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Rudy Gay isn’t worried about role as fault line between old school, advanced stats

Sep 30, 2013, 1:57 AM EDT

Rudy Gay AP

What you think about Rudy Gay says a lot about how you view the NBA game.

If you come from the old school you see a guy who can create his own shot off the dribble, is athletic and gets you 18 points and 6 rebounds a night. You probably see him as a high quality wing player.

If you like your advanced basketball stats (full disclosure, I’m in this group) you see an inefficient player, a volume scorer. He can create his own shot but most often that shot is a midrange jumper — and he shot just 36 percent from the midrange last season. Even when he gets to the rim he finished just 54.7 percent of those. He’s pedestrian from three. He’s not a guy you can build around. (And yes, Memphis’s offense improved with him gone last season as they distributed his shots to other players. Plenty of people say they could have used him against San Antonio, I say they don’t get to San Antonio if he’s on the roster.)

You can imagine where Gay falls on this debate. He told Jeff Caplan of NBA.com he’s not really worried about what the advanced stats say.

“Honestly, how I view it, a computer can’t tell talent, it just can’t,” Gay told NBA.com during a phone interview Wednesday from the Toronto Raptors locker room following a workout with teammate DeMar DeRozan. “When it comes down to it, it’s all about winning, and however you get the win. According to analytics, you either [have] to shoot a 3 or get to the foul line, and it’s not good for people like me that live in that mid-range area…

“It’s tough,” Gay said. “Obviously, according to analytics, some of my opponents wouldn’t value me as much as they do. So, a computer can say what it wants, but as long as I get respect from my peers, that’s all that matters.”

When the stats will matter is next summer (or two summers if he opts to pick up the last year of his contract) when he is a free agent. There are GMs that will not touch him at anywhere near the money he expects.

Analytics will tell you not to live in the midrange, it’s not efficient — get to the rim or shoot threes (ideally corner threes). That said an offense has to balance that with midrange shots — it’s just important to have guys shooting them that can hit them. Dirk Nowitzki can kill you from the midrange, let Kobe Bryant get to his spot near the elbow and he’ll knock shots down all day. There are plenty of other examples (remember Rip Hamilton back in the day).

Gay doesn’t hit them. Maybe his corrective eye surgery this offseason will help.

So will being in Toronto — he is still a better option and fit with the Raptors than the Grizzlies. It’s because the Grizzlies had other more efficient places to get the ball (Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph) but the Raptors need the shot creation and scorer. Gay will put up good number this season for Toronto.

How far that lifts them remains to be seen.

  1. 00maltliquor - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:15 AM

    Care to finish the title’s headline friend?

    • adamsjohn714 - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:36 AM

      rudy gay isn’t worried about role as fault line between old school, advanced stats

      That’s a perfectly reasonable headline. Was it changed after posting the story?

  2. Emmanuel Altenor - Sep 30, 2013 at 6:31 AM

    Good player, but an overpaid volume shooter.

  3. kingwithringz - Sep 30, 2013 at 6:36 AM

    This Analytic’s crap is getting ridiculous.

  4. realninerfan22 - Sep 30, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    Advanced stats are for geeks who have never played the game. Rudy Gay gets buckets, end of story..

  5. money2long - Sep 30, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    sounds like he’s taking a shot at memphis and how they are geared toward analytics, and understands that’s why he was shown the door by way of trade.

  6. spursareold - Sep 30, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    The two years that Memphis made the WCFs, Rudy wasn’t there; once he was injured and last year, he was traded before the deadline. That alone should speak volumes.

    • 00maltliquor - Sep 30, 2013 at 6:01 PM

      They only made the WCF once broham.

  7. thomaskouns - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    Listen to what Scout’s say – veeeeerrrrrrryyyyyyy overrated.

    Keep jacking it up with no D bro.

    Looks great on ESPN, not so good in the win column.

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