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Article: Porzingis can shoot over anyone, and that might be a problem
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martin
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1/30/2018  11:02 AM
http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/22259303/kristaps-porzingis-uses-height-unlike-other-player-nba

Porzingis can shoot over anyone, and that might be a problem
Micah Adams


Kristaps Porzingis owns an advantage that no other player in NBA history can match.

The idea of the unicorn is that it's something never seen before. It's a term that has entered the lexicon of casual NBA fans and been thrown around to describe not only Porzingis, but also Joel Embiid, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Anthony Davis and Kevin Durant. And yet the fact that Porzingis plays the style he does at 7-foot-3 makes him special even among the rarest of breeds.

We've seen players of his stature come along before, going all the way back to Swede Halbrook (the first NBA player to stand 7-foot-3) and up to new LA Clippers center Boban Marjanovic (who together with Porzingis shares the distinction of tallest active NBA player). The all-time club of 7-foot-3 or taller NBA players runs 25 deep.

But what does it really mean to stand at that height in a league trending small?

Let's begin with the basics. As the unquestioned top dog in New York, Porzingis is averaging a shade under 19 shot attempts per game for the Knicks, which would be the most ever by a player his size. In fact, prior to Porzingis, the only players 7-3 or taller to average 15 FGAs per game were Ralph Sampson and Yao Ming, skilled giants who would have no doubt developed killer outside strokes if they came into the league today.

Of course, standing tall has its advantages in shooting over defenders when stretching a defense. It's what gives Porzingis an edge over his supersized predecessors that didn't venture too far outside the forest. Sampson hit 17 percent of his 58 career 3s, while just 6 percent of Yao's total attempts came outside of 16 feet, according to Basketball-Reference.com.

No other player taller than 7-3 has ever averaged two or more 3-point attempts per game, something Porzingis has done in each of his three seasons. He's taking nearly three more 3s per game than the 1.9 by Arvydas Sabonis in 1996-97, the previous most by a player his size. In fact, he already has canned more 3s than every other player 7-3 or taller combined, surpassing that total in his 156th career game.

It's this combination of sheer size and high volume that creates the unique advantage shared by no other player in the league.

With player-tracking data courtesy of Second Spectrum, we know the height of every nearest defender on every shot taken leaguewide. Porzingis' considerable amount of time spent playing the 4 coupled with the switch-happy nature of today's downsizing league creates mismatches on a scale that nobody else comes close to replicating. So far this season, he has taken nearly 300 more shots with a 6-inch height advantage over his nearest defender than Dirk Nowitzki, who has taken the second most such attempts.

Simply by stepping on the floor and running basic actions, Porzingis spends more time being guarded by players a half-foot shorter than him than any other player. Clearly, this gives the Knicks' offense opportunities. And yet, as Chris Herring recently outlined for FiveThirtyEight, it hasn't translated into the types of high-quality shots you might expect.

This becomes particularly alarming when considering the pattern of Porzingis' shots after manufacturing significant mismatches. It all boils down to a single presiding factor: location, location, location, as shown here using Second Spectrum data.

Conventional wisdom suggests that when an offensively gifted big such as Porzingis generates a mismatch, it's time to go to work on the block. If the defense sends help, ball movement leads to a good look on the weak side. Leave KP in single coverage and it's game over.

Except that's not what happens. Look at every one of Porzingis' shots in which he held an advantage of at least six inches over a defender within three feet, and nearly 60 percent of them have come on either midrange or long 2s outside of 10 feet -- a shot he has connected on just 42 percent of the time, according to Second Spectrum. That equates to about 0.85 points per possession, which is a return on investment that would be significantly worse than the worst offenses in league history.

Here's Porzingis matched up just off the elbow against Kyle Kuzma, who is six inches shorter and 20 pounds lighter. This jumper is easy. It's always there.

Kristaps Porzingis backs down Kyle Kuzma in the post, then knocks down the shot after one pump fake.

He also doesn't need to take it so often.

With Porzingis using more shots than anyone on the roster -- a large percentage of which are contested midrange and long 2s -- it's probably no surprise then that New York on average take worse shots than any other team in the league. It's the same old story for the Knicks, who over the previous three seasons ranked at or near the bottom of the league in this same metric.

Porzingis is a phenomenal player, but these struggles in finishing over vertically challenged defenders in close proximity is nothing new, especially when compared to other players known for generating mismatches at their respective positions, according to Second Spectrum data.

The juxtaposition with a player such as Antetokounmpo is fascinating and also provides some insight into how Porzingis might better utilizing his unique advantage. Antetokounmpo is nowhere close to as good of an outside shooter as Porzingis. Instead, the Milwaukee Bucks forward feasts inside, leading the NBA with 16.6 points in the paint per game, according to NBA Advanced Stats. It's also why Antetokounmpo shoots 15 percentage points better than Porzingis when tightly guarded by a player six inches shorter.

Porzingis is nowhere to be found on the leaderboard for paint points per game, as he ranks outside the top 50. That's not particularly flattering for a No. 1 option who doubles as the highest volume player of his size in league history.

All of that aside, he's 22 years old and his future is beyond bright. Learning how to score when the whole defense is focused on you takes time.

"Five, six years down in his career, those probably won't be problems [against defensive pressure]," Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek told ESPN.com's Ian Begley. "But right now, he's experiencing it, and he's going to learn from it."

And as Porzingis continues to get stronger and fill out, maybe we'll see him reverse the trend and start bulldozing helpless defenders down in the trenches or forcing them further out to 3 more often. But we're not there yet, and the Knicks All-Star knows it's a work in progress.

"I'm just trying to slow down mentally," Porzingis said earlier this month. "That's helping me know. I'm not thinking I need to score as much. I just want to be involved. When the shots come, I'm going to take them, and they're going to be higher-percentage shots, not as many contested shots and not as much me fighting to get the bucket.

"I'm learning this year. I'm learning a lot."

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fishmike
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1/30/2018  11:25 AM
the thing I have learned from this year is KP is more important playing good D than he is playing good O. We need him fresh and focused on D, both guarding his guy and helping. On offense I want him focused on the easiest volume shots he can get. Elbow jumpers. Like Dirk, he could take over in the midrange and has the chops to be one of the best ever there, if not THE best ever.

KP is a learner but you just dont want him banging around with these thugs in the paint. He's a finesse player. Thats not to say he's soft, just not a banger. On offense I think Dirk remains the model. A feast of midrange jumpers along with some 3s and quick posts ups. On defense he's best playing 4 next to a rugged 5. We need a 5 who plays some D though. KP is an elite rim protector and shot changer. Thats the game changer IMO

Melo is ranked 38 on defense. Probably one of the best PF defenders in the league -HofstraBBall (1/24/2018)
newyorknewyork
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1/30/2018  11:26 AM
When he eventually gets to that level. Its going to be a beauty to watch.

Both he and Frank posses uniqueness. They may or may not ever reach their full potential of exploiting their size.
But if they ever do the possibilities are endless. Which is worth developing.

Knixkik
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1/30/2018  12:26 PM
fishmike wrote:the thing I have learned from this year is KP is more important playing good D than he is playing good O. We need him fresh and focused on D, both guarding his guy and helping. On offense I want him focused on the easiest volume shots he can get. Elbow jumpers. Like Dirk, he could take over in the midrange and has the chops to be one of the best ever there, if not THE best ever.

KP is a learner but you just dont want him banging around with these thugs in the paint. He's a finesse player. Thats not to say he's soft, just not a banger. On offense I think Dirk remains the model. A feast of midrange jumpers along with some 3s and quick posts ups. On defense he's best playing 4 next to a rugged 5. We need a 5 who plays some D though. KP is an elite rim protector and shot changer. Thats the game changer IMO

I agree. He is showing some serious DPOY potential in his future.

Bonn1997
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1/30/2018  1:27 PM
He has the shot selection of Melo but at least brings excellent defense. The problem is he's addicted to shots he's bad at.
Nalod
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1/30/2018  1:56 PM
Bonn1997 wrote:He has the shot selection of Melo but at least brings excellent defense. The problem is he's addicted to shots he's bad at.

He'll never change. He seems full of himself too. We should send him to the Gleague and maybe he'll be humble too!!!
Good article.

As KP learns to read (Feel) the double he'll too learn to pass out.

Anger sells, don't buy!
franco12
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1/30/2018  2:15 PM
Does our front office and coaching staff not have access to this kind of data?

There is a disconnect. What is Jeff doing to help correct this problem?

What am I missing?

nyknickzingis
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1/30/2018  2:52 PM
We will see if KP is a very good or great player.
If he is able to figure it out that he should be taking shots closer to the basket or from the 3 point line and not play as much from the long 2 area he will be great.

Let's see where he is next year and in year 4.

Bonn1997
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1/30/2018  3:13 PM
Nalod wrote:
Bonn1997 wrote:He has the shot selection of Melo but at least brings excellent defense. The problem is he's addicted to shots he's bad at.

He'll never change. He seems full of himself too. We should send him to the Gleague and maybe he'll be humble too!!!
Good article.

As KP learns to read (Feel) the double he'll too learn to pass out.


There's an assumption that he will learn. A lot of volume scorers do the same thing for their whole 10 or 15 year careers.
Bonn1997
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1/30/2018  3:14 PM
franco12 wrote:Does our front office and coaching staff not have access to this kind of data?

There is a disconnect. What is Jeff doing to help correct this problem?

What am I missing?


That's the mind-boggling part. Either they don't know that he's taking a lot of bad shots or they don't want to require him to take better shots.
Knixkik
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1/30/2018  3:42 PM
Bonn1997 wrote:
Nalod wrote:
Bonn1997 wrote:He has the shot selection of Melo but at least brings excellent defense. The problem is he's addicted to shots he's bad at.

He'll never change. He seems full of himself too. We should send him to the Gleague and maybe he'll be humble too!!!
Good article.

As KP learns to read (Feel) the double he'll too learn to pass out.


There's an assumption that he will learn. A lot of volume scorers do the same thing for their whole 10 or 15 year careers.

Some do and some don't. There's no way to know which direction he will go, but improvement is more likely than not.

Bonn1997
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1/30/2018  3:51 PM    LAST EDITED: 1/30/2018  3:53 PM
Knixkik wrote:
Bonn1997 wrote:
Nalod wrote:
Bonn1997 wrote:He has the shot selection of Melo but at least brings excellent defense. The problem is he's addicted to shots he's bad at.

He'll never change. He seems full of himself too. We should send him to the Gleague and maybe he'll be humble too!!!
Good article.

As KP learns to read (Feel) the double he'll too learn to pass out.


There's an assumption that he will learn. A lot of volume scorers do the same thing for their whole 10 or 15 year careers.

Some do and some don't. There's no way to know which direction he will go, but improvement is more likely than not.


He's taking more low percentage shots now than in previous seasons. Maybe that's the role he's in (or his misunderstanding of his role). But I'm more skeptical than I was a year a go. I'd call it more 50/50 but you're right there's no way to know.
Nalod
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1/30/2018  4:41 PM
franco12 wrote:Does our front office and coaching staff not have access to this kind of data?

There is a disconnect. What is Jeff doing to help correct this problem?

What am I missing?

Of course they know. Just because you know does not mean it automatically becomes instinct. Its part of the learning.
KP has some incredible efficient games and then he reverts. "consistency" is never achieved until you learn it, then feel it.
Remember, he overcomes one obstacle a team throw another one at him. He is both a physical marvel but also a fundamental one as well.
He Is not a LeBron/wilt type player whose physical dominance can dictate at will.
Frank has been thrown so much at him by his coaches My guess is he is overloaded. Like any sport fatigue makes us stupid. Sometimes the mental aspect goes too.
Im too old to remember my baskeball prowess but in the last 7 years have taken up tennis and my game has vastly improved. After two hours im tired and usually its crunch time in a match. I have made some bone headed mistakes and come to understand why. To break thru one has to not just learn, but digest it.
For fans we can watch and yell. For the player, its real.
for these young guys its learning curve.

Anger sells, don't buy!
Cartman718
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1/30/2018  8:44 PM
I had thought about this thread title a few weeks ago...refs are going to have to adjust to take note of his shooting motion and see where he gets hit. you can already see that next year him and giannis will both be tearing up the league.
Nixluva is posting triangle screen grabs, even when nobody asks - Fishmike. LOL So are we going to reference that thread like the bible now? "The thread of Wroten Page 14 post 9" - EnySpree
Bonn1997
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1/31/2018  5:19 AM
Cartman718 wrote:I had thought about this thread title a few weeks ago...refs are going to have to adjust to take note of his shooting motion and see where he gets hit. you can already see that next year him and giannis will both be tearing up the league.

Melo and his supporters used to complain about non-calls too. Maybe the player needs to adjust.
Cartman718
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1/31/2018  8:41 AM
Bonn1997 wrote:
Cartman718 wrote:I had thought about this thread title a few weeks ago...refs are going to have to adjust to take note of his shooting motion and see where he gets hit. you can already see that next year him and giannis will both be tearing up the league.

Melo and his supporters used to complain about non-calls too. Maybe the player needs to adjust.

Melo always got calls when he was young because he was aggressive. KP has to adjust, but the refs do too because they've never seen a 7'3 player like him

Nixluva is posting triangle screen grabs, even when nobody asks - Fishmike. LOL So are we going to reference that thread like the bible now? "The thread of Wroten Page 14 post 9" - EnySpree
fishmike
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1/31/2018  9:03 AM
franco12 wrote:Does our front office and coaching staff not have access to this kind of data?

There is a disconnect. What is Jeff doing to help correct this problem?

What am I missing?

so... honest question. Is it as simple as just pointing this out? Do people not realize when players take less than good shots there might be some good defense involved? You know other teams have that same data. Other teams look at the charts and game plan against the Knick's best scorer and try to push him into taking his lower % shots.

I mean come on guys. Do people really think that Jeff and his staff are so stupid? Do people really think its this simple and easy? franco my intent is not to single you out man... but there are a lot of posters that suggest the Knicks are stupid for not changing the obvious.

Jeff: Hey KP come here
KP: sup coach
Jeff: look at this chart. You stink from these areas.
KP: damn
Jeff: less here. More here.
KP: word

Jeff wins coach of year and KP is MVP and wins the next 7 scoring titles.

Kinda like that right?

When you take what the defense gives you, and the defenses are manned with NBA players you are going to see some really weak areas. Thats the point. What makes gifted scorers gifted is they get the shots THEY want. That is Jeff and KP's challenge. To get him HIS shots in a way that is fluid in the offense.

I thought last night vs. Nets was very good. Some iso stuff but mostly jumpers in the flow of the offense. Again... I just dont want to see KP work hard on offense. We need that effort on the other side of the ball. He should be mostly shooting jumpers and his spacing killed the Nets. They want to collapse in the paint as they are small but they couldnt double Kanter because everytime they did KP drained yet another open 3.

Nets suck... but when the Knicks are better, and KP is better that is how it should look.

Melo is ranked 38 on defense. Probably one of the best PF defenders in the league -HofstraBBall (1/24/2018)
fishmike
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1/31/2018  9:06 AM
Bonn1997 wrote:
franco12 wrote:Does our front office and coaching staff not have access to this kind of data?

There is a disconnect. What is Jeff doing to help correct this problem?

What am I missing?


That's the mind-boggling part. Either they don't know that he's taking a lot of bad shots or they don't want to require him to take better shots.
You should be an NBA coach. You know they make millions? You there... less of these bad shots. More of these good ones. OK... you.. next guy. Come here (looks at chart)...
Melo is ranked 38 on defense. Probably one of the best PF defenders in the league -HofstraBBall (1/24/2018)
Knixkik
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1/31/2018  9:14 AM    LAST EDITED: 1/31/2018  9:14 AM
Bonn1997 wrote:
Knixkik wrote:
Bonn1997 wrote:
Nalod wrote:
Bonn1997 wrote:He has the shot selection of Melo but at least brings excellent defense. The problem is he's addicted to shots he's bad at.

He'll never change. He seems full of himself too. We should send him to the Gleague and maybe he'll be humble too!!!
Good article.

As KP learns to read (Feel) the double he'll too learn to pass out.


There's an assumption that he will learn. A lot of volume scorers do the same thing for their whole 10 or 15 year careers.

Some do and some don't. There's no way to know which direction he will go, but improvement is more likely than not.


He's taking more low percentage shots now than in previous seasons. Maybe that's the role he's in (or his misunderstanding of his role). But I'm more skeptical than I was a year a go. I'd call it more 50/50 but you're right there's no way to know.

That's the adjustment to being the main guy. He's seeing defenses adjust, now he needs to do the same. I think we will see it in year 4. It's a process.

Bonn1997
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1/31/2018  10:32 AM
fishmike wrote:
Bonn1997 wrote:
franco12 wrote:Does our front office and coaching staff not have access to this kind of data?

There is a disconnect. What is Jeff doing to help correct this problem?

What am I missing?


That's the mind-boggling part. Either they don't know that he's taking a lot of bad shots or they don't want to require him to take better shots.
You should be an NBA coach. You know they make millions? You there... less of these bad shots. More of these good ones. OK... you.. next guy. Come here (looks at chart)...

What's your point? I'm not realizing that it's extremely hard to teach a person not to take contested mid-range shots? I should expect it to take KP 5 to 10 years to realize this?
Article: Porzingis can shoot over anyone, and that might be a problem

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