Discussion in 'Phoenix Suns' started by boisesuns, Jan 5, 2019.
The record and the numbers speak for themselves.
It doesn’t fit their narrative.
It also doesn't fit the objective, empirical evidence.
In other words, it doesn't fit reality.
Then again, coming from a group that predicted twice the number of wins than the team actually had this year...
When thinking about Ayton's defensive deficiencies I don't think you can overlook that he isn't a shot blocker and may never become a very good shot blocker. It's ok if he doesn't as there is more to defense than swatting shots away but the Suns will need a rim protector of some sort to pair with him. Zion would fill that need, I think, but we can't count on that.
I was looking at stats trying to find a player like Serge Ibaka who isn't Ibaka himself because he's too old and expensive to be a target and I stumbled across Maxi Kleber, Dallas' backup PF. He was 11th in block percentage last year, averaging 4.4 blocks. That's the average of 2 point field goal attempts that a team takes that he would block. It's also .1 higher than Ibaka himself as well as Andre Drummond and the same as Joel Embiid. He only played in 21.2 minutes per game this season in his 71 games played but he averaged 1.1 blocks a game in that time.
Based on the block percentage and his relatively high blocks per game average despite playing limited minutes he may be able to increase that if he got more floor time. Per 36 he would average 1.9 blocks a game, which would have placed him 7th in the league this last year. He's also a restricted free agent.
He did that last year next to DeAndre Jordan half the year, before he was sent to New York, and he also has a good shooting range. He shot 35% from 3 last season in 3.1 attempts a game. I know these aren't knock your socks off numbers but it's a start, it shows he has potential to improve if given a larger role.
Did anyone watch a bit of Dallas last year, what do you make of Kleber? He's not someone we should target right away but he is 27 years old, just turned 27 last month, so he's in his prime when it comes to age. He played professionally in Europe prior to joining the NBA the year before last. Spotrac says he signed a 2 year deal with Dallas at the league minimum and they hold his early bird rights, which allows them to match up to a certain amount. I found this on early bird rights from the CBA-FAQ
So I believe we can offer more than Dallas but it would require giving him a bit more than the midlevel exception. I'm not sure if he's worth that much or not but they may not be looking to resign him, who knows. He may also want the chance to start. I'm not sure how it works exactly if Dallas has restricted rights and early bird rights, so they can't offer him more than a certain amount but can other teams?
He may be someone to look at if we strike out elsewhere on guys like Randle, Mirotic, Thaddeus Young, etc. He's a veteran who should be able to play throughout a 4 year deal. I'll post his stats below and a link to them as well.
Does he rebound? Play competent D on the opposing PF?
Decent back-up. Not starter material.
He appears to be a decent rebounder. He's 6'10 and 240 pounds so he's got the size to match up with opposing PF's. He was Dallas' backup PF who played some Center as well. I'm going by numbers so I don't know how competent his defense is outside of what the stats say and it appears he's between average and good defensively. He played PF 86% of the time he was on the court so I imagine he does guard opposing PF's most of the time.
@SirStefan32 watched a good bit of Mavericks games and said he was a high energy guy that can play D and knock down his shots. I think he can add more to this, did he primarily guard opposing PF's or did he switch a lot?
Mavs switch a lot. Kleber is a good one on one defender, but he really excels at two thing- switching and closing on shooters. One of my main complaints about Bender has been that he backs off too far. He still contests shots, but he is always a few inches too far to really bother the shooter. Well, Kleber is an example of someone who's figured that out. He can switch, back off enough to not allow the guard to drive, but close enough to be able to bother them. My eye test says he is one of the best bigs at switching. I am not sure how to validate that, but he certainly looks amazing in those situations.
He does hold his own one on one in the post too. He is not as strong as you would think looking at his measurements, but he holds his own. His footwork is incredible, and he has this weird understanding of angles and spacing. You know how Warren knows where to go, which angle to take, when to spin when going to the hoop? Well, Kleber has that same understanding, but on defense. I am not sure I am explaining it well, but he just knows where to be, when to help, how much to help, when to back off, how far to back off, etc. He also doesn't take plays off. He plays hard, and does so consistently. On a scale from one to 10, I'd give him nines when it comes to energy/ hard work, switching, and team/ help defense, and I'd give him a seven for post defense.
Overall, I'd say his defense is very good, his energy is outstanding, and his offense is non-existent beyond open jumpers and an occasional layup dunk resulting from Doncic' incredible passing. It's hard to tell how good of a rebounder he is. Mavs appeared to have just let Jordan grab everything before he was traded and then switched to letting Doncic grab rebounds so he can start the fast break. He is probably a better rebounder than his numbers indicate, but definitely not a rebounding machine.
What evidence. The team that started 2018 no longer exists.
Oubre and Tyler Johnson were not around together with the rest of the team for more than 10 games.
Our rookies progressed tremendously, as did Igor over the course of the year.
For the brief time period everyone was healthy they beat golden state, Milwaukee, and played at 500.
The evidence actually supports me far more than you if you look at the team as it is constructed now.
Look at the numbers for the rookies and Jackson over the course of the year. Then take a look at the results outside the 4-5 game stretch with the victories against Golden State and Milwaukee (remember we had a stretch like that earlier in the season as well, before Johnson and Oubre).
I think you'll then realize how misguided your statements are here, fueled entirely by one good week (amidst months of garbage).
this seems to be said A LOT in re: our rookies but I didn't see this much, if at all. my eye test saw very little progress and their stats said the same... as Ayton actually regressed stat wise toward the end of the year and Bridges barely moved forward.
There are too many on this board who refuse to let the facts get in the way of their unconditional love for Igor Kokoskov as head coach.
Well than you have really bad memory, or no eye for detail.
Ayton’s team defense was 100% better by the end of the year. He was working on his offensive game from 15 ft out at the end of the year and having some success. What you don’t remember is how hard they were trying to force the ball into ayton from 5 feet out, because that was the only way he was effective, but they stopped that completely and he got his points in the flow of the offense later, which is when booker and Oubre began to thrive. Ayton also improved his shot blocking noticeably in his last 10 games.
Bridges main improvement was his passing. He got much better as the year went on, and when asked how he improved that is what he mentioned as well.
The 2 pg’s didn’t improve much noticeably, but I am sure they have a far better idea of what they need to work on.
I don’t love Igor. I just want him to get a fair shot, and this team of young players need stability more than a marginal improvement at head coach imo.
If the Suns do not spend big for a point guard in free agency, I would be content with Morant, Johnson and a more experienced veteran not named Okobo/Melton.
Nothing against Okobo/Melton but I don't think they are ready to go.
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