FanPost

In depth look at Jimmer

After watching him in college, and coming into his first season in the NBA, I felt that Jimmer's most likely NBA comparisons would be Mike Bibby or Steve Nash (less vision than Nash, obviously, but someone who's shooting capability would open up play making opportunities). Many scouts saw Jimmer's best case scenario as a Mark Price type, and worst case scenario as an Eddie House type of player, however, I (maybe stupidly, but we'll see) thought that Jimmer's floor would be a scoring point guard in the mold of Mike Bibby (King's days Bibby). They, I felt, shared many of the same skills: shooting, wild confidence (which Jimmer had in college, and shows glimpses of now), the ability to make the right pass even if they aren't natural playmakers, similar athleticism and size (I'd probably give the edge to Jimmer here), etc. Although Jimmer started the season rather poorly, I've liked what I've seen from him lately: he has shown a willingness to become a better defender (still poor, but definitely improving), he has given us games of lights out shooting, and he has started to keep his dribble alive in the paint and has gotten more adapt at getting caught trapped in corners.

As such, I want to have a look at how Jimmer has done compared to Mike Bibby and Steve Nash in their first years. To adjust for mpg, I will be looking at play per 36 minutes, as well as the advanced stats of each player (stats courtesy of http://www.basketball-reference.com/):

Mike Bibby:

Season Age Tm Lg G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
1998-99 20 VAN NBA 50 50 1758 5.3 12.4 .430 0.3 1.5 .203 2.6 3.5 .751 0.6 2.2 2.8 6.7 1.6 0.1 3.0 2.5 13.6

Season Age Tm Lg G MP PER TS% eFG% ORB% DRB% TRB% AST% STL% BLK% TOV% USG% ORtg DRtg OWS DWS WS WS/48
1998-99 20 VAN NBA 50 1758 14.8 .487 .442 2.0 7.2 4.6 35.1 2.4 0.2 17.7 21.5 99 110 1.1 0.2 1.3 .035

Steve Nash:

Season Age Tm Lg G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
1996-97 22 PHO NBA 65 2 684 3.9 9.2 .423 1.2 2.9 .418 2.2 2.7 .824 0.8 2.5 3.3 7.3 1.1 0.0 3.3 4.8 11.2

Season Age Tm Lg G MP PER TS% eFG% ORB% DRB% TRB% AST% STL% BLK% TOV% USG% ORtg DRtg OWS DWS WS WS/48
1996-97 22 PHO NBA 65 684 10.8 .539 .489 2.8 8.0 5.4 29.5 1.5 0.0 24.2 17.1 103 112 0.4 0.3 0.7 .047

Jimmer Fredette:

Season Age Tm Lg G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
2011-12 22 SAC NBA 40 6 772 5.1 13.0 .391 2.5 6.4 .387 1.6 1.8 .895 0.5 1.5 2.0 3.5 1.0 0.0 2.3 2.1 14.2

Season Age Tm Lg G MP PER TS% eFG% ORB% DRB% TRB% AST% STL% BLK% TOV% USG% ORtg DRtg OWS DWS WS WS/48
2011-12 22 SAC NBA 40 772 11.3 .516 .486 1.5 4.8 3.1 16.2 1.5 0.0 14.2 19.5 102 114 0.6 -0.1 0.4 .026

What I immediately notice is that Jimmer is on par with the other two guards in shooting ability, even while starting the season rough (TS% and eFG% of all three players are close; Jimmer and Nash are nearly identical). The other thing that is glaring, is that Jimmer's AST% is significantly lower than Nash's or Bibby's in their rookie seasons. While it is still early in his career, this does seem to suggest that Jimmer will never be your classic setup man. However, does this relegate Jimmer to becoming an undersized, and likely off the bench shooting guard. Looking at Bibby's stats from his first year with the Kings, however, seems to give a possible answer, and show what may be a solid comparison:

Season Age Tm Lg G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS

2001-02 23 SAC NBA 80 80 2659 6.0 13.3 .453 0.7 1.9 .370 2.1 2.6 .803 0.5 2.5 3.0 5.5 1.2 0.2 1.8 1.8 14.9

Season Age Tm Lg G MP PER TS% eFG% ORB% DRB% TRB% AST% STL% BLK% TOV% USG% ORtg DRtg OWS DWS WS WS/48

2001-02 23 SAC NBA 80 2659 14.9 .513 .479 1.5 7.3 4.5 23.0 1.6 0.4 11.1 19.7 107 105 3.7 2.6 6.3 .113

The numbers here are shockingly similar, especially the advanced stats: the two share nearly identical TS%, eFG% and USG%, they have similar TRB%, are much closer in AST%, and have similar defensive stats.

Normally I'd say that we shouldn't get caught up in making conclusions based on a small sample size, however, I see these numbers as highly encouraging. For starters, Jimmer is posting similar numbers despite coming off the bench for a bad team, not having had a summer league or time with the team over summer, and struggling mightily at the beginning of the season. While this was Bibby's worst statistical season with the Kings, tasked with playing a new role (back to being more of a scoring guard after being a playmaker with the Grizzlies), he had a much more favorable set of teammates.

Overall, there has been a lot of talk lately about what Jimmer's role on the Kings is going to ultimately be: point guard, scoring point guard, or two guard? After watching Jimmer's improved play, and looking at the stats of players that I hoped Jimmer could emulate, I've become a believer that Jimmer can be a very similar player (and potentially even better scorer) to an in his prime Mike Bibby. This also seems beneficially to the KIngs; as DMC becomes more and more of a post threat, and as the offense starts to run through him in both the high and low post, having a scoring guard like Jimmer to pass out to (or who, at the very least, has to be covered and makes a double down low more difficult) seems very dangerous. This also makes sense with Tyreke, who while not being a great point guard, is the best ball handler on the team and could become the two guard (like Christie) who brings up the ball and then passes off to the player on the wing (Jimmer) or high post (DMC) to initiate the offense.

Sorry if I got carried away; I have seen some signs of encouragement from Jimmer, and could see him as a scoring point who also gives you 5 or 6 assists a game.

(This is a FanPost from a member of the Sactown Royalty community. The views expressed come from the member, and not Sactown Royalty staff.)

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