Friday, October 21, 2005

They Shootin'

Shoot, Warriors need to improve

Even though the Warriors ranked in the top half of the league in scoring last season — and were third behind only Phoenix and Denver after the February deal for Baron Davis — the team ranked 28th in field-goal percentage, at 43.0, and missed the most shots (4,010) of any NBA club.

"We have to be conscious of our shot selection," said Jason Richardson, a 44.6 percent shooter last year. "We need to make sure they're good shots, shots we're capable of making."


At 2:28 PM, Blogger mikej said...

First: thank you, atma, for posting everything you can get your hands on relating to the warriors. There's always something to see on this board, and your diligence is a big part of that.

Now, the issue. The Warriors need to improve their free throw shooting more than they need to improve their field goal shooting, and they need to improve their defense more than their offense. In their recently-developed running offense, they create lots of opportunities to score (the break-eggs-make-omelettes line has some truth). Baron and JRich both take improbable shots more than they should; JRich has improved his selection considerably over the last two years, however, and neither player should restrain the intensity that sometimes leads to "adrenaline" mistakes--trying for the 3 right after getting crossed on D, etc.--because that intensity works for them much more than it works against them. Back to free throws: Baron will get fouled even more this year than last, with people gunning for him and with him zipping past more people at his lighter weight. Adding 10 (percentage) points to his free-throw percentage would translate into 1-2 more points per game for him. Then there's Adonal and Andris, who shoot free throws terribly and know it and whom we can only hope will improve--it's worth, again, 1-2 points per game between them.

Much bigger than those small gains to be had via free throws is the looming potential for improved interior defense as Diogu and Biedrins mature. Each one has exceptional reactions for his size, and I predict that each will play a major role in improving the Warriors defense and making them a real championship team over the next 3 years.

So the main point--take fewer dumb shots--is true; it's just not the most important point.


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