2009-2010 Player Evaluation: Ryan Anderson | Magic Basketball



Jun 10

2009-2010 Player Evaluation: Ryan Anderson


Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Synergy-fueled player evaluations, with the help of other metrics, are always fun.

Today, the power forwards.

2009-2010 regular season Ryan Anderson
Games Played 63
Minutes Played 14.4
adj. +/- +0.65
net +/- +1.8
statistical +/- +1.97
PER 18.1
WARP 2.7
Win Shares/48 .161

When Ryan Anderson was traded along with Vince Carter in the off-season, not many people knew much about him. Orlando Magic fans were still seemingly mourning the loss of Courtney Lee, who had made such a positive impact in his rookie year. It didn’t take long, however, for Anderson to impress the Magic brass and fanbase with a really strong performance in the 2009 Orlando Pro Summer League. If a player can dominate in Summer League, as Anderson did, that usually bodes well for his future and shows he can probably play in the NBA. Granted, Anderson had the benefit of having played a year in the league beforehand but it shouldn’t be overlooked what he accomplished during the summer.

With Rashard Lewis serving a 10-game suspension to start the regular season, it was widely assumed that Anderson would come off the bench. Instead, Anderson started … to the surprise of many. For head coach Stan Van Gundy, the rationale was simple. Anderson was a great fit in Orlando’s 4-out/1-in offensive system, given that he was a stretch four and could bring the same things to the table as Lewis. The decision paid off handsomely for Van Gundy, as Anderson thrived as a starter in the first six games of the season before he went down with an ankle injury that sidelined him for a little over a week or so.

With Lewis’ eventual return to the starting lineup, Anderson played a majority of the season as his back-up and produced when given the playing time. And even though Anderson’s impact in the 2010 NBA Playoffs was minimal, it was a very successful year for him.

Via Synergy Sports Technology:

2009-2010 regular season Time Poss. PPP* Rank Rating
OVERALL OFFENSE 100% 476 1.02 85% Excellent
Spot-Up 36.6% 174 1.03 73% Very Good
P&R Roll Man 13.7% 65 0.92 35% Average
Transition 12.2% 58 1.07 33% Average
Offensive Rebound (put backs) 10.9% 52 1.27 82% Very Good

.574 .536 12.8 7.1 11.7 24.5 112

Anderson is a stretch four, yes, but he is more than just a spot-up jump shooter. As the numbers from Synergy show, Anderson is certainly at his best in the “Spot-Up” category and that’s one of the main reasons why he saw plenty of minutes coming off the bench, given that he could spread the floor in a similar fashion to Lewis. But Anderson can do more than stand on the perimeter and shoot threes.

In the instances where Anderson posted up, which should have happened more often, he showed excellent skills on the low block. Anderson was also a savvy offensive rebounder, making a living on put-backs. Plus, whenever Anderson decided to attack the basket, he’d utilize a predictable yet effective spin move to slither through a defense and create space for himself to finish at the rim.

Anderson was prone to slumps, like many shooters are. However, when Anderson was playing well offensively, his production rivaled and even exceeded Lewis’ totals. For example, when looking at their respective per 36 splits, Anderson’s statistics were better. It’s important to note that when given the minutes, especially early in the season, Anderson proved more than capable of matching his own projected per 36 splits.

From an offensive standpoint, there’s no question that Anderson is the perfect candidate to replace Lewis when the time comes. Yet like Lewis, Anderson needs to be wary of relying too much on his jumpshot and remember to diversify his offense when necessary. For Anderson, this can be a slippery slope because he’s shown that his shot selection can be sketchy at times.

If Anderson can avoid those pitfalls as best as possible, the sky is the limit for him offensively.

Via Synergy Sports Technology:

2009-2010 regular season Time Poss. PPP* Rank Rating
OVERALL DEFENSE 100% 325 0.95 21% Below Average
Spot-Up 27.1% 88 0.86 80% Very Good
P&R Ball Handler (Big Defender) 24.9% 81 1.12 11% Poor
Post-Up 20% 65 0.86 55% Good
Isolation 17.5% 57 0.93 32% Average

net def. +/- dMULT opp. PER TRB% STL% BLK%
+0.99 0.949 17.1 (vs. PF’s) 12.8 1.4 1.1

Anderson did have problems defensively. Anderson’s individual defense was nothing to sneeze at and if one thing stood out from him, it was his inability to defend pick and rolls with effectiveness. The primary reason why this was the case is that Anderson doesn’t have the necessary lateral quickness to recover in time after he shows on the pick and roll. As such, Anderson is a step slow many times because his lack of athleticism hinders him than more than anything else.

Anderson can also be outmuscled in the post at times, even though he has success when defending players who are posting up. So from a defensive standpoint, if Anderson wants to usurp Lewis eventually, he has a lot of work to do in that area. Fortunately for Anderson, he does have the skills to be a better defender because he grasps the various team concepts very well and is rarely caught out of position.

Closing thoughts
Even if his impact in the playoffs was minimal, it was a good year for Anderson given the expectations for him coming in weren’t much. There’s not a lot of good stretch fours in the NBA, yet the Magic have two of them in Lewis and Anderson. Given his age and potential, there’s no question Anderson can be a starter in the league. Now about that defense …

*points per possession

Grade: B


Yeah, Anderson is a great offensive player. Van Gundy teaches great defense, and with another season in training camp, expect those numbers to rise.

Popping Anderson and Lewis in at the same time can fuel a lot of offense when given the opportunity. Been a fan ever since he dropped 40 in last year's summer league.