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How Does Jrue Stack Up?

Good stuff. I thought he'd measure out a little higher overall, but I'm satisfied. If he's still there this time next year, I'll be worried.

In the mean time, I need to see two things out of Jrue.

1. The excellent play we saw for a decent stretch while Iguodala was out (and the game prior and after), I need to see that for an extended stretch when Iguodala is in the lineup.

2. I need to see him being the team's PG for and entire game. Not just the first 43 minutes or so.

Neither of those things may be his fault, but it's really hard for me to project anything if he's being marginalized.

I dont have a problem with Jrue taking off his point guard hat at certain moments of the game. It seems he has the instincts to know when the team needs him to get a good shot. When A. Miller came to Philly he was a more established point than Jrue but he knew for this team he had to take on more of a scoring role. That's what leaders should do.

My question is to your first point, what happens if Jrue can't play at the same level with Iguodala on the floor?

I dont have a problem with Jrue taking off his point guard hat at certain moments of the game. It seems he has the instincts to know when the team needs him to get a good shot. When A. Miller came to Philly he was a more established point than Jrue but he knew for this team he had to take on more of a scoring role. That's what leaders should do.

My question is to your first point, what happens if Jrue can't play at the same level with Iguodala on the floor?

If he's still there this time next year, I'll be worried.

If you compare his rookie year to this year, things are trending in the right direction for the most part: assist rate is up, turnover rate is down, TS% is up, FT% is up, opponent eFG% is down. I'd imagine he'll be above average by next year if the trends continue.

I do think Sixer fans tend to grade Jrue on a (generous) curve, compared to the other players on the Sixers (the team we all watch closely, after all). So Jrue seems like a good jump shooter, foul shooter, passer, and defender, because compared to other Sixers he is "good." But the season-to-date numbers say he's below average in all those categories compared to other starting point guards.

I'd be curious to see how Jrue would stack up if you adjusted for his inconsistency. After all, he is the second-youngest starting pg in the league (I think?).
What happens to his stats if you look at the median rather than the average? Or maybe remove a couple of the really off games he has had? That might (optimistically) give a clearer picture of where he's at.

The median is accounted for in the charts, at least the median among starters. That's the ranking.

So far Jrue's second season is very much like Deron Williams second season. The only place Jrue is lagging behind some is a 10% difference in assist%. Otherwise, Jrue is slightly ahead in both offensive and defensive rebounding, steals, blocks, 3pt%, FT%, and has less turnovers and fouls, and Deron was slightly ahead in FG% and PPG, and very good in assists. Deron had a TS% of 53.5 and an EFg of 49.4, pretty much just what Jrue has. Deron was 7 pts better in offensive rating and Jrue was 3 pts better in defensive rating. The seasons are so close if Jrue can up his assists by a couple more per game, he'll basically be right where D.Williams was after his 2nd year, and Jrue's 2 years younger.

Excellent comparison, and you didn't even mention that Deron led his team to the conference finals that year.
Does that mean you think Deron Williams is Jrue's best case?

The one area where Jrue lags Deron is in assist-to-turnover ratio, where Deron was already at the magical 3-to-1 ratio in his 2nd season. I don't see Jrue as ever being exceptional at passing, but I'm hoping with better decision-making he'll get to above average.

I think Jrue's already above average in terms of court vision. I think we have to remember that Jrue's biggest strength passing (IMO), the pick and roll, is almost completely negated because this team has no real pick and roll big men, and Jrue's only an average pick and pop point guard.

Yeah when I watch Jrue play he reminds me of a young D.Will and their numbers match up pretty well through their first couple seasons. But Deron really made a leap to a star in his 3rd year, since then he's never had a season with a PER less than 20 or a TS% less than 57, so he's got consistency and has been a great passer. So I'd be surprised if Jrue got there by next year, but I think there's a decent chance he can get there down the road cause he's got the tools. Just another reason why I want the Sixers to get a better player than Hawes, someone that Jrue can pass to.

I'm not saying Deron isn't a good point guard

but could people please take into account surrounding talent? The Jazz are one of the top teams in the league year n and year out - they're very talented - much more so than the sixers roster

Plus they have a great coach

It's important to note that Holiday is only 20 years old, and that many PGs will regress by the time he hits his prime FIVE YEARS FROM NOW.

Top PG Ages in 5 years
Derrick Rose - 27
Russell Westbrook - 27
Rajon Rondo - 29
Chris Paul - 30
Deron Williams - 31

The top 5 are obviously not going anywhere (though John Wall could break in here if he stays healthy and lives up to the hype).

Still, there will be plenty of PGs who have since moved on, as Holiday and Wall are the youngest starting PGs in the league.

PGs that will have delined or retired in 5 years
Devin Harris - 32
Tony Parker - 33
Jameer Nelson - 33
Mo Williams - 33
Beno Udrih - 33
Jose Calderon - 34
Luke Ridnour - 34
Baron Davis - 36
Carlos Arroyo - 36
Mike Bibby - 37
Chauncey Billups - 39
Andre Miller - 39
Steve Nash - 41
Derek Fisher - 41
Jason Kidd - 42

That's a lot of players who will drop out of the picture. Looking at the league right now, here's Holiday's top competition for slots 5-10.

Jrue Holiday - 25
John Wall - 25
Brandon Jennings - 26
Stephen Curry - 27
Darren Collison - 28
Mike Conley - 28
D.J. Augustin - 28
Rodney Stuckey - 29
Aaron Brooks - 30
Raymond Felton - 31

Based on this list, it's hard not to see Holiday as a top 10 PG in 5 seasons, considering he's already at the level of guys like Collison and Conley despite being 3 years younger.

There will surely be players drafted who are better than Holiday is right now, but should Holiday continue to improve it's realistic to expect him to maintain top 10 PG status entering his prime - which is essentially a borderline all-star. Holiday could end up being as good as Wall, and wasn't drafted #1 overall, which makes him a pretty good find for his draft selection (#17 overall).

Great job as always Statman. I think 20/30 is fairly reasonable for how he has played and is not bad at all. The assumptions that he can be a top5 PG were never about his current play but his potential considering his age. He's the 2nd youngest starting PG in the league (only a few months older than Wall), which makes him far younger than any of the guys he is compared with. There are 5 main aspects that improve with age IMO:
- better shot selection
- less turnovers
- getting to the line more
- slightly improved shooting
- defense

If Jrue improves in all 5 of these aspects he can be a top5 PG.

As for his relatively low assist ratio, i think it is largely dependent on his supporting cast who are missing easy shots more often than not.

Alvin reply to Xsago on Jan 19 at 3:39

On the last point, erm, Hawes comes to mind.

Hawes is at the top of the list yes, by a considerable margin. He's not the only one though...

Agreed, though I would hope "better passing overall" is something that will improve with experience. To my eyes, Jrue right now doesn't always see the best pass (he doesn't have the court vision of Iguodala, for example), and he doesn't always execute the best pass when he sees it. But he's improving all the time.

If I had a wishlist for Jrue, it would be better passing and more consistent defense. As a shooter, I think he's made nice progress this year.

I have a question completely off topic. If the playoffs started tomorrow, does anyone here have any confidence that we could possibly pull an upset over the Heat?

I love the comparison. 20/30 is very impressive for a 20 yr old pg who played under EJ for an entire year. Top 5 pg isn't out of the question down the line. I also love the Deron Williams comparison for Jrue's ceiling.

I think it's a bit more fair to compare Jrue to a few guys who were also in their 2nd year. Here's Jrue's comparison to Williams, Rondo, and Westbrook in their second seasons. (Rondo and Westbrook were just randomly chosen) Jrue stacks up very, very well with those guys, with some decided advantages. He is on a worse team than any of the other three. He's younger than all three were in their second seasons. He is a better 3 point shooter than all three. He's more turnover prone than the other three. His assists are lower, but he doesn't have complete control of running the team yet- there is far too much one-on-one going on in the fourth quarter (LOU!) and I think that takes away from Jrue's usage and assist numbers.

Here's the link to the comp: http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=holidjr01&y1=2011&p2=westbru01&y2=2010&p3=willide01&y3=2007&p4=rondora01&y4=2008

I like Jrue's outlook as a top tier point guard even more after looking at that comparison!

ryano reply to ryano on Jan 19 at 9:52

Haha...my mistake. Not all of my comments are "decided advantages." But you are all smart guys who can figure out which ones are.

Good work Statman.

OT: Next 4 games:
Thursday at Charlotte
Saturday against the Utah Jazz
Monday against the Phoenix Suns

Unfortunately I think they could lose all 4. Although they have a chance of winning 2.

I would tend to project bottom of the top ten, for reasons similar to Rashidi's. Which makes him a keeper, but not someone who can be your best player.

Derek Bodner often makes the point that Jrue is compared to an above avg. era of NBA PGs. To the extent that's true (and I think it is), the value to a team of a starting PG today is higher than what would be suggested by their rank comparison vs. rank comparison at another position -e.g. the 15th best PG might well be more valuable compared to a scrub replacement PG than the 10th best PF compared to a scrub replacement (and if you think that is always true about PGs and PFs, then just widen the ranking gap some more to reflect the point here).

It would be interesting to see some kind of similar comparison for LouWill compared to off-the-bench guards. LouWill probably never helps the Sixers win a title, but it's ironic to read through so many game threads with people here cheering on the Sixers to win each game and screaming about LouWill, because I bet his relative productivity compared to the off-the-bench guys on the other team is statistically what helps the current Sixers win a lot of games that they do.


If offense was all that matters I'm sure you'd have a point, but Lou is horrible defensively as good as he is offensively, and he's inconsistent as crap. If you're only looking at the sixers one game at a time, it's great that lou sometimes has good games & sometimes he has crap games, (but never pays the penalty of benching that a guy like Turner or Speights pays), but the way I look at it is that a team is never going to win in the playoffs depending on Louis Williams

Statman is using defensive stats and differentials, so of course I meant that too. LouWill is weak on defense, but sometimes he outscores the entire bench from the other team. It's worth trying to tally it all up.

Agree with you that playoff basketball is a different kettle of fish. How that affects LouWill's scoring differentials is also an open question. But I stand by what I said. It's fine to argue that it doesn't matter if the Sixers win now (and it may be counterproductive for the long term). But in the context of people getting into the drama over whether the current team pulls out each game, the current team wins noticeably fewer games without LouWill playing - for better or worse. He gets a plus on 82games where most backups get a minus.

T McL reply to izimbra on Jan 19 at 14:30

"the current team wins noticeably fewer games without LouWill playing"

You have something to back this statement up with? Not saying you're wrong but I'd like to see what you mean exactly

What I mean, roughly, is that if you compare LouWill's numbers to those of the most similar backup guards on other teams (in terms of minutes played at PG and SG) using a stat like WP48, then LouWill would come out ahead of the average comparative player. This comparison would not even take into account the fact that he is more likely to be playing (and shooting) on possessions near the end of close games than the average comparative player matched in this way. I haven't done this calculation - that is what I am asking about.

Back on 12/31, I did essentially this analysis. If you believe 82games.com's version of PER (and opponent PER), then Lou's numbers are good for a starter, exceptional for a reserve. At the time, compared to 45 other bench players around the league playing significant minutes (regardless of position), he was 4th in own PER, 13th in opponent PER, and 7th in PER differential. Note that at the time, Thad was #1 among bench players in both own PER and PER differential; since then, Thad's PER differential has gone way down, while Lou's has gone up (second only to Iguodala on the team). Lou's good "own PER" is not hard to conceive; the good opponent PER I attribute to a lot of poor backup guards in the league.

When you're using PER alone to judge a guy, I think it's important to point out that PER really favors gunners. It's a stat built for a guy like Lou. His numbers aren't quite as good using WS48 and they're pretty bad using WP48.

PER also pretty much ignores defense - but most statistical numbers in the NBA do :)

I found a site that has the numbers up, but one has to use curl or something to automate the download: http://nerdnumbers.com/automated-wins-produced

The thing I realize looking at the table is that WP48 really favors C>PF>SF>SG>PG. So if we are talking about the comparative worth to players at the similar position one would want to rescale things so that best to worst at each position went along a similar scale. Lou looks to me to be better than avg. for a reweighted, backup 57% PG, 43% SG.

WP48 is already adjusted by position. And Lou is terrible according to that stat.

0.026 WP48 for Lou

for comparison's sake, Jrue is at .101, Hawes .030, Iguodala .241.

But just like how PER favors gunners, WP48 is heavily weighted to reward guys who grab a lot of rebounds (in relation to the average rebounder at his position).

Yes, it makes sense pick a measure which includes defensive stats, but the WP48 is definitely too biased towards rebounds and I'm not sure what else. It gives Reggie Evans as one of the top players in the league. His WP48 is apparently higher than Lebron and Howard. And Nowitzki is somehow below Matt Barnes.

It is correct to state that PG is the most talented position in the league. Aside from the rules changes that have favored free movement, the majority of basketball players worldwide are PG height. It's not quite the competition level that centers have to deal with (which is why so many stiffs traditionally exist).

TruePhan on Jan 20 at 22:54

You can't really judge Jrue until he gets to actually run an offense for consistent minutes. His numbers are only pedestrian because Lou Williams plays 25+ minutes a game and when Lou's on the court, everybody else really has no choice but to give him the ball every single possession and let him run the offense. He walks all the way out to the inbounds man for Christ's sake, whether he's at the point guard position or not. Jrue more often than not makes the smart play, which is exactly how you measure a point guard, though admittedly he seems to have lost his feel for when to take over offensively and when to just run the offense.

That's the same reason why a garbage player like Rondo averages so many assists. He dominates the ball and pretty much only passes when he's going to get an assist. Even though he's on the floor with at least 3 players whose jock straps he couldn't carry, everybody has to defer to him and let him play Rondo ball.

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