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Frankel’s 2013-14 projections
Jason Maxiell, through no fault of his own, had to bear the brunt of anger from Pistons fans last season because of his location on the depth chart, which was right in front of Andre Drummond. It was a classic case of a mediocre veteran with an ugly game taking playing time away from an exciting and promising player.
Magic fans can only hope that the same thing doesn’t happen again this season, considering the cornucopia of young talent at power forward and center.
On the offensive end, Maxiell spent most of his time last season loitering from midrange. He shot just 32 percent on shots from 16-23 feet, per Hoopdata. Coupled with the fact he’s always been a below-average free-throw shooter and it should come as no surprise, then, that he posted an awful .478 True Shooting percentage. Maybe Maxiell and Glen Davis can hang out.
Maxiell was largely reliant on his teammates to create shots for him, as 74.5 percent of his shots last season were assisted on, per Hoopdata. He’ll set hard screens, make some cuts, and score off of offensive rebounds when he isn’t busy clanking jumpers, but that’s about it.
Some of the value Maxiell lost on offense was regained on the defensive end, where he was an above-average defender last season according to Synergy Sports and regularized adjusted plus/minus. His defensive RAPM (plus-minus adjusted for opponents and teammates) was plus-2.38, as opposed to minus-3.29 on offense. And the Pistons were 2.1 points per 100 possessions better defensively when Maxiell was on the floor. He’s a little undersized, but has a solid base and moves well in a team scheme.
The 2013-14 projections reveal that Maxiell is likely going to be the player he was last year. He looks to be awful on offense again, with a True Shooting percentage way below the league average, but his defense should stay solid. He’ll mostly play backup power forward, but a few center minutes being mixed in wouldn’t be a shocker.
All in all, there’s nothing wrong with Maxiell being on the team — he’s just a mediocre filler player that won’t drastically swing the ledger one way or another. It’s off the court where his impact should be felt the most, as he mentors the youngsters for the Orlando Magic.