Jump to content

  •  
- - - - -

Who wins in a Crash versus an Oak?


In every contest there must be a loser (bonus points to anyone who recognizes that quote) - even if that competition were merely theoretical and in my head.  What contest am I talking about?  Well, I started thinking about the centerpieces of the Bobcats’ team and Gerald and Emeka were the first to come to my mind.  And I started to wonder – who is more important to the success of the team? 

My gut reaction was that they’re probably pretty equal, just because of how good Crash was this past season. I was probably a little influenced by my last post that made the case for him being a superstar over the last 2/3's of the past season. How to decide this though? I’ve settled on looking at the team’s average scoring numbers with the two on the court together and when they are by themselves (separate from the other, not literally playing 1 on 5). The results are telling.
Full Season Averages
Who’s PlayingPoints Per Game ScoredPoints Per Game AllowedMargin of Victory/Defeat
Gerald and Emeka93.896.2-2.4
Gerald96.7101.8-5.1
Emeka95.495.9-0.5
Numbers are based on a 92 possession game, the Bobcats' average this past season.

For perspective on these numbers, let's use the records of teams from this past season that had similar scoring margins.
A Gerald by himself team - The Memphis Grizzlies. They lost their games by an average of 5.1 points this year. Their record? 22 and 60.
The Gerald and Emeka team - The Bobcats would be a decent guess but we'll go outside the city to Indiana, where losing their games by 2.4 points netted them a 35 and 47 record this past season.
The Oak Tree Team - Two teams finished the season averaging -0.5 per game - The Clippers, at 40-42, and the Wizards, who finished at an even 41-41, while making the playoffs.

It is not terribly surprising to see that if Gerald is on the floor without Emeka, the team will struggle. That speaks to the depth of the team more than anything. If Emeka was not out there this past season, consider the other options: Primoz, during his worst season as a Bobcat; Ryan Hollins, following the opposition every chance he got; Othella Harrington, a veritable dinosaur at this stage of his career. Not very appealing, is it? So, Gerald gets a pass on this case - It seems intuitive that a team will struggle when missing one of its best players.
However, I'm not willing to gloss over the fact that the team was significantly better off without Gerald on the floor. This really surprised me. But the answer comes in treating the season in two parts, just as I did previously in the "Tale of 2 Crashes". Suddenly, a new story is told.
Averages from December 27th On
Who’s PlayingPoints Per Game ScoredPoints Per Game AllowedMargin of Victory/Defeat
Gerald and Emeka97.995.02.9
Gerald99.7102.0-2.3
Emeka95.493.41.9
Numbers are based on a 92 possession game, the Bobcats' average this past season.

The team is still better with Emeka than Gerald, but the same reasoning for that applies as before. However, now the team resembles Utah when they are together, winning by an average of 2.9 points, which led Utah to a 51 win season this year. In addition to Crash playing like Crash again, prior to December 27th, Adam Morrison was averaging 32.5 minutes a game, after that date: 28.2 mins per game. Now, I'm not laying all the blame at his feet, but trying to point out that there are other causes to the change in the team's fortunes. Walter began playing more as the season went on and Matt Carroll doubled his minutes per game and scoring average after December 27th. Combined with Gerald's rejuvenation, the Bobcats became a worthy foe as the calendar advanced.

In wrapping up, I do want to point out that the numbers point decisively in Emeka's favor: He was the linchpin of this past season's team and will be again this coming year, for 2 reasons: 1. He's really good. 2. His backups aren't (or are injured too often). Bob, MJ: If you want the Bobcats to be a consistent winner in the years to come, bite the bullet, and enter into luxury tax territory. Whatever it takes to sign Emeka is worth it...if you want a winning team.


  • 0 Comments