Analyzing How Nik Stauskas Can Become Manu

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April 22, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili (20) controls the ball against the Los Angeles Clippers during the second half in game two of the first round of the NBA Playoffs. at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Curious to see how the two players matched up, I went to the stats. There’s the obvious outliers when comparing these two. The points, assists, and even years of experience set Ginobili up in a completely different universe when being compared to Stauskas.

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  • Sure, we can compare the years that the two players had last year at a traditional game-by-game basis, but it doesn’t tell the entire story. Ginobili played about 22 minutes per game last season, and Stauskas hardly broke 15, so the stats are bound to be lopsided.

    The play-by-play and even minute-by-minute statistics really tell a story about these two guards, and even shows–in some instances– where Stauskas is better than Ginobili. That statement seems wrong, but Stauskas really does come out better in a play-by-play sense as far as turnovers.

    This, actually makes a lot of sense. Per 36 minutes, Ginobili turned the ball over 3.5 times last year, while Stauskas did just 1.3 times.

    Breaking it down minute-by-minute with the play-by-play stats, I found this to be accurate. Stauskas beat Ginobili in both bad passes per minute, and lost balls per minute.

    Stauskas only came up with half of the turnovers that Manu did* as far as lost balls, and 28.4% of his bad passes. Does this make sense? In a way, yes, because Ginobili was used 9.7% more than Stauskas when he was on the floor last season. This usage percentage–at its core–takes into account the amount of times a player is involved with plays and touching the ball for his team when they are on the floor.

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  • So, with Ginobili having a much higher usage percentage, we should be expecting more turnovers. More time getting involved with the plays will lead to more chances for turnovers, that’s logical.

    That’s not to grovel what Nik did last year as far as turnovers. Could he bump up his usage percentage and keep his turnovers low? Absolutely, and a lot of that is under his control. Making smart passes, and taking care of the ball will set him up well to be even better than Manu in this area.

    It’s logical–a theme coming out of this article–to expect Stauskas to keep the turnovers to a minimum. In his final year with Michigan, he kept his turnovers under two per game, while playing 35 minutes and being used 24.4% (more than Manu was used in 2015).

    As the years go on with Stauskas–and especially this year when he will presumably get more minutes–we will have more to evaluate, and see what he can do.

    Although turnovers are a key part of the offense, the main part is scoring and shooting.

    *Stats from both players are from 2014-15 NBA season. Manu’s turnovers were third highest last year, and his career average is just 0.1 less than what he produced in the 2015 season.

    Next: Shooting & Offense