KG, Pierce look to make immediate impact

July, 19, 2013
7/19/13
12:12
PM ET
By Sunny Saini, ESPN Stats & Info
ESPN.com

Jim Davis/The Boston Globe/Getty ImagesKevin Garnett and Paul Pierce will look to upgrade the Nets pick-and-roll offense next season.
The NBA is a pick-and-roll league. In the last five seasons, nine of the 10 teams to make the Finals have featured the pick-and-roll (including passes) offense on at least 20 percent of their total plays. The only exception was the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009-10.

The Brooklyn Nets were one of the most inefficient teams in the pick-and-roll (including passes) last season, running it only 13.9 percent of the time, the lowest percentage in the league.

In addition, the Nets had a 0.88 points per play (PPP) average, which ranked 23rd. Brooklyn also had the third-worst turnover percentage in the NBA, turning it over 13.4 percent of the time on pick-and-roll plays.

Even with Deron Williams running the point, the Nets had the worst pick-and-roll ball handler offense.

Last season, Williams averaged 0.77 PPP while shooting 45.6 percent from the floor as the pick-and-roll ball handler. Among the 103 players with at least 100 such plays, Williams ranked 67th.

In addition, Williams turned the ball over 23 percent of the time on such plays, ninth-worst in the league.

The Nets roll men on the pick-and-roll were also in the bottom half of the NBA, averaging 0.95 PPP and shooting 47 percent on the pick-and-roll, below the league average in both categories (0.99 PPP and 49.5 percent shooting).

Kevin Garnett gives Williams another great pick-and-roll option

Both Garnett and Brook Lopez can hit the midrange shot and take it to the basket on any given play. However, in the pick-and-roll as the roll man, Lopez usually prefers to roll to the basket. Garnett likes to pop out for the midrange jump shot.

Lopez made 82 field goals as the roll man in the pick-and-roll, with 60 of those made field goals coming in the paint (49 were drives and finishes at the basket).

Garnett made 62 of his 103 field goals from the midrange and outside as the pop man on the pick-and-roll. In fact almost 39 percent of Garnett’s total makes were from 15 feet and outside last season.

Paul Pierce takes pressure off of Williams

Pierce gives the Nets an efficient option in the pick-and-roll to take the load off of Williams. Pierce averaged 0.97 PPP in pick-and-rolls (including passes), which ranked 26th in the NBA. That total was also slightly higher than Williams, who averaged 0.96 PPP.

As the ball handler in the pick-and-roll, Pierce had a better effective field goal percentage than Williams (49.3 percent to 45.6 percent) and turned the ball over at a lower rate (18.4 percent to 23 percent).

Pierce assisted on 24.5 percent of his teammates field goals last season, second only to LeBron James amongst forwards (min. 1,000 minutes played).

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