So you've heard a lot of Dion Waiters comparisons, either by the gushing of announcers or via the re-tweet fest that occurs 23 of the day's 24 hours. Two of the most common comparisons, and sometimes seemingly ridiculous, are Dwayne Wade and Lebron James. Personally, let's throw Lebron out the window because, well, there isn't really anyone else like him.
But what about D-Wade? The two are essentially the same size. In college Wade was listed as 6'4 and 210 (he has since gained 10 lbs). Dion is listed at 6'4 and 215. OK, so they are the same size, they are both strong physically and play with great energy. But what about their stats?
Sidenote: It's great when Syracuse is doing so well that statistics crunching is a priority in a fan's mind.
Following are Dion's current statistics through 18 games of his sophomore year, and Dwayne Wade's sophomore season (33 games) - thanks to the amazing site statsheet.com
Just a warning, this is going to be a LONG fanpost. I was bored at work and find this really interesting, definitely enough to carry me to 4 p.m. Only the brave should continue.
Anyways, the stats are very interesting. I remember D-Wade at Marquette being more of a physical player in terms of crashing the glass and playing back to the basket on offense. The stats seem to back this up. Instead of writing in paragraph form, I'm going to list my observations. I'd love to hear your comments to see if they are comparable or if this is a ridiculous exercise.
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- First off, before we get into the stat sheet, Wade led Marquette to the Final Four and dropped a triple-double in the Elite Eight against Kentucky. You're next, Dion.
- Dion has played just above half of the season (Syracuse has 13 games left +postseason so hopefully it is less than half), so it's fair to roughly multiply his stats by 2. Additionally, Dion averages 10 minutes less per game. He also is not the focal point of Syracuse's offense as much as Wade was. But let's get into it.
- Clearly Wade has an advantage in scoring, although, if you extend their stats to per 40, Dion isn't too far off.
- Interestingly, Dion holds a higher offensive rating, likely because of his better assist:turnover ratio.
- Dion, as shown by the graph below, has also made a vast improvement since his first year in terms of career offensive rating. I wonder if this has to do with D-Wade's offensive workload and responsibility. Although Dion is a pretty huge portion of the Cuse offense, I'm not sure it's the same. (Dion is orange, btw)
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-As stated before, it seemed like Wade played more inside. It's true. He attempted 501 2pt fgs, and only attempted 44 three pointers. In comparison, Dion is on pace to shoot in the mid 300s of 2 point fgs, and has already attempted 47 threes. I still think their games are pretty similar, but in terms of their games' shot selection, Dion has a higher ratio of deep outside shooting. He is also a little more efficient (still not great overall) from that range. This tells me both like to drive and get in close to the hoop. Wade probably did this a little more, or was better at drawing contact, as he is going to outshoot Dion from the charity stripe.
- I like stats, but I'm not exactly sure how to get True Shooting %. I do see that Dion is a little better. So take that D-wade.
- Wade, despite his similar size, is a bit more physical than Waiters in terms of rebounding. In fact, he had 60 offensive rebounds his sophomore campaign, accounting for almost two per game. Dion averages one every three games. Wade was also stronger on the defensive glass as well. Hard to fully gauge this as the defensive assignments are completely different.
- Assists are comparable, but as stated before, Dion has a much better assist to turnover ratio.
- Dion has a slight advantage (so far) in steals. Both have a pension for thefts, so I think we can say it's just a strength for both players.
- Wade has a huge advantage in blocks. Again, I think it's a bit different based on defensive schemes. Usually at the top of the zone, the design is to get the guards steals, not blocks. Yet Dion, and Darius Johnson Odom, would beg to differ. I think Dion would definitely get more blocks in man-to-man, although I'm not sure he's as quick a riser on defense as Wade.
- Lastly, the stats didn't come up for Wade here, but it is awesome seeing Dion ranked 21st in plus minus. Awesome.
I think that it's really difficult to compare an eight year NBA vet to a current college player. There is so much time for so much to happen to differentiate the two. Remember, a few months back, people were thinking Dion might be leaving Syracuse. Who knows what that would have done to his game? This is why I've tried my best to focus on observations from Wade's Marquette days, and why I've compared their sophomore year stats.
But, when perusing the statistics, and using game observations, the two are pretty similar indeed. They are built extremely similar. They play the game with a lot of tenacity on both ends of the court, shown by high steal percentages and solid offensive numbers. Both seemingly get to the rim at ease, and finish well as evidenced by their high fg percentages for guards without a proficiency from the outside (3 pt range). I do think Wade is a more explosive finisher at the rim, although if you give Dion a running start, he can throw down just as hard. There are some differences, as there will be with any players, but in my mind enough statistical similarities to confirm many people's hunches that the two play pretty comparably.
Of course a lot can happen to change that. But what do you all think?