Monday, November 14, 2016

NBA 2K17 Roster Analysis (11/14/16)

2K Sports has finally begun releasing roster updates after a bug prevented them from doing so at the beginning of the regular season.  Reviewing the changes they have made... (if anyone has data on the specific attributes, I did not have time to comb through, but would gladly post and share it).

PHILADELPHIA 76ERS
80/C Joel Embiid (+3)
76/PG Sergio Rodriguez (+2)
75/SF Robert Covington (-1)
74/PF Dario Saric (-1)

The Sixers finally have a franchise player in Embiid (23.5 PER), and he looks to be quickly locking up the Rookie of the Year award just two weeks into the season.  He has displayed a surprising shooting touch (7-12 3PT and 79 FT%) and his block rate would lead the league if he played enough minutes to qualify.  That will come with time.  The rest of the team is still as ineffective offensively as ever, and will remain so until Ben Simmons returns from injury.

MILWAUKEE BUCKS
85/SF Giannis Antetokounmpo (+2)
79/PF Jabari Parker (+1)
74/C John Henson (-2)
72/SG Rashad Vaughn (+3)
71/C Miles Plumlee (-2)

The Greek Freak is leapfrogging a number of his peers this season and will realistically finish the season in Paul George territory (89-90 OVR).  That will hold especially true if the Bucks remain a playoff team heading into the All-Star break.

Rashad Vaughn had the worst rookie season of any first round pick but is quickly rectifying that in his sophomore.  He's providing the scoring and shooting the Bucks expected out of O.J. Mayo for three years.

CHICAGO BULLS
79/PG Rajon Rondo (-2)
72/PG Jerian Grant (+3)

Much to the surprise of everyone, the Bulls have been a good offensive team, almost entirely ue to Dwyane Wade being a much better outside shooter than anticipated.  Rajon Rondo on the other hand has not been able to defy expectations, his broken jumper making him an exceptionally poor fit next to two ball-dominant wings.

Jerian Grant's rating boost has nothing to do with his play on the court (36 TS% in 45 minutes).  It's Isaiah Canaan who has been offering the Bulls relief from Rondo's awful shooting.

CLEVELAND CAVALIERS
84/PF Kevin Love (+2)

The champs have looked great thanks to the contributions of their big three.  LeBron is averaging close to a triple double (23/9/9) and is probably worth more than that - his value transcends conventional statistics, and he has cemented himself as the best player in the world until further notice.  Love (21/10/1) is outperforming Kyrie Irving (23/4/4) right now, the latter of whom is still somehow 89 OVR (on par with Damian Lillard).

BOSTON CELTICS
86/PG Isaiah Thomas (+1)
83/SG Avery Bradley (+1)
75/SF Jaylen Brown (+1)
72/PF Jonas Jerebko (-1)
71/PF Jordan Mickey (+1)
70/PG Terry Rozier (-1)

Thomas and Bradley are having career years, although the absence of Jae Crowder and Al Horford due to injury has helped inflate their numbers a bit to start the year.

LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS
75/PG Raymond Felton (+1)

The Clippers have been the best team in the NBA to start the year, and it hasn't been remotely close (a staggering 15.6 SRS).  They have done this on the back of the stingiest defense in the league (94.7 Points Allowed per 100 possessions - that's a 9 points better than last season when the Clippers finished 8th).

Chris Paul (32.0 PER) has reclaimed the title of best point guard in the NBA, while DeAndre Jordan is staking his claim for Defensive Player of the Year.  Yet with all of this said, it's completely predictable that 2K Sports wouldn't notice any of this, which is why Raymond Felton is the team's lone mover.

MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES
74/SF James Ennis (+3)
71/PF Deyonta Davis (+2)

Ennis played as well as could be expected in the absence of Chandler Parsons, but the team has been awful (27th) offensively.  That should be expected when the bench is lead by a 35-year old (Zach Randolph) and a 40-year old (Vince Carter).

ATLANTA HAWKS
86/C Dwight Howard (+2)
75/SG Kyle Korver (-1)
73/SG Tim Hardaway Jr (+2)
72/PG Malcolm Delaney (+4)

The Hawks are the 2nd best defensive team in the league and Dwight Howard is back and in a big way.  Howard has relentlessly attacked the offensive glass (rather than call for the ball in post ups) and the result is the best offensive rebound rate we've seen out of a star big man since Moses Malone.

Tim Hardaway Jr had a promising rookie season before stumbling for two years.  He's finally come into his own and should be the long-term SG in Atlanta with Korver turning 36 in March.

MIAMI HEAT
86/C Hassan Whiteside (+1)
81/PG Goran Dragic (+3)
76/SF Justise Winslow (-1)
76/SG Tyler Johnson (+1)
70/PF Udonis Haslem (+1)

The Heat are still playing hard defense under Erik Spoelstra (7th in the NBA) but the offensive talent just isn't there in the wake of Dwyane Wade's departure (28th in offensive efficiency).  Justise Winslow has really struggled and Dion Waiters has been a disaster.  Both players have a True Shooting Percentage of 39.6%.  While Whiteside and Dragic have played well the Heat just haven't been able to find a 3rd player capable of putting the ball in the basket.

CHARLOTTE HORNETS
86/PG Kemba Walker (+1)
79/SF Nicolas Batum (-1)
74/PG Ramon Sessions (-1)
74/C Roy Hibbert (+1)
74/C Spencer Hawes (+2)
74/SG Jeremy Lamb (-2)
73/C Frank Kaminsky (+1)
72/PG Brian Roberts (+1)
69/PF Christian Wood (+1)

If it weren't for what Russell Westbrook is doing in OKC, we would be talking about Kemba Walker and the Hornets, and how they are giving their best impression of Allen Iverson and the 2001 Sixers right now.  Kemba isn't as good as Westbrook, but the Hornets are probably a better overall team than the Thunder.  It would not be surprising to see them earn home-court advantage in the first round come April.

UTAH JAZZ
83/PF Derrick Favors (-2)
80/PG George Hill (+4)
78/SF Joe Johnson (+1)

George Hill is back to doing what he did with the Pacers when Paul George was sidelined the entire season with injury and he nearly lead them to the playoffs.  Utah's time is here and they're a near lock to make the playoffs this season.

SACRAMENTO KINGS
75/SG Arron Afflalo (-1)

The Kings continue to tread the line of mediocrity and awfulness that the franchise has been known for.  DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay (career best 23.1 PER) have put up numbers in a two-man attack, but both players are auditioning for other teams at this point.

NEW YORK KNICKS
82/PF Kristaps Porzingis (+1)
76/SG Courtney Lee (-1)

The Knicks have been the worst defensive team in the NBA... what is it going to take for 2K to ever drop the ratings of Carmelo Anthony (88 OVR, 20.5 PER) and Derrick Rose (80 OVR, 14.5 PER)?

LOS ANGELES LAKERS
78/PF Julius Randle (+1)
77/SF Luol Deng (-1)
77/PF Larry Nance Jr (+2)
76/SF Brandon Ingram (-2)
74/SG Nick Young (+4)
74/PG Jose Calderon (-3)

The Lakers are playing much better now that Kobe's retirement tour is over, and a lot of credit goes to Luke Walton for getting this team clicking on all cylinders..  Russell and especially Randle have played with more offensive freedom.  Lou Williams is back to doing Sweet Lou things.  Even Nick Young, who was nearly cut by the Lakers in September, is suddenly having a career year and looks like an actual legitimate starting SG.

ORLANDO MAGIC
77/PF Aaron Gordon (+1)
76/C Bismack Biyombo (-1)
68/SG C.J. Wilcox (+1)

Orlando just hasn't been able to get it going offensively (29th), with only three players posting a TS% greater than 50%.

DALLAS MAVERICKS
80/SF Harrison Barnes (+1)
78/PG J.J. Barea (+2)
76/SG Wesley Matthews (-2)
76/C Andrew Bogut (-1)

Dallas doesn't look much like a playoff team this season, as Dirk Nowitzki has been sidelined and only Barnes and Barea have been playing well.

BROOKLYN NETS
76/SG Sean Kilpatrick (+5)
72/C Justin Hamilton (+2)
66/PG Yogi Ferrell (NEW)

Kenny Atkinson quietly has the Nets in 9th place despite an injury to Jeremy Lin and no discernible backup.  Kilpatrick is the big mover in this roster update and it's nice to see him finally get recognition for what he's done on the court dating back to last season.

Hamilton is 2nd in the league in TS% sandwiched between Steph Curry and Kevin Durant (send a memo to Warriors GM Bob Myers).

DENVER NUGGETS
79/PF Kenneth Faried (-1)
76/C Jusef Nurkic (+1)

Nurkic is playing some of his best basketball after an injury-riddled sophomore season.  Faried recently returned to the starting lineup and his rating decrease will likely be short-lived.

INDIANA PACERS
80/C Myles Turner (+2)
77/PG Jeff Teague (-2)
76/C Al Jefferson (-3)

The Pacers are finding out just how valuable Frank Vogel was, as they are 26th defensively under Nate McMillian.  Myles Turner is breaking out, but Teague and Monta Ellis have been a very inefficient backcourt, and the Pacers are finding out just how much they undervalued George Hill.

NEW ORLEANS PELICANS
91/PF Anthony Davis (+1)
74/PG Tim Frazier (+4)

These are basically the only two players with a pulse in New Orleans.  It's worth noting Frazier ranks 5th in the league in Assist rate.  He's a capable backup and the Hornets could run him and Jrue Holiday together in spurts once Holiday returns to the team.

DETROIT PISTONS
86/C Andre Drummond (-1)
79/SF Tobias Harris (+1)
78/SF Marcus Morris (+2)
73/SF Stanley Johnson (-3)

The Pistons are playing tough defense (5th) for Stan Van Gundy, but are strapped offensively until Reggie Jackson comes back.  Andre Drummond's rating dropped but he has actually improved the biggest weakness in his game - FT shooting - by 18 percentage points (53% from 35%)

TORONTO RAPTORS
88/SG DeMar DeRozan (+1)
85/PG Kyle Lowry (-1)
76/SF Terrence Ross (+1)
69/PF Pascal Siakam (+2)

DeRozan is leading the league in scoring, but that isn't likely to hold up if he doesn't start hitting some threes.  His production has come largely at the expense of Kyle Lowry's numbers.  With DeMarre Carroll and Patrick Patterson also struggling SOMEONE needs to start hitting threes in Toronto.  They rank 29th in 3pt% after ranking 5th last season.  They are 7-2 now with the 4th best offense but it's only a matter of time before DeRozan's unsustainable hot hand falls off.

HOUSTON ROCKETS
91/SG James Harden (+1)
77/PF Ryan Anderson (-2)

Harden is currently posting the best Assist rate of all-time (62%), while also inexplicably averaging 30 PPG.  If only Kobe Bryant bought into what Mike D'Antoni was doing!

SAN ANTONIO SPURS
95/SF Kawhi Leonard (+2)

Leonard has carried the torch from Tim Duncan and should be an MVP candidate for the foreseeable future.  It's still tough to believe he was drafted outside the lottery back in 2009.

PHOENIX SUNS
83/PG Eric Bledsoe (-2)
81/SG Devin Booker (+3)
80/SF T.J. Warren (+3)
76/PG Brandon Knight (-2)

Bledsoe hasn't quite been the same since returning from last season's injury.  It's clear this team is transitioning to the younger Warren and Booker.  Brandon Knight has been a train wreck since joining Phoenix and hasn't filled the shoes of Goran Dragic in the slightest.

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER
94/PG Russell Westbrook (+1)
78/SG Victor Oladipo (-1)
72/C Domantas Sabonis (+1)

Westbrook is averaging 31/9/10 and might be the first modern player to achieve Oscar Robertson's mythical season (to be fair, LeBron and Westbrook are vastly better rebounders than Roberson and would have averaged 12-15 rebounds in the 60s simply due to pace).

MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES
79/SG Zach LaVine (+1)
76/PG Kris Dunn (-1)

Don't look now but the Wolves are the league's 3rd best offensive team.  A lot of that has to do with Andrew Wiggins breaking out, but Zach LaVine has also been very efficient (60 TS% thanks to 46 3PT% and 86 FT%).  Kris Dunn hasn't looked very good but he's been holding down the fort with Rubio sidelined.

PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS
76/SF Evan Turner (-1)
70/SF Jake Layman (+2)

Turner is struggling to fit in Portland, partially because Maurice Harkless has been so much better than expected (naturally, 2K still has him down at 72 OVR).

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
94/SF Kevin Durant (+1)
88/SG Klay Thompson (-2)
80/SF Andre Iguodala (-1)

It goes without saying that Golden State is the league's best offensive team, but they will need to improve their defense (17th) to do any damage in the playoffs.  The team didn't value Andrew Bogut's contributions nearly enough and will need to find a rim protecting replacement.

Klay Thompson didn't deserve to be 90 OVR last season, and he certainly doesn't deserve it now.  Klay had a cold spell to start the regular season, but the presence of Durant has exposed Klay's limitations a bit.

WASHINGTON WIZARDS

73/PG Tomas Satoransky (+1)

Well that was lazy (just like the Wizards, so appropriate).

NBA TOP TEN
96/SF LeBron James
95/SF Kawhi Leonard (+2)
94/SF Kevin Durant (+1)
94/PG Russell Westbrook (+1)
94/PG Stephen Curry
91/PF Anthony Davis (+1)
91/PG Chris Paul
91/SG James Harden (+1)
90/C DeMarcus Cousins
89/PG Damian Lillard

POINT GUARDS
94/PG Russell Westbrook (+1)
94/PG Stephen Curry
91/PG Chris Paul
89/PG Damian Lillard
89/PG Kyrie Irving

SHOOTING GUARDS
91/SG James Harden (+1)
88/SG DeMar DeRozan (+1)
88/SG Jimmy Butler
88/SG Klay Thompson (-2)
87/SG Dwyane Wade

SMALL FORWARDS
96/SF LeBron James
95/SF Kawhi Leonard (+1)
94/SF Kevin Durant (+1)
89/SF Paul George
88/SF Carmelo Anthony

POWER FORWARDS
91/PF Anthony Davis (+1)
90/PF Draymond Green
88/PF LaMarcus Aldridge
87/PF Blake Griffin
86/PF Paul Millsap

CENTERS
90/C DeMarcus Cousins
88/C Karl-Anthony Towns
86/C Dwight Howard (+2)
86/C Hassan Whiteside (+1)
86/C Andre Drummond (-1)

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