Friday, August 6, 2010

Head to Head: Diamon Simpson vs Gabe Freeman

Amidst the small controversy brewing around the Best Import of the Conference award, it would be interesting to actually compare the two contenders and see if one is actually more deserving than the other. What makes it doubly interesting is that these two guys might actually decide who wins the championship this conference.

Now since the only games for this point on would be against each other, it’s actually relevant to look at how the two imports fare in their head-to-head games. The numbers are remarkably similar. In three games (two elimination round games plus Game 1 of the Finals), Diamon Simpson has put up averages of 22.6 ppg, 16.0 rpg, 1.0 apg, 1.7 spg, 1.0 bpg, 4.6 tpg and 2.7 fpg. Gabe Freeman has tallied 22.3 ppg, 18.0 rpg, 1.0 apg, 0.3 spg, 0.7 bpg, 2.7 tpg and 5.3 fpg. Now those are some really close numbers.

What’s the stat that stands out? Simpson is playing 43.6 minutes per game while Freeman has been limited to just 32 a game.

Two things instantly come to mind. First is that, per minute, Freeman is really kicking Simpson’s butt. For Gabe to have similar numbers in 10 minutes less per game? A quick check of the numbers confirms it, and it isn’t even close. Freeman is averaging 25.1 points (on a .500 eFG% and .595 TS%), 20.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.38 steals, 0.75 blocks, 3.0 TOs, 6.0 fouls and a Game Score of 20.7, all of those adjusted per 36 minutes. Simpson? Just 18.7 points (on a slight lower .462 eFG%, .568 TS%), 13.1 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 1.37 steals, 0.82 blocks, 3.85 TOs, 2.2 fouls and a 13.6 GmSc. If you look at per minute production, Freeman is absolutely dominating this matchup. Effective scoring at a higher rate, much more rebounds, even slightly better assist numbers. Plus, 8.6 offensive rebounds per 36 minutes. Those are the rebounds that matter, and Freeman gets them often.

The other thing, of course, is that Freeman can’t stay on the floor the way Simpson can. In the three games against Alaska, Gabe fouled out once and finished with 5 fouls the other two times. Diamon has never had more than 4 fouls against San Miguel. And really, staying on the floor and avoiding fouls is a skill. You can’t take that away from Simpson.

The good news for San Miguel is that if in any game, the refs call it slightly loose and Freeman is able to play 40 minutes? There’s some serious potential to dominate right there.

If you’re Alaska, the bright spot is that you know your team has the ability to consistently get Freeman in foul trouble. And that gives you a chance to play the clutch 4th quarter minutes with Freeman either sitting out or playing conservatively trying to preserve fouls. Plus, you know, free throws. Get San Miguel in the penalty, and the job gets easier.

So who’s the better import? To be honest, I don’t really know. I think it depends on where you stand on certain basketball issues. Like whether you think Jordan is the greatest scorer in NBA history because he has the highest career average in points per game (and by a rather significant margin before he decided to play for the Wiz) or if you think Kareem is for playing 20 seasons (the first 17 of which he averaged over 20 points per game in) and amassing the most career points.

Both imports are young. Freeman is 25 and Simpson is only 22. Hopefully, SMB and Alaska have the chance to bring them back in future seasons. That way, we can have a few more years to settle the debate.

No comments:

Post a Comment