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Vitor Faverani’s impact: Not as good as you might think

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) November 5, 2013 Celtics News, Vitor Faverani 12 Comments

faverani vs bucks

Vitor Faverani is surprising a few people with his play so far this season.  He’s putting up a very respectable 9.5 points on 56% shooting, 7.3 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks after four games.  But those numbers are skewed a bit by an 18 rebound, 6 block performance against the Bucks.

After nine blocks in his first two games, he’s got one in each of his last two.  And a 4th-quarter benching in Detroit raised a few eyebrows.  So let’s take a deeper into the number to see what Brad Stevens sees.

Let’s start with his on/off numbers.

In four games this year, Faverani has spent 110 minutes on the floor and 82 minutes off.

ON THE FLOOR

+/-

OFF RTG

DEF RTG

-19.2

84.9

106.2

OFF THE FLOOR

+/-

OFF RTG

DEF RTG

8.2

104.3

96.3

via NBA

The numbers are actually a little surprising considering how well he seems to have been playing.  And, of course, the caveat with all early season statistics is that it’s early, and it will take a little while for water to find its level.  But the disparity in the on/off numbers is pretty big.

What does this mean?  Hard to say.  He’s been the Celtics starting center and the Celtics have had some pretty good first quarters this year.  They’ve done well with him on the floor at times.  You can look at this set of numbers and say “wow, they’re better without him on the floor.”  But it’s also a matter of who he’s on the floor with.

So now we break down the rotations.

The Faverani/Bass/Green/Wallace/Bradley starting lineup has played 62 total minutes together so far this season and has a defensive rating of 87.4, which is really good.   It also has an offensive rating of 80.3, which is really bad.

When you remove Bradley, that defensive rating goes up to 97.0, and the offensive rating goes up to 88.2.  So the four-man unit without Bradley, a defensive menace but, as we discussed, in a tough position as a point guard and struggling offensively, is predictably worse without him defensively, and slightly better without him offensively.

When you put Bradley back in but remove Faverani, the defensive rating goes down to 85.2, and the offensive rating is 83.9.  So without Faverani on the floor in that five-man unit, the defense gets better, but so does the offense.

The starters without Wallace:  91.0 drtg, 82.1 ortg.
The starters without Green:  87.6 drtg, 82.4 ortg.
The starters without Bass:  87.9 drtg, 78.7 ortg.

So the defensive rating with all the starters is 87.4.  It goes up, meaning the defense gets worse, when each starter is removed from the four-man unit except…. Vitor Faverani.  Removing Faverani from the four-man units results in a better defensive rating.

Removing Faverani from the four-man equation  results in the second-highest bump in offensive rating behind the loss of Avery Bradley, who, again, has struggled a lot.

At this point, the numbers are starting to tell us the same things.

Four-man rotations

Players +/-
Bass, Bradley, Green, Wallace 2.1
Bass, Bradley, Faverani, Wallace -2.1
Bass, Faverani, Green, Wallace -5.4
Bass, Bradley, Faverani, Green -6.5

The only positive +/- is without Faverani on the floor.

Let’s get down to the two-man units to see how Faverani influences the players around him.

Two-man rotations

Players +/-
Faverani/Bradley -14.8
Faverani/Bass -5.7
Faverani/Green -19
Faverani/Wallace -13.9

Not great.  That’s a bunch of negative numbers.  Made more damning when you consider Bass’s numbers with the other trhee starters:

Two-man rotations

Players +/-
Bass/Bradley -6.3
Bass/Green 0.5
Bass/Wallace 3.7

Bass is having a positive effect on other players.  The Celtics are better with him on the floor.  It explains why he’s got the highest +/- of the regular rotation guys.  Sullinger is second.

Speaking of which, what about when Faverani comes out of the game and Jared Sullinger checks in for him?

Two-man rotations

Players +/-
Sullinger/Bradley 9.8
Sullinger/Bass -25.7
Sullinger/Green 16.2
Sullinger/Wallace -16.4

Do NOT put Sullinger and Bass on the floor together (that number is in only 11 minutes of play, but wow, what a number).  Wow.  And Sullinger’s impact on Wallace is interesting too.  But Sullinger plays much better with the wings than Faverani does.

I’ll repeat:  IT’S EARLY!!  Statistics are subject to wild swings when the sample size is this small.  The point of this exercise, though, is to show that Faverani, while he has shown some nice flashes out there, isn’t doing as well as we would like to think.  The numbers explain why Stevens was willing to bench him against a team like Detroit and their talented big men.

But stats do only tell part of the story.  Faverani has shown that he can, in stretches, be pretty good.  He can rebound and block shots, but he’s just can’t do it consistently enough yet.  The truth of his performance lies in the combination of what our eyes see and what the stats say.

Your eyes will see Vitor doing good things out there, and when he does enough of them, your eyes will gloss over the bad stuff (especially when you follow people like me on Twitter who like make jokes like Vitor Faverani getting a statue next to Bill Russell).  The stats are cold-hearted, and ignore the stretches of good we see, instead lumping everything into a blender and pouring you a bitter taste of reality.

Vitor Faverani plays well at times, but overall, he’s having problems just like the rest of the team.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see some adjustments from Stevens.

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  • zippittyay

    let’s see… Sullinger and bass are our two best players yet together they are the worst. yep it’s just too early for those statistics

    • Willowgreen

      Both undersized, to play together and they occupy the same spots on the floor. i dont think that will change, since bass is also a poor help defender. Not because they are good doesnt mean they will play good together.

      • Jake Gruber

        Thank you for saying this. This is so often overlooked in sports and the point cannot be stressed enough.

  • Curt Hays

    Yeah, like playing Humphries more?

    • imshak

      I don’t care what the +/- says, the problem is Bass on defense! Bass is no 4 on defense and I have seen numerous times where Fav goes to help and Bass never rotates to help! Bass is such a terrible help defender! I still don’t get why CBS won’t try Sully with Fav. I’ll keep saying it, Bass is a 3 on defense and he hurts everyone else when trying to guard 4s! KG covered for Bass but no one is as good as KG is, so now we have to suffer with Bass. I really like Bass but he is a terrible post defender, it sickens me! You expect Fav to rotate and help everyone and still recover to his man that the guards and Bass won’t even hedge his man to give him time to recover! Watch the games again and pay attention to Fav alone, he always helps but no one helps him! It’s usually Bass standing there looking stupid!

      • Curt Hays

        Can’t argue with that at all. I said it all last season. I only haven’t said it yet this year becauses, so far, Bass has done so much better than he ever has.

      • Chuck Moran

        Glad I’m not the only one who noticed.

  • Chuck Moran

    Actually vitor has been playing great watch the games again he rotates fine then no one helps then when he’s in the pick n roll he’s always has to block the hoop cause Crawford and Bradley re getting stuck on screens yesterday’s += did not do him justice on ow he played gasol just hit a few jumpers cause he had to cover for crawfords man and against Detroit he had to rotate to bass man and bass is to dumb to realize he needs to cover or him.

    • Curt Hays

      He has great hands and feet on both ends of the court. Totally agree.

  • Chuck Moran

    And for some reason Stevens is never getting him the all in the post his hook shots are money I think he should be our second option on offense with the starters once rondo comes back I see vitor catching lobs like Wilcox did.

  • Chuck Moran

    He completely hut gasol down in the post in the first half then they realized how awful the celtics guards are at getting threw screens and gasol hit all his jumpers he hd the exact same shots with sully and olynyk guarding him e just missed a couple.

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