I, too, have been thinking that Ariza needs to get better at free throws. Heck, even Tyson has improved his free throw shooting and I didn't think that was possible. LOL!
Sipping on Some Stats
Nothing fancy here, just a little rundown of the Hornets overall stats this year. The most important thing to look at right now is the 12 wins because as we all know, making the playoffs comes first. Even though the team is currently third in the conference, and only a game out of first, they are also just four and a half games ahead of the ninth seeded Suns.
Another stat to look at is the seven wins in seven games played New Orleans. The Hornets were the last team to lose a game in the regular season, and they will also be the last team to lose a game at home. Considering they have only averaged 14,467 fans (24th in the league), which is only 84.7 percent of capacity (18th in the league), the best may be yet to come in the Big Easy.
But let’s get to the real stats. You know, the ones that let us know what is going right and what is going wrong.
Stat Total Rebounding Rate (percentage of available rebounds grabbed by a team) Offensive Rebounding Rate (percentage of available offensive rebounds grabbed by a team) Defensive Rebounding Rate (percentage of available defensive rebounds grabbed by a team)
Hornets 49.44 22.22 (2nd to last) 76.06 (6th best)
Opposition 50.56 23.94 77.78
Average 50 26.7 73.3
Hornets in 09-10 48.86 24.78 73.8
So as you can see, the Hornets have thus far been below average, but better than expected. The reason for their success isn’t any new addition, or an old face, but rather the emphasis placed by coach Williams on staying home and securing the rebound before heading to the races. Last year we were witness to one of the more fun fast breaks in the league, and as a result the team often gave up easy offensive rebounds to the opposition because players were leaking out too fast. It’s always nice when the numbers back up what you assume from watching.
The team has taken a lot more jumpers this year, and when they have gone inside it’s been at a more efficient rate than last year. On defense they are doing a better job of keeping opponents of out of the paint , and making it harder for them to put the ball in the basket when they do get there. Overall, Monty and the new guys have helped knock over five points off the team’s eFG% allowed.
Here are some more numbers about three point and free throw shooting.
Stat Three Point Percentage 3pt made/attempted per game Free Throw Percentage
Hornets 2010-2011 37.6 6.5/17.2 76.8
Opposition 32.5 6.3/19.5 77.3
Average 35.7 6.4/18 76.3
Hornets 2009-2010 36.3 7.0/19.2 77.8
Holding the other team to only 32.5% is pretty impressive, but over the course of the year it’s going to be hard to keep up. The Hornets have been doing a much better job rotating this year and have consequently allowed less wide open looks, but it remains to be seen how big the improvement really is and how much of it can be attributed only looking at a limited sample size. My guess is that the defense will wind up being statistically ranked a little lower than it is now, but much higher an anyone expected coming into the season.
- The Bees give it away on only 12.6 percent of their possessions, good for second in the league. Their opponents turn it over on 14.8 percent. The difference of 2.2 percent is the second best in the league.
- The Hornets offensive efficiency (points per 100 possessions) is 104.6, while their defensive efficiency is 97.6 (third best in the league). The difference of seven is sixth best in the league.
One thing to note about turnovers is that it appears that the Hornets are about 2/3rds as likely to commit a bad pass that leads to a turnover compared to their opposition, and only about 3/4ths as likely to commit a ball handling turnover. There apparently are some benefits to having this Chris Paul fellow running the point all the time.
As far as blocks go, I’m shocked that the Hornets have had so many more than their opposition. Shocked.
Anything that strikes you as odd?
I see that the free throws are worse than last year. We are the 17th in the league in FT shooting percentage. Especially, Ariza has to improve! He is a career 65.8% FT shooter and he shoots 66% this year. Almost as bad as Okafor! Besides, Ariza is having a career-worst season in FG% as well. Finally, Ariza has 4.3 3PT attempts per game (2nd highest on the team after Bellinelli's 4.9/game) but he shoots treys with 29.7% accuracy (worst on the team). So, it looks like Ariza is the weakest link on offense. Isn't there a way for Ariza to practice his shooting (FT's and 3PT's) and improve? If that happens, we are going to be very very good! You may think that I am only picking out Ariza. Because, I clearly remember him missing two open treys at the last minute of our loss in Dallas and missing two free throws at the last minute of our loss in Los Angeles. Yes, we can win games because of his defense but I don't like the idea of loosing games because of his poor offensive efforts...
I'm not shocked about the blocks at all - it has seemed that way to me when watching the games. Mek has always been a solid shot blocker and this year he's been positively beastly. West has always been good for about 1 per game, and Mbenga, well, his primary value is getting blocks and he gets a lot of them in his limited time. Those three guys protect the rim pretty well. Smith is also good for the occasional swat.