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Give Kendrick Perkins More Shots!

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Courtesy of our old friend Synergy Sports, I was able to look at all of the shots Kendrick Perkins took this season and I proceeded to break them down into four categories.

More reliable than you think!
More reliable than you think!
Ronald Martinez

If you've been following @WTLC on Twitter (something that everybody should do), then you might know that I was recently retweeted by Hardwood Paroxysm, in a satirical manner.

Other humorous tweets followed. After all, the notion of Kendrick Perkins having a consistent jumper is a silly one. Right?

Usually we can't tell how consistent he is, because he only takes a jumper a few times a game. But courtesy of our old friend Synergy Sports, I was able to look at all of the shots Kendrick Perkins took this season. I broke them down into four categories. The first is back to the basket, where Perk starts off the play with his back to the defender. The second is facing the basket, where Perk starts off the play facing his defender and drives the lane or receives the ball next to the basket. The third is putbacks, where he gets the offensive board and attempts to score. The fourth and perhaps most important category is jumpers. These are plays where Perk receives the ball and does a traditional jumpshot. This excludes all floaters, layups, and the like. A few of these shots are on the fringes of the paint, and I decided to count those in this category because they're not really post moves and involve the same skillset.

In any case, here's the results of my study. I somehow ended up counting 251 shots instead of all 256, because Synergy sometimes doesn't catalog things correctly. I also discounted a 3/4ths court heave out of principle. (If you're wondering, yes, I actually watched all 251 shots and classified them. Synergy's labels for the types of shots taken are generally pretty unreliable.)

Back to the Basket 14/33 42.4%
Facing the Basket 53/105 50.5%
Putback 19/39 48.7%
Jumpers 34/71 47.9%
Cross-Court Heave 0/1 0.0%
Total 120/251 47.8%

Before we look over the results themselves, I should note some trends I noticed as I tallied the numbers. Kendrick Perkins has definitely gotten more confident with the ball as the season's gone on, showing a willingness to face up defenders and drive it into the post himself. This resulted in him having a much worse percentage when facing the basket later in the season. (Since I was working back in time, his percentage in that area hovered around 40% until I got to November or so.) Conversely, his percentage when going back to the basket was much higher in the later season, but dipped down as I went earlier in the season. Also, putbacks are kind of a crapshoot, because he'll often wildly tip the ball in hopes that it will fall in. When he actually gains possession, his percentage is much higher.

Anyway, let's talk turkey. Perk takes just over 1 jumper a game, and it's definitely a good thing. He's shooting a very solid 47.9% while using his jumpshot, which is likely the second highest percentage on the team. (Serge Ibaka, obviously, is first.)

The overarching point is that there's a lot of needless Perk hate going on around here, particularly in relation to his offensive game. Every type of shot he takes has a decent success rate when spread out over time. Does this mean we should rush to get him 10 shots the game and have him replace Kevin Martin? No, his offensive skillset is far too limited for that, and he's totally incapable of creating his own plays outside of the post. But it definitely wouldn't hurt to try and get him a few more opportunities.

If you need further proof of his offensive capabilities, look at his stats while playing for Boston in 2009-2010. He was averaging over 10 PPG while shooting over 60%. The increase in turnovers is marginal, at best. I understand that the situation was different on the Celtics. The team was much better at distributing the ball, they didn't get offensive rebounds, yadda yadda. But also consider that they ran a slower offense, had a very similar power forward to ours, and came within a game of winning the NBA Finals.

Kendrick Perkins is for real, folks. Give this man the ball!

Am I insane? Let me know in the poll and comments.