Comparing Amare with Grizzlies' Randolph

I'm just using information from these 2 posts to draw a comparison.


Amare is shooting 57.1% from the field which ranks 10th among all NBA power forwards but is by far the best percentage of any player that averages over 30 minutes per game. No offense to Trey Gilder, but I don't think his 100% shooting percentage is relevant here.

The second most efficient (relevant) scorer is Kevin Garnet at 54.7%, then comes Carlos Boozer at  53.6%, and Chris Bosh at 51.7%. That translates to an extra 1.7 points per game if Bosh shot as well as Amare.

Amare benefits from getting to the rim more than Bosh and shooting almost as good as the great Dirk Nowitzki from outside.

Checking in with we learn that both Amare and Bosh average 49% of their points as "Inside" but there's a big difference when it come to "Dunks" (Amare, 17% / Bosh, 9%) that accounts for their overall efficiency gap. Amare's athleticism advantage over Bosh translates to the numbers.

So there you have it, Amare is the most athletic power forward in the game that is playing starters' minutes (and will remain so until/if Blake Griffin begins his NBA career).

As for the outside shots, Amare is shooting 46.9% compared to 48% for Dirk (who only scores 18% of his points inside the paint and as a result only has an overall FG% of .477). That's a gap of only 1.1% between Dirk and Amare when it comes to Dirk's single most important weapon. Put that in your bratwurst and eat it with some sauerkraut.

Just for fun, consider that Amare is also a better outside shooter than LeBron James (44.5%), LaMarcus Aldridge (42%) and far better than Pau Gasol (26.7%).

Amare's biggest weakness on the offensive end are low post moves and decision-making.


Amare takes a lot of flack for his rebounding but consider that his 10.2 rebounds per game in December puts him behind only Camby, Boozer, Zach Randolph and Bosh and he's within 1.2 rpg of all of those guys.

After a slow start to the season where his timing and athleticism were still recovering, Amare is now putting up big rebounding numbers on a consistent basis. He had 21 boards against the Spurs and had a five game stretch last month where he averaged 13 per game.

Most importantly, he's bringing the effort on the glass almost every night. You'd be hard pressed to find 3 games this season where Amare's effort hasn't been 100%.

It isn't comparable to look at a specialist like Lou Amundson who in limited minutes puts up gaudy rebounds on a per 40 minute basis. Lou has a great nose for the ball and puts in a ton of effort but I seriously doubt that if he were playing 35+ minutes per game every night that he would be able to sustain it. And let's not even talk about free throw shooting.

While I won't go as far to say that Amare is an elite rebounder he clearly ranks at the top of the class when it comes to power forwards that play big minutes and are also counted on to score the ball. His reputation here is far worse than his reality.


Defense has always been a struggle for Amare but he has benefited this season from a much simplified defensive game plan that has him showing hard on each and every screen. He's done a good job using his quicks to disrupt the ball handler and then recovery rapidly to his man.

His post defense is decent and like many of the league's players in that he struggles with guys that have great back-to-the-basket footwork (Al Jefferson, Pau Gasol, Zach Randolph). He gets into trouble when he's in help rotation especially against teams like Toronto and Orlando that run funky stuff like a 2/3 high pick and roll where his assignment changes to being a help defender instead of being involved directly in the play. He simply doesn't have the instincts of the league's top defensive players like KG and Duncan and doesn't make good, timely decisions when teams force him to think fast.

Most importantly for the Suns, the days of teams abusing Amare in the pick and roll game are gone. Credit to him and the Suns coaching staff for cleaning up that glaring weakness in his game.


Randolph is averaging 20.9ppg this season with the Grizzlies in their shoot-shoot-shoot offence, which ranks fourth in the league in team ppg behind only the fast-paced Suns, Nuggets and Warriors. Funnily enough, that 20.9ppg is exactly the same as he averaged in his 39 games with the Clippers last season and pretty amazingly close to the 20.5ppg he put up in 11 games with the Knicks at the start of last season. 2007-08 with the Knicks was a much poorer 17.6ppg, whilst 2006-07 (his last with the Blazers) was a stat-padding 23.6ppg.

Looking at those same scoring numbers on a per 40 minute basis does not bring anything glaring to light, with his 22.5 points per 40min with the Grizz this season falling a little short of the 23.5 he put up last season.

Where Z-Bo certainly has improved is in his shooting percentages. He is shooting 50.3% from the field and has a true shooting percentage of 55.6% -- both of which are the highest he has shot since his second season in the league. His 80.2% at the free throw line also bests any season percentage since his Portland days. So he is scoring more efficiently, if only marginally.


Oddly, the majority of Randolph's shooting percentages from different locations on the floor have not improved or have not improved markedly, on previous seasons. His 60.0% at the rim is a quality mark, especially considering that he has also increased the number of shots he gets at the rim. This accuracy doesn't beat his 64.0% with the Clips last season, but is better than the numbers he was putting up prior to that.

Looking at his percentages from less than 10 feet (48.1%) and 10-15 feet (30.5%) shows that he has not improved in those areas at all, however he has managed to take less shots from those distances -- surely a sign of a veteran pro, picking and choosing his spots more smartly. He has improved his percentage from 16-23 feet (43.0%) on last season's 37.0%, which is a handy weapon to have as well.


Zach reboundsRandolph has always been a solid rebounder and this season has been no different. Whilst his defensive rebounding rate has not been as great as he has been in the past, grabbing a 21.8% of defensive rebounds available, he has massively picked up on his offensive rebounding. This season he averages 14.6% of available offensive rebounds, compared to 9.6% with the Clips, 10.9% (2008-09) and 9.0% (2007-08) with the Knicks and 10.0% with the Blazers (2006-07).

No doubt, when it comes to improvements in rebounding and shots at the rim, a large portion of thanks must go to Marc Gasol for clearing out space for Z-Bo. I know that Chris Kaman and Marcus Camby only combined for 93 games last season with the Clippers, but it makes you wonder what they were doing to not help Zach out in the same way.

Randolph's 12.4 rebounds per 40 minutes is in the ballpark of what he has been doing for a long time -- so no great improvements there. However his 4.9 offensive rebounds per 40 minutes was a big improvement and no doubt accounts for his increased shooting percentage at the rim.



This is an area that Z-Bo has long been accused of failing in. In short, he is known as one of those black holes -- once the ball goes in, it doesn't come back. Not much has changed in that area. His 2.1 assists per 40 minutes in 2009-10 so far is not spectacular for a guy that gets as many touches as he does and it is actually worse than his last few seasons by about half an assist. On the other hand, where he has definitely improved is in his turnovers. His 2.2 turnovers per game (and 2.3 per 40 minutes) is his best performance since his sophomore year in the league -- impressive stuff.


Another area that Randolph is generally lacking is in stopping his opponents. Nothing much has changed in this respect either. His 0.9 steals, 0.4 blocks and the 0.1 charges drawn per 40 minutes are not impressing anyone and do not show any improvement on previous seasons.


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