Is there any debate?
A friend of mine asked me today if it was just him, or was Al Jefferson better than KG?
Yes, he was serious.
Yes, it was just him.
KG’s PER (Player Efficiency Rating–it measure a player’s offensive efficiency, but doesn’t measure defense) is substantially higher than Al Jefferson’s at 25.99 to 23.08. I know that might not seem like a lot but it’s a decent sized difference–think the difference between Tony Allen two years ago and Tony Allen pre-devastating post whistle knee destruction dunk. Additionally, KG is a farrrrr superior defensive player, something that cannot easily be quantified with individual stats, so just look at the team defensive numbers this year compared with last year for a simple comparison.
Essentially, if you go back in time and undo the KG trade, you get a team that wins about 45-49 games this year, instead of a team with a chance to win 55 or so. THAT’S the easiest way to measure the difference in Big Al and KG’s total game.
As far as the rest of the trade goes, Ryan Gomes really needs to be coming off the bench on a good team, and hopefully will be soon since he’s a free agent this summer. Gerald Green and Sebastian Telfair have continued to tease their teams but have very little clue as to what they’re doing out on the court. Theo Ratliff’s contract is still a nice chip and coming off the cap next year. The draft picks remain unchanged; one will be a lottery pick (Minny’s 2009 pick they got back) and one will be in the 20s (the Boston pick).
Popovich wins for a reason: he’s good at his job.
Some notes for Doc:
If you continue to play Ray Ray more than 40 minutes per game, and Pierce and KG about 38, this team will flame out in the play-offs. Look at what Gregg Popovich does year after year in San Antonio, limiting his stars’ minutes, and do your best to follow his lead, understanding that overall the Spurs have more good players and thus can more easily do this. So, for the year, think about 35 minutes per game for all 3, and they will have a better shot at doing damage in the post-season.
Also, Big Baby and Scott Pollard need to play more, about 15-20 minutes per game overall, in order to give KG some rest and get some better rebounding.