Improving Turnovers: Internal Improvement

For the Pistons to improve on the turnover front, the best option is for Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight to just turn the ball over less.  As  young players with talent, there is no sense in the Pistons giving up on each player just because of their current turnover issues.  The question is, can you teach a young dog new tricks?

Let’s start with Monroe.  A good historical comp for what we hope to see is Chris Webber.   See the stats below.

Season Age TOV% USG%
1993-94 20 14.7 23.7
1994-95 21 13.8 25.5
1995-96 22 13.8 28.5
1996-97 23 15.0 24.6
1997-98 24 11.1 26.5
1998-99 25 14.8 24.9
1999-00 26 11.2 28.2
2000-01 27 9.6 31.6
2001-02 28 11.4 29.0
2002-03 29 11.9 30.4
2003-04 30 11.3 28.9
2004-05 31 11.6 29.3
2005-06 32 10.4 27.7
2006-07 33 13.1 21.1
2007-08 34 23.3 15.8

His first four seasons had a TOV% over 13.8.  After that though, just about every season his TOV% hovered around 11.5.  This is above average performance while maintaining a high usage.  Other high turnover young big men like Brad Daugherty and Patrick Ewing also improved significantly in TOV% starting in year 5.  We may be a year or two away, but there is potential for Monroe to improve in taking care of the ball.

But what about Brandon Knight?  Two players similar to Knight that improved in TOV% are Gilbert Arenas and Jeff McInnis.  McInnis figured it out in his third season, while Arenas did it in his fourth.  My favorite Brandon Knight comp, Randy Foye also lowered his TOV% in year two.  However, there are cautionary tales like Steve Francis that show that sometimes the high TOV% remains the same.

In both cases, there are similar players in the past that have improved on their turnovers as they moved toward their prime.  However, just because Monroe and Knight are young is no guarantee that they will improve in this area.  The prudent approach is to give each another two seasons before we condemn either as turnover-prone.

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