FanPost

Oladipo Steals a Cookie: A Pace Report

"The number of games in general, it's a toll," Oladipo said. "It's a lot of games. We're, like, 54 games in now, so it's just kind of a toll on your body and your mind, but you just gotta be ready and prepare for it."

Oladipo's performance on the court through 54 games is the source of great discussion within our community. We plug the data into our personal narrative of what makes a good rookie guard and evaluate, project, and debate. Is he a Tonly Allen role player type, a Dwayne Wade franchise player type, a Westbrook stud PG type, or a something else type? Is his shooting horrible and if so does it forecast a limited offensive role? Do his turnovers disqualify him from running an offense? What is he great at? Poor at? Average at?

I intend to lend perspective to those questions by providing the context within which to evaluate Oladipo's performance. What does 14/4/4 on 51% TS with 2.3 STOCKS, 3.2 TOV, .368 FTr, and 9.3 avg Game Score mean? Previously we've discussed these stats in context of his comp class; guys like Tony Allen, Dwayne Wade, Russell Westbrook, and Gilbert Arenas*, with Stephan Curry and Derrick Rose thrown in for good measure.

Player

PPG

TRB

AST

TS%

STOCKS

TOV

Ftr

GmSc

Season

Derrick Rose

17

4

6

52%

1.1

2.6

0.203

12.8

2008-09

Dwyane Wade

17

4

5

53%

2.0

3.3

0.369

11.8

2003-04

Stephen Curry

15

4

5

56%

2.1

2.8

0.180

11.3

2009-10

Russell Westbrook

15

5

5

50%

1.6

3.1

0.413

10.9

2008-09

Victor Oladipo

14

4

4

51%

2.3

3.2

0.368

9.3

2013-14

Tony Allen

6

3

1

54%

1.4

1.1

0.364

5.0

2004-05

*Arenas has fallen out of the Analysis due to not playing in 54 games during his rookie season.

This context, however, is narrow. The observations drawn lack depth and decisiveness. It serves more as a feel-good balm for those optimists that want to believe there is a chance at greatness or as an irrelevant exercise of cherry picking for those that are skeptical of Oladipo's talent.

A more robust data set is needed, and Basketball Reference provides. The criteria used is as follows: Play 54 games as a rookie sometime during the 1985-2014 seasons as a guard. This gives us 300 rookies with 16,200 games played between them.

Before we can answer the central question to understanding Oladipo's performance so far this season, what his production means, we need to analyze this data set of rookie guards.

A look at the top performer through 54 games from each draft class shows us some franchise players like Hardaway, Iverson, Wade, and Paul, down to role players like Quentin Richardson, and Brevin Knight. There are hall of famers that are not pacing atop their draft class, while others are.

Season

Player

PPG

TRB

AST

TS%

STOCKS

TOV

Ftr

GmSc

1985-86

Joe Dumars

9

1

4

56%

0.9

2.0

0.423

7.3

1986-87

Ron Harper

23

5

5

50%

3.5

4.4

0.337

14.5

1987-88

Mark Jackson

12

5

10

49%

2.6

3.3

0.264

13.0

1988-89

Mitch Richmond

21

6

4

55%

1.1

3.4

0.369

14.1

1989-90

Sherman Douglas

13

2

7

52%

1.9

2.6

0.344

11.0

1990-91

Travis Mays

15

3

4

53%

1.5

2.6

0.479

9.7

1991-92

Steve Smith

12

3

5

53%

1.3

2.6

0.203

8.8

1992-93

Latrell Sprewell

13

3

3

53%

2.2

2.2

0.254

9.5

1993-94

Anfernee Hardaway

16

5

6

53%

3.1

3.4

0.320

13.7

1994-95

Eddie Jones

14

4

2

55%

2.7

1.2

0.228

11.1

1995-96

Damon Stoudamire

19

4

9

52%

1.7

4.1

0.290

14.5

1996-97

Allen Iverson

21

4

7

49%

2.4

4.4

0.366

14.0

1997-98

Brevin Knight

9

3

8

50%

2.9

2.6

0.425

10.4

1999-00

Steve Francis

17

5

7

52%

1.8

4.1

0.332

12.6

2000-01

Quentin Richardson

9

4

1

51%

0.8

1.0

0.292

6.0

2001-02

Jason Richardson

13

4

3

47%

1.6

1.7

0.210

8.6

2002-03

Jay Williams

10

3

5

44%

1.5

2.4

0.251

6.3

2003-04

Dwyane Wade

17

4

5

53%

2.0

3.3

0.369

11.8

2004-05

Andre Iguodala

9

6

3

56%

2.4

1.9

0.385

8.5

2005-06

Chris Paul

16

5

8

55%

2.3

2.5

0.501

15.7

2006-07

Brandon Roy

17

4

4

55%

1.4

2.0

0.330

12.4

2007-08

Juan Carlos Navarro

11

3

2

55%

0.6

1.8

0.187

6.7

2008-09

Derrick Rose

17

4

6

52%

1.1

2.6

0.203

12.8

2009-10

Tyreke Evans

20

5

5

54%

1.9

2.9

0.407

14.9

2010-11

John Wall

16

5

9

48%

2.1

3.8

0.372

12.4

2011-12

Isaiah Thomas

11

3

4

57%

1.0

1.7

0.328

8.8

2012-13

Damian Lillard

18

3

6

54%

1.3

3.1

0.238

12.9

2013-14

Victor Oladipo*

14

4

4

51%

2.3

3.2

0.368

9.3

* I've thrown in Oladipo for comparisons sake.

Toping a draft class does not qualify the production as average, good, or elite. What level of performance can be considered average, good, and elite can be determined using statistics. Think of an IQ test; 100 is average, 115 is good, and 130 + is genius. There is a +- 15 point swing allowed between each level. Scores of less than 70, or greater than 145, are super rare. Applying the same logic, here is the breakdown for our 300 rookie guards:

Player

PPG

TRB

AST

TS%

STOCKS

TOV

FTr

GmSc

Average

8

2

3

50%

1.0

1.5

0.276

5.6

Good

12

3

5

54%

1.6

2.3

0.389

8.7

Elite

16

5

6

59%

2.2

3.1

0.502

12

Victor Oladipo

14

4

4

51%

2.3

3.2

0.368

9.3

STDV

4.2

1.1

1.8

4%

0.6

0.8

0.113

3.1

This puts some perspective to the quality of certain outputs. Oladipo's production in context can be ranked and qualified.

Rank

PPG

TRB

AST

TS%

STOCKS

TOV

Ftr

GmSc

Victor Oladipo

33th

20th

56th

128th

13th

288th

54th

36th

Quality

PPG

TRB

AST

TS%

STOCKS

TOV

FTr

GmSc

Victor Oladipo

Good

Good

Average

Average

Elite

Poor

Average

Good

The elite are where it's at! These are performing at a level that if we were qualifying their intelligence we'd call them genius. Here they are in full.

The Elite in each category:

PPG: Chris Paul, Tyreke Evans, Ron Harper, Damon Stoudamire, Mitch Richmond, Allen Iverson, Willie Anderson, Damian Lillard, Derrick Rose, Steve Francis, Brandon Roy, Kerry Kittles, O.J. Mayo, Dwyane Wade, Jerry Stackhouse, Brandon Jennings, Rex Chapman

TRB: Chris Paul, Mitch Richmond, Anfernee Hardaway, Steve Francis, Jason Kidd, Andre Iguodala, Adrian Griffin, Josh Childress

AST: Chris Paul, Damon Stoudamire, Allen Iverson, Anfernee Hardaway, Mark Jackson, Damian Lillard, Derrick Rose, Steve Francis, John Wall, Stephon Marbury, Brandon Jennings, Kenny Smith, Sherman Douglas, Winston Garland, Brevin Knight, Jason Kidd, Kirk Hinrich, Tyus Edney, Nate McMillan, Jamaal Tinsley, Gary Payton, T.J. Ford

TS%: Sarunas Marciulionis, Brent Barry, Ty Lawson, Rodrigue Beaubois, Pablo Prigioni, Tony Delk, Richie Frahm

STOCKS: Chris Paul, Ron Harper, Allen Iverson, Anfernee Hardaway, Willie Anderson, Mark Jackson, Kerry Kittles, Eddie Jones, Hersey Hawkins, Brevin Knight, Jason Kidd, Latrell Sprewell, Victor Oladipo, Andre Iguodala, Nate McMillan, Jamaal Tinsley, Gary Payton

FTr: Derek Anderson, Sarunas Marciulionis, Jalen Rose, Spud Webb, Keyon Dooling, Jerry Reynolds, Rodrick Rhodes, Derek Fisher, Travis Best, Mark Davis, Jim Les

GmSc: Chris Paul, Tyreke Evans, Ron Harper, Damon Stoudamire, Mitch Richmond, Allen Iverson, Anfernee Hardaway, Willie Anderson, Mark Jackson, Damian Lillard, Derrick Rose, Steve Francis, Brandon Roy, John Wall, Kerry Kittles

Chis Paul is elite in an astounding 5/7 categories. He is followed by Hardaway, Francis, and Iverson, elite in 4/7 categories. Derrick Rose, Jason Kidd, and Damian Lillard, among others, are elite in 3/7. Wade, like Oladipo, is elite in only one category. Curry, Westbrook, and Allen are elite in none.

Even among the elite there are still the best of the best.

Top of the Class: Top Mark In Each Category

PPG: Ron Harper

TRB: Adrian Griffin

AST: Mark Jackson

TS%: Brent Barry

STOCKS: Ron Harper

TOV: Ron Harper

FTr: Mark Davis

GmSc: Chris Paul

Discussion

What does 14/4/4 on 51% TS with 2.3 STOCKS, 3.2 TOV, .368 FTr, and 9.3 avg Game Score mean?

Oladipo is a good scoring guard. Other good scoring guards include Curry, Westbrook, and Ray Allen, all of whom have built on their solid rookie starts to become elite scorers in the NBA. Names like Jonny Flynn and MarShon Brooks also pop up here, so pacing as a good scoring guard does not come with any guarantees.

Oladipo is a good rebounding guard. Wade, Ray Allen, Beal, Rose, Iverson, are all names that crop up here. It is good to be a good rebounding guard. Oladipo is borderline elite here.

Oladipo is an average assisting guard. So are Baron Davis, Eric Bledsoe, Tony Parker, Joe Dumars, and Chauncey Billups. Were he a poor assisting guard his transition to PG would be in doubt. As an average one, the question is still alive.

Oladipo is an average shooter. So is Derrick Rose, Steve Francis, Stephon Marbury, Kerry Kittles, Russell Westbrook, Bradley Beal, Andre Miller, Kirk Hinrich, and the list goes on. I mean yes, pacing as a good shooter would be great, since that is what guys like Manu Ginobili, Jeff Hornacek, Ray Allen, Chris Paul, and Andre Iguodala all did, but it doesn't damn Oladipo to Tony Allen role player damnation like some claim. In fact, Tony Allen was himself pacing as a good shooter, so really correlating Oladipo's pace with a Tony Allen projection is counterfactual and unhelpful.

Oladipo is an elite defender. Other elite defenders were mentioned above, including iconic defenders like Andre Iguodala, Gary Payton, and Jason Kidd. This will likely remain Oladipo's calling card as his career progresses.

Oladipo is a turnover machine. Other turnover machines include Iverson, Francis, Wall, Hardaway, Wade, Jackson, Westbrook, Lillard, Kidd, and Marbury, to name a few. Hardly a disqualifier for those players, and we don't interpret it to be one here for Oladipo.

Oladipo is average at getting the line. This is somewhat a misdirection as guys at the top like Mark Davis, Sarunas Marciulionis, Spud Webb, Jim Les, Jerry Reynolds, Derek Fisher, and Rodrick Rhodes badly skew the data. That said, Oladipo is ahead of guys like Allen Iverson, Terry Porter, Baron Davis, Steve Francis, Kobe Bryant, Brandon Roy, and Anfernee Hardaway. All is well in Oladipo Free Throw land.

Oladipo is averaging a good game score. This measures overall box score productivity and is similar to PER. Other names pacing with good GmSc are Dwayne Wade, Michael Finley, Stephon Marbury, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, Jason Kidd, and Ray Allen. Not bad company.

So, here it is, a pace report for 300 players 54 games into their rookie season. Instead of looking at a comp class of 6, we've taken 50 times that number to create the context within which to view and understand Oladipo's rookie season to date. It reaffirms my personal view that he is on pace to have a great career as a perennial all-star at either guard position. What say you? Does this change your perception of Oladipo's performance? Confirm it?

This FanPost was made by a member of the Orlando Pinstriped Post community, and is to be treated as the opinions and views of its author, not that of the blogger or blog community as a whole.

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