John Hollinger is one of the giants of the basketball industry. His annual player profiles cover nearly every NBA player and provide distinct and insightful statistics to give NBA fans a valuable crutch to gleam information on even the more obscure players.
I am not going to share all of the profiles, as it would not be fair to ESPN and their paying customers, so I will just share two paragraphs that I found particularly interesting.
On Duncan and his defensive impact:
“A lighter, fresher Duncan put up the same offensive numbers, but he was able to move better defensively and showed considerably more impact at that end. Every metric indicates that Duncan was a huge factor, with Synergy stats grading Duncan well above the mean for centers. The Spurs gave up 6.2 points per 100 possessions less with him on the court, and regularized adjusted plus-minus shows him to be the league’s single most impactful defensive player last season.”
On Ginobili’s career 2011-12 season:
“Calling it a career year isn’t quite right, but a career half-year? Given that he shot 52.6 percent to blow away his career high, tied his career best in PER, and set or threatened his bests in several other categories, I’d say so. Or consider this: The Spurs scored an unfathomable 121.0 points per 100 possessions with Ginobili on the floor last season, putting them nearly 20 points better than the league average.”
Hollinger projected the per 40 minute statistics for every Spur as well. He believes Parker’s assist rate will drop a bit this year but averaging 20.5 points and 8.9 assists per 40 minutes isn’t anything to be ashamed about. Hollinger also foresees a scoring improvement from Kawhi Leonard as he has him penciled in for per 40 minute averages of 14.7 points and 8.1 rebounds and a 18.1 PER. (Last season Leonard averaged 13.2 points and 8.5 rebounds per 40 minutes.)
The rest of his Spurs player profiles can be found here.