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Old 10-16-2008, 01:00 PM   #1
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Default Predict 08-09 stats for your favourite Sun

...and you can add more if you like. We all know that stats don't tell the whole story, but this might be fun if you're bored.

Things to note:
- Shaq, Lopez, Amundson, Diaw, Barnes to help out with rebounding.
- Kerr wants more emphasis on using Amare as a clear go-to-guy.
- Porter wants to limit Nash's minutes.
- Dragic and Singletary will probably help reduce Nash's minutes.
- Instead of inbounding and running up the court immediately after the opponent scores, we'll look for a good half-court set shot. However, after defensive stops, we'll still get out on the break. Porter mentioned we aim to score 100ppg instead of 110.
- Shaq is 1 year older.

So here goes:


Amare Stoudemire - bit hard to say. He played 34 minutes per game last season, which will probably increase this season. The first month of last season, he was recovering from that clean-up knee surgery, so his numbers were below par (about 19/8 in November - pretty low, and it dragged his season averages down).

After the Shaq trade, his field goal percentage was a supersonic 59%, while his scoring was at 28.5ppg. He had a month where he averaged 29.3 points and played 38 minutes/game. He shot 89% from the line that month as well. In the last month before the playoffs, he shot 62.3% from the field.

In the last 2 months where he was getting more adjusted to playing as a power forward, he shot 59.7% from the field. Quite simply, he is an offensive machine. He also seems to bump up his free throw percentage every offseason. He mentioned that one of the things he's worked on over the offseason is improving the efficiency of his offensive moves - less steps needed to get to the basket, better use of angles, finding ways to take the highest percentage shot whenever possible - I'm guessing it's that kind of thing. And then we need to consider that Kerr wants to run things through Amare as a clear cut go-to-guy.

In terms of rebounds, he probably won't get as many thanks to our extra depth at the 5. I'm not sure if he's still being instructed to let our center get the defensive board and run out on the fast break. If he is, expect his rebounding numbers to go down, maybe to 8-8.5 or so. Of course, this is going to provide fuel for people who don't like Amare, but I'm not fussed. Then again, with increased minutes, he might increase his rebounding. It depends a lot on what Porter wants him to do in terms of getting the board or getting out on the break.

In Feb and March, he averaged 2.1 assists, probably a product of moving to the 4. As he gets more comfortable being the clear cut go-to-guy, he has the potential to increase his assists a bit.

Overall, it's all about a balance between the change in system, increased minutes, and Amare's improvement over the offseason.

What's his ceiling?
If he gets more minutes than only 34/game, then he's got a shot at the scoring title. He took 17 shots/game after the allstar break - compared to over 20 for both Kobe and Lebron. When he averaged 29.3ppg for a month, it was on 18 shots. Imagine if he was our clear go-to-guy, playing at his natural position, getting 38 minutes/game and taking 20 shots per contest. I think it would more than compensate for any decrease in pace.

Predicted stats - I think he might start off a little slowly as everyone gets used to Porter's system. In the end, it could round out at 30ppg, 8.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 2 blocks, 61% FG, 83% FT, 38 minutes/game. I hope I haven't sounded too homerish - I think what I've posted is reasonable considering the justification given.

In the end though, I'll still be happy if he only averages 19/8 - as long as our Suns are doing awesome.

There, that killed a bit of time.
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