Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Josh Smith, Jump Shooter? A Graphical Look


The third bi-weekly update of Josh Smith's improvement as a jump shooter, this one coming after two consecutive hot shooting performances which leave him close to setting a career high in scoring rate and on pace for a career-best TS%, both despite a career-low FT Rate.

The graph below demonstrates both how much more often Smith is making jump shots in general and how much of the value of that better shooting is wrapped up in Smith making 46.9% of his three-point attempts rather than in making 42.4% of his long two-point jumpers.

click to enlarge

The green line shows Smith's eFG% on all shot attempts outside of sixteen feet over the past four seasons. The red line shows Smith's eFG% on long (16-23 feet) two-point jumpers over the past four seasons. As you can see there was little difference in his results over that time.

The yellow and blue lines represent Smith's game-by-game season averages.

The blue line shows that Smith has been shooting below 40% on his long (16-23 feet) two-point jumpers much of this season, before spiking over the last two games, when he's made 9 of 12 shots from that range.

The yellow line shows Smith's eFG% on all shot attempts outside of sixteen feet this season. Here, the value of the third point is clear. Smith is roughly as effective a jump shooter at 23 feet as he is at 20 feet so it wouldn't be a bad idea, if he's going to shoot this volume of jump shots, for his three-point attempts to increase, for him to take a step back on those 20- or 21-foot two-point jumpers and receive a greater reward for the risk of the jumper.

The 16- or 17-foot jumper has some value, regardless of whether or not it goes in, in setting up Smith's pump fake and should never disappear completely from Smith's game.


Now, the rest of the charts that have appeared in the previous installments of this series...

Josh Smith3PTA/FGA
2005-0911.2%
2009-100.7%
2010-1110.8%

Smith's hot start (15-32) from beyond the arc has lifted his career 3PTFG% to 27.8%.

Smith is making a significantly higher percentage of his long two-point jump shots so far this season.

Josh SmitheFG% (16-23')
2006-0732.7
2007-0830.9
2008-0933.7
2009-1028.7
2010-1142.4

He's both taking and making a greater percentage of his long jump shots so far this season.

Josh Smith%FGA (16+')eFG% (16+')
2006-0740.334.5
2007-0830.432.9
2008-0930.837.4
2009-1024.727.9
2010-1139.453.7

Unsurprisingly, Smith has continued to be devastatingly effective at the rim even the percentage of his shot attempts taken there have declined though some of that may be due to a data collection change at Hoopdata. Last season, 32.5% of shots in the NBA were categorized as at the rim. This season, 27.1% of shots in the NBA have been so categorized.

Josh Smith%FGA (at rim)eFG% (at rim)
2006-074363.5
2007-0842.966.3
2008-094369
2009-1054.365.6
2010-113267.4

1 comment:

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