Henry Abbott has the latest of his chat with Mavs’ stat man Wayne Winston up on TrueHoop, with a particularly Mavs-relevant portion that caught my eye:
Kidd can’t guard a fast guard. They go right by him like he’s standing still. They always did. Against Chris Paul … Jason Kidd might as well be standing still on defense.
But the interesting thing: Devin Harris can nail Tony Parker. But Steve Nash can beat Devin Harris. But Parker can beat Nash.
It’s not transitive. We can show that. That’s really interesting. That shouldn’t be. But it is. There are probably a lot of other things like that.
If coaches see other examples of things like that, we can back them up with data. Del Harris really got to like us, I think, because a lot of times our numbers confirmed what he thought. It’s hard to argue with the numbers when you’ve got a full amount of data on it.
Last year [Maverick assistant] Terry Stotts did a really great job asking us questions. Before the Spurs series, they asked us about Antoine Wright. He’s not on the team anymore, thank god. OK, he had a bad rating in our system. But the fascinating thing was, when he played small forward, he was good. When he played shooting guard, he was terrible. So we can break that down. I can find every combination where he was small forward and he was good. Every combination where he was shooting guard he was terrible.
Against the Spurs, they used him as a small forward and he was great. Every time he played for Howard at small forward, they killed the Spurs.
Things like this … I needed the coach to ask me the question because I would have never thought of it. You don’t just throw the numbers at the coach, because, I mean, 500,000 numbers! But if the coach understands what he’s doing, and says “I think Antoine Wright can play small forward can you tell me if that’s true?” That’s how you use the stuff.
The bit about Kidd is spot-on. The rumors of Jason’s decline are greatly exaggerated, as we see a Chris Paul or a Tony Parker dismantle him and assume he’s done for. But in reality, Kidd plays well against most every other point guard in the league. Maybe not “Best PG in the League” well these days, but well enough for the Mavs to boast a solid outfit around his talents.
Plus, I guess all the Antoine Wright bile that pulsed through Mavs Nation wasn’t exclusive to those on the outside.