Advanced Stats: Demarcus is DeFuture
From SacTown Royalty…
While the best story for the Kings on the court this season was Isaiah Thomas coming from nowhere, the most important one was DeMarcus Cousins’ rise. DeMarcus blew almost everyone’s expectations out of the water by laying down the foundation for becoming one of the very best big men in the league in just his second year.
The Kings also saw major improvement from another young big man in Jason Thompson, who worked his tail off as he faced an uncertain future. Thompson was seemingly put on notice with the offseason acquisitions of Chuck Hayes and J.J. Hickson, and he more than delivered.
Hickson was waived after a terribly disappointing season. Hayes came into the season out of shape and suffered an early shoulder injury that affected him most of the year. He did not have nearly the impact on the team’s defense that most hoped he would, and was a big let down overall.
Sacramento also saw increased opportunities for Hassan Whiteside, who began to make a little bit of an impact before an ankle injury took him out shortly after Hickson was waived. That was unfortunate, because he could have really benefited from that extra time down the stretch of the season.
I will be using several sources for my analysis. First, I’ll be using the Advanced Statistics found on Basketball-Reference (PER, TS%, AST%, etc.). I will also be using mySynergySports.com to give a more in-depth look at how our players perform each possession, both offensively and defensively. mySynergySports.com uses PPP (Points Per Possession) to track individual players. They track individual play types on both ends of the court and I will be provding samples of each players major play types. For the shot location statistics, I’ll be using HoopData.
The following statistics were compiled as of the end of the 2011-12 season. If you would like some explanations of the following statistics, Basketball-Reference has explanations here.
NOTE: I took off 82games.com’s On/Off court ratings as they hadn’t been updated since April 1st. If you’re interested they can be found here.
PER: 21.7 (Tied 18th in NBA)
ORB%: 14.2% (1st in NBA)
DRB%: 25.9% (5th in NBA)
STL%: 2.4% (16th in NBA)
USG%: 29.7% (8th in NBA)
Offensive Rating: 102
Overall Offensive PPP: 0.86
Post-Up (26.5%): 0.8
Offensive Rebound (16.8%): 1.03
Isolation (13.3%): 0.69
Spot-Up (10.9%): 0.78
P&R Roll Man (10.4%): 0.99
At Rim: 4.1 FGM / 7.3 FGA (56.7%)
3-9 Feet: 1.0 FGM / 3.4 FGA (30.0%)
10-15 Feet: 0.3 FGM / 0.9 FGA (35.1%)
16-23 Feet: 1.5 FGM / 3.8 FGA (40.0%)
Threes: 0.0 FGM / 0.2 FGA (14.3%)
Free Throw Rate (FTA/FGA): 0.37
Defensive Rating: 104
Overall Defensive PPP: 0.85
Post-Up (37.6%): 0.82
Spot-Up (32.5%): 1.0
Isolation (14.6%): 0.74
P&R Roll Man (9.4%): 0.73 (17th in NBA)
DeMarcus Cousins made huge strides in his game this year. He became the focal point of the Kings offense and opposing team’s defenses. He became the first King since Brad Miller in 2004 to average a double-double, and the first since Chris Webber to average 11 rebounds. Despite all that, there is still a huge amount of room for him to grow, with various parts of his game that need tightening up.
Offensively, DeMarcus scored a lot more, but was still very inefficient from the floor for a big man. DeMarcus’ 7.3 attempts at the rim led the entire league, but his 56.7% at the rim was the lowest of the top 45 players in attempts at the rim. Part of this seems by design; DeMarcus often throws up attempts at the rim in order to get the offensive rebound and a better shot attempt. That being said, DeMarcus is way too big and strong to be shooting under 60% at the rim. DeMarcus lacks a really solid go-to move in the post, and often chooses to go for finesse when power might be more conducive to getting to the line or even scoring. I thought he did a much better job of that as the season went along.
In his rookie year, DeMarcus wowed a lot of us with his passing skills. His assist rate dropped by 5% his sophomore year, but still had a very respectable 9.5% rate for a big man. He also vastly dropped his turnover rate thanks to the fact he wasn’t trying to play Point Guard (most of the time).
Defensively, DeMarcus still has a lot of work to do. He fouls way too much, and it’s the biggest reason he only averages around 30 minutes per game. That steal rate might seem amazing for a center, and it is, but I think trying to steal the ball so much often leads to some unnecessary fouls. DeMarcus does a great job of drawing fouls on his own though, as he led the entire NBA in charges drawn.
DeMarcus Cousins is the centerpiece of the future for this team. He still has a lot to work on, but just based on the growth he’s had so far, you can’t help but get excited at the possibilities.