Jayson Tatum Needs His Own Thread

bosox79

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Right, he is a top 15 player, arguably top 10. I'd probably have Jokic in my top 10 but I'm a fan boy.

I also think that 25 and under list is based more on potential than what they are now.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Watching JT the first five games, my first thought is: "He's pressing his one on one offense a lot." So far, only 28% of hit twos and 38% of his shots overall have been assisted. Last season, 55% of his twos and 66% of all shots were assisted. Last season, his ratio of mid-range twos to threes was 1:1, this season it's 3:2.

Maybe it's the Kobe effect. This is what superstar scorers do, but iso gunning from mid-range isn't needed on a team stacked with offensive weapons. I'd prefer him to take the ball to the hoop more (72% at the rim this season, but only 18 attempts, compared to 22 threeballs and 17 long twos).
Being an iso-centric offensive player has always been Tatum's game though. We forget that the one name that was often associated him coming out of HS and later into the draft was Carmelo Anthony.
 

lovegtm

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I think it's pretty insane to consider either Tatum or Simmons in the same class as Jokic right now. (I don't think Embiid is close either but am being a bit conservative since the world of NBA player rankings is much higher on Embiid than I am.)

Jokic should be a consensus top 10 player and is an arguable top 5 player. That he isn't is a failure or analysts to look past his weaknesses and his body type/composition, not a product of his on court performance. Honestly, if Jokic looked more athletic and otherwise played the exact same game, I think he'd easily be a consensus top 10 player and would get named as a long shot MVP candidate.
He's probably a top-10 regular season player. But watching the Nuggets get carved up like a delicious turkey last night against LAL, I have a hard time seeing him as the foundation of an elite playoff team.

Edit: there's a big gap between Tatum and Simmons and "consensus top 5-10 player when it counts." Tatum is very much a work in progress, and Simmons can be completely taken out of games due to his inability to shoot.
 

HomeRunBaker

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He's probably a top-10 regular season player. But watching the Nuggets get carved up like a delicious turkey last night against LAL, I have a hard time seeing him as the foundation of an elite playoff team.
Meh, using a one-game sample in a back-to-back road game can always skew results. The Nuggets are a really good team.
 

lovegtm

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Meh, using a one-game sample in a back-to-back road game can always skew results. The Nuggets are a really good team.
I agree that they'll be a really really good regular season team. I remain skeptical that Jokic can hold up to playoff targeting and game-planning.
 

luckiestman

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Joking will be perpetually underrated because he looks like a maintenance man at a union shop.
 

lovegtm

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One thing Larry Bird used to pride himself on is that every summer he would work on one specific skill and come to training camp with that skill mastered or much improved. One year it was his left hand, another year his foot speed, another was low post moves, etc. I have no idea what Tatum's summer workouts looked like but if he was focusing on adding strength and improving his body this summer then I wouldn't expect him to come to camp with an improved 3-point shot. This goes back to my plea in giving Tatum 3-4 years to reach his peak rather than expecting him to be a "veteran All-Star" in year two. It truly is a process.
This is fair, and I definitely am guilty of holding him to an unrealistic standard. His body looks stronger this year, and I've also been impressed with some of the skills he's showing off when he gets in the lane, including the beginnings of the ability to hold the defender on his butt on the PnR.
 

TripleOT

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Getting back to Tatum. I hope Kobe didn't plant a virus in this future Celtic superstar. Mid range jumpers are ok they way Durant utilizes them. He made half of his non-three jumpers last season, with a bit more than a third of them assisted. Tatum is not that efficient there yet.

I'd like to see Tatum pressure defenses with drives when he isos. He's also starting a lot of isos from way behind the arc. He has the height and strength to set up closer to the hoop before squaring up and iso-ing. One other thing he is doing with the PF-less starting line up is rebounding well at both ends, with productivity up 50% in four more minutes (tiny sample rules apply)
 

ifmanis5

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I'm a little worried about Tatum. He's way up in his own head, thinking too much instead of just playing. It would be easier for him if he was the only good player on a terrible team like Atlanta where he could just do everything. With Boston and a healthy Kyrie back, he has to defer to established players and pick his spots. Hopefully just a Sophomore Slump and not a true regression. Also, Kobe may have poisoned him with Mamba Juice.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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I'm a little worried about Tatum. He's way up in his own head, thinking too much instead of just playing. It would be easier for him if he was the only good player on a terrible team like Atlanta where he could just do everything. With Boston and a healthy Kyrie back, he has to defer to established players and pick his spots. Hopefully just a Sophomore Slump and not a true regression. Also, Kobe may have poisoned him with Mamba Juice.
With Kyrie out next game, will be interesting to see how he plays; will he jack up even more long 2’s? Will he try to drive and kick more to try to fill that part of Kyrie’s game?

A complicating factor is sharing the floor with Terry, who also seems to have regressed from last year and has been a black hole.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Getting back to Tatum. I hope Kobe didn't plant a virus in this future Celtic superstar. Mid range jumpers are ok they way Durant utilizes them. He made half of his non-three jumpers last season, with a bit more than a third of them assisted. Tatum is not that efficient there yet.

I'd like to see Tatum pressure defenses with drives when he isos. He's also starting a lot of isos from way behind the arc. He has the height and strength to set up closer to the hoop before squaring up and iso-ing. One other thing he is doing with the PF-less starting line up is rebounding well at both ends, with productivity up 50% in four more minutes (tiny sample rules apply)
To confirm, according to NBA.com stats, JT is shooting 26.4% from mid range (14 for 53). Interesting that he is shooting 100% from left corner threes (only 2 of them though) while shooting 3 for 10 from right corner threes (and missed another wide-open one last night).
 

BigSoxFan

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I think he's just pressing. Not overly concerned but also a bit disappointed by his start. He's been pretty bad out there.
 

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Him and Jaylen had free reign when guys went down last year. They were the alphas and could work at will. They just need to all work out a role and learn to adapt on a nightly basis. It was a complicated transition and I think he’s just hesitant to try to do too much. This is very much a feeling out period, almost as if they were all brand new. We’ve been spoiled by how quickly KG and Allen assimilated but they were seasoned vets. He’ll be fine, we know his talent.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I think it is time for Tatum to do some time on the bench. I'd lean towards starting Smart, as Brad did in the second half.
 

Big John

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Oh I don't think bench is appropriate. Tatum been working his tail off on defense, in spite of his poor play on offense.
My view is that both Tatum and Irving are ball dominant and should be on the floor together as little as possible. Tatum doesn't really know what to do when Irving is dribbling around-- Tatum is only 20 years old, for goodness sake.

Make Tatum the 6th man. Stevens should be able to sell him on becoming the next Havlicek. The second unit needs another scorer, that's for sure.
 

JCizzle

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Oh I don't think bench is appropriate. Tatum been working his tail off on defense, in spite of his poor play on offense.
My view is that both Tatum and Irving are ball dominant and should be on the floor together as little as possible. Tatum doesn't really know what to do when Irving is dribbling around-- Tatum is only 20 years old, for goodness sake.

Make Tatum the 6th man. Stevens should be able to sell him on becoming the next Havlicek. The second unit needs another scorer, that's for sure.
I know you don't literally mean Havlicek, but I found this pretty funny. He has no idea who he is I bet haha
 

Big John

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I'd be surprised if Tatum didn't know who Havlicek was after being a Celtic for over a year. But if he doesn't, tell him to be the next James Harden. Harden won 6th man of the year in 2011-12.

My point is that Kyrie and Tatum is not a good fit if you want to maximize Tatum's positive impact.
 

BigSoxFan

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I'd be surprised if Tatum didn't know who Havlicek was after being a Celtic for over a year. But if he doesn't, tell him to be the next James Harden. Harden won 6th man of the year in 2011-12.

My point is that Kyrie and Tatum is not a good fit if you want to maximize Tatum's positive impact.
Tatum ain’t settling for a 6th man role. His fit with Kyrie is a valid issue right now but you’re not convincing a 20 year-old #3 pick with his rookie success to come off the bench.
 

bosox79

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Not anymore.

JT: .465 (2p%) / .425 (3P%) / .838 (FT%). EFG% = .528
Fultz: .414 / .286 / .549. EFG% = .423

Even Jaylen Brown, who has shot horribly this season thus far, is shooting better than Fultz.
Those are career numbers and I'm pretty sure he was being tongue in cheek, especially after Tatum's last 2 games. Tatum's FG% is .413, Fultz is at .422.

Jaylen Brown is worse in FG% and 3pt% than Fultz this year and slightly better from the line.

Of course it means nothing without context.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Those are career numbers and I'm pretty sure he was being tongue in cheek, especially after Tatum's last 2 games. Tatum's FG% is .413, Fultz is at .422.

Jaylen Brown is worse in FG% and 3pt% than Fultz this year and slightly better from the line.

Of course it means nothing without context.
OK. I was doing a player comparison of what I thought were seasons but BRef gave me career. Carry on.
 

nighthob

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Those are career numbers and I'm pretty sure he was being tongue in cheek, especially after Tatum's last 2 games. Tatum's FG% is .413, Fultz is at .422.
He probably ran the BBref comparison and selected the 2018-19 option as a comparison point without checking the "single season comparison" option, which gives you cumulative stats through the selected season (yes, it makes zero sense to have to essentially select it twice, bad UI decision there).

In any event, why in the name of god are people still using FG%, it's an obsolete statistic. Right now Tatum's 2019 eFG% is a still needs improvement .477. Which is vastly better than Fultz's .438. Factor in the better defense and this still isn't a comparison.
 

Sam Ray Not

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I don't know why everyone doesn't use TS% the vast majority of the time. I guess EFG% is okay too in instances where you really want to distill "shooting/finishing ability" from "ability to draw fouls" but how useful is that? The scoreboard only cares how efficiently you use your possessions (which is precisely what TS% measures, especially if you use the actual # of possessions used by FTA as the divider rather than the 0.44 estimate), not how you got to your efficiency level, or in how aesthetically pleasing a manner. James Harden (for example) scoffs at EFG% while his teams pile up the wins.

But yeah, using FG% as a basis for player comparisons is the worst. Every time I hear it cited I think of my 75 year-old mom and 80 year-old stepdad (bless their souls!) talking to me about Jackie Bradley Jr.'s "batting average."

Which reminds me: I know I shouldn't take anything the ESPN clowns say seriously, but I threw up in my mouth a couple weeks ago when Max Kellerman put on his best smart-white-guy tone and used FG% to explain to Steven A. Smith how much more "efficient" Antetokounmpo was than Durant. Talk about the blind leading the stupid, or vice versa. Yeesh.
 
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bosox79

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EFG% is probably useful when it comes to 3 and D types and other role players who aren't going to get to the line much.

I'm also pretty sure he was joking. No one actually uses just FG% anymore.
 

nighthob

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I don't know why everyone doesn't use TS% the vast majority of the time. I guess EFG% is okay too in instances where you really want to distill "shooting/finishing ability" from "ability to draw fouls" but how useful is that? The scoreboard only cares how efficiently you use your possessions (which is precisely what TS% measures, especially if you use the actual FTA divider rather than the 0.44 estimate), not how you got to your efficiency level, or in how aesthetically pleasing a manner.
They're both useful numbers.

But yeah, using FG% as a basis for player comparisons is the worst. Every time I hear it cited I think of my 75 year-old mom and 80 year-old stepdad talking to me about Jackie Bradley Jr.'s "batting average."
Amen.
 

Sam Ray Not

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They're both useful numbers.
Can you expand a bit on the merits of EFG% — i.e. what instances it makes sense to factor FTA and FT% out of the equation? One example I can think of is making predictions about crunchtime possessions or the playoffs, where it's presumed that the refs tend to swallow their whistles more, making things tougher on guys like Harden who derive so much of their efficiency from FTA (though I'm not sure this is an actual phenomenon).

To use the baseball analogy again, using EFG as a basis for comparison seems a bit like looking at SLG alone while ignoring OBP.

I'd add: to me TS% is far superior metric to OPS, in that it doesn't awkwardly combine two percentages that overlap and should not really be summed. TS% is super elegant and descriptive in that it tells you exactly how many points a player scores per possession used. Since given equal possessions, the team with the higher TS% will win the game 100% of the time (not the case with EFG% and definitely not the case with FG%), shouldn't that be what we care about the vast majority of the time?
 
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nighthob

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Can you expand a bit on the merits of EFG% — i.e. what instances it makes sense to factor FTA and FT% out of the equation?
It's useful to know how good a shooter a player is when evaluating their game.

One example I can think of is making predictions about crunchtime possessions or the playoffs, where it's presumed that the refs tend to swallow their whistles more, making things tougher on guys like Harden who derive so much of their efficiency from FTA (though I'm not sure this is an actual phenomenon).
This is one area that it becomes generally useful.

To use the baseball analogy again, using EFG as a basis for comparison seems a bit like looking at SLG alone while ignoring OBP.
But if we were trying to evaluate how much power a player brings to the table then SLG or OPS+ are more useful than mere OBP.

I'd add: to me TS% is far superior metric to OPS, in that it doesn't awkwardly combine two percentages that overlap and should not really be summed. TS% is super elegant and descriptive in that it tells you exactly how many points a player scores per possession used. Since given equal possessions, the team with the higher TS% will win the game 100% of the time (not the case with EFG% and definitely not the case with FG%), shouldn't that be what we care about the vast majority of the time?
You might be misunderstanding what I was saying. The claim I was responding to was, in essence, Fultz is shooting better than Tatum this year, look at their FG%s. Using that basis we would conclude that Ben Simmons is a better shooter than Klay Thompson. I was just shocked that there was still anyone left comparing shooting ability by raw FG%.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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The Ringer has a partial sophmore year check-in on some of the notable class of 2017 draftees, including Tatum. They make the same observation we all have about his shot selection that we’ve all been making, but have some glass half full analysis on his passing:

So why is a player so talented taking so many midrange jumpers? Tatum often dribbles into pull-up 2s early in the clock instead of taking a side-dribble into a 3. It’s an understandable habit for a young player who has studied and trained with Kobe. This season, 28 percent of Tatum’s shot attempts have come from the 2-point range outside of 14 feet, which leads all players for his position, according to Cleaning the Glass. The pull-up is part of Tatum’s fabric; it’s what makes him a potentially lethal scorer in end-game situations. But the same shot-making inclinations that allow for comparisons to all-time greats are the same inclinations that put blinders on his game.

These early-clock 2s are the shots Tatum needs to eliminate from his diet in favor of more drives to the basket, where he can finish, draw fouls, or make plays for someone else.

Tatum has improved his passing accuracy since entering the league, and he’s more cognizant about looking for his teammates. This season, he’s passing more often and his assists are up. But there’s so much more room to grow immediately if he stops settling.

If Tatum can start making more plays attacking the basket with a score-first mentality and delivering a pass, then we could soon be looking at a complete player. Tatum is going through growing pains early this season, but diverging more from the Kobe formula could further elevate his play and raise the ceiling for the struggling Celtics.
https://www.theringer.com/nba/2018/11/13/18089898/nba-2017-draft-class-progress
He’s such a smart, coachable player that I see this as a blip rather than a permanent change to his playing style and he’s been looking better in recent games already.
 

JakeRae

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On the metrics debate, the ideal shooting metric, I think, would be a version of TS% that didn't weight and-1 free throw attempts at all in the denominator. TS% actually understates efficiency for players who finish through contact. Compiling that superior version is obviously much more labor intensive than TS% so the actual metric remains a very good proxy for the stat we should really be interested in.
 

Sam Ray Not

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On the metrics debate, the ideal shooting metric, I think, would be a version of TS% that didn't weight and-1 free throw attempts at all in the denominator. TS% actually understates efficiency for players who finish through contact. Compiling that superior version is obviously much more labor intensive than TS% so the actual metric remains a very good proxy for the stat we should really be interested in.
IIRC, I have occasionally seen "True True Shooting Percentage" cited — that is, TS% that counts the actual number of possessions used as opposed to the 0.44 estimate for FTA (so, not counting and-ones, and counting FTA from three-shot fouls as 1/3 possessions instead of half-possessions).

I can't imagine that with play-by-play tracking as fine-grained as it is these days that it'd be particularly hard for an automated site like BB-Ref to use the "True True" number. But then, IIRC, the variances between the True and the True True shooting numbers are not very large: on the order of 0-10 pts max over the course of a full season, which is pretty insignificant compared to, for example, the 144 points of TS% that currently separate Tatum (.578 career TS) and Fultz (.434).
 
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Sam Ray Not

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It's useful to know how good a shooter a player is when evaluating their game.
True, although EFG% tells us very little about how good a shooter a player is unless we also know where the shots are coming from. DeAndre Jordan rates as a good "shooter" by EFG%.

If we want to distill shooting from layups and dunks, we can check the Shooting tab on BB-Ref or NBA.com and see how well (and in what volumes) a player shoots from 10-16 feet, 16 feet+, and three-point land. Those numbers along with FT% paint a much better picture of shooting ability than EFG%, if that's specifically what we want to know about. TS%, as noted, tells exactly how efficiently a player uses their possessions. EFG% falls somewhere in between TS% and the actual shooting breakdowns by distance, so I don't look at it or cite it as often, but YMMV.
 

nighthob

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True, although EFG% tells us very little about how good a shooter a player is unless we also know where the shots are coming from. DeAndre Jordan rates as a good "shooter" by EFG%.
This is sort of silly since anyone can see that Jordan’s FG% and eFG% are identical.
 

Sam Ray Not

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This is sort of silly since anyone can see that Jordan’s FG% and eFG% are identical.
True. Just noting that EFG% without more context (FG%, 3FG%, FT%, shot distances, etc.) doesn't tell us a lot about a player's shooting per se. What it really tells us is how efficiently a player would score if you factored free throws out of the equation. Maybe call it a measure of "shooting and/or finishing"?
 

nighthob

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At this point it looks you’re arguing with me for the sake of arguing. Look back at the post you’re attacking, nowhere do I claim that eFG% is anything more than what it is, a microstat.

I was literally responding to the claim that Fultz was shooting better than Tatum citing FG% as evidence. And I was flummoxed that anyone would still be using raw FG% to evaluate shooting efficiency. That was literally the extent of what I said.

As an early devotee of Oliver’s scoring efficiency numbers (if the ezBoard site is still around you can see me advocating its use 17 years ago or so) you’re not teaching me anything here. Hell, I even created my own incorporating turnovers (though, in honesty, just so that I could have a stat called Efficient Shooting Percentage, or ESP).
 

Sam Ray Not

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Not arguing, attacking, or trying to teach you anything — just discussing and clarifying the nuances of TS% and eFG% (for myself and SoSH readers, if not you). Pretty sure we're not actually disagreeing on much here. Carry on!
 
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bosox79

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For a guy getting some grief this year about shot selection, Tatum is at .466/.460/.805 for the month of November. That's on 4.5 3PA/G. He hasn't been getting to the line though. Rate wise, he looks the same as last year for the most part which is kind of depressing, but it's early.
 

DrewDawg

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His November shooting from deep is better than any month last season after November--and he's doing it with more options around him than last season.

Overall his rebounding/36 is up more than 25%, his assists up more than 20%, as far as drawing fouls, last year he attempted .31 FTs per FGA, this year it's .26, so it's down a bit.

If he has more months like November than he did October, I think we'll see the growth.
 

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Based on some discussions last year when we were heady with expectations it was thrown about if trading Tatum for Davis was something we would be for.
At the time i think the consensus was a "no".

I asked my 10 year old last night (who is probably more in tune with BB then I am) if he would trade Tatum straight up for Davis. He said "Ummm well....". I said ok let me add the Celtics 1st rounder this year? He finally said He would do it.

So based on a "apparently" slow start (soph slump??) whats the temperature for Tatum? Would you trade him for Davis? Another "Top 10" player? What would need to be added to him to make it worth it? Is his projection still that of a top 10-20 player?
 

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I'm looking forward to seeing what people think that his projection is. I have no doubt that his ceiling is in the top 10. Maybe even top 5.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I'm looking forward to seeing what people think that his projection is. I have no doubt that his ceiling is in the top 10. Maybe even top 5.
I'd say it's bottom part of Top-10. I feel he lacks the explosiveness to get much higher. Not a knock at all......I mean it is top 10. Floor is around a Top-25 barring injury. Tatum provides quite a bit of certainty but having said that.....anyone who wouldn't trade him straight up for Davis has the bifocal version of green shades on.
 

bosox79

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His November shooting from deep is better than any month last season after November--and he's doing it with more options around him than last season.

Overall his rebounding/36 is up more than 25%, his assists up more than 20%, as far as drawing fouls, last year he attempted .31 FTs per FGA, this year it's .26, so it's down a bit.

If he has more months like November than he did October, I think we'll see the growth.
I think that's lying with statistics. His rebounding rate went from 9.0% to 10.8%, his assists % from 8.3 to 9.5. I wouldn't really call those gains, I'd call it variance. His TO% is down 1% and his usage is up 2.5%, so that might be a thing.

He's still young but one of the knocks on him is he was more of a finished product. Hopefully that's not a thing and he takes a huge step forward this season or next.

edit: He does have a really high floor.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I think that's lying with statistics. His rebounding rate went from 9.0% to 10.8%, his assists % from 8.3 to 9.5. I wouldn't really call those gains, I'd call it variance. His TO% is down 1% and his usage is up 2.5%, so that might be a thing.
Referring back to my comments from the Hayward thread I can attribute the slight uptick in rebounding this year to be due to that being less of a responsibility for him last season startinf alongside Horford and Baynes. The TO/Usage ratio is a nice trend.
 

bosox79

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It's probably unfair of me to say he's the same too, because he is shooting the ball more and scoring more. Rates will tell you he's just getting more opportunities, and doing about the same, but we all know it isn't that simple. Doing the same is a hard thing to do with more chances.