(01-09-2021, 05:42 AM)F Gump Wrote: Thank you for the explanation about your thinking on KP and WCS.
However, I don't see any value in the data you are using. We actually have ZERO track record for how the pairing of KP works alongside this version of Powell with his diminished athleticism (which has made a huge difference in his contribution). Nor do we have any data for KP paired with this 2021 version of WCS after more experience in Carlisle's system.
Powell has not been very good this year. WCS has been the polar opposite, and even more when starting alongside another big. I don't expect that productiveness to suddenly vanish in the next game or two (although I guess you never know what will happen). Nor do I think that Powell will suddenly be 100% - it may be another year before that happens, and maybe longer.
Powell can still think the game. But so can Dirk. You also have to be able to do what you know, and do it at an athletic level that works. Right now, Powell is too diminished.
So when KP returns, I expect Carlisle is going with WCS alongside, not Powell or Maxi. And while Powell may heal over time, WCS may improve with experience over that same time, so I'm thinking it may not be temporary.
Time will tell. A couple of responses...
We also don't have much data on Powell playing with another big this season. My memory from examining lineup data each game is when Powell is next to Maxi, Johnson or WCS the numbers are very positive. It was just ridiculous to throw him out there as a single big. Carlisle hasn't done that with WCS or Maxi. They nearly always have the cover of another big alongside them. I have very high hopes for WCS. But, it wasn't that many weeks ago the team was trying to sign Gasol instead of Willie. As much of a feel good story as the last two games have been, I have a hard time getting past the fact the team's actions say they believe he's a totally fungible backup C in their minds. I would love for THE TEAM to be proven wrong and I'm very pleased we have Willie cheap for another season and his Bird rights after that (as I've pointed out in the past).
So, I heard about this big on another team who came back from Achilles surgery about as quickly as any NBA player ever. He's now got a TS% over 60%, a WS/48 of .144 and the second best D-Rating on his team at 103. Fans are frustrated because it has taken some time for his O to return to his normal level (as evidenced by an Offensive W/S of 0.2 compared to his five year average of 3.5). But, his team is really struggling to hit outside shots, so the lane, where this guy thrives, has been pretty crowded. There is a chance this guy will look dramatically better when the teams superstar big returns from injury. The two of them have a fantastic history when paired and the superstar big will dramatically improve the spacing the injured guy has to work with. Should we be interested in that guy?
Carlisle has all sorts of mix and match opportunities. I'm glad the board has come around largely to the idea that five-out may not be the only way for this thing to go once KP returns. The absolute worst pairing of bigs in my mind is Powell and Willie. After that, almost any pairing can work. I imagine Carlisle will experiment with all of the combinations. I also imagine Maxi will finish games. I think Powell with KP will be given a chance. Who knows what Carlisle will do. I think it is probably short sighted to write Powell off based on a few games where everyone was rusty and Powell was asked to do something that healthy Powell (nor Maxi or Willie) stood no chance at being successful at.
Edit: Something missing from this conversation is Johnson. Interestingly, anytime he's been on the floor with Maxi or Powell, the net rating is horrible. But Johnson with Willie works to the tune of a +22 (small sample size alert).