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Week 3 Analytics Report: Ghost Ballers

Bayesian Baller gets in-depth on the playing style of one two remaining undefeated teams: the Ghost Ballers. Can the Hogs hand them their first loss?
Week 3 Analytics Report: Ghost Ballers
Written by
Bayesian Baller
Published on
July 7, 2023

Mike Taylor

One of the longest tenured (and highest scoring) players in the BIG3. Entering his 4th season as a member of the Ghost Ballers. Shifty, high-usage guard with a shoot-first mentality who’s recorded 4x as many shots as assists during his 16-year pro career. Very solid finisher around the basket. Career 53% shooter from 2PT range on 7.6 2PA per game in his BIG3 career. Respectable 3PT shooter. Shot 36% 3PT on nearly 1.3k 3PA in his pro career. Shoots just 32% 3PT in his BIG3 career, but was 3-for-4 from beyond the arc for a game-high 19 pts against the Ball Hogs last summer. Averages 4.4 3PA per game in the BIG3. Can be very turnover prone. Racked up more turnovers than assists during his pro career. Loves to throw risky lob passes and post-entries with lots of loft. He doesn’t pass with a ton of conviction and really trusts his bigs to go get the pass. Historically very good at drawing fouls. Career 33% FT attempt rate, meaning 1 out of every 3 field goal attempts gets him to the FT line. Excels at moving without the ball. He’s constantly on-the-go and you can’t take your eyes off him. For someone his size, he sets a lot of screens and is an impressive rebounder. Defensively, he’s a pest. Defends with good energy and moves his feet really well. But at just 6’2”, he’s a mismatch waiting to happen. Our bigs should punish him in the pick-and-roll.

Jonathon Simmons

Major contributor during the San Antonio Spurs’ run to the Western Conference Finals in 2017. Started 50+ games for the Orlando Magic as recent as the 2018 and 2019 NBA seasons. At just 33 years old, I’m honestly a bit surprised he’s no longer in the League. Simmons is an extremely versatile, highly athletic wing who played with tremendous energy and somewhat of a reckless abandonment during his NBA career. Scores in a variety of ways. Very strong ball-handler capable of breaking defenders down off-the- dribble. Drives left around 60% of the time. Very effective at operating in the pick- and-roll as the primary ball-handler. We can’t afford to go under screens against him because he will take-and-make threes! He’s shot 2-for-3 and 2-for-4 from 3PT range so far during Weeks 1 and 2. Very slow, methodical release on his jumper so if we get up into him and take away his space we can disrupt his rhythm. He’s playing a much larger role for the Ghost Ballers than he did for the 3-Headed Monsters last summer. Averaging 16.0 PTS 8.0 REB 3.5 AST per game this season (and already matched his assist total from last summer). Accepting of contact and won’t shy away from taking tough, midrange jumpers. Doesn’t put the same level of effort or energy into defense as he once did. The best way to describe Simmons is that he’s a “jack-of-all-trades”.

Chris Johnson

Former G League Defensive Player of the Year and 3-year starter for the Ghost Ballers. 2nd leading shot blocker all-time in LSU history (trailing only Shaquille O’Neal). Widely considered the best shot blocker in the BIG3. Led the league with 1.4 BLK per game in 2021, but brings so much more to the table. Impressive jump shooter, as evidenced by his blistering 86% FT on 4.4 FTA per game over his past 2 professional seasons. He gets to the charity stripe at an INSANE rate! During his 15-year pro career, amassed a FTA rate of more than 38%, meaning he gets to the line nearly 4 times for every 10 field goals he attempts. Since joining the BIG3 in 2021, he leads the league in made three throws with 31 FTM in 17 career games. Went 3-for-3 FT against the Ball Hogs last season. Johnson has really expanded his game and adapted to the times. Career 39% 3PT shooter on 3.2 3PA per game during his BIG3 career, where 33% of his shot attempts have came from beyond the arc. Terrific rebounder. Led Ghost Ballers with 6.6 REB per game in each of the past two seasons. Nearly one-third of his career rebounds have come on the offensive end. Major lob threat in the pick-and-roll with Mike Taylor. Capable of putting the ball on the deck. His first dribble is almost always to the right. His modern, stretch big skills remind me of (a more athletic) Brook Lopez.

Darnell Jackson

3rd overall pick in the 2022 BIG3 Draft. Starting center on the Kansas Jayhawks’ 2008 National Championship team. Had a cup of coffee in the NBA before heading overseas where he played for 9 seasons. Jackson’s calling card is on the glass, particularly on the offensive end. Averaged 9.2 REB and 3.3 ORB per 36 minutes during his 12-year professional career. Pulled down as many as 11.8 REB and 4.6 ORB per game in some seasons. Recorded a game-high 10 boards (including 5 offensive) in the Ghost Ballers’ Week 1 victory vs. 3’s Company. Very good at getting to the free throw line. Overseas career FTA rate of 49.6%. Meaning he got to the FT line on every other shot attempt. Does the majority of his damage from inside the arc (80% of his career shots come from 2PT range). But if left unguarded, he’s not afraid to take-and-make the outside shot. Over his past 5 pro seasons, actually took 1.4 3PA per game and knocked them down at an impressive 38% clip. Jackson is a big man with wide shoulders and he sets bruising screens. He’ll never have a play drawn up for him, but he does the dirty work. He has relatively nimble footwork side-to-side, though vertically barely gets off the ground anymore and relies on his positioning when crashing the glass. So, when Mike Taylor throws a lob pass up for grabs in Jackson’s direction, it should be turnover city.

Charles Garcia

Former G League All-Star and Champion playing in his first season in the BIG3. Super athletic, jumbo wing who possesses incredible length and plays with a great motor. So far this season, Garcia has provided consistent production off-the-bench for Ghost Baller. He recorded 9 PTS and 6 REB in Week 1, 8 PTS and 4 REB in Week 2. He scores almost exclusively from within the arc, as 93% of his shot attempts have come from 2PT range during his pro career. He really battles in the post and aims to establish deep positioning. When he gets the ball down low, he likes to methodically back down defenders and has a nice little over the shoulder hook shot. He plays a fair amount on the perimeter, but isn’t much of an outside threat. We should be able to sag off of him and his defender can cheat into the paint. On the defensive end, he’s super engaged and plays with a ton of energy. He contests everything and is incredibly versatile. He will pick up guards beyond the perimeter and then bang with the bigs in the paint all in the same possession. His length and footwork gave Michael Beasley fits (7-for-24 FG) back during Week 1. He honestly might be the best defender in the BIG3 that nobody knows about. One interesting thing about Garcia is that (despite his size) he plays somewhat below the rim on both offense and defense. But other than that, I’m a fan.