This year, we’re going to regularly take a look at the Play Breakdown for the Pacers as available from the great Synergy website. For the first one, I’m just going to introduce the table and comment quickly on some hot button issues that are important for the Pacers this year.
The first column shows the play type, as defined by Synergy, and the remaining columns compare this year’s data (2010-2011) to last year’s (2009-2010). For offense, the generic approach will be to look at three major buckets – Shot Distribution (% of Shots), Play Distribution (% of Plays), and Field Goal Percentage (FGA%). This will evolve as we get into more specific discussions, but this will be a nice start.
Today, I want to point the focus towards two specific areas – the Pick and Roll (PnR) and Post Ups. These could reasonably be considered Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) because they’re reflective of (a) the addition of Darren Collison and (b) the emergence of Roy Hibbert. While it’s still very early, both show very positive signs in terms of usage.
The percentage of shots coming from PnR’s has increased from 11.7% to 16.2% – a 38% bump. The increase in the percentage of plays (12.2% to 15.8% – or 30%) is a little smaller, but still strong. Additionally, the Pacers are hitting 45.4% of their shots out of PnR’s vs. 44.% from last year. To me, these numbers indicate that the PnR’s are more successful on two levels this season – shot creation and shot making.
The increase in Post activity has also been encouraging. About 11.4% of the Pacers’ shots and 11.8% of their plays are coming on Post Up action, bumps of 24% and 37% respectively. The FGA% has declined slightly from 46.4% to 45.2%. The Pacers appear not to have the same success converting the increased activity in the Post into shots and points as with the PnR’s.
Darren Collison has taken 45 of the 119 Pacer shots out of PnR action, while Roy Hibbert has taken 60 of the 84 post shots. While both are helping to drive the action, neither is a positive contributor at this point to the shooting percentages. Collison has only hit 40% of his looks, while Hibbert is converting on about 43% of his shots.
That is certainly not to say that the two are a drag on the offense. Quite the contrary, they are both crucial cogs who have brought plenty of positives this season. However, it does indicate room for improvement in capitalizing on their opportunities.
As the season moves forward, we’ll watch this and other issues at both ends of the court closely using the Synergy information.