The Wednesday Showdown, 3-30-11


I’m back for yet another edition. You know the drill, two players (A) and (B) face off to see past the hype, the coverage, and whatever else to compare two guys as objectively as possible.

And one, like normal, is a Sixer.

This is the slightly more advanced stats edition, mixed in with normal, everyday things. All of these stats come from basketball-reference.com, which has a glossary full of stats and their meanings.

Player A: 14.1 PER, 44.6% FG, 49.4% EFG%, 26.6% AST%, 19.7% USG, 18.5% TO%, 3.3 REB, 29.7 MIN

Player B: 14.8 PER, 37.7% FG, 43.4% EFG%, 28.4% AST%, 25.9% USG, 12.7% TO%, 3.6 REB, 33.1 MIN

Well, you may have guessed what positions I’m listing (you could also navigate on basketball-reference, but just read about 3 more lines for the full conclusion). Anyway, both are point guards, and both are very young, and both list career numbers.

Player A is Jrue Holiday.

Player B is Brandon Jennings.

Now, I’ve always thought Brandon Jennings wasn’t all that great, and his hype was the byproduct of one huge (well, VERY huge) game. He shot 37% from the floor – 37%! for a full season – which is bad. Granted, he shot better from behind the line than in front, but he was a bad shooter. A 43.4% effective field goal percentage is Evan Turner-like, and he can’t shoot.

But, he has a higher PER than Holiday. Why? Well, based on assist and turnover percentages, he assists on more field goals for teammates and has fewer turnovers. He also uses more possessions, and with more possessions, lower efficiency is expected. Case in point, Lou Williams is shooting roughly 40% and doesn’t do much else but pass a bit, but he’s the Sixers leading PER guy because he’s a top-20 usage rate player.

So the two are much closer than I thought, and while Jennings is still not as good as he’s usually perceived, he’s definitely near Holiday’s level offensively. Defensively, Jrue has a much greater ceiling and, despite his inconsistent play there, still plays better than Jennings on that end. I’d also expect Jrue to cut down on turnovers as he ages (and the same with Jennings, but Jrue’s not as experienced as a point guard as Jennings is).

Anyway, the Sixers play Milwaukee on Sunday, hoping to exact revenge for the shellacking in Milwaukee, while the Bucks fight for a playoff spot.

  • Turnover Rate (TO%): estimated turnovers for a player per 100 possessions.
  • Assist %age (AST%): percentage of teammate field goals assisted on while playing – think of Andre assisting on 30% of field goals while on the floor.
  • Usage Rate (USG%): percent of team plays “used” by a player while he was on the floor – think of percent of control a player has over how a possession ends
  • Effective Field Goal Percentage (EFG%): field goal percentage, with threes counting as 1.5 field goals.

Tags: 76ers Sixers Wednesday Showdown