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PAAC Mailbag Westbrook’s decline, the Mailman’s best, is Kyrie hot, best centers

Today I introduced PAAC, points above average created, on lockedonnba.com.   If you missed it here is the article that explains the offensive statistic and its history. 

This is our first of many PAAC Mailbags.   You can follow me on twitter at @lockedonsports to submit your questions

Last year, Russell Westbrook was a .1 PAAC player.  He has never been a highly efficient player.  Last year, his insane usage rate allowed him to average 32 points a game.  Remember, the Thunder were not a good offensive team last year despite the incredible efforts of Westbrook.   They were the 17th ranked offense last season and thus far this year are the 22nd ranked offense.

The big drop for Westbrook this year is how often he is going to the line.  Last season, he went to the line 13.5% of all of his possessions and this year he is going to the line just 9.4%.  Moreover, he is not shooting his free throws well at all this season.  This is a story keeping an eye on if Westbrook becomes less aggressive because he doesn’t want to miss free throws his value is greatly decreased.

Thanks to a wonderful listener to my LOCKED ON JAZZ podcast we have every year of PAAC in NBA history.  If you want to ask about past players in future mailbag feel free.

The Mailman’s best PAAC year was in 1989-90 when he registered a 6.0 PAAC.  If you recall Karl Malone averaged 31 points a game that season while taking 11 free throws a game.  This is one of the 20 best offensive seasons of all time.  In fact, it isn’t really close.  His next best season was in 1997-98 at the age of 34, which is truly remarkable.

This is a great question with a surprising answer.     Kyrie Irving PAAC this year with the Boston Celtics is a negative .4.   I was really surprised by this considering the Celtics are on a 10 game win streak.   Jason Tatum is a +2, which is outstanding as a rookie.  Look at the list of the 10 worst offensive players on the introduction to PAAC and it is loaded with rookies.  Also, Al Horford is a +2.   The Celtics win steak is being generated from their amazing defensive start not their offense.

Last year, Isaiah Thomas was the 2nd best PAAC player in the NBA with a 3.4 PAAC.    Irving is not actually picking up where Thomas left off.   The narrative that is developing around the win streak if false in this regard.     Last year, Irving was a 1.2 PAAC in Cleveland so I would anticipate that his numbers increase in the upcoming weeks

Remember this is an offensive only statistic.   One thing PAAC loves is dunkers.  PAAC is all about efficiency and there is no better possession than a dunk.   PAAC is about the impact on a game.  When judging centers PAAC is very revealing in how valuable and impactful even a few high-efficiency possession are in a game.    You will see this below.  Clint Capela only uses 9 scoring opportunities a game, but he is having the most positive impact on a game.   This is the value of shooting 69%.

 

PLAYER TEAM PAAC
Clint Capela Hou 2.9
Karl Anthony Towns Min 2.9
Rudy Gobert Uta 2.4
Enes Kanter NYK 2.3
Steven Adams OKC 2.3

Al Horford and Nikola Jokic are also having great seasons.  However,  this should remind you if your team could get a dunk every possession they would.  Even the Houston Rockets

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David Locke enters his ninth year as the radio play-by-play voice of the Utah Jazz, having spent the majority of his career in radio in Salt Lake City and Seattle. In the summer of 2016, Locke created the Locked on Podcast Network which has podcast daily bite sized podcasts for every NBA and NFL team. A native of Palo Alto, Calif., Locke graduated from Occidental College in Los Angeles with a degree in Political Science and Sociology. Locke and his wife have a son and a daughter.

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