A couple months back, we looked at Courtney Lee's game by the numbers. It was 17 games in, and what I determined from the numbers then, is that if Lee could improve his shot he would turn into a solid player. Has that happened? Well, now that we are 38 games in, I thought it would be nice to look at the numbers again.
Once again, all numbers are from HoopData.com.
Courtney's Usage Rate has actually dropped from game #17, and it is now sitting at 17.96. Since game #17, Courtney Lee has turned the ball over a little more (Turnover Rate = 6.90% earlier in the year to 7.32% right now). This is still a very good number as it is well below the league average (11.52%). Courtney's Assist Rate continues to rise with the increase in usage rate. It has gone up from 13.04 in the beginning of the year to 13.56 now. This is still slightly below average though. The last number we looked at earlier in the year was Free Throw Rate. Courtney's Free Throw Rate after game #17 was.39. Lee's Free Throw Rate right now is .25. The numbers make it look like he is settling for more jumpers instead of attacking the basket like he did in the beginning of the year.
Lee's steals per game has dropped slightly from 1.7 to 1.6 (still well above average = .7), his blocks are at the same number as they were at game #17.
Has Lee's Shooting Improved?
Lee's baskets are starting to get assisted on at a slightly higher level. Lee has gone from having his baskets assisted on 53.3% of the time to 54.2%. This means that he is forced to get his own shot slightly less, which means easier shots should be coming around. Has that made him a better shooter? At the rim, Lee's % is slightly up, going from around 50% to 57.7%. 17 games in Courtney Lee was terrible inside 10 feet. He was shooting it around 10% in fact. Now, he has nearly doubled it, and he is shooting 20% inside 10 feet. It isn't as good as last year (30%), but it is improving. From 10-15 feet, he has dropped from around 45% to 42.9%. The last number I want to look at is his 3 point shooting percentage. It has improved since last time we looked at it (around 30% before 42% now), but it is still well below the 60% he was shooting in Orlando. The reason? In Orlando he was getting a lot of open looks, looks that allowed him to jump straight up and straight down (remember how important that is). In New Jersey, shots are tougher, meaning he will miss more.
The trend though is his shooting is starting to rise to levels around last year's percentage (save for the 3 point percentage). His PER has hovered right around where it was in the begining of the year. It was 12.01 after game 17 and it is now 11.98. I think the slight decrease in PER is due to the rise in turnovers.