Boston's Bad Bench Shooting -- How Much of a Thing Is It?

Imbricus

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Jan 26, 2017
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I thought this deserved a thread, because I crunched some numbers. Obviously, the bad bench shooting is a thing over the last six games -- I have them at 47/182 for that stretch on field goals (or 25.8%), which is pretty bad. However, in the first 11 games this year they were 121/309 (39.2%), which is not great, but if the defense is pretty good, I suppose you can live with it.

Average it all together and it comes out to 168/491 (34.2%), which again is bad, but heavily influenced by this six-game rotten stretch.

So I'm wondering how bad they really are. Larkin was 44.2% his last year with Brooklyn and is 25.5% this year, so he should improve. Smart has been beyond Marcus-bad lately, and that's hurting them. Rozier isn't having a great shooting year either (about 34%), and unfortunately, Rozier has always had a low FG percentage. Then they've got some rookies who are ... rookies.

What's reasonable to expect from this bunch? Can we get to 39% FG? Or could this bad shooting off the bench start killing us?
 

Eddie Jurak

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For now, I'm not too worried. I think the current poor bench production is, as you note, a rough patch.

I also think there is a decent chance that Morris (or possibly Tatum) winds up in a 6th man type role to provide bench offense.

And, even if that doesn't happen, Stevens seems to work his rotations in a way that limits "all bench" minutes. I doubt we'll see Stevens running with a Baynes (or Theis) - Ojeleye - Smart - Rozier - Larkin lineup in meaningful minutes all that often.

Since coming back, Morris has been in a short minutes role (averaging ~24 minutes) that ought to increase and help with the overall scoring.
 

Jimbodandy

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I think that the bench scoring, while frustrating, is not really a problem. Like most fans, I watch that Smart, Rozier, Ojele, Larkin, plus Morris/Tatum/whoever lineup and watch them clang brick after brick and shake my head. What's really annoying is that Rozier seems to think that he needs to instigate the offense, but he bricks everything equally (layups, 5-footers, 10-footers, threes). I keep wishing that they would work the ball to whomever is the actual player with offensive chops at that time (WTF guys, work it to Tatum/Morris, he can actually fucking shoot!), but they never seem to prioritize that.

When I look at the box score, I'm generally surprised that Rozier or Marcus converted on anything. I only remember the misses. Then I notice that they're both like +10 for the game most of the time and realize that Danny and Brad know more than I do. For the most part, that unit can't score to save their lives, but they don't allow much either. It's not the worst problem to have.
 

Imbricus

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So over the last eight games now (add in Dallas and Miami), I have the bench's shooting at 25.9% (60/232). This is really bad and is starting to go beyond SSS. Obviously a huge part of the problem is two of their defensive wizards (Smart and Rozier) are terrible shooters. Terry is 33.7% FG this year and 34.5% for his career, so it's possible that he's just about this bad. Marcus is 27% FG this year and 35% for his career, so he could improve to the point where he's just Rozier bad. If you're putting two guards out there, neither of whom can shoot worth sh** for long stretches, you're going to kill that bench unit. Teams will start adjusting their defense. If for no other reason, maybe make Smart a starter? Though it's tough, because he runs the second unit well.

One other note: I think that Smart-doesn't-like-to-pass-to-Tatum is a real thing. Watch the games. Smart should be trying to feed Tatum all the time, because Tatum can actually shoot, but for some reason, he doesn't appear to want to. Jealous?