What's all this nonsense about a "legit NBA starting center?"
posted at 11/3/2013 1:43 AM EST
For some people on this board there is something called "a legit NBA starting center," though they never specify what the criteria is for legit," and exactly who it is that decides who's "legit" or not.
My guess would be that coaches and GMs have a say in that decision as well as the people on this board, but I could be wrong. In any case, when someone does make a such a claim, they should be obliged to spell out what it is that makes a starting center "legit" or "not legit."
Here's my argument for why Faverani is without doubt good enough to be a "legit starting NBA center."
Keep in mind that there will be roughly fourteen NBA starting centers in any given year whose numbers are below the league averages for startiing centers (11.3/7.75/1.3). Are these guys then not legit because their numbers are below average? If so, then more than a few NBA championships have been won by teams who did not have a "legit" starting center.
I have no doubt that Vaverani can exceed the league averages.
Based purely on a bump in minutes from 15 pre-season MPG to about 20 MPG, adding another third again to his per game averages, he'd come in at about 10 PPG, 6 RPG, and 1.5 BPG. This would be pure scavenging and cleaning up inside.
Merely at those numbers he would be statistically better across the board than Splitter, McGee, Valanciunas, Jordan, Dalembert, Perkins, etc.
But could he produce more? Definitely.
If he’s averaging 10 PPG per 20 MPG just by hanging around, it makes perfect sense that if by design you called his number a handful of times in the post or in pick and roll, he would give you at least another couple of baskets and a few more free throws. I can see him averaging a steady 15+
Why am I sure of that?
In Europe there’s a saying that paraphrased goes something like, “he has points in his hands.” It’s used to explain a player’s knack for scoring. That describes Vitor; he just knows how to score.
For NBA centers 14 PPG seems to be a watershed mark. Nearly all centers averaging over 14 PPG are scoring, go-to centers with offensive skills; centers averaging below 14 tend to be clean up/scavenger guys. The only exception is Anderson Varejao. He’s so efficient at scavenging that he averages 14.
All the others who average 14+ are guys you can throw to in the post, the Gasols, Jefferson, Horford, Howard, B. Lopez, Bogut, Cousins, etc., guys with offensive skills.
Now look at Faverani. He's a scavenger with advanced offensive skills.
If memory serves, he has so far scored on fast breaks, lefty dunk, righty dunk, two-handed dunk, 3-point shot, foul line jumper, base-line jumper, follow-up offensive rebound dunk, lefty hook, spin reverse, righty jump hook, and bank shot. Plus, he makes 75% of his FTs.
These aren't fluke baskets. He will never not have these skills. If he were 6'5-6", he'd be a scoring wing, a Manu Ginobili type player.
At the other end he is already the best defender on this team. He moves, talks, covers, boxes out, blocks shots, changes shots, takes charges, battles, bangs the offensive boards, punches balls out and avoids fouls Totally contrary to what Gary Washburn wrote in the Globe, Faverani destroyed the Bucks big men.
So what's not to like? His haircut? The fact that he doesn't "look" like a "legit" NBA center?
For these reasons, I believe that Vitor is equally effective or more effective than the bottom half of the center pool in the NBA, and has the potential to become a 13-16 ppg, 9-10rpg, and 2 bpg player.