I checked a few young players for their regular season performance vs playoff teams relative to vs. lottery teams. For this quick broad-brush look I used the NBA efficiency data at hoopsstats.com.
Wiggins- Improved moderately from yr 1 to yr 2 against playoff teams to roughly equal his performance against lottery teams, while performance against lottery teams stayed about the same as yr 1. In yr 3 he slipped slightly against playoff teams but improved nicely against lottery teams. What comes next?
Towns slightly better against lottery teams in yr 1, slightly better against playoff teams in yr 2. Nice improvements on both.
D Russell, slightly better against lottery teams in yr 1, slightly better against playoff teams in yr 2. Modest gains compared to previous yr for each.
Zingis, similar splits in yr 1, tiny gain against playoff level teams in yr 2, modest gain against lottery teams.
Otto Porter, about the same splits in yr 1, modest improvement against lottery teams, more against playoff level teams.
These splits could be random. There is no immediate split pattern, just general improvement, with a few exceptions. Of course 5 isn't enough. Might do more later. Might help to do older players with more yrs of data. Jump in if you want.
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