Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Marvin Williams: Scoring and Efficiency

click to enlarge graph

Marvin Williams continues to have a disappointing season offensively, both in terms of volume and efficiency but the shape of his production has changed a bit over the past few weeks.

Williams began the year in a terrible shooting slump, both from beyond the three-point line (making just 4 of 17 shots, 23.5%) and inside the arc (26 of 61, 42.6%) through 11 games. Williams was scoring at 72% of the rate (per possession) he averaged in the 2008-09 season and only managing that output thanks to a great performance at the free throw line (88.2 FT%, 38.5 FT Rate).

That was the low point of Williams' season. His scoring rate, though still well below last season's, has risen from 15.9 to 18.6 points per 100 possessions. He has made 14 of his last 29 three-pointers to raise his 3PTFG% to 39.1. His 2PTFG% has improved a touch, up to 44.3% on the season (though it got as high as 48.5% following his excellent back-to-back scoring nights against Houston and @New Orleans).

It's not all good news. As his field goal shooting has improved, Williams has failed to get to the free throw line at anywhere near the rate one would expect of him. He's attempted just 17 free throws over the last 9 games which has dropped his FT Rate* from 38.5 to 23.7 and kept his True Shooting Percentage (TS%) from equaling last season's mark.

I suspect the lesson to draw from this (beyond the sample size caveats) is that Marvin Williams is a young player still finding both his place in the league, in terms of what he can and cannot do against defenses, and his place in his team's offense. Expect variable performances.

*League average FT Rate in 2009-10: 23.1. Marvin Williams' FT Rate, 2008-09: 35.4


Natural Neutral said...


How hard was it for you to not say, "I told you so" about Marvin? However, hasn't Bibby been pretty good from 3-point land this season like he was last tear? I'm sure Mo Evans has had worse numbers so far. Josh Smith is still at 0-for-1 right?

I wonder what Flip vs. Jamal would look like. I recall that Flip improved as the season went on.

Bret LaGree said...

Ben --

It's pretty easy not to say "I told you so" about three-point shooting while the team's on pace to win 10 more games than I predicted. Plus, I'm saving my "I told you so" post for when Josh Smith makes the All-Star team.

The main difference in three-point shooting so far has been Jamal Crawford shooting the 3 like you'd expect Flip Murray to this year whereas last year Murray shot the the 3 like you'd expect Crawford to shoot it.

Bronnt said...

That "I told you so" would assume Bret's ability to be correct from a team assessment without having been right about any of the players involved. Bibby and Marvin have both improved (to date) on their career high 3P%'s from last year, while Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford are shooting career lows.

For all that Marvin spent his offseason working on his handles, I haven't seen him with the ball in his hands enough to know whether he's actually improve that facet of his game.

Bret LaGree said...

Jeez, Bronn, you make it sound like just because a guy gets the particulars wrong and jumps to (what appears to be) and incorrect assumption regarding the result of the prediction that's reason enough not to toot the ol' prognostication horn.