Thursday Morning Mavs Donuts
DONUT 1: Calderon moves on ...
As I wrote earlier this week, the Dallas Mavericks made quite a bit of sense as the facilitators of a Rudy Gay-to-Toronto deal. In so doing, Dallas would have netted Jose Calderon, a plus player at a position of need on a Plan Powder-friendly contract.
Ultimately Dallas would miss out on Calderon due to what is nationally being characterized as "an unwillingness to include Vince Carter in the deal.'' Memphis, seeking a small forward in return for Gay, decided instead to take Detroit's offer of Tayshawn Prince over Dallas' proposal of other pieces.
DONUT 2: Is Dallas Vin-sane? ...
Even at his advanced age, Carter is clearly still a talented player but a look at the numbers shows his true value to Dallas. Though he is extremely frustrating at times, Carter fills a position of need and is getting hot just as Dallas might be turning their season around. Carter is enjoying a stellar month, averaging 14.1 points 4.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists. Further, he brings a scoring threat and the ability to facilitate the offense at a position that Dallas is relatively thin.
Though fans will be frustrated to see Dallas miss out on Calderon on account of Carter, the Mavericks are 2.9 points better than their opponent when Carter is on the floor this season and 7.8 points worse when Carter sits. That spread gives him the biggest impact of any player Dallas employs. Adding his impact to his current hot streak coinciding with Dallas' resurgence and it is clear why Dallas hesitated to part with Carter for an upgrade at point guard. In their estimation, which I believe is sound, the addition of Calderon would have, at best, offset the loss of Carter.
DONUT 3: Ah, but then there is the inside scoop ...
And only DB.com has it.
Dallas' non-trade wasn't just about Vince. It was about Vince AND Kaman.
This is the most informed and informative piece you will read on the subject. It's Premium stuff, and the nut graph from Fish and D-Lord goes like this:
Is it a big loss? We don't think so. Carter and Kaman for Calderon is a one-sided trade. While Calderon would have helped the PG play and as a veteran presence, sending away Carter and Kaman would have lost them more than they stood to gain by his addition, and the odds were quite high he would have been a short-timer in Dallas. In addition, there might be other assets moving at the trade deadline that can add much more to this team - spending so much for little gain just made no sense at all.
DONUT 4: Collison vs Calderon ...
Another facet to the refusal to trade for Calderon is the tacit vote of confidence it gives Darren Collison, who like Carter, seems to be a big reason for Dallas' resurgence. Though Carlisle has not yet given Collison the full reward of consistent crunch time minutes, Collison has improved game by game as the season has progressed. Since Christmas, Collison has nearaly a 3:1 assist: turnover ratio and is averaging nearly 15 points per game to go along with three rebounds and nearly two steals per contest.
Though Calderon boasts a career 7/2 assist/turnover ratio, his marginal benefit over Collison seems to be shrinking.
DONUT 5: Thanks, Frisco Party Station! ...
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DONUT 6: Darren Collison's Offensive DNA ...
This season, Darren Collison has generated nearly 60% of his offense on two sets: as the pick and roll ball handler and in transition. As the pick and roll ball handler, his expected role as a point guard, Collison shoots his lowest percentage (39%) of any set, but nets Dallas 0.73 points per possession (77th-best in the NBA). In transition, Collison excels thanks to his superior speed and ability to jump passing lanes, shooting 63% from the field and averaging 1.28 ppp, good for 51st in the league. Dallas also scores on 63.2% of the plays Collison uses in transition.
Interestingly, Collison achieves his greatest success relative to his peers, in isolation. Though it only happens on 9% of Collison's offensive plays, he is shooting nearly 44% on iso's and is good for 0.9 points per possession, good for a nearly-elite 30th-best mark in the NBA.
It's Mavs at GS tonight and I look forward to some of these Collison numbers playing themselves out in a windshield-wiper game.
DONUT 7: Want more Mavs? ...
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DONUT 8: Elton Brand Vs. Chris Kaman ...
Coming into the season, we assumed that one big man would be the better offensive player, Kaman, while the other, Brand, would provide the elite-level interior defense that was lost with the departures of Tyson Chandler and Brendon Haywood. For the most part, the numbers hold this assertion to be true: Kaman boasts the superior numbers on offense while Brand has been the better defender.
However, the gap on offense has narrowed considerably this season while on defense, the difference between Brand and Kaman has perhaps grown. The Eye Test has long since shown that Brand deserved to start alongside Dirk and MDug provided a great piece on how they fare alongside Nowitzki, but perhaps these numbers can serve as the final word in the Brand vs Kaman Debate.
DONUT 9: Kaman is the Better offensive player, but barely ...
Overall, Kaman shoots about four percentage points better from the field than Brand and nets Dallas 0.94 points per possession he uses. However, Brand is right behind him at 0.92 ppp. Their numbers in post-up situations are also extremely similar, with Brand netting 0.73 ppp and Kaman 0.79.
Both use about one-fifth of their possessions on pick and rolls and are elite options as the roll man. Kaman hits nearly 63% of his shots and netting 1.23 ppp (8th-best in the league) while Brand is not far behind, hitting 52%, good for 1.1 ppp, ranking him 21st in the NBA. The trend continues in spot up situations, with Brand hitting 0.85 ppp and Kaman 0.92.
However, one area where Brand and Kaman differ is on the offensive glass. This season, Brand about 12% of his possessions from cleaning the offensive glass while Kaman does so only about 7.6% of the time. Given the difference in their respective games and body types, Brand has been the superior offensive rebounder throughout his career. Kaman shoots 41% from the field in such situations, good for 0.86 ppp (104th in the NBA). On the other hand, Brand is grabbing 10.3% of available offensive rebounds this season (averaging 2.0 per game and 3.3 per 36 mins) according to Basketball Reference, his highest mark since '06-'07 and his prowess on the offensive glass is a big reason he ranks third among active players in total offensive boards. When Brand grabs an offensive board, he shoots 56% from te floor and Dallas gets 1.07 points per possession.
With Dallas coming in 27th in the league on the offensive glass, Brand's abilities could help cover for a key weakness plaguing the Mavericks offense.
Brand's defense, meanwhile, makes all the difference.
Overall, Brand surrenders 0.78 ppp to opponents while 0.86. It doesn't sound like a big difference but that's a difference of 178th in the league to 61st as Kaman's opponents shoot nearly 43% from the field and Brand's only hit 37%.
Interestingly, Brand is traditionally an elite-level post defender, however this season, Brand and Kaman are extremely close in post-up defense with Brand surrendering 0.82 ppp and Kaman giving up 0.86.
DONUT 10: Kaman Out Indefinitely with Concussion ...
In the short term, however, the point may be moot as Chris Kaman was recently diagnosed with a concussion and will have to pass NBA-mandated protocol before being cleared again for game action. While it's unfortunate for Kaman, it is a benefit to Dallas as the team is roughly five points worse than their opponent with Kaman on the court and even with him off the floor.
It also provides an opportunity to recent-starter Bernard James to grow into the role of tone-setter while providing valuable playing time for the rookie.
DONUT 11: Checking up on JET ...
Lost amid the "Boston is done because Rondo tore his ACL," narrative is subplot that Jason Terry has not been the player Boston thought they were getting when they signed the ex-Maverick. Perhaps that's because Boston tried to fit Jason Terry into the role previously occupied by Ray Allen.
As a Maverick, roughly a third of Terry's shots came from beyond the arc, but this season, Terry is taking 4.3 of his 8.4 shots per game from beyond the three-point line. He is having his worst shooting season of his career since his final year in Atlanta and is averaging his fewest points since his rookie year at 9.9 points per game.
Hey, at least he didn't try to immortalize this season with a silly leprechaun tattoo or anything….
DONUT 12: The Final Word ...
The simplest way to explain -- and accept -- the Mavs' non-dealing of Vince AND Kaman for Calderon's expiring is ... or better be ... the Mavs see a more attractive fish on the horizon and plan on this sort of package being the bait.
And I draw some optimism from DB.com's Mavs source saying the Calderon idea "fit the plan.'' Because that indicates there is one.