Looking at shot charts for our mismatches is instructive and intriguing. It gives you a sense of how we can play, suggests sets and line-ups.
Perimeter hot zones:
Really as a shooter, Bradley Beal isn't all that great. Over his career, at any given spot on the floor he's above average at best
. With a few exceptions. He has become really solid hitting a mid-range pull up. He his a solid ball from the left corner. He scores well on the interior for a guard. And as he has become more tightly guarded, he has learned how to force fouls. The league plans to deemphasize drawn fouls on 'non-basketball plays'. Shooters who kick their leg out when they are airborne to make contact with the defender, half of James Harden's repertoire, these things will be deemphasized. I don't know that this will affect Beal, I think he drives into contact and generally converts basketball plays into fouls. (Garrison Mathews' 3pt shot that travels forward 3-4 feet and racks fouls at a high rate is the sort of basketball play that would not be penalized. But Bertans has a few landing moves that draw incidental contact and will probably not rack them at as high a rate). Still. What Beal does is hit the shots you give him. He hits open shots. He is quite good at getting open, especially in that unguarded mid-range and coming off screens. Forcing fouls, hitting mid-range shots, these are useful skill in the playoffs though, and any time where Beal can be the 2nd best option on a team his shooting efficiency gets a bump. The most intriguing thing about Beal's chart is that he is average or above average from absolutely everywhere. Most players have a spot where they can hit and others where they don't. Not Beal. He may have favorites that change from year to year but pretty much he is a danger to hit a shot from basically anywhere around the arc and in.
KCP. Case in point.
KCP definitely has hot zones. Though at this point in his career he pretty much only takes good shots. Refuses to take shots from anywhere beyond his comfort zone. As a role player his job is to hit open shots. Not to force anything. His hotspot is any three on the right hand side (facing the basket) or straight on.
Bertans is similar but at another order of magnitude
. When he is on (or in shape) he steadily hits 3's from any position. In 2020 he hit over 60% from the right corner. For his career he is better than 50% from that spot. He's also better than average on the interior, but that is because he only attacks the basket when it is unguarded (backdoor cuts, defenders out of position, etc).
Raul Neto as you would expect is solid from most spots on the perimeter.
Interestingly his hot zone has been the left side above the break. This is useful given that the others are stronger on the right half of the court. This past year he got hot from that right elbow extended as well. One area I did not expect to see was Neto's proficiency on pull-ups at the free throw line. This is basically a lay-up for him. In DC he has hit 55% from this close range jumper.
Aaron Holiday's scoring and efficiency numbers don't look great in raw data. But his shot chart is interesting
if you look at his Nate McMillan years (before the team fell apart, and before injuries wracked the Pacers). He has a Bradley Beal profile in the shots he chooses. He will shoot from anywhere. His area of weakness is that he simply cannot finish on the interior. He can get to the basket, the majority of his shots are at the iron, but he's impotent once he penetrates. (Uh, sorry. That came out wrong. So to speak). Still he is solid at every spot on the perimeter. For his career
his hot zones have been both corners and especially the left side from the elbow extended. In 2020 he was solid from the apex of the arc. Like Neto he has a hotspot on those free throw line pull-ups, and even at the left side elbow from long two where he hits 60% when chased off his three point spot. Flip Saunders would develop sets to deliberately create that long 2 for him if he can hit it that consistently. Nobody guards that spot, ever.
Deni Avdija was awful in the corners. Almost exactly average in the paint. But surprisingly he was really decent
taking the shot at the top of the key and from 3 at the left elbow extended. 43% from that spot, albeit on low volume. This is a hopeful thing for the 2nd unit because it is one of the places that both Neto and Holiday have as hot spots as well, so if one or the other draw attention, Deni can slide free on a pick or screen, or if players are chasing Beal in the corner, Deni can pop and sink a bucket. A good sign since I think he will be one of our better secondary playmakers out of team play and motion.
Dinwiddie takes way too many shots
he has no business taking. His only hot zone is the right corner. Even on the interior, he is alright for a guard, but only average league wide. His primary elite skill is forcing fouls on the dribble drive. It was a hopeful sign seeing him working his floor generalship in the pick-up games, working the pass-first option from his game. If he can learn the hot spots for his guys maybe his own shot will open up. But yeah, attack the middle, kick if they cut you off. Only take the shot as a last result. I do think he likes to dribble to set up his attack, that's alright if he is dribbling in motion sets and the real threat are the players off the ball.
Rui is [url=rui hachimura shot chart]decent from 3[/url] on both the left and right above the break. Stronger on the right. He is not good in the corners. He has 2 strange comfort zones: in the no man's land of the left baseline outside the paint. And for his career he has a decent percentage from long 2 above the free throw line center and both elbows. He's solid in the middle, above average this past year with Russ encouraging him to be aggressive.
Kuzma, man. The thing that astounded me was how remarkably average he was
. Like ridiculously consistently average. He is within a percentage of ordinary at every spot on the floor. And has been his whole career.
Interior hot spots:
All of our centers.Gafford in dc: 71.5%
That is the only thing Gafford does right now, score in the paint, but he does so at an elite level. It's all he needs to do to be useful.
I expect his numbers may take a hit with Westbrook defecting to LA, the one place where Westbrook does need to be guarded is in the paint, so interior defenders would leave Gafford a run way to launch to catch a lob. If you bang and bump a high flyer they lose lift and are easier to shove out of scoring position. Too Westbrook has always been good at feeding the Bigs when his path to the hoop is blocked (Steven Adams for instance). Westbrook's inefficient gunning also gives opportunities for offensive rebounds, when you are ready for the miss it is basically a lob pass.
Still, since both Beal and Dinwiddie have been hard to stop on attacks to the basket, there is a chance for one or both to develop chemistry with him. Actually Holiday and Neto are both pretty decent at getting into the paint. Neto finishes in there at a decent rate. Holiday doesn't at all (really? a 44% chance to hit a lay-up?) but if he had a bail out option then his penetration would be a useful tool.Montrezl in LA: 66.3%
Trez is a beast in the pick and roll, and his catch radius is huge relative to his height. Long arms, magnets for hands, he can score in motion and draws a ton of attention as he is driving to the basket. The 66% on the interior doesn't tell the whole story. He is quicker than the bigs he faces so gets hacked. He is comfortable in traffic and bouncing off of contact. He stays active even when you thump him. Yeah he is smaller than most centers but he knows how to hit the continuation and finish even when his path is blocked. Like Gafford he will need a partner in the pick and roll. I think he and Dinwiddie will have fun together. The fact that Trez catches so well while on the move, even on passes thrown behind him, means he makes his PG look good when they are running action together.Thomas Bryant. Career 75% in the paint.
Not the best hands in motion, but when you get him the ball he does what he is supposed to do with it. He and Wall had great chemistry in this regard. The intriguing thing is his 43% shooting from the top of the key. 48!!!% in 2020. Small sample size, but yeah. He may not be the guy to run pick and roll since he is less efficient catching in motion or in traffic, but if you can get him the ball with nice touch he does exactly what he needs to with it.
Basically this team running traditional pick and roll sets out of action above the break looks like it could be really proficient at scoring the ball. But it will require chemistry from our primary ball handlers and their scoring targets, or all around good team play setting up our best players to score off of motion sets. I do like that our strength is in: perimeter gunning, driving to pick up fouls, and interior Bigs finishing. That is a balanced attack. I only wish with so many outside shooters that we had dominant rebounding from all of our positions, since there will be long bounces on many possessions.