So I have been gifted with a mySynergySports.com account. For those that don't know already, this is a bit like handing Maserati keys to a teenager. I don't know what I'm doing and I'm likely to hurt myself and wreck someone's front yard. However, I shall try to pull out of the driveway slowly and deliberately and see if I can make sense of this thing.
You see, mySynergySports.com lets you see stats broken down to really interesting levels of detail. For example, you can see how many offensive possessions a specific player spots up for jump shots or uses a pick and roll (as the ball handler or the roller). Then you can take that data and watch video of each of the possessions. This lets you see tendencies (always goes left/right) and highlights strengths and weaknesses. It is basically a scout's best friend.
So what I did was focus on Jeff Green. The guy fascinates me. He has this amazing skillset, and he seems to be figuring out how to use those skills to succeed more and more. Here's my rudimentary findings.
Right off the bat, the breakdown of offensive plays is interesting. Out of 812 offensive plays, 203 of them were spot up jumpers (where he hit an impressive 47% in field goal percentage). Another 122 were in transition (a very healthy 60%). He only shot 34% on post ups which was 114 times. Next on the list was isolations but I'll come back to that. 42 times he was the ball handler on pick and rolls (32%) and 45 times he was the roll man (41%). Finally, he got the ball on cuts 46 times for a really impressive 73% FG%.
That's a lot of data, and there's a ton that you could do with it. I chose to focus on his isolations. I see him at the top of the key with the ball in his hand more and more these days. He waits, dribbles, stutter steps, gathers, then winds up and drives at the basket. Often times he side-jumps past a defender, using his agility, length, and hangtime to scoop, push, or float the ball at the basket. When it works it is a thing of beauty. When it doesn't, it seems a bit forced. Those were my general impressions before I opened up mySynergySports.
Here's what mySynergySports taught me. Of the 105 iso plays, he converted 38% of them. This is somewhat comparable to Paul Pierce's 39.7% success rate. I'm sure I could dig in a lot more with the stats, but the rest of this is observations off of watching dozens of Jeff Green iso plays in a row.
As Doc has mentioned in the past, they love to create mismatches for Jeff Green. A large majority of these isos were designed to get him set up one on one with a big man too far from the paint to be effective. In Miami he feasted on Birdman and poor Luis Scola didn't know what to do with him in Phoenix. There were even times when a guard would come over to offer up a screen and because Jeff knew he had the mismatch he wanted, he would waive it off or run the other way and wait for space to open up.
You want to talk about Rondo pounding the ball waiting for something to happen, just watch Green on one of these plays. He's got nobody within 3 feet of him so he just bounces the ball like he's a kid waiting for the next pickup game to start. He waits, waits, watches, surveys, starts, stops, backs up, then starts again. You'd forgive his teammates if they simply fell asleep. If I had more time, I'd focus on what his teammates did on these posessions. If they are smart they'll try to seal their man and/or start boxing out when he hits his stride.
He attacks the lane like Randall Cunningham used to throw passes - with a big windup and strong release. Once he commits, he's going. That can be a good thing or a bad thing. It is good in that he doesn't second guess his decision and you need to have a determination when you drive to the hoop. It is bad in that he doesn't seem to know what to do when his options are cut off from him. A few times he did try to pass out to the perimeter, but one sailed out of bounds and another was a perfect pass that was ruined when he ran over the guy guarding him for an offensive foul.
However, when he does find that seam, he's very, very creative. He uses runners, scoop shots, layups, and occasionally breaks through for a nice dunk. He even mixes in a step-back jumper that he can hit. He doesn't seem to have much of a pull up jumper however. That would be a great next step for him to take because it would give him a good option if the defense cuts off his first option.
So there you have it. A layman's scouting report on Jeff Green's iso plays. It is a good weapon to have because he can generate offense - perhaps once other sets break down. It also seems to help get him into a rhythm and feel the game better (rather than just catching and shooting jumpers cold off the bench). He's a tweener and if you are going to live with disadvantages on matchups, you better make use of the advantages he creates on other matchups.
Hope this was an interesting read. Next time you see him with the ball at the top of the key looking to drive, you'll have some background understanding of what he's likely to do.