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This article is the conclusion to my three-part series on college stats and their translation to NBA success. The wing and big men articles contain all my methodology, so if you need a refresher (or this is your first time reading one of these), please check one of those out.
Compared to big men or wings, there are fewer sub-groups within the general class of “point guards”. Sure, there are some point guards who are pass-first, others who look to shoot as their primary option, and even a few who are defensively focused or play mostly off-ball. But generally, point guards handle the ball a fair amount, and are some of the smallest players on the court. That means it’s easier to categorize them together—they operate differently, and each player has a slightly unique playstyle, but the differences are not as vast as those between certain types of big men or wings.
With that said, here are the simplified results of the regression analysis. ‘Significant’ means that the statistic explained some of the variability in the NBA advanced statistics to at least some extent. ‘Model-usable’ indicates that while not useful by itself, the inclusion of that stat strengthened the overall model of correlation. ‘Insignificant’ suggests that the college stat had no real bearing on the players’ advanced metrics in the NBA.
Three stats jump off the page as having more importance to point guard success than anything else: assists, steals, and true shooting%. The first two make a good deal of sense, as assists are the most ‘traditional’ point guard statistic, and point guards have long racked up steals as well. True shooting is a bit more complicated, but I’ll return to that later. After that, there’s another group of three stats that are significant in one model, usable in another, and insignificant in the third—age, points, and three-pointers made. These all get lumped together on a similar tier of importance, leaving rebounds, blocks, and turnovers as the more irrelevant numbers. The coefficients, however, are where things get interesting.
Tier 1: True Shooting, Steals, Assists
Tier 2: 3PT, Points, Age
Tier 3: Rebounds, Blocks, Turnovers
|Age||Negative||Negative||Negative (but not included in model)|
|PPG||Negative||Negative (but not included in model)||Negative|
|RPG||Positive||Positive (but not included in model)||Positive (but not included in model)|
|TOPG||Positive||Positive (but not included in model)||Negative (but not included in model)|
|BPG||Positive||Positive (but not included in model)||Positive (but not included in model)|
|3PT||Positive||Positive (but not included in model)||Positive|
The most eye-opening information regarding the coefficients in the models is that assists and points are negative across the board, meaning that prospects with lower numbers in those categories have generally had greater NBA success. Assists, in particular, is fascinating, as it is usually the first statistic that is brought up in any discussion of point guards and their relative value compared to one another. Why would point guards with higher assist numbers in college have worse odds of success?
There are a couple reasons why this could be the case. The first is that it is likely that point guards on successful teams with better teammates would have more assists. This wouldn’t necessarily be an indication of their passing prowess or playing ability, just that they are surrounded by teammates who can convert on the opportunities given them. Even if a point guard can only run the most basic of reads, if he’s surrounded by several knock-down three-point shooters and a big man who can catch lobs, he’s probably going to rack up assists. Similarly, point guards with high assist numbers might be ball-dominating, controlling point guards with high usage rates. Regardless of efficiency in passing, or running a good offense, a point guard who has the ball a lot will simply have more assists than one who doesn’t. The next question is, why are these bad things? After all, NBA teammates are far superior to those in college, so point guards who play on stacked collegiate teams would seem to be more ahead of their competition. And many of the most storied point guards in NBA history are ball-dominating, high-usage handlers who controlled every aspect of their team’s offense.
I think the first option wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing for college point guards’ success in the NBA, it would just lead to deceptive assist numbers, making them appear to be better than they are. But the second is reflective of how the NBA has shifted in recent years offensively. While point guards still possess the ball a lot in the NBA, the era of point guards exclusively running the offense and calling out plays from the top of the key has been left behind. Instead, most NBA teams have adopted more free-flowing systems with multiple ball-handlers, so that even if a point guard runs a lot of pick and roll, they will play without the ball quite frequently as well. And that type of offense requires different skills than just passing, ball-handling, and ability to run a pick and roll. More specifically, point guards in the modern NBA need to be able to shoot, and they must also possess the capability to attack the basket and finish at the rim, which in turn opens passing lanes for drive and kicks to three-point shooters.
This shift in offense also explains why points have a negative coefficient as well. Most NBA point guards are able scorers, yes. However, more than sheer scoring, they need to be efficient. Point guards are usually the quickest players on the court and have the best handles. This enables them to create their own shot more easily than other players, meaning they often lead their team in shot attempts. But point guards who can create shots but can’t finish them are therefore a massive drain to their team. What’s the point of being able to take a lot of shots if the efficiency rate is horrible? Point guards who score a lot in college might be the only players on their team who can create their own shot, so by necessity they must score, and shoot frequently. But that also means they must take a lot of bad shots, which has the double negative of inflating point per game numbers and instilling bad habits. Seeing a point guard with a high scoring average in college isn’t a bad thing by any means, but the immediate next step must be checking on how they are scoring, and whether they are doing so efficiently.
That’s why true shooting (and three-point makes) are such an important indicator for modern point guards. Scoring efficiently is only going to get harder in the NBA, and if point guards can’t finish against college rim protectors, or shoot over college wing defenders, they’re sure going to find it even more difficult in the NBA. Therefore, point guards who might not score much in college, but score efficiently, appear to be better prospects. Not only could this suggest that they play off-ball more frequently (already setting them up for NBA offensive systems), it also indicates they have a method of scoring that they are truly good at, and which could then possibly carry over to the NBA better. Point guards who have a high number of three-point makes in college almost certainly take a fair amount off the dribble, and that’s a huge skill to have going into the NBA, where the high pick and roll is king. Even when off-ball, having the ability to space the floor for other playmakers is vital.
Steals, as usual, are a fantastic indicator of basketball awareness and functional athleticism. Some systems are designed to create steals, and a lot of point guards gamble in passing lanes, often weakening their defense. Still, just having the wherewithal to read the game well enough to see possible takeaways and having the quickness to get to the spot is something that boosts steals more than anything else, and those are abilities that translate to the NBA very cleanly.
So, should high-scoring, high-assist point guard prospects be automatically shunned to the second round? Absolutely not. As always, these analyses are designed to see through the flaws in basic stats, and to read into underlying talents and skills that are better able to carry over into the NBA, not as strict guidelines for who is a good prospect or not. But if you see a point guard with good efficiency who can shoot threes, and has high steal numbers? There’s probably a place for them in the NBA, and it might be a pretty good place at that.
The U.S. economy has a problem. The usual economic bench marks look really good: America in 2018 is enjoying faster growth, low unemployment, record numbers of job openings and a stock market near an all-time high. Yet an alarming number of Americans are still struggling to get by.
In the past week, two reports — a new Federal Reserve survey of more than 12,200 Americans about their finances and a new United Way report on financial hardship — reveal just how unstable life remains for a large number of people. Here’s a rundown of the key findings:
The Fed and United Way findings suggest the U.S. economy isn’t nearly as strong as statistics such as the unemployment rate and the GDP growth rate suggest. Taken alone, these metrics mask the fact that some Americans are doing well and some are not.
“We have a ‘Two Realities’ economy in America,” said William Rodgers, a professor at Rutgers University and chief economist at the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development. “One segment has truly recovered from the Great Recession and is at full employment. The other continues to experience stagnating wages, involuntary part-time employment, inflexible work schedules and weaker access to health care.”
Rodgers is worried about how families that don’t have $400 in savings are going to handle rising gas prices, higher rents and credit card rates that are climbing as U.S. interest rates rise.
President Trump and many Republicans in Congress are focused on getting people back to work with the belief that once people have jobs they will be able to lift themselves out of poverty. But a growing body of research like the Fed and United Way studies and anecdotes from people working on the front lines at food banks and shelters indicates that a job is no longer enough.
Wages in the United States, especially for workers who aren’t managers, have stagnated for two decades, making it difficult to save for emergencies, let alone save to buy a home or take extra classes to get ahead.
There’s hope that low unemployment and the large number of companies complaining they can’t find enough workers will finally cause wages to rise, but so far, that has yet to happen on a wide scale.
The result is that more and more people are showing up at food pantries who have jobs, but still don’t have enough income for food and rent.
“Half of the people we serve are above the poverty level. They are working, but they are not making it,” said Catherine D’Amato, president of the Greater Boston Food Bank. “It’s a deep struggle for people to provide for themselves based on their wages.”
D’Amato has worked at food banks and pantries since 1979, but she says she’s never seen it like it is today with so many people with jobs but still unable to survive. October and November were the highest food bank usage on record for her organization, a reminder that many are still not stable years after the Great Recession officially ended in 2009.
Nonwhite households continue to have a harder time finding good-paying employment. The unemployment rates for African Americans and Hispanics, while at record lows, are still significantly higher than that of whites. The Fed survey highlighted that far fewer minorities in America feel “okay” financially compared with whites.
In addition to low pay, many struggling Americans say a major problem is that their hours vary greatly from month to month. They may be able to make it one week, but not the next because their hours — and their earnings — fall substantially. Three in 10 adults say their family income varies from month to month, according to the Fed survey, and one in 10 say their income varies a lot, making it difficult to pay bills on time.
One of the most widely watched statistics in the Fed’s “Report on the Economic Well-being of U.S. Households” is how many adults say they could cover an unexpected $400 expense. When the survey was released for the first time in 2013, half of those surveyed said they didn’t have enough savings to cover an emergency expense of a few hundred dollars.
Today that has fallen to 40 percent, a figure that is better but still troubling to many economists. It means nearly 48 million households aren’t saving or are unable to save.
“Nothing is more fundamental to achieving financial stability than having savings that can be drawn upon when the unexpected occurs,” said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com.
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Total reported incidents, including traffic stops: 103
Traffic tickets: 4
Traffic warnings: 8
May 11 at 7:37 a.m., police looked into an assault reported on Upper Main Street, but no one was charged with a crime.
May 11 at 8:33 a.m., an officer helped the staff at East Meadow School calm down an out-of-control student.
May 11 at 8:55 a.m., a possible violation of a relief-from-abuse order at Peoples Academy is being investigated.
May 11 at 10:30 a.m., assault charges are still being considered as police continue their investigation into a fight between two Peoples Academy students.
May 11 at 4:20 p.m., no injuries or hazards after a two-car fender bender on Randolph Road, but police are still looking for one of the drivers, who fled.
May 11 at 8:57 p.m., a driver stopped on Upper Main Street got a written warning for failing to turn on the headlights.
May 11 at 9:05 p.m., what was reported as an out-of-control brush fire on Stancliff Road turned out to be a large, under-control bonfire.
May 11 at 9:43 p.m., police checked on the well-being of a Randolph Road resident, who was OK.
May 12 at 9:25 a.m., police ticketed a driver for using a handheld electronic device while driving on Brooklyn Street.
May 12 at 10:54 a.m., police tracked down a driver on Route 15 and told that person that passing cars on the right is a no-no.
May 12 at 11:07 a.m., a dog running loose in the village was returned to its owner.
May 12 at 12:48 p.m., a driver on Brooklyn Street got a written warning for using a handheld electronic device while driving; another got a written warning for the same offense two hours later on Route 15.
May 12 at 1:22 p.m., police ticketed a driver going too fast on a section of Cadys Falls Road posted at 25 mph.
May 12 at 3:41 p.m., no injuries in a two-car crash on Lower Main Street, but one driver got a ticket for driving after his or her license had been civilly suspended.
May 12 at 7:51 p.m., police took an intoxicated person into protective custody on Second Street, and then to detox.
May 12 at 8:18 p.m., no one was injured when a pickup truck caught fire on Elmore Mountain Road; police assisted the Morristown Fire Department on the call.
May 13 at 3:52 a.m., police responded to two false alarms in one 15-minute span at buildings on Mountain Road in Stowe, where local police were tied up on other calls.
May 13 at 9:20 a.m., an officer helped resolve a dispute between a parent and child on Stagecoach Road.
May 13 at 2:31 p.m., a driver got a ticket for a lapsed inspection sticker on Stagecoach Road.
May 13 at 9:07 p.m., police checked along Union Street for a stolen motorcycle that the Barre City Police Department is searching for, but there was no sign of it.
May 14 at 7:35 a.m., police told the owners of two cars abandoned in a Harrel Street parking lot to move the vehicles, post haste.
May 14 at 9:45 a.m., police assisted the Department for Children and Families on Stagecoach Road.
May 14 at 10:45 a.m., an officer helped Copley Hospital staff calm down an unruly patient.
May 14 at 12:43 p.m., police assisted Morristown Emergency Medical Services on East High Street.
May 14 at 12:59 p.m., an officer helped calm down an out-of-control student at Morristown Elementary School, then stood by until the student’s parents arrived.
May 14 at 1:16 p.m., a pair of Peoples Academy Middle Level students had a spat; police are still investigating.
May 14 at 4:36 p.m., no injuries, hazards or tickets after a two-car crash on the Route 100 bypass near the Bishop John A. Marshall School.
May 14 at 6:43 p.m., police weren’t able to track down the person driving erratically on Route 12, but they believe that same person was stopped in Wolcott later in the day.
May 14 at 10:32 p.m., a driver reported slumped over the steering wheel in a car parked on Route 15 in Johnson had actually pulled over to use a cellphone.
May 14 at 11:38 p.m., a Copley Hospital patient was acting out, so police stepped in to help calm everyone down.
May 15 12:48 a.m., police received a late report of a possible sexual assault; both the alleged perpetrator and victim now live out of state, so police referred the matter to the authorities in those states.
May 15 at 5:32 a.m., car vs. deer on Cadys Falls Road; no people were injured, but the deer didn’t make it.
May 15 at 8:08 a.m., a no-stalking order may have been violated on Randolph Road; police are investigating.
May 15 at 9:40 a.m., police returned an iPad to its owner after it was found on Bridge Street.
May 15 at 10:49 a.m., police are waiting for official statements on a possible assault they received word of.
May 15 at 11:04 a.m., police were tipped off about an assault on Cote Hill Road, but the alleged victim told officers they were misinformed.
May 16 at 8:42 a.m., a person reported trespassing at Cumberland Farms was gone when police arrived.
May 16 at 12:24 p.m., one driver involved in a minor two-car crash on Park Street gave the other some faulty information; police are investigating.
May 16 at 3:27 p.m., a person reported following a driver on Route 15 was actually just lost.
May 16 at 3:39 p.m., no injuries or hazards after a fender-bender on Route 100.
May 16 at 3:56 p.m., police assisted Lamoille County Mental Health at the Maplefields convenience store.
May 16 at 6:05 p.m., police told a person reported harassing a Washington Highway resident to stop.
May 16 at 7:58 p.m., an officer on bicycle patrol spotted a pile of smoldering wood chips on Stafford Avenue; after conferring with the fire warden, he put them out.
May 16 at 8:07 p.m., a man and woman were reported acting strangely on Upper Main Street; police let them go on their way after checking to make sure both were OK.
May 16 at 10:14 p.m., police assisted the Lamoille County Sheriff’s Department with a possible domestic dispute on Silver Ridge Road in Hyde Park.
May 17 at 12:08 a.m., a man reported sleeping in his car on Bridge Street was OK and moved on after police stopped by to check on him.
May 17 at 1:50 a.m., police assisted the Vermont State Police with possible drunken driver stopped on Route 12 in Morrisville (see brief, this page).
May 17 at 7:13 a.m., police are looking into who may have broken a window at Copley Hospital.
May 17 at 11:38 a.m., Jacob Sullivan, 28, of Morrisville was charged with driving after his license was criminally suspended; an officer stopped Sullivan after recognizing him while he was driving on Stafford Avenue.
May 17 at 11:50 a.m., the people screaming and yelling on Fourth Street had quieted down by the time police arrived.
May 17 at 4:45 p.m., assisting Lamoille County Mental Health, police checked on the well-being of a Lower Main Street resident, who was OK.
May 17 at 10:03 p.m., Kimberly Myott, 42, of Morrisville was charged with assault with bodily fluids after allegedly spitting on an officer while police were attempting to take her into protective custody on Upper Main Street. Myott was taken to the Northeast Regional Correctional Facility in St. Johnsbury to detox later in the night.
Note: Charges filed by police are subject to review by the Lamoille County State’s Attorney Office and can be amended or dropped.