FanPost

Ian vs. Splitter

With Dirk being out the past few weeks and Haywood in Carlisle's doghouse, Mahinmi has gotten a lot of burn.  When Ian was with the Spurs, he showed flashes of potential followed by doldrums of ineptitude.  A small minority of Spurs fans have recently been despairing that we just released the a player (Ian) for his equal (Splitter).  Both of these players were big men with huge potential that were drafted late in the first round after a championship.  Both played professionally in Europe (with Splitter getting the nod because of the league he was in).  A look into their respective statistics after the jump.  Extreme wall of text after the jump (with a few handy tables)

For posterity's sake, I will take Ian's whole career with the Spurs vs. Splitter's first year.  While this is unfair to Splitter, due to the fact that very few players due well in the Spurs system in their first year (Neal and Ginobili being exceptions), I feel like it will portray an accurate representation of how they look.  Plus, Splitter has already played in nearly as many games in his first season, that Ian did in his whole Spurs career.  First of all we're going to take a look at regular statistics.  While these don't tell the whole story, they are the easiest to follow:

Regular:

 

Games

FG%

PPG

RPG

APG

BPG

FPG

MPG

Splitter

30

0.5

4.2

2.5

0.5

0.3

1.6

11.4

Ian*

32

0.61

3.8

1.8

0.1

0.38

1.1

5.9

 

First thing that pops off the page for me in this table is that Ian is comparable or better in nearly every category while playing fewer minutes.

Per 36 Minutes

 

Games

FG%

Pts

TRb

Ast

Blk

PF

Splitter

30

0.5

13.3

8

1.7

1.1

5

Ian*

32

0.61

24

10.6

0.6

2.6

6.9

 

Again, Ian takes the cake in points, rebounds and blocks (something we wish our big men would do).  But notice the Personal Fouls.  If Mahinmi continued to play the way he did in his 6 minutes but played for 36 he wouldn't get past 31 minutes a game.  I agree this is hypothetical, but the per 36 minutes has always been hypothetical relying on the acceptance that energy levels are kept at the same level whether you played 6 minutes or 48 minutes.  Even Ian's best game in a Spurs uniform (the Nets game last year) he had 5 fouls in 20 minutes.

Another things that I noticed was the blackhole that Ian is.  He's nearly as bad as Sam Dalembert.  This is all well and good for a center on the Heat, but the Spurs require ball movement more than nearly any team except maybe the Lakers.

Advanced:

 

PER

TS%

TRB%

%AST

USG%

ORtg

DRtg

OWS

DWS

WS/48

Splitter

14.2

54.7

12.7

54.5

17.8

110

103

0.4

0.5

0.14

Ian*

28.45

66.3

15.65

52.2

31.3

119

96

0.25

0.2

0.29

 

This is another table that blew me away with how much these stats love Ian.  The ORtg for Mahinmi will probably go down if he played more, mostly due to the fact that he didn't play as much.  Defensive rating would also probably rise because the Spurs DRtg last year was around 104.  The biggest thing that jumped out at me was the Usage rate for Ian.  To give a better understanding of where that ranks, Lebron James' usage rate for his career is .6% points above Ian's.

At this point, I'm going to delve into the definitively hypothetical.  Let's assume that Tiago has the same usage rate as Ian did.  I can't say how that would affect anything but PER and OWS.  Obviously, this would be if Tiago held his other percentages flat with the huge usage rate that he is acquiring, but I believe he can do it.  I'll be comparing the per 36 minute stats because you can have a better feel for how they would compare head to head if playing meaningful minutes.  I'm also having to leave out all of the defensive statistics (Blocks, Rebounds, etc.) because I don't know how usage rate affects.  This hurts Tiago greatly because he is already a smart defender.

 

Pts

Ast

PER

WS/48

Splitter (with Ian's USG%)

23.4

3

25

0.17

Ian

24

0.6

28.45

0.29

 

Suddenly Splitter looks head and shoulders above Ian.  The points stat is comparable while Ian has a slight edge in PER.  Ian also has a drastic edge in Win Shares per 48 minutes, but advanced statistics break down on a per minute level.  Just like I say in my disclaimer below, Ian had the benefit of working in the Spurs system for 3 years, while this is Tiago's first year.  His PER is 14.48, which is higher than the league average of 12.68.  It's also higher than lottery talents Demarcus Cousins (14.04) and Derrick Favors (13.63), and currently is behind only Blake Griffin and John Wall as rookies this year.

All said, Ian has decent potential, but isn't a Spur.  I'm very happy he gets his chance to shine in a system that seems more suitable to his basketball IQ and his style of play.  I can see him being a cross between Deandre Jordan and Sam Dalembert.  Not the guy who controls the low post, but a decent help defender and a guy who can score off broken plays.

Splitter has the potential (in my mind) to be able to man the post to 70% of Duncan's output.  Since the era of the big man in the post is leaving and the era of quick point guards is already upon us, I think that the best move by the front office was taking Splitter instead of Ian.  Splitter already knows how to run a high screen/roll and his defense (while looking a little spastic) is decent at the moment with the potential to be very good.

Lastly, I'm sure a few people are going to say, "Well, if Ian HAD played more, than he could have been better too."  Yes, he could have been better.  But why wasn't he playing more?  Blair came in as a rookie and took Ian's spot right away.  Splitter came in as a rookie and is averaging a paltry 11 minutes a game, with the exact same lineup of big men that Ian (averaged 5 minutes a game) couldn't crack.  Obviously the coaching staff/front office didn't think the direction the Spurs needed to go was with Ian and let him go find his way.  Based off rookie year statistics, I think Splitter has a much higher ceiling than Ian, even without the leaping ability.

*Ian played 6 games his rookie year (07-08) and 26 games the 09-10 season.  By the time he played in more than 10 games he had spent 3 years in the Spurs system while bulking up and getting ready for the NBA game by playing in Austin while the Spurs hired a strength and conditioning coach for him.  Ian's second season (again, the 09-10 season) boosted his numbers greatly.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Pounding The Rock

You must be a member of Pounding The Rock to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pounding The Rock. You should read them.

Join Pounding The Rock

You must be a member of Pounding The Rock to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pounding The Rock. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker