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TomShoe's Player Profiles: Dallas Mavericks

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TomShoe's Player Profiles: Dallas Mavericks

So, it turns out "Mr. PER" John Hollinger is putting up his updated player profiles for this year. I know many people want to look at them, but ESPN can be a real B- when they're putting up paywalls and shoving the benefits of insider in your face every other article. So, for sh*ts and giggles, also because I'm pulling my hair out waiting for either Oct. 5 (Start of the preseason), or Oct. 30 (start of the regular season), I might as well post them here, for nbadraft.net and the whole internet to enjoy.

When I get finished posting these, I'll put them all into one topic, so everybody can have them. Anyway, Mavs up, Magic tomorrow, and the Pablo Prigioni-led Knicks coming Saturday.

Enjoy.

-TomShoe

PROJECTED STARTERS

DARREN COLLISON, PG

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

14.5
3.9
6.1
14.5

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Water bug point guard with accurate shot, but rarely takes 3s. Great free throw shooter.
+ Can get to the rim and finish. Pushes tempo but doesn't distribute; thinks shoot first.
+ Moves well laterally but has a tiny build. Rarely fouls or gets steals.

Analysis
Collison had a career-high assist ratio and a career-low turnover ratio last season, so he's getting a bit better at this point guard thing. That said, it's not good enough to make him a long-term solution as a starter. There are just too many times he overdribbles, doesn't see the opening, or is too small to get the ball there, and as a result Collison averaged just 6.1 assists per 40 minutes despite being surrounded by some of the league's best catch-and-shoot weapons in Indiana. He also has an odd affinity for dribbling away from the screen in pick-and-rolls; when he does stick with the play he has trouble running his man into the screen.

Collison could deal with a bit more of a catch-and-shoot game himself. He's a good shooter -- 36.3 percent career on 3s and 85.3 percent at the free throw line -- but annually shoots 3s as rarely as any point guard. As a result, he suffers from a ho-hum true shooting percentage even though he draws fouls and his zone-by-zone shot chart looks great.

Defensively, he struggles against bigger guards but has good quickness. Overall, point guards had a 13.6 player efficiency rating (PER) against him, according to 82games.com, and the Pacers' results didn't change at all with him on the court. Thus, the horrifying plus-minus numbers he had in 2010-11 were apparently a fluke. Collison did have an oddly low steals rate for a quick guard, however, and could probably be a bit more aggressive at this end.

DELONTE WEST, SG

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

15.0
3.8
5.2
14.2

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Quick, injury-prone lefty combo guard. Good midrange shooter. Prefers wing.
+ Undersized, but a good defensive player. Moves feet well, good intensity.
+ Quick leaper. Prone to turnovers. Bipolar illness an off-court issue.

Analysis
West amped up his offensive game in Dallas and became an excellent backcourt partner for Jason Terry in particular, distributing on offense and cross-matching on defense to cover each other's shortcomings. The Mavs knew he could defend, but he scored more than expected -- a career-best 15.9 points per 40 minutes -- without any decline in efficiency. In particular, his midrange jumper (45.3 percent from 10-23 feet) proved deadly.

West doesn't shoot 3s or draw fouls in large quantities, so he needs to shoot that well from midrange to have much offensive value. He does provide some secondary benefit with his ballhanding. West isn't quite a true point guard and prefers playing the wing, but he's comfortable enough up top to initiate offense. He may find a similar role alongside Rodrigue Beaubois that he had with Terry last season.

Defensively, West is still quite good. He turns 30 in December and is short for a 2, but opponents scored 3.8 fewer points per 100 possessions with him on the court last season, and his Synergy grades were very solid, too.

Once again, however, his availability was a major issue. West missed at least 18 games for a fifth straight season (22 this time) and has never played more than 71 in a campaign; for his career he averages just 54 games a season. He'll likely be solid when he's out there, but that won't be a regular thing.

SHAWN MARION, SF

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

12.4
8.8
2.7
13.1

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Quick-leaping combo forward who is very effective on short-range shots.
+ Bizarre, low shot release. Has stopped taking 3s. Excellent quickness for his size.
+ Can post up smaller wings. Good rebounder. Runs the floor and handles the ball well.

Analysis
Dallas spent much of the season pumping up Marion for defensive honors, but you'd have a hard time proving his impact. The Mavs gave up more points with him on the court and didn't defend small forwards particularly well, and while Marion got positive grades from Synergy, he was hardly elite in this respect. That said, Marion was a difficult player to assess last season because he so often cross-matched to protect Jason Kidd. While it's impressive that a 6-foot-7 forward could competently line up against, say, Tony Parker, the case for him as an elite defender seems strained.

Offensively, the evidence is more clear: Marion had a bad season. His career-low 48.8 TS% made him a drag on the Dallas attack. His meal ticket has long been his ability to get layups and dunks, and short floaters and runners, but last season, he shot a pedestrian 51.1 percent inside 10 feet as he relied a lot more on the runners and floaters. Meanwhile, he basically stopped drawing fouls, earning just 93 freebies. He doesn't shoot 3s either, so overall, only one small forward had a worse secondary percentage.

What saved Marion's PER was a monstrous rebound rate (13.6) that ranked first among small forwards. He also improved his assist and turnover numbers from the previous season, and his assist ratio was a career-best.

DIRK NOWITZKI, PF

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

23.7
8.0
2.6
20.4

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Nimble 7-footer with a devastating midrange jumper and unblockable fadeaway.
+ Moves well on defense but lacks strength. Not a leaper.
+ Great going left and quickly pulling up for shot. Rarely turns the ball over.

Analysis
Nowitzki struggled early in the season and even took some time off to work on conditioning, but by season's end, he was pretty much his old self -- he averaged 23.6 points and shot 43.4 percent on 3s after the All-Star break. Nonetheless, as a whole his numbers were his worst in more than a decade, with his rates of points, rebounds and assists all taking a step back and his shooting percentages taking a worse dip.

Nowitzki's stock in trade is turning the usual rules of offense on their head. As I wrote a year ago, for every other player in every other league a long 2 is not a desirable shot. Nowitzki shoots them so well that it is. He made 50.3 percent beyond 16 feet last season, the second-best figure in the league, and that opens up everything else. Defenses foul and double him because of it, making him a threat in several other ways, especially because he rarely turns the ball over despite all the attention.

This is a roundabout way of saying I don't expect Nowitzki to decline much, if at all, despite being 34 this season. He was good in the latter half of last season, and his two differentiating skills -- being 7 feet tall and shooting 18-footers like they're layups -- won't diminish with age.

Size and shooting ability are the two biggest factors in career longevity, and while Nowitzki is actually slightly taller than ideal on this score (above 6-11, the cost in injury risk outweighs the benefit in height), he'll be able to keep raining jumpers for as long as his knees can keep him upright. That figures to be a while longer yet.

CHRIS KAMAN, C

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

17.0
11.0
2.7
14.4

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Avid Bill Simmons reader with good footwork in low post and wide base.
+ Ambidextrous finisher in the paint who has 18-foot range. Sloppy ball handler.
+ Blocks shots despite short arms, average hops. Good post defender. Injury-prone.

Analysis
Kaman was a high-usage go-to guy for the Hornets because he had to be, but his efficiency numbers strained under that burden. He's never been particularly efficient and last season he had by far the lowest TS% of his career (47.8). This came even though his midrange game became a real weapon -- he shot 44.6 percent on 2s beyond 10 feet and at times came off pin-downs at the free throw line -- because he struggled to score in the post against constant double teams. Also, his free throw rate has sank like a stone the past two seasons, as he has shot more jumpers.
Worst Shooting At Rim, Bigs, 2011-12

Player
Team
FG%

Marcus Camby
Por/Hou
49.3

Chris Kaman
NO
52.6

Marreese Speights
Mem
54.7

Brandon Bass
Bos
55.6

Zaza Pachulia
Atl
55.8

Min. 150 attempts. Source: Hoopdata.com

The most glaring indicator, however, comes in his shooting marks at the rim. Kaman had the worst percentage of any player with at least 150 attempts (Marcus Camby technically was a few attempts short; see his player comment for more), barely converting half his tries in an area where most 7-footers make close to two-thirds.

The other problem for Kaman is that he can't handle the ball, sporting a relatively high turnover ratio for a center even with all the catch-and-shoot jumpers. This is nothing new, and it's why I've never been a fan of feeding him in the post. Unless he has a major mismatch, Kaman just can't score efficiently enough to offset the turnovers. As a floor spacer in Dallas, on the other hand, he may cause some serious problems.

Defensively, Kaman isn't the most mobile or athletic guy, but he has real value because he is big, controls the glass and has great timing on blocks. He ranked in the top third of centers in blocks and his adjusted plus-minus numbers consistently rate him as a positive at this end.


RESERVES

O.J. MAYO, G

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

18.6
4.5
3.5
14.7

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Combo guard with a strong outside jumper. Excels coming off pin-downs and curls.
+ Good handle but lacks the jets to get in the paint consistently. Can play point in a pinch.
+ Struggles on defense: Short for a 2, slow for a 1. Effective guarding big PGs.

Analysis
It's been four years, and Mayo has hardly improved since his first day in Memphis -- in particular, the outside shooting stroke that seemed so promising his rookie year has failed to progress. Mayo's 3-point and free throw marks have been on a steady southward trajectory since his rookie season, which is troubling because his best hope of becoming a star was as a Reggie Miller-type shooter.

That's not happening -- he's at 37.5 percent on his career for 3s and doesn't shoot any better on long 2s -- so what we're left with is a decent enough scoring guard but one that isn't necessarily a starter. Mayo scores at a decent clip because he has a good handle and feel for getting to the basket, but he's not a great athlete and doesn't have an explosive first step.

Additionally, efforts to play him at the point haven't borne much fruit. While he can handle the ball, he lacks a distributor's instincts and really struggles to maneuver when quick guards pressure his dribble. According to 82games.com, his turnover ratio nearly doubled when he played the point; the main benefit was a huge uptick in free throws because he could bully smaller guards. The only way he could play point regularly would be in a system that lets other players do much of the ballhandling and mainly required him to spot up -- the Lakers in the Triangle years, for example.

Mayo isn't wowing anybody with his defense either, although there is one niche where he has proved effective: He does solid work against bigger 1s like Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose, and often took that assignment to spare the smaller Mike Conley a beating. Mayo also had strong rates of blocks and steals and a solid rebound rate, so at least he's active. But he struggles in size matchups at the 2 and picks up fouls easily, and his effort level still isn't as consistent as it could be.

ELTON BRAND, PF

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

13.5
9.2
2.1
15.5

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Slow-footed big man with a devastating midrange jump shot off the pick-and-pop.
+ Has lost speed and athleticism. Decent handle for his size. Struggles to finish in the paint.
+ Strong, smart team defender but overmatched against good post scorers.

Analysis
Subjectively, Brand lost more zip last season than the stats show -- he looked a bit tired and heavy all season, and he failed to make much of an impact in the playoffs. Statistically, however, you'd have a hard time proving it. Brand again put up a very solid PER and his defensive stats remain world class.

Brand may be the most underrated player in the league in this regard. He had the best Synergy grade on the Sixers, the league's No. 3 team in defensive efficiency, and among the best overall at his position. Philly gave up 2.8 points per 100 possessions less with him on the court, and he was fifth among power forwards in blocks per minute and 17th in steals. While he's undersized and he struggles against long jump shooters (like, say, Kevin Garnett, his foe in the second round of the playoffs), he was extremely effective in every other situation.

Offensively, Brand's torrid midrange shooting of a season earlier cooled off some, as he made "only" 44.7 percent of his jumpers beyond 10 feet. Those attempts comprised nearly two-thirds of his shots, as he rarely posts up anymore and when he does it's for a turnaround jumper. Because of that his free throw rate was among the lowest at his position, but his assist and turnovers were well above the league norm for power forwards, and overall he was a helpful offensive player.

BRANDAN WRIGHT, PF

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

17.2
8.2
0.7
19.8

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Long lefty with accurate short-range shot. Good finisher but no post game.
+ Big and talented, but hugely injury-prone. Motivation has been questioned.
+ Lacks strength, poor rebounder. Blocks shots but overall defense needs work.

Analysis
Wright stayed healthy for the first time in his career and became perhaps the league's best free-agent signing per dollar as a result. With his length and soft touch, Wright has always been able to convert near the rim and did so again, hitting 61.8 percent from the floor last season -- including an impressive 76.1 percent at the rim -- and pumping in 17.2 points per 40 minutes. Wright finished third among centers in TS%, while sporting the second-lowest turnover ratio. That's a tough combo to beat.

Dallas also figured out some ways to hide Wright on defense, using him in zones or situations when the opponent didn't have a physical post player. Nonetheless, he still needs a lot of work here. He blocks shots in bunches, sending back 3.19 per 40 minutes to rank fourth among centers last season, but his lack of physicality is a major negative.

He also was one of only two players to play at least 500 minutes without drawing an offensive foul (Terrence Williams was the other). Meanwhile, opposing centers had a 20.7 PER with Wright on the court, according to 82games.com, and he was 58th out of 63 centers in rebound rate.

RODRIGUE BEAUBOIS, PG

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

17.6
4.9
6.1
16.7

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Speedy guard who can score. Penetrates but doesn't see the court well.
+ Gets out of control on drives. Inconsistent shooter. Good rebounder for his size.
+ Active, athletic defender but needs to improve strength and fundamentals.

Analysis
Beaubois intrigued everybody with an impressive rookie year but has gone sideways since, doing just enough to stay relevant but not quite enough to give his career any traction. The problem starts with his being a classic "2 in a 1's body" -- unless he can improve his passing numbers some more; last season he was 47th among point guards in pure point rating.

Beaubois can score, but he's not efficient enough. Last season he averaged 16.4 points per 40 minutes, which was higher than his previous two, but he neither makes 3s nor draws fouls, resulting in subpar true shooting percentages. Last season Beaubois shot 28.8 percent on 3s and 36.2 percent on long 2s, and the season before wasn't any better. Meanwhile, he was in the bottom third of point guards in free throw rate.

The tantalizing part is that if he did either of these things -- create for teammates or convert his own shots -- just a little bit better, he'd have some real value. But right now he's just another low-efficiency creator.

Whether he can become more is an open question. His instincts as a point guard aren't great, I'm not sure his left hand is up to snuff, and while I wouldn't call his jumper broken it's not exactly fluid either.

Defensively it's a similar story. Beaubois is an impressive athlete who led all point guards in blocks per minute and ranked fourth in rebound rate, but his overall results weren't that great. He was overmatched size-wise when asked to guard 2s, and his plus-minus and Synergy numbers were poor.

VINCE CARTER, SG

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

15.8
5.1
3.7
13.0

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Formerly athletic, high-flying guard who has lost considerable burst and lift.
+ Looks heavy. Good outside shooter off the catch. Tends to shy away from contact.
+ Underrated passer. Good handle. Underrated defender with good size.

Analysis
Carter had a good start to the season, making one wonder if his poor performance in Phoenix was an outlier. But as the season wore on, his production declined considerably, to the point that it was a minor upset when the Mavs picked up the option on the final two years of his contract.

Carter shot only 38.3 percent after the break, including 29.8 percent on 3s. With the jumper not falling, it exposed the other factors in his decline. He looked heavy and his lift only periodically showed up, and he can't create much offense for himself anymore. Nonetheless, he was a solid offensive player for the season as a whole, ranking in the top third of shooting guards in pure point rating and the top half in both TS% and scoring rate.

Defensively, he's better than you think. Synergy rated Carter the Mavs' top defender and opposing shooting guards had just a 10.1 PER against him, according to 82games.com. The Mavs also gave up 4.4 points per 100 possessions less with him on the court. While these numbers overstate Carter's case, his defensive metrics have been very solid for several years. The greater worry is how long that will continue to be the case.

DAHNTAY JONES, SG

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

13.3
4.4
2.5
10.3

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Athletic wing with chops to be defensive stopper. Strong, good size.
+ Strong driver, especially to his right, who draws fouls. Highly turnover-prone.
+ Shaky shooter with a low release point. Too focused on offense and scoring.

Analysis
Jones regressed badly on the court and the Pacers worried about his locker room influence off it, resulting in Jones being largely decommissioned in the playoffs and donated to the Mavs afterward.

Jones often is too aggressive for his own good at both ends. He reined it in at the offensive end a bit, using his quick first step to again draw fouls at a high rate (10th among small forwards) and cutting down his turnovers and shots. Alas, Jones still shoots too many in-between shots he can't make (31-for-117 between the basket and the 3-point line) and rarely passes once he starts dribbling.

Defensively, Jones fouled like a madman, posting the fourth-highest rate among small forwards, but otherwise did a respectable job at both wing positions. As always, he could be better in this role if he focused on it more and on scoring less.

At 31, he still has something to offer if he's content with a defense-and-3s role. Jones made 42.9 percent of his triples last season, and while that's an outlier, he can make corner 3s. Meanwhile, he has always had defensive talent with his strength, leaping and lateral quickness.

DOMINIQUE JONES, SG

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

(Did not play 500 minutes last season) | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Big, strong wing who rebounds very well for his size. Good passer.
+ Quick and can get to the basket, but outside shot needs improvement.
+ Physical player but a "B" athlete. Unclear what offensive role he can fill.

Analysis
Well, what is he? Jones has an NBA body and some NBA skills, but the impasse between himself and playing time is the lack of a clear role. Jones is at his best driving to the rim and either drawing fouls or kicking to teammates, averaging better than a free throw for every two field goal attempts last season and a whopping 6.3 assists per 40 minutes. He also rebounds very well for his size, and if he became a regular player would likely compile at least a few triple-doubles.

Unfortunately, he can't shoot, and he's not a good enough creator to offset that. He's at 36.4 percent from the floor for his career with just one made 3-pointer in two seasons. Last season he shot 9-for-42 outside the charge circle. Shooting numbers like that simply won't cut it.

He doesn't need to shoot like Peja Stojakovic to carve out a role, especially on a team like this one that needs creators more than shooters. But he has to make defenses respect his shot a bit to open up his driving game and let him fill a niche as a creating slasher.

JARED CUNNINGHAM, SG

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

(Did not play 500 minutes last season) | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Athletic wing who can get to the basket and draw fouls. Average shooter. Fast hands.
+ Undersized for a wing, especially strength-wise, and lacks the handle to play the point.

Analysis
Cunningham's quickness shows through in his numbers -- he had one of the highest free throw rates and highest steal rates of any 2012 draft prospect. His athletic slashing should benefit a Dallas team that devolved into a 2-point jump-shooting bore-nanza last season, and the fast hands on D may be of use in the Mavs' myriad zones.

Nonetheless, there are holes to be mended in the rest of his game. He has to take better care of the ball and find more teammates on his forays to the rim, and he needs to add strength to avoid beatings on postups defensively. He's old for a rookie at 21, but Dallas could use an energizer like this.

BERNARD JAMES, C

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

(Did not play 500 minutes last season) | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Athletic big man who can block shots and rebound. Short-range finisher.
+ Lacks great offensive skills. Is 27 years old. Tweener between 4 and 5.

Analysis
James spent six years in the Air Force and served in Iraq before playing at Florida State, and is finally making the NBA at 27. But he rates as a dirty-work role player at best in the pros. Dallas took him for his ability to help immediately in the frontcourt, but he lacks ideal height for a center at 6-foot-10, 230 pounds, and he doesn't have the offensive skills to play the 4 regularly.

JAE CROWDER, SF

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Phenomenal defensive player who must move from frontcourt to wing.
+ Classic "energy" guy: Shaky skills but a great motor. Excellent rebounder.

Analysis
Crowder moves into a good situation with Dallas, where he'll be asked to be a defensive tornado off the bench and knock down a perimeter shot or two. Crowder played the 4 in college but will have to move to the wing as a pro given his size, and there's a real question to whether his offensive skills can survive the transition.

But if he can just provide half-decent offense, his D will do the rest. Crowder had an insanely high rate of steals for a frontcourt player and plays with tremendous fire. That alone should make him a worthwhile bench player, albeit one with a low ceiling.c


lakeshow22
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when will you start doing

when will you start doing some of the lottery teams?

TomShoe
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Answer

The list is organized by how the teams finished in the regular season standings last year. I started with the Miami Heat. The Knicks and the Jazz are the last playoff teams, and the first lottery team, either the Rockets or the Bucks, will be sometime this weekend. After that, we'll go down from there.

IndianaBasketball
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Hollinger nailed it on

Hollinger nailed it on Mayo... I know that hurts Mayo fans who think he can still be a "star", but what Hollinger wrote was on point.

I think starting in Dallas will give Mayo back that confidence he needs to regain his shooting stroke though. I like that Cuban and Carlisle have spoken highly on Mayo and are showing belief in him.

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