The usage of analytics to evaluate NBA players has made incredible strides in recent years, gaining near-universal acceptance, but the data still has a ways to go before it can accurately measure every aspect of the game. Case in point: 7-foot, 255-pound center Omer Asik, who was traded to New Orleans from Houston this summer. In 103 career starts, all but two with the Rockets, Asik has averaged close to a double-double, 9.8 points and 11.6 rebounds. Yet when former teammates talk about what the native of Turkey brings to a club, they rarely bring up things that can be quantified. For instance, Houston ranked in the top six of the NBA in offensive efficiency in each of Asik’s two seasons in Texas, but the Rockets’ wing starters quickly note what Asik did not do at that end of the floor. “He doesn’t really ask for the ball,” said James Harden, the NBA’s fifth-leading scorer in 2013-14. “You don’t have to give him the ball in the post,” said Chandler Parsons, who went from Houston to Dallas in free agency this summer. “He just kind of plays, knows his role and does his job. He’ll definitely help the Pelicans out.” Asik’s unselfish and low-usage approach at the offensive end should fit in well with New Orleans, which has plenty of firepower at its disposal. In addition to All-Star forward Anthony Davis (20.8 points per game last season), the full-strength Pelicans boast proven scorers Tyreke Evans (19.9 ppg as a starter last season, Ryan Anderson (19.8 ppg last season), Jrue Holiday (17.7 ppg during his final full season with Philadelphia) and Eric Gordon (17.5 ppg career). Despite sustaining as many key injuries as any NBA team last season, New Orleans still finished in the top half of the offensive rankings (13th, 107.2 points per 100 possessions).
Former teammates weigh in on NOLA addition of Omer Asik
NBA.com | Aug 1