Gortat Statistical Analysis

There has been a lot of discussion about Marin Gortat so I thought I would take a look at some stats and available highlights. This is pretty much a long data dump, so if you don't want to read the whole thing just listen to Dave, cause he's pretty much right:

"I describe Marcin Gortat as OK at pretty much everything, great at nothing...He takes too many jumpers and he's not that good at them. He's crafty and opportunistic inside but not dominating...If they get him Portland's argument will be that Gortat was quite good when playing alongside good players but that Phoenix was too fractured and depended on him too much this season. I'm not entirely convinced."

Although I would argue he's more like solid at most things and great in the PnR.

I bet he would be a lot like Matthews. A solid starter who you respect for their hard nose play but who sometimes tries to do too much. You feel like you should be able to get a better, more dynamic difference maker but there just aren't that many at their position.



Synergy: Bright Side of the Sun analyzed his Offense and Defense here.


I used other random articles for different players. I can give links if people are curious about specific numbers.

Video: Lots of full game highlights from this youtube user showing both good and bad plays



Pick Setting and Pick and Roll

Synergy Data

  • Gortat 2012: 1.22 PPP ranked 11th in the league, 1/3 of all his possessions
  • Horford 1.3 PPP
  • Hickson 0.92 PPP in 2011
  • McGee 1.18 PPP, only 10% of his offense
  • Jordan: only 2% of offense came in the PnR

- Great hands. Sets very strong, fundamentally sound picks. Good touch around the rim. Very rarely picks and pops.

Isolation and Post-Ups
  • 2012: 0.75 PPP when posting up, ranked 118th. Shot 42%, turns it over 14% of the time
  • 0.59 PPP McGee in 2010
  • 0.88 PPP Howard in 2012, ranked 55th. Shot 50%
  • - Only had 13 isolation plays in 2012

- If he can get to his hook shot, he seems solid. If he's forced into his fade away it gets ugly. He also struggles if he is pushed out past the block. You wouldn't want to run an offense through him but he should be able to get position and put hook shots over smaller players effectively. Scores equally well from both blocks.

Shooting and Finishing Ability

Synergy: 40% in spot-ups, 0.82 PPP, ranked 233rd in 20128736221103_6d9b69b2af_medium

Video: Pretty much backs up the stats. When his feet are set he's solid. Whenever he's moving or fading it's real bad. Shoots the fadeaway from the post too often. Sometimes tries to finish too soft but has really nice touch around the rim with both hands.

Passing, Turnover, OReb, FT, and Usage


Video: Not helpful.


Excellent in the PnR (obvious Nash caveat) and is solid finishing around the rim and off cuts. He's not good in the post but it would be difficult to guard him with a SF. He also has a pretty solid spot-up jumper for a big meaning he's proficient in the most important ways given Stot's system and our personnel. He gets in trouble when he tries to do things on the move or whenever he shoots a fadeaway jumper.

Relative to Hickson:

Gortat shoots a little better close to the rim, a little worse farther away. He sets better screens and has the same tendency to dive to the rim. I imagine our offense wouldn't change much both in style and efficiency. We would lose some offensive rebounding but gain the ability to take advantage of teams that try to go small.

Relative to the rest of the centers we could go get:

Horford is far superior and would be pretty close to ideal with Lillard and Aldridge (elite mid-range shooter, solid passer, good in the PnR). Besides that, none of the other options EVER shoot jump shots and Gortat is just as good if not better in the PnR and finishing around the rim. Pek might be better posting up (couldn't find synergy data to test this).

Besides Horford or significant improvement from young centers, Gortat is the best offensive center we could get this off-season.


Pick and Roll
  • 0.96 PPP, ranked 69th
  • Asik: 0.63 PPP
Isolation Defense
  • 0.75 PPP, ranked 127th
Spot-up Shooters
  • 0.80 PPP, ranked 53rd
  • 0.77 PPP, ranked 91st

*all synergy numbers from 2012

Sloan "The Dwight Effect" Paper about Interior Defense


On/Off Numbers
  • Opponent's ORTG is 1.8 lower when Gortat is on the court
  • Asik (-5.8) and Horford (-0.6) also have a positive influence
  • Jordan (+6.4), McGee (+2.1) and Pek (+1.1) make their teams worse
Overall Stats
  • PPP 0.81/0.766 in 2012 (depending on source), ranked 127th, rated as excellent
  • Pek: 0.76 PPP
  • Asik: PPP 0.653, ranked 1st in 2012 off bench
  • Synergy Data indicates McGee was a terrible defender with Wizards

Video: He's really mobile with a surprising ability to stay with guards on drives. Contests well and good at taking charges. Not very athletic to meet shooters in the air.


As everyone knows, defensive stats are problematic to say the least. He's slightly undersized at 6'11" 240 and that seems to be both a positive and negative. He's highly mobile, able to guard the PnR, get to shooters, and defend a high percentage of shots. But he's less effective in the post and doesn't alter shots as much as guys like McGee once he gets there. However, he seems to know where to be and takes a fair amount of charges. He's definitely not an elite defensive center but he's solid.

Relative to Hickson:


Relative to other centers we could get:

So, Asik is a defensive God. Other than that, there's little compelling evidence that any of the other options are significantly better but I couldn't find many synergy numbers for the other centers. Gortat rebounds better and has better on/off numbers. Jordan's PT was taken by Odom down the stretch and the Jordan-Griffin combo has been downright bad on defense. McGee's problems and potential are well established. Pek seems comparable. My perception is that Horford is an excellent defender but it didn't show up in the stats as much.

Whether He'll Return to 2012 Form:

Gortat scored 1.08 PPP (ranked No. 28) in 2011 and 1.047 PPP (ranked No. 37) in 2012. Obviously the Nash effect applies but he maintained this type of production over two years and 2011 was only half with Nash. I wish I could get synergy data for 2013 to test this, but it seems like after Nash left he got used less often and in worse ways. You can see that his usage went down, his turnovers went up and all his shooting percentages went down. If we can get him back to mostly PnRs, cuts, and spot-up jumpers I think he'll return to close to 2012 numbers.

On defense, there's evidence that he regressed in the beginning of 2013 ( but this was only through 10 games so I don't put much stock in it. If someone has full 2013 data that would be great. Other than that, he had a reputation of being a solid defender with Orlando and I can't think of a reason why he would regress given his age.


There's a real tradeoff between offense/defense when deciding between Asik and Gortat. Horford is clearly the best overall player. Besides that, it's tough to justify preferring the other available centers without appealing to potential. And that's regardless of contract considerations.

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