No Hibbert in Rookie/Sophomore Game
With Danny Granger certain to miss this year’s All-Star Game, Roy Hibbert was probably the only person with a shot at representing Indy in Dallas this February. But as we learned yesterday, the big fella didn’t make the cut for the Rookie/Sophomore Game. And looking at all the highly qualified sophomores on the roster, Pacer fans can’t even be too upset.
Here are the lineups for the Rookie/Sophomore Game.
Really, the only second-year guy that Hibbert may have even had a shot of displacing from a talent standpoint is Kevin Love, but even though he missed significant time, Love’s numbers ultimately dwarf Roy’s. Honestly, had AJ Price started getting playing time back in November, it’s probably more likely that he could have beat out Jonas Jerebko or Taj Gibson than it is that Roy would have made the team. (Then again, more minutes for AJ could also have exposed him as not ready for prime-time. I like the kid, but the jury is still definitely out. And realizing as I type this that Ty Lawson didn’t even make the squad, the previous sentence I just typed is patently absurd.)
More important than some silly exhibition game that no one watches, however, is finding out what this team actually has in Roy Hibbert. That’s the larger issue for the team, obviously. So this does provide us with a nice opportunity to look at “Roy Hibbert: Season 2.” Is he the next great offensive big man in this league? Is he a potential All-Star? Is he good enough to build around? Is he a starter? Is he a good big off the bench? Is he a slow, non-rebounding bum who will be an also-ran in three years?
To begin delving deeping into “Roy Hibbert: Season 2,” let’s start by comparing him to the rest of his peers statistically. The following are a bunch of numbers to show how Roy stacks up next to all the second-year guys playing in this year’s sophomore game.
Here are the straight production stats per game, broken up into two charts:
Interesting. From a points and boards perspective, he’s clearly not lighting the world on fire. But as I’m sure you’ve noticed, Roy gets the fewest minutes of any of these guys, so this probably isn’t the ultimate barometer of how he has fared versus the others, even when we factor in that he’s the oldest of the bunch — a notable distinction.
So let’s equalize the minutes and look at the number per-36 minutes:
Things look better here. His rebounding numbers are still not impressive, but we already knew that. His scoring per-36 also doesn’t suggest that he’s out-pacing his peers, but he is right there with heralded young guys like Danilo, OJ, Westbrook, Love and even Indiana’s own Eric Gordon. The blocks are clearly the most promising category here, and he is significantly better than everyone, including Brook Lopez, who has played well enough this year to make some people even talk about him as an All-Star candidate despite that fact that he plays for perhaps the worst team in NBA history.
Moving on, for those into this type of stuff, here’s how they all stack up according to “advanced stat” metrics:
Looking at PER, everyone aside from the cream of the crop (Brook, Kevin Love and Derrick Rose) is between 15.5 and 16.9. And Roy is right there at 16.1. Roy’s defensive rebound rate of 16.7 is again troubling for a 7’2″ 23-year-old, particularly when we see that he is being bested here by even Michael Beasley — a much shorter, more perimeter-oriented guy who is routinely criticized for his inability to rebound. Then again, these numbers reinforce the fact that Roy has been the best shot-blocker of any second-year player listed here so far this year. But on another negative note, Hibbert also turns the ball over at a disturbing rate.
Something else I find interesting that he’s 5th out of these nine guys in usage, which shows that despite many of us in Pacerland’s complaints, he is actually getting just as many touches as many of his peers, yet is still unable to score as well as as guys like Brook, Beasley, Love or Mayo. This suggest that his shooting percentages need to go up if he wants to become a guy who demands a double team.
So that’s what the numbers say.
We’ll continue looking at “Roy Hibbert: Season 2″ as the year goes on and we’ll have some better qualitative assessments from some other notable NBA minds before the week is out. Look for that later today or tomorrow.
Often described as a dinosaur playing in a league of quicker, smaller mammals, Roy Hibbert’s numbers are in some respects comparable to his draft class. But in other ways, we can clearly see why he is still a step below the others.