JazzDimes (blog) - DIMES A DOZEN #5 -Gordon Hayward offense analysis (Synergy Sports data)
I thought I could go to Synergy Sports and see how the Jazz remaining players did last year in terms of their offensive game. I wasn't specifically looking at what they did last year overall but how good were they in the settings they will be asked to play THIS year. I will start with Gordon Hayward. Here's my findings:
G's strength last year was his spot up shooting. In fact he produced as well in spot ups last year as he did on transition producing 1.19 ppp in both settings. This year it is to be expected that he will play more pick-and-roll action and as a leader he will most likely be asked to work more on isolation plays especially deep in the shot clock. So how well did he fare in those scenarios? Not well. Gordon shot 33,6% from the field in PnR Ball-handler and from those he shot a 30% clip from 3 pt range. In Isolation he was even worse producing 33,3% from the field and 0 for 7 from 3pt range. Both those scenario represented 227 plays that were identified by Synergy. In those chances he got a "And 1" on 2 occasions. Hayward was responsible for a Turn-Over on 11,7% of the touches tracked by Synergy. In the two settings he's likely to see an increase on touches this year he committed 16,7% TO's on Isos and a staggering 19,4% on PnR ball handler.
What does this all mean?
Well the good news is that Gordon already enjoyed a pretty high usage rate last year. Contrary to what is widely believed Alfense wasn't as Al directed as believed. According to www.basketball-reference.com Al's usage percentage was at 25,7% while Millsap, Kanter, Mo and Hayward were all above 22% in the same rating. The issue here is almost certainly related to FT's that don't compute with fans as possessions as intensely as getting the ball in the left block does. So any decrease that might arise from the changing of G's offensive role might be attenuated by the fact that he isn't going to be asked to do a ton of sets that are new to him. And what I mean by this is that Gordon may be asked to take something like 3 to 5 more shots per game. Even if 2 or 3 of those are in areas where he isn't as comfortable as he was as a spot up shooter, the difference isn't going to be mind blowing.
I expect #20 field-goal percentage to drop next season and this data doesn't contradict that, quite the contrary actually. But by how much the FG% might drop is a question mark. Yet that's not the most interesting question surrounding Utah's pasty swingman, the real question that is jumping around in my mind is: Can Gordon keep his TS% while dropping his FG% by going to the line often and accurately? We will have to wait and see.