Category 6: 3&D Perimeter/Point of Attack

Category 6 Wings: 3&D Perimeter/Point of Attack

(Skills: Off Ball Spot Up Shooting and Cutting, Sub Elite/Elite Defense & Versatility to Guard Lead Guards + 2-3 Positions)

  1. Danny Green (Senior) #46
  2. Courtney Lee (Senior) #22
  3. Iman Shumpert (Junior) #17

*Also arguably in this category: Cleveland version of J.R. Smith (but he doesn’t guard lead guards as much and his defense overall is on and off)

I. What Sets Them Apart

As touched on in the previous post, there are two impact defensive roles on the perimeter: the ability to guard bigger scoring wings like Durant and Kawhi, and the ability to guard lead guards at the point of attack.  This category encompasses the latter defensively, as all of these players have the size and plus athleticism moving laterally to defend opposing lead guards (Lee more so in his prime).

Offensively, these players are very limited handlers and off-ball players, separating them from the category 7 two-way secondary handlers.  Danny Green is the prototype 3&D perimeter player, personifying the lack of handling and playmaking on-ball.  Green is a non-factor inside the arc entirely, but compensates with elite defense, even in a down year shooting the ball like last year.  He is the only one here capable of defending most threes, so he could technically be placed in the 3&D versatile group, but he doesn’t swing to the 4 and still isn’t optimally used defending the elite scoring wings (though he is certainly capable).

Lee had the best shooting season of the group last year, and is the only threat here to shoot off the dribble, affording him more offensive value.  He’s still a limited playmaker and optimally used spotting up on ball, but he is capable of running a secondary pick and roll in a pinch with his pull up shooting ability.  His defense has regressed with age, but at his peak he belongs in this archetype.

Shumpert is one of the most befuddling players in the league as he entered with at least some ball-skills which have totally eroded over time.  Much like teammate JR Smith, Shump is optimally used off-ball as a shooter where he doesn’t have to handle and make decisions.  Shump was a minus shooter last year, and is the Category 6 version of Crowder in that in his career shooting the ball he’s right in the gray area at 33% from 3.  It might be fair to categorize him as a D and no 3 player, but I’m affording him the same credit I gave Crowder.

Overall, these are low usage off-ball players who lack the handle, passing and overall on ball playmaking to serve as even a secondary wing handling option.  They don’t really score around you, and definitely not through you in the post, which allows opposing teams to hide weaker 1 position defenders on them.  All compensate for these downfalls for the most part with shooting and the defensive versatility in being 1/2 defenders, most important being the ability to guard opposing lead guards.

A.Low Usage Off-Ball Spot Up Shooting/Three Point Shot Location

2015/16 Regular Season Usage Rate (Qualified ESPN “Shooting Guards”)

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  • Pretty self explanatory, but Lee, Green and Shumpert are all very low usage players.
  • Notice Green and Shumpert’s outlier poor shooting overall last season, and how effective Lee was there.
  • Each of these players are willing ball-movers, but none should be confused with possessing playmaking chops.

2015/16 Regular Season Spot Up Playtype

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  • The crux of any off-ball player contribution wise is spot up shooting, and you see the high frequency of possessions, with basically 40% of their offense coming in this manner.

2015/16 Regular Season Off Screen Playtype

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  • A separating factor from some of the impact 1 skill shooters/1 position defenders archetype that is yet to come is the high frequency screen use of that group in comparison to this one.  As off-ball players you’d like to see higher usage and higher efficiency here.

Green 2015/16 Regular Season Shot Chart

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  • Green had a down year shooting, and as basically a 1 level three-point shooter his offense goes in the tank when he doesn’t make shots.  He still commands the respect of the defense even when he’s off based on reputation, so he’ll always have some offensive value, but the lackluster shooting and finishing last year was damning.

Lee 2015/16 Regular Season Shot Chart

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  • Lee thrives in his off-ball role and has far more scoring location diversity than Green with the ability to hit midrange shots off the dribble and finish at a respectable rate on cuts.

Shumpert 2015/16 Regular Season Shot Chart

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  • Shumpert’s non-midrange shooting last year was outlier poor.  He needs to make a higher % of corner 3s given his 20% distribution there, and any decent shooter playing with LeBron in a space happy offense has too high of shot quality to shoot like this.

B.Lack of On-Ball Creation

2015/16 Regular Season Isolation Playtype

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  • In conjunction with low usage, none of these players can create for themselves off the dribble, which allows teams to hide defensive minuses on them.  None of these guys even qualify for post up usage, so they aren’t beating mismatches inside.

2015/16 Regular Season PNR BH Playtype

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  • Lee’s ability to shoot off the dribble renders him a capable PNR handler in a pinch, whereas Green is basically a zero here.  None of these players have high possession totals and aren’t utilized offensively this way.

2015/16 Regular Season Pull Up Off Dribble (Sorted FGA)

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  • Just to buttress Lee’s off dribble separating factor…

2015/16 Regular Season Drives Per Game

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  • These are all low volume drivers even in straight line slashing situations, shedding light on lack of on-ball handling ability.

C.Defense

2015/16 Regular Season DBPM

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2015/16 Regular Season DRPM (Wings)

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  • Green is an elite defensive player by the eye test and basically every metric.  His ability to guard Westbrook types and switch over to guard guys like Durant in a pinch renders his value astronomically high on that end.  Shumpert is a straight 1/2 defender but has thrived applying ball pressure on-ball at the point of attack.  Lee’s metrics are still solid for the most part despite being on the wrong side of 30.  He can still guard 3 positions usually and non-elite wings.
  • Positional defensive versatility enabling switching schemes is of course key here.

II. College Indicators/Translations

1.Measurements

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  • Green is on the lower end but still has legitimate size and length for an ideal modern wing.  Shumpert is slightly undersized but still has plus size to guard lead guards.  He also tested off the charts in terms of no-step vert.  Lee never officially measured at the combine but his measurements are pretty similar to Shumpert in terms of positional size.

2.40 Minutes Pace Adjusted

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  • Green: Green’s shooting profile was strong, with one outlier 3pt season, 2 solid three-point seasons, and consistently elite foul-shooting.  Defensively, his steal numbers were all solid with one outlier plus season, and most impressively, he sported 4 elite block seasons for a wing, showcasing his quietly plus athleticism. Outside of scoring proficiency, Green’s profile was clean, and the combination of “stocks” combined with shooting efficiency shed light on his 3&D potential.
  • Lee: Lee’s scoring numbers were outlier positive for 3 years, which you want to see at Western Kentucky.  His shooting prowess was on display with consistently sub-elite 3pt shooting on legit volume coupled with elite FT% for  3 years.  Lee rounded out his profile with 3 outlier steal marks, shedding light on his two-way ability. Lastly, his assist marks were actually relatively solid.
  • Shumpert: Shumpert profiled as a below average shooter and finisher with outlier negative marks on 2pt%, with two below average 3pt% seasons and 1 outlier negative season on healthy attempts.  Shump actually projected more as a secondary playmaker with positive assist marks, and rounded out his profile with 3 outlier positive steal seasons, rendering him a good bet to defend with his combination of stat output and athleticism.

3.Efficiency

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  • Green: Green’s efficiency profile was very promising outside of his ability to draw fouls, and pairing that with his lack of scoring output he hardly profiled as a scorer.  His two outlier positive A/TO marks were indicative of his basketball intelligence.
  • Lee: Lee’s profile was similar to Greens in struggling to get to the line but Lee didn’t have the same outlier positive indicators.
  • Shumpert: Shumpert’s shooting was a consistent concern to the point expecting plus shooting at the next level was probably unreasonable.  His pass first approach and decision-making was very encouraging.

4.Usage

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  • Both Lee and Shumpert had plus usage and one outlier positive usage season, important for both on less heralded teams.  Green’s usage was red flag worthy in terms of creation upside, as he was a role player even on UNC.

5.Skill-Translation

  • Green:
    • Range Shooting Efficiency
    • Elite Defensive Profile
    • Lack of Plus Creation For Others/Scoring Prowess
    • First Contract Translation: Fringe
  • Lee:
    • Range Shooting Efficiency
    • Elite Defensive Profile
    • First Contract Translation: Starter/Rotation
  • Shumpert:
    • Lack of Plus Shooting
    • Elite Defensive Profile
    • First Contract Translation: Starter/Rotation

III.Overall Takeaways

  1. Green: Upperclassmen Role Player: Danny Green especially was the rare college player who was a role player at that level, giving him the mental edge in approaching the game from that vantage point.  He’s an outlier benefactor of the Spurs’ system and culture, and who knows what would have transpired in his career if he had remained in Cleveland.  There might be something to selecting high level role players from big schools who are already mentally acclimated to not being stars, albeit that approach has failed more than it’s worked from a birds eye view.
  2. Baseline for Category 7: Some players you’ll see in category 7 like Avery Bradley were of this archetype, but improved their playmaking enough in the league to “vault” into a different archetype.  The combination of positional size, eye test athleticism and strong shooting + defensive stats is a legitimate baseline to work with.

Up Next: Category 7 Two-Way Secondary Handlers

Stats provided by NBA.Com, ESPN.Com, Draftexpress.Com, Sports-Reference.Com, Hoop-Math.Com and Basketball-Reference.Com