FanPost

Are Hayward's Shooting Woes Related to Fatigue?

One of the most disconcerting developments for Jazz fans this season has been Gordon Hayward’s inability to consistently knock down threes. Through 29 games, Hayward is shooting just 25.9 percent from behind the arc on 3.7 attempts per 36 minutes. Just a season ago, Hayward shot 41.5 percent from three on 4.2 attempts per 36 minutes. His career three-point shooting numbers (per 36 minutes) are presented below:

Season

3PM

3PA

3P%

2010 – 11

1.0

2.2

.473

2011 – 12

1.0

2.8

.346

2012 – 13

1.7

4.2

.415

2013 – 14

1.0

3.7

.259

Career

1.2

3.3

.375

Hayward is most comfortable playing off the ball; therefore, some of his offensive struggles this season can be attributed to his increased workload as the ball handler in pick and roll sets. Moreover, 15.7 percent of Hayward’s three-point attempts have come when he is the pick and roll ball handler this year, compared to only 10.6 of his three-point attempts last year. Still, when Hayward’s pick and roll and isolation attempts are removed from consideration, his decline in three-point shooting percentage is just as sharp. Last year, Hayward made 94 out of 211 threes in spot-up, off screen, hand off, and transition opportunities, shooting 44.5 percent. This year, Hayward has made only 23 of 89 threes in such opportunities, shooting 25.8 percent. The breakdown is presented below:

2012 – 13

2013 – 14

Play Type

3PM

3PA

3P%

Play Type

3PM

3PA

3P%

Spot-Up

71

152

.467

Spot-Up

14

49

.286

Off Screen

9

17

.529

Off Screen

0

17

.000

Hand Off

2

12

.167

Hand Off

6

10

.600

Transition

12

30

.400

Transition

3

13

.231

Total

94

211

.445

Total

23

89

.258

Rather than play type or shot selection, Hayward’s three-point shooting woes may well be related to fatigue. The Jazz have already played 29 games this season, more than any other team in the league, and Hayward has started them all. The team has played eight back-to-backs this season, second in the league only to Milwaukee (9). The team has also played just three games coming off of two or more days of rest; they are tied with Philadelphia for fewest games in this category. Meanwhile, Hayward has seen his minutes spike from 29.2 minutes per game in 2012 – 13 to 36.0 minutes per game in the current season. In addition, SportVU player tracking data reveals that Hayward has traveled 75.0 miles on the court this season, more than 4 miles farther than any other player in the league. The top five players in distance traveled are listed below:

Player

Distanced Traveled (in miles)

Gordon Hayward (UTA)

75.0

Nicolas Batum (POR)

70.6

Klay Thompson (GSW)

70.6

Brandon Jennings (DET)

69.3

Evan Turner (PHI)

68.7

The Jazz will play their ninth back-to-back of the season tonight against Charlotte. It will be their fourth straight road game, and the sixth in their last seven games. However, after wrapping up the road trip on Monday against Memphis, the Jazz will receive a much-needed three day layoff before hosting the Lakers on the 27th. The team will also have a three day layoff from January 4-6, a two day layoff from January 8-9, and another two day layoff from January 11-12, with games on the 7th, 10th, and 13th all being played at home. Look for Gordon Hayward’s three-point shooting percentage to rise at some point during this stretch.

All comments are the opinion of the commenter and not necessarily that of SLC Dunk or SB Nation.

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