Wizards Doppelgangers: Bump and Bruise

NBA: Preseason-Washington Wizards at Chicago Bulls

So far, I’ve used my Statistical Doppelganger Machine to find “most similar” players in NBA history for the following:

Next through the machine: Bump (Kris Humphries, DeJuan Blair and Kevin Seraphin), and Bruise (Martell Webster).

For those interested, I discuss the method a bit in the first post. Basically, the Machine looks for most similar production at a similar age.

First up: Humphries.

PLAYER POS SEASON AGE TEAM SIM SCORE PPA SEASON PPA PEAK
Kris Humphries PF 2013-14 28 BOS 100 132 146
Chris Wilcox PF 2010-11 28 DET 90 121 165
Lawrence Funderburke PF 1998-99 28 SAC 89 120 120
Mark Strickland F/C 1997-98 27 MIA 89 111 111
Tom Owens PF/C 1977-78 28 POR 89 126 149
Taj Gibson PF 2011-12 26 CHI 89 105 105
Antonio McDyess PF 2006-07 32 DET 88 115 175
Marcus Camby C 2002-03 28 DEN 88 131 212
Will Perdue C 1994-95 29 CHI 88 140 140
Loy Vaught PF 1992-93 24 LAC 87 99 131
Clarence Weatherspoon PF 1999-00 29 MIA 87 108 168

What Humphries did last season generates a nice list of solidly productive role playing bigs, which is about what I’d have expected. The group’s average peak performance is 147 — for Humprhies it’s 146. Average peak age for this group was 26.5 — Humprhies appears to have peaked at 25. I say “appears” because Humphries, of course is still going.

In the seasons after those shown here, the similars were a mixed bag of ups and downs. As a group, they were steady. This suggests that Humphries may be in the “plateau” portion of his career production arc. (That arc typically follows a trendline of improving production early in a player’s career to a peak between ages 25 and 28, a plateau until the early 30s, and then decline.

PLAYER POS SEASON AGE TEAM SIM SCORE PPA SEASON PPA PEAK
DeJuan Blair PF 2013-14 24 DAL 100 97 145
Dennis Rodman* F 1986-87 25 DET 90 84 180
Craig Smith PF 2006-07 23 MIN 90 87 91
Matt Geiger F/C 1993-94 24 MIA 89 87 153
Gary Trent PF 2002-03 28 MIN 88 103 133
Channing Frye PF 2007-08 24 POR 88 77 118
Jerome Whitehead C 1982-83 26 SDC 88 104 128
Alan Henderson PF 1996-97 24 ATL 88 67 116
Robert Traylor C 2003-04 26 NOH 88 79 143
Greg Ballard SF 1978-79 24 WSB 88 114 157
Ivan Johnson PF 2011-12 27 ATL 88 73 83

I very much like seeing Dennis Rodman’s name on the list, although this is the pre-RODMAN Rodman. This was actually Rodman’s rookie season, and while he rebounded well, he wasn’t yet the outlandish board man he’d later become. This Rodman was even willing to shoot the ball now and then — he used roughly 19% of his team’s possessions while on the floor (average is 20%).

The rest is kind of an odd group at first glance. There are physical, burly types like Smith, Trent, Traylor and Johnson, and more finesse types Frye, Henderson and Geiger.

You may be wondering what Frye is doing on this list at all. But, this isn’t the stretch-4 Frye, this is the PF/C type in his second to last year in Portland. He had just 10 three-point attempts that season with the Blazers. Two years later, he’d hoist 392 for the Suns.

The average peak PPA for this group was 132 at age 25.6. Blair’s best season was a 145 as a rookie, but he’s just 25 years old this season. This group of similars was a mix of improvement and decline in the year following the one shown.

PLAYER POS SEASON AGE TEAM SIM SCORE PPA SEASON PPA PEAK
Kevin Seraphin C 2013-14 24 WAS 100 35 95
Stanislav Medvedenko PF 2002-03 23 LAL 90 17 84
Mark Alarie PF 1987-88 24 WSB 88 42 77
Keith Lee F/C 1986-87 24 CLE 87 55 77
Bill Martin SF 1985-86 23 IND 86 34 34
Greg Foster F/C 1990-91 22 WSB 86 36 42
Malik Allen PF 2006-07 28 CHI 86 35 76
Channing Frye PF 2008-09 25 POR 86 27 118
Melvin Turpin C 1986-87 26 CLE 86 50 130
Josh Powell PF 2008-09 26 LAL 86 29 61
Brad Lohaus F/C 1987-88 23 BOS 85 49 93

I know there’s a lot of hope that Seraphin may finally have a breakout season. Even before looking at his comps, I’d have recommended betting against that “breakout.” This list only solidifies that recommendation.

To me, Seraphin is a reflection of how brutal the NBA can be. He’s one of the better basketball players in the world — top 600, easy. Maybe top 500. But, he hasn’t been good enough to be a bona fide NBA player.

No matter what slice of time I examine, I keep finding the same problems with Seraphin’s play: too many turnovers, too few rebounds, rampant fouling. That was true, even during his “good” stretch a few years ago when he performed at about the level of an average NBA player. Since then, he’s been awful. The league’s least productive center two years ago. The second least productive center last season.

This group of similars can be characterized as peaking early (age 24.8) and low (average peak PPA: 81). The best of the group was Mel Turpin. That Frye season was his last in Portland, and the worst of his career.

The good news is that most of these players improved the season following the one that appears on the list. The bad news: the average improvement wasn’t much.

PLAYER POS SEASON AGE TEAM SIM SCORE PPA SEASON PPA PEAK
Martell Webster SF 2013-14 27 WAS 100 77 114
Keith Bogans SG 2007-08 27 ORL 95 81 89
Morris Peterson SF 2003-04 26 TOR 90 86 111
Richard Jefferson SF 2011-12 31 SAS/GSW 90 93 162
Rasual Butler G/F 2006-07 27 NOK 90 61 89
Pat Garrity SF 2002-03 26 ORL 89 79 89
Matt Carroll SF 2007-08 27 CHA 89 59 105
Brandon Rush SG 2010-11 25 IND 89 66 106
Quentin Richardson SG 2008-09 28 NYK 89 82 123
Gordan Giricek SF 2003-04 26 ORL 88 71 99
Ryan Gomes SF 2009-10 27 MIN 88 83 119

Webster will be out for a significant chunk of the season after back surgery during the summer. His list of similars is an unsurprising mix of role-playing G/F types. This group’s average peak was at age 26.7 — Webster is 28 and appears to have peaked at 26 (his first year in DC). The average peak PPA was 110 — barring a miraculous recovery, Webster’s was 114.

The guys on this list tended to decline a bit the following season, though not much. Assuming Webster gets healthy, it’s reasonable to expect him to play about as well as he did last season.

Just for those who might be interested, here are the “similars” for Trevor Ariza and Trevor Booker, the team’s significant free agent losses:

PLAYER POS SEASON AGE TEAM SIM SCORE PPA SEASON PPA PEAK
Trevor Ariza SF 2013-14 28 WAS 100 145 145
Nick Anderson SG 1995-96 28 ORL 93 151 164
Bryon Russell SF 1998-99 28 UTA 88 128 128
Bryon Russell SF 1999-00 29 UTA 88 127 140
Hersey Hawkins G/F 1995-96 29 SEA 88 148 173
Kerry Kittles SF 2003-04 29 NJN 88 136 179
Hersey Hawkins SG 1994-95 28 CHH 88 148 173
Brent Barry SG 1999-00 28 SEA 87 132 183
Dan Majerle SG 1992-93 27 PHO 87 133 135
Wesley Person SG 1997-98 26 CLE 87 150 150
Rashard Lewis PF 2007-08 28 ORL 87 138 165
PLAYER POS SEASON AGE TEAM SIM SCORE PPA SEASON PPA PEAK
Trevor Booker PF 2013-14 26 WAS 100 123 123
Gustavo Ayon PF 2011-12 26 NOH 90 134 134
Luc Mbah a Moute PF 2011-12 25 MIL 90 106 106
Chucky Brown PF 1995-96 27 HOU 90 117 117
Kent Benson C 1983-84 29 DET 89 119 137
Ben Poquette PF 1981-82 26 UTA 89 100 106
Rasho Nesterovic C 2006-07 30 TOR 89 120 140
Tyrone Corbin SF 1988-89 26 PHO 89 110 126
Nenad Krstic C 2009-10 26 OKC 89 107 118
Jason Thompson PF 2011-12 25 SAC 89 130 130
Olden Polynice C 1991-92 27 LAC 89 114 127

And finally, here’s the “All-Sims” team, so to speak. The method here is to take the guy from the top of each player’s list:

POS Wizards Similars
PG John Wall Kemba Walker
SG Bradley Beal Brandon Jennings
SF Paul Pierce Toni Kukoc
PF Nenê Danny Manning
C Marcin Gortat Bill Laimbeer
BENCH
PG Andre Miller Rod Strickland
SG Martell Webster Keith Bogans
SF Otto Porter Lance Stephenson
PF Kris Humphries Chris Wilcox
C DeJuan Blair Dennis Rodman
G/F Glen Rice Jr. Scott Padgett
G/F Rasual Butler Steve Kerr
C Kevin Seraphin Stanislav Medvedenko
THE DEPARTED
SF Trevor Ariza Nick Anderson
PF Trevor Booker Gustavo Ayon
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