Andray Blatche…Is TerriblePosted: January 29, 2011
I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. The amount of Wizards fans that believe Andray Blatche is a good player astounds me. I don’t understand how anyone can watch a Wizards game and come to this conclusion. Just from watching the games you can see he’s a horrendous basketball player. He makes a mistake nearly every time he touches the ball. I think it’s self evident but I guess I have to provide conclusive evidence that Blatche has no business being a starting power forward in the NBA. This will be easy.
Now, how “good” someone is at some activity is relative. Andray Blatche is obviously a good basketball player relative to the average person. He would beat me pretty handily in a game of one on one. But if we’re talking about whether he is “good” in terms of being a starting power forward for the Washington Wizards then we should compare him to other starting power forwards. Unfortunately, the database I’m going to use for this write up (hoopdata.com) doesn’t allow me to organize players by games started. So my expanded definition is power forwards who are heavily depended on by their teams (20+ games played, 25+ minutes per game). I think this is reasonable and still will show my point that Blatche shouldn’t be considered good (better than average) relative to this group of players. Many times it’s easy to think of a player as good in the abstract sense because not everyone realizes just how many quality players there are in the NBA. Once you just see his name among his competition then I’m confident you’ll realize where he ranks, if not I’ve provided further evidence of his terrible production.
Here is the list of players Blatche is being compared to…
Al Harrington, Amare Stoudemire, Amir Johnson, Anderson Varejao, Antawn Jamison, Blake Griffin, Boris Diaw, Carl Landry, Carlos Boozer, Charlie Villanueva, Chris Bosh, David West, DeMarcus Cousins, Dirk Nowitzki, Elton Brand, Glen Davis, Josh Smith, Kevin Garnett, Kevin Love, Kris Humphries, Lamar Odom, LaMarcus Aldridge, Luis Scola, Marcus Camby, Michael Beasley, Pau Gasol, Paul Millsap, Rashard Lewis, Serge Ibaka, Zach Randolph.
That’s 30 players who have played 25 minutes per game in 20 or more games this season. Including Andray Blatche we get to 31 players. There are 30 starting power forward spots in the NBA. This is a close enough approximation for me.
Is Andray Blatche above average for this group? An easy personal test is if you can find sixteen players on that list that you would trade Blatche for. If you can then he is by your own evaluation process (whatever that may be) a below average player. My whole point of this post is to prove to you he is a below average big man. So if you find yourself already realizing this then you really don’t need to read further. Of this list there are three, maybe four players I wouldn’t trade Blatche for. So in my personal eyeball rankings/opinion he’s around ~26th/31. If you threw in some Olive Garden bread sticks, cash and a few second round picks then he’s yours regardless of who you give me. But that’s just me. I’m pretty confident almost everyone’s eyeball rankings will have him below average even if they didn’t consider him that in the abstract sense before reading this.
Let’s take a closer look at the numbers. When we look at his true shooting percentage (This takes into account three’s and free throws. It demonstrates his ability to make the shots he takes, a really important part of winning a basketball game) his 47.9% ranks a horrendous 29th out of 31. The average true shooting percentage is 55.2%. Clearly, Blatche is far below average. This season is the lowest TS% Blatche has had since his rookie year. So you might be saying he’s just having a bad year. If we took his career best season (51.9%, last year) he is still far below average. So Dray isn’t “good” at making shots this season and has never once been above average (or even close to average) at this in his career. This is because he takes a lot of long jump shots and they very rarely go in. He is actually below average in FG% from all distances on the floor.
Making shots is a very important part of winning basketball but it’s not the only component. You also need to gain possession of the basketball and avoid losing possession. Otherwise known as rebounding, avoiding turnovers, and forcing turnovers. Blatche’s rebound rate of 13.4 ranks 21st/31, again significantly below average (average =14.9). Rebound rate is defined as the percentage of total rebounds grabbed by a player during his time on the court, just so you know. Blatche ranks 29th/31 in turnover rate, as in the third worst. His turnover rate is 12.99 (average = 10.32) so he is far below average. Turnover rate is defined as the percent of a players possessions that end in a turnover, just so you know. Forcing turnovers helps balance out this discrepancy. He is actually second best in the group in this department, so it helps a little but doesn’t bring him back to average here in terms of possession of the basketball.
He ranks 17th/31 in blocked shots per game, again below average. His assist rate (percentage of possessions used that end in an assist) is 23rd/31, way below average again. His PER is 14.22, ranking 26th/31 – way below average. His win score is also 26th/31 – way below average. His win shares per 48 minutes is a horrendously bad .025 (average is .100), again way way way below average.
I mean I could go on, the clearly evident theme here is that Andray Blatche is a far below average player across the board. He is not a good basketball player, there is simply no evidence to back that statement up. He has never really produced at a high level for an extended period of time in the past either. You might say he’s young and will improve but the soonest he can redeem himself is next season, he will be 25. At some point you have become the player you’re going to be and Blatche is close to that point, if not there already. I haven’t said much about his individual defense but I don’t think anyone actually believe’s he’s a good defender. The last thing to consider is that he has played the most minutes on the Wizards and therefore has had the most impact on their record, they are 13-32.
Give me evidence that suggests Andray Blatche is a good player, I beg you.