I remember hearing Phil Jackson talk about the two most important aspects of a winning team: 1) team defense/defensive execution and 2) trust in the pass. After the last few games it is apparent how important passing is to success in the NBA. I also remember watching the Dream Team. They passed the ball so beautifully despite each player’s personal scoring prowess. The Spurs are a thing of beauty with there passing. The Mavericks beat the Heat with their pinpoint and unselfish passing etc. etc. My main point is that we have a lot of players that don’t pass the ball at a high rate for their position, and I’m not talking about Jefferson.
Hollinger’s Assist Ratio (with enough minutes)
1. Tinsley (50.9)---[1 in the NBA]
2. Mo Williams (31.7)---[13 among PG’s]
3. Foye (14.7)---[36 among SG’s]
4. Paul Millsap (13.9)---[17 among PF’s]
5. Carroll (13.8)---[32 among SF’s]
6. Hayward (12.4)---[44 among SG’s]
7. Al Jefferson (9.6)---[17 among C’s]
8. Marvin Williams (9.3)---[53 among SF’s]
9. Enes Kanter (4.8)---[39 among C’s]
10. Derrick Favors (4.8)---[68 among PF’s]
To begin with, Kanter had the absolutely worst ratio in the entire NBA last year at 2.3. Tinsley leads the NBA, and Mo is solid. Al (Mr. Black hole) and Millsap are the best at their respective positions at 17. Hayward on the other hand is very bad at passing the ball this year (ranked 8 among SG’s with 20.6 last year, so we know he can pass), but despite his low ratio, Marvin is even lower. What is most disturbing is that our future starting 4 & 5 are horrific passers. This can get better of course and Kanter is showing good improvement, but Favors has got to learn to pass. He is ranked at 68 among PF’s, the exact same rank that he had last year with 6.4. He had 6.4 his rookie year and was ranked 70 among PF’s. Favors did not change from his rookie to sophomore year and has now gotten worse his third year. To make matters worse, Burks had a horrible ratio as well last year. Put our young core together and you have a team that does not know how to pass at all. You’re going to need Tinsley and his #1 rank just to make things run unless these guys start passing the rock. This fact should also be central to the type of PG you get for the future.