I’ve casually written about offensive rebounds, how great they are, and how much they help this Blazer team stay competitive. While nobody will argue that an offensive rebound is a bad thing, offensive rebounds also indicate something else: misses. The Blazers lead the league in offensive rebounds per possession, yet also find themselves fourth-to-last in field goal percentage. The correlation in the NBA this season between FG% and offensive rebounds is a fairly strong -0.56, indicating that, in general, the more a team misses, the more offensive rebounds it gets. Okay, that makes sense, but what if we control for each team’s number of misses. In other words, let’s look at the proportion of misses that a team recollects of the glass–its offensive rebounding percentage. Over the last three full seasons (2007-2010), the correlation between offensive rebounding percentage and field goal percentage is 0.023, or virtually zero. Thus it’s likely that there is no overall connection between rebounding % and FG%. The Blazers just so happen to be first in rebounding % as well, and this is the figure I will use to rate offensive rebounding prowess in the future.
But that doesn’t answer another question I have: why can’t the Blazers put the ball in the frickin’ hoop? If there’s no correlation to offensive rebounding percentage, then that scraps my original theory that good offensive rebounders make bad shooters (or vice-versa). This season the blazers are shooting a mere 43.3% from the floor, versus 46.1% last season. Last year they also led the league in offensive rebounding percentage, so that hasn’t changed. Here’s what has…
Field goal percentage
Points per shot
We see that every major contributor, besides Andre Miller, has taken an offensive-efficiency nosedive this season. Surfing through 82 games.com, I found that two years ago, when the Blazers efficiency was through the roof, only 65% of all shots came via the jump shot (twos and threes). This season, the Blazers are shooting jump shots 71% of the time. That’s too many shots away from the basket, and a likely culprit of lower shooting percentages. It’s hard to pinpoint any one reason for this change, though I would guess it’s a combination of Roy’s injury problems (not being able to get to the hoop) and an overworked LA. Aldridge is logging the 11th-most minutes in the league, but second most to Gasol among big men. I keep hoping that, as Przybilla fills in those extra minutes, Aldridge will become more efficient, being able to rest a little more and play less defense on good-scoring power forwards. Roy’s situation may never get any better than it is now, but Wesley Matthews has been a pleasant surprise, leading the team with 1.07 points per shot.
Our hope is that Rudy and Batum find their strokes, Roy is able to find ways to score efficiently–though maybe not quite to the extent that he used to–and that Aldridge starts focusing on offense and making shots with the Gorilla back in the lineup.
Portland at Memphis, 5pm TODAY! Go Blazers 🙂