Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Like Father, Like Son? Heat Sign Anthony Mason Jr.

HEAT Sign Anthony Mason Jr. & Mickell Gladness

The Heat announced that Anthony Mason, Jr. and Mickell Gladness were the last two players signed for training camp. My first post on this blog, The Bottom Three, reported the productivity of the Heat Summer League team and whether the best players were chosen for the bottom three spots on the roster. Anthony Mason, Jr. and Mickell Gladness were invited to participate in Vegas but Mason Jr. didn't play a single minute for the Heat in summer league so I can't directly compare him to the bottom three of Shavlik Randolph, Kenny Hasbrouck and Dexter Pittman based on productivity against entry-level NBA competition but I can do that for Gladness.  Gladness was one of the least productive players for the Heat in summer league.  He produced an estimated -0.048 wins in 29 minutes.  Patrick Beverley and Dexter Pittman were the only two players in Vegas that were less productive for the Heat, but since they were signed to contracts and invited to training camp I guess Gladness warranted an invitation, too.  However, I don't expect him to be a serious threat to make the team based on the premise that the first to sign shall be the last ones cut and the last ones signed will be the first ones cut.

For Anthony Mason, Jr. I'll use his college numbers to evaluate whether he should make the team over the bottom three. Mason's college productivity will be measured by Win Score per 40 minutes (WS40) using the same method as the Wages of Wins Journal.

As a 6'7", 209 lb. forward, Mason produced a 7.4 WS40 last season at St. John's University (see the SR/College Basketball site for his stats). An average NCAA small forward produced a 9.95 WS40 last season. That leaves Mason with a position-adjusted WS40 (PAWS40) of 7.6. From 1995-2009, the average PAWS40 for a player selected out of college was just about 10.0. That means Anthony Mason, Jr. is a below average college prospect for the NBA (which explains why he wasn't drafted). Here's how Mason compares to the other players drafted by the Heat this year:

Dexter Pittman - 11.3
Da'Sean Butler - 8.3
Anthony Mason, Jr. - 7.6

Maybe Mason will challenge for Butler's spot (if he even has one) while he recovers from blowing his knee out in the Final Four, but the numbers don't seem to indicate he should pose much of a threat to Pittman when it comes to making the Heat roster. At this point, it's time for a PAWS40 disclaimer from the Wages of Wins Journal:

"[I]t must be emphasized (as has been noted in prior discussions of the draft), PAWS40 is correlated with future performance in the NBA. But it is not a crystal ball. So just because a player is above average, that does not mean he will be an above average NBA player. And below average players with respect to PAWS40 might become above average NBA players."

So there's a chance that Mason could exceed expectations in training camp and draining jumpers over LeBron James is a good start but it's more likely that he'll be cut before October 26th. Or perhaps Mason Jr. will start to play more like his father. Anthony Mason, Sr. produced an 11.6 Win Score his senior year at Tennessee State in 1988 and produced an 11.7 Win Score in 2001 with the Miami Heat, which translates to an estimated wins produced per 48 minutes of 0.146 (average EWP48 is 0.100). Anthony Mason, Sr. was an above average player for Miami, but if his son was going to follow in his footsteps I think he would have been more productive last season at St. John's. I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up in the D-League like the son of another famous Knickerbocker.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

ESPN - Where Biting Happens

For Heat, an L.A. story - TrueHoop Blog - ESPN

Thanks to Devin Dignam of the NBeh? blog for alerting me to the fact that ESPN is biting my style (see link above). We'll see which blog is more interesting this season. I accept the challenge.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Who Is The Greatest Forward In Miami Heat History? Not LeBron James. Not Yet.

The Greatest Heat Team of All Time - ESPN has a great app (click the link above) that allows fans to pick the best players of all-time for your favorite team so I decided to take some time to identify the most productive Heat players from the app using player data from to estimate the Wins Produced by each player.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Arachnophobia: Why The Heat Should Fear The Durantula

I just posted a new Bleacher Report article on Team USA summarizing their performance in the preliminary round of the 201 FIBA World Championships. Durant's performance after 5 games surpassed LeBron's performance in the 2008 Olympics. Check it out:

Arachnophobia: Why FIBA Should Fear The Durantula At The World Championships | World Domination: Kevin Durant Is Leading Team USA to The World Championship | Bleacher Report

To see updated 2010 Team USA stats for Durant, check out this spreadsheet.

To see 2008 Team USA stats for LeBron, check out this spreadsheet.

Leave a comment on who you think will be the better small forward this NBA season.