FanPost

Cunningham vs. Bass


Brandon Bass has been a mainstay on Blazer fan wish lists over the past few seasons - and for good reason.  Not especially tall, but strong and quick - Bass has a reputation as a high-energy bench player that can rebound, play some defense and make an offensive contribution with hustle plays and a decent outside shot - all at a position of need for the Blazers - Backup PF.

Bass is in his 5th year in the league, but it turns out we have a rookie aka Dante Cunningham that brings everything to the table that Bass does...

First - the Physical:

  • Bass: 6'8 250 lbs
  • Cunningham: 6'8 230 lbs

Bass comes in a little heavier, but they have remarkable similarities physically.  Both are physical specimens and ripped.  They are strong, quick and have good hops.  Bass has a few extra years of muscle built into his shoulders.  However, it was the physical similarities I noticed just now while watching the Lakers @ Orlando that prompted me to research this comparison in the first place.  Relying on 82games.com because I don't have Synergy resources, I found some more interesting similarities and positive comparisons favoring Cunningham:

Peripheral Stats (read order Bass 1st; Cunningham 2nd):

Bass and Cunningham draw fouls at a similar rate (10.4 vs. 10.3%) and have similar passing ratings (1.1 vs. 1.4) and block ratings (4.9 vs. 5.3).  Interestingly, Cunningham starts to pull away from Bass in terms of rebounding (player rating 19.2 vs. 24.6) based on 2009/2010 stats, so I went back to 2008/2009 for Bass to get numbers that reflected more of his potential contributions (2009/10 hasn't been a great season for Bass' minutes).  However - Cunningham still compares favorably to Bass as a rebounder - even using Bass' much better 2008/2009 stats (24.8 vs. 24.6).  Cunningham also has a better 'hands rating' (9.2 vs. 11.3) that is even more dramatic if you consider Bass' 2008/2009 stats (5.2 hands rating to go with a 0.3 passing rating).

Shooting Tendencies:

For context, Bass' and Cunningham's raw stats are remarkably similar this season (and for Bass' career):

Using Bass' career stats: 48.8% shooting vs. 49.9% (Bass is at 50% this season) leading to a 6.7 ppg career average vs. 4.1 ppg.

How these guys get their points is also an interesting comparison:

Bass Scoring by Game (2009/2010):

Scoring

By FG. FGA FG% eFG% Ast'd Blk'd FTM Pts
Game 2.4  4.8  .500  .500   46%  7%  0.9  5.7

 

Dante:

Scoring

By FG. FGA FG% eFG% Ast'd Blk'd FTM Pts
Game 1.8  3.7  .492  .492   86%  4%  0.5  4.1 

 

and the details:

Bass

Shooting Details

Shot selection
Shot Att. eFG% Ast'd Blk'd Pts
Jump 64%  .429   51%  4%  2.6 
Close 19%  .613   47%  19%  1.1 
Dunk 10%  .938   40%  6%  0.9 
Tips 7%  .250   0%  0%  0.2 
Inside 36%  .627   41%  12%  2.2 
Shot clock usage
Secs. Att. eFG% Ast'd Blk'd Pts
0-10 32%  .500   54%  4%  1.5 
11-15 29%  .583   43%  2%  1.6 
16-20 25%  .415   53%  12%  1.0 
21+ 14%  .478   27%  13%  0.6 
Crunch 39%  .438   43%  13%  1.6 

 

Dante

Shooting Details

Shot selection
Shot Att. eFG% Ast'd Blk'd Pts
Jump 74%  .441   97%  2%  2.4 
Close 18%  .606   70%  12%  0.8 
Dunk 4%  .857   83%  0%  0.2 
Tips 4%  .571   0%  0%  0.2 
Inside 26%  .638   63%  9%  1.2 
Shot clock usage
Secs. Att. eFG% Ast'd Blk'd Pts
0-10 31%  .544   71%  2%  1.2 
11-15 23%  .605   100%  5%  1.0 
16-20 30%  .426   87%  4%  0.9 
21+ 16%  .345   90%  7%  0.4 
Crunch 45%  .398   88%  5%  1.3 

 

The data isn't perfect - but it does tell us a few things:

1) Bass takes more shots closer to the basket, but doesn't necessarily score more effectively (eFG%/Blk'd%)

2) Cunningham shoots more jumpers more effectively - but within the flow of the offense (much higher assisted %)

3) Bass creates his own shot more (lower assisted %)

Overall

What this quick comparison does tell us is that the Blazers already have a "Bass-type" on the roster that in all likelihood will be an even better player.   Dante's peripheral stats are as good or better, right now (Bass did draw more fouls in 2008/2009); Dante rebounds as good as a happy Bass; Dante shoots better (other than FT's); Dante passes better, turns the ball over less and blocks better.

Cunningham is arguably better than Bass - right now - and there is certainly no way you can make an argument for Bass over Cunningham when you compare salaries ($4M vs. $400K).

I like Brandon Bass' game - but the Blazers do not need him to get his game.

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