Thursday, September 22, 2011

Eurobasket 2011: Raptors Edition

It's been a long time since my last post here at NBeh? - given the lockout, there hasn't been much Raptors news to write about. But with the 2011 Eurobasket tournament having just wrapped up, there is finally a bit of tangential analysis that I can write about: how players with various Raptor connections fared playing for their respective teams.

Current Raptors

Andrea Bargnani

You're not going to believe what you're about to read, but Bargnani actually this year's Eurobasket. I'll say it again: Andrea Bargnani played well. And I have no problem saying this. I've always wanted Bargnani to play well - why wouldn't I? The problem up to this point has been that, thus far in his NBA career, he has not been successful. Now, the level of competition at the Eurobasket isn't quite NBA calibre, but it's still rather good. Take a quick look at his numbers:
  • Points/40: 26.7
  • FGA/40: 20.6
  • FTA/40: 7.0
  • TS%: 56.3
  • REB/40: 8.7
  • STL/40: 0.5
  • TO/40: 1.4
  • AST/40: 0.9
  • BLK/40: 1.9
  • PF/40: 2.8
  • Estimated Wins: 0.60
  • EWP40: 0.140
He finished first on his team in total wins and second in terms of efficiency (EWP40), and was just short of halfway between an average player (EWP40 0.100) and a star player (EWP40 0.200). There is cause for concern: most of Bargnani's production came from his shooting, and his rebounding was still a bit low. As a comparison, Dirk Nowitzki grabbed 0.2 REB/40 more than Bargnani, despite the fact that Dirk played most of his minutes alongside Chris Kaman, who led the tournament with 14.3 REB/40. But here's hoping that - whenever the next season starts - Bargnani's NBA stats will see some improvement.

Jose Calderon

Just like on the Raptors, Calderon was an unsung hero for champs Spain. He produced the third most wins on the team - behind both WoW MVP Pau Gasol and travesty-of-justice MVP Juan Carlos Navarro - and was the team's second most productive player on a per minute basis (once again behind Gasol).
  • Points/40: 12.2
  • FGA/40: 11.5
  • FTA/40: 0.4
  • TS%: 52.5
  • REB/40: 6.6
  • STL/40: 3.4
  • TO/40: 2.4
  • AST/40: 5.6
  • BLK/40: 0.0
  • PF/40: 5.3
  • Estimated Wins: 1.47
  • EWP40: 0.277
He's unsung because he doesn't shoot (and hence score) very often. But don't let the low point totals fool you - Calderon was very, very good. About twice as good as Bargnani was during this tournament, in fact. Calls for Calderon to be relegated to Toronto's backup PG are continue to be unjustified.

Jonas Valanciunas

Hot off a dominating performance at the U19 FIBA World Championships, Valanciunas was one of the youngest players to participate in the Eurobasket, and as such, expectations were low. He started off slowly, and it seemed like his coaches were limiting his minutes because they didn't trust him. But when one of Lithuania's centres - Marijonas Petravicius - went down with an injury, Valanciunas got the call. And he definitely delivered. Not nearly as good as he was against the U19s, but still quite good; he finished 6th on his team in wins, and 5th in terms of per minute production.
  • Points/40: 21.4
  • FGA/40: 12.7
  • FTA/40: 6.1
  • TS%: 69.4
  • REB/40: 10.4
  • STL/40: 2.3
  • TO/40: 6.6
  • AST/40: 2.3
  • BLK/40: 2.8
  • PF/40: 6.4
  • Estimated Wins: 0.77
  • EWP40: 0.196
Valanciunas was this close to hitting the star level (EWP40 0.200). His big problem was turnovers, although fouls were also somewhat of a concern. I expect him to improve in those areas as he gains more experience against veteran players. All in all, a very promising tournament for the young centre.

Former Raptors

Robert Archibald
  • Points/40: 11.3
  • FGA/40: 10.0
  • FTA/40: 12.5
  • TS%: 36.3
  • REB/40: 12.5
  • STL/40: 0.0
  • TO/40: 7.5
  • AST/40: 3.8
  • BLK/40: 1.3
  • PF/40: 5.0
  • Estimated Wins: -0.10
  • EWP40: -0.119
Yikes. Archibald finished this year's tournament ranked tenth on his team in both wins and efficiency, and he only played 32 minutes. Not much else to say, is there?

Marco Belinelli
  • Points/40: 15.0
  • FGA/40: 13.8
  • FTA/40: 4.3
  • TS%: 48.0
  • REB/40: 3.5
  • STL/40: 1.5
  • TO/40: 1.8
  • AST/40: 4.0
  • BLK/40: 0.0
  • PF/40: 4.0
  • Estimated Wins: 0.45
  • EWP40: 0.112
Although Belinelli finished third on Italy in terms of both wins and efficiency, behind Bargnani and Daniel Hackett, he was still only about average. I don't think the Raptors are going to regret trading him away any time soon. Interestingly though, Belinelli played a lot of point guard for Italy during the tournament, and he didn't do too bad a job of it. The assists seem low, but European scorekeepers are not nearly as generous as their NBA equivalents (as evidenced by Calderon's assists above). What impressed me was the lack of turnovers. Of course, Belinelli is known for his shooting and scoring; oddly, shooting efficiency and rebounding were his two weaknesses.

Omar Cook
  • Points/40: 8.9
  • FGA/40: 8.2
  • FTA/40: 3.1
  • TS%: 46.6
  • REB/40: 2.7
  • STL/40: 1.0
  • TO/40: 2.4
  • AST/40: 5.1
  • BLK/40: 0.2
  • PF/40: 3.1
  • Estimated Wins: 0.15
  • EWP40: 0.035
Somehow - much like All-tournament team member Bo McCalleb - Cook is an American who found himself playing for a tiny and relatively unknown European country. Unfortunately for Montenegro, Omar Cook didn't come anywhere close to matching Bo McCalleb's performance: he finished fifth on his team in terms of wins and sixth in terms of efficiency. As with Archibald, there is a reason Cook does not have an NBA contract.

Uros Slokar
  • Points/40: 12.2
  • FGA/40: 8.5
  • FTA/40: 5.5
  • TS%: 55.7
  • REB/40: 11.0
  • STL/40: 1.2
  • TO/40: 1.2
  • AST/40: 1.2
  • BLK/40: 0.6
  • PF/40: 7.0
  • Estimated Wins: 0.85
  • EWP40: 0.259
Slokar actually played very well - he finished fourth in terms of wins and second in terms of efficiency. But there is a distinct difference in his production during games where he only played a few minutes and games where he played around 20 minutes - when Slokar played more, he was more productive. Maybe he should have been given more playing time? One must remember that correlation is not causation, however; perhaps his coaches gave him more minutes when he was playing well. Either way, after this performance, Slokar deserves another shot at an NBA contract.

Hedo Türkoglu
  • Points/40: 15.7
  • FGA/40: 14.8
  • FTA/40: 4.8
  • TS%: 46.5
  • REB/40: 4.6
  • STL/40: 0.9
  • TO/40: 0.9
  • AST/40: 3.5
  • BLK/40: 0.6
  • PF/40: 3.7
  • Estimated Wins: 0.11
  • EWP40: 0.020
Hedo once again shows that he don't - he finished ninth on his team in terms of wins and tenth in terms of efficiency, despite playing the second most minutes on his team. Turkoglu is now 32 and a half years old, which is about the time when most players start to fall off a cliff. Given that he was never all that productive to begin with, this shouldn't be a surprise. But what is a surprise is the level of the drop off - Turkoglu barely finished the tournament producing in the positive range. And while Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo is to blame for signing Turkolgu to such a bad contract, he's also good at cleaning up his own messes: right now Orlando is stuck with three more years and $34 million worth of Hedo-headaches. And oh yeah, they're also stuck with Gilbert Arenas for three years and $62 million. Think that Dwight Howard is going to stay in the Magic Kingdom past 2011-2012?

Long Lost Draftee(s)

Edin Bavcic
  • Points/40: 6.4
  • FGA/40: 5.7
  • FTA/40: 4.3
  • TS%: 42.3
  • REB/40: 8.6
  • STL/40: 0.7
  • TO/40: 2.1
  • AST/40: 2.1
  • BLK/40: 0.7
  • PF/40: 7.9
  • Estimated Wins: -0.13
  • EWP40: -0.096
Anyone remember Bavcic? He finished ranked 10th in wins and efficiency on Bosnia & Herzegovina, and only played 56 minutes. Not too much to say here, either.

Well that was fun! Hopefully we'll have some more Raptors related news in the near future. For more analysis of the Eurobasket 2011 stats, head on over to the Wages of Wins Journal.

 - Devin


  1. Hey Devin, would you be able to point me in the direction of anything explaining how to calculate Estimated Wins Produced? I'm trying to analyze the league here (New Zealand NBL) but due to the complication of Wins Produced using NBA averages & needing pace stats etc I have basically given up and used less reliable measures.

    Also, do you use a pre-saved formula or spreadsheet etc for calculating from the box score stats? I tried to comment on your Spurs/Eurobasket post on Wages of Wins but it wouldn't let me log in for some reason, so I came here!

  2. Kram,

    There is some literature out there (and we're working on making it more readable...eventually), but it's a bit hard to follow.

    Drop me a line at devin dot dignam at gmail dot com and I'll help you out.