"Sims absolutely killed us today with his non existant defense"
"IT'S TIME TO GIVE JERELLE A FEW MINUTES, WE CAN'T BE LOSING ANYTHING MORE THAN WHEN HENRY IS OUT THERE"
"Negatives: 1) Henry."
"Sims was absolutely godawful in the second half. I've never seen anyone play so badly that they were solely responsible for a 10 point swing, but that was basically what you saw when St. John's took the lead by 1 - and the sad thing is we're only talking about a 2 minute stretch."
Confirmation bias is one of the key reasons why I always make sure to check the statistics. No matter how self-aware, every person has a tendency to to remember data that supports their preconceptions and ignore anything that that contradicts them.
This post could have been written about Chris Wright, but its about Henry Sims, who is the current Hoyatalk whipping boy.
Sims has had more than his share of struggles, but his detractors no longer see Henry in an unbiased light. His performance in the St. John's game is a perfect example.
Of particular focus to his detractors was this sequence:
That's not a good sequence. Positioning the three as a defensive breakdown is somewhat up for debate, but I'll give it to the detractors. The Hoyas' seven point lead shrunk to one.10:19 Justin Brownlee drives past Henry Sims for a dunk 10:06 Henry Sims turns it over 9:55 Justin Brownlee (Sims' man) makes a three 9:42 Henry Sims turns it over
Still, that's not a ten point swing. There WAS a ten point swing in there, but it included a Chris Wright turnover, an offensive rebound given up, two forced threes by Jason Clark and two crazy-I-can't believe-that-went in threes that occurred when Henry wasn't in the game.
So this sequence, while bad, wasn't nearly as bad as folks would have you think.
Second, the turnover-fueled loss of a lead is hardly a Henry Sims-only phenomenon. While this is not exactly a dynamic defense of Henry Sims, it is an interesting data point in the area of preconceived notions altering reality.
For example, this was Greg Monroe's offensive sequence at then end of the first half when the lead suddenly went from ten to two:
Five of six offensive possessions ended at Monroe -- and he failed to convert any one of those-- but this sequence was not mentioned after the game. Yes, Monroe is a much, much better player. But this sequence was just as damaging as Sims'.4:12 Monroe Missed 3pter 3:12 Monroe Turnover 2:50 Monroe Offensive Foul 2:00 Monroe Missed Jumper 1:29 Monroe Missed Layup
Finally, and most importantly, why ignore the good in Sims' game?
From the HD box score:
- Henry was +11. The team was better with him on the floor in this game. It doesn't mean Henry is the driving reason, or even playing well, but it does mean the team wasn't losing ground overall, even despite the four play breakdown.
- Henry assisted on 2 of 13 made buckets in his time on the floor -- a 15% Assist Rate -- and saved a would-be Hollis turnover and dished it to Monroe for some free throws. There's no assist there, but it was a nice play on both counts.
- He stopped a three on one playing excellent position defense.
- He grabbed two of 11 possible defensive rebounds. Not superman on the boards, but not awful. He didn't grab any offensive boards, but there were only three Hoya misses while he was on the floor.