Introduction to the “Debate of the Week”
“No matter how good of a shooter you are, you are going to end up making 45-50% of your shots…”
This is NOT a quote from me. This is actually a quote from the more influential, popular MJ…Michael Jordan. It’s paraphrased but bear with me. What I am about to do is I am going to show you a guy that has never averaged under 60% from the field in his entire 10 year career.
You guys can fact check me if you like but I don’t believe that there has been a player in the NBA history that has ever done that. Not Wilt, not Kareem, not Shaq, not even Bill Russell. As it stands, DeAndre Jordan is the only player in the history of the league to shoot 60% or more from the field in EVERY season he has played.
So why aren’t we praising him?
We can’t blame the fact that he is a big man and he supposed to average that because I’ve just named the greatest bigs in NBA history and they never done it. “Well, all he does is catch lobs…” So does Tyson Chandler, he never accomplished that feat…even if we take his prime years and not take into account that he has attempted less Field Goals a game. He still didn’t get it done.
So is it safe to say that DJ is the most efficient big man in the game?
My point for this blog is to bring light to the fact that the value of a player can’t be measured with the same instrument because everyone isn’t taking the same type of shots or playing the same role. If we were to compare players FG %, it would probably be best to compare that player with a player of a similar size or skill set. So, comparing LeBron with Kobe wouldn’t be the same as comparing Kobe with James Harden. Why? Because Harden and Kobe has mastered the art of taking shots with a higher degree of difficulty and they both have a comparable build and role in their system. You can compare LeBron’s FG% (not 3 point FG% because that is not Bron’s game) to KD because both guys have physical advantages every night. Therefore, they don’t have to worry about taking a number of shots with a high degree of difficulty because chances are, no one is going to alter their shot or penetration to the basket anyway. The Kobe’s and the Harden’s of the world have to rely more on skill and angles to create separation. Even then, it usually ends up leading to them taking a contested shot at the end, which will always be a lower percentage no matter how great they are at making them.
For the most part, we are trying to measure guys from a pound for pound point of view. When doing that, comparing stats won’t tell the entire story. Think of it like washing whites with a red towel. What’s going to happen? The red towel is going to turn everything pink because the red towel should have been with the other towels in the first place. So, let’s sort out the laundry so to speak.
The best way to compare players is by looking at their role and finding other players who has a role that is similar. Although Aaron Gordon is good and is the number 1-2 option on his Orlando squad, we aren’t going to compare him to Kemba Walker just because he is a 1-2 option on his squad. Their roles in their systems are like night and day. So what happens is it turns into a preference. I would rather watch Kemba snatch somebody back than watch Aaron Gordon catch a body. I’m a guard and I will always have a bias to watching guard play. No knock against the big guys showing their versatility. It’s just hard to find guys with size that have the fluidity and rhythm of a guard. Now comparing Kemba Walker to Damian Lillard on the other hand is a great comparison because they are both scoring point guards who still have playmaking responsibility at a height where their physical disadvantage are comparable.
So with that being said, if you logged into the newly revamped homepage, you will see a question with a picture attached to it. We know the people love to go back and forth. So, we are going to give you that opportunity. However, our debates will be structured to go beyond the narrative of GOAT talk and force you to actually break down the player’s game. So, if you haven’t already, go to the homepage 94feetoflife.com and chime in by sharing on your page.
Published by Myron Jenkins
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