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What does the doppelgänger machine have to say about Jerome Robinson?

Washington Wizards v Boston Celtics
Wizards guard Jerome Robinson.
Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images

Jerome Robinson’s trip through the statistical doppelgänger machine starts with a question: Which version of Robinson goes through the machine? There were at least a couple versions last season: the awful 0 PPA (yes, zero) from the Los Angeles Clippers and the better-but-still-terrible 46 PPA with the Wizards.

Reminder: in PPA, replacement level is 45. Average is 100.

I considered counting Robinson’s bubble “break out” as a third version of Robinson, but a) it was 231 total minutes, and b) it wasn’t a break out. His bubble PPA was 55. His offensive rating was seven points below league average. His three-point shooting was awesome for the first game and then straight back to poor. His defense, which had been a relative strength, was bad. That’s not a break out performance.

Interestingly, Robinson’s form in Washington is distinctly different than it was in Los Angeles. The numbers are fairly similar across several categories, but with the Wizards he shot a lot more often and was more efficient overall. He was still well below average in shooting and offensive efficiency in DC, but it was better than when he was with the Clippers.

In the doppelgänger machine, 100 is an exact match and scores closer to 100 are more similar. Comparing Robinson with the Wizards to Robinson with the Clippers scored a 70. So, the machine is saying Robinson was not like himself. Or something.

Here are Robinson’s comps using only the 503 minutes he played with the Wizards this season:

  1. Daniel “Boobie” Gibson, 2008-09, Cleveland Cavaliers, age 22 — Gibson played 1,795 regular season minutes off the bench for the Lebron James-led Cavaliers. They went 66-16 that season before losing in the conference finals to Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic. Gibson wasn’t much help — his PPA was 52 that year. His career peak was 80 the previous season.
  2. DerMarr Johnson, 2001-02, Atlanta Hawks, 21 — Johnson was a SF who peaked with a 103 PPA a few years later after recovering from a harrowing car accident that nearly killed him and left him with four cracked neck vertebrae.
  3. Nik Stauskas, 2015-16, Philadelphia 76ers, 22 — Stauskas got four seasons with three different teams. His career high PPA was 50.
  4. Austin Rivers, 2015-16, Los Angeles Clippers, 23 — I know some would be encouraged by this because they think Rivers is good. They’re mistaken. To his credit, Rivers worked hard on his game and his body. He’s still not much good.
  5. Brandon Rush, 2008-09, Indiana Pacers, 23 — Rush was an old replacement level rookie who improved a bit before making The Leap in year four to a 106 PPA. Then he got hurt a lot and his PPA in subsequent years was 5, 2 and -27.
  6. Omri Casspi, 2010-11, Sacramento Kings, 22 — Casspi has yet to have a 100+ PPA season but he was always just good enough to get another contract. Usually for losing teams.
  7. C.J. Miles, 2009-10, Utah Jazz, 22 — Good person who stuck around the league despite not being much good as a player. He did manage a 117 PPA at age 26.
  8. Kyle Korver, 2008-09, Utah Jazz, 27 — Korver had a weird career. He stunk as a rookie (that’s normal) and improved to a 110 PPA in year two (also normal). Then he got worse and stayed meh for another six seasons. And then, starting at age 30, he posted these PPAs: 100, 129, 132, 154. At that point, he entered the age-related decline portion of his career. This age 27 season was the worst Korver had since his rookie year. Big difference between Korver and Robinson though: Korver entered the NBA a terrific shooter. I took him a while to figure out the rest of the game, and for coaches to figure out how to use him.
  9. Wesley Johnson, 2010-11, Minnesota Timberwolves, 23 — Another crummy wing who stuck around for eight seasons when it should have been three or four. Reminds me of the time Dean Oliver told me how a crappy wing had a 13-year NBA career primarily because of his good manners. No, I will not name the crappy wing.
  10. Dillon Brooks, 2017-18, Memphis Grizzlies, 22 — The Grizzlies really like Brooks, which continues to puzzle me. Maybe next year he’ll get his PPA out of the 50s.

All these guys rated as close comps to what Robinson did for the Wizards this season. Gibson scored a 94. Virtually all of them are variations on the same theme: subpar wings who got more time in the league than they probably should have.

Just for kicks, I ran Robinson’s full season through the doppelgänger machine. Like his Wizards numbers, the system cranked out a lot of close matches. Here are the top 10:

  1. Tony Snell, age 22
  2. Nik Stauskas, 21
  3. Paul Zipser, 23
  4. Sasha Pavlovic, 22
  5. Perry Jones, 23
  6. Pavlovic (again), 25
  7. Xavier Munford, 23
  8. Jae Crowder, 22
  9. JaKarr Sampson, 21
  10. Troy Williams, 22

The top comp for his full season from Wizards/Bullets history was a 24-year old Steve Blake. Blake left for Portland after the comp season and had a 119 PPA season, which would be the second best mark of his 12-year career. Blake had four 100+ PPA seasons.

Looking only at his time with the Wizards, the top Wizards/Bullets comp from history was...ahem...Jarvis Hayes.