Friday, September 3, 2010

2009-10 Player Review: Leandro Barbosa

Let's let a look at the Brazilian Blur, Leandro Barbosa:

To say that last year was not a good year for the Brazilian would be an understatement; he went from a nice WP48 of 0.130 in 2008-2009 to a WP48 of -0.032 and only managed to play a career-low 44 games (and a career low 786 minutes played). Moreover, he continued his trend of alternating between good and bad years. Let's take a look at what changed over the past three seasons:

Barbosa gets most of his productivity from his scoring. It's not surprising, then, that when his shooting efficiency nosedived last year his productivity nosedived as well. His FG attempts were actually up, but his AdjFG% and FT attempts were down. Most of his other productivity mesasures were down and below-average (as they usually are for Barbosa).

Why did Barbosa's shooting efficiency suddenly drop off a cliff? Perhaps the answer lies in his shot selection:

Data provided by HoopData

Looking at these numbers, I notice a couple of things:
  1. Barbosa's percentages are down at every location on the court
  2. The percentage of his close-range shots (rim and <10ft) that were assisted last year increased
  3. The percentage of his mid-range and long-range shots (shots >10ft) that were assisted last year decreased
To me that suggests that Barbosa's shot selection was off last year (by off, I mean compared to his normal self). Out on the perimeter he tried to do it by himself too often, and then end result was a low-percentage shot. He had trouble getting closer to the basket by himself - likely due to injuries - and so most of his close-range shots were set-up by teammates. Of course, this is just a theory. An alternate theory is that he simply forgot how to shoot last year.

What's the outlook for this year? I've projected him to have a WP48 of 0.080, but if he has recovered from his injuries and maintains his pattern of alternating between bad and good seasons, he could improve on that mark. Then again, if he really has forgotten how to shoot, he could be significantly under that mark. Regardless, if he plays around 2000 minutes on the season, he will likely produce around 3 wins.

 - Devin.

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