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Christian Wood: From undrafted to an advanced stats darling

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Christian Wood

From being a part of one of the saddest Draft day pictures to Detroit Pistons‘ savior in Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin’s absence.  Christian Wood truly emerged as the breakout player before COVID-19 put an end to the ’19-’20 NBA season. After going undrafted in 2015 he spent 4 years mostly in the G-league developing on and off the court while being traded from one team to another.

Christian Wood exploded with the Detroit Pistons this season, especially in the 13-game stretch after Andre Drummond’s departure. He is a versatile big man who can play two positions and establish himself as a devastating roll man. Given his physical stature, he is assumed to be a paint scorer by the general public but his true shooting percentage is off the charts. However, Christian Wood is not a great defender but his defense is an overall positive for the team.

It’s one thing to shoot from the perimeter for a big man and another to have TS% as Christian Wood does. He is a lot more than just a run and dunk player. Has a soft touch, can make a floater when he has to. He was a game-changer for Detroit Pistons.

Also Read: “My confidence ain’t great”-Damian Lillard believes the NBA bubble can be popped

 

Christian Wood

Get used to Christian Wood’s name: his jaw-dropping advanced stats

Christian Wood was an overqualified backup to Andre Drummond. During the 13-game stretch, he averaged 22.8 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2 assist at 66% True Shooting and 40 3P%. In contrast, an argument can be made that these are empty stats as they went 12L-1W in that stretch. But were those stats meaningless?

There’s evidence that these aren’t just empty numbers. For one thing, Christian Wood ranks top-20 to 30 in most box and non-box metrics. For another, the Detroit Pistons are a whopping +10.9 points better with wood on the court. Their defensive rating improves by +3 and their offensive rating gets a ridiculous +8 boost.

Wood is a highly capable offensive rebounder, adept at following up on both teammate misses and his own. He opens up driving lanes for teammates with his remarkable shooter however limited.

Christian Wood

Although Wood is positive on defensive end, he is quite tricky to evaluate. He is yet to learn how to use his 7’3 wingspan to his advantage defensively. While he is at best average on defense he is a subpar passer. His assists to turnover ratio is negative. His shooting will likely regress in the future when teams are aware of the kind of threat Christian Wood is.

He is also a subpar playmaker. He can make basic reads out of double teams but has yet to truly weaponize his own scoring threat to get teammates open shots on a consistent basis. Christian Wood doesn’t demand touches and is highly efficient in his  role, something that will let his scale well on good offenses

Wood certainly showed flashes of greatness but the sample size s small to judge his future. He is average on defense with versatile productive offense highly underrated by the general public. He is a player to look for this offseason as he becomes an unrestrictive free agent.

Also Read: “Lethal with the ball, lethal without the ball”- How Stephen Curry made it easier for Kevin Durant