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Brandon Jennings shoots a lot no matter how good his teammates are

Brandon Jennings said he shot so much because the Bucks stunk. Is it true?

Me at the Detroit Free Press:

how much were his teammates to blame?

Let’s examine, using the combined effective field goal percentage, which accounts for the increased value of three-pointers, of Jennings’ four most common floormates.

Last season, they were Monta Ellis, Ersan Ilyasova, Mike Dunleavy and Sanders.

For the Pistons this season, I project they’ll be Smith, Monroe, Drummond and one of Chauncey Billups, Rodney Stuckey, Kyle Singler or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. I use last year’s stats for this group, but because Caldwell-Pope is a rookie, that doesn’t work. Fortunately, Singler’s rookie-year shooting stats seem like a reasonable approximation of Caldwell-Pope’s, so they’re interchangeable here.

? 2013-14 Pistons (with Billups): 50.6

? 2013-14 Pistons (with Singler or Caldwell-Pope): 50.0

? 2012-13 Bucks: 49.3

? 2013-14 Pistons (with Stuckey): 49.1

So Jennings is right. He should play with more efficient scorers this season, as long as Stuckey doesn’t spend too much time with the Pistons’ top lineup. (Please, Maurice Cheeks, don’t start Stuckey.)

However — and this is a huge “however” — Jennings’ four most common floormates two seasons ago had a combined effective field goal percentage of 50.7 — better than all of the Pistons combinations —and Jennings had an even higher usage percentage.

Three seasons ago, Jennings’ four most common floormates had an effective field goal percentage of 47.7, a poor mark. Jennings posted a career-low in shots per minute.

Four seasons ago, Jennings’ four most common floormates had a solid effective field goal percentage of 50.0. Jennings had the highest usage rate of his career.

To this point, Jennings’ gunning has been teammate-agnostic.

Jennings is trying to sell that he’s always been the same player, one smart enough to shoot when he’s better than his teammates and pass when he’s not. That would be great for the Pistons, because it’s always risky relying on players to improve.

But I don’t buy it.

56 Comments

  • Oct 18, 20134:31 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    Not saying you are wrong, but saying do the research.

    I’m highschool and at the PREP schools he was a pass first PG until his coaches told him they needed him to be more offensive… In the NBA he was asked to carry the scoring load again…

    I think he is saying he can be or do what the team needs, I can buy that Jennings has always been a great talent…  

    • Oct 19, 201312:33 am
      by oats

      Reply

      How he’s played in the NBA is way more relevant to what kind of player Jennings is now than what he did in high school. I just don’t see how his reputation from back in high school actually matters when discussing how a guy entering his 5th year in the league is likely to play.

      • Oct 19, 20133:34 am
        by tarsier

        Reply

        Well, it holds at least a little bearing in context. Because the entire point of this post is about whether Jennings plays the same way under varying circumstances. And his circumstances all 4 years in the NBA have been pretty similar (there’s a reason the Bucks are the team most likely to be referenced as running on a mediocrity treadmill).

        Obviously his time in the NBA is still more relevant to a projection of future play, but his high school play merits at least a look.

        • Oct 19, 20133:42 am
          by I HATE FRANK

          Reply

          Exactly what Tarsier said…

          All saying is maybe for the first time in 5 years, he’s not being asked carry the scoring load…
           

          • Oct 19, 20137:31 am
            by oats

            He’s only not being asked to carry the scoring load if you ignore the fact that some of those Bucks teams were pretty good shooting teams.
             
            As for the high school thing, I’m still not buying that it is relevant when we have reasonably similar circumstances to his Detroit situation with those Bucks teams that could shoot some. What’s more, does anyone actually buy the idea that he thought his high school teammates were so good that it made all the sense in the world to pass to them instead of shooting himself? I’m really not buying that narrative because it doesn’t hold water. That really is what it would take for the narrative about him playing this way due to his teammates holding him back to make sense, unless of course you are arguing that he is now going to play against high school level competition and that will allow him to get his passing numbers up, I just don’t see how his high school reputation is relevant to what he will do at this level of play.
             
            Forget the relevancy thing for a minute, let’s actually address his high school reputation since it has been brought up. Reputations from that age range are often more about what scouts think the guy will look like down the road than they are about how the guy is actually playing. Jennings averaged 32.7 points and 7.4 assists a game in his senior year at Oak Hill Academy. He clearly was taking a ton of shots and wasn’t exactly a Rajon Rondo type of point guard. Is that really proof positive that he was way more active as a passer then than last season when he averaged 17.5 points and 6.5 assists? Yeah, his high school passing numbers sure look great for high school play. Guys play fewer minutes, the pace of the game is much slower, and most guys that score 32 points don’t pass enough to get those kinds of passing numbers. Still, the ratio is very strongly in favor of him shooting much more often than he passed the ball. He then went pro and has 4 years of him with a similar shot to pass ratio. To me, that very strongly suggests that the quality of his teammates has no bearing on how often he shoots. His high school reputation is built around the idea that guys that pass that much in high school will naturally dial down the shot attempts in favor of passing it more when the level of competition and the quality of teammates increases. Jennings simply didn’t progress like that and is instead a high volume shooter for the point guard position. I still don’t consider this relevant though. The high school game is just so different from the NBA game that it’s impossible to use it to project what a guy will do in the NBA, at least for a guy with a solid sample size of how he plays at a higher level of competition.
             
            Look, I’m not saying he can’t change his game. Jennings definitely can. I’m just not buying the idea that it would be reverting to the way he naturally plays, but rather it would be him developing into a different player than he has been.

          • Oct 19, 20139:48 pm
            by Max

            Just because a team shoots a good percentage doesn’t mean the team has any scorers.  The only real scorer, who actually draws a scorer’s attention to himself, that Jennings has ever played with was Monta Ellis.  There is such a thing as a pecking order and Jennings has always been asked to be the first or second option since he entered the league and that can lead to a lot of bad shots for anyone if they don’t play with other legitimate scorers and playmakers.  Also, Bogut’s limited post scoring during the small percentage of games he was actually healthy, was the only player Jennings ever played with who was worth dumping the ball into down low.  The Bucks were much better defensively than they ever were offensively during Jennings’ entire tenure which perhaps should have something to say regarding Jennings’ awful defensive reputation.   

          • Oct 20, 20139:16 am
            by oats

            His rookie season saw Bogut average 16 points a game with a true shooting percentage of 54%. He put up 17.7 points per 36. That is a clear cut post scorer. Salmons also put up 19.9 points a game that year, but injury cut him back to only 30 games.  His second year in the league the Bucks got 14 a game from Salmons, 12.8 from Bogut, and 12 from Maggette. Delfino and Gooden were over 11 a game. Maggette also did that with only 20 minutes a game, meaning he put up 20.7 points per 36. The year after that, Maggette put up 15 a game for Charlotte, so he did have some scoring ability left in him that year.
             
            That’s what happened with Jennings playing the way he did. So the question becomes, would those teams have had someone develop into even more of a clear cut number one scoring option if Jennings passed the ball more. I would say that Bogut probably could have shouldered a slightly bigger load, but then again he did score more than Jennings despite taking fewer shots that year. In his second year I’d say that both Salmons and Maggette could have been the top 2 scorers for that team, although I will admit that Jennings is not to blame for Maggette ending up behind Delfino in minutes played, so only Salmons is a serious answer for who could have been the top option that year. His 4th year in the league he did play with Monta Ellis, so I’d say that 3 of 4 years he had teammates good enough to be the number one scorer and for him to take on a lesser role. It should be noted that regardless of whether you agree with me or not, he didn’t exactly dial back the shot attempts a whole lot when he had Ellis playing with him. He did lower it from his career high in shot attempts the year before last, but last year was still higher than either of his first 2 seasons in the league. That seems to support the narrative that his teammates have had very little bearing on how often he shoots and how often he passes.
             
            The other question is whether a team really is better off with a traditional number one scoring option when the guy filling that role is not an efficient scorer. How beneficial is it for a bad shooter to shoot a lot? Your argument is based on the idea that it is important to have that top option, but I’m not convinced that is always true. Why is it always better to have a 17 point scorer instead of boasting a team with a more balanced attack? Maybe some of those Bucks teams would have been better off without anyone acting as the traditional top scoring option. Jennings has always been markedly less efficient than the 4 guys surrounding him, and yet he has been the top guy in Usage Rate twice and the second guy twice. I suspect that at least in a few of those years the optimal balance would have involved Jennings dialing back his shot attempts a bit while his more efficient teammates dialed their shot attempts up to compensate.

          • Oct 20, 201311:19 pm
            by Max

            @Oats  

            I wasn’t at all suggesting it’s important to have a pecking order but rather acknowledging that it is almost always the reality.   I wouldn’t have expected Jennings to dial back his shot attempts last season with Ellis because that backcourt had no shot creators in  the frontcourt.   If Jennings and Ellis had played with the healthy Bogut from four years ago that averaged over 17 points then I would have expected Jennings to dial down his shot attempts.   Two creators is not enough when you are starting 2 players who can’t score without dunking (Mboute, Sanders) and only one player who can shoot at all on the frontline (Ilyasova).      

            I feel you are acting like Jennings and the other players on the Bucks have more latitude than they do to decide for themselves how many shots to take for a few reasons.

            1.  Just the ability to get a shot off is an incredibly underrated skill in the NBA.  This is compounded by how rare players are who can create for themselves and don’t require someone else to get them a shot they should shoot.  This is why Steve Kerr isn’t anywhere near the shooter Michael Jordan or even Allen Iverson was even though his percentages are superior and far superior respectively.          

            2.  Coaches have a large say in when a player shoots and which players shoot more often.  Further, the system they implement puts players in situations that may and may not be compatible with their skill set and might require them to take inefficient shots–like Stuckey had to last year when Frank stupidly stuck him the corner. 

            3.  Whatever the coach’s strategy, its soundness, whether a player has teammates that can adequately fulfill their roles and, above all, the opponents defense combined with the 24 second shot clock will often force a player to improvise and sometimes take unavoidably low percentage shots at the end of the shot clock.    Also, the higher the player’s usage rate: the more likely he will be absolutely forced to at least take the occasional low percentage shot.   The soundness of the scheme and the quality of a defense thus have a lot to do with consistency of a player’s efficiency.     

          • Oct 21, 20138:10 am
            by oats

            1. There is some value in getting off a shot, but much less than you are implying. Anyone can get up a shot at any time. There is no skill involved in getting off a shot. Getting off a quality shot would be another matter. Keep in mind that even blocked shots are shot attempts, so increasing shot attempts is quite easy to do. The league is littered with guys who have carried their team’s shooting load at one point or another in their careers, even if we have to go back to when they were still amateurs. Anyone can take more shots, but most players have their efficiency negatively effected by the increased work load. Jennings is capable of taking a lot of shots and making them at a pretty average rate. This is not a worthless skill, it’s just not a terribly valuable one either. Let’s say he took 4 less shots a game, and the majority of his shots he dropped were bad looks anyways. Jennings would be more efficient in that scenario. He then had each of the starters alongside him take an extra shot. Their efficiency would likely drop a bit, but the team’s overall efficiency would  likely rise because it was bad shots being removed. Most NBA players can get off an extra shot a game if they were asked to, and their efficiency should not be effected all that strongly by the extra work load of only a single shot. An even better idea would be to shift those 4 shots around the team according to their own skill. So maybe Salmons and Bogut take 3 of the shots between them, and the other 2 guys take an extra half a shot. That kind of scenario would be pretty easy to handle with only minor changes in efficiency for everyone except Jennings, and his should move up significantly.
             
            Also, Steve Kerr is a better shooter than Iverson. Iverson could not hit half his 3 point attempts if he was defended by high school players while Kerr did it multiple times in the NBA. This really isn’t even close. We’re talking about a guy with a .598 true shooting percentage in Kerr and one with a .518 true shooting percentage in Iverson. If Iverson limited himself to the number of shot attempts that Kerr put up he would not have shot as well as Kerr. That’s especially true if he took as high of a percentage of his shots from 3 as Kerr did. Conversely, Kerr could not shoot so well if he took 20+ shots a game like Iverson. Iverson’s ability to get to the rim allowed him to maintain his efficiency even with a high volume of shots. Yet it’s important to note that Iverson’s value is not derived from him being a shooter, it’s from him attacking the hoop. He’s a better scorer, not a better shooter. Those are two different skill sets. 
             
            2. I see very little evidence that this is true for most teams and most players. Most guys that shoot a lot do so regardless of their coach. Their shot attempts may be effected by who the play with. Maybe they realize that they shouldn’t chuck up so many shots when they have LeBron on the court with them, or maybe Kyrie Irving isn’t passing the ball enough for them to get up shots. Yet the coaches don’t have a ton of say in who is taking the shots. They set up the system, and they can design a system that favors certain player types taking shots, but during the course of the game they are rarely dictating who is taking the shot. Part of that is that there aren’t that many coaches that actually call plays more than half the time even. What’s more, the vast majority of basketball plays are not designed for only one player to get off a shot but are actually a series of movements that give several opportunities for multiple players to decide if they have a scoring opportunity or not.
             
            The most common play called in the NBA is the pick and roll. That is also by far the most common play called for Jennings in his career since the Bucks have run it a lot the last 4 years. That play can end with the ball handler taking a layup. The play can end with the pick setter finishing at the hoop. The ball handler can come off the pick and run a curl to get off a mid range jumper. The ball handler can take the pick and flare out to the 3 point line. The pick setter can decline to roll and instead take a mid range jump shot. The pick setter could roll to 3 point line instead of the basket. Either the pick setter or ball handler can instead pass it to one of the 3 other guys who are then free to shoot or do whatever it is that they do. The ball handler can also decline the pick entirely by never using it in order to do any number of things.. All of those are potential outcomes of a pick and roll, and it should be obvious that the coach does not really have all that much control of who gets off a shot on that play.
             
            That’s just for play calling teams. A fair number of teams like the Spurs are system teams, although the most famous example in the NBA would probably be Phil Jackson and the triangle offense. System teams don’t so much run plays as they have general guidelines for what to do in certain situations. Admittedly they usually let their best players break the rules, but coaches have next to no say in who is actually taking shots for those teams. It’s all about what the defense does and how the players choose to utilize the system. Last but certainly not least is the roll the ball out coaches. These coaches usually are play calling coaches, except they rarely call the plays. For these guys, plays are a way of changing things up if the offense looks stale. I feel like these guys need to mentioned separately since they go a step further in making my point that the coaches are not in that much control of who shoots during an NBA game since they rarely utilize what little control they could exert on who takes a shot. Mo Cheeks has been a roll the ball out coach in his previous two stop. Neither of these have applied to Jennings so far, but they definitely support the notion that coaches are really not controlling who takes shots. The play callers do have a bit more control than other coaches, but the vast majority of control over who is shooting on any given play belongs to the players and not the coach.

          • Oct 21, 201310:39 am
            by Max

            I strongly disagree with everything you said in this post but don’t want to start going in circles.   Just a few points.  

            1.  Players can’t shoot whenever they want because if they do they won’t continue to get to play.   For instance, Andrew Bynum once took a three pointer, made it and Phil Jackson immediately took him out and benched him for the rest of the game.   Not everyone is Jackson but any player, and I mean any player, who suddenly decided to start taking incredibly low quality shots would get benched and would play themselves out of the league.   If LeBron suddenly went crazy and started chucking half court shots every time he touched the ball his career would quickly be over if he didn’t stop.   So your suggestion that any player can shoot more is somewhat absurd.   Everyone is watching and only players like Kobe and others who can make them can take difficult shots without getting benched.  Other players like Chamlers would get benched if he stopped giving the ball to LeBron, Wade and Bosh.  There is a such a thing as the green light and it doesn’t just apply to 3 pointers.   Coaches, players and teams all work out in some way what shots players are supposed to take and which they are not and account for every situation.  They also account for player’s role and who will be emphasized.  Your post almost seems to be suggesting that the NBA is basically street ball and players can just go out in a disorganized way and do whatever they want.   I couldn’t disagree more but even you would have to admit that coaches control the minutes and can send messages by how they decide to divvy them up.   

            2.  Which brings up why Iverson is a much better shooter than Steve Kerr.   Steve Kerr required another player to get him open looks that he could actually get off.   When taking these shots, he could basically just take a textbook jumper.   Iverson on the other hand could take shots off the dribble, while fading, leaners, double clutching, jumping to the baseline, moving through traffic and with multiple defenders getting right in his face and he could take the contact and still make the shot.   Players like Iverson don’t shoot more than players like Steve Kerr just because they are selfish but because they can make things happen.   Further, despite what you said above when you act like any team can just just have the higher percentage shooters shoot more and the lower percentage players shoot less the truth is that the vast majority of players simply aren’t athletic enough and don’t have the requisite conditioning to be great scorers.   Another aspect of my point about getting off shots being an underrated NBA skill is that very few players have the energy to take anything like 20 shots a game.  This doesn’t just apply to scoring.   One anecdote I love regards Magic Johnson telling a story about Michael Cooper getting excited and telling Magic he wanted to be like him.   Magic’s response was to laugh and tell him he couldn’t and his reasoning was 100 percent related to motor.   He joked that Cooper would be dead because he didn’t understand how much energy Magic had to exert.   Iverson is a better shooter than Kerr because he has a full arsenal of shots, moves and dribbles to go with incredibly athleticism, speed and energy.   In comparison, Kerr is a leach who stands still who can play 48 minutes without getting a single quality shot if someone else doesn’t create an open look for him.   He has to wait for the appropriate moment, he can’t force anything and if he played 48 minutes he’d probably be too tired to take a shot during the 48th minute.  Players like Kerr are most valuable when their shooting ability gives players like Iverson room to operate.   His actual points are less valuable than the spacing he creates.   

             

          • Oct 22, 201311:06 am
            by oats

            1) Yes, at some major extremes the guy will get benched. That’s not all that relevant to the argument though. You are arguing that Jennings’ ability to take a lot of shots is a rare skill, but he takes an awful lot of ill advised shots. Any one can take more bad shots. Anyone could also take a few more shots if they both have the ball in their hands and take a slightly relaxed their standards for what a good look is. It would not require them to start taking truly terrible shots, just take a few more that look like pretty routine Brandon Jennings shots. This new argument sort of is just arguing that Brandon Jennings has more latitude to take bad shots, and therefore he is a better shooter. That makes no sense. 
             
            I’m also not arguing that the NBA is street ball. That is not the takeaway I wanted you take from me talking about how open a play in the NBA actually is. The play is still highly organized, and players learn the tendencies of their teammates to the point where they can anticipate them so well that the decisions seem to have almost been scripted. Yet it isn’t scripted. The key to an NBA offense is that it is unpredictable. If the defense does one thing then the players react one way. If the defense does something else then the play adapts to that change. The coach has a part in helping to establish what the general guidelines for how to respond are. The coach can also set a basic game plan for how to attack the defense. Yet the actual execution of the plays, or the system, or the game plan is executed by the players. There is a lot of flexibility inherent in those things, so the end result is the coach does not actually control who is shooting.
             
            2) Your problem with the Iverson argument may seem like semantics, but word choice matters. You are arguing that Iverson is a better shooter. Line them both up in an empty gym and have them shoot from various places on the court, and who wins? It’s going to be Kerr. If AI dialed back his game to try to match what Kerr does and he couldn’t do it. If Kerr tried to mimic what Iverson does he would similarly fail. Shooting is only a subset of what makes someone a good scorer. Kerr is just better at that part of what it takes to score. Iverson is better at breaking down defenses, getting to the hoop, and getting to the line. That allows him to be a better scorer despite being an inferior shooter. I guess you could argue that Iverson is a better off balance shooter, but it’s damn hard to prove that. There really isn’t anything that keeps track of how someone shoots in those situations. I suspect that Iverson is better than average at those, but I can’t prove that either. I can’t prove it, but I suspect that the difference there is not big enough to counter how much better Kerr is at balanced shots.
             
            I get that there is a value to what Iverson does. That’s fine and good, but that does not make him a better shooter. It also doesn’t mean that every team he has ever been on wouldn’t have been helped by Iverson reigning it in a little bit. Yeah, those teams were as good as they were because of Iverson, but that doesn’t mean an Iverson that was a little bit more of a facilitator wouldn’t have been better for them.

          • Oct 22, 20133:35 pm
            by Max

            1.  I totally disagree that anyone can take more bad shots.   You’ve accepted that players can get benched although you think it only happens in extreme situations.   This is simply not true.   If Jennings’ coaches were in total agreement with you that he takes so many bad shots then he never would reached the status he has in the NBA in the first place.   It’s not like he was some number 1 pick or something that would compel a coach to play him.  I believe he started out with Luke Ridnour who had run the point in the steady manner I assume you’d approve of but Jennings beat him out because he was simply more talented and that is usually how things go.    Beyond the pressure of pleasing coaches, players are also open to social pressures from teammates, the media, ownership, the desire for new and more lucrative contracts and fans to take the highest quality shots they are capable of getting.

            Your argument that anyone can take more bad shots ignores all of these realities but it ignores realities that are even more fundamental.   Assuming you don’t mean to be absurd and suggest players can rebound the ball on one side and then throw the ball from one side of the court to the other as an example of their freedom to shoot more or that players can shoot anytime they want even if there is a hundred percent chance they will get blocked if they take it and the like; players can only take shots that are reasonably available.

            2) A reasonable shot varies from player to player and situation to situation but a big reason why Jennings had to take a lot of shot with the Bucks and why Iverson is a better shooter than Steve Kerr is that, like Iverson, Jennings is capable of getting a reasonable shots in more situations than nearly any player in the league and this is due to his skill set.    I notice you’ve been harping on Iverson and leaving Michael Jordan out of it when talking about Steve Kerr.   Obviously Kerr was a much better 3 point shooter than Jordan or Iverson so they couldn’t have matched what he did but I feel that is pretty irrelevant.   My reasoning for why Iverson and Jordan are much better shooters than Kerr comes to down to their ability to take a reasonable shot in nearly any situation from any place on the floor and no matter how well they were defended.   They were shot creators and Steve Kerr was not.  I’m not trying to have a semantic debate.  Your suggestion that Iverson may have been a better off balance shooter while worrying there is no proof makes me wonder if you ever saw the players in question play.   Steve Kerr basically only took open balanced shots and Iverson was one of the highest degree of difficulty shot makers in NBA history and he took such shots often.   During the last five years or so, Kobe Bryant has almost certainly been the player who has made the highest percentage of extremely difficult to make shots so to just judge him on his shooting percentages in comparison to other players would be absurd.   I feel like my former point bears repeating.   Kerr shoots open shots other people create and he just takes standard shots.   How can he even compare to a shooter like Kobe who takes every kind of shot from every spot on the floor and does so with the opponent’s defense focusing their effort more on him than any of his teammates?    And btw:  your assesent of Iverson as a slasher is fine, in terms of isolating what he was best at, except that he took a ton of outside shots and often had to improvise and take off balance shots to get them.  
            The bottom line for me is to ask the question of how one player can be a better shooter than another when he is only capable of taking a shot (and these numbers are going to be arbitrary)  in 2 percent of situations when he touches the ball and the other player is capable of taking a shot in 60 percent of situations when he touches the ball.   The ability to get shots has something to do with how good a shooter someone is because the game is h-o-r-s-e and even if it was, shooters like Kobe and Iverson could possibly beat Kerr by taking crazy shots or even just turn around fades on the baseline and the like.  So it’s not just about Iverson or Kobe being better off balance shooters.  It’s also that they are comfortable shooting off the dribble and routinely taking shots that have more mechanics to them just going catching the ball and going straight up and down.   The 24 second shot clock and the opponent’s defense create pressure just to find and take a reasonable shot that presents itself and it’s largely the responsibility of the shot creators to take a hard to make a shot when a pass to a wide open Steve Kerr doesn’t present itself.   

          • Oct 23, 20133:13 am
            by oats

            1) First of all, I’ve never said Jennings is not talented, or good at basketball. He’s a starting caliber point guard, and he is extremely talented. He is also a very flawed player, which is why he is in the bottom half of starting point guards. The number one concern with Jennings is his shot selection. I don’t see how any of this is debatable. Yes, he is a better point guard than Luke Ridnour. He is a better ball handler and passer. Ridnour is also a worse shooter when asked to run the point, although he has had some really good shooting years when he was able to play off the ball some. Neither guys is a good defender, but at least Jennings gets steals. This isn’t an either or situation. I think that Jennings is a starting point guard and he could benefit from taking fewer bad shots.
             
            Secondly, stop going to extremes that have nothing to do with what I’m talking about. Most every starter in the league has an opportunity to take an extra shot a game without hoisting up full court shots. That is not even remotely close to the type of scenario I am talking about, and bringing it up is just wasting time. It is starting to feel like I’m talking to a wall. When I say anyone can take more bad shots, it’s all related to what I’ve been saying the whole time. We’re talking one, maybe 2 more shots a game at most. That extra workload would also get exactly none of the starters for the Bucks benched as long as they aren’t adding a shot that is truly absurd for them like a full court heave. His teammates could get off a few more shots as a group and they don’t need to go to those kinds of extremes. 
             
            2) This argument is pretty pointless now. We fundamentally disagree on who is the better shooter. My argument is not going to change. Kerr is the better shooter because he is more likely to make a given shot. Iverson’s skill is geared more towards getting off quality looks. Yet it’s important to note what that means. Iverson was a bad 3 point shooter, and he was also a mediocre mid range shooter for most of his career. It was an ability to get to the rim that gave him his value as a scorer. He just wasn’t much of a shooter though. That’s why I am not bringing up Jordan by the way. Jordan was an excellent mid range shooter and that completely changes the equation.

          • Oct 23, 20133:17 pm
            by Max

            1.  It is debatable because Jennings apparently agrees with you because he said he shot so much in Milwaukee due to a lack of teammates who can score.   You essentially called his statement into question by saying the Bucks featured good shooting teams but I took exception with that by saying good shooters doesn’t equal good scorers.  

            2. I made my extreme points after making far subtler points regarding your statement that players can shoot whenever they want.   The extreme points absolutely prove they can’t shoot whenever they want and you’ve still said nothing to back up your point other than by disagreeing with me and continuing to say players could shoot one more shot a game if they wanted to.  

            3.  This is how I think of Iverson versus Kerr as shooters and the numbers are relative to the rest of league they played in and are guesstimates at best but they make my point. 

            ATTRIBUTES
            Spot up jump shot
            Kerr                100
            Iverson             60

            Free throw        
            Kerr                100
            Iverson            80

            Fadeaway jump shot
            Kerr                  30
            Iverson             70

            Leaner
            Kerr                  40
            Iverson             70

            Turnaround jump shot
            Kerr                   20
            Iverson              60

            Shooting through traffic or when double teamed
            Kerr                    10
            Iverson                85 

            Shooting off the dribble
            Kerr                    40
            Iverson               80

            Making mid-air adjustments to a shot
            Kerr                                10
            Iverson                           85

            There are other types of shots that would all go in Iverson’s favor too but I feel we disagree because you are only counting the first two categories while I feel the rest of the categories are far more important.  

          • Oct 23, 20135:38 pm
            by Dan Feldman

            If Kerr is a 100 spot-up shooter — better than Iverson rates in any category — should the goal of an offense featuring both players be to get Kerr as many spot-ups as possible? Obviously, that might come through Iverson shooting more than Kerr, but shouldn’t Kerr’s spot-up skill make him the primary focus of the offense when time is left on the shot clock?

          • Oct 23, 20139:47 pm
            by Max

            Sure but the problem is that Kerr has to be open to take that shot.   

            Think of Steve Novak in the playoffs for the last couple of years.   Throughout the regular season he was a great source of 3s for the Knicks but when the playoffs came, teams decided they weren’t going to leave Novak no matter what and he basically couldn’t score at all and since he doesn’t do much else, he was pretty much useless except that he insured that his defender couldn’t double Melo.   The first year, Woodson played him too many minutes and he did nothing and last year he had to cut almost all of his minutes.  

            Now Steve Kerr isn’t nearly as tall as Novak and while he’s not as much small than say RIP, Reggie Miller and Ray Allen, he isn’t athletic or fast enough to even run around screens and lose his man very often so it’s pretty hard to get a Steve Kerr open unless he gets to play with truly great scorers who force his man to leave him via double teams.   

            He also was probably too slight and not a good enough defender to even share a backcourt with Iverson and especially at the end of the game.   He was basically a good role player of a backup despite being one of the very best spot shooters of all time and that should say something about the limits of just being a spot up shooter.   

        • Oct 20, 20131:39 am
          by Dan Feldman

          Reply

          “Well, it holds at least a little bearing in context. Because the entire point of this post is about whether Jennings plays the same way under varying circumstances. And his circumstances all 4 years in the NBA have been pretty similar”

          If you read the article, I do not think Jennings’ circumstances were the same each year in the NBA. 

          • Oct 21, 20132:15 am
            by Max

            I don’t think you really did enough to say his circumstances were much different from year to year with the Bucks.   You talked about his four most common teammates’ field goal percentages in comparison with his usage rate and shot attempts and that was about it–or am I missing something?

            It seems much more relevant to me to point out that none of those teams featured anything like a player who could even potentially be a top 10-20 scorer in the league or even realistically approach twenty points other than Monta Ellis who happens to be perhaps the least efficient high volume scorer in the league.  

            Oats asked the question of why a team needs a first option and also why a team couldn’t just have several players of relatively equal standing if I understood him correctly.  Well, he’s right a team can.   However, in the instance of the Bucks, beyond Jennings never getting to play with any great scorers, he has never been on a team that had depth in decent scorers.  Other than 30 games out of of an 82 game season by Salmons, in four years Jennings never played with a single player other than Ellis who put up more than 16 points a game and that only happened for a season and a half.   

            The bottom line is that the Bucks offense with Jennings has featured a pathetic lack of talent with Jennings as easily the best and most consistent presence.   Who really cares what the four most common teammates shot from the field from year to year if barely any of them were capable of surpassing 12 points a game no matter what role they were asked to play?   Counting stats may not be respected nowadays but they still count for something.  It’s not like Jennings ever played with LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, LaMarcus Aldridge, Paul Millsap or even Kevin Martin or Jamal Crawford.  Playing with any one of those players and maybe a couple of dozen others would test Jennings claims.   I could even lower the bar from Crawford but I hope someone gets the point.   

            It is put up or shut up for Jennings though because I agree with him that he has never had talent like the Pistons because if any two of Monroe, Drummond and Smith play even half a season while averaging 15 points a game, it will be the first time Jennings has had scoring punch like that and I expect all three to average 15 or more points a game or at least be very close.  Again, counting stats count.  

          • Oct 21, 20138:55 am
            by oats

            16 is an arbitrary number that I have to assume was designed to leave out Andrew Bogut’s 15.9 points a game when Jennings was a rookie. They’ve also had other guys break that 12 point barrier. Salmons at 14, Gooden at 13.7, and Ilyasova at 13. How certain are you that the team wouldn’t have gotten more than that if they had a PG that passed the ball more often? I’d bet anything that Bogut gets past that 16 point mark if he got even a single extra shot a game that year.
             
            Your still not addressing the question. What is so bad about guys scoring 12 a game? This past year the Bucks most common starters put up less than 57 points a game, and that team was 12th in the league in scoring. That’s with Jennings and Ellis shooting a lot. 5 guys putting up 12 a game can match that. That’s my point, it doesn’t matter how the team gets it’s points so much as it matters if the team puts up points. If the team isn’t doing better with him shooting a lot then he is wrong to blame his team for his shooting a lot.
             
            Last but not least, counting stats have some value, but they are exceedingly misleading if you look at them alone. Praising a guy for scoring a lot while ignoring how often he shoots is foolish. There are a finite number of possessions in any given game, and if a low efficiency shooter is taking a lot of shots then the team is leaving points on the table by not getting more shots for higher efficiency players.

          • Oct 21, 20139:33 am
            by tarsier

            I don’t think Jennings’ circumstances were exactly the same each year. Nobody’s are. But I think his were more consistent than just about anybody else’s in the league.

          • Oct 21, 201310:55 am
            by Max

            @Oats….Dude, Bogut scored 15.9 points a game exactly once in his career and never really came that close to that number again.   One other season he scored 14.3 and his third best was 12.8.  You can bet what you want that Bogut could have scored over 16 a game who really cares?  He’s averaged about 12 points a game for his career and that is basically who he is.   He was never going to be a big time scorer whether he played with Jennings or Chris Paul.   

            There is nothing bad about players averaging 12 points a game.  It’s just that there better be players on the team who score significantly more.  If you don’t think that’s true than find me a championship team that has a leading scorer who scored 12 points a game.   I’ll make it easier.   Find me a champ whose leading scorer only scored 15 a game.  

            All of this is coming from our discussion of Jennings and I’d ask you why players like Jennings and Ellis who can actually score around 20 points a game and can go for 30 on any given night should be deferring to players who cant’t come close to those marks no matter what the situation.  I feel like you’re being absurd.   If Jennings hogged the ball with Melo on his team it would be different but you’re blind if you don’t think he was asked to shoulder a heavy scoring load in Milwaukee.   Ask yourself this too; would Jennings’ career look any different if he had played with a healthy Michael Redd during his four years with the Bucks?   Would he have deferred more?   Would he have shot less?   For my part, I assume so.      

          • Oct 21, 201311:17 am
            by Max

            @Oats    Also, I’m stressing the counting stats because while they may be exceedingly misleading if looked at alone, the concept of efficiency might be even more misleading if someone just looks at the percentages. For instance, I think Drummond was 1-1 from 3 point land last year but to draw a conclusion from it would be worse than misleading as the numbers in that case are actually meaningless.   Dan talked about Jennings teammates shooting percentages without talking about how many points they scored.   To me that is pretty misleading because most of those players weren’t capable of scoring much more than they did and the proof would use their entire careers as evidence.  The great majority of players are simply not capable of contributing anything significant from a counting perspective and the stars of the league are drawn exclusively from the pool of players who can whatever their efficiency.   

          • Oct 22, 201311:50 am
            by oats

            The point of the Bogut thing was that it doesn’t really matter if the team has a 16 point scorer. It also was to point that 16 was an awfully arbitrary number to set. I also don’t care what his career average was, he put 15.9 points a game while taking 1.6 shots fewer than Jennings. If Jennings dialed back his shooting just a bit to get the ball in to Bogut for just a tiny bit more points, then he gets to your arbitrary scoring number of 16. Sorry, if Bogut was playing that well with Jennings then he’d have hit 16 a game with Chris Paul. If that doesn’t matter, then don’t use the excuse that Jennings never had another 16 point scorer. It’s really not that important to me, but it’s an awfully useful counter to your argument.
             
            The championship thing is ridiculous. I’m not arguing that the Bucks could have been a championship team if Jennings shot less, so this is irrelevant. Good teams have good players, and good players tend to score a lot. My argument is that some teams can be better off without forcing someone to try to be a big time scorer. That team would likely still be pretty bad in the grand scheme of things and probably would not be a championship contender, but that doesn’t change the fact that they would be better off without a solid player trying to do more than he is capable of. For Jennings to be right that he is forced to shoot a lot because his team his bad, it would also need to be true that the team is better off with him shooting that much. I don’t think that is true.
             
            Again, I don’t care if a guy can get 30 if the team is better off with him getting 15, or 12, or whatever it is that makes sense for his team. It’s not about deferring to lesser scoring options, it about maximizing the team’s ability. 
             
            I would say that the evidence we have suggests that Jennings would have similar box scores if he played with a healthy Michael Redd the whole time. The evidence for that is what he did with and without Monta Ellis. The presence or absence of a guy who puts up a lot of points had no impact on what he did. I don’t see why the presence of Redd would have a different effect.
             
            As for the counting stats, you really don’t need to tell me about the dangers of small sample size. I think I’ve complained about people drawing poor conclusions from small sample sizes more than anyone else on these boards. I’m not guilty of using small sample sizes though. In fact, I’m not even saying those middling players should do a lot more than they have been in terms of counting stats. I’m talking about them taking maybe an extra shot a game for crying out loud. This is extremely important, I’m not calling for them to do significantly more than they already are doing. The change I’m talking about involves a pretty standard deviation from their norm, and as a result their efficiency should not drop a whole lot. It’s an entire team making small adjustments to account for a single player making a pretty big adjustment.

          • Oct 22, 20136:58 pm
            by Max

            Let’s get things straight.   Saying Jennings has never played with a player other than Ellis who put up more than 16 points a game isn’t arbitrary but the facts of his actual case.   The statement doesn’t take anything away from Bogut and doesn’t seek to say his 15.9 points per game wasn’t 16 but actually grants that it was 16.  And my overall statement about Jennings’ lack of teammates who could score wouldn’t change very much if Bogut had even scored a point or four more one season because Jennings still would have had experienced a pathetic lack of scoring from his teammates over the four year year period.  

            My point about asking about leading scorers on championship teams comes to down to whether it is any kind of good model to say a team doesn’t need any high volume scorers to really be successful.   You say the Bucks would have been better if Jennings had shot less so I have to assume his teams underachieved and I wish you would back that up because as far as I’m concerned the Bucks probably overachieved with Jennings since I never thought they had a good enough roster to even contend for a playoff spot during any of the four years and they made it twice.  I can certainly say that at no time during the four years did I ever see a projection of them having much success so again, I’d like you to offer some proof that those squads underachieved.  

            Your entire argument depends upon a subjective assumption that Jennings and his teammates haven’t been doing their best or using their best judgement in taking the shots they take but I make the opposite assumption.   You may think Jennings can just decide before a game or season that Reddick for instance should take one more shot a game than he usually does.   But how does Jennings, Reddick or the Bucks try to accomplish that other than by telling Jennings to be aggressive in looking for Reddick and by telling Reddick to be aggressive in looking for his shot?   My assumption is that the coaches were telling them to behave that way, that they were doing their best to get Reddick as many reasonable shots as he could handle and that the number of shots he actually took was the result.  

            Perhaps I should have stated my context more clearly when bringing up Redd.   I really brought him up because if he had been healthy then Jennings would have gotten to play with two scoring peers rather than having played with only 1 or none, depending on the year, during his days with the Bucks.   Beyond that, Redd in comparison to Ellis was a thoroughly established veteran all star with the Bucks who didn’t need to dominate the ball and Ellis was none of those things.   Still, Ellis only added up to one good scoring teammates and not the two that Redd and Bogut would have represented.   

               

          • Oct 23, 20133:58 am
            by oats

            I don’t have to back up a statement I never actually made. The Bucks could have been better, but they didn’t underachieve. They had the talent to be a fringe playoff team all 4 years, and luck was the main determiner in whether or not they would make it. Once in the playoffs, they didn’t have the talent to beat a high seed. So even if they played the way I think would have been optimal for them, they would not have had a significant improvement in what they did. Yet that doesn’t mean the way they played was them playing their best. Better teams do not always have more success. In this case, I’d say that they likely cost themselves a few games here and there even if that doesn’t make a big difference in their final outcome.
             
            By the way, let’s admit that the 2 playoff teams are very different circumstances. They made the playoffs when he was a rookie because they had the second best defense in the league and he was the worst defender in the starting lineup. He had very little to do with that team’s success that year. I suspect that Bogut’s injury killed their playoff chances that year, and I’m not convinced that Jennings changing his style of play would have made a difference. Then last year they kind of slid in by default. There weren’t 8 teams that deserved to make it in the East and so they slid into the playoffs with a losing record. Given how bad the East was, going 38-44 probably was under performing for that team. If they overachieved these past 4 years then it was only in that first year, and that wasn’t due to Jennings.
             
            I also make no claims that the Bucks and Jennings aren’t using their best judgement. It is entirely possible that they are using their best judgement. If that is the case then I am asserting that they are mistaken. That’s a completely different means of looking at it. I also have already explained that I don’t think coaches have that much control in who shoots. Most coaches do not have the clout to pull a starting caliber player for a bench player just because the guy is making some questionable decisions. Doing that will almost certainly cost the team some games, and the coach might not last long enough to reap the benefits in the long term. That’s especially true when the player in question is the primary part of the team’s marketing campaign. Let’s double up on that with interim coaches like Boylan. The coach can say they want Jennings to shoot less and Reddick to shoot more, but they can’t force it to happen. What’s more, most coaches won’t even make that statement since a disgruntled Jennings can get a lot of coaches fired. The power dynamic in the NBA does not favor the coach having control of star players, or guys perceived as stars in this case. There are a number of potential explanations for why the Bucks played that way that are different from the ones you claim I need to take my stance.
             
            As for the Redd thing, well, I’m still not buying that Jennings would look different. He didn’t play different whether he had one other scoring option or none, so why should two make a difference? It could, but I don’t have any evidence that suggests that is likely.

          • Oct 23, 20133:32 pm
            by Max

            1. You said the Bucks would have been better off if Jennings hadn’t shot as much so explain to me how that is not saying they underachieved.  

            2.  We can agree the 2 playoff years weren’t very impressive but we can’t agree Jennings had little to do with the success.  They didn’t make the playoffs the year before and I don’t know why a rookie who averaged over 15 points and 6 assists wasn’t a big contributor.  

            3. So now Jennings is a star player who a coach can’t say “boo” to?   Fine but how does that equate with him being a bottom half starting point guard? 

            4.  You might have no evidence from Jennings’ career that he would have shot less with more scorers on his roster but his sample size is too small.  Look at the history of the league instead and note that even the most selfish chuckers of all time shot less when their teammates were too good for them to shoot more.  

             

          • Oct 23, 201310:18 pm
            by Max

            This whole argument has made me think about Prince and to a lesser degree Stuckey who were never really complained about in Detroit until the team had no scorers who were better than them.  Their elevated status as the players whom it fell to to shoot the most often ironically led to criticism that they were shooting too much, were dominating the ball and were the cause of the Pistons losing when really they were just trying to keep the ship afloat and plug holes in a bad situation.   

            Jennings has never played on an NBA team that had even average overall scoring options and I think he will get his chance in Detroit.  It does remain to be seen if a different situation will produce a different Jennings but to say he already had such chances in Milwaukee is pretty harsh considering the teammates.   Trust me, put Jennings in Mario Chalmers situation the last few years and there is just no way he averages as many shots.  

  • Oct 18, 20137:43 pm
    by Oracle

    Reply

    This is a very good article and I mostly agree with the conclusion.

    That conclusion being that Jennings will shoot a lot anyway, but that if slightly controlled, is EXACTLY what this team needs.

    It was painfully obvious in the Cleveland game that we needed a guard that could break down the defense like Irving was doing to us, to get easy shots for our bigs! Jennings can do that, he can get anywhere he wants, but now, I want him to pass when they are focused on him!

    This is a real bummer that he’s not able to play! BTW, we need Stuckey!        

    In case you haven’t noticed, the size of our backcourt is turning Lilliputian!

    We went from 6’3(Knight)/6’4(Calderon) to at least 3 PG’s hoping to be 6′ zip! Siva is about 5’10, Bynum 5’9 and Jennings generously listed at 6’1.  

    Stuckey is the only guard with NBA size! Joe may have to address that when he dumps Stuckey or CV!      

    • Oct 19, 20133:37 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      The problem isn’t the size of the player, it’s his quality. If it were just about having a bigger guy to play the point, Cheeks could have Singler or Mitchell or Jerebko play PG. Sure, they’d be awful, but they’d be big.

      • Oct 19, 20139:49 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        All things being equal; bigger is better and size comes with advantages that can’t be taught.  

        • Oct 20, 20139:18 am
          by oats

          Reply

          The same could be said of speed. Those other point guards are all quicker than Stuckey. Besides that, it isn’t all equal anyways so what does that really matter.

          • Oct 20, 201311:24 pm
            by Max

            I’ve seen more truly great teams that were slow than were small.  And obviously I was stating an unoriginal principle and wasn’t speaking to the specifics of the guards mentioned.   

        • Oct 21, 20139:41 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Then why not play a lineup of Monroe, Smith, Drummond, Mitchell, and Jerebko? They’d be pretty damn big.

          Yes, size is an asset, but it is one of many. And it is far from the most important. 

          • Oct 21, 20139:54 am
            by Max

            A lineup of Monroe, Smith, Drummond, Mitchell and Jerebko would destroy a lineup of five Chris Pauls because the lineup with five Pauls would never be able to get a stop or a rebound while the lineup of bigs would get a dunk every possession.   

          • Oct 21, 20135:16 pm
            by tarsier

            Well, you did choose the absolute best player in the league with which to make that analogy. CP3 is brilliant. But his game is all about using other players and making them the absolute best they could possibly be. Yeah, a team of 5 CP3s wouldn’t be that great. But 5 Westbrooks would kill that lineup. And Westbrook isn’t as good as Paul.

  • Oct 19, 201310:44 am
    by Ron

    Reply

    WoW Feldman! I come to this site almost everyday because honestly, there aren’t really too many other options to choose from. But this entire summer I have watched you repeatedly bash every single move the pistons have made, from drafting kcp instead of Burke, to signing josh smith, and trading for Jennings, even though you didn’t like knight either. Refusing to even acknowledge that we’re a legitimate playoff team. Even ESPN has adjusted their prediction of the pistons, now have us winning 49 games and finishing in 5th. Yet, every article I read from you one would think the sky was falling. I thought this website was piston powered? I’m not saying you should be writing fluff pieces every single article like langlois, but geesh, you sound like you could be Mike Valenti’s twin. If the pistons do have success this year like they should and make the playoffs and get out of the first round, you should resign your post and give someone else the opportunity on this great site, someone who will be unbiased and not just throw shots every article because you’re mad Joe D still has a job. Noone knows why he still has his job, but he does. And you have to admit that now he’s got the team on the right track trending upward, which you refuse to do. Smh…its quite sad actually. I hope you’re not this unfair to your kids.

  • Oct 19, 20132:19 pm
    by Derek AKA Redeemed

    Reply

    Jennings has taken a ton of bad shots in his career. Got it. That’s like the Captain Obvious conclusion of the year. 

    I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt coming into a fresh new situation. It reasonable to demand career high assist totals from BJ this year. My expectation is 9 ast a game.

    We are going to need him to shoot too. He can’t come in like a pass only guard. We still need him to put pressure  on teams with his scoring ability. 

    Let’s give Jennings a shot to prove himself. 

    • Oct 20, 20131:44 am
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      “My expectation is 9 ast a game.”

      You will be disappointed. Jennings can have a very good passing season and still fall well short of nine assist per game. Just three players hit that mark last season.

      • Oct 21, 20136:05 am
        by Derek AKA Redeemed

        Reply

        I might be disappointed.  I could be disappointed.  It is possible.  Still the converse is possible as well.  The style of play will dictate the number of possessions and the (relative) length of the game. 

        I’ll just stick with my expectation of 9 assists instead of concerning myself with the worse case scenario.  3 players hitting the 9 assist mark does not make it unobtainable.  It is more a testament to the number of ballhandlers with the responsibility of running the offense,  the style of player, as well as the calibur of players.

        Jennings is capable.
        Jennings has the weapons.
        Let’s just see if he proves to be a willing passing in a new environment.

  • Oct 19, 20133:08 pm
    by Otis

    Reply

    I caught some flak for criticizing Dan’s journalism as being suspect a few posts ago, and it wasn’t so much that THAT specific post was especially suspect (it was far from his worst) but I’m going to take this opportunity to point to a few “Classic Dan Feldman” moments to defend my stance. Speaking of which, I’ve been coming here on and off for years and I don’t think I’ve ever seen Dan defend his writing once. I’ve seen Patrick Hayes defend Dan’s writing, but never Dan himself. I’m not trying to attack him here. I think he’s probably a nice guy, I like this site, and I simply want him and the site to be better. As a writer, I hope he would always strive to be better and would appreciate honest and fair feedback. On to my brief, respectful critique:
     
    “Singler’s rookie-year shooting stats seem like a reasonable approximation of Caldwell-Pope’s, so they’re interchangeable here.”
     
    The problem with this sentence is that “seeming like a reasonable approximation” doesn’t equate to “are interchangeable.” It’s a big leap to declare them objectively interchangeable based on numbers that seem reasonably comparable. A good editor would have changed that to, “…so for our purposes we’ll treat them as interchangeable,” or something similar. It might not seem like a very big difference, but it is. These things are only interchangeable with the caveat that you’re doing an unscientific comparison based on the information available. Everything else in the paragraph indicated that until he basically declared it scientific by asserting that one is literally the same as the other.



    “…Jennings’ gunning has been teammate-agnostic.”


    Once again, I don’t think he knows what words mean. Agnosticism, in its broadest sense, is about the state of not knowing and being incapable of knowing. The word he’s looking for is “irrespective,” which is very different from agnostic. If his gunning was truly teammate-agnostic, then there would be no way to know if it has anything to do with his teammates. And in a sense, maybe that’s right, but that sentence goes directly against the thesis statement of the entire article, which is: “Brandon Jennings shoots a lot no matter how good his teammates are.” I’m not sure why he likes getting himself into trouble by trying to get so… creative. (Remember when he butchered the concept of sunk cost a little while back?) I’m not sure if he’s trying to establish authority by misusing these concepts, but it has the opposite effect. As a writer, if you want to use these outside-the-box concepts that amounts to inventing new definitions for words, you need to have authority as a writer to pull it off and be taken seriously. And the way to establish authority as a writer is to avoid these kinds of situations where it seems like you just don’t know what you’re talking about. You only end up undermining the very authority you’re clawing at.
     
    The way to establish authority as a writer/journalist is by taking care of business and delivering your message without these kinds of blunders, not by creating a large body of work that makes critical thinkers scratch their heads. The rest should take care of itself. Also it’s worth noting that I’ve never criticized Patrick Hayes as a writer or journalist. I always thought he was pretty solid and authoritative. And I don’t think I’ve had much to say about Brady Fredericksen or any other writers I can’t remember. I might not agree with their opinions, but I haven’t found anything yet that made me want to pick apart their writing. Good luck, Dan. I’m in your corner. I know you won’t comment on this because you staunchly refuse to defend your work, but I’m rooting for you to iron out the kinks so that people will take your skepticism seriously and not simply write you off as a Pistons-bashing hack. Skepticism is what this city needs right now, so that we don’t extend Monroe to a good faith max contract and THEN worry about how these pieces are going to fit.

    • Oct 19, 20139:53 pm
      by Max

      Reply

      Not sure how respectful this all is but “teammate-agnostic” was odd to my ear as well.  

    • Oct 20, 20131:55 am
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      “The problem with this sentence is that “seeming like a reasonable approximation” doesn’t equate to “are interchangeable.”

      By all means, ignore the word “here.” Clearly, you understood how the word “here” meant exactly what your wordier explanation did. Yet, you assume other readers wouldn’t? You must think you’re smarter than everyone else, which… Oh. Nevermind.

      As for my use of agnostic, you can read about parallel uses of the word here:

      http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/agnostic

      Jennings’ shooting is teammate-agnostic because it “function(s) without ‘knowing’ the underlying details of a system that it is working within.” Jennings, to date, has not known the shooting ability of his teammates. An ability to know is not a required element of the definition.

      • Oct 21, 20134:16 am
        by Otis

        Reply

        It was all worth it just for this moment. I am genuinely pleased to see you defend your work.
         
        I’ll hold my stance on the first point. “Here” doesn’t cover your bases as much as you’d like. On the second point, I thought maybe there might be some explanation about why you chose that particular phrase, so I looked at the internet to see if there was sufficient basis to use that word as broadly you did, and I remain unconvinced that there was. Max and I are bitter rivals and mortal enemies, but we agree here. Thoughtful, educated people shouldn’t have to scratch their heads when they read your sports journalism. The overall impression is that you’re trying to look smart by getting a little too “fancy” with language, and it’s having the opposite effect. If this teammate-agnostic concept was presented to me by, say, some eccentric intellectual with an unconventional writing style and a knack for turns of phrase like that, I probably wouldn’t bat an eye. But it feels out of place here, and I’m sure most readers who were paying attention raised an eyebrow. That’s not what you want. Plus the link you provided is to some random joker’s interpretation of the concept on a webpage where he’s explaining the word as it relates to technology interfaces. This is as poor a source as you could have provided.
         
        At the very least, taken as a “good, better, best” exercise, neither of these were handled the “best” way. Even if you believed that the inability to know something was not utterly essential to agnosticism, it’s certainly what makes the concept unique. Better to respect the uniqueness of words. The English language is full of beautifully descriptive words that would serve your purpose better. If your editor gave you these notes, you’d be wise to take them. They’re very good notes.

  • Oct 19, 201311:39 pm
    by Ron

    Reply

    Lol, Jerrific you must be related to Dan or something. Yes Dan has said that the team has more talent when in the same breath he mentions how poorly constructed the team is. Yes he said we’re playoff bound, possibly, and had us maybe sneaking in at 8. This is not an 8th seeded team, this team is much better than that and will not be sneaking into anyone’s playoffs this year. All of Feldman’s articles are written with negative connotations. Look at his recent article of KCP, read the headline, its classic Dan. Look noone wants to sit here and complain about an author, but this guy Dan sucks at his job. Just like he has the right to criticize the pistons, I have the right to voice my opinion about how Dan performs in his profession. I’ve read everything he writes, and I actually used to like his writings, but this summer he just seemed to write like a scorned woman, emphasizing the negatives, and minimizing all positives. I’m not making this up, nor am I saying this to argue, Dan sucks at his job right now and he needs to get it together or get out of someone else’s way.

    • Oct 20, 20131:57 am
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      “had us maybe sneaking in at 8.”

      Show me where I said this. 

      “he needs to get it together or get out of someone else’s way.” 

      HAHAHAHAHAHA 

    • Oct 20, 20134:21 pm
      by jerrific

      Reply

      “I’m not making this up, nor am I saying this to argue”

      Right, because telling someone they suck at their job and taking jabs at other commenters because they disagree with you are the least arguementative things you could say.

  • Oct 20, 201312:57 am
    by ShimmeringWang

    Reply

    Oh my God you are all such babies. Do you come here for analysis, or unicorns and sunshine? Brandon Jennings shoots too much, and has pretty much always been the kind of player who shoots too much. Suggesting that Dan (or anyone) is being overly pessimistic or hyper-critical by pointing this out is just… what? 

    Start your own fansite. Every day you can post articles about how underrated the Ben Gordon signing was, predict Charlie Villanueva will be NBA 6th Man of the Year, and post polls that look like this:

    How many PPG will KCP average this year?

    - 24
    - 25+
    - 30+
    - 50+

    Everyone will hate your site and everyone will hate you and I hate you. 

    • Oct 21, 20134:26 am
      by Otis

      Reply

      This post is awesome and I like your name.

      • Oct 21, 20133:17 pm
        by Huddy

        Reply

        …the guy writing long-winded remarks on Dan’s word choice thinks the post telling those that are critical of Dan’s writing that they are babies is awesome?

        • Oct 22, 20136:26 am
          by ShimmeringWang

          Reply

          Well, in my defense, there was the unicorns line. And the hypothetical KCP PPG poll, which wasn’t bad. 

           

          • Oct 22, 201310:10 am
            by Huddy

            No defense needed, I was talking about Otis and his AP English lesson above.  I also do not agree with bashing Dan for pointing out realities and regardless of my position at least your post is basketball related.

  • Oct 20, 20137:53 am
    by AYC

    Reply

    If the data is there, nothing wrong with writing about it and drawing the most likely conclusion that it offers.  

  • Oct 20, 20137:23 pm
    by Ron

    Reply

    *Eh hmmm* Yea um, sometimes you have to admit when you’re wrong. *tap tap* My bad. I don’t know how I missed these articles, but clearly I did. Please hold while I get this crow out of my throat. Smh

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