Dallas Mavericks: Examining the driving skills of Dennis Smith Jr.
By Vladislav Shufinskiy
Drives improved during his rookie year
The changes for Dennis Smith Jr. were visible over the course of last season. For the main indicators in the drives, here are 15 game rolling chart, following the example of baseball charts on Fangraphs. Here’s what happened.
NOTE: The comma in the charts is the decimal separator.
These charts show that after a stormy start, Dennis Smith Jr. had a natural failure for a beginner in the middle of the season. But by the end of the season, most indicators show good growth, which is an indicator that the rookie worked on improving his game.
His field goal percentage after falling in the middle of the season to the level of 25 percent by the end of the season goes to a stable 45 percent. The 45 percent ranks about 60th out of 103 qualifiers, which is still below average, but much better than his 96th ranking for the entire season.
Points and points percentage indicators by the end of the season almost reach the maximum values and the figure of 5.75 points per game is significantly higher than the average (4.44 per game), which would allow Dennis Smith Jr. to take a place in the top-30 players.
By the end of the season, there is a sharp increase in assist percentage and the same sharp drop in turnover percentage. Dennis Smith Jr. began to assist at the level of the top 30 players, and rarely lose the ball as the best qualifiers do.
However, his passes became qualitatively better, it shows growth assist to pass rate. DSJ actually attempted fewer passes, but now his transmission is more likely to become easy points for his teammate.
The only negative trend towards the end of the season is a sharp drop in free attempts during drives. The sharp drop to 0.11 is alarming because, even though Smith has a low field throw percentage, foul shots are the easiest and most qualitative, in terms of points per possession, way to score.