Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Projecting Jeremy Lin, Part 2: Basketball Athleticism


Being a good "basketball athlete" requires a high level of strength, quickness, hops, timing, and anticipation.

I've heard constantly that JLin is a better athlete than he looks or he is deceptively quick. I think we all need to step back and look at the facts, without pre-conceived biases. Since he wasn't invited to the athletic measurement portion of the pre-draft combine, I did a little homework.

I tried to quantify "Basketball Athleticism" by relating it to current NBA players' college career per game stats (steals + blocks, and steals + blocks x 2). Of course its not perfect. Some played only one or two years in college. The competition is not the same. I wanted to add dunks per game but this stat is not available for college. However, this should get us in the ballpark and can be measured. I'm sure Rich Cho has a better algorithm than this.

Steals + Blocks

JKidd...............3.46 + .29 = 3.75
DWade..............2.3 + 1.2 = 3.5
Chris Paul...........2.7 + .2 = 2.9
Tyreke............2.08 + .78 = 2.86
JLin....................2.0 + .6 = 2.6
R. Stuckey...........2.3 + .3 = 2.6
R. Rondo.............2.3 + .2 = 2.5
John Wall............1.8 + .5 = 2.3
C. Billups.............2.1 + .1 = 2.2
G. Arenas.............1.9 + .2 = 2.1
Steve Blake...........1.7+ .3 = 2.0
OJ Mayo...............1.5 + .4 = 1.9
Jarrett Jack...........1.8 + .1 = 1.9
Kirk Hinrich.......1.46 + .4 = 1.86
Derrick Rose.........1.2 + .4 = 1.6
Steve Nash..........1.3 + .06 = 1.36
Deron Williams.....1.1 + .2 = 1.2

Steals + Blocks x 2

DWade..............2.3 + 2.4 = 4.7
JKidd...............3.46 + .58 = 4.03
Tyreke............2.08 + 1.57 = 3.6
JLin....................2.0 + 1.2 = 3.2
Chris Paul............2.7 + .4 = 3.1
R. Stuckey............2.3 + .6 = 2.9
John Wall............1.8 + 1.0 = 2.8
R. Rondo..............2.3 + .4 = 2.7
OJ Mayo...............1.5 + .8 = 2.3
C. Billups..............2.1 + .2 = 2.3
G. Arenas.............1.9 + .4 = 2.3
Steve Blake...........1.7+ .6 = 2.3
Kirk Hinrich........1.46 +.8 = 2.26
Derrick Rose....... 1.2 + .8 = 2.0
Jarrett Jack...........1.8 + .2 = 2.0
Deron Williams....1.1 + .4 = 1.5
Steve Nash..........1.3 + .12 = 1.42


It's true that guys like Wall and Rose would shoot up the charts if they stayed another year in college. However, I believe these lists show us that JLin is at or above the basketball athleticism of say Steve Blake, Jarrett Jack, or a Kirk Hinrich. All three have started or are what we could call marginal starters. Also, the bottom of the list shows us you don't have to be a "freak athlete" to be a great point guard in the NBA.



1 comment:

  1. I admire your effort to try to quantify athleticism, but I'm sorry to say that I don't think there is any correlation between your metrics and reality.

    I'll propose a slightly better metric of athleticism for PGs: reverse free throw %. Of course, that's not perfect either, but I think you'll get better correlation out of that than your metric.

    Theory being that if you can't shoot the ball, you must have some other factors that allow you to be an NBA player... like athleticism.

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