Assessing Amare’s Impact

The Amare Stoudemire to Spurs discussions set a firestorm not only here at Project Spurs but across the NBA nation. Though highly unlikely the Suns would ship a high-caliber player like Amare to the Spurs, our friends at AccuScore.com wrote Project Spurs an article on the impact Amare would have on the Spurs. Seems it wouldn’t be much.  Please leave us your comments on this analysis.

AccuScore simulates every game 10,000 times one play at a time to generate a forecasted winning percentage and a full range of projected player statistics.  We also can use our simulation technology to evaluate the impact of different trade scenarios.  The analysis below shows how a trade of Amare Stoudemire for the Spurs’ Manu Ginobili and Richard Jefferson would impact both teams this season.

The San Antonio Spurs and Phoenix Suns are currently #6 and #8 in the Western Conference playoff standings.  Both teams are disappointed in their current position.  The Spurs were hoping the acquisition of Richard Jefferson combined with a healthy Manu Ginobili would put them in position to win the Southwest and compete with the Lakers as Western Conference champs.  They are currently 4 games behind Dallas and 8 games behind the Lakers.  The Suns started the season surprisingly well but they have won just 3 of their last 10 and it is very unlikely that this current roster will be able to rise above the #6 spot in the West.  More importantly, they are not willing to re-sign Amare Stoudemire in the off-season for a max deal.

 

BASELINE WESTERN CONFERENCE SEASON FOREAST

As of January 27, AccuScore projects the Spurs to finish 4th in the West with their current roster and Phoenix 6th.  This is based on 10,000 season simulations and the Spurs averaged 47.7 wins and made the playoffs 81.2% of the time.  The Suns averaged 46.2 wins and made the playoffs 74.2% of the time.  While this forecast is fairly positive given their current standings, the difference between the #4 Spurs and the #9 Thunder is just 3.3 projected wins while the difference between the Spurs #4 and the Nuggets #3 is a full 4.4 wins.  In other words, San Antonio is closer to slipping out of the playoffs than they are of catching the Nuggets.

 

WESTERN CONFERENCE

WIN

LOSS

PLAYOFF

LA Lakers

59.4

22.6

100.0%

Dallas Mavericks

53.5

28.5

98.9%

Denver Nuggets

52.1

29.9

97.1%

San Antonio Spurs

47.7

34.3

81.2%

Utah Jazz

47.2

34.8

79.3%

Phoenix Suns

46.2

35.8

74.2%

Portland Trail Blazers

45.1

36.9

64.8%

New Orleans Hornets

44.4

37.6

59.6%

Oklahoma City Thunder

44.4

37.6

58.0%

Houston Rockets

42.4

39.6

42.7%

Memphis Grizzlies

42.4

39.6

40.9%

LA Clippers

36.4

45.6

5.2%

Sacramento Kings

29.6

52.4

0.1%

Golden State Warriors

27.7

54.3

0.0%

Minnesota Timberwolves

18.8

63.3

0.0%

 

STOUDEMIRE FOR GINOBILI AND JEFFERSON

When the Spurs acquired Richard Jefferson AccuScore reported that the acquisition would only help San Antonio if Jefferson was capable of rebounding as well as he did early in his career with the Nets. He is averaging a paltry 3.6 rebounds in nearly 31 minutes which is a career low.  With Jefferson not being a valuable rebounder or defensive force he really does not help the Spurs.  He is an OK three point shooter, a poor free throw shooter (just 70% this year) and just not that valuable a player.  When Ginobili is playing well he looks like a Top 15 player, but his overall statistics are not those of a superstar player.  He is currently shooting under 40% from the field and just 36% from the three point line.

While Amare Stoudemire is not a great defender or a great rebounder capable of anchoring a defense, he would be a great complimentary defender and rebounder playing alongside Tim Duncan. Stoudemire is a dominant offensive player who should still put up big stats, even if Steve Nash is not his PG.

 

STOUDEMIRE TRADE

WIN

LOSS

PLAYOFF

LA Lakers

59.2

22.8

100.0%

Dallas Mavericks

53.6

28.4

99.1%

Denver Nuggets

52.2

29.8

97.6%

San Antonio Spurs

48.9

33.1

88.4%

Utah Jazz

47.1

34.9

78.7%

Phoenix Suns

45.6

36.5

69.0%

 

Stoudemire’s average impact is +1.2 more wins over the remaining 39 games which translates to a +3.1% difference per game.  Come playoff time, improving your chances by +3.1% in a close game can make a significant impact. A +3.1% impact translates to roughly +1 points in the Spurs’ average margin of victory.

 

Even if acquiring Stoudemire does not immediately vault the Spurs into the upper echelon of the league, his presence definitely improves the Spurs in 2010. Stoudemire is younger than Ginobili and Jefferson, and he is a star player whom the Spurs can continue to build around as Tim Duncan gets older. The Suns’ forecast is down just 0.7 wins.  Even though the team would have no low post scorer it appears that Ginobili and Jefferson could fit in with the up-tempo perimeter-oriented Suns offense, and help keep them competitive.

 

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