On Offensive Choices and the Bucks

Mar 16, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Milwaukee Bucks center Drew Gooden (0) is defended by Golden State Warriors power forward David Lee (10) during the second quarter at Oracle Arena. Milwaukee defeated Golden State 120-98. Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE

To put together his amazing offensive distribution graphs for the blog Hickory High, Ian Levy manually assembled a massive amount of offensive possession data from the Synergy Sports website.  Levy undertook this task for all 30 NBA teams for the 2011-12 season, and he also put out this data in table form.

What lies below is a list of every offensive shot type, per player, that the Bucks used for a minimum of 100 possessions.  The columns refer to the type of shot, the number of times that variety of shot was taken, the number of points per possession scored for such shots, and the NBA average point per possession for that type of shot.  The final column lists each players relative standing among NBA players who attempted 100 more of the selected shot type.

For example, it comes as no surprise that Mike Dunleavy made terrific use of his spot up opportunities in 2011-12.  Of the 177 NBA players who attempted 100 or more spot-up jumpers, Dunleavy had the third-best points per possession at 1.29.  (Only the Knicks’ Steve Novak (1.51) and the Bulls’ Kyle Korver (1.34) performed better.)  Not a one-trick pony, Dunleavy was second in the NBA coming off screens, too.

Player Shot No. of Occurences Points per Poss. NBA Avg. PPP Rank
Ersan Ilyasova Cut 110 1.32 1.18 12th of 50
Mike Dunleavy Spot Up 158 1.29 0.94 3rd of 177
Ersan Ilyasova Spot Up 153 1.13 0.94 19th of 177
Carlos Delfino Spot Up 185 1.04 0.94 56th of 177
Mike Dunleavy Off Screen 155 1.04 0.87 2nd of 26
Brandon Jennings Spot Up 237 1.01 0.94 71st of 177
Drew Gooden PnR Screener 216 1.01 0.97 17th of 40
Drew Gooden Spot Up 186 0.90 0.94 124th of 177
Ersan Ilyasova PnR Screener 162 0.88 0.97 32nd of 40
Brandon Jennings PnR Ball Handler 374 0.85 0.78 30th of 86
Monta Ellis PnR Ball Handler 153 0.78 0.78 56th of 86
Brandon Jennings Isolation 179 0.78 0.78 45th of 68
Drew Gooden Post Up 113 0.57 0.82 60th of 63

Ersan Ilyasova finished the season above-average on spot ups and cuts, but below average as a pick-and-roll screener.  Drew Gooden picked up the Bucks in this department.  All season long, Gooden nailed 20-footers off the “pop” in the pick-and-pop offense.

Brandon Jennings came in slightly above average on spot ups and as a pick-and-roll ballhandler.  In isolation, he scored exactly at the average of 0.78 points per possession.

The one obvious problem spot is in the low post, and that problem is twofold.  First, the only player with over 100 attempts in the low post was Drew Gooden.  Second, Gooden was pretty awful with his back to the basket, averaging a paltry 0.57 points per possession.

You can argue that in the Bucks’ motion offense, the lack of a low-post presence doesn’t constitute a real problem, but are there not some times when an interior scorer would reap benefits?  It would help with drawing other teams into foul trouble for sure.  And if the threat was actually potent enough to draw a double-team, the Bucks — as shown above — clearly have the outside shooting to punish opponents.

Topics: Brandon Jennings, Drew Gooden, Ersan Ilyasova, Mike Dunleavy, Milwaukee Bucks, Monta Ellis

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