Assessing Ariza – Part 4

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Assessing Ariza – Part 3

For context, be sure to check out the previous three installments of the series.

At the start, nothing from the numbers is too shocking.  Ariza won out in the per-game statistics due to playing thirteen more minutes per game than Lee.  Lee had far superior shooting percentages and a greater PER.  What struck me was that Ariza had a higher AST%, BLK%, STL%, and TRB%.  The AST% was particularly surprising in light of Lee having a higher USG%.

I think one could argue that from protecting the passing lanes to rebounding, Ariza does ‘other’ things better than Lee. But at almost $5million more, is that enough to override Lee’s superior shooting?  I don’t think so.  There are also the factors for comparison that don’t show up in the numbers that every one of us observed: attitude, willingness to play within the offense, and overall decisionmaking.  In each of the aforementioned three, Courtney Lee eclipsed Trevor Ariza.

In the next installment, I’ll look deeper into the numbers, using SynergySports’ database to assess how each player fared in particularized scenarios such as isolation scoring attempts and spot-up shooting.  This will give us a better understanding of how each man’s game fits in relation to the Rockets’ offense/needs.

For now, my evaluation stands as such:

  1. I was wrong about Ariza being the perfect role-player for this team.  He was a disaster.
  2. I was right about the signing itself.  It was a good signing in that he was easily traded and for actual value.
  3. Courtney Lee for Trevor Ariza was a positive swap for the Houston Rockets.

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