc, etc, etc.

Rashidi's Rating: N/A


Gerald Wallace
Gerald Wallace
77 Overall (-4)
72 Close (+4)
60 Med (-7)
68 FT (-12)
83 Layup (-6)
86 Dunk (-8)
67 SOD (-5)
76 Steal (+2)
77 OBD (-4)
57 OffReb (-3)
70 DefReb (-4)
66 OffAwr (-6)
77 DefAwr (-3)
50 Consistency (-10)
66 Durability (-4)

PER: 13.9
Inside: 47-81 (58.0%)
Close: 13-31 (41.9%)
Mid: 4-21 (19.0%)
3pt: 26-78 (33.3%)
FT: 71-107 (66.4%)
STL%: 2.4
ORB%: 3.4
DRB%: 17.2

PER: 15.9
Inside: 184-312 (59.0%)
Close: 27-86 (31.3%)
Mid: 30-84 (35.7%)
3pt: 46-150 (30.7%)
FT: 180-225 (80.0%)
STL%: 2.2
ORB%: 4.8
DRB%: 16.9

Wallace's athleticism has declined with age, and while his Layup and Dunk ratings should be even lower, it's a step in the right direction by 2K Sports.  Wallace also has never really been a lock-down defender, instead gaining his reputation from steals and blocks (ala Josh Smith), so the decrease to his On-Ball Defense and Defensive Awareness has been warranted for a few years now.

The main reason Wallace has struggled this season is the evaporation of his already suspect jump shot.  When you combine that with his diminishing ability to finish, it's a recipe for decline.  The Nets have played better under P.J. Carlesimo and part of the reason why, according to BBall Breakdown, is that Wallace is playing 6.5 fewer minutes per game than he was under Avery Johnson.

Rashidi's Rating: 77


Kosta Koufos
Kosta Koufos
64 Overall (+7)
82 Inside (-14)
75 Close (+5)
45 Med (+10)
58 FT (-2)
60 Dunk (+9)
83 Block (+4)
53 OffAwr (+10)
72 DefAwr (+38)
40 Consistency (+15)
79 Hustle (+27)

PER: 17.3
Inside: 113-164 (68.9%)
Close: 34-79 (43.0%)
Mid: 0-2 (0.0%)
3pt: 0-1 (0.0%)
FT: 30-52 (57.7%)
BLK%: 5.1

PER: 17.3
Inside: 96-141 (68.1%)
Close: 20-53 (37.7%)
Mid: 0-1 (0.0%)
3pt: 0-0 (N/A)
FT: 33-55 (60.0%)
BLK%: 4.1

Imagine a world where 2K would go through every role player and say "Hmm... does any NBA really deserve sub-40s Defensive Awareness or 25 Consistency?"  No NBA player deserves ratings this low if they made it to the NBA, especially one who has been starting for the past year.  The result is when a player finally does get a chance, they end up being underrated by 2K for a substantial amount of time, while players who have long-since fallen out of the rotation (say, 3rd string center Timofey Mozgov) will continue to have higher ratings.

Rashidi's Rating: 71


Paul George
Paul George
83 Overall (+2)
82 FT (-1)
74 Traffic (+2)
76 Handle (+2)
70 OHD (+2)
68 Security (+3)
64 Pass (+5)
55 Block (+5)
78 Steal (+4)
79 Hands (+5)
66 OffReb (+10)
73 DefReb (+3)
84 OffAwr (+1)
82 DefAwr (+1)
75 Consistency (+5)
92 Stamina (+2)
83 Durability (+4)
88 Potential (+3)
50 Emotion (+5)

PER: 16.9
Inside: 93-152 (61.2%)
Close: 42-128 (32.8%)
Mid: 32-92 (34.8%)
3pt: 79-214 (36.9%)
AST%: 18.9
BLK%: 1.4
STL%: 2.5
ORB%: 3.8
DRB%: 19.4

PER: 16.5
Inside: 138-225 (61.3%)
Close: 46-128 (35.9%)
Mid: 33-106 (31.1%)
3pt: 101-275 (36.7%)

AST%: 13.6
BLK%: 1.5
STL%: 2.9
ORB%: 3.2
DRB%: 17.9

George has seen rating improvements in 3 of the last 4 roster updates, and hopefully this is the last one for awhile.  In his last update we saw his shot ratings improved, while in this update he saw improvements to just about all of his other ratings.

With that said, I don't agree with his rating at all, as it puts him on par with Danny Granger who has thus far proven to be a better player.  The usual 2K ratings are inflated (Offensive Rebounds and Blocks) to make George appear better than he really is.

Rashidi's Rating: 81


George Hill
George Hill
75 Overall (+1)
72 Pass (+8)

PER: 16.3
Inside: 66-104 (63.5%)
Close: 50-111 (45.0%)
Mid: 21-75 (28.0%)
3pt: 59-172 (34.3%)
AST%: 25.4

PER: 15.7
Inside: 59-96 (61.5%)
Close: 53-114 (46.4%)
Mid: 34-88 (38.6%)
3pt: 69-187 (36.9%)
AST%: 18.8

A 2K update wouldn't be complete without a player getting an adjustment that touched on only one of his attributes.  Hill's assist rate has gone up, in part because he no longer plays off-guard next to Darren Collison (or Tony Parker, during his time with the Spurs).  The main reason 2K even bothered to update Hill is he had a lower overall rating than his backup, D.J. Augustin, who has played so poorly that he's lost his rotation spot to the likes of Ben Hansbrough.  On that note, where is Augustin's rating drop?

Rashidi's Rating: 79


Gerald Green
Gerald Green
70 Overall (-6)
80 Inside (-8)
79 Close (-9)
74 Med (-8)
75 3pt (-6)
78 FT (-2)
58 Fade (-22)
44 Hook (-6)
58 Block (+18)
52 Steal (-15)
45 DefReb (-3)
55 OffPost (-13)
66 OffAwr (-6)
52 DefAwr (-4)
40 Consistency (-20)
97 Vertical (+2)

PER: 7.9
Inside: 25-37 (67.6%)
Close: 21-60 (35.0%)
Mid: 19-60 (31.7%)
3pt: 40-140 (28.6%)
FT: 38-48 (79.2%)
BLK%: 1.6
STL%: 0.6
DRB%: 10.5

PER: 15.8
Inside: 39-53 (73.6%)
Close: 41-78 (52.5%)
Mid: 31-79 (39.2%)
3pt: 43-110 (39.1%)

FT: 49-65 (75.4%)
BLK%: 1.7
STL%: 1.9
DRB%: 14.2

Green was a feel good story last season, triumphantly returning from the D-League, but that was then and this is now.  To say Green has struggled to fit with the Pacers is an understatement.  He showed off a stellar post game last season with the Nets, but has been unable to replicate his success with the Pacers, while also struggling to shoot from distance.  With Danny Granger set to return in about a month, Green's spot in the rotation clings by a thread.

Rashidi's Rating: 71


Ed Davis
Ed Davis
71 Overall (+3)
90 Inside (+2)
70 Med (+16)
80 OffReb (+2)
67 DefPost (+4)
57 OffAwr (+11)
69 DefAwr (+2)
50 Consistency (+5)
80 Stamina (+2)
85 Hustle (+5)

PER: 18.1
Inside: 71-97 (73.2%)
Close: 70-151 (46.3%)
Mid: 5-20 (25.0%)
3pt: 0-0 (N/A)
ORB%: 10.7

PER: 14.2
Inside: 101-131 (77.1%)
Close: 63-172 (36.6%)
Mid: 8-31 (25.8%)
3pt: 0-0 (N/A)
ORB%: 10.4

Davis has been having a fine season, and the Raptors have played much better with him in the lineup instead of (injured) Andrea Bargnani.

While it's good of 2K to notice this, they went about it the wrong way, increasing the wrong shooting attribute (Close, instead of Medium).  Davis is an obviously weak shooter from distance, annually  hovering around 25% on limited attempts.  Davis plays like a center on the offensive end, but this adjustment will have him play more like a poor man's David West.

Rashidi's Rating: 76


Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant
95 Overall (+1)
93 Inside (+2)
94 Close (+2)
92 Med (+2)
90 FT (+4)
84 Dunk (+2)
87 Handle (+3)
83 OHD (+3)
86 Security (+2)
68 Pass (+16)
73 Block (+2)
70 Steal (+2)
78 DefReb (-4)
97 Stamina (+3)
92 Durability (+2)

PER: 28.8 (2nd in NBA)
Inside: 130-175 (74.3%)
Close: 120-241 (49.7%)
Mid: 51-117 (43.6%)
3pt: 70-174 (40.2%)
AST%: 20.2
BLK%: 2.6
STL%: 2.1
DRB%: 19.2

PER: 26.2 (4th in NBA)
Inside: 263-364 (72.3%)
Close: 260-575 (45.2%)
Mid: 144-287 (50.2%)
3pt: 174-454 (38.3%)
AST%: 17.5
BLK%: 2.2
STL%: 1.8
DRB%: 20.4

Oklahoma City made season-defining headlines when they traded James Harden for Kevin Martin prior to the season opener.  Harden is clearly a better player than Martin, but the Thunder have played at just as high of a level without Harden because Kevin Durant has filled Harden's shoes, diversifying his game and acting more as a facilitator this season.

The result is Durant has solidified himself as the 2nd best player in the NBA behind LeBron (a gap that grows slimmer with each passing day), and should be considered the favorite for league MVP based on his team's success in the tougher Western Conference.

Rashidi's Rating: 96


LaMarcus Aldridge
LaMarcus Aldridge
86 Overall (0)
88 Med (-4)

PER: 19.4
Inside: 90-131 (68.7%)
Close: 103-261 (39.4%)
Mid: 106-264 (40.2%)
3pt: 0-9 (0.0%)

PER: 22.7
Inside: 182-265 (68.7%)
Close: 168-365 (46.0%)
Mid: 131-302 (43.4%)
3pt: 2-11 (18.2%)

The fact that Aldridge's Close shot went down by only 4 points (while none of his other ratings changed) is an absolute joke.  He has not been himself this year and the team would be dead in the water if not for explosive production from rookie Damian Lillard.  Overall Aldridge is shooting

Rashidi's Rating: 85



Many key players recovered from injury this week.  Lakers fans will be happy to have access to Howard and Gasol again (even though they'll still take 30 shots per game with Kobe), while Knicks fans will be happy as hell to see Iman Shumpert back.  They won't have to use James White or Ronnie Brewer at PG anymore for their cheesy dunks and can instead use a semi-legitimate PG now.

Manu Ginobili (86/SG, Spurs)

Chris Wilcox (64/PF, Celtics)
Marvin Williams (66/SF, Jazz)
Iman Shumpert (80/SG, Knicks)
Dwight Howard (92/C, Lakers)
Pau Gasol (81/PF, Lakers)
Glen Davis (73/PF, Magic)
Wilson Chandler (80/SF, Nuggets)

76ers: Andrew Bynum (87/C)
Bobcats: Byron Mullens (69/PF)
Bucks: N/A
Bulls: Derrick Rose (92/PG)
Cavaliers: Anderson Varejao (76/C)
Celtics: N/A
Clippers: Chauncey Billups (81/PG), Trey Thompkins (63/PF)
Grizzlies: Quincy Pondexter (61/SF)
Hawks: Anthony Morrow (66/SG)
Heat: N/A
Hornets: N/A
Jazz: Mo Williams (78/PG), Raja Bell (71/SG)
Kings: N/A
Knicks:  Raymond Felton (79/PG), Marcus Camby (73/C), Rasheed Wallace (71/PF)
Lakers: Jordan Hill (70/C), Steve Blake (68/PG)
Magic:  Al Harrington (71/PF)
Mavericks: N/A
Nets: N/A
Nuggets: N/A
Pacers: Danny Granger (83/SF)
Pistons: N/A
Raptors: Andrea Bargnani (73/PF), Jonas Valanciunas (68/C)
Rockets: Royce White (68/PF)
Spurs: Manu Ginobili (86/SG)
Suns: Channing Frye (67/PF)
Thunder: N/A
Timberwolves: Kevin Love (89/PF), Brandon Roy (80/SG), Chase Budinger (71/SF), Malcolm Lee (SG/65)
Trail Blazers: Elliot Williams (66/SG), Meyers Leonard (59/C)
Warriors: Andrew Bogut (79/C), Brandon Rush (71/SG)
Wizards: N/A
Free Agent: Sam Young (68/SF)



Damion James (SF) from Free Agents



No new players were added.


Kevin Jones (PF) - Cavaliers (14 games, 9.5 mpg)
Jarvis Varnado (PF) - Heat (7 games, 4.3 mpg)
Kevin Murphy (SG) - Jazz (4 games, 3.0 mpg)
Mike James (PG) - Mavericks (5 games, 8.2 mpg, 539 games played prior to this season)
Julyan Stone (PG/SG) - Nuggets (2 games, 5.5 mpg, played 22 games and 8.1 mpg last season)
Ben Hansbrough (PG/SG) - Pacers (15 games, 8.9 mpg)
Patrick Beverley (PG) - Rockets (2 games, 7.5 mpg)
Diante Garrett (SG) - Suns (6 games, 5.0 mpg)
Kent Bazemore (SG/SF) - Warriors (22 games, 2.7 mpg)

Mike James has been in previous 2K games and his re-addition to the game should not be particularly difficult.  He has been missing since last year though, so don't expect him to be added until he is signed for the rest of the season.

Kevin Jones' minutes are on the rise due to Anderson Varejao's injury, and he will be the next player 2K absolutely needs to add to their roster.



Only two lineups were off this week so it's good to see 2K finally get this area under control.

Jeff Teague (PG), Louis Williams (SG), Kyle Korver (SF), Josh Smith (PF), Al Horford (C)
Devin Harris has been starting at SG since 1/11 (four games ago).

Jason Kidd (PG), Ronnie Brewer (SG), Carmelo Anthony (SF), Amare Stoudemire (PF), Tyson Chandler (C)
It has been widely reported that Amare Stoudemire will be coming off the bench for the foreseeable future, yet he has been starting in 2K's roster since 1/3.  Marcus Camby (prior to injury), Kurt Thomas, and Chris Copeland have been drawing all the PF starts since Amare returned.
Brewer also lost his starting job and James White had been drawing starts prior to Iman Shumperts return today. This begs another question: Why would 2K start a healthy Amare but not a healthy Shumpert?


Liked the in-depth breakdown of 2K Sports' roster update?  Check out Rashidi's roster, The Real NBA 2K13.