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2007 Projections: Kevin Martin

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As far as I know, community projections are nearly unanimously a baseball thing. Google can't find me one instance of organized basketball fan communities projecting what their favorite players will do in the upcoming season. But baseball? Millions of results.

Here's the idea: we each project, predict, or guess what each player will do this season. The collection wisdom of many people who have watched these players and thought carefully about their performance is supposed to be greater than one person's guess. Towards the end of the season, we can come back and see how we did, and even who did best.

We'll start it off with Kevin Martin. Here's the last two seasons of data for him:

       MPG   PTS   REB   AST       FG/eFG/TS%
2005    10   2.9   1.3   0.5   .385/.406/.464
2006    27  10.8   3.6   1.3   .480/.540/.604

His points, rebounds, and assists per game aren't going to triple again - that was a function of the big minutes increase. But Martin should get another boost in minutes and a substantial boost in his shooting rate (or, how often he shoots). He could be the third scoring option in the starting lineup, depending on a) how Brad Miller figures into Eric Musselman's offense, and b) what happens at power forward. Bonzi Wells was the "third option" last season with 12 shots a game. (Mike Bibby was tops with 17 shots a game, Peja/Artest served as the second option with 14 and 16 shots a game respectively.) Martin took 7.5 shots a game last season, and only played an average of 5 minutes-per-game less than Bonzi.

I don't think his rebounding or assist rate will dramatically improve - he doesn't fit the bill of a janitor or facilitator on this roster. There are plenty of ballhandlers, and hopefully the frontline can reverse last season's guard-dominated rebounding game.

Can the shooting percentages stay up? (Those percentages up there are vanilla field goal percentage, effective field goal percentage, and true shooting percentage. Each one tells you something important. I've talked about them at length before, but visit Basketball-Reference's glossary for more explanation.) Martin was near the top of the league in true shooting last season, thanks to his above-average shooting from the field and his above-average foul-drawing and foul-shooting abilities. His foul-drawing strength will buoy his advanced shooting numbers so long as the rulebook favors quick guards who infiltrate the lane, so I can't see a freefall from 2006.

All that said, here's my guess:

       MPG   PTS   REB   AST       FG/eFG/TS%
2007    34  16.5   4.7   1.7   .475/.535/.598

Let's hear your guesstimates.