“Trash rules everything around me / TREAM, always sunny / Squalor, squalor fringe, y’all.” – The anthem of this year’s “T.R.E.A.M. Team” AKA the The Frank Reynolds Trashman Team.
Money pervades basketball, from the blacktops to the hardwood. And fairly or not, it’s associated with getting buckets rather than the dirty work that wins games. Scoring drives paychecks. When someone makes a bucket, choruses from the bleachers shout “Money!” and “Cash!” Making good passes are only referred to “droppin’ dimes” when such passes lead to made baskets. Here on the T.R.E.A.M. Team, however, we glorify the garbage. When someone sets a pick, we yell “Trash!” and when someone gets a steal we yell “Robbin’ dimes!” We’re about glorifying the garbage and worshipping the waste. And in that spirit, we name this year’s Frank Reynolds Trashman Team.
Qualifying rules: A Frank Reynolds Trashman can average no more than 17.0 points per 100 possessions. In addition, to filter out the trashmen who don’t really pick up mush trash, we’ve instituted minimums of 700 minutes, .030 WS/48, -2.0 BPM, and -1.0 RPM. Beyond that, the selections are stats-informed but subjective. The overarching goal is to compose the best team possible while also honoring the best individual trashmen.
Point Guard: Ricky Rubio
Backup: Patrick Beverely
This past offseason must have featured a new point guard trash training regimen. Last year only three point guards qualified, but this year we are back up to nine. I’ve always thought being short aided sneakiness, and that sneakiness aided trashman skills, so I’m happy to see more point guards in the mix.
The crop was led by Rubio, who put up a career year across the board, explaining why he leads this years T.R.E.A.M Team in RPM. Choosing Rubio’s backup is a difficult choice between Beverley, Livingston, and Rondo, but I lean toward Beverley for a number of reasons: he’s among the best shooters of the bunch, he’s second in RPM and BPM, and he’s up there in WS. Plus, he best embodies the trashman spirit, from his hair to his ruthless I don’t-give-a-fuck attitude that led him to demoralize this teenager in 1 vs. 1 pickup.
Wings: Danny Green, Andre Iguodala
Backups: Kyle Anderson, Tony Allen
Danny Green makes this team purely by virtue of underperforming; he bricked his way onto the squad by making the current scoring threshold for the T.R.E.A.M team for the first time in his 7 season career. There’s something especially grimy about that. Still, he does all the right things, otherwise, allowing him to secure a starting position. Iguodala, on the other hand, has been a faithful member of the #trashsquad since joining the Warriors (he was MVP for the 2013-14 season).
Kyle Anderson joins the team this year–his herky-jerky game and jack-of-all-trades skillset is a great fit (he was 1st in rebounds, 3rd in assists, and 1st in WS/48 among qualified wings). Tony Allen edges out Korver and Sefolosha because he’s a quintessential trashman. The Grit ‘n Grind era in Memphis seems to be dying, so I feel compelled to honor the trashmen that define the grindhouse while I can.
Big Men: Andrew Bogut, Amir Johnson
Backups: Rudy Gobert, Ed Davis
The big men are always the most difficult to pick because their inherent trashiness gives us a long list to choose from. Still, the Aussie big man stood out as a leader in many of the above stats; it doesn’t hurt that he also embodies the trashman spirit from his play to his looks. Amir Johnson is a natural PF who stood out among a host of good Celtic big men. As with other players, it doesn’t hurt that his look on the C’s includes unruly facial hair and a freaky grin.
The next two were super difficult choices. Gobert was a necessary selection as a one-of-a-kind rim protector. Plus, his freakish body augments the team’s fringe-factor. Ed Davis gets love for being one of the driving forces behind Portland’s surprising success–it’s not wonder he ranks 1st among all trashmen in WS/48 and PER. Plus, like Johnson, his hairstyle is increasingly disheveled.
Head Coach: Frank Reynolds aka The Trashman
Big man coaches: Dennis Rodman, Ben Wallace
Swingman coach: Bruce Bowen, Shane Battier
Point guard coach: Mark Jackson, Jason Kidd
T.R.E.A.M. team God: Old Dirty Bastard
A couple thoughts before I go to the dump for my weekly workout (trash hills make for great cardio and scrap metal is the new kettle bell).
- As was already noted, the point guard crop tripled this year. I can’t even manufacture a theory–perhaps as the elite PGs have increasingly took over, the other PGs needed to focus their efforts on defense to stop them?–but it’s cool to see the little guys back in the business of dirty work.
- This year’s crop of wings was a crowded but uninspiring bunch. Danny Green’s starting spot is borderline inappropriate, Korver regressed from last year, and Tony Allen is declining. Kyle Anderson was a nice surprise, but hopefully in years to come guys like Justice Winslow and Josh Richardson will increase production while keeping their scoring totals down.
- It deserves mention that not long ago, Draymond Green and Kawhi Leonard were Frank Reynolds Trashmen Team members. Both are now among the top 7 players in the league (the others? LBJ, Steph, KD, Russ, and CP3). In some ways, they deserve to be here–I might consider changing the algorithm next year. For now, we can appreciate them in all their glory as graduates of the squad whose trashtastic basketball ways are now being appreciated by the masses.
Who do you think is the best trashman in the NBA? Who would make Frank Reynolds proud? Comment on the article or e-mail us at AGRbasketball (at) gmail (dot) com. Don’t forget to follow @AGRbasketball on Twitter and like us on Facebook.