On Greivis Vasquez
By Rohan on Jan 10, 6:00a
Ceiling #1: Fringe Pro
Greivis Vasquez was supposed to be done, more or less, after college; he was a system player that lacked athleticism and a shot. DraftExpress ranked him the 7th best point guard of a weak point guard class (lodged between Armon Johnson and Sherron Collins in 2010), but more importantly, it wasn't particularly clear that he had a real position in the first place.
Vasquez的球員生涯過了大學之後就差不多到此為止了。他缺乏優異的體能條件和準確的外線，必須依靠球隊戰術系統才能存活。即使2010年這一屆的待選控球後衛素質較差(但是狀元卻是John Wall)，DraftExpress仍然只把他排到第7名而已，排在Armon Johnson(第二輪第34順位被拓荒者挑走)和Sherron Collins(落選)之後。更重要的是，沒有人知道他真正的位置到底是控球後衛還是得分後衛。
28th picks don't stick around too long in general.
Vasquez landed on a Memphis team with established starting options in the backcourt and a number of players sharing the remaining wing minutes, including O.J. Mayo, Xavier Henry, Sam Young, Acie Law, and Ish Smith.
Vasquez被灰熊選走，但是球隊的後場已經確定是由Conley和Tony Alen先發，他只能和一票側翼球員包括Mayo、Xavier Henry、Sam Young、Acie Law和Ish Smith等人爭奪剩下的上場時間。
When Jason Williams flamed out, Vasquez had his opportunity, and he became a preferred backup. His rookie stats weren't spectacular, but he hovered right around the league average assist percentage for backup point guards (25%) and he upped his game tremendously in Memphis' two playoff series, going from a 9.4 PER and -10 offensive efficiency differential during the season to an 18.8 PER and +10 offensive efficiency differential in the 13 game playoff sample.
當Jason Williams離隊後，Vasquez得到機會並立刻成為主要的替補球員。他新人年的成績並不突出，但是平均助攻率25%卻高於聯盟替補控球的平均，同時一到季後賽他的成績便有明顯的提升。待在灰熊兩年，例行賽他的效率分別是9.4PER和-10的進攻效率差值(offensive efficiency differential)，但是一到季後賽這兩項成績馬上大幅提升至18.8PER和+10的offensive efficiency differential。
And so by the end of the 2011 season, there were clear signs Vasquez might be the rare late 20s pick that stuck around. The Hornets, of course, had a similar player of their own in the 26th pick, Quincy Pondexter, and the eventual Vasquez-Pondexter swap filled positional needs for both teams.
Ceiling 2: Backup Point Guard
My notes on the trade when it happened:
Vasquez comes to New Orleans with very similar issues; in many ways, he's the point guard version of Pondexter.
Positionally, the deal makes a lot of sense of course. The Hornets are currently starting a fringe starter/backup at the point, and backing him up with a third or fourth string option from the DLeague. Vasquez will at least be able to run the offense adequately off the bench.
That, in a nutshell, was what I envisioned Vasquez could become -- an average backup that could keep things moving while Jarrett Jack sat. The statistical profile -- the backup average assists and so forth -- indicated it'd be a role Vasquez could possibly grow into.
Instead, Vasquez posted tremendous improvement across the board, in many areas I didn't envision at all, and rather than spell Jack exclusively, Vasquez played alongside him with frequency and effectiveness.
The -10 offensive efficiency differential of 2011 ramped up to -4. The average 25% assist percentage jumped 10 whole points to 35%. The nonexistent three point shot creeped up towards league average (32%).
Suddenly, Vasquez had become a good backup. I wrote many, many times last season that despite 2011-2012 being a lost season in every sense of the term, the Hornets were slowly, surely cultivating the bench of their next contender. To me, that was essentially three pieces -- the excellent Gus Ayon, the already solid Jason Smith, and the unexpectedly impressive Greivis Vasquez.
The fringe pro was now a solid second option, perhaps even for a future contender. Of course, I was convinced that was where it'd stop.
突然間，Vasquez變成一個不錯的替補。我提過非常多次雖然2011-12球季在許多地方對黃蜂來說都是令人失望的一季，但是球隊卻能慢慢地從板凳中發掘出能跟著球隊一起重新出發的好手。以我的認知來說，令人驚艷的Gus Ayon(已被交易至魔術隊換取Ryan Anderson)；穩定的替補中前鋒Jason Smith和徹底改頭換面的Vasquez就是這一季慢慢耕耘的成果。原本的聯盟邊緣人現在已經站穩了腳跟，未來也許能成為先發控衛的競爭者。當然，這也是我所深信不疑的。
Ceiling #3: Bad Starter
I disliked the Jarrett Jack trade because (a) I wanted something in return, and (b) I really wanted a "starter quality" point guard to kick off the Anthony Davis era.
To quote myself again, this time from September:
Vasquez' fast rise from late first round pick to strong playoff contributor in 2011 to NBA starter in 2013 likely stalls here. We'll see relatively quickly that he's a very competent backup point guard but not a top end starting one.
我一點都不喜歡Jarrett Jack這筆交易(譯者註：換回的東西跟空氣沒兩樣，這裡略過不提)。因為(a)我希望能換回點東西；(b)我想要一個先發等級的控衛來跟著Anthony Davis一起成長。下面是我9月份提過的：
This time, I was sure I was right. Vasquez would be 26 in the middle of the season, and I'm of the belief that most significant player growth -- especially in the realm of stars and starters -- occurs by age 24 or 25.
Here we are though, in January of 2013, faced with the very real possibility that Greivis Vasquez is a "top end" starting point guard. I'll define "top end" here as one of the 15 best point guards in the league.
Point guard is, of course, the most difficult position on the floor to quantify. So many all-encompassing statistics leave the assist out altogether since it's virtually impossible to quantify its value. Moreover, how does one reconcile the combo lead guard with the pure passing lead guard with the all around lead guard? Each shows an entirely different statistical signature, one that may miss overall value altogether based on system need and so forth.
Vasquez's case for the upper half is relatively clear, and it starts and ends with his assist game.
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table Generated 1/10/2013.
Vasquez ranks 3rd in the league in assists per game (9.1 to Chris Paul's 9.3 while playing on a much slower team than Paul's Clippers) and 2nd in assist percentage. He's done it with decidedly few legitimate offensive options so far, with Ryan Anderson his only consistent, good offensive teammate.
His assist percentage has risen from 25% as a rookie to 35% as a sophomore to 47% in his third year.
Vasquez is also the league's best defensive rebounding point guard, knocking Rajon Rondo off his perennial perch and greatly boosting a team that, at times, has desperately needed the help on the glass. Monty Williams' system prevents him from having a proportional impact on the offensive glass, but he ranks among the league's top-3 point guards in total rebounding percentage nonetheless.
As far as scoring goes, Vasquez is certainly not elite. His offensive efficiency differential has risen to -2 this year, from -4 last year and -10 as a rookie, but it's still a negative number. But his high usage really has to be factored in here; Vasquez ranks in the top-10 among starting point guards in usage rate, right below Deron Williams and right ahead of Chris Paul. He uses a lot of possessions at very close to a league average clip, and for a team that's struggled tremendously to generate even average looks, that's a boost.
Vasquez的得分能並不出色。他的進攻效率差值三年來只是從-10到-4再到今年的-2而已，很明顯一直是負的。但是他極高的usage rate(意指一名球員參與球隊進攻的程度)在此卻值得一提。Vasquez的usage rate可排在聯盟控衛中的前10名，剛好落在Deron Williams和Paul之後。Vasquez的usage rate差不多等同於聯盟平均，但是對照起黃蜂那遠低於聯盟進攻平均的狀況，這就顯得相當突出了。
It's also important to include Vasquez' newfound ability to space the floor as an aspect of his scoring. He's hit 39% (!!) of his threes this season, 4th (!!) among point guards. I don't know if it'll last (it's a 100+ three sample so far), but the work he's very clearly put into his shooting game since entering the league is remarkable.
Turnovers are Vasquez's biggest weakness offensively, and he ranks at the bottom. Among starters, only Jeremy Lin and Rajon Rondo have posted worse turnover percentages in 2012-2013.
So overall, we're looking at a top-3 passer, top-3 rebounder, close to average scorer, and close to last turnover player; that seems to merit consideration for a top-15 spot at worst.
We can take offensive win shares to be a reasonable alternate estimate of offensive ability here too, since it factors in both efficiency, turnovers, and usage; Vasquez ranks 15th among starting point guards, in a virtual tie with one of the big-name free agent point guards of the upcoming summer, Brandon Jennings.
這裡我們也可用進攻的win shares這項數據來衡量他在進攻上的貢獻。這項數據同時計算了失誤和參與率。Vasquez在所有先發控衛中排在第15名，成績與Brandon Jennings相近。
(It should be noted that I've largely ignored defense, an area of the game Vasquez has been truly terrible at. His footspeed isn't nearly enough to stay with opposing point guards and he's been caught out of position on perimeter rotations about as often as any other Hornet.
But two things mitigate this to an extent. Point guard's the one position where a team can get away with playing a poor defender because point guard defense matters less than defense at any other spot. Look through Jeremias Engelmann's 5+ year regularized adjusted defensive +/- numbers, and you'll notice a startling lack of perimeter players (and especially so for point guards) at the top. In the modern game, it's terribly difficult for a point guard to make a significant impact on defense without the legal perimeter contact that players like Gary Payton had access to.
但是好加在有兩件事減輕了這個麻煩。把5個位置放在一起比較，控衛是比較能夠容許防守較差的球員在場上的位置。拿Jeremias Engelmann所作的超過5年的調整過後的防守效率(regularized adjusted defensive +/- numbers)的數據整理出來作參考可以發現許多優異的控衛在此數據表現並不出色。(譯者註:上網查過一些觀與此數據的相關資料後，發現此數據其實還存在相當多的爭議)。此外，現代籃球即使在控衛這個位置上也很強調使用身體接觸以減低對手突破的速度，像是Gary Payton就是箇中好手。
The flip side is true as well; point guard defense can be covered for in the modern game more easily than poor defense anywhere else. The problem lays in the fact that Vasquez has had absolutely nobody to cover for him, either alongside on the perimeter or behind in the post. That changes a bit with the return of Eric Gordon, who's noticeably improved the perimeter D already.
Second, defensive rebounding is a huge, underrated component of overall defense, and as mentioned earlier, Vasquez is doing that better than any other point guard in the league right now).
* * * * * * * * * *
And so here we are. Fringe pro to legitimate, NBA-caliber starting point guard.
It stops here because it must stop here. Unless, of course, it doesn't.