Monday, August 15, 2005

Shareef's Favorite Position

Kings fans are questioning whether Shareef Abdur-Rahim is the answer at power forward. Some say he's better and more comfortable at small forward, where we currently start an All-Star named Peja.

But according to the uber-fantastic-amazing 82games, SAR was a stud at the four last year.

In summary, Shareef played 30 percent of the Blazers' PF minutes and only 11 percent of the team's SF minutes (plus 5 percent of the center minutes). So the notion that SAR was at the three all last season is a misconception many Kings fans are making right off the bat. (Zach Randolph got 31 percent of the team's power forward minutes, by contrast.)

Using John Hollinger's PER statistic (learn more about this here), Small Forward Shareef rated at 1.5 PER less than his counterpart, seemingly because of a worse shooting clip than his opponent.

But Power Forward Shareef outperformed his opponents, getting 2.5 PER more in his minutes at the four. And yes, this is in the Western Conference.

His offense predictably picked up a bunch at the four, but surprisingly, so did his defense.

At small forward, Shareef gave up 21.1 points and a .528 eFG percentage (eFG, or effective field goal percentage, counts a made three-pointer as 1.5 made field goals, thus rewarding deep shooters in the statsheet as they are rewarded on the scoreboard). At power forward, Shareef gave up 20.1 points and a .521 eFG.

We must also remember a couple things: SAR had an off-year. The Western Conference has much better PFs than SFs, overall. Zach Randolph still had a better PER differential at PF than SAR last season.

This is all no great shakes, but it flies in the face of what many are saying about Shareef's natural position.

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Editor:
Tom Ziller

The Sacramento Kings are a tough act to follow, literally.

SKB does the dirty work so you can forget about the blood, sweat and tears.

Oh, you'll still need the tears in April, though.

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