Dallas Mavericks Preview: Replacing Seth Curry – @DailySportsViz

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Welcome to the official Stevie Stat’s Dallas Mavericks Preview for the 2020-2021 NBA Season. Be on the lookout for at least 4 more previews (Luka Magic, Rookie Previews, Dwight Powell Impact, & Inside The Mind of Rick Carlisle). Today we will start with Preview 1: Replacing Seth Curry.

A little background on Stevie Stats – I am born and raised in Dallas & have been a Dallas Mavs fan since day 1. It’s simple why I am a huge Mavs fan – it was the cheapest ticket in town at the old Reunion Arena when I was growing up & boy were we poor.

Unfortunately I barely missed the 80’s version of Dallas Mavs basketball – you know the version that actually made the playoffs. Most people probably don’t realize it, but the late 80’s Mavs were a problem. The 1988 team even pushed the Showtime Lakers to a game 7 in the Western Conference Finals & from 1984 to 1990, only missed the playoffs once (1989).

Like I said I was not fortunate enough to be born during this stretch, but rather was lucky enough to witness the following stretch of basketball instead (born in 1989).

As you can see there were some LEAN years rooting for a random assortment of players that included: Chris Gatlin, Adrien Griffin, Samaki Walker, Nick Van Exel, Cedrick Cebalos, Dennis Rodman, AC Green, Gary Trent Sr., RAEF, the 3 Js (shoutout Toni Braxton), & of course our leader and only saving grace at the time Michael Finley. I would be remiss if I didn’t at least mention that Shawn Bradley (7 foot 6 | 235 lbs) & Oliver MIller (6 foot 9 | 300 lbs) played on the same team, so not everything was terrible.

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Fortunately for us Mav’s fans some tech nerd named Mark Cuban bought the team and drafted a soft foreign white guy named Dirk Nowitzki & all our lives changed.

Back to present day – we as Mavs fans were fortunate enough to have drafted another soft foreign white guy who actually has a chance to be better than Dirk Nowitzki (more on this in the future). With that said, I will not allow a player and team like this to pass without covering them extensively. So let’s get to the topic at hand:

Replacing Seth Curry & Breaking Down The Seth For JRich Trade

Today we will be starting with a simple visual that shows how much better Seth Curry is than Josh Richardson at shooting the ball. Saying Seth is a better shooter than JRich is not surprising, but the disparity and molly whopping in every category did catch me off guard.

Let’s break down exactly what we are seeing above.

Seth Curry has an 11% higher True Shooting % & 7% higher FG% than Josh Richardson

Seth Curry shoots 6% more of his shots from 3 & Makes 9% more of his shots from 3 than Josh Richardson

Seth Curry shoots 6% more of his shots from the corner 3 & makes 11% more of his shots from corner 3 than Josh Richardson

And now for the most damning stat of them all:

On spot up shots – Seth Curry’s Effective FG% is 22% HIGHER & is 15% MORE LIKELY TO SCORE in these spot up scenarios

This is not a great visual for Josh Richardson. I understand that Seth may be one of the best shooters on the planet, but I did not expect JRich to be that much worse. Before diving into the numbers I expected a much closer discrepancy especially in spot up scenarios & true shooting %.

So does that mean that we lost this trade & as Mavs fans we should riot? Not necessarily.

It means that Josh Richardson will not be replacing Seth Curry’s productivity by being a lights out shooter. Josh Richardson’s strength is his defense. More specifically his ability to guard the opposing team’s best offensive guard – allowing Luka to chill on the worse offensive player & save his fouls for when they matter. Josh Richardson is a MASSIVE upgrade over Seth Curry when it comes to defense. Let’s take a look at the numbers to prove this point:

Josh Richardson leads Seth Curry in the following defensive categories: deflections, loose balls recovered, contested shots, defensive FG%, & good ole fashioned defensive rating. Josh Richardson is a problem on the defensive end & precisely the reason the Mavs targeted him to play alongside Luka Doncic. If Josh Richardson can duplicate his efforts from last year on the defensive end, mesh well with the Rick Carlisle offense & have a slight uptick in shooting efficiency – the Dallas Mavs will be considered a winner in this trade.

I know I personally cannot get this defensive effort out of my head when I think of Seth Curry, now imagine if Josh Richardson was closing out instead.

It still leaves the question: where will we be picking up the offense left by Seth leaving? The obvious answer is Trey Burke, who had an impressive run in the bubble. Is he ready to take the next step and produce full time for a full season? I believe in Trey but let’s take a quick look at his number from last year on the Mavs in spot up shooting scenarios.

FG%: 36.4% | eFG%: 47% | Score Frequency: 37.1%

Not great but not bad – leaves a lot to be desired if I’m being honest. He needs to step up his EFG% to > 50% which will lead to a higher scoring frequency. It doesn’t seem like he is the full answer, which leads me to the subject of our next Mavs Preview.

Be on the lookout for the Mavs Rookie Preview to see how Green, Terry, & Bey will fit in the Mavs scheme and how each player compares to current NBA players. Until next time check out my Twitter for similar content – @DailySportsViz

Data: Basketball-Reference.com & Stats.NBA.com | Photo Credit: ClutchPoints.com & Getty Images
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