Evaluating The Shooting Guards Using Statistics

Courtney Lee J.J. Redick
Games Played 77 64
Minutes Played 25.2 17.4
1 year adj. plus/minus -1.15 -1.29
net plus/minus +0.0 -3.2
statistical plus/minus -1.46 -2.81
PER 10.8 9.8
WARP -0.9 -1.2
Win Shares 4.4 2.2

 

As Ben alluded to in the past, we know the storylines for each player on the Orlando Magic. Instead of regurgitating the same information again, I decided to take a look at the statistical production of the shooting guards during the regular season.

 

Let's talk about offense:

 

J.J. Redick. Long lauded as one of the greatest shooters in college basketball history, Redick has struggled to shoot the way he did while at Duke University. Shooting percentages (55.9% true-shooting percentage, 50.0% effective field-goal percentage) scream average shooter (maybe a hair above-average), even though the scouting reports on Redick when he was drafted in 2006 scream excellent shooter. His Offensive Rating (107), also, indicate that Redick is not the most efficient player. Sum it all up and people wonder, will Redick ever break out and shoot like he did at Duke? I don't know the answer to that question, but what I do know is that Redick is a very hard worker. Before every game, Redick is going to work, shooting the ball, etc. That dedication has to pay off at some point in his career, right? I don't know the answer to that question, either.

 

As for Courtney Lee, Ben eloquently stated in his evaluation of the rookie this morning that his per game numbers aren't good but his shooting percentages are (55.6% true-shooting percentage, 52.6% true-shooting percentage). Those are above-average statistics. Even though his Offensive Rating (107) is below-average, make no mistake, Lee was an efficient scorer during the regular season. Lee did a great job of picking his spots and shooting where he was most successful (the corner three, for example). When you take into account Lee's various abilities, he can shoot a.) the three-pointer b.) the mid-range jumper, c.) off the dribble, d.) on the catch, and more, it's clear that the kid's future is bright. In simplistic terms, Lee is athletic, can shoot, and play defense, meaning he has all the tools to be an impact player in the NBA. 

 

Let's talk about defense:

 

Courtney Lee J.J. Redick
adj. defensive plus/minus +2.18 +1.80
opponent PER vs. SG's 15.0 14.9
net defensive plus/minus +2.0 +2.1
eFG% allowed 47.5% 46.3%

 

The numbers are intriguing, no? Conventional wisdom dictates that Courtney Lee is a good defender while J.J. Redick is a bad defender, but that isn't the case when taking a look at the statistics. Both individuals pan out to be average defenders.

 

Can Lee be better than average? Certainly. If head coach Stan Van Gundy is impressed by your defense and started you because of it, you're doing something right. Is Redick a defensive liability? No, he's not. In fact, he can hold his own. 

 

For Lee, his work against Kobe Bryant in Game 3 of the NBA Finals stands out because he was an annoyance and a pest to Bryant, specifically in the third quarter. That's an example of the type of defensive work Lee can put in. 

 

For Redick, look no further than his defensive performance against Ray Allen in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Say what you will, but Redick played active defense and worked hard to prevent Allen from getting the ball on offense. 

 

Let's talk about everything:

 

Both Lee and Redick rated as the role players that they were during the regular season for the Orlando Magic. But in the case of Courtney, he has the chance to be more than a role player. What's his potential? Well, I turned to Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus to churn out similarity scores for me using his SCHOENE projection system (thanks, KP). The following list isn't an end-all, be-all for the rookie but it's a good indicator of the type of player he may be in the future. It's also important to note that as Lee improves, the list changes. Those are some things to keep in mind. 

 

Byron Scott

97.2

23.1

1

1984

lal

Sasha Pavlovic

96.9

23.4

4

2007

cle

Morris Peterson

96.8

23.7

1

2001

tor

James Posey

96.7

23.3

1

2000

den

Luther Head

96.5

23.4

1

2006

hou

Trenton Hassell

96.3

23.1

1

2002

chi

Trent Tucker

96.2

23.3

1

1983

nyk

Steve Colter

95.8

23.7

2

1986

por

Dan Majerle

95.4

23.6

1

1989

pho

Aaron McKie

95.4

23.6

2

1996

por

 

Ton of fringe starter/sixth-man types. That appears to be Courtney Lee's floor. What's his ceiling? No one knows, yet.

Too bad local fans won't be able to find out. It happens. 

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