Response to Readers: Hayward and Kanter’s Offense

September 23rd, 2013 | by Clint Johnson

We at Salt City Hoops aim to please, and that includes responding to comments and requests, such as these to my September 9th post projecting Hayward and Favors as primary offensive options this season.

Casey said: I’d be curious to see [Hayward’s stats] just coming off the bench… If you or anyone else knows how to come up w/ his advanced stats for just his games that he came off the bench, that’d be pretty cool.  Like I’m wondering if/how much his TS% dropped when he came off the bench, that sort of thing.

Here you are Casey.  Please excuse the lack of PER, ORtg, and OWS: the calculations for those stats are horrid, and I’m a writer, not a statistician.

But I do have a lot of data for you.  All the bench stats are adjusted for 33.4 minutes of game play to match his time as a starter.

 

MP/G

FGA/G

3PA/G

FTA/G

ORB/G

TRB/G

Gordon Hayward Starter

33.4

10.9

3.8

2.9

.85

3.6

Gordon Hayward Bench

33.4

13.38

4

6

.78

3.6

 

AST/G

STL/G

BLK/G

TOV/G

PF/G

PTS/G

Gordon Hayward Starter

3.3

.96

.59

1.44

2.07

13.9

Gordon Hayward Bench

3.5

.89

.61

2.25

1.91

17.9

 

FG%

FT%

3P%

TS%

eFG%

TOV%

USG%

Gordon Hayward Starter

.464

.779

.417

.575

.538

10.7

18.4

Gordon Hayward Bench

.417

.843

.413

.560

.478

12.3

24.8

What jumps out at me?

Hayward was a much more efficient shooter from the field in a peripheral scoring role as a starter: a whole 5% better eFG% than off the bench.  The difference was much less significant at the three point line (.417 as a starter to .413 off the bench), which means the drop off was on two-point shots.  Playing as a primary scorer really hurt his shooting percentage inside the arc.

Even so, that didn’t hurt his overall efficiency too badly because of free throws.  Off the bench, Hayward was a free throw machine.  He took free throws at DOUBLE his rate as a starter, and shot them significantly better.  That increase in percentage really isn’t surprising, but those attempts!  That is the major factor in Hayward’s ability to remain a fairly efficient scorer even as his shooting percentage from inside the three point line plummeted.  Six attempts in 33 minutes is enormous.  Only ten players in the league last year averaged six or more three throw attempts a game; of those, only John Wall did so in 33 minutes of play or under (6.2 FTA in 32.7 M/G).

The greatest hope that Hayward can serve as a primary scorer right off the bat this season is his combination of taking a lot of free throws and shooting them well, plus taking quite a few three point shots and shooting them well.  (Imagine a lesser James Harden.)  Hayward has shown the ability to do that in the past as the primary scorer against bench-level opposition.

How might this translate against starting-level opposition?  That’s the question, isn’t it.

My guess is Hayward will continue to shoot a lot of free throws and shoot them well.  That’s what gives him a respectable floor of efficiency as a scorer.  He should average about five points a night from the line, which allows for some struggles elsewhere.  I anticipate Hayward’s shooting percentage from three to decrease as teams key on chasing him off the line and into help defenders, which will lower his TS% well below the .560 he posted off the bench last season.

I still suspect Hayward would do well to post a TS% around .530, as I wrote in the original post.  But I now believe that will be the result of an eFG% lower than .490 bolstered by efficiency and volume from the line.  An eFG% around .480 next year would be excellent for Hayward, all things considered; .470 would be good.

One last point: Hayward’s rebounding, passing, and defensive production varied little between his starting and bench roles.  While he will certainly turn the ball over more often this season than in the past, fans should not expect dramatic improvement in other areas of his game.  It is unlikely he will ever be an elite producer in any area, though he will certainly be a solid all-around contributor, as in the past.

***

Brock wrote: Can you do the same with Kanter [compare him statistically to last year’s primary scoring post options, as I did Derrick Favors]?  Per 36 he averaged more points than Favors and shot a better percentage.  Might be interesting to see.

And see Brock shall.

 

PER

TS%

eFG%

TOV%

USG%

ORtg

OWS

Enes Kanter

17.6

.588

.545

19.0

22.4

106

1.2

Derrick Favors

17.5

.533

.482

15.9

20.6

104.0

1.5

Average Post 1st Option

20.3

.530

.486

13.8

26.4

106.9

3.5

 

Put simply, Kanter was something of a baby beast last year efficiency wise, at least in terms of his shooting.

A combination of TS% and eFG% that high were extremely rare last season among post players, particularly with a USG% greater than 20.  The only three players other than Kanter who posted at or greater than .580 TS%, .540 eFG%, and 20 USG% were Chris Bosh, Amar’e Stoudemire, and JaVale McGee.

Kanter can score points, there’s no question, and he can do it in multiple ways.  He posted an eFG% of .500 or better on four separate shot types last season: dunk (.960), hook shot (.647), lay-up (.599), and tip shot (.500).  Get the guy near the hoop, and he can do some damage.  But it’s his potential for offensive diversity that is really exciting.

Last season the then 20-year-old PF/C shot .463 from beyond 15 feet, including one for one from three.  He posted a 14.5 ORB, which is outpaced only by the Anderson Varejaos, Reggie Evanses, and Andre Drummonds of the world.  And he shot .795 from the free throw line!

Kanter looks like he’s in the formative stage of a 20 points per night scorer.  He very easily could get ten points any night off offensive rebounds and free throws alone.  Add in another four points on wide open 18 foot jump shots, and that demands he only generate another six points off the block.  It’s still early, but Kanter shows a blossoming offensive skill set unmatched by any other Jazz player—and maybe any young big in the league, including DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis.

Why didn’t I project him as the Jazz’s primary post option this season rather than Favors?  Because I suspect Favors may have the experience to take a substantial increase in minutes and improve offensively, even against NBA starter opposition, where I expect Kanter to struggle to maintain his previous efficiency in an expanded role, at least this season.

Don’t forget that Kanter is still incredibly inexperienced.  He only boasts 1,993 NBA minutes (regular season and playoffs), mostly against middle and back of the bench competition, and didn’t get to play in college.  One could argue that all three of the Jazz’s rookies this season have more game experience than Kanter: Trey Burke from two years logging heavy minutes in the Big Ten and NCAA Tournament, Rudy Gobert has been formally training for international basketball since he was 14, and even Raul Neto has been playing professional and international ball since he was 17 (he’s now 21).

Kanter is a diverse scorer, but he is far from a complete offensive player.  That 19 TOV% is untenable for his position.  Until he gets better awareness of the defense as a whole and not only his own defender, he may have to score 20 simply to compensate for the possessions he gives up and the other team turns into fast break opportunities.

Also, at this point in his career, Kanter is as blind to his teammates as he is to help defenders.  Al Jefferson was often lamented as a black hole with his 25.3 USG% and 12 AST%.  By those standards, Kanter is a supermassive black hole.  Kanter’s marks of 22.4 USG% and 5 AST% make Jefferson look like Karl Malone at his pass-happiest.  Take all those scintillating Big Al passes, cut them in half, and that’s what fans will see nightly with Kanter, at least for a good chunk of the season.

There is no question coaches will demand Kanter earn his increase in minutes with a more aware, complete offensive game that includes less ball stoppage and greater protection of possessions.  His focus on that, combined with facing starting caliber defenders consistently, will make it very unlikely he is as efficient this season as he was last.

***

Finally, Adam wrote: It would have been great if you would have thrown in the 32, 12 and 14 comparisons with your figures.

Good idea.

 

PER

TS%

eFG%

TOV%

USG%

ORtg

OWS

Average 1st Option Last Season

20.1

.543

.493

12.7

27.2

107.7

4.5

Karl Malone, Career

23.9

.577

.518

12.4

29.4

113

7.5

John Stockton, Career

21.8

.608

.546

20.8

18.9

121

7.5

Jeff Hornacek, Career

17.7

.582

.530

12.8

19.7

117

5.5

Deron Williams, Career

19.3

.558

.503

16.3

24.1

113

6.1

Carlos Boozer, Career

20.1

.563

.530

12.8

24.1

110

3.7

Adrian Dantley, Career

21.5

.617

.540

12.5

26.1

119

8.0

Gordon Hayward, Last Season

16.8

.564

.501

11.7

22.1

113.0

4.2

Derrick Favors, Last Season

17.5

.533

.482

15.9

20.6

104.0

1.5

 

Enjoy!

Clint Johnson

Clint Johnson

Clint Johnson is a professional author, writing educator, and editor. In addition to his writing center work at Salt Lake Community College, he designed, coordinates, and teaches in an experimental author residency program for a West Valley City public charter school. A frequent presenter at both writing and educational conferences, he writes about the Jazz as a break from his other writing work.
Clint Johnson

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8 Comments

  1. Brock says:

    Thanks for updating! Awesome information!

    • Clint Johnson says:

      You’re very welcome. If you ever want more information about something, just let us know and we’ll see what we can do.

      • Brock says:

        There is more actually….lol
        I think we will see more pick and roll from Trey Burke, Hayward & Burks this year especially after Stockton has been working with Burke and Burks.
        Do we have statistics on how Kanter and Favors ran the pick and roll last year? In the minimal times it was ran with Mo………

  2. Laura says:

    Clint, you’re a total rock star. Good stuff!

  3. Casey says:

    Thanks for the work you put in Clint! That’s a lot of great information. The information about Hayward is especially exciting. Do you think he is top 10 in FTA next year? That would seriously be awesome :)

    • Clint Johnson says:

      I don’t know if he’ll make the top ten, largely because of the context of the team. I expect Hayward, Favors, and Kanter to all take a lot of free throws. It wouldn’t surprise me if all of them were in the top 40 next season. But given better defenders and the top slot in opponents’ scouting reports, top twenty is very realistic for Hayward, but I’m just not certain about top ten.

      If he can improve running the pick and roll, and he has a dynamic finisher to work with (Favors ahem!), then he might be top ten.

  4. Zach says:

    Only ten players in the league last year averaged six or more [three] (you mean free) throw attempts a game;

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