Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Marvin Williams: Scoring and Efficiency
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