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.