A simple, fundamental thing about sports statistics that gets overlooked in today's avalanche of numbers -- advanced or otherwise -- is that they actually represent things that happen as the game is played. Numbers drive our dialogue, our graphics and our arguments. They do not, however, drive the chatter in the locker room. Players care about numbers, of course, because that's what gets them paid. But nuanced discussions about how numbers come to represent specific skills or which metrics are insightful -- it's just not a typical part of the exchange between athlete and athlete, or athlete and journalist.
What we've decided to do is to try to tie the numbers that drive our analysis with the skill sets of the players we cover by going directly to the source. The questions are driven by statistical analysis, although we're not just throwing a bunch of math at unsuspecting players. We are, however, hoping that by analyzing their own skill sets, players can reveal the mindsets that result in the numbers that tell their story.
1: Per Synergy Sports, McDermott ranked third in points per post-up (1.026) among players with at least 180 post plays.
Kevin Pelton: Have you watched much video on Synergy?
Doug McDermott: I watch a lot of Synergy. I don't watch Synergy on myself. I like to look at other players who I look up to. I think Synergy is so nice for guys if they want to reflect on what they're doing well, what they're doing wrong, but I don't watch myself a lot.
KP: Do you think your reputation as a "shooter" undersells your ability to score in different ways, especially in the post?