In defense of Kwame Brown, sort of.

Best game of Kwame's season. - Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

I want to get this out up front: I hate Kwame. You hate Kwame. We all hate Kwame. We know his staggering limitations offensively. He can't catch. He can't jump. He can't pass. He's basically unwatchable. He's boring on the team plane.

But how horrendous has he really been?

To really analyze that, we have to consider why he's here, exactly. I'm pretty sure when he was signed Bynum wasn't even a gleam in Doug Collins's eye. The only "legitimate" center on the roster was Spencer Hawes. Lavoy Allen is a PF miscast as a C, and Thad Young at that point was a SF miscast as a PF, sort of. There was a need for some beef in the middle.

Well, Kwame is beefy, alright. He's a big body that clogs the lane and he tries. He also does things that no one else on the roster does, like box out and set screens. He is here to be exactly what he is, the Yin to Spencer Hawes's horrible, horrible Yang. The original plan was to unleash them on the NBA together, the Tin Towers frontcourt. Fortunately, Thad has been a bit of a revelation this year, so not so much Towerage has happened. But taken in a vacuum, he really *is* a perfect compliment for Hawes.

Kwame is a player who completely fails the "eye test." He barely looks like he's moving out there. And he doesn't really get enough burn to put up serious counting stats. But he does do some good things, sometimes.


From watching the games and looking at the counting stats, Kwame appears to be a crappy rebounder. 3.5 boards per doesn't get it done for your "starting" center. But he only plays 13 minutes a game. His Defensive Rebound Percentage is 20.6%. This is better than anyone else on the Sixers' roster (Hawes: 19.6, Turner: 19.5, Thad: 16.8). To give some perspective from around the league, his DRB is equal to LeBron James, better than LB favorites Derrick Favors (20.4), DeAndre Jordan (20.0), Jo Noah (19.6), and Serge Ibaka (19.1). His Per36 DRB is 6.3, which is the same as DeAndre Jordan and better than LaMarcus Aldridge, Chris Bosh (both with 5.8) and Roy Hibbert (5.7), and best on the team (Turner: 6.0, Hawes 6.0). Likewise, in terms of Total Rebound Percentage, he leads the team with an admittedly pretty mediocre 14.9% (he's not the best offensive rebounder). (Hawes: 14.7, Lavoy: 12.9, Thad: 11.3, Turner: 10.5). Around the league, he's ahead of such lights as Kevin Garnett (14.5), Josh Smith (13.9), Chris Bosh (13.4), and Kendrick Perkins (13.4).

Two takeaways from this: 1) Kwame is a pretty decent rebounder, and 2) Evan Turner desperately needs to start crashing the offensive glass.


He's not amazing, but he's not terrible. He has a dRtg of 104 (same as Thad, Paul Millsap, and Kendrick Perkins, which kind of surprised me, given Perkins's reputation as a defender), which is tied for best on the team and better than LB darlings Marcin Gortat and Ed Davis (105 each). His defensive win shares aren't that great (0.3), but that is a function of his playing less than any other big on the roster. He's played 28.4% of the minutes Lavoy has (DWS: 0.7), and 29.3% of the minutes of Hawes (0.9). doesn't have DWS/48, but basic algebra indicates that he's better defensively than either of the other two. (In Lavoy's minutes, he projects algebraically to 1.05 DWS, and in Spence's, 1.03).


Yeah, he's terrible on offense. I'm not even going to go through the exercise of proving that. But most of us, me included, have spent the whole season savaging the guy, and he's definitely had his share of "What the hell is this guy doing on an NBA court?" moments, but for $3M per (yeah, I know we're stuck with him for another year) he is really kinda doing what it is he was brought here to do, at least decently, and he's certainly better than any other big we have at what he does, for the moment.

Miss ya, Drew-drew. U Already Kno.

(All stats from

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