Offensive Efficiency 101

Quick Quiz: Who is the better scorer, Melo or Corey Maggette? Are you sure?

This post might seem pretty juvenile to many of you, but I thought I would take a minute to explain my thoughts on what makes a player a good offensive player. Some stat nerds like David Locke and John Hollinger have formulas to determine a good offensive player. In my opinion those formulas can weigh something too heavily, such as "amount of touches" or rebounding. Larry H. Miller and Marc Cuban have both developed "formulas" which basically make Andrei Kirilenko and Jason Kidd seem like MVP candidates.

For me it is simple. I don't care if you have the ball at the top of the key 3 times a team possession, or if you shoot most of your shots from 15 feet out. I don't care how many points you score between 14 and 19 on the shot clock. To me it is just, "how often do you score points for the team when you shoot the ball?" My simple offensive efficiency is points per shot attempt.

Monta Ellis is a top scorer in this league and some would consider him a borderline all-star. Is he a good scorer? Absolutely not. He is one of the worst scorers in the league. He just shoots tons of shots. Seventy-five percent of the league could average 20 points a game if they were allowed to shoot the ball 20 times. On the flipside, Kevin Martin is one of the underrated scorers in the league, which is saying a lot since he has been a top 10 scorer in this league. He makes his shots count.

The only two things that should be considered here are assisting another player to get points himself and turnovers (which I will explain later). Until they start measuring points produced per assist, I can't quantify assists correctly. But simply and bare-boned, when you shoot a shot, do you produce? Points per shot attempt. Now it should be noted that there are two ways to increase your PPS (points per shot). The first way is to increase your overall field goal percentage. increasing your 3 point field goal percentage helps even quicker. The second way, is to draw fouls when you shoot. If you shoot a shot and have a foul called, you either get a 0/0 mark or a 1/1 mark. You can't hurt your fg % when you are fouled; you can only help it. So lets take a look at some current Jazz men, past Jazz men and other so called "scorers" in the league. These numbers come from the 09-10 season, unless otherwise noted.

Deron Williams 1.34

Raja Bell 1.20

Wes Matthews 1.36

Andrei Kirilenko 1.43

Paul Millsap 1.34

Carlos Boozer: 1.38

Al Jefferson

(Post injury) 1.15

Al Jefferson

(Pre injury) 1.20

Mehmet Okur 1.27

CJ Miles 1.11

Kyle Korver 1.34

Ronnie Price 1.08

Sundiata Gaines 1.27

Kyrylo Fesenko 1.37

Kosta Koufos 1.15

Kevin Durant 1.48

Lebron James 1.47

Carmelo Anthony 1.29

Kobe Bryant 1.26

Dwyane Wade 1.35

Monta Ellis 1.16

Chris Bosh 1.46

Amare Stoudemire 1.5

Corey Maggette 1.56

Dwight Howard 1.8

Kevin Martin 1.43

I mentioned that turnovers can skew the data. If you turn the ball over more than the average player then you still might have a high points per shot attempt even though you are hurting your team's offense. Dwight Howard has above average turnovers. He also doesn't hit his free throws, which hurts his PPS. But look at how much higher his PPS is than every other player in the league. Can you only imagine what an offensive force he would be if he could limit his turnovers (probably mostly made up of offensive fouls) and hit his free throws?

Other notable numbers: This is why I believe that Paul Millsap can replace Carlos Boozer's offensive production. He is just as efficient as Boozer in my mind. He just shoots half the shots. Also, the Miami Heat are going to shoot tons and tons of free throws every game. Wade, Lebron and Bosh are all very good at getting to the line, increasing their individual PPS numbers.

Cj Miles needs to improve his offensive efficiency. I think we all know this. I also find Al Jefferson's numbers disturbing, but I will give him a pass, since he played for a horrible team that solely relied on his one on one moves in the post. But if he has similar numbers after a season with the Jazz, there will be need for worry.

Raja Bell also has a low PPS, but his 3 point shooting is so good, I think he will do well in the Jazz system. It's something else to keep an eye on for sure.

Kobe Bryant is not a super efficient offensive player. I believe we all knew this already.

Ak is sneakily efficient on offense. He achieves this by drawing a high rate of fouls. I have always thought Corey Maggette would fit nicely with the Jazz. He draws fouls like Bob Ross drew beautiful natural scenes. All the time.

So the next time someone calls Carmelo Anthony or Monta Ellis, or Kosta Koufos "great scorers in the league," tell them to think again.

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