Mike Gallagher

Offseason Beat

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NBA Week in Review

Thursday, August 14, 2014

I’ll admit it’s tough to even focus on basketball right now and I’ve probably spent too much time fine-tuning my fantasy football draft strategy thanks to the Rotoworld Fantasy Football Draft Guide. If you’re going to take fantasy football seriously, you definitely should check that thing out. It’s worth it, especially if you’re spending a lot of league dues.

Speaking of which, the Rotoworld NBA crew is gearing up for the draft guide. We’re adding a ton of features and more mock drafts than ever before. It is expected to go live in early September and hopefully Eric Bledsoe will have made a decision by then.
Follow me on Twitter @MikeSGallagher. You can also send me a tweet for this weekend's Fantasy Hoops Mailbag.
Monroe Doctrine
In similar restricted free agent news, Greg Monroe is reportedly going to sign his qualifying offer to remain with the Pistons for one season and become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2015. It’s a curious decision from Monroe, who will now make just $5.5 million next season. Yes, that’s a lot of money, but relative to Channing Frye getting $32 million over four years, it’s not much.
New coach Stan Van Gundy is going to be in a tight spot. His team is shaping up to be an inefficient offense now that they're likely starting two power forwards again. He is probably still scratching his head how the Pistons ranked 24th in effective field goal percentage while Andre Drummond ranked second in the NBA for that category. How? The Pistons had three of the worst eight players in effective field goal percentage in Brandon Jennings, Josh Smith and Rodney Stuckey. Basically, coach Gregg Popovich probably couldn't even watch their tape because he wouldn't want it to make a bad impression on him.
SVG’s Orlando Magic teams ranked in the top six for effective field goal percentage for every season he was their head coach. If he could somehow get the Pistons into the top 10, he’d be a miracle worker.
In previous columns, we’ve discussed how his teams have been built on shots at the restricted area and triples, but let’s look at play types this time. Here is Synergy’s breakdown of the SVG’s last two seasons with the Magic:
That’s a lot of information to the untrained eye, but the second column (%Time) is the most interesting part. The Magic had at least 22.2 percent of their shots come from spot-up shooting while they also had at least 21 percent of their points come in pick-and-roll. That’s a lot, and it’s also not exactly how the 2013-14 Pistons operated. Hey, how about those Pistons last year?

Yep, you’ll notice the massive drop offs in PNR, spot-ups, and also post-ups. Meanwhile, they had more isolation, cuts and O-board production. We’ll get to Andre Drummond in a minute, but obviously those isolation numbers at a pathetic 36.2 effective field goal percentage have to sting. As a reference point, my boy Kawhi Leonard had a 54.8 effective field goal percentage in isolation last season.
SVG isn’t going to say it, but he probably doesn’t view Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith as terrific assets to his offense. Smith played 35.5 minutes per game and Jennings was at 34.1, but I think both guys will see a decrease in playing time. Simply put: Don’t draft them in eight- and nine-category leagues.
But what about Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe? Drummond had one of the best offensive rebounding seasons in the history of the NBA. No player since 1999 averaged at least 30 minutes per game with an offensive rebounding percentage of 17.0 or more. Drummond shattered it with 32.3 minutes per game and an O-board percentage of 17.7. I’d expect him to get more pick-and-rolls in his age-21 season. If you don’t care about free throws, he’s basically a top-15 guy.
Greg Monroe is a little trickier. He’s a very good post defender — especially compared to J-Smoove and Drummond — so SVG should look to give him more run. He’s always been great at getting shots around the rim on offense and that should open up some shots for guys like Jodie Meeks, D.J. Augustin, Caron Butler and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Monroe is a safe guy to take in the middle rounds, except I'd like to see his free throw shooting increase. By the way, I think Butler could be a sneaky add in deeper leagues. I also don’t mind Jodie Meeks in the early-late rounds or KCP as a late-round sleeper.

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Mike Gallagher has covered fantasy hoops for eight years and this season is his second with Rotoworld. You can find him on Twitter talking about a player's shots at the rim.

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