Creating all the offensive distribution graphs for my Offensive Geometry post yesterday involved hours of tedious, manual scanning of possessions statistics from mySynergySports. The upside is that I ended up with a wealth of data on individual offensive outcomes (player/possession type) organized in a spreadsheets. These numbers are all available from mySynergySports, but not in a sortable format that lets you compare or rank players by possession type, frequency of possession or possession efficiency. If you ever wanted to find the top five players in scoring efficiency in isolations it involved lots of guesswork and an equal amount of searching. Luckily for you, I’ve now done most of that guesswork and searching.
I’ve taken all the outcomes I grabbed for my radar graphs and put them together into one table. Because I only grabbed data that fit the parameters of my offensive distribution project, this only includes offensive outcomes that occurred at least 100 times this season. I was also focused on intentional half-court decisions so there is no data for offensive rebounds or transition possessions. In looking at this data it also helps to keep in mind the league averages for each possession type:
- Cut – 1.18 PPP
- PnR Screener – 0.97 PPP
- Spot Up – 0.94 PPP
- Off Screen – 0.87 PPP
- Hand Off – 0.87 PPP
- Post Up – 0.82 PPP
- PnR Ball Handler – 0.78 PPP
- Isolation – 0.78 PPP
To sort the table by frequency or points per possession within a possession category, first sort by either frequency or points per possessions, then sort by possession type.
The table can be awkward to manipulate so I pulled out the top and bottoms of some of the categories.
Top 5 Overall
- 1.55 ppp – Andrew Bynum – Cut
- 1.51 ppp – Steve Novak – Spot Up
- 1.51 ppp – Tyson Chandler – Cut
- 1.46 ppp – Blake Griffin – Cut
- 1.38 ppp – Chris Bosh – Cut
Bottom 5 Overall
Top 3 PnR Ball Handler
Top 3 Off Screen
There is plenty here to look at, but here are a few things that struck me:
8 players scored at a below-average rate on spot-up opportunities and used at least 200 of those possessions. Alonzo Gee is young and played on a bad Cavaliers team. Because of their lack of offensive weapons, he was probably asked to shoot more often than is ultimately good for him or the team. Most of the rest of the list is made up of players who at one time carried reputations as reliable outside threats, but appear to have undergone a surprising regression – Tayshaun Prince, Antawn Jamison, Jason Richardson, Marcus Thornton, Landry Fields and Chris Bosh. Finally we arrive at Josh Smith. He used a total of 377 spot-up possessions, by far the most of any player who scored at a below average rate. In fact only player in the entire league, Caron Butler, used more spot-up possessions this season than Smith. He used more spot up possessions than Kyle Korver and Steve Novak combined!
It can not be understated how much Steve Novak did with his first opportunity at playing significant NBA minutes. The 1.51 points per possession he averaged on spot ups was the second most efficient offensive outcome in the entire league. It was also nearly three times as efficient as his teammates Baron Davis or Iman Shumpert were in the pick-and-roll. The difference between Novak and the next most efficient spot up shooter, was equal to the difference in efficiency between Kobe Bryant in the post and JaVale McGee in the post.
Looking For Weapons In Cleveland
Kyrie Irving had an incredible rookie season, and at 1.03 points per possession, was the third-most efficient isolation scorer in the league. However it was difficult to find many other positive offensive outcomes. The Cavs had two of the three worst post up scorers in the league in Tristan Thompson and Samardo Samuels, who used a combined 208 possession on the block. Omri Casspi, Jamison and Gee were all below average spot up shooters. Jamison also ranked as the least efficient screener in the pick-and-roll at just 0.67 points per possession. The Cavaliers could take a big step forward next year but they’ll need to find some more scorers to support Irving.
A few players stand out as incredibly efficient in multiple categories. James Harden was top three in both isolations and as the ball handler in pick-and-rolls. He also scored a well-above-average 1.16 points per possession in spot up opportunities. Marc Gasol was another who could hurt a defense in multiple ways. Gasol was terrific in the pick-and-roll, 1.05 ppp, and as a cutter, 1.10 ppp. He was also one of the most efficient post scorers, averaging 0.93 points per possessions, more than Andrew Bynum, Dwight Howard, Zach Randolph and Luis Scola.
I hope this data is a useful resource for everyone, I know in the past I’ve found it frustrating to not be able to compare a player’s Synergy numbers to their peers. If you have trouble finding something specific let me know and I’ll try to help locate it. If you find something interesting please share it in the comments or pass it along on Twitter, @HickoryHigh.