Oh, no I didn’t. The guy that handicapped our salary cap space, the one that Sam Vincent demanded, the one that sat on the bench virtually all of last year, who makes over 6 million dollars in this economic climate. How on earth can Nazr Mohammed, who hasn’t even started half his games in Charlotte, be a bargain?
Well, first off, let me say I’ve always liked big men who can shoot and have liked Nazr for that reason. Nazr has shown that he can hit jumpers consistantly from mid-range and an occaisional long range 2. But I would be naive to judge a big man’s value on just his shooting, because then Alexis Ajinca would be playing outside of the D-League. So let’s look a bit further into what Nazr has done for this team. Be prepared, because the following may shock you, or put you to sleep.
If you read the forums, I make it very clear I don’t put much value into basically anything John Hollinger puts out. I maintain if he was truly ahead of the curve, he’d be in an NBA team’s front office. But when all given metrics say the same thing, I begin to take notice, and that’s what has happened with Nazr. PER, which stands for Player Efficiency Rating, measures per minute production, and has a base number of 15 for the entire league. Nazr leads the Bobcats in PER with 21.5, All Star Gerald Wallace being second with 18.7. Mohammed also leads the team in True Shooting Percentage, which takes into account the value of the shot (2 pointers, 3 pointers, and Free Throws), with a 59.7% mark, Wallace again placing second with 58.5% average. Effective Field Goal percentage is much the same as true shooting, except it does not take free throws into account. Here, Nazr leads the team with a 57.3% pace, DeSagana Diop coming in second at 55.6%. Now, let’s move from shooting to rebounding. Offensive Rebounding Percentage estimates how many offensive rebounds a player grabs while on the floor. Nazr leads the team with 14.7%, Gana is second at 11.5%. To give you some comparison, Gerald Wallace has just 5.9% of all offensive rebounds. Defensive Rebounding Percentage is the same thing on the defensive end. Here, Gerald leads the team with an astounding 25.3%, but Nazr is a very close second with 23.1%. Total rebound percentage combines the two, and Nazr leads the team with 19%. Tyson Chandler is second with 16.6%, Gerald third with 15.7%. There are also a few miscellanenous metrics that give us some insight into how Nazr is helping the team. Block percentage estimates the amount of two point shots blocked by a player while on the floor. While Gana leads the team at 4.5%, Nazr is second at 3.9%. Turnover percent estimates the number of turnovers per 100 plays, and Nazr has the lowest amount of any starter and third lowest number on the team at 11.4, despite being a center with questionable hands. Usage is the amount of team plays used by the player while on the floor. Nazr is the second starter on this list, behind Stephen Jackson. Offensive rating is how many points a player would score per 100 possesions, Nazr leads the team at 116. Crash is second at 113. Defensive rating is how many points a player would allow per 100 possesions, and while G-Dub is the best at 99, Nazr is second at 101. Congratulations, you just read through a complete metric report of Nazr Mohammed’s season.
Now, what does all that mean? Basically, despite the fact that he’s only playing 17.3 minutes per game, Nazr is our second best player statistically, and probabally the third from viewer’s perspective, behind Gerald and Jack. Yet, he’s fifth on the payroll on a playoff team below the luxury tax with no player making above 12 million. And, in a league and on a team historically parched for big men, he’s doing everthing asked of him and a more. In his last game against Minnesota, he put up the first 20/20 game of his career, with 21 points, 20 rebounds, and a game winning dunk. He’s hit double digit points four of his last six games, double digit rebounds five of his last seven. With Tyson Chandler, who makes nearly 12 million this season and nearly 13 next, coming back from injury slowly and Nazr (who in comparison makes 6.4 million this year and 6.8 next) resting up over the All Star break, I expect more great things from Nazr the rest of the year.
Notes: Gerald Wallace was the Bobcats first All-Star, as many of you know, and enjoyed himslef immensely this weekend in Dallas. In the actual game itself, he scored 2 points on 1 of 3 shooting, pulled down 3 rebounds, and had an assist. He also participated in the dunk contest Saturday, but was eliminated in the first round…Bill Ingram of Hoopsworld.com is convinced DJ Augustin will be packaged to Boston for Rasheed Wallace. Rasheed is earning the mid-level exception (a little over 5 and a half million) for this season and the following two, so there would need to be multiple pieces added, possibly on both sides. The Bobcats will try to force DeSagana Diop down Boston’s throat, but it’s doubtful Danny Ainge accepts that…It’s been rumored that the Bobcats and Heat have been in talks, but with the Heat looking for expiring contracts, it’s unlikely that the ‘Cats will pull the trigger on any deal….While many fans on the forums have been looking for a way to acquire Wizards forward Antawn Jamison, a Charlotte native, with the Mavericks taking on Caron Butler and DaShawn Stevenson’s salaries, it’s unlikely the Wizards move Jamison before Thursday’s deadline.
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