It’s no secret in Brooklyn or beyond that Brooklyn Nets center Andray Blatche is having a career year, but according to one measurement, he’s having the career-est year of them all. Justin Kubatko of Basketball-Reference takes over for today’s ESPN PER Diem and digs into the numbers, devising a formula using expected win shares per 48 minutes to deduce the most improved players in the NBA. Sure enough, Blatche comes in at #1:
Note that while Blatche’s field goal percentages are roughly the same, his shot distribution has dramatically changed. This season, he has traded inefficient mid- to long-range shots for more efficient short-range shots.
This has had a huge effect on Blatche’s scoring efficiency. His effective field goal percentage has increased from a career norm of .462 to .487 (because he is taking more efficient shots), while his free throw attempts have increased from a career norm of 3.7 per 36 minutes to 5.3 per 36 minutes (because he is taking more shots closer to the basket).
This translates into a career-best .536 true shooting percentage for Blatche, a figure made even more impressive when you consider that he is also posting the highest usage percentage and lowest turnover percentage of his career.
Blatche is contributing to Brooklyn in other ways, as well, putting up career highs in offensive rebound percentage, defensive rebound percentage and steal percentage.
The rest of the article (Insider) is linked below.
Read More: ESPN (Insider) — Top five most improved players — Andray Blatche and Eric Bledsoe among NBA’s leading MIP candidates