Stats to Ponder on a Monday: Shooting Accuracy, Turnover Fail, the New Sheed
Posted by Zach Lowe on Mar 15, 2010
Some interesting stats that caught my eye in recent days, none of which is really worth of a post on its own but all of which are interesting:
• Let’s start with a good one: Rajon Rondo gets a lot of publicity for going back-and-forth with Steve Nash for the league lead in field-goal percentage among guards. And that’s great. But we’re overlooking another Celtic in this discussion. Via the Elias Sports Bureau’s pre-game notes for yesterday’s game against the Cavs:
· Ray Allen’s .550 two-point field-goal percentage is the highest for any NBA guard this season (minimum: 175 two-point FGs) and Rajon Rondo’s .544 shooting percentage from two-point range is third-highest. Sandwiched between the Boston’s backcourt tandem is Steve Nash (.547).
I did not know that. So of course the first thing I did was check Hoopdata.com to see specifically which shots Ray is shooting better this season.
And that yields a few interesting things:
• Ray hasn’t changed his shot selection patterns in any extreme way. His three-point attempts are down from 6.2 per game last season to 4.9 this season, but his overall shot attempts are down from 13.2 in ’09 to 12.4 this year. So he’s still taking close to same percentage of his shots from deep.
• In terms of volume, the only other major increase comes in shots from between the rim and 10-feet from the hoop. Ray is attempting 1.1 shots from this range per game, up from 0.6 last season, and he’s dropping half of them.
• The big change in accuracy, though, has come in the floater area—10 to 15 feet from the rim. Ray is hitting 58 percent from this range, up from 47 percent last season and 31 percent in ’08. That’s a big jump. But he’s actually attempting fewer shots from this range (0.9 shots per game) than he did in either of his prior seasons in Boston (1.2 last season, 1.0 the season before). Again, though: his overall shot attempts are down, so the proportion of shots Ray takes from this range is about the same as in those two seasons.
Either way: Nice work from Jesus Shuttlesworth
Also via Elias:
· The Celtics have committed 10 or more turnovers in each of their last 35 games (ed. note: now 36), the longest current streak by any NBA team. Boston has had only one game this season with fewer than 10 turnovers (nine in a 106-80 win at Chicago on Dec. 12).
Sad face. A clarification: Several commentators noted that the C’s committed just 9 turnovers last Wednesday against Memphis—an absurdly low number for Boston—and somehow got smushed anyway. This appears to be wrong, at least according to Elias and ESPN’s box score, which both list Boston with 10 turnovers. (The Yahoo! box score still has Boston with 9 turnovers).
One thing I’ve learned writing about the NBA every day: Turnovers are tricky and box scores are not immediately accurate. Yahoo! and ESPN will often have different turnover numbers both during and shortly after a game, but they usually line up by the next day. Some box scores don’t factor in team turnovers (such as shot clock violations) quickly, and some sites (like Basketball Reference) don’t include team TOs in box scores at all.
Entering Sunday’s game against Cleveland, Rasheed Wallace had attempted a total of 9 three-pointers in his last six games. This is a revolution on par with the Bolshevik uprising of 1917. We sort of joked about Sheed’s newfound restraint early last week, but I didn’t expect it to last beyond the three-game stretch we highlighted.
But it has.
To put this six-game stretch into perspective, the lowest number of three-pointers Sheed had attempted in any prior six-game stretch this season was 14 (in the six-game stretch between Jan. 31 and Feb. 10).
More perspective: Sheed attempted 40 three-pointers in the first six games of the season. Forty. 4-0.
Even the longer-term trend is pointing downward in terms of threes:
Sheed’s first 32 games: 154 three-point attempts (4.8 per game)
Sheed’s last 31 games: 103 three-point attempts (3.4 per game)
This can’t be a coincidence. The coaching staff obviously said something to Sheed around the New Year, and he’s adjusted his shot selection significantly. The lower number of attempts (3.4) are still probably too many given his dismal percentage, but this is progress.
Progress amid a disastrous season for Sheed. But still progress, I guess.