Pulling their weight - A quick look at the vets

I wanted to take a bit of a scientific look at the situation. If we are scapegoating, let's make sure we have the right ones to send off into the wilderness. All stats courtesy Because my will won't hold out, I'm cherry-picking the stats that matter as I see fit and all numbers are per 36 minutes. I'm also sticking to veterans who have played enough minutes to matter. Frosh and Soph are off the hook for now as are the sub-13mpg vets.

Cat Mobley:
08-09 13.5pts on 40.7% shooting 2.9reb 1.3ast
07-08 13.1pts on 43.3% shooting 3.7reb 2.7ast

Though most guys I will compare vs. Career averages, Mobley will be tracked year over year to be fair to his age. Cat is having his worst year ever from the field and also from the stripe. Rebounds are way down, blocks are way down and fouls are way up. Though his points are actually up, he is taking more shots to get there and getting to the line less. It might finally be time to let the old Blanket out to the moths. Its not the decline in production, per se, the stats don't tell the story of someone in a good place. Hustle stats are down AND efficiency is down. The story being told is of selfishness.

Ricky Davis:
08-09 8.9pts on 31% shooting, 32% from deep. 0.8FTA 3reb 3.6ast 2.1TO
Career 16.5pts on 44.8% shooting, 36.3% from deep. 4.0FTA 4.2reb 4.0ast 2.7TO

On the surface Buckets' story is a little different. His FGA are actually at the lowest of his career, but not significantly lower than last season. It just appears his shot isn't falling. Slumps happen and he may not have found a comfortable place yet. Unfortunately for the Clippers if Davis2 isn't scoring, what is he doing? With his attempts flat, assists up and turnovers down, I don't think its time to quit on him just yet because the evidence for ballhoggery or other undesirable behavior isn't there.

Tim Thomas:
08-09 17.2pts from 14.4FGA on 42.1% shooting, 30% from deep, 63.6% of his 6.3FTA. 7.6reb 1.7ast 2.3TO
Career 16pts from 13.4FGA on 43.6% shooting, 36.5% from deep, 75.6% of his 3.5FTA. 5.7reb 2.2ast 2.1TO

The story of TT this season is his scoring. Its up 1.2pts from his average and he is only taking 1 more shot from the field. In a vacuum this would be a very good thing. He is also getting to the line often, which would again be a good thing. Unfortunately like his deep stroke a year ago, his free throw shooting seems to have also vanished. He seems to have given up on that 3-ball since it is now only about 26% of his shot attempts vs 30% for his career. Its a good thing that he has recognized this and adjusted, but its a bad thing for the Clippers that it seems to have escaped him. Thomas' rebounding is up which is good and he has increased his scoring without wildly increasing his turnovers which is also good. Even though his absolute TO's are up, his TO% is down vs his career. I think you have to keep going with TT and hope he works out that FT situation. If the deep threat ever returns, he is actually a potent offensive weapon right now.

Marcus Camby:
08-09 11pts on 46.2% shooting, 84.6% from the line. 13.6reb 1.4ast 3.3blk 1.2TO
Career 12.6pts on 46.7% shooting, 67.9% from the line. 11.4reb 2.2ast 3.1blk 1.8TO

In contrast to Cat, old man Camby gets the vs career treatment because his production isn't falling off. Camby is largely doing what he does. The decrease in scoring is deceptive; he is just taking fewer shots and with the increase in FT% he is actually more efficient this year. His rebounding is stronger than ever. The nuance here with Camby is that for now his minutes are way down. That's bad for the Clippers, though its not really his fault. If he can get into that 32mpg range, it will be great things.

Chris Kaman:
08-09 13pts from 10FGA on 52.8% shooting, 67.7% from the line. 10.4reb 1.5ast 0.8stl 1.9blk 3.5TO 3.2PF
05-06 13.1pts from 9.9FGA on 52.3% shooting, 77% from the line. 10.5reb 1.1ast 0.6stl 1.5blk 2.5TO 3.8PF
07-08 15.2pts from 12.1FGA on 48.3% shooting, 76.2% from the line. 12.3reb 1.8ast 0.6stl 2.7blk 2.8TO 3.1PF

Lets call 05-06 Kaman, "Good Enough to Win a Playoff Series Chris". 07-08 Kaman, "Kaman 2.0". And 08-09 Kaman, "Still Kaman 2.0". First lets talk defense since that is pretty clear. You are getting the best defense Chris has ever played, from a traditional stats standpoint. His rebounds are flat vs GETWAPS Chris, but now he has an all-time rebounder starting next to him. His steals are up period. His blocks are up vs GETWAPS Chris, but down vs 2.0, but again, all time shot-blocker next door. His personal fouls are also way down from GETWAPS Chris, which is underrated in importance. His assists are also up, and they deserve to be even higher. Chris IS hitting the open man on kickouts, but what does it matter if its Ricky Brickets or Ballstopper Thornton? You just can't get an assist there.

So now its time for a little basketball mad-scientist next door. I am going to take away one of Kaman 2.0's missed FGA and make it a maddening turnover instead. Viola, Kaman 2.0 is now committing 3.8 turnovers per game, but shooting 52.2% just like GETWAPS Chris and Still Kaman 2.0. Is that turnover maddening? Absolutely. Is it functionally any different than a bad shot? Nope, its still ball other way.

Chris Kaman is fine. His one extra maddening turnover per game is not causing the Clippers to lose by 20. Though I will concede that it is obviously maddening. A reasonable person could argue that Kaman should be playing better, but it isn't fair to say he is playing worse now than before. He is right where history shows that he belongs. GETWAPS Kaman was good enough, and this version is better.

As an aside since the bigs are out of the way, Kaman, Camby and Thomas are averaging 24.9rpg. The Clippers are averaging a hair under 40 as a team. Let's step it up everyone else.

Baron Davis:
08-09 17.5pts on 37.3% shooting, 26.9% from deep. 3.9FTA 3.6reb 8.6ast 1.7stl 2.1TO 3.9PF
Career 17.3pts on 41.3% shooting, 32.4% from deep. 4.4FTA 4.1reb 7.4ast 2.0stl 2.8TO 2.9PF
Well, well, well. Ast/TO is pretty much all that is to the good, otherwise this year's BD is not contributing much. And that ast/TO might be tricky as well. Is his higher inclination to pass really a good thing? He is completely inefficient offensively, isn't getting to the line and is lagging in the hustle stats. He's yet to record a block this season. That foul situation isn't nice either. Reaching like that is another mark in the doesn't care column, besides the 1.5 points it puts on the ledger for the opponent. Also some scrub named Udrih burned him for like 100 points.
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