Tag Archives: LaMArcus Aldridge

Point distribution charts of the top 10 scorers

After experimenting with point distribution charts for teams and with J.R. Smith’s shooting explosion, I thought it’d be fun to apply the same ones for the top 10 players in points per game this season.

As usual, these graphs visualize points per game across six different locations on the floor: restricted area, in the paint (non-RA), mid-range, corner three, above the break three, and three throws. This time however, those graphs of the 10 players will also include the exact points per location below them and where that production ranks among the 480 players to log playing time this season. All of that is according to NBA.com.

Also, the axis for the 10 players will vary depending on the player, but at the very end of the post I’ll make a common one to show each of the 10 charts in a single GIF, sorted from the highest scorer to the lowest.

With all that said, here are the point distribution charts of those at or near the top in points per game:

1. Kevin Durant – 32.0 points per game

Kevin  Durant 10 axis

Points per location:

  • Restricted area: 7.71 (14th)
  • Paint (non-RA):  2.65 (21st)
  • Mid-range: 5.66 (8th)
  • Corner 3: 0.43 (209th)
  • Above the Break 3: 6.82 (4th)
  • Free throw: 8.69 (1st)

To get a feel for just how large Kevin Durant’s graph and others on this list really are, we can compare the league’s leading scorer to Kendrick Perkins’ graph because PERK:

durant perk

Click to enlarge.

Perk’s looks minuscule compared to Durant’s, who’s just an offensive shark and in the top 25 in every category except corner threes. It might also be worth noting that just behind Durant in points around the rim per game is none other than Tony Wroten, somehow at 7.62 points per game and good for 17th-best.

As for three-pointers, I’m not sure how common this is and how often it’s been noted before, but Durant shoots better on pull-up attempts (42 percent) than catch and shoot ones (38.7), according to SportVU. Weird, maybe?

Onto number two in points per game:

2. Carmelo Anthony – 27.5 points per game

Carmelo  Anthony 10 axis

Points per location:

  • Restricted area: 5.04 (76th)
  • Paint non-RA:  1.20 (tied-108th)
  • Mid-range:  8.77 (3rd)
  • Corner 3: 0.52 (182nd)
  • Above the Break 3: 6.08 (9th)
  • Free throw: 5.92 (7th)

One of the more unusual charts I’ve looked at, Anthony gets a respectable share of points around the rim but he’s in the middle of the pack when compared with the top 10 in points per game. Ahead of him across the league are the likes of Timofey Mozgod, Alec Burks, and Tobias Harris. Melo also gets very little points from the corner three, but that’s common for high scorers with range.

As for the above the break threes, Anthony’s one of five on this list to crack the top 10 in points from that area of the floor. He also feasts at the line, another common theme with the top scorers.

What makes Anthony’s chart so odd is the mid-range game. This is the first chart where I’ve noticed both a great deal of points in the high-efficiency zones of the floor and the dead zones. Durant’s is like that, but not to the extent of Melo’s.

3. LeBron James – 27.0 points per game

LeBron  James PPL

Points per location:

  • Restricted area: 12.00 (1st)
  • Paint (non-RA): 1.73 (60th)
  • Mid-range: 3.20 (68th)
  • Corner 3: 0.92 (108th)
  • Above the Break 3: 3.52 (57th)
  • Free throw: 5.64 (8th)

Confirmed: LeBron James feasts around the rim. He made me change the range on his chart to a max of 12 points per location, though a couple other players eventually did the same thing so whatever. His graph is a good example of an efficient one, though, and how it should show quite a few points on the left side. In fact, out of the top 10 scorers, James is the second-most Moreyball-like of the top 10 scorers in that 81.75 percent of his points come around the rim, from three, or from the stripe.

You might be able to guess who’s in first place on that list. Third place in that mentioned stat is…

4. Kevin Love – 25.8 points per game

Kevin  Love PPL 10 axis

Points per location:

  • Restricted area: 6.73 (26th)
  • Paint (non-RA): 1.89 (47th)
  • Mid-range:  3.35 (59th)
  • Corner 3: 0.69 (144th)
  • Above the Break 3: 6.61 (6th)
  • Free throw: 6.51 (3rd)

Love’s the first player on this list to not lead or be near the top in averages from one of the first three shot locations. In terms of non-point guards in this list (eight players), he averages the least amount of points from those first few spots but still gets a decent amount from around the rim.

Love’s graph is the prototypical efficient kind anyway, confirming how he scores nearly 80 percent of his points either around the rim, from three, or from the stripe. The king of efficiency among this group goes to the league’s fifth-leading scorer, however:

5. James Harden – 25.3 points per game

James  Harden PPL 10 axis

Points per location:

  • Restricted area: 6.17 (37th)
  • Paint (non-RA): 1.54 (tied-70th)
  • Mid-range: 2.51 (89th)
  • Corner 3: 0.51 (185th)
  • Above the Break 3: 6.77 (5th)
  • Free throw: 7.76 (2nd)

Nearly 85 percent of Harden’s points come from the spots that generate the most points per attempt, though he’s still in the top 100 in each of the least-efficient locations. He’s also the only player besides Durant to be in the top five in points from both above the break threes and free throws per game, though Kevin Love narrowly misses out on joining that club too.

6. Blake Griffin – 24.1 points per game

Blake  Griffin 12 axis

Points per location:

  • Restricted area: 11.46 (2nd)
  • Paint (non-RA): 1.87 (tied-49th)
  • Mid-range: 4.33 (23rd)
  • Corner 3: 0.27 (240th)
  • Above the Break 3: 0.15 (tied-301st)
  • Free throw:  6.00 (6th)

Just how many of Griffin’s points from the non-restricted area part of the paint are from either dunks or near-dunks that turned into double-pump layups? Regardless, we have our first near-triangular chart and the second player to score over 10 points per game from a single shot location. There’s also a smidge of blue crossing over the three-point areas thanks to whatever plays were drawn up to get Griffin a score from there.

7. Stephen Curry – 23.5 points per game

Stephen  Curry 10 axis

Points per location:

  • Restricted area: 3.38 (137th)
  • Paint (non-RA):  1.38 (86th)
  • Mid-range:  5.11 (13th)
  • Corner 3: 1.34 (63rd)
  • Above the Break 3: 8.43 (1st)
  • Free throw: 3.88 (31st)

Arguably the most unusual chart, in my opinion. Curry feasts from outside the paint, one of the stats worth noting being that he averages over one more point per game from the above the break three than third-place Damian LillardRyan Anderson is in second-place at 7.8 but…sigh.

8. LaMarcus Aldridge – 23.3 points per game

LaMarcus  Aldridge 12 axis

Points per location:

  • Restricted area: 5.70 (53rd)
  • Paint (non-RA):  2.15 (36th)
  • Mid-range:  10.96 (1st)
  • Corner 3: 0.00 (Meh, tied for last)
  • Above the Break 3: 0.13 (308th)
  • Free throw: 4.33 (21st)

Maybe worth noting, maybe not: It took until Aldridge to get to a player who hasn’t made a corner three this season.

And that mid-range game. Aldridge looks like the least-efficient of this bunch as over half of his points come from the dead zones of the floor. In fact, while he scores a whole two more points from mid-range than second-place Dirk Nowitki, he averages nearly six more possible points (25.94 total for LMA) from that area than second-place Carmelo Anthony (20.00) in that stat. Unfortunately, he can’t make every one of those attempts and average nearly 40 points per game. Shucks.

9. DeMar DeRozan – 22.7 points per game.

DeMar  DeRozan 10 axis

Points per location:

  • Restricted area: 4.29 (97th)
  • Paint (non-RA):  2.13 (tied-37th)
  • Mid-range:  7.42 (4th)
  • Corner 3: 1.46 (51st)
  • Above the Break 3: 0.91 (233rd)
  • Free throw: 6.50 (4th)

Among this list, DeRozan’s chart is my favorite just from the shape his points form.

But, like Aldridge, it’s a bit of a weird one. DeRozan sits comfortably in fourth place in mid-range points, but he only makes a shade under 40 percent of his attempts. He does score the most points per game from the corner three among this group, however, and gets a decent chunk from the free throw line as well, more than the likes of Melo, LeBron, and Paul George, among others.

10. DeMarcus Cousins – 22.4 points per game

DeMarcus  Cousins 10 axis

Points per location:

  • Restricted area: 9.62 (6th)
  • Paint (non-RA):  2.75 (16th)
  • Mid-range:  4.03 (36th)
  • Corner 3: 0.00 (somewhere in last place)
  • Above the Break 3: 0.00 (take more threes, Boogie!)
  • Free throw: 6.01 (5th)

The most triangular chart of the top 10 scorers, Boogie feasts in the paint, at the line and, um, sometimes from mid-range where me makes 41 percent of his attempts.

That triangle, though. It’s pretty neat, so there’s that.

Lastly, below is a GIF comparing each chart at once. It goes in the order of highest-scoring to the lowest:

Top 10 scorers on Make A Gif

All but Aldridge score at least half their points on locations in the center or left side of the graph. Harden’s chart seems to be the most efficient, though LeBron is just too effective around the rim. Regardless, it’s nice to see a variety of charts, especially the triangles. Don’t forget the triangles.

Any other thoughts are certainly welcome.

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East vs. West Week 20: The West’s chase for two records against the East

The non-conference update follows games pitting the Western Conference’s teams versus the East’s. This season, the West has often held a winning percentage so large it hasn’t been seen in over 50 years.

After going 8-20 in non-conference play from February 24 to March 2, the East bounced back to go 11-10 last week. Toronto moved to over .500 versus the West, joining Brooklyn, Miami, and Indiana in that somewhat special club since none of them are even at 20 wins yet. The conference’s winning percentage from February to now is quite respectable, though, at 46.4 percent. It’s put a dent in the West’s potential for a record-high in winning percentage, set in 2004 at 63.3 percent.

More on that and another potential record in a bit. Below is the updated week-by-week breakdown along with non-conference games left in each week:

For the West to surpass their winning percentage from 2004, they’ll have to finish the rest of the 57 non-conference games 40-17. That’s possible since 34 of them will be hosted by their teams, but it’s still more than a 70 percent win rate to pull off.

So with a record-high winning percentage unlikely to be accomplished, there’s another record worth looking for. All current playoff contenders out West have a shot at winning 20 non-conference games, something never accomplished by either conference. The closest calls came in 2005, when six playoff teams from the West won 20-plus and the other two (Houston and Memphis) won 18, and in 2010 when seven West teams had 19-plus wins while the one other playoff squad (Portland) finished with 17.

Right now, the top eight West teams all have at least 18 wins and no more than nine losses. Below is a table showing their non-conference records, as well as ninth place Phoenix’s:

Oklahoma City and Portland should be fine, even if the latter has been on a brutal downswing with or without LaMarcus Aldridge. The Clippers have to beat one of Milwaukee or Detroit left on their schedule, and all Dallas has to do is beat Boston tonight and they, too, are at the 20-win mark. Boston’s coming off last night’s loss to New Orleans in which Anthony Davis pulled off a 40-20 line, by the way. No big f’in deal or anything.

Golden State should beat Milwaukee and Orlando this week to reach 20 wins as well. The problems come from Memphis and Phoenix, and one of them will be in the playoffs unless Kevin Love goes 1962 Wilt Chamberlain until season’s end.

Memphis finishes their non-conference games April 11 at home against Philadelphia, but they’ll have two games against Miami before that happens and one versus Indiana. Two of those three against the East’s best come in a back-to-back this weekend. Not exactly ideal, though Indiana will be on the tail end of a back-to-back too when they face the Grizz, and their first opponent is Chicago. All of those games on Friday and Saturday have the potential to swing votes for All-NBA and All-Defensive teams, as well as who is Defensive Player of the Year.

In Memphis’ second game against the Heat, Miami will be on the tail end of a back-to-back after playing a Thursday night game versus Brooklyn. All the Grizzlies have to do is win one of those three games and then Philadelphia, but that’s easier said than done.

For Phoenix, they’d have to go 5-1 over their last six non-conference games, which is something they’ll probably have to do anyway if they want to make the playoffs. Goran Dragic is finally reunited with Eric Bledsoe again, but they’ll be finishing a back-to-back at Brooklyn tonight. After that, they’ll finish their East games over the next two weeks starting with Orlando and Detroit but finish with Atlanta, Washington, and New York. Worth mentioning is their sweep of Mount Hibbert and Indiana, by the way.

Every game matters for Memphis and Phoenix, and non-conference matchups have been often regarded as ways for West contenders to build winning streaks. Both teams will have to topple some East squads looking to rise in their own conference’s playoff seeding, however. By next week there should be a clearer picture on whether or not the West’s playoff hopefuls can all accomplish that 20-win feat, as well as if the conference as a whole is within reach of their highest winning percentage ever versus the East.

Change of pace: The league’s fastest and slowest lineups

Once in a while, coaches will give their team an unusual look on the floor for several reasons, one possibly being to either turn the game into a track meet or slow it to a crawl. Either way they likely disrupt the flow of the game, though hopefully to the advantage of a coach looking to change things up in the first place. This post will (hopefully) take a good look, with the help of a couple tables, at which lineups best give teams either another gear or a new set of breaks, for better or for worse.

The minimum minute requirement I made for lineups was 50. I also plucked out lineups with players no longer on the respective teams they were listed with, which impacted the Cavaliers’ units with Andrew Bynum and Chicago’s with Luol Deng, among others. The last filter I made was to adjust to a team’s average pace, otherwise the Philadelphia 76ers would represent half of the 10 fastest lineups. In the end, none of their five-man units of over 50 minutes of run made the cut. It also meant the Jazz and Bulls would make room for some the other slowest groups in the league.

Anyway, that’s about it. Below is the first table with the 10 fastest lineups. The 10 slowest are listed further down. All stats are according to NBA.com:

There’s a nice mix of lineups. Some go small with a big man to work around like Houston with Dwight Howard and Portland with LaMarcus Aldridge, each with four players to spread the floor and some able to slash. For the Blazers, Mo Williams basically replaces Robin Lopez, understandable to see it make the game as fast as possible. Also understandable is that they don’t stop opponents as efficiently as Houston’s unit.

Lineups from Brooklyn and Chicago also made the list, though only the Nets’ unit is faster than Philadelphia’s average pace of 102.68. A healthy Brook Lopez would’ve made for more huge lineups, but unfortunately they didn’t last long after the center broke his right foot. Chicago’s lineup isn’t exactly small, though on paper it feels that way without Joakim Noah. As expected, that lineup drops off without what he provides. Chicago’s overall pace hasn’t changed all that much with D.J. Augustin as the point guard, dropping by about half a possession per game since his arrival. Minnesota’s lineup is also missing their center in Nikola Pekovic. It isn’t exactly a lineup surrounding Kevin Love with four shooters, but one at least made for a track meet. Some of that pace might be helped by the outlet mall that is Love and a guard leaking out early after a missed (or sometimes made) shot.

Some more standard-looking lineups involve Denver’s, the Lakers’, Phoenix’s, San Antonio’s and Oklahoma City’s, though only Denver’s yields a positive net rating. In time, the Spurs’ and Thunder’s lineups should even out. No lineup with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook should be that bad. Same goes for Tim Duncan with Tony Parker, etc.

Now to the 10 slowest lineups, sorted by most snail-like to least:

Not surprisingly is Golden State making the list featuring a lineup without Stephen Curry or any point guard. That unit falls apart offensively but at least holds its own on defense thanks to the duo of Andre Iguodala and Andrew Bogut. Another big lineup, at least up front, is the Pelicans’ with Anthony Davis and Alexis Ajinca.

A similar Suns lineup to the one among the fastest in the league makes the slowest 10, arguably the biggest difference in players being Channing Frye at center to further stretch the floor instead of a Plumdog. The change on both sides of the court has been remarkable not just in pace but production as Phoenix has scored 30 more points per 100 possessions while allowing nearly 17 more.

A smallball variation that goes slow can be found in Atlanta with Elton Brand manning the middle. It’s hard to imagine any Hawks lineup without Paul Millsap, Al Horford, and Kyle Korver being even average on offense, though they’ve held their own on that side of the floor. Defensively, that Hawks unit understandably hasn’t fared well, but neither have five other ones listed. Detroit’s lineup featuring their big three with Chauncey Billups and Brandon Jennings in the backcourt is the most egregious mess, though the Wizards without John Wall and the Lakers without any resistance allow over 115 points per 100 possessions. So many flames yet so little water.

Utah’s lineup looks like one used in the last minutes of a blowout. That’s all I take away from theirs.

Overall, a bunch of the sample sizes from these fast or slow lineups are quite small when looking at minutes played. Quite a few have appeared in over 20 games, however, so it should be all right to take away some things from those tables. The easiest one for me is that it takes as simple as one substitution to alter a team’s normal pace, like how Portland’s fastest lineup involves Mo Williams substituting for Robin Lopez, or even Steven Adams for Kendrick Perkins when looking at Oklahoma City. I’d also lean towards familiarity as more of a factor in some teams struggling or thriving.

Over the next month, we’re bound to have a new lineup or two making the top 10 in one of the categories, most likely from a struggling team fiddling with players they’re curious about keeping long-term. Maybe we’ll also see the same ones with either vast improvements or drop-offs in production while others might be stored away for the rest of the season. Most teams find a middle ground with their starting lineups anyway, somewhere between 95 and 98 possessions per game, but it helps to have a lineup or two to change the flow or a starting lineup that can dictate the pace. If there could only be one lineup to change gears, though, would a much slower or faster one be more desirable for a team with a league-average pace? I guess that could make for a decent discussion with answers being player-dependent.

Any other thoughts are certainly welcome.

As a reminder, all stats are from NBA.com.

Shot locations and shooting efficiency in graphs

LeagueAvg

The percentage of a team’s points, sorted by location.

Sometimes I get bored and look for unusual topics to post about, which eventually leads to spending too much time on something like making graphs revolving around scoring and defense.

The graphs I made are pretty basic, I suppose. I might have fun with more over the weekend but I’ll just show what I fooled around with already. Basically, there are four different graphs for every team: team point distribution across six locations, team effective field goal percentage in five of those spots, and the same two for a team’s defense. All of the stats I used were from NBA.com.

The point distribution graphs show what percentage of a team’s points come from the restricted area, paint not in the restricted area, mid-range, the corner three, above the break three, and free throws. I experimented with field goal attempts per spot, but the graphs compared to point distribution looked about the same.

Below is a GIF of all 30 teams, sorted in alphabetical order. (The picture above the first paragraph was the league average for point distribution.)

Team points on Make A Gif

I can certainly post individual team graphs at another time, but I chose not to here for the sake of the amount of space it would take up.

That doesn’t mean we can’t compare some, though.

Portland and Houston are quite a contrast in styles, given one’s love for the mid-range jumper (and for a very legitimate reason) while the other neglects that part of the floor.

They both value the three equally, however:

Portland-Hou on Make A Gif

Philadelphia is somewhat similar to Houston except they rarely score from the corner three and their mid-range game is more prevalent. Also, they might have the right idea on offense but as we’ve seen recently they don’t score all that well and they struggle to defend. More on that in a bit. For now: POOR THADDEUS YOUNG.

Among other similarities are Atlanta, Brooklyn, Golden State, the Lakers, and Toronto all looking alike too.

Starting from the restricted area and going clockwise, the leader in points distributed to each category are: the Detroit Pistons (41.72%), Memphis (14.21%), Boston (22.62%), New York (21.41%), Miami (10.68%), and Houston (20.47%).

Below are graphs for where a team allows points:

Defense Distribute on Make A Gif

Among other teams, Indiana’s offense and defense are quite similar, for better or for worse.

The leaders in each category, starting at the restricted area and going clockwise are the Lakers (36.65%), Golden State (12.14%), Indiana (23.19%), Oklahoma City (18.98%), Miami (8.39%), and Phoenix (19.95%).

Effective field goal percentage from those areas of the floor — minus the free throw line — were another batch of charts I made for each team for the heck of it. You can really see where some offenses are great and others struggle from, though it won’t paint the clearest picture. The same goes for defense.

Below is offensive EFG%:

Team EFG% on Make A Gif

Miami’s efficiency is pretty freaky, especially when compared to Philadelphia’s. It helps when LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh can score at the rim far above the average accuracy all while having shooters playing alongside them.

For Philadelphia, it doesn’t help when they’re a strong candidate to “Bobcat” and very few of their players can stretch the floor consistently, and Michael Carter-Williams isn’t one of them. Like mentioned earlier, the 76ers have a good idea on where to score on offense while playing at a frantic pace, but they don’t score anywhere near enough and their defense has fallen off a cliff.

Below is their contrast in their own EFG% and their opponents’:

philly on Make A Gif

Possibly noticeable in the GIF of offensive EFG% is Chicago, who also struggles mightily on offense but their defense holds its own.

Miami’s another interesting case. They can light teams up from the corners but that’s also a place opponents have shot well from.

Below is a GIF of the 30 teams and their defensive EFG% at certain spots on the floor:

Def EFG on Make A Gif

I also made GIFs of teams sorted by their offensive and defensive ratings, but overall there wasn’t a clear difference in those highly efficient in one area of the floor and those who struggle. Portland, for example, scores a bunch from mid-range with the help of LaMarcus Aldridge, but they’re also a top-5 team in offensive efficiency. On defense, the percentage they allow at the rim is quite good but they allow a ton of attempts from that area of the floor. Defense is weird.

In the future, I might fool around a little further with these kind of graphs for both teams and players. The ones listed here are pretty basic and obviously won’t paint a clear picture on offense and especially defense, but hopefully they were fun to look at and compare team by team. As (sort of) mentioned earlier, a page with every team’s graphs wouldn’t take long at all, though I chose not to include them here because of the amount of space it would take up when combined with GIFs.

Any thoughts, even if the graphs weren’t all that cool to look at, or requests on these are certainly welcome. Feel free to chime in.

How Kendrick Perkins’ offense can be salvaged

It’s long been an adventure watching Kendrick Perkins with a basketball in his hands. There have been passes to both empty spaces and opposing players, post ups that went nowhere and mid-range jumpers that barely grazed the rim.

Despite those moments, Scott Brooks still likes to involve his starting center in the offense because of all the other good things he does. After all, it’s damaging to have a player on the court who never shoots the ball, and Perkins is already in the bottom-10 in the NBA in field goals attempted per-36-minutes (Steven Adams also, to be fair). Arguably the easiest and most valuable solution would be to not start him. A second, similar solution would be to play him the least possible minutes he’s content with. Both seem to have little to no chance of happening outside of a Finals matchup with Miami, so another alternative is to make halfway-decent lemonade with $9 million worth of lemons.

Just where Perkins is best with the ball, though, is tough to answer. He’s usually not quick enough to contribute to fast breaks and has trouble finishing around the rim in general, second-worst among big men with 50 or more attempts within the restricted area. The extra half-second he takes to bend his knees before elevating impacts him the most around that part of the floor, allowing quick-recovering defenders to turn open layups into heavily contested ones. That’s a problem nobody else in the Thunder’s otherwise freakishly athletic rotation seems to have.

Another option is post ups, one of the most frequent looks for Perkins even though they’re a shaky choice at best. He’ll often take a second too long to measure up his defender, overthinking the process of scoring. Perk can physically impose his will to a decent spot, one that allows him to use a jump hook that sometimes doesn’t look half-bad but other times appears clunky, but when matched with a player that gives up little ground he’ll attempt a turnaround fadeaway that doesn’t exactly mimic LaMarcus Aldridges. Movement from every other Thunder player often comes to a screeching halt.

Then there’s Perkins’ jump shot, one that gets little to no respect for good reason but I can’t blame him for hoisting one anyway. It’s often an attempt to penalize his defenders for choosing to disrupt off-ball movement, but some jumpers come in the flow of the game like as the beneficiary of a drive-and-kick. Percentage-wise, Perkins’ shot hasn’t been bad over the last two seasons, shooting 39.8 percent. The sample size is small, though, as he’s only averaged less than one mid-range jumper per game, and I’m not sure there’s ever been a ~40 percent shooter from that area who has air balled or barely grazed rim on so many shots as he has:

So what scoring options are left if Perkins has a tough time near the rim, in the post, and from 15 feet?

Believe it or not, he’s shown off a floater. It doesn’t exactly mimic Shawn Marion’s, but the floater from the 280-pound center has been an effective way (he’s 10-for-15, according to video from NBA.com) to capitalize on attention Durant draws from multiple defenders. Surely he’d benefit off Russell Westbrook too if he were healthy.

Below are a few examples in slideshow format.

The floater solves a ton of Perkins’ problems. He takes those shots just outside the restricted area where he struggles mightily, and the extra time he needs to bend his knees and elevate doesn’t pose as much of a problem when he’s catching passes mid-stride. Perk will stop and ready to shoot just outside of a help defender’s reach, though it’s fine if he causes them to contest his shot. Serge Ibaka, the Thunder player whose defender is most likely to rotate, often waits for the offensive rebound.

The floater also keeps Perkins free from thinking. It’s similar to what Seth Partnow at Where Offense Happens wrote about Harrison Barnes a few weeks ago, for example. Keep it simple, and Perk does when he goes with the floater. It means he doesn’t pump fake or back his defender down with a series of dribbles, but takes that silky, silky, silky smooth shot before the defense adjusts towards the paint. Like mentioned before, the quick floater by Perkins also gives Ibaka a greater chance at an offensive rebound since there’s one less opponent in the paint.

There’s also the realization from the opposition that Perkins is scoring on them. Back in the lockout-shortened 2012 season there was the game between the Timberwolves and Clippers where Kevin Love sank a game-winning three, but before that shot was a series of events that included Darko Milicic banking a floater off the dribble. Hubie Brown called it “demoralizing” for the Clippers. I’d like to it’s the same for anybody beat by the Thunder not because of Durant or Ibaka, but Kendrick Perkins.

The sample size is small for that shot, but going 10-for-15 is a nice start. Factored in with the rest of Perkins’ shots from five to nine feet out, he’s one of the best shooters in the league from that area. It won’t turn the world upside down if Oklahoma City gets him more of those looks than post ups (unless you’re netw3rk), but even if the floaters balance out to roughly 50 percent they’re still a two dropping at a similar rate as open mid-range jumpers from Ibaka. It’s also a nice alternative in the playoffs when pace slows down and every scoring option counts.

Going forward, whether that unusual shot from Perkins is enough to deflect attention from his flaws is hard to tell. If Scott Brooks continues to designs scoring options of Perkins, hopefully he helps the center become less of a comedic adventure with the basketball in his hands and more of a finisher.

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