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Thread: Who is RAYMOND FELTON? Not to compare but closer to NASH than you think!

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    Veteran mafra's Avatar
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    Default Who is RAYMOND FELTON? Not to compare but closer to NASH than you think!

    26 yr-old Raymond Felton is averaging 18.2 ppg, 9.1 apg, 3.9 rpg over the course of his first 29 games playing in Mike D'antoni's SSOL offensive system (which is now his 6th season in the NBA).

    Felton has seen his overall numbers bump upwards, as expected, for his career norms were: 13.6, 6.6, 3.5.

    Basically, almost 5 points more per game to go with another 3 assists and half a rebound.

    NOT TOO SHABBY.

    In late July, I predicted:

    MY GUESS: 17.3 ppg, 9.2 assists, 4.4 rebounds. 1.9 steals, 2.3 turnovers. I think his stat line at the end of the year will resemble something like this.

    FG% of 48.9 and 3PT% of 40.1

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    Actually, his shooting pcts are slightly down from this (45.5 & 36.4). Although both numbers are above his career averages, they bely the fact that his shooting %s have increased each season, and thus far not so.

    ANYWAY. The point here has more to do with another idea I floated in the aforementioned summer thread:

    That Felton and Nash (YES, Steve Nash) have similiar career trajectories pre-Dantoni.

    STEVE NASH spent 8 years in DAL. HIs 9th season was his first in PHO, playing for D'antoni.

    Raymond Felton is in his 6th season, playing 5 seasons for CHA, and now running Mike D'ant's system in year #6.

    As I wrote, if we compare the two PGs, and where their shooting touch was after their 5th season:

    If we compare the two PGs, and check out where they were after their fifth season in the NBA. Nash finished his 5th season (48.7 FG% & 40.6 3PT%) while Felton ended his 5th season (45.9 FG% & 38.5 3PT%)

    Pretty close, no? Obviously, Nash became one of the better shooters in the NBA. A clutch one at that too! BUt do we credit D'antoni a little for working with him? Will this be the case for Raymond Felton?

    BOTH Nash and Felton are energizing bunnies. I would say Felton is the better defsnive player though, while Nash is light years ahead in passing.

    BUT, what exactly do we have in Felton? What can he become? What will D'ant's system do for him? He's already a borderline all-star. How much further can he go?

    LOOK AT CHA. 1/3 into their first season w/out Felton the team has collapsed and the coach is fired.

    As Mark Jackson so aptly stated: We focus on what Felton can't do instead of highlighting what he can do, and what he brings to the team.

    I THINK we've found our PG folks. Deron or Paul would be nice, but we might just develop Felton and he might become one of the better PGs in the sport.

    Stars are born in the playoffs. Sure, Felton was dogged by ORL and Nelson last year, but now (in this system) Felton will be allowed to let his offense speak for itself, even if he gets burned on defense by quicker PGs.

    I also wrote this (in terms of their passing skills):

    Steve Nash averaged 2.1, 3.5, 5.5 & 4.9 assists per game (his first 4 seasons). In his fifth campaign, that figure rose to 7.3. It hovered in the 7-8 range UNTIL Nash arrived in PHO. Then, we see that number jump almost THREE assists per game (where he would average 10-11 a game).

    Raymond Felton averaged 5.6, 7, 7.4, 6.7, 5.6 assists per game in his career so far (5 seasons).


    WOW. Look at Felton now. Almost at 10. I guess Nash benefitted from Amar'e, and now Felton is feeding off the big boy as well!

    Not comparing Felton to Nash, just pointing out that Nash, Duhon and now Felton all have seen their numbers increase under MD. Felton will be a 18 & 10 guy soon enough. If he can improve his shooting, and become even a mid 40s in both FGs and 3s... Look out boys.

    Nash was a leader. So is Felton. Felton works hard and is a bull. Competitive and quick. Raise your hand if you're shocked?

    So, what do we make of all this?

    Is Felton evolving? His best basketball ahead of him? Or is he just a product of the system?
    Last edited by mafra; Dec 23, 2010 at 10:32.

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    Veteran mafra's Avatar
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    HERE's THE ENTIRE POST I WROTE:

    The first thing I think of when I consider if someone is capable of running D'ant's SSOL is STAMINA. Not only does the PG need to be lightning quick, F-A-S-T as fast can be, but he also must be a tireless energizer bunny!

    The PG needs to be quick, he needs to be in constant motion, durable and he needs to be super athletic.

    CHECK: I think we can say Felton qualifies here. Steve Nash averaged about 35 minutes a game while playing with D'ant. As it happens, Felton (in his short career) averages 35 minutes a game.

    Felton is not as tall as Nash, but he's certainly bigger and stronger. Much more compact. He's probably faster too (end-to-end), although he might not be as fluid (or as quick off the cut - or with his first step).

    --------

    The next attribute that immediately jumps out at you is SHOOTING PCT. NOt just the 3-pointer (which is definitely necessary) but his mid-range game altogether.

    In the first EIGHT seasons of Steve Nash's career, in DAL, he basically shot about 47% from the field & 42% from 3PT.

    In his 9th year, when he finally got to play in the SSOL system of D'ant, his FG pct shot up to 50% and his 3PT efficiency improved to 43, then 45, then 47 percent (and has since dropped to 43, then 42, since MD left PHO).

    Now let's take a look at Mr. Raymond Felton. He has FIVE years under his belt. His FG pct goes like this: 39, 38, 41, 40, 45. HIs 3PT%: 35, 33, 28, 28, 38.

    If we compare the two PGs, and check out where they were after their fifth season in the NBA. Nash finished his 5th season (48.7 FG% & 40.6 3PT%) while Felton ended his 5th season (45.9 FG% & 38.5 3PT%)

    What does all this mean?

    At first guess, we all agree that Felton falls way short in the outside shooting department, when compared to the Steve Nash of 2004-present. But upon further inspection, it appears that Raymond Felton, right now, sort of mirrors where Nash was after his 5th season. Nash was slightly better, for sure, but the gap is not as wide as one might expect, right?

    ALSO, Felton's FG% has steadily improved each year in the Association (from 39 to 45 perent), and last year we saw his 3PT% shoot up TEN percent (from 28 to 38).

    All we have to do is look at David Lee. LIKE NASH, both players saw their shooting pct improve under D'ant and his SSOL system. WHY? The obvious says b/c this is a point of emphasis in practice. Felton is a hard worker. He'll continue to improve his shooting.

    However, along with practice, maybe some of the spike in FG efficiency is b/c of the system, and the spacing-freedom it provides. Maybe with a little better shot selection we can honestly expect to see Felton approach the 50% barrier under D'ant. Maybe not in year-1.... but certainly soon! The same should apply to the 3PT shooting. Felton may not reach the 47 range, but he could get his game into the low 40s. Sure.

    CHECK: Felton has improved his midrange game and will continue to do so. He wont be 2007 Steve Nash but he could be the 2002 version. In his best year under MD, Nash averaged 18.9 ppg. I bet this season Felton comes close to that number. Felton may never be the clutch shooter that Nash is. I wont even insult Nash by claiming this is something Felton possesses. But, we wont know until we see it (or not). BUT, Nash was in his 9th season when he arrived in the SSOL system. Felton has a 2-year head start.

    ----------

    The third and final thing I believe is necessary for a PG to orchestrate the SSOL symphony is VISION / DECISION-MAKING.

    Steve Nash averaged 2.1, 3.5, 5.5 & 4.9 assists per game (his first 4 seasons). In his fifth campaign, that figure rose to 7.3. It hovered in the 7-8 range UNTIL Nash arrived in PHO. Then, we see that number jump almost THREE assists per game (where he would average 10-11 a game).

    Raymond Felton averaged 5.6, 7, 7.4, 6.7, 5.6 assists per game in his career so far (5 seasons).

    CHECK: Again, I won't disrespect Nash, and think Felton is on the level with Steve in terms of decision-making and passing, but I haven't watched Felton enough in CHA to gauge that. I do recall when he played at UNC, and I know that Larry Brown is legendary when it comes to imprinting pass-1st mentality into his PG. I also know Felton is a beast and super quick. He looked like Nash in the open floor when he played against us, that's for sure! Lol.

    So why can't I expect a jump of.... OH, say... 2 assists per game under MD? The system, and spacing, and freedom, certainly allows for it. I know alot depends on the shooters he's passing the ball to. I don't expect him to work the half court like Nash. NOt even close. But I think in the open floor he'll be special. I think the talent is there, but it depends on decision-making. No way to predict. Wait and see.

    BUT, I do think Felton will average 9 assists a game. Even Chris Duhon jumped his career assist average by 3 under D'ant (from 4 to 7). I notice a trend her for SSOL MD PGs.

    -------------

    IN CONCLUSION, I think Felton has the athletic ability, the durability, the quickness, the midrange game, the 3PT shooting potential, the passing and the decision-making.... all the attributes we need in a PG to run the SSOL system. I think Felton has the experience (5 years) and I think he's matured, in his prime, and I expect that his best basketball lies ahead of him.

    I think we should expect something closer to Steve Nash than we should fear a Chris Duhon redux.

    MY GUESS: 17.3 ppg, 9.2 assists, 4.4 rebounds. 1.9 steals, 2.3 turnovers. I think his stat line at the end of the year will resemble something like this.

    FG% of 48.9 and 3PT% of 40.1

    <!-- / message --><!-- edit note --><HR style="COLOR: #ffffff" SIZE=1>Last edited by mafra : Jul 29, 2010 at 08:58.

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    Quality post.

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    wow, taking the Felton-Nash talks to another level. i like it too.

    i agree i think Felton's best years are ahead of him and it seems more and more by the game even that Felton is getting more comfortable in this system. he gets his points when he needs it and finds his way to 18-20 points a game and all while still getting his seemingly expected 10 assists. his court vision is better then what was advertised as well as his passing. sure he's no steve nash but he doesnt have to be were just fine with him being Felton. its working out perfectly for us. he's an allstar and almost-if not as-important to the success of our team as STAT is. teams now have to gameplan for felton too as he proved vs the warriors, that he can carry the scoring load and lead us to victory. He's clutch too as his 4th quarter play this season has been nothing short of spectacular. he's hit numerous big shots for us ( look no further then the game vs Raptors ). he's elevated his play and deserves a spot on the allstar team. D-will and Paul are the best in the business but Felton is up there and the way i see it we've found our PG keep him and have him as one of those core guys such as the case with STAT these 2 need to be here for the long haul

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    dantoni pg breeder? :P, great thread btw.

    felton isn't nash YET, who knows, he may surpass nash, but he does have durability, defensive awareness, and energy, yall are right hes not a passing god like nash is but every game i see felton manning the pg spot better and throwing more and more nice passes. the biggest diff between felton and nash <strike> is that ones black and ones white</strike> is feltons lock down defence compared to nashes stand around style of defence.

    so helpful for power pg teams, felton and douglas lock them down, like NOH, SAC, CHI, they have a tough time vs us since they sit on the pg to win games.

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    Great points.

    We also have to recognize that Felton's assist numbers will be down over the course of his career because he played in a stifling Larry Brown offense that relies on running the shot clock down unlike D'Antoni's high shot volume system.

    Felton will be an excellent Point Guard for us. Steve Nash or not, he's playing damned well enough as it is.

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    Now FELTON is on the record chase.... 3 games away from franchise record for most consecutive 10+ assist games...

    Good article from HAHN (Newsday) about Felton and the P&R:

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    But the Knicks have had great success with it, scoring at a rate of .859 points per possession, which is sixth in the NBA. This, of course, can be attributed to Amar'e Stoudemire, who, as they story explains, is one of the most dominant pick-and-roll finishers the game has seen since Karl Malone.

    And while the Stoudemire-Nash tandem might be up there with Stockton and Malone, statistically-speaking, Stoudemire has been more efficient and effective in the pick-and-roll with Raymond Felton and the Knicks this season than compared to with Nash and the Suns last season. According to Synergy's data (after 28 games), Stoudemire is scoring 0.187 points per possession more off the pick-and-roll than he did last season. His 1.364 points per possession off the pick-and-roll was in the 93rd percentile.

    The big usually gets high-percentage shots off the pick-and-roll, especially with a competent guard who can make the right passes, but Stoudemire is shooting a blazing 70.8 percent from the field off the pick-and-roll. That's 12.5 percent higher than his shooting percentage last season off the pick-and-roll. And that's quite impressive, when you consider that every team the Knicks play schemes to stop Stoudemire and that pick-and-roll.

    It's even more impressive when you consider that Stoudemire's offense has seen a 6.2 percent drop in pick-and-roll usage with the Knicks as compared to last season with Phoenix. Most of that could be attributed to the early season struggles with Felton, who needed a little time to develop chemistry with Stoudemire.

    And Synergy had those numbers, too. In his first 12 games, Felton's passes in the pick-and-roll resulted in 0.93 points per possession. But in the following 16 games, that number jumped to 1.064 points per possession.

    For Felton, there was a slight increase in frequency of running the pick-and-roll in comparison to last season with the Bobcats under Larry Brown. Felton ran it 27.9 percent of the time for Charlotte, compared to 35.7 percent this season with the Knicks.

    ....

    And late in games, D'Antoni doesn't always feel the need to call a timeout. Not when he trusts his point guard to the point he trusted Nash and is quickly starting to trust Felton.

    "You don't have to call a timeout at the end of the game because THAT'S what we're doing," D'Antoni said of the pick-and-roll. "So we don't have to worry about getting the ball in and let them set up a special defense. Instead of them getting to talk about how they want to stop it -- at that point they're going to make the right rotation, but if they haven't had time to talk about it, we still have a chance that they may not remember what the scouting report said."

    D'Antoni raved about Felton and his quick adaptation to the offense, not just in figuring out the seams in the pick-and-roll, but in running the entire offense.

    "He's been very good about calling plays," D'Antoni said. "He loves to call plays. I'll look up and see if he needs a play and he calls it. So I go with his instincts. He's asserted himself. That surprised me, that he can call a play and he calls them good. He'll try everything we have, which is good. He remembers everything. he'll call plays that we haven't tried in a few games. And he's very good at it."

    As for those of you who have emailed me over the last two seasons confused about why David Lee (and now Stoudemire) doesn't always make contact on the pick before diving to the basket, D'Antoni explained it:

    "Most of the time you don't even need contact," he said. "That has to change during the game and how [opposing] coaches and players read it, but a lot of times you don't need to make contact. There's no reason for it. It only slows you down."

    Isn't the idea of the pick to slow the defender down?

    "No, because it doesn't matter," D'Antoni said. "Most of our ideas come form how do you want to defend it. Most of the time, the defender pushes the point guard over, so why go up after him and hit. Once that pick comes and I'm gone, he's already on [the point guard's] backside. So instead of setting it there, it's like, I'm out."

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