Although advanced stats are rather new to basketball in comparison how long they have been used in other professional sports such as the MLB, they have become useful in determining the trajectory of a player in the NBA like Ty Lawson.
Along the way, advanced stats have evolved and led to a plethora of valuable information for NBA geeks such as Wages For Wins, Synergy and Hoops Stats. Now, there is a new multi-camera tracking system that 10 NBA teams have subscribed to which tracks anything from drives to the basket to a shooting percentage from jumpers within 20 feet from the basket. This system also provided reports to show how special Lawson is in the league.
SportVU, run by STATS, LLC , is the aforementioned system and Zach Lowe of Sports Illustrated shared his exclusive first look on three reports from the company. Of those reports, one details drives to the basket among NBA teams and about the Denver Nuggets specifically, but since only 10 teams subscribe to the system, it’s based on road games at those facilities. Thus, the sample size is small, but I digress.
The Nuggets averaged 24.5 drives per game, miles above the league average of 14.6 and pretty significantly above the No. 2 mark (Cleveland, 18.5).
It’s fair to note that these drives do not include fast-break drives, which is very important since Denver has one of the fastest paces in the league. If you are familiar with Denver’s system at all, there’s an understanding of their run-and-gun system as they are a team that penetrates and kicks the ball out.
They are not a jump-shooting team, not in the least. The report goes on to break it down further: Lawson led the league in drives, 9.1 to be exact, and more than the lowest mark in the league from a team, the Los Angeles Lakers.
This doesn’t surprise me in the least as Lawson is at his best when he’s aggressive and dominates with his speed and penetration skills. When Lawson attacks the basket, he’s nearly unstoppable unless there’s a seven-footer already at the basket ready to guard the nest. Denver had the third most efficient offense last season and there are new key players involved that will add to Denver’s arsenal.
Defense leads to offense, or in Denver’s case, Andre Iguodala leads to Lawson.
It’s going to be a delight to watch the Nuggets in action this year.