The Delightful Wonderfulness of Alexey Shved


I’ll count myself as one of the only people that were actually excited when Alexey Shved was acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Thaddeus Young trade this offseason. Maybe I blame some of the T-Wolves folk I know on Twitter that pumped me up with anecdotes about how fun he is and all of that, but I believed in Shved. Don’t listen to outsiders, don’t listen to people like Spencer Layman who say that Alexey Shved is terrible. He is not, I promise.

Unfortunately for Shved, he’s turned in a seldom used guard in Brett Brown’s “system” — whatever his system is. Sure, Shved doesn’t fit the prototype of a team filled with explosive athletes, but he still has the size at 6’6″. Not to mention, if Brett Brown can find minutes for Luc Mbah a Moute — I can’t type his name without cursing out loud — then there are minutes for Alexey Shved. However, the injury to Tony Wroten has forced Brett Brown’s hand into playing Shved more and more over the past few games. Guess what? SHVED HAS PRODUCED.

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Before the 2014-15 season with the 76ers, Shved’s highest scoring output was a 22 point performance when he was in Minnesota. In his past two games, playing over 25 minutes per contest, Shved has totaled 18 and 19 points respectively. Not to mention, his 18 point performance against Dallas on Saturday came on shooting percentages of 56 percent from the floor and 50 percent from deep. Besides the points, Shved also had five assists, four rebounds and two steals against the Mavericks.

The shooting percentages were down against the Spurs last night — 44 from the floor, 33 from three — however the Russian guard still grabbed four boards, four assists (zero turnovers) and two steals. To be honest, I’d rather see Alexey Shved in the back court next to Michael Carter-Williams than Tony Wroten at this point. At least Shved provides some sort of outside shooting that can space the floor, no matter how minuscule it may be. It’s still zones larger then whatever Tony Wroten is providing. This whole back court situation between Wroten and Shved is what I’m getting at here, which one should be starting and the other that should be coming off the bench.

Case numbero uno (via basketball-reference):

Somehow, Shved is producing a PER of 20.1 on a team that is yet to win a basketball contest. His true shooting percentage is at 55 percent and while this is a surprise to no one, his turnover percentage is miles lower than Wroten’s. At the very least, Shved won’t be throwing the ball into the fifth row in the Wells Fargo Center every time he goes to the rack. Also, I don’t have to cringe when I see Shved hoist up a shot from deep.

Do we need more convincing? Of course we do.

Shoutout to @mcbobtrapgod for throwing this tweet at me.

Sure, neither one is going to play defense, not that it matters much at this point. Also, don’t tell me that Michael Carter-Williams triple-double against Dallas and near repeat performance — four assists from another trip-dub last night — can’t be somewhat dedicated to having Shved next to him in the back court. It’s opening the floor for Michael Carter-Williams and it’s the reason we’ve seen the Rookie of the Year actually look like the damn Rookie of the Year in recent games.

I love Tony Wroten, but I also love Alexey Shved. Brett Brown is a smart enough basketball mind to figure out that MCW and Wroten in the back court just is not a good solution, no matter how small the sample size is with the two of them. Bring Wroten off the bench, preferably with Hollis Thompson to space the floor out a little bit, and throw Shved into the starting lineup. Present a starting lineup of: Michael Carter-Williams, Alexey Shved, K.J. McDaniels, Nerlens Noel, and Henry Sims. Bring Wroten, Thompson, LMAM, etc off the bench. There has to be some sort of spacing — no matter how small — on the floor at all times.

The past two games have been evident of how Alexey Shved can find his niche on this squad and when looking at the play of Michael Carter-Williams with him in the lineup, it’s showing. Everyone else can campaign for K.J. McDaniels to start over Luc Mbah a Moute, but I’ll be on the Shved train. Be smart Brett. Start Alexey Viktorovich Shved.