Tuesday, February 14

Dude, Where's Your Defense?

Fact #1: Kyle fills it
The fact that Kyle is our greatest three point threat since Dana Barros made a deal with the devil during the 94-95 season is indisputable. It's also a ton of fun. Great teams have players with well-defined roles. Mediocre teams have players with well-defined roles like "has long hair and wet jumper."

Fact #2: Whoever Kyle is guarding fills it; hard

This is also tough to argue, but it has more gravity that the obvious first point. Kyle's defensive shortcomings are numerous and well documented. He has trouble with quicker two-guards and can't muscle up with powerful threes. He can be taken off the dribble, but with Violet Palmer around, who can't?

Fact #3: He fits the team
If your team identity is based around winning scoring battles, there's nothing wrong with having a wingman who can't do anything but shoot. In fact, he's exactly what we need. If he was lighting it up in Denver, and we had Salmons and Webber bricking 25 footers all game, fans would be lined up at Billy King's door begging for a shooter. He's instant offense and that might be enough.

Fact #4: Iverson trusts him
He still wants the ball in his hands with the clock winding down, but he might be the only player on the club that Allen doesn't mind dishing to when he picks up a triple-team. The fact that Allen believes in him cannot be understated.

Fact #5: Stats
According to ESPN's John Hollinger, Kyle's numbers are below the league average, which is not surprising, and he is most similar at his age to Jumaine Jones, which makes no sense at all. His individual stats on 82games.com cast him as a slight contributor, with a net of .4 points per 100 possessions. But the real explanation of Kyle's worth comes through the team statistics. Of the Sixers top ten 5 man units, Kyle and Allen are the only players who appear in all six of the units with a winning record. (No surprise that the top unit is Iverson-Iguodala-Korver-Randolph-Webber, a unit which has only received 44 total minutes this year).

Which of these is important? Taking into account his ability to smash open threes, probably his most valuable asset is the faith that Allen has in him. Accepting the fact that this team isn't going to play much defense with or without Kyle, you've gotta be happy to have him aboard in any capacity. Misuse of talent is Mo's problem and while he's not going to win many (ok, any) one-on-one tournaments, Kyle is an invaluable contributor to this team.


enrico said...

fact 3. so what you're saying is, he sucks too?

Hal said...

It's funny, cause I didn't think so, and I still don't; but the fact is, it's hard to make a strong argument for a guy like Kyle. In the end, he gets along with Allen, fits the team mentality (if you're gonna get beat, go down swinging), and I'd rather have him than get beat by him.

z said...

there probably isn't much statistical value in numbers regarding a 5-man unit that's only been on the floor for 44 minutes this season. the sample size is too small.

Hal said...

I just threw that one in for fun. The statistical signifgance indeed lies in the units with a reasonably large N, and in this case those units always include Kyle.

uberangie said...

that is, like, the best headline evah.

still, hal, is korver really all we can hope for in philadelphia? someone who is below statistical average, who doesn't play defense, but can make the occassional three, and gets along with iverson. let's raise our standards a little. we surely can get someone who can shoot AND gets along with people AND actually plays a little defense. just sayin'.

Dave W said...

Korver would be great as a Steve Kerr guy if only we had a better team so as to not rely on him for those little things like defense or creating offense beyond "catch-and-shoot". It's pretty much impossible to make a case for him as a 30+ minute starter in the NBA.

Hal said...

Aha! You got it Dave. There is no argument for Kyle as a starter. But- he is the quintessence of a role player, and his ability to fit into the flow of the team coupled with the confidence that his teammates have in him make him an indispensible member of our roster.

Cameron said...

Well, that and his ashton kutcher-like good looks.