One place Patterson will help is in the Kings’ above-average turnover rate. Patterson joins teammate Marcus Thornton among the top players in turnover rate, what Basketball-Reference defines as turnovers per 100 plays. Both guys are in the top 10 in the league in this category, among players who have played at least 50 games.
|1||Steve Novak- NYK||1.7|
|2||Al Jefferson- UTA||6.7|
|3||Dante Cunningham- MIN||6.8|
|4||Ryan Anderson- NOH||7|
|5||Marcus Thornton- SAC||7.3|
|6||Thaddeus Young- PHI||7.5|
|7||Ersan Ilyasova- MIL||7.7|
|8||Nick Young- PHI||7.9|
|9||Patrick Patterson- SAC||8.1|
|10||J.R. Smith- NYK||8.2|
Perhaps if Patterson and Thornton take better care of the ball (in 15.9 minutes per game, Thomas Robinson committed 19.2 turnovers per 100 plays), they’ll win some more games.
Ronnie Brewer- G/F- Oklahoma City- For some reason, the Knicks decided that another elderly big man (Kenyon Martin this time) would be a better use of a roster spot than a defensive stopper who has proven himself as a winner. But Ronnie Brewer wore out his welcome with Knicks head coach Mike Woodson, so he was pawned off to the Thunder.
If you haven’t realized, Sam Presti knows what he’s doing. He knows that Brewer would be a great complement to Thabo Sefolosha as a defensive wing stopper. Beat writer Darnell Mayberry even said that Brewer is “on par with Sefolosha as a defender.”
It’s therefore not a shock that the Knicks’ field goal defense got worse as Brewer’s minutes progressively shrunk. An added bonus for OKC that Brewer’s shooting percentage was pretty good in December when he played over 20 minutes per game.
|Ronnie Brewer||Minutes Per Game||FG %||Defensive Team FG%|
With plenty of Thunder players drawing attention away from Brewer on offense, he should be able to get open looks while being a second wing stopper on defense along with Sefolosha. Having a pair of defensive aces like that is a luxury that could help Oklahoma City hold off the Clippers and Spurs for a second consecutive Western Conference title.
Shlomo Sprung is a big basketball fan who has grown to love advanced statistics and the way they explain what happens on the court. He is also the web editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle in New York and a writer for Football.com. He graduated Columbia University’s Journalism School in 2011 and has previously worked for the New York Knicks, Sporting News, Business Insider and other publications. He has a sports website, SprungOnSports.com that he thinks you should read, and a Twitter account (@SprungOnSports) you should follow.