Thursday, June 28, 2012
Kings draft targets: shooting and defense
By Ryan Feldman, ESPN Stats & Information
The Sacramento Kings have needs across the board. With the No. 5 pick, will they be able to find a player to fill those needs? Here's a look at areas in which they struggled during the 2011-12 season:
The Kings attempted more 3-pointers than most teams this season, but they had the second-worst 3-point percentage. They had the third-fewest points per jump shot, the second-fewest points per catch-and-shoot jumper, and the third-fewest points per jump shot off the dribble.
The Kings allowed the most points and the highest field-goal percentage in the NBA this season. They played at the fastest pace in the league, so that had something to do with it, but they still allowed the third-most points per 100 possessions.
The Kings averaged the fourth-fewest points per post-up play this season. Only the Charlotte Bobcats, Milwaukee Bucks and Cleveland Cavaliers were less efficient in the post, where the Kings shot just 39 percent. Their primary post player was DeMarcus Cousins, but of the 18 players with at least 300 post-up plays, nobody averaged fewer points per post-up play than Cousins.
TOP DRAFT TARGETS
Based on their statistical weaknesses, the Kings could use a a good shooter who can lock up defensively.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who's currently projected to go fourth to Cleveland in Chad Ford's latest mock draft, would certainly help defensively. At Kentucky, he held opponents to 30 percent shooting as an on-ball defender.
He excelled defending both the pick-and-roll and isolation plays. On those particular play types, he held opponents below 26 percent shooting. Of the 285 players who defended at least 50 pick-and-roll ball-handler plays, Kidd-Gilchrist allowed the fourth-fewest points per play.
But MKG isn't without some room for improvement himself. He shot just 25 percent on catch-and-shoot jumpers and 20 percent on jumpers off the dribble.
Statistical support for this story from NBA.com.