Saturday, January 07, 2012

Reality Check

It really is pretty simple for Josh Smith:

OppFGA at rimFGA 15'+PtsTS%
@CHA1232359.5%
MIA771740.6%
@CHI581548.0%
@MIA57934.9%
@HOU271238.7%
NJ35939.8%
WASH561553.3%
@NJ24531.7%

On the season, Josh Smith is making 65.9% of his shots at the rim and 25.5% of his shots outside of 15 feet. He's attempted six more of the latter.

Al Horford has received a lot of criticism in the comments here. Fairly, in terms of his usage and scoring rate being down from last season:

HorfordPts/36Usg%
2010-1115.719.7
2011-1213.416.9

Unfairly, if you ask me, due to how he has, when he's touched the ball, addressed the valid criticisms of his offensive game from last season, specifically his reliance on the face-up jumper and an inability to get to the foul line:

Horford%FGA at rim%FGA 15'+FT RateTS%
2010-1126.1%40.9%16.358.7%
2011-1242.1%27.6%27.658.0%

Despite making just 72.4% of his free throws and 30% of his long, two-point jumpers so far this season, Horford's commitment to getting to the line has kept his efficiency constant. If those two rates return to normal, Horford's scoring rate will rise even if his usage rate fails to.

Jeff Teague has had consecutive dreadful defensive games but, despite going 4-22 from the floor, I'm not concerned with his offense. Teague earned 16 assists against 5 turnovers in the overtime games against Miami and Charlotte. Furthermore, 12 of Teague's 22 field goal attempts came at the rim. He won't continue to make just 25% of those opportunities.

Let's also keep in mind that Teague was in no way groomed to become an NBA starter during his first two seasons in the league. There will be some growing pains and inconsistency. Even with a couple of poor performances in a row, Teague's averaging 30% more assists per minute than Mike Bibby did last season and Bibby only had 32 attempts at the rim in 56 games with the Hawks.

Willie Green has had consecutive strong offensive performances off the bench, scoring 20 points on 9 shots. Now for the Willie Green-ness. That raises Green's TS% for the season to just 48.3%, he didn't grab a single rebounds and earned just one assist in nearly 32 minutes of playing time in those games. Enjoy the good performances from him, but don't count on them.

5 comments:

Bronn said...

The thing that bugs me about Horford is I don't want to end up saying, "He's just one post move away from becoming a superstar," for the next five years, like I've spent the last five saying, "Josh could be All-Pro if he accepted his own strengths and limitations."

Jeffrey Thompson said...

So true and if you take another look at Horford, he seems to be taking more shots from the perimeter too.

Bret LaGree said...

Alternately, if you take even one look at the post, you'll see that, however it seems, Horford is, in fact, taking far fewer shots from the perimeter.

Larry Stewart said...

I think Bronn addresses my point a tad - I know that's your boy, Bret. My point is - he's not impacting the game. His impact to me is like talking about Marvin doing so well this year - it's all relative to what we've come to expect from him. So, in Al's case - it's all relative to what we expect from centers. It's not because he's impacting the game in terms of - hey, I'm taking this over. I criticize Joe for the same thing - you can end up with 20 pts and like 5-6 rebs and get 4 assists, but if your team isn't really counting on you to take over some part of the game - it's not really a super impactful game. So, if you're saying that you think the ceiling for Al is 15 and 8 or so every game and that's his excellence, then I understand your man love. Otherwise, I'm saying - Al should be better than that esp. with who he plays in the paint. He should be dominating the nets interior. THAT's what makes me say he's not that important to the hawks. Getting Josh to focus, Joe to dominate, or Jeff to grow into a PG and leader is far more important to the Hawks than getting Al's offense untracked or give him more touches. I don't think he can do more than he's doing right now. This team can't rely on Al to be the anchor. I don't think his talent would take that very far. So, that doesn't diminish his value to me, but just says to me that his PER and efficiency may blind you to the eye test. The eye test says - Al is good, but will never be great.

John Burke said...

The most disappointing thing that I saw in those numbers is that Josh attempted more perimeter shots in games against the elite teams, which is the opposite of what he should be doing.