I'm not trying to make the direct comparison with Tyrus Thomas. That's been used to more or less slur Tyrus since before he was even drafted.
But that fact is worth thinking about. Nobody likes Stromile Swift. I went and looked at the guy's numbers and was shocked at just how good they actually looked. So I'm not starting this as an opportunity to slag on Tyrus, but as an opportunity to understand him by understanding, through Swift, why it is that stats might not capture the whole story.
The knock on Thomas is that even when he's been productive, he's not been on the court much. He's got good measurable productivity, we say, so it's dumb to not have him on the court. What are these coaches thinking?
OK, well if that's true of Thomas, it's also true of Swift, isn't it? Look at Swift's numbers. I don't consider PER the end-all and be-all, but jeez, just look at them.
I mean, even without being huge into PER, you look at that and see unmistakable progress through his first four seasons. Even in his fifth season, a 16.7 PER isn't anything to sneeze at.
But look at his minutes and they've completely flat lined throughout his career. Kind of funny, huh? Why is this. What's so bad about Stromile that's not being captured in PER or the other stats? Is he just a hidden gem that's never been given a chance?