Perhaps some of you have seen this TrueHoop blog post over at ESPN, but I hadn't until today, and I found it to be quite interesting. The post comments on some analysis done by Matt Goldman at hooptheory.com about shot selection and how it should be altered as the shot clock ticks down. The premise of the analysis, which should be obvious to any basketball fan, is that players should shoot more as the clock winds down, because the value of holding onto ball goes down and time ticks away.
For details on methodology and whatnot, click on the links, but let's talk about the results for a minute. Surprisingly, the results of the analysis state that the vast majority of star players, even those often considered to be ballhogs (guys like Kobe, Vince Carter and Joe Johnson) , are "undershooters". That is, more often than not, they aren't as aggressive with the ball as they should be. Click on the links for details, but I found this to be a very interesting counter to the popular opinion of most analytical basketball fans, which is that scoring efficiency is of vital importance and guys who shoot a lot at mediocre efficiency like Kobe, Melo and our own Derrick Rose are overrated by the general public. A couple highlights from the Truehoop post:
Within the stipulated time frame, the top seven "undershooters" were Chris Paul, Brandon Roy, LeBron James, Al Jefferson, Joe Johnson, Amare Stoudemire and Vince Carter. Pretty surprising, right? All seven of these guys are known for their relatively high-usage offensive game (although Carter isn't anymore, for a variety of reasons), and yet they're considered the biggest undershooters according to Goldman's data.
The top seven overshooters? Russell Westbrook leads the way, followed by Tyrus Thomas, Lamar Odom, Monta Ellis, Larry Hughes, Drew Gooden, and Tracy McGrady. This list is less surprising -- all seven of these guys are known for shooting more than they should, although Westbrook has turned a corner this year.
There's a comprehensive list over at hooptheory, if you want to check it out. But if you're just interested in where the Bulls stand, I'll just tell you. For whatever reason, the only Bulls mentioned in the list were Rose, Boozer, Brewer, Korver, and Deng, and all five of them are classified as undershooters. Boozer, Korver, and Deng are only marginally undershooting, which implies that, for the most part, those 3 have excellent shot selection. Brewer and Rose, on the other hand, need to shoot earlier and more often, or so the numbers say.
Have at it, folks.