Pacers Season Reviews: Wesley Matthews

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Wesley Matthews of the Indiana Pacers

Wesley Matthews of the Indiana Pacers

A stat that defines Wesley Matthews’ season

I already covered one of Wesley Matthews, defining stats, his absurdly high three-point attempt rate (61.9). Unfortunately, this next defining stat is not a positive one. That number is 38.6 percent, the figure representing Matthews’ efficiency on two-point field goals.

When Matthews ventured inside the arc, there was some kind of invisible bugaboo clouding his shot selection and closing off the rim. Matthews was a complete liability inside the arc, as his two-point percentage with Indiana was the worst of his career (not counting his two-game stint in New York).

We’re lucky Matthews’ three-point attempt rate was as ludicrous as it was, or Matthews’ use would have greatly diminished. My single biggest Pacers pet peeve this season was the Wesley Matthews isolation post up. For some mind-boggling reason, Nate McMillan loved letting Wesley Matthews isolate on the block like he’s Dirk Nowitzki, bricking all manner of post fadeaways. His 0.48 points per possession on post-ups ranked last in the NBA (>1 poss per game).

Occasionally, Matthews would make a solid pass out of the post. However, his post-ups were mostly infuriating, stalling the offense and looking something like this:

His off-dribble penetrations weren’t any better, as Matthews’ 0.54 PPP on pick and roll plays in which he finished the play ranked in the 7.6th percentile. Lacking the handle to create sufficient space, Matthews’ drives often resulted in him burping up all sorts of difficult shots:

Remember that flex pindown play I showed earlier, which Matthews utilized to create space for his shots? Well, that play was far less effective than it should be, as defenders continually closed out hard and ran Matthews off of the line, showing little trepidation for his off-dribble game. And when Wes shoots the ball inside the arc, the result usually is not pleasant:

To me, this stat defines Wesley Matthews stint with the Indiana Pacers because it shows that he was limited. He was effective, but his very small bag of tricks (seriously, they could all fit in the drawstring bag) put a hard ceiling on his impact.

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