Another Player Comparison: Lou Williams vs. Aaron Brooks

Last weekend I unleashed the wildly popular Monta Ellis-Louis Williams comparison. Today, I will attempt to debunk another myth -- that Aaron Brooks is head-and-shoulders above Lou Williams as a basketball player -- with a second player comparison. 

The consensus among NBA fans, analysts, and even Sixers fans is that Aaron Brooks is significantly better than Lou Williams. Last season Brooks built upon his breakout playoff performance against the Lakers by averaging nearly 20 points per game. Brooks ended up winning the NBA's Most Improved Player award and also garnered a little All-Star hype before the break. 

Meanwhile, Lou Williams had a breakout year of his own, yet went unnoticed by many, and rightfully so. The Sixers organization was nothing short of a complete train wreck last season, and let's be real, no one cares about some combo-guard's breakout season on a 27-win team. The only reason I care is because I'm a Sixers fan on a quest to earn Lou Williams a little respect -- not necessarily national respect, just respect amongst Sixers fans. 

Follow the jump for the Aaron Brooks-Louis Williams comparison.

Tale of the Tape

Lou Williams

Height: 6'2''
Weight: 175
Age: 23
Draft Class: 2005
10-11 Salary: $5 million

Aaron Brooks

Height: 6'0''
Weight: 161
Age: 25
Draft Class: 2007
10-11 Salary: $2 million

Career comparison

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Lou and Aaron's career advanced stats are fairly similar, but Lou holds a slight advantage in nearly every category. Aaron's only significant advantage is eFG%, shooting 49.7% for his career, while Lou's career average is 46.9%.  

The conventional stats are nearly identical for the two players' careers. Aaron has shot much better percentages from three and the free throw line. Brooks has also taken nearly double the threes Lou has, and two less free throws per 36.

Per 36
Lou: 17.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.5 steals, 2.4 turnovers and .429/.323/.785 shooting percentages.
Brooks: 18 points, 2.8 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 0.8 steals, 2.6 turnovers and .421/.380/.840 shooting percentages.

Career-year/09-10 comparison

Link
(Click image to enlarge)
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Lou and Aaron both had their career years last season, and much like their career comparison of advanced statistics, Brooks and Williams' numbers last season were similar. However; Lou's advantage in most categories improved from 'slight' to 'significant'. Higher PER (18.2 to 16.0) and shooting percentages (.576/.521 to .549/.511), much better rebounding percentages (1.5/10.1/5.8 to 2.0/6.6/4.2), and many more Win Shares per 48 (0.130 to 0.091). 

In the conventional stats department Brooks had the advantage in points, assists, and threes.

Per 36
Lou: 16.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, 5 assists, 1.5 steals, 2 turnovers and .470/.340/.824 shooting percentages.
Brooks: 19.8 points, 2.7 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 0.9 steals, 2.9 turnovers and .432/.398/.822 shooting percentages.

*Bonus 
Last season's Basketball Prospectus-only numbers (my favorite).

Lou: 4.9 WARP, 10.5 WP3K, 1.015 dMULT and 106.1 DRtg 
Brooks: 4.3 WARP, 10.8 WP3K, 1.049 dMULT and 107.6 DRtg 

*Double Bonus

48% of Lou Williams assists led to baskets at the rim.
43% of Aaron Brooks assists led to baskets at the rim.

Conclusion

Whether or not Brooks is better than Williams or Williams better than Brooks is a moot point, but based on the stats laid before you it's pretty darn close, despite Brooks receiving all the love (except from Kelly Dwyer who has Lou three spots higher than Brooks on his list of top point guards). Point is, Lou is better than people give him credit for, and I will continue to attempt to prove that for as long as I have to.

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