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Westbrook's steep shooting decline and possible reasons for optimism.

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by blahblehblah, Jul 15, 2019.

  1. blahblehblah

    blahblehblah Member

    Mar 29, 2006
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    First the bad news - Westbrook's 29% 3 point shooting is the least of his problems, as it represents the smallest decline in his shooting from anywhere else on the floor. (in relation to career %) (career 3pt 308%)

    From 3-10 ft, Westbrook shot - 208% from 10-16 ft - 333%, from 16-3pt - 358%. His career averages are - 316% , 391%, 384%. Those are enormous drops and the biggest reason for his crashing TS% as they also represent 38% of his shots taken.

    His free throw dropped from an avg of 80% to 66% and more troubling, his ft rate was the lowest of his career 306% vs 383%. That's not much higher than CP3's 282% free throw rate in 18-19. In Westbrook's mvp season his FTR was 433% and has declined sharply the past two season.

    The former MVP is really struggling from everywhere — not just from beyond the arc... his TS of 501% is the lowest since his 2nd year, while his career TS is 529%.

    Now the possible good news. First: while these numbers are stark, they also could simply be a fluke and partially caused by the defenses/bad habits Westbrook faced. Improving or reverting to his something closer to his career % isn't an unlikely scenario. If these numbers are a fluke or they improve - correction in these areas would prove to be of far greater importance to the Rockets than any marginal and unlikely improvement from beyond the arc.

    Second reason for optimism is - there is one place Westbrook's #'s did not decline and was from 0-3 ft or at the rim, where he shot a career high 65% vs 59% career and doing so at similar frequency to his career avg of 361 vs 351. Doing this is amazing as Zach Lowe have shown in multiple articles on Westbrook/OKC - the vast majority of defense Westbrook faced is packed in the paint, designed to give him jumpshots and not layups.

    With the Rockets, expect Westbrook to see much more spacing and driving lanes. The lack of shooting in OKC vs the number of good shooters in HOU will be like night and day, leaving Westbrook shocked to see there isn't one or two players shading him to drive. Thus while his % at the rim might not necessarily improve, I expect his frequency (as a % of his fga) to go from .361 to surpassing his high of .377 in the past 9 years. This (more driving attempts) could also result in a sharp increase in his FTR, if not to his career high .454, then at least to his career avg of 383.

    Westbrook attacking with the ball, with Harden, Gordon, Tucker on the wings and Capella rolling will be a deadly scenario for any team. I expect Westbrook to handle the ball more than Harden in the halfcourt for this exact scenario.

    By virtue of better spacing, better shot selection (big IF), lower responsibilities and hopefully his shooting #'s being more a fluke than an indication, Westbrook could have his most efficient season ever.
    Or not... we'll see.
    #1 blahblehblah, Jul 15, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
    Gray_Jay, Highlyrated and RichieBanks like this.
  2. dachuda86

    dachuda86 Member

    May 3, 2008
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    Chris Paul shot better in Houston I think. Correct me if I am wrong on that.

    Maybe the change in system and team will do wonders for his shot selection and confidence.

    When you have a green light and a three point culture like Htown, it's hard not to feel better about taking them.
    don grahamleone likes this.
  3. blahblehblah

    blahblehblah Member

    Mar 29, 2006
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    Chris Paul in 17-18 shot at, abit above or near his career avgs (with some slight improvements) from everywhere except from 0-3 ft where he converted at a near career high of 66% (career avg is 61%).

    His TS of .604% that year was the second highest of his career and was driven almost entirely by the change in his shot selection. Instead of taking 3's at his career rate of .261 (2.6 out of 10 shots), CP3 raised his 3pt FGA to nearly 5 out of 10 (3ptr .475%).

    In 18-19 CP3 kept the same shot selection, but saw his shooting % drop around 10-25% across every range. This resulted in his TS dropping to 56% (his career TS 58%).

    Westbrook will need to do the opposite of CP3 when it comes to shot selection. Instead of radically increasing his 3ptr (as CP3 did), Westbrook needs to drastically reduce shots from 16-3pt, 10-16ft, which right now accounts for nearly 4 out of every 10 shots he takes (.36%).
  4. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

    Oct 5, 1999
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    I expect Westbrook to spend alot of time around the rim.
    Defense can sag off him but if he puts his head down . . .. they will have to react

    In OKC they sag off him . . .tight on PG13
    and keep Adams off the glass
    Defense did not give a d*mn about everyone else

    That will not be the case in Houston

    Rocket River

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