Is Nick Young An Efficient Volume Shooter?

Rook6980 poses the question over at BulletsForever. And, he answers it in the affirmative, pinning the decline in Nick Young’s shooting as the season wore on to a knee injury sustained near the All-Star break.

While Rook’s analysis isn’t bad, he overlooked a more meaningful in-season signpost — the trade of Gilbert Arenas, which led to Young becoming a starter.

Here are some telling numbers about Young’s shooting this season, first using TS% (Rook’s preferred metric).

  • Full season TS% — .538
  • Starter — .532
  • Starter, Pre All-Star break — .538
  • Bench (pre-Arenas trade) — .570

As I’ve noted before, Young’s heavy reliance on long 2pt attempts is worrisome long-term. Much of his decline in overall efficiency is related to the drop in effectiveness shooting that long 2pt shot once he became a starter.

Young’s long 2pt percentages:

  • Bench (pre-Arenas trade) — .574
  • Starter — .412
  • Starter, Pre All-Star break — .414

Shooting percentage on long twos for his first three seasons: .403.

The starter “signpost” is more significant than the All-Star break/injury one because that’s when the decline first began, because it marks a step up in the caliber of competition Young faced, and because it marks the point at which opponents began game-planning Young.

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