Who should be shooting more?

All the discussion about how many shots Dwight Howard should get had me interested in how well the Pistons handled shot distribution this year.

Here’s a player-by-player breakdown of how the number of shots each attempted correlated with Detroit’s winning percentage:

Alex Acker

Optimal number of shots per game: 1

Average number of shots per game: 1.6

graph (5) 

FGA W-L
0 1-0
1 2-1
2 0-1
3 0-2

Analysis: He played in seven games before being traded to the Clippers. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Arron Afflalo

Optimal number of shots per game: 6

Average number of shots per game: 4.1

graph (7)

FGA W-L
0 4-3
1 3-7
2 5-7
3 5-5
4 3-4
5 4-3
6 5-2
7 2-1
8 2-1
9 2-0
10 1-2
12 0-1
13 0-2

Analysis: There’s some weak evidence the Pistons would be better off with Afflalo taking as many as five shots more per game than he did this year. In all likelihood, that’s not actually a good idea.

Chauncey Billups

Optimal number of shots per game: 11

Average number of shots per game: 10.5

graph (8)

FGA W-L
8 1-0
13 1-0

Analysis: The numbers say Detroit was better when Billups took shots.

Kwame Brown

Optimal number of shots per game: 6

Average number of shots per game: 2.9

graph (9)

FGA W-L
0 6-5
1 5-4
2 4-6
3 5-4
4 3-4
5 1-1
6 4-1
7 1-2
11 0-1
13 0-1

Analysis: There’s a slight chance Brown is the Pistons’ starting center at the beginning of next season. On the bright (less dim?) side, Detroit appears to do slightly better when Brown takes more shots than he averaged this year.

Will Bynum

Optimal number of shots per game: 8

Average number of shots per game: 6.0

graph (11)

FGA W-L
0 4-1
1 3-3
2 1-3
3 3-1
4 3-5
5 2-3
6 1-3
7 2-2
8 1-1
9 2-3
10 0-1
12 1-1
14 0-2
15 1-0
16 1-1
18 0-1
19 1-0

Analysis: The numbers here are so up and down, there’s not much to take from them. Bynum’s role changed so much — from out of the rotation to go-to guy in the fourth quarter.

Richard Hamilton

Optimal number of shots per game: 15

Average number of shots per game: 15.6

graph (12) 

FGA W-L
8 1-1
9 2-1
10 1-1
11 3-3
12 4-4
13 5-4
14 1-1
15 3-1
16 1-3
17 0-2
18 5-2
19 0-6
20 1-2
21 1-2
23 0-1
24 0-1
25 2-0
26 1-0
29 1-0

Analysis: Once Pistons coach Michael Curry benched Hamilton, the guard decided to take control of the offense. He held the ball longer, which results in more scoring — but more turnovers, too.

The Pistons are better when he’s an efficient scorer (9-to-15 shots per game) instead of a volume shooter. Here’s hoping he returns to that mentality next year (if he’s still in Detroit).

Walter Herrmann

Optimal number of shots per game: 6

Average number of shots per game: 3.5

graph (13)

FGA W-L
0 5-5
1 5-5
2 3-4
3 4-6
4 1-3
5 2-1
6 4-2
7 2-1
8 1-0
9 1-1
11 0-1
13 0-1
15 0-1

Analysis: The Pistons had a jump in production once Herrmann took five shots in a game. This made Curry’s decisions to bring Herrmann of the bench for the first time in the fourth quarter all the more troubling. A shooter like Herrmann needs the time on the court to develop a rhythm.

On the flip side, if you’re relying on Walter Herrmann to take double-digit shots, you’re probably not going to win.

Allen Iverson

Optimal number of shots per game: 15

Average number of shots per game: 14.7

graph (15)

FGA W-L
4 0-1
7 1-0
8 0-2
9 2-2
10 2-2
11 0-3
12 2-2
13 1-4
14 2-3
15 1-0
16 3-1
17 4-1
18 2-2
19 1-3
20 0-1
22 1-1
23 1-0
24 1-1
28 0-1

Analysis: Warning to everyone considering Allen Iverson for next year: His teams still do better when he takes a lot of shots. Besides no signs he’d even take a lesser role, these numbers don’t show he could make that work.

Amir Johnson

Optimal number of shots per game: 6

Average number of shots per game: 2.6

graph (16)

FGA W-L
0 5-6
1 5-9
2 3-6
3 2-6
4 4-4
5 2-2
6 3-0
7 1-2
8 2-0

Analysis: These numbers probably don’t reflect much because Johnson doesn’t typically look for his own shot. He can finish on the fastbreak and gets putbacks. So, if he’s taking a lot of shots, the Pistons are probably doing other things right that lead to wins.

Jason Maxiell

Optimal number of shots per game: 4

Average number of shots per game: 4.1

graph (17)

FGA W-L
0 1-1
1 4-6
2 4-4
3 8-6
4 10-8
5 4-6
6 3-1
7 1-2
8 1-1
9 1-2
10 1-1
11 1-1

Analysis: His chart is pretty horizontal, which makes sense. Maxiell doesn’t do much besides score inside. His ability to do that doesn’t seem to change much, regardless of how many looks he gets. So, Detroit performs about the same — no matter how many shots Maxiell takes.

Antonio McDyess

Optimal number of shots per game: 8

Average number of shots per game: 8.5

graph (18)

FGA W-L
3 2-1
4 1-2
5 3-4
6 4-6
7 3-3
8 6-2
9 2-3
10 2-3
11 2-2
12 1-1
13 0-1
14 1-2
15 0-1
16 0-2
18 1-0
20 0-1

Analysis: The Pistons are a little better when McDyess takes a lower-to-average number of shots. He’s too talented to disappear offensively. But at his age, he can’t be relied upon to carry too much of the load.

Tayshaun Prince

Optimal number of shots per game: 14

Average number of shots per game: 12.4

graph (20)

FGA W-L
2 0-1
4 0-1
5 1-0
6 1-2
7 1-1
8 1-3
9 1-4
10 4-6
11 5-3
12 5-3
13 2-4
14 4-2
15 7-3
16 3-4
17 1-2
18 3-0
19 0-1
21 0-2
26 0-1

Analysis: If anyone should get more shots, it’s Prince. But it’s his passivity that’s to blame more than coaching strategy.

Walter Sharpe

Optimal number of shots per game: 2

Average number of shots per game: 1.4

graph (21)

FGA W-L
1 3-2
2 3-0

Analysis: Give Sharpe the ball! Look at that steep upward slope above.

Rodney Stuckey

Optimal number of shots per game: 10

Average number of shots per game: 11.6 

graph (22)

FGA W-L
2 0-2
3 0-1
5 0-1
6 2-2
7 1-2
8 6-5
9 5-5
10 3-2
11 1-3
12 6-6
13 3-1
14 2-4
15 3-3
16 0-1
18 0-1
19 1-1
20 0-2
24 2-0
25 0-1
29 1-0

Analysis: He definitely needed a bigger role than what he had at the beginning of this season. But he’s not ready to carry the scoring load. Detroit’s performance was way too up and down when his shot totals reached the 20s.

Rasheed Wallace

Optimal number of shots per game: 15

Average number of shots per game: 10.9

graph (23)

FGA W-L
1 0-1
2 1-0
4 1-0
5 0-1
6 2-1
7 1-3
8 2-2
9 3-3
10 3-4
11 5-7
12 6-3
13 0-1
14 1-2
15 4-1
16 2-1
17 1-2
18 0-1
19 0-1

Analysis: When he shoots too little, he’s disinterested in the game. When he shoots too much, a lot of those are probably 3-pointers. Neither is good for his team. His shot total should be in the middle range.

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