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Taking a Look at DeMar DeRozan’s Pre-Injury/Post-Injury Shot Selection

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DeMar Derozan’s shooting woes continued in Tuesday night’s loss to the Mavericks. On the season he’s shooting a dreadful 39.4 percent from the field. In the month of February he’s been even worse, connecting at a 36.4 percent clip. So, what’s going on? How has the groin injury affected DeRozan’s shot selection and what can he do to right the ship?

2015

Strangely enough, DeRozan’s pre-injury/post-injury field goal percentage numbers are exactly the same, as you see below:

FGM FGA FG%
Pre-Injury 102 259 39.4
Post-Injury 119 302 39.4

 

His shot selection and aggressiveness, however, have been affected by his decreased explosiveness:

Pre-FGM Pre-FGA FG % % of FGA Post-FGM Post-FGA FG% % of FGA Net diff. % of FGA
> 5 feet 40 72 55.6 27.8 36 54 66.7 17.9 -9.9
5-9 ft 8 20 40.0 7.7  12 28 42.9 9.3 +1.6
10-14 ft 19 46 41.3 17.7 22 53 41.5 17.5 – 0.2
15-19 ft 28 89 31.5 34.4 35 103 34.0 34.1 -0.3
20-24 ft 7 30 23.3 11.6 14 55 25.5 18.2 + 6.6
25 feet > 0 2 0 0.07 0 9 0.0 3.0 + 3.0

 

chart
Courtesy of nbasavant.com

So, basically DeMar is shooting a lot less shots close to the basket and settling for significantly more long twos. His preferred range is the 15-19 foot range, where he takes about 34 percent of his overall attempts on the season. From that zone, DeMar is second in the league, putting up 5.3 attempts per game. The problem is that he’s only shooting 32.8 percent. If we compare that to his mid-range-loving peers, we find that he doesn’t stack up well.

15-19 feet FGA per game 15-19 feet FG%
Aldridge 5.9 42.8
DeRozan 5.3 32.8
Anthony 5.1 43.6
Bosh 4.9 46.7
Bryant 4.9 39.8
West 4.8 48.5
Davis 4.8 42.2

 

The most significant difference that we’re seeing in DeMar’s game since coming back from injury, however, is that he’s getting to the line a lot less.

Pre-Injury Post-Injury
FTA per game 7.8 6.3
Free throw percentage 82.3 76.8

 

If we take this one step further, we find that DeMar’s inefficient ways aren’t such a problem, so long as he gets to the free throw line:

Wins Losses
FTA per game 7.8 4.9
Free throw percentage 81.5 72.2

 

In conclusion, the numbers are basically supporting the eye test. Since coming back from injury DeMar has gotten to the basket less and settled for significantly more long twos. Mid-range jumpers are a part of DeMar’s game and that isn’t going away any time soon. The problem right now is that he takes too many contested jumpers (according to player tracker, he leads the team in contested field goal attempts almost every game) and he’s not mitigating his shooting woes by getting to the free throw line. During the last three losses he’s gotten to the free throw line 5, 4 and 3 times, respectively. During the three wins to open the “death stretch,” DeRozan shot poorly from the field but got to the line 13, 12 and 10 times, respectively. The key take away here is that while DeRozan lacks some of the explosiveness that we saw before the injury, he is still capable of getting to the line, if he commits to doing so and capitalizes on his improved ball handling skills.

All data for this piece provided by NBA.com/Stats unless noted otherwise 

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