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The NBA has introduced SportsVU player and team tracking stats since the 2013-14 season which provide interesting player evaluations not used prior to last season. One example is passing field goal percentages. The league now records with new camera technology, among many other stats, the field goal percentage of shots taken on passes made by any particular player. This brings me to Michael Carter-Williams, recently traded, who many would consider a great passer and facilitator, as he is ranked 9th in the league in assists per game. What player tracking shows us, is that while MCW makes the 2nd most passes per game in the league, his teammate's overall field goal percentage on his passes are actually lower than the team's already low percentages. The team shoots 41.0% overall, while MCW's pass field goal percentage is only 40.5%. Tony Wroten, Tim frazier, KJ McDaniels, Nerlens Noel, and Jerami Grant all boast higher field goal percentages on their passes.
If that doesn't convince you he was bad for offense, he also yielded an 88 offensive rating (points his team scored per 100 possessions while he was on the floor). No player on the sixers with over 300 minutes of playing time this year had a lower offensive rating (13 players). He is currently tied for dead last in the league (472nd) in OWS(Offensive Win Shares, which estimates how many wins the player contributed to the team with his offense) with Lance Stephenson.
MCW's Player Efficiency Rating (PER) dropped from a slightly above average 15.5 PER in 2013-14, to 12.9. Player Efficiency is a stat that should really play to MCW's favor as he is considered a stat stuffer in traditional box score statistics, which are what the statistic uses in its calculations and yet, he's well below average now. This is mostly because of his significant drop in shooting efficiency, less steals and more turnovers.
What MCW did do as well as any point guard in the league, was make his impact defensively. Of the five point guards ahead of him in Defensive Box Plus/Minus, which estimates the players points saved using box score stats (John Wall, Eric Bledsoe, Stephen Curry, Patrick Beverly, and Elfrid Payton), only Stephen Curry equals MCW in defensive field goal percentage difference. He probably could carve out a solid role in the NBA with his motor and defensive capabilities alone, if his half-court touches were made much more limited to hide his negative offensive production. But, what we got in return for him in the 76ers' recent trade will hopefully be worth much more than that role.
During MCW's minutes played on the 76ers this season, per 100 possessions, the team scored 88 points while opponents scored 105 - a difference of 17(Ortg-Drtg). Since the MCW trade, Sixers have averaged a score of 97.3 while opponents averaged 108 - a difference of 10.7, in their four consecutive losses. Their margins of defeat haven't gotten any worse than when MCW was in.
The team was beginning to gel defensively before the trades, and fan frustration in the team's regression is understandable. We must give everyone else a chance to run the offense and produce as a team instead of running every play through MCW. This team's recently changed defense will adjust in due time, just as it did before.
Jason Kidd, a player MCW's rookie season stats were often compared to (along with legends like Magic, and Oscar Robertson) is now MCW's coach and he should bring the best out of him. I thank MCW for his time spent in Philadelphia, and also thank him in advance for the important player that the Lakers first round pick should bring and wish him the best with his new team.
Tonight marked the 76ers most impressive victory since defeating the Lebron-less Cleveland Cavaliers with an impressive showing on defense while holding Washington to eighty-one points. Perhaps this win will silence some of the critics of general manager Sam Hinkie.
*some stat links have slightly changed due to the games played since the trade.