Friday, May 9, 2008

Reviewing Expectations and Predictions

Back before the season began, I predicted what each player's statistical output for the season would be. Let's take a look back and see just how far off I really was with the primary players, shall we? If you want to see how the role players did, I'll let you check out the link above and see for yourself.

Mike Miller

32 MPG, 16.2 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 3.4 APG, .472 FG%, .422 3PT%, .795 FT%

Actual: 35.3 MPG, 16.4 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 3.4 APG, .502 FG%, .437 3PT%, .774 FT%

Then: Mike will see a slight drop in overall scoring as his minutes decrease, but his efficiency should increase since he won't be dog-tired by All-Star break.

Now: Miller shot better from the floor and rebounded more than I thought he would, but overall, I'm pretty pleased with my prediction, especially since I pointed at his efficiency increasing, which is exactly what happened.

Rudy Gay
Prediction: 32 MPG, 13.5 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 1.8 APG, 1.4 SPG, 1.5 BPG, .440 FG%, .380 3PT%, .720 FT%

Actual: 37 MPG, 20.2 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.4 SPG, 1.0 BPG, .462 FG%, .346 3PT%, .785 FT%

Then: Rudy should see slight increases across the board in his second season, most notably in the defensive categories and rebounding as he'll shift over to PF in some lineups. Hopefully, I'm lowballing him, but I don't want to set expectations too high, which is something we'll discuss later in the post.
Now: Well, I guess that "lowball" might not even cover it, although I don't think that anyone expected that big a leap in Rudy's scoring and efficiency -- including him. Again, I was very close on rebounds, assists, steals and blocks, but considerably off on scoring and shooting percentages.

Darko Milicic
Prediction: 28 MPG, 9.5 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 1.2 APG, 2.2 BPG, .475 FG%, .626 FT%
Actual: 23.8 MPG, 7.2 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 0.8 APG, 1.6 BPG, .438 FG%, .554 FT%

Then: Darko will be given ample opportunity to prove himself, and after a slow start will warrant the opportunity to start and finish games. His free throw shooting will continue to be a problem area for him, even as he reverts back to a higher shooting percentage from the floor.
Now: Darko didn't start slow at all, but an injury-plagued season derailed his efforts to show that he's not the bust that the media makes him out to be. On a per-minute basis, his stats are actually very close to what I predicted.

Juan Carlos Navarro
Prediction: 20 MPG, 14.3 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 2.3 APG, 0.7 SPG, .445 FG%, .409 3PT%, .820 FT%
Actual: 25.8 MPG, 10.9 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 2.2 APG, 0.6 SPG, .402 FG%, .361 3PT%, .849 FT%

Then: "La Bomba" has been the hit of the preseason so far, with his electric play carrying the team in the 2nd halves of most games. If he manages to avoid "the rookie wall", he could be in the running for Rookie of the Year, Sixth Man of the Year...or both.
Now: JCN was just as inconsistent as any other rookie, leading to shooting percentages that were much lower than I predicted. Looking back, I obviously went way too high on PPG for someone I was expecting to play less than half a game. I thought that Navarro have much more of a score-first mentality, but he was a more complete, all-around player than that.

Kyle Lowry
Prediction: 26 MPG, 8.5 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 6.7 APG, 1.7 SPG, .395 FG%, .379 3PT%, .875 FT%
Actual: 25.5 MPG, 9.7 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 3.6 APG, 1.1 SPG, .432 FG%, .257 3PT%, .698 FT%

Then: Kyle appears to have surged into the lead as the heir apparent for the PG spot when (not if) Damon is traded this season. While that may only last for part of this season, it is encouraging to potentially have two young starter-quality PG's on the roster given the issues the Grizzlies have had at that position the past few seasons. He's another guy that I'm tempering expectations for, since there are so many variables at the PG position this season. I expect him to play more MPG than either Conley or Stoudamire, even though he'll likely be coming off the bench to start the season.
Now: Well, Kyle didn't start often (only 9 games), but he did manage to log a lot of MPG even still. Kyle wasn't the facillitator that I was expecting, which led to much lower assist numbers than I was anticipating. Lowry's shot improved mechanically through the season, even if his perimeter percentages don't reflect that. Also, I'm begging him to spend all summer with Mark Price after seeing those free throw numbers.

Hakim Warrick
Prediction: 13.0 MPG, 6.8 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 0.6 APG, 0.5 BPG, 0.5 SPG, .530 FG%, .743 FT%
Actual: 23.4 MPG, 11.4 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 0.7 APG, 0.4 BPG, 0.5 SPG, .502 FG%, .704 FT%

Then: Why the drop in minutes after Hak played so well last year? Because of the arrival of Darko Milicic mostly, but also because Warrick doesn't play defense, doesn't pass the ball and can't dribble. Marc Iavaroni can forgive one of those things in a player, but not all three. If Stro does get moved, then perhaps Hakim will find some additional playing time. Otherwise, it will take some serious growth and development on his part to become a contributor for this team, IMHO.
Now: Obviously, I didn't expect the team to trade Pau Gasol mid-season, which led Hak getting far more minutes than the prediction above. Even with that said, it is a little disconcerting that Warrick's assists, steals and blocks weren't any better with the additional playing time. Hak still doesn't play defense, pass or dribble very well.

Mike Conley
Prediction: 24.0 MPG, 8.2 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 3.8 APG, 1.2 SPG, .408 FG%, .338 3PT%, .793 FT%
Actual: 26.1 MPG, 9.4 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 4.2 APG, 0.8 SPG, .428 FG%, .330 3PT%, .732 FT%

Then: Conley is expected to be the PG of the future, but I think he'll spend most of this year learning from Damon and Kyle, rather than being thrown directly into the fire right off the bat. He'll struggle some, because that's what rookies do, but by the end of the season he might be splitting minutes evenly with Kyle.
Now: Mark me down for being wrong on the reasoning, but right about the stats once again. Conley started 46 of the 53 games he appeared in, as the coaching staff felt that he was ready to assume that role as soon as Damon Stoudamire was released. Conley wasn't as disruptive on defense as I expected, but he was a better shooter/scorer than I anticipated.

As mentioned earlier, I can't make myself go through the Andre Browns and Casey Jacobsens on the roster, but I'm considering reviewing the players who are no longer on the team. If you're interested in reading more about Pau, Damon and Stro, drop a line in the Comments.

BallHype: hype it up!


ChipC3 said...

DAMN! Maybe you should change your name from Spartacus to Shaman or something.

Great calls Sparty.

Anonymous said...

Stro please :)

Anonymous said...

Great read!!