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Baller Breakdown: Rodney White

Basketball-Reference: http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/w/whitero02.html

Background: 6-9 SF/SG. #9 pick, 2001 draft, Pistons. Declared after freshman yr at UNC-Charlotte, 18.7 PPG on 48.7% FG, 6.5 RPG. Mediocre nonscoring/nonrebounding #s (Ast+Stl+Blk per min) in college. Old for freshman (20 in 2001).

Scoring:  Average to above-average at creating own shot. Some scoring ability carried over from college. Highly inefficient, though. Extremely poor true shooting % (48.7 career) and points per possession (0.92). Created low-percentage shots, settling for midrange jumpers despite good size for position. Less than 1/5 of shots come from 3-point; not an inside player either. Not adept at drawing fouls.

Shooting: Average to below-average pure shooter. Career 74.9 FT%, 31.4 3P%. Shot 45% on twos, many of which were long/midrange. Not good enough shooter to get by on those.

Floor Game: Not a passer, career 13.2 ast%. Turned ball over with frequency when asked to handle too much. Needed to be assisted on high % of field goals (not generating chances off dribble).

Rebounding: Below-average rebounder for position in the pros. Poor on offensive and defensive glass. Very disappointing, given his size and rebounding #s in college.

Defense: Mediocre overall, possibly average in 2005 but certainly below-avg before that. Lack of quickness detrimental vs smaller wings. Prone to fouling. Struggled to earn minutes on better defensive teams.

Verdict: Rodney White was drafted in the lottery but was ultimately a letdown for both Detroit and Denver. He couldn’t create high-percentage scoring chances, shot poorly, and added nothing in non-scoring areas. He washed out of the NBA at age 24 and is now playing in South Korea.

D-Rose and Iverson

With Derrick Rose‘s 2011 MVP looking like a foregone conclusion, it seems only natural to compare his campaign to that of Allen Iverson in 2001, the year another popular guard won the MVP despite not being the game’s most talented player.

Here’s the numerical tale of the tape for A.I. and D-Rose, with Rose extrapolated to 82 team games: (Glossary)

Player G MP ORtg %Pos DRtg OSPM DSPM SPM
Iverson 71 2979 106.3 33.8 99.2 6.79 0.07 6.86
Rose 81 3025 111.5 32.6 102.2 6.16 -0.96 5.20

Statistically, the two players are incredibly comparable. If you translate Iverson from the 103.0 league-ORtg environment of 2001 to the league ORtg of 107.1 in 2011, his ORtg/%Poss/DRtg becomes 110.5/33.8/103.0, production that is basically equivalent to Rose’s after adjusting for usage.

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