Over the next week plus Pelican Debrief will be rolling out season reviews of all the players that at one point or another in the 2013-2014 season could be classified as rotation players. So far we have taken a look at Luke Babbitt, Darius Miller, Jeff Withey, Jason Smith and Alexis Ajinca. Today it is time for a player who actually isn’t with the team anymore, Greg Stiemsma.
Stats: 55 games played (20 starts), 18.3 mpg, 2.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 0.7 apg, 1.0 bpg, 0.6 spg
Highlight: January 3rd marked the first of four games all season that Stiemsma would hit double digits in points with 12, and be the only one of the four that the Pelicans pulled out a victory in. He also added three rebounds and a block in 19 minutes as the Pelicans beat his former team 95-92.
The good: 57.4 effective field goal percentage. There really isn’t a ton of good in Stiemsma’s season. He was massive negative for the Pelican’s team offense (they were 10.7 points per 100 possessions better with him off the floor) and he didn’t impact the defense enough to make up for it. But he led the Pelican’s in eFG%, so I guess that is something.
The bad: There is a lot to choose from here but I will take those -10.7 points per 100 possessions. Despite having such a high eFG Stiemsma was a hamper to the Pelican’s offense due in large part to a turnover rate that tripled his usage rate (24.4 TO% vs. 8.1 USG%). He was just terrible at helping the Pelicans keep possession of the ball.
The Ugly: The 24.4 Turnover rate. Stiemsma, a guy asked to not really do much besides catch and shoot or catch and finish, turned the ball over almost 25 times per 100 possessions. That is just unfathomably bad for someone who rarely even got the ball.
The 2013-2014 New Orleans Pelicans were a mess. Thanks to injuries the team never really put things together as everyone had hoped and expected when naming them a team to watch during the preseason. Those injuries led to a lot of things, most notably weird, weird lineup combinations. It also led to a lot of minutes for Greg Stiemsma and things turned out really, really badly because of that. For reasons that have a lot to do with gaining a contract that can be used as a trade chip and a lot to do with Stiemsma being a terrible basketball player that all finally ended with two games left in the season when the Pelicans released him and signed Melvin Ely.
Offensively Stiemsma was an absolute mess turning the ball over almost 25 times per 100 possessions. Part of the problem was offensive fouls as he averaged six fouls per 36 minutes. Of the 34 turnovers that 82games.com tracked from Stiemsma this season 19 were offensive fouls, nine were categorized as bad passes, 15 were called ball handling turnovers and one in the other category, showing that he was in fact an equal opportunity turnover machine. When Stiemsma didn’t turn the ball over he did a good job of finishing the shots he was able to take, as evidenced by his team leading 57.4 eFG. The problem was the turnovers combined with how much he killed spacing made life for the Pelicans offense miserable when Stiemsma was on the floor which finished the year 10.7 points per 100 possessions worse when he was on the floor compared to when he sat. No player felt the difference more than Anthony Davis who saw his field goal percentage drop from 54 percent when Stiemsma was on the bench to 46.6 percent when the two shared the floor.
The offensive ineptitude would be a bit easier to bear if Stiemsma made some kind of positive impact on the Pelicans’ defense but unfortunately that wasn’t really the case. Despite a decent 4.7 block rate the Pelicans were just 1.5 points per 100 possessions better with Stiemsma on the court, nowhere near good enough to be playable with how much he hurt the offense. Stiemsma didn’t really make an impact on the glass either as the Pelicans actually rebounded 0.7 percent better with him on the bench according to 82games.com.
After the season of poor contributions New Orleans finally parted ways with Stiemsma with just two games to go in the season. While it looked strange at the time it seems the plan is to use the unguaranteed year of the contract that Melvin Ely signed as a way to potentially make salary work in a trade. Time will tell if this season was in fact the end of Stiemsma’s NBA career but it is safe to say that the time won’t be remembered fondly in New Orleans. At least it is finally done.