Giles Should Be Behind Len In Kings Rotation

(Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

Video & Statistical Study

There are only 12 players categorized as centers by that have allowed opponents to shoot a higher percentage at the rim with them defending that their average. Harry Giles is one of the twelve and also the third-worst big in this slant as the competition’s percentage raises 8.7 percent when covered by Giles.

There are points where Giles is simply delayed getting in to position:

And there are separate flashes when it seems that he has become so afriad of fouling that he is hesitant to attempt to contest. Giles fouls on 7 percent of his possessions, which is poor enough to be in the 7th percentile of bigs, per Cleaning the Glass.

Comparatively, we all know the influence that Richaun Holmes has had at the rim, but Alex Len has even topped that in the infancy of his Sacramento career. To return to the aforementioned opponent field goal percentage from close range, here are the numbers for all three of the potential centers on the roster.

Center-Rotation-Sheets /

Alex Len’s numbers are slightly kinder to him with regard to the right graph due to the small sample in a Sacramento jersey, but even his yearly numbers place him as the best player of those listed.

While I mentioned Giles allowing the third-highest opponent field-goal percentage of centers defending within 6 feet, Alex Len ranks as the seventh-best this season in that identical statistic. He concedes a lower percentage than players including but not limited to Kristaps Porzingis, Jarrett Allen, Mitchell Robinson, and Hassan Whiteside.

There is no flash to Len’s game, and he has yet to even attempt a three during his Sacramento stint. But the fundamentals are on full display, and he is effective in using his legitimate seven-foot frame.

Of course, I am not here to declare that Len a defensive player of the year candidate or without his imperfections on that end. A component of being such a big body is that he is not an individual that probably has ever been defined as light on his feet. If he is forced to defend a high pick-and-roll he can find himself getting blown past in a blink, just as Kyle Lowry does below.

Now, I understand that there are two sides of the ball and Giles’ talent really comes on the offensive end where he is exponentially more talented there than Len. Yet, Harry would need to be carrying the offense in order to justify his playing time considering his defensive deficiencies. There are moments that Giles has been able to do this. and he legitimately has won Sacramento some games with his fire and passing from the high block. The problem is his inconsistency and he has a tendency to be too sporadic.

While the Kings have an exceptional 54.6 effective field goal percentage with Giles at the five, it does not do enough to make up for the allowed 59.1 eFG% during those same minutes.

Plus, the offensive initiation can come from other places on the roster such as De’Aaron Fox, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Buddy Hield, or even Harrison Barnes and Kent Bazemore. The anchor down low on the other end is more crucial to this roster, especially when you consider lineups that may feature two of the leagues’ worst defenders Bjelica and Hield. Playing two of them are bad enough, no need to add a third to the lineup.

Alex Len sets harder screens and has a 7.5 percent higher offensive rebounding rate than Giles per Cleaning the Glass. He may not be a positive offensively, but the slight negative is compensated for with Len’s stellar defensive efforts.

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For now, Harry Giles should be the third center in the rotation, with Richaun Holmes as the starter and Alex Len playing his way into a majority of the backup five roles.

This is not to say that Giles should never see the floor, but Walton should keep Giles on a short leash and only deploy him in favor of Len when the offense hits a wall or the opposing driving is non-threatening.