NBA Hot Take 2–1–18
Is Ben Simmons still head and shoulders above this year’s rookie class? A Mid-Season Cornucopia of Stats, Videos and Hoops Fun
This was one of the most heralded rookie classes in the last ten years.
Led by Ben Simmons, a large number of rookies are making their mark in the League. The only real question mark has been Markell Fultz, whose team had been trying to keep him under wraps, until this recent photo of him was leaked to the press.
With the NBA season a little more than half over, it seems like a good time to look at the Rookie of the Year race. Here are the criteria I will use to rank the players for Rookie of the Year:
- They play against the NBA’s best: they have to play most of the games, have starter’s minutes (min. 25), and play much of the time against the opposing team’s starters.
- Statistics: a wide range of tools that measure defensive and offensive excellence, not only with traditional stats, but those that adjust the style/pace of the team.
- Role: are they the #1 scoring option, the field general who sets up the offense, or a guy who plays within a system led by a star veteran player?
- How well does the player play in the biggest situations?
- Advanced stats that measure how much a player actually improves their team.
- Final tiebreaker: how many ways can they affect the game, and whether they can do it on both offense and defense.
Chapter 1: How good is Ben Simmons?
Back in December, I looked at the budding rivalry between the 76ers and the Lakers, and took a deep dive into the subject of 5-man lineups because it can shed light on who should be playing, and more importantly, who should be playing together. I started to realize just how much a great young player can either transform a team if put in a situation where he can succeed, or be torn down by a bad coach and a bad team. As a wise man once said:
Advanced stats show us how teams are transformed by their stars, and how stars are transformed by their teams.
I’ve already described Ben Simmons’ strengths and weaknesses, but now consider the skills of his teammates.
- Embiid can be the most dominant center in basketball and regularly draws double teams. When he can hit his 3-ponters, he becomes impossible to guard, as he can blow by the big strong centers who try to follow him outside the paint, or brush small ball 5’s aside like a rag doll.
- Philadelphia surrounds Embiid and Simmons with above average 3-point shooters, especially Covington (.416 3P%), Reddick (.388), Bayless (.394) and Saric (.344).
The talents of his teammates spreads the floor and allows Simmons much easier access to the paint.
In the home game against the Lakers, Simmons got 7 of his 15 assists by passing to Embiid, who almost never missed at the rim and even hit two three-pointers. Philadelphia’s starters (Embiid, Covington, Redick, Bayless) shot a combined 28 for 51 from the field and 10 for 19 from beyond the arc, giving Simmons another 5 assists.
Now imagine Simmons passing to a team with a center who can’t finish and wings who shoot 31.9% from the 3-point line. On a team like that, his assists would drop considerably.
Compared with his play this season, Simmons left a relative lump of coal in fans’ stockings during a Christmas Day win against the Knicks: 8–8–3 with 1 steal, 1 block and 2 turnovers.
Since December, two other factors have changed for Simmons. First, Embiid has been having back problems and has missed some games. Second, teams are starting to pack the paint more against Simmons, daring him to shoot outside the paint. The result has been a number of losses (they were 1–9 during a rough patch in December), and Simmons’ otherworldly statistics are coming back down to earth.
Who looks like the Rookie of the Year, who looks like a future All-Star, and who looks like a future Hall of Fame player?
First, let’s look at the stat line of a former rookie of the year (can you guess who it is? Answer in Appendix.):
16.7 PTS, 6.2 REB, 6.3 AST, 0.6 BLK, 1.9 STL, 3.5 TO .405 FG%, .264 3P%, .703 FT%
Here is the stat line for the odds-on current favorite to win this year’s ROY:
16.6 PTS, 7.8 REB, 7.3 AST, 0.9 BLK, 1.8 STL, 3.8 TO .528 FG%, .000 3P%, .561 FT%
If you didn’t know, these are the current season averages for 6' 10" point guard Ben Simmons. There are only three players with better all-around numbers: Harden, Lebron and Westbrook.
As we arrive at the All-Star Break, Simmons other worldly rebounding and assist numbers fallen off for the month of January:
17.1 PTS, 5.3 REB, 6.7 AST, 1.0 BLK, 1.4 STL, 3.4 TO .597 FG%, .000 3P%, .628 FT%
Those are still All-Star level numbers (All-Star Kyle Lowry is averaging 16.4 PTS, 6.0 REB, 6.0 AST), but is this really a transcendent, once-in-a-generation player? Let’s look at the other candidates.
Chapter 2: The bête noire of the NBA
The rookie point guard whose game most resembles Simmons is Lonzo Ball (boo… hiss… bust.. loser… loudmouth dad… just writing his name brings out the trolls). He’s a 6' 6" guard who can rebound, pass, and defend better than people realize (Simmons defensive rating is 102.8; Lonzo is 102.1; every other celebrated rookie guard is 105.7 or higher.)
No rookie has faced this much media attention since Lebron James. Whether the attention was deserved or not, Lonzo encountered a backlash of negative energy from the public and the media that would make you think he said he was taking his talents to South Beach, instead of being a quiet kid who only talks about trying to help his team win.
Ball was weighed down by the unbelievable pressure put on him by his father and the Lakers front office, and the response from the rest of the league was fierce. He has had a target on his back since opening night when Patrick Beverly harassed him in every way possible, both on and off the court. I can’t say if coaches were actually game planning for a rookie, but opposing players were pumped up and trying to humiliate him for the first 20–25 games of the season.
The only thing people could talk about was his awful shooting during the first two months of the season, but the rest of his game compares pretty favorably to Ben Simmons:
10.4 PTS, 7.1 REB, 7.1 AST, 0.9 BLK, 1.5 STL, 2.7 TO .356 FG%, .303 3P%, .480 FT%
Unlike the other rookies, Ball didn’t hit a rookie wall so much as pass through a gauntlet starting in October.
He finally broke through his shooting slump in December. Unfortunately, he has missed 14 games due to injuries, so here are his combined stats for December and January:
11.8 PTS, 7.2 REB, 6.8 AST, 1.0 BLK, 2.2 STL, 2.8 TO .414 FG%, .355 3P%, .500 FT%
In contrast to having teammates making Simmons’ life easier, Lonzo’s teammates often do just the opposite. The Lakers are the NBA’s worst at 3-point shooting and free throws, so his assists are much lower than they should be (but his rebounds would be lower with a guy like Embiid at center.)
One game in particular drove me crazy was when the Lakers were playing on the road at Cleveland. Lonzo Ball made five perfectly timed lob passes to his front court teammates for open layups or dunks, but they missed all five. Three of those missed shots turned into fast breaks the other way in a game decided by nine points. Nobody paid attention to Ball’s 11 assists that night, but 16 is a number that starts to raise eyebrows.
The most interesting event at Cleveland actually happened after the game, when Lebron gave Lonzo some words of encouragement and tried to hide it from the media.
Since the Lebron chat, Lonzo has shot 38.1% from beyond the arc.
Everyone says the mark of a great player is when they rise to the occasion on the biggest stage, and Lonzo has had his best games against Golden State (twice), Houston and San Antonio. Here are his averages for those four games:
18.5 PTS, 7.5 REB, 5.2 AST, 1.2 BLK, 1.5 STL, 2.2 TO .509 FG%, .518 3P%, .461 FT%
More importantly, the Lakers went 2–2, and had the chance to beat the Warriors in overtime.
With Ball’s horrible start and missing 14 games with two different injuries, it’s doubtful that he will get many votes for Rookie of the Year. But the effect he has had on his team’s play is remarkable.
Next, up Jason Tatum and some other top rookies.
Chapter 3: Jayson Tatum and The Wall
Since the month of December, the performances by some of best rookies have started to regress back to the mean. Those who started fast have gotten the attention of other teams who have figurined out how to take away the what these rookies like to do best.
For many, especially the one-and-done players, I think the first 20–25 games of the season correspond roughly to how freshmen develop by the time they are playing in conference championships and the NCAA tournament.
Besides Simmons’ fall off, Jayson Tatum is the other popular ROY candidate who has started to struggle as he attempts to get over the rookie wall.
Tatum‘s 3-point shooting was off the charts in October (.500), November (.480), and December (.451), but that downward trend continued as he fell back to earth in January (.351). His scoring and rebounding are down compared to the beginning of the season. While he is still playing very well, he has begun to show the inconsistency of a rookie, failing to reach double digit points in 3 of his last 7 games, corresponding with a stretch where the Celtics have lost 5 of 7. In the two games they won, Tatum averaged 19 points, 6 rebounds and 3.5 assists.
The same thing can be said about two highly regarded guards, with flashy offensive games: Donovan Mitchell and Dennis Smith, Jr.
Mitchell is the primary scorer on a bad Utah team, so he has carte blanche to heave ho. So while he is a good scorer with lots of highlight plays, his shooting percentages have been dropping (.375 3P% in November, .358 3P% in December, .316 3P% in January), near the bottom of the rookie guards by defensive rating, and well below the level of Simmons and Ball in rebounds, assists and turnover rate.
Dennis Smith, Jr. is another point guard who can score, but his 3-point percentage has been all over the place, shooting 31.6% in November, 44.4% in December, and 30.6% in January. Overall, he has shown improvement in January, as his assists and steals have increased, while reducing his turnover rate. Unfortunately, his improved numbers don’t correspond to greater team success, as the Mavs are 3–10 in January.
Kyle Kuzma is the most unlikely player in this group. As a lightly regarded 4-year player from Utah who didn’t have much of a 3-point shot, he was considered a 2nd round level player. After having great pre-draft workouts, he was the #27 draft pick by Brooklyn and sent to the Lakers in the trade that brought D’Angelo Russell (#2 overall pick in 2015).
Kuzma went on to set the Summer League on fire with his scoring, did it again in the pre-season games and played himself into serious minutes. An early season injury to starter Larry Nance moved Kuzma into the starting lineup and he got red hot, shooting 39.0% and 40.0% from beyond the arc in November and December. Because of Julius Randle’s excellent play at the 4, Coach Walton decided to move Kuzma back to the bench in January. His minutes have dropped precipitously, depending on his shooting and how much attention and energy he puts into his defense. In spite of the demotion, he is still the Lakers’ leading scorer and best 3-point shooter.
Due to injuries, poor play, or too much bench time, other prospects have not been so fortunate in trying to climb the ROY wall…
While they’re not necessarily busts, these highly regarded prospects did not pass the test to be ROY candidates, including:
Malik Monk (slowly sinking into the misty bog of DNP — Coach’s Decision)
De’Aron Fox (horrible first three months, shooting under 29% on 3’s, averaging 9.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, with 2.2 turnovers, followed by a very good January, shooting 42.5% on 3’s, averaging 14.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.5 turnovers)
Justin Jackson (good start in October, shooting 42.9% on 3’s, but it’s been down hill ever since, racking up 4 DNPs in January)
Josh Jackson (so bad, he’s shooting 31.8% from beyond the arc in January… and that’s an improvement)
Chapter 4: Do rookie stats mean anything?
Here are the stat lines for some of the best NBA rookies during the month of December. Can you read them like tea leaves?
A) 23.6 PTS, 2.8 REB, 3.7AST, 0.2 BLK, 1.8 STL, 3.1 TO .491 FG%, .387 3P%, .875 FT%
B) 19.5 PTS, 7.6 REB, 2.0 AST, 0.7 BLK, 0.6 STL, 1.6 TO .439 FG%, .400 3P%, .750 FT%
C) 19.3 PTS, 5.8 REB, 8.2 AST, 0.3 BLK, 3.5 STL, 3.8 TO .449 FG%, .176 3P%, .806 FT%
D) 14.7 PTS, 6.2 REB, 1.0 AST, 0.4 BLK, 0.5 STL, 1.2 TO .432 FG%, .324 3P%, .880 FT%
E) 14.6 PTS, 5.9 REB, 1.2 AST, 0.7 BLK, 0.9 STL, 1.2 TO .529 FG%, .451 3P%, .819 FT%
F) 14.1 PTS, 7.6 REB, 7.9 AST, 1.0 BLK, 1.3 STL, 4.3 TO .508 FG%, .000 3P%, .509 FT%
G) 12.8 PTS, 4.7 REB, 4.3 AST, 0.1 BLK, 0.6 STL, 2.2 TO .420 FG%, .444 3P%, .667 FT%
H) 12.2 PTS, 6.7 REB, 6.8 AST, 1.4 BLK, 1.3 STL, 3.4 TO .422 FG%, .377 3P%, .500 FT%
I) 8.4 PTS, 5.5 REB, 9.4 AST, 0.4 BLK, 2.7 STL, 3.8 TO .338 FG%, .103 3P%, .647 FT%
Which numbers stand out? Who deserves to be rookie of the year? Who is going to be a Hall of Fame player? And who turns out to be a bust? (Check the appendix at the bottom for the answers.)
I used December stats because it’s the month where rookies traditionally hit the wall and because all these players were getting the most minutes of playing time against starters.
It will be interesting to see how these top rookies come back after the All-Star break. When you discover the identities of these players, you’ll notice that the “bust” saw his shooting and assists go on a mostly downward trend after a torrid December, while the HOF player’s stats improved slightly in January and February, exploded in March and tailed off in April.
Chapter 5: Breaking Down the Top Rookies
First, I’ll break down the top players on defense and then offense, then look at their combined two-way effect on their teams. To be considered, rookies need to be compete primarily against other starters and play close to starter minutes, so I set my search criteria to only include rookies playing at least 25 games, and averaging at least 25 minutes per game.
Of these rookies, three are in the NBA top 15 in defensive win shares, but only one is playing for an elite team, surrounded by the best defense in the league, with a well-defined role, and benefiting from a great coach. According to NBA.com advanced states, the top 5 rookie defensive ratings are as follows:
- Jayson Tatum 99.4 (BOS)
- Lonzo Ball 102.1 (LAL)
- Ben Simmons 102.8 (PHI)
- Donovan Mitchell 105.7 (UTAH)
- Dillon Brooks 106.0 (MEM)
There is an enormous gap between Tatum and Ball and an even bigger gap between Simmons and Mitchell, so I eliminated Mitchell and Brooks.
It should be noted that these stats are skewed because a player who plays on a winning team with a great defense has their performance is pulled up by the rest of the team. Similarly, when a great defensive player plays with a weaker defense, his defensive rating will suffer.
Cases in point: Kyrie Irving and Chris Paul. Irving currently has a defensive rating of 101.8, while CP3 (last year’s Defensive All-NBA first team) is currently rated at 104.6. But Boston has the #1 rated defense at 100.2, while Houston is #11 at 104.8, and coached by Mike “half the defense, double the offense” D’Antonio. (Starting at 1:44 in the video, this is absolutely brilliant. If you haven’t watched this series, Game of Zones is the funniest web series ever!)
Clearly, we need to drill down further by examining whether a player is able to lift his own team.
Who makes their defense better?
If we subtract the team rating from the player rating, a negative number means the player is improving his team’s defense. Now, the rankings look like this:
- Ball: 102.1-105.0 = -2.9
- Tatum: 99.4-100.2 = -0.8
- Simmons: 102.8–103.5 =-0.7
Ball has helped the Lakers go from being #30 in defense last year to hovering around the top 10 for a good part of the season. You can really see his effect in the way the team moves as a unit and jumps out to contest 3-point shots. For the season, the Lakers were #4 in the league in 3-point percent defense, yielding only 34.7%. In the 13 games Ball has not played, they are giving up 37.2%, tied for the #23. In the games Ball played between his injuries, the Lakers went 4–1, and allowed opponents only 33.7% on 3-pointers. Since he went out, the Lakers have dropped to #14 in overall defensive rating.
For Boston, Tatum helps Boston move up from being top 5 to #1. But the huge jump was trading Isaiah Thomas, which moved them up from a middle of the pack defense last year to a top 10 defense this year.
Using traditional statistics, we also get a feel for how much they contribute:
Top 5 in rebounding: Simmons, Markkanen (CHI), Ball, Collins (ATL), Kuzma (LAL).
Top 5 in steals: Simmons, Ball, Mitchell, Ntilikina (NYK), Smith Jr (DAL).
Top 5 in blocks: Collins, Bell (GS), Simmons, Ball, Allen (BKN).
Again, the top 3 stand out in traditional stats:
- Simmons (#1 rebounds, #1 steals, #3 blocks)
- Ball (#3 rebounds, #2 steals, #4 blocks)
- Tatum (#6 rebounds, #6 steals, #6 blocks)
And if we want to get even more esoteric in hustle plays, check out this page:
Home of NBA Advanced Stats - Official NBA Statistics and Advanced Analytics.
Here are the Top 3’s rankings compared to all rookies in deflections (DEF), loose balls recovered (LBR), and contested shots (CS)
- Simmons: DEF (1), LBR (1) CS (5)
- Ball: DEF (2), LBR (2) CS (8)
- Tatum: DEF (13), LBR (12) CS (8)
This was a really close call. I had to give the edge to the guys on struggling teams over a player that is filling a role on a top team. After that, I went with the gut with the slightly better stats. My final defensive rankings are:
According to NBA.com advanced states, the top 5 players based on Offensive Rating are as follows (starting at least 25 games or playing more than 25 minutes):
- Jayson Tatum 105.7 (BOS)
- Ben Simmons 105.6 (PHI)
- Donovan Mitchell 105.3 (UTAH)
- Dennis Smith 103.4 (DAL)
- Kyle Kuzma 102.3 (LAL)
Who makes their offense better?
If we subtract the team rating from the player rating, a positive number means the player is improving his team’s offense. Now, the rankings look like this:
- Tatum: 105.7–104.6 = +1.1
- Simmons: 105.6–105.1 =+0.5
- Mitchell: 105.3–104.8 =+0.5
- Kuzma: 102.3–101.9 = +0.4
- Smith: 103.4-104.3 = -0.9
Here are the top 5 scorers:
- Mitchell 19.2
- Simmons 16.6
- Kuzma 16.3
- Markkanen 15.3
- Smith Jr. 14.7
Here are the top 5 in 3-point percentage:
- Tatum .443
- Kennard (DET) .430
- Brooks .398
- Bogdanovic (SAC) .392
- Kuzma .374
Top 5 in offensive rebound %: Simmons, Ball, Markkanen (CHI), Tatum, Smith Jr. (Just looking at total offensive rebounds would skew toward centers who are always under the basket.)
Top 5 in assists: Simmons, Ball, Mitchell, Teodosic (LAC), Smith Jr (DAL).
Top 5 in assist/turnover ratio: Ball, Simmons, Ntilikina, Fox , Smith Jr. (Ball is miles ahead of everyone in this category.)
Offensively, there’s a lot more variation in the dominant players.
Mitchell is a big scorer, but an average shooter (.344 3P%).
Simmons is good in just about everything except he can’t shoot outside the paint.
Kuzma is an absolute offensive wizard, possessing the widest variety of shots of any player, as he can shoot from distance, hit fall away jumpers, and finish at the rim with dunks, spin moves, floaters and hook shots. He has also been an excellent rebounder and an excellent interior passer.
Markkanen has proven to be a good scorer and rebounder as a stretch 4, shooting, and making the most 3-pointers of any rookie (109, with Mitchlell at 106, and Kuzma at 96).
Smith is another volume scorer, but shoots poorly (.397 FG% and .325 3P%).
Tatum is super efficient, has an excellent repertoire, and has been the best clutch shooter of all the rookies, but he plays a limited role in the team, and doesn’t have to created a lot of his own offense.
Ball had horrible problems shooting the first two months of the season, but has shot around 35% on his 3’s since then, to go along with his assists, rebounds, and creating transition opportunities for his team to score.
It was harder to find a Top 3, so I chose a Top 4 of Mitchell, Simmons, Kuzma, and Tatum. (Smith is a less efficient version of Mitchell, Ball had that horrible shooting slump during the first two months, and Markkanen is a less dangerous version of Kuzma).
Tie Breaker #1: Are you the #1 option on your team?
This is where I had to eliminate Simmons and Tatum, in spite of their efficiency. Simmons gets the edge because he is a cornerstone of the team, but he shares the #1 option with an All-Star center and is surrounded by three very good 3-point shooters. Tatum has Al Horford drawing centers out outside the paint, and Kyrie Irving on offense to penetrate and feed him for open 3’s. (I’m probably guilty of recency bias, but he looked terrible against the Lakers and basically disappeared against the Warriors. His best game against an elite team came in a win over Houston where he scored 19 points.)
Tie Breaker #2: Can you put your team on your back and pull off a win in the most pressurized situations?
To me, this is the ultimate test of future greatness. (Is it any surprise that I view the greatest moment in the history of basketball as being Game 6 of the NBA Finals in 1980, when Kareem Abdul Jabbar was sidelined with a bad ankle? Rookie Magic Johnson revolutionized basketball by being the first point-center in history and went on to a 42–15–7 performance that won the championship.)
Donovan Mitchell: In Utah’s best win of the season over Boston, Mitchell had 17 points, 5 rebounds and 9 assists and scored 8 points in the 4th quarter. But Utah had three other guys who scored 17 or more, and they had 24 more rebounds than the Celtics. Mitchell scored 41 points in a win over New Orleans, and had four other 30+ point games against mostly mediocre teams.
Kyle Kuzma: Besides two 30-point games against mediocre teams, Kuzma exploded for 38 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists in a huge win over Houston, where James Harden scored 51.
Kyle Kuzma Full Highlights 2017.12.20 At Rockets - 38 Pts, 7 Threes, UNSTOPPABLE! - Free Online…
Download video Kyle Kuzma Full Highlights 2017.12.20 At Rockets - 38 Pts, 7 Threes, UNSTOPPABLE! - --Like And Subscribe…
But the game that elevates him above everyone was a nationally televised game against Boston where he had 28 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists. Kuzma scored 17 points in the 4th quarter, outdueling Kyrie Irving to preserve a nail-biting win for the Lakers.
My final offensive rankings are:
Final ROY Rankings
What is the real effect a player has on his team?
When we watch stars like Lebron, Durant, Curry, Harden, and Westbrook, it’s pretty clear that the team’s fortunes are determined by their play. How do we measure the effects of rookies? Using On/Off Ratings, we get a very different picture of who is impacting their team the most. These stats show the team’s effectiveness by subtracting the player’s off court rating from their on court rating.
Here are the rankings of the top 5 rookies who are playing starting minutes. (A player’s effect on the court can be over exaggerated if they are coming off the bench and playing the other team’s reserves, so I only ranked players who play most of their minutes against the opposing team’s starters.)
- Tatum: +5.5 (3.4 on offense, +2.1 on defense)
- Ball: +4.7 (-2.2 on offense, +6.9 on defense)
- Simmons: +2.3 (0.4 on offense, +1.9 on defense)
- Mitchell: +0.7 (2.6 on offense, -1.9 on defense)
- Kuzma: -2.4 (2.0 on offense, -4.4 on defense)
Based on all the factors above, I gave a little more weight to the two-way players, to separate them from the great one-way players. My final rankings for ROY in reverse order are:
#5 Kyle Kuzma (#1 offensive player, but needs a lot of work on defense)
#4 Donovan Mitchell (great offense, but a little more balanced on the defensive side)
#3 Lonzo Ball (#2 defensive player, great field general, but needs to learn to finish at the rim to become a major offensive threat)
#2 Jayson Tatum (incredible on both ends, but surrounded by a great team and guided by a top 3 coach, he started to hit the rookie wall, and disappeared in some big situations.)
#1 Ben Simmons (franchise cornerstone, along with Embiid. without him the 76ers are a lottery team.)
It will be interesting to see how these rookies finish their season and develop in future seasons. (Brandon, did it look like my Laker homerism would completely skew the final results?)
I hope you enjoyed this breakdown. But if not, let the battle begin in your comments below.
*Believe it or not, these are the stats for Michael Carter-Williams, one of the original members of “The Process.” With losing teams, bad coaching and injuries, this guy has deteriorated into a bench guy who is now shooting 30%. Is Ben Simmons this year’s transcendent rookie, or will his inability to shoot from outside the paint eventually kill his effectiveness?
**Key to the list of top rookies:
A) Mitchell, B) Kuzma, C) Michael Carter-Williams, D) Markkanen, E) Tatum, F) Simmons, G) Smith, H) Ball, I) Jason Kidd.
Can you believe Carter-Williams’ stats in December? In December of his rookie year, Lebron James averaged 23.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 5.5 assists, with .7 blocks, 1.9 steals, and 4.1 turnovers, while shooting 43.5% on field goals.
Other notable rookies by On/Off Stats: Frank Mason III (+11.1), Luke Kennard (+10.1), OG Anunoby: +9.2, and Jordan Bell (+8.5), Jonathan Isaac (+0.8), Frank Ntilikina (-0.5). Dillon Brooks (-1.4), Josh Hart (-2.4), De’Aron Fox (-5.4), Lauri Markkanen (-5.8), Josh Jackson (-8.1), Dennis Smith Jr. (-10.4), Malik Monk (-19.8)
Laker song parodies:
“Lakers on a Prayer”
Here are the lyrics I wrote to this Bon Jovi song in 2015, after the humiliation of the Lamarcus Aldridge rejection…
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