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Anthony Carter: Too Turnover Prone?

 

Picture 14Anthony Carter is running second (behind Stephon Marbury) in the poll asking you all who you’d like to back-up Rajon Rondo next season–if the C’s decide to use the (currently) last remaining roster spot on a free agent rather than Lester Hudson.

First, it’s important to note that Denver has already offered Carter a one-year deal worth the veteran’s minimum of $1.3 million, according to Chris Tomasson at Pro Basketball News. The Celtics can’t beat that offer unless they decide to give Carter a multi-year deal, which is unlikely considering fiscal realities and the fact that Carter is 34. So Carter would have to leave for non-monetary reasons, which might include a (slightly?) better chance at a title and not having to worry about fans clamoring for Ty Lawson to swipe his minutes.

But how good is Anthony Carter?

Offensively, he is, frankly, not as good as I had thought. Let’s start with the positives, though:

 • Dude can pass. Carter averaged 4.7 assists per game in just 23 minutes on the floor, and his assist/48 minute number ranked 13th among 78 point guards last season, according to ESPN. If you’re into advanced stats (and who isn’t!?), his assist rate—the percentage of Denver baskets he assisted on while on the floor–-ranked 17th among more than 100 guards who saw the floor last season, and would have cracked the top 10 among guards eligible for the scoring title, according to Basketball Reference. (Carter wasn’t).

According to our friend Jeremy at Roundball Mining Company, Carter is an especially effective passer in transition. I have a feeling Heinsohn would love him.

Now, the bad:

• Carter, by one measure, was the single most turnover prone guard in the league last season. That measure would be turnover rate, an estimate of the number of turnovers a player commits per 100 plays in which he tries to do something with the ball. Carter’s numbrer: 26.9. For comparison’s sake, guards on the high side included Jason Kidd (21.8), Steve Nash (20.8) and our own Rajon Rondo (19.2). Other high-usage PGs with better rates included Chris Paul (13.5) and Chauncey Billups (13.0), according to Basketball Reference.

A side note: The numbers for Kobe Bryant (9.7) and Brandon Roy (9.0) here are pretty ridiculous, especially from Roy, who shares primary ball-handling duties in an offense that isn’t as dependent on passing/cutting as the Triangle Kobe pretended to run in LA.

Jeremy at Roundball comes to Carter’s defense here by noting that his assist/turnover ratio of 2.35 ranked above several back-up PGs, including Jordan Farmer, T.J. Ford, Will Bynum, Stephon Marbury, Mike Taylor, George Hill, and even one “All-Star” starter (Mo Williams).

(Overall, Carter’s assist/turnover mark ranked 42nd among 78 point guards, according to ESPN).

 I see the point—Carter’s high assist rate camouflaged (somewhat) his obscenely high turnover rate. I guess it comes down to what you most want out of your back-up PG—offensive creativity or reliability and care for the basketball.

 I prefer the latter, because the Celtics, as we’ve gone over ad nauseum, are among the most turnover-prone teams in the league.

Also in Carter’s defense (hat tip again, to Roundball): He cut his turnovers down considerably toward the end of the season and in the playoffs, when he coughed it up just 0.7 times per game and about 17 percent of the time he tried to make a play. I’d much prefer those numbers.

 • Carter is not a perimeter threat. He shot 43 percent overall last season, including just 24 percent from deep, which suggests perhaps the one three he took per game was one too many. He’s not great on long twos, either; his effective FG% on jump shots was only 40.8 percent–three points lower than Nene’s mark.

 We’ll (briefly) discuss Carter’s defense, after the jump…Jeremy tells us that Carter does a good job hounding opposing guards, and that he did a decent job limting Dwayne Wade in the regular season and Jason Terry in the playoffs. (That does not justify George Karl assigning him to guard Kobe Bryant for even a single possession during the Western Conference Finals. Awful coaching, there).

The numbers show Carter to be an average defender. The Nugs gave up 1.9 fewer points per 100 possessions with Carter on the floor last season, and opposing point guards recorded a 14.8 PER against him–a smidgen below league average, according to 82games. That was an improvement over 2008, when the Nugs allowed 3.1 points more points per 100 possessions with AC on the floor and opposing PGs ran up a 17.8 PER against him. His Basketball Prospectus defensive numbers are also average.

Still, there’s nothing to suggest Carter is a defensive sieve, except perhaps the speed with which he might decline as he ages.

The verdict: He’d be a solid one-year option provided he takes better care of the ball than he did last season. Even so, he’s probably staying in Denver.

  • KY Celts fan

    Jason Williams!

  • TarHeelMA

    Why not Jason Williams? The other options all have major downsides.

    Lets not get stuck in the vaseline or add another turnover king.

  • http://celticshub.com Zach Lowe

    White Chocolate, huh? How could I have forgotten him??? Terrible defender but can bring it (we think) on the offensive end.

  • Carlos M

    I for sure would want us to sign Jason Williams. That will round up our team.

    PD: Please try to sign Leon Powe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • John A

    Is there any chance of trading Tony Allen (if he does not get traded in the Daniels deal) being traded for a back up point guard somewhere?

  • Buckets

    I'd rather have Jamaal Tinsley!

  • jay

    John A: If we could package TA and Scal in a deal to bring in a PG, obviously that would be amazing.

    Is it ever going to happen? Probably not a chance in hell.

    Neither is a marketable asset, and the absolute only value to them is their expiring contracts.

    No team will be that stupid.

  • http://politicaldeathmatch.org Harrison_Bergeron

    Well, that turnover stat pretty much sets me against signing Carter. The LAST thing we need is another TO-prone guy. Williams, maybe, or maybe just sign Hudson and see how that works out before the trade deadline. Worth noting that they DID win the title with Eddie House playing most of the backup PG minutes, with Sam Cassell not contributing a whole lot more than Marbury did last year.

    Yeah, actually, I kinda like that thought. Let's see what we can get from Giddens, Waker, and Hudson in the first half of the season. If just one of those guys can establish themselves as a legitimate scorer/playmaker, maybe they can play with House in the backcourt. Particularly when House is on the floor with Allen and/or Pierce, he works OK as the nominal "point guard" for stretches. Add in the play-making ability of guys like Wallace and Garnett, I don't think we necessarily NEED a "traditional" PG to back up Rondo, unless Rondo gets hurt. And with no great options available right now, I think it would be in our best interests to just hold the cards for a few months, I'm sure there will be somebody available by trade or waivers before the deadline who's no worse than our current options.

    Invite Williams in for a workout, sure, or training camp. Other than that, I think I'd rather just wait and see.

  • http://Aol.com Matthew

    One name….Lestor Hudson. Hounding defense, creates his own offense, lots of heart, good ball handler, team guy. He is a rookie that I'd like to have play some minutes. He is NBA ready. Besides my celtics need to spen as little as possible so Hudson is cheap and a future solid bench guy. Eddie is gone next year so why not sign eddie's replacement (more skilled too) now. Give him a two year minimum salary contract. He will play 10 or less minutes a game any how.

    My second comment is for all of you who actually sees j-will as a credible option. White chocolate can't play d, turnovers anyone, and oh he hasn't played in a year! Rust, no d, and turn overs! Are all of u laker fans? Lastly…carter is not all that good. Read the blogs read his stats! Over rated. Last thing the celtics need is more turnovers…unless they are ape and cherry filled.

  • mallz

    maquis daniels,eddie house, jerry stackhouse,glen davis, rasheed wallace. celtics run there offense mostly thru pierce than rondo. why not? but it doesnt look like there gunna get rid of giddens,walker, scal. worst case scenario t. allen n daniels sound better than giddens n daniel if ray or paul go down.

  • str|ps

    i'd say j-will…i mentioned that in a topic a few weeks back, although i thought the knicks would really take him. again, for the 2nd unit we're looking for a passer who can take the occasional shot, plus he's got the experience right? and then there's marquis (if we do get to sign him) and lester hudson…2nd unit could be:

    pg – williams

    sg – house

    sf – walker/giddens/daniels

    pf – davis

    c – wallace

    just a thought…

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