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View Full Version : Zach Lowe just made a compelling case for Kyle Korver being a "Borderline Star"



Chronz
07-29-2014, 10:06 AM
Always felt he had an underrated impact and untapped potential as a shooter/playmaker.
Lowe gives a complete breakdown of his career and how coaches used/thought of him, tells the story of Korver's evolution as a player and how it has coincided with the leagues evolution and emphasis on spacing.

http://grantland.com/features/kyle-korver-nba-atlanta-hawks/



Budenholzer and Korver love basketball’s ballet of constant motion, and Budenholzer envisions a roster of 3-point bombers raining fire. He wants his players to suggest adjustments, and that meshes well with Korver’s nature as a restless tinkerer. “Every coach says they have an open-door policy,” Korver says. “Bud actually means it.”

It’s a telling contrast with Korver’s first season in Philly, when Randy Ayers, the team’s head coach, pushed Korver away from the 3-point arc. Ayers wanted his rookie to develop a midrange game and attack the basket before launching triples.

That changed when Philly fired Ayers and hired Jim O’Brien, late of the Celtics, before Korver’s second season in 2004-05. In the team’s very first practice, Allen Iverson ran a two-on-one fast break with Korver filling the wing. Iverson dished to Korver behind the 3-point arc. Korver took two dribbles, nailed a 17-footer, and waited for the applause.

O’Brien was livid. He screamed for Korver to look down at the 3-point line. O’Brien told him that if Korver ever passed up another open 3-pointer, he would remove him from the game. Korver remembers one thought flying through his head during O’Brien’s tirade: This is awesome.


The fear is real. The gurus at Stats LLC, the company behind the SportVU cameras, have developed two previously unreleased metrics designed to measure the amount of attention an offensive player gets from defenders when he doesn’t have the ball.

The first, dubbed “gravity score,” measures how often defenders are really guarding a particular player away from the ball. Korver had the fourth-highest score, behind only Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, and Paul George. The second — “distraction score” — is a related attempt to measure how often a player’s defender strays away from him to patrol the on-ball action. Korver had the lowest such score in the league.1

“I underestimated how much attention he gets from defenses,” Budenholzer says. Korver is almost an offense unto himself. “You don’t appreciate it until you see it every day.”


The bit about the stats they track is really juicy, I hope the public gets access to this sort of stuff some day. Would really shed some light on some of the subjective intangibles we all claim to see.

jaydubb
07-29-2014, 10:07 AM
Always liked Kyle korver

ThuglifeJ
07-29-2014, 10:14 AM
This was actually a cool read.

InRoseWeTrust
07-29-2014, 10:23 AM
Yeah, Korver is a nightmare for opposing D's, especially with how he's learned to use screens off ball. One of my favorite ex-Bulls and favorite players in the league.

Goose17
07-29-2014, 10:36 AM
Great read. Like Korver.

But no.

We shant be discussing basketball with the likes of you. The man is no superstar.

Chronz
07-29-2014, 10:47 AM
FYI, Borderline star is like a fringe All-Star level guy. Dont sleep on Korver, he can turn teams around.

valade16
07-29-2014, 10:49 AM
I think this shows his value is in preventing the other team from using his man to double.

The problem is when the Blazers played him they made a conscious effort to stop him and not only did he not make a 3, he did terribly.

That is the problem with completely 1 dimensional players such as him, when the attention and focus shifts to them, they get completely shut down.

Superstars are guys who can produce even when the opposing team is focused on stopping them.

D-Leethal
07-29-2014, 10:59 AM
I always thought he was underrated. Runs frantic like Ray Allen/Reggie Miller off the ball and forces defenses to chase, switch and move. Great passer to the big man off the curl screen when teams have to switch. Underrated defender. I agree with this assessment and as much as I bash the use of WS to evaluate players and the belief that TS% trumps all, this kind of actual on-court analytics piques my interest.

Pierzynski4Prez
07-29-2014, 11:14 AM
I think this shows his value is in preventing the other team from using his man to double.

The problem is when the Blazers played him they made a conscious effort to stop him and not only did he not make a 3, he did terribly.

That is the problem with completely 1 dimensional players such as him, when the attention and focus shifts to them, they get completely shut down.

Superstars are guys who can produce even when the opposing team is focused on stopping them.

2011 ECF when he was on the Bulls, the Heat just completely shut him down to the point where he was just useless.

I love Korver, and he vastly improved other aspects of his game when being coached by Thibs. But I don't see any all-star games in his future.

Chronz
07-29-2014, 11:19 AM
I think this shows his value is in preventing the other team from using his man to double.

The problem is when the Blazers played him they made a conscious effort to stop him and not only did he not make a 3, he did terribly.

That is the problem with completely 1 dimensional players such as him, when the attention and focus shifts to them, they get completely shut down.

Superstars are guys who can produce even when the opposing team is focused on stopping them.

Good point, there is a balance between your impact with and without the ball that matters. One dimensional guys are easier to shut down, yes, but they are still impacting the game by virtue of attracting said attention. Remember when whatshisface from whatsthatcollege that celebrated locking down Stephen Curry, but his team lost by like 40-50 pts in the process. Similar thing, only Curry is a superstar and Korver is just a border line All-Star. I just think Korver is massively underrated

prodigy
07-29-2014, 11:23 AM
No, he's always just been a 3pt shooter for a reason. That's what he does.

Nick O
07-29-2014, 11:37 AM
i hate playing against korver. hes freakin deadly.

Chronz
07-29-2014, 12:11 PM
No, he's always just been a 3pt shooter for a reason. That's what he does.

Here’s the killer number: Korver shot 58 percent on “stationary 3s,” classified as any 3-point try on which he moved less than six feet in the final second before launch. That blew away the rest of those 30 players; Kyle Lowry ranked second, at 53 percent. A “stationary” Korver triple was worth about 1.75 points, making it only slightly less valuable than a layup.

That is insane. That is why defenses react to any Korver movement with sheer terror, and Budenholzer uses that terror against opponents in crunch time. Shelvin Mack nailed an easy floater on this out-of-bounds play in overtime against Cleveland after all five defenders, including Mack’s, tuned in to the Korver show:


Thats from the article, if he just focuses on shooting, hes clearly the best spot up guy in the league. But hes such a dangerous shooter, teams can get more creative with him than the guys you are lumping him with

flea
07-29-2014, 12:16 PM
Glad he's on a team with a coach like Bud instead of toiling away in some corner watching Carmelo/Harden/Lebron do their thing. Coaches and systems like that are why I'm more optimistic lately for the NBA than I have been in a long time. I still prefer the college game, but that could change in 5-10 years if more players buy in.

Blink
07-29-2014, 12:28 PM
Imagine Korver on the Spurs with all of that ball movement.

Or playing off of guys like KD and Westbrook.

Hawkeye15
07-29-2014, 12:29 PM
the way teams utilize the 3 pointer now has made snipers who can move off the ball exponentially more valuable than they were years ago. Imagine Del Curry today, or Dennis Scott.

IndyRealist
07-29-2014, 01:07 PM
I think this shows his value is in preventing the other team from using his man to double.

The problem is when the Blazers played him they made a conscious effort to stop him and not only did he not make a 3, he did terribly.

That is the problem with completely 1 dimensional players such as him, when the attention and focus shifts to them, they get completely shut down.

Superstars are guys who can produce even when the opposing team is focused on stopping them.

At the same time, it does not matter if you take shots if you don't make them. Too many guys get caught up in being the #1 and take a lot of horrible shots.

As the SportVU data shows, defenses pay attention to Korver more than almost anyone. His defender has to stay with him and cannot hedge at all. That creates driving lanes and post up opportunities. And he can massively distort the defense by simply running off a screen. The entire defense freaks out. It's like a superpower.

Korver makes the right pass when he's covered. I don't think he should be penalized for making the smart play instead of forcing a bad shot up.

Jamiecballer
07-29-2014, 03:03 PM
I've always felt Korver was a really good player. Him and Amir Johnson are the two guys I get to see rather regularly that have an impact inordinately higher than their counting stats would indicate. I'm sure there are others.

mudvayne387
07-29-2014, 07:23 PM
http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/kyle-korver-was-traded-in-2003-for-a-copy-machine--kind-of-204933792.html

Nets traded Korver for a copy machine ...

Goose17
07-29-2014, 07:29 PM
I've always felt Korver was a really good player. Him and Amir Johnson are the two guys I get to see rather regularly that have an impact inordinately higher than their counting stats would indicate. I'm sure there are others.

Amir Johnson is a great shout. Give me Draymond Green, DeMarre Carroll and Faried as well.

Clippersfan86
07-29-2014, 07:51 PM
JJ Redick seems to compare with Korver pretty favorably. I think players in that mold ARE underrated and an offense by themselves.

IKnowHoops
07-29-2014, 07:57 PM
Korver is trash

Goose17
07-30-2014, 08:26 AM
JJ Redick seems to compare with Korver pretty favorably. I think players in that mold ARE underrated and an offense by themselves.

Redicks defense, because it was so average for years is sort of underrated now, he's gradually gotten better. A solid 3 and D guy.

jp611
07-30-2014, 08:51 AM
Korver is trash

Wonderful analysis.

Tell me more.

NBA_Starter
07-30-2014, 08:21 PM
This is just amazing work.

mngopher35
07-30-2014, 08:29 PM
Nice find, Korver isn't a star but he has been playing very good for the Hawks the last two years. So deadly.

Clippersfan86
07-31-2014, 01:29 AM
Redicks defense, because it was so average for years is sort of underrated now, he's gradually gotten better. A solid 3 and D guy.

Agree. He was so damn valuable this year. His on/off numbers were outstanding. As you said his defense is solid now. Far from elite, but not a liability either. His issue is he's a bit undersized at the 2 spot at 6'4, but without the length/strength of someone like Tony Allen.

greg_ory_2005
07-31-2014, 01:41 AM
Korver is trash

Your username is kinda misleading...