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Points Per Shot Notes On Lin, Lopez, Meeks, and Howard

Points Per Shot (PPS) is a highly important, if underused, statistic in both real and fantasy basketball settings.

Jeremy Lin
Latest posts by Bogar Alonso (see all)
Jeremy Lin

Nov 13, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Houston Rockets guard Jeremy Lin (7) looks to pass during the second quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. The Sixers defeated the Rockets 123-117. Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Here in lies the issue when trying to build a real-world team around Carmelo Anthony. He’s third in the league in Points Per Game (25.6) but also the clear leader in Field Goal Attempts Per Game (20.9). He’s as efficient as a flipper in a track race but overall he does make for a very good fantasy basketball player. Currently, he’s rated ninth in points leagues and 20th in 8-cat leagues.

But his glaring inefficiency brings up the issue of why Points Per Shot (PPS) is such an important, if underused, statistic in both real and fantasy basketball settings.

PPS breaks down very easily: It is achieved by dividing a player’s Total Points by their number of Field Goal Attempts, or, ((Total Points)/(Field Goal Attempts)).

For example, Arron Afflalo is averaging one point less than LaMarcus Aldridge at the moment—22.4 to 23.4. But it can be argued that the shooting guard is having a better offensive season because he’s doing so on about five less field goal attempts. Afflalo’s PPS is 1.41, or, ((22.4)/(15.9)). Aldridge’s PPS is 1.16, or, ((23.4)/(20.2)). One of the reasons the Blazers are cracking skulls left and right recently is because Aldridge is playing more efficient ball. Over the past five games his PPS has shot up to 1.40, or, ((27.4)/(19.6)).

 This is important from a fantasy standpoint because PPS can help you determine what kind of an offensive impact a player can continue to have with a minutes/field goal attempts crunch or rise. Let’s look at some examples below.

Jeremy Lin – Outside of being an able passer, a crafty pickpocket, and rebounding well for his position, Lin can score. Before going down with an injury, Lin’s PPS was 1.58. Good for third overall in the league and only trailing Dwight Howard (more on him later) and LeBron. The truly impressive part is that he’s able to do a lot despite only averaging 9.7 Field Goal Attempts per game. That means that even on this offensively potent Rockets team, he won’t ever have to clear the double-digit field goal attempts realm to continue to be a worthy fantasy point. Hold onto him, if possible.

Brook Lopez – The big man remains one of the few bright spots for this ailing Brooklyn team. He currently holds the highest PPS of his career at 1.48 which goes to show how he’s almost matching his career average in points (19.7 to 20.4) despite taking about three less field goal attempts than that banner year (13.3 to 16.0).

In other words, the Nets should really think about feeding him the ball more, especially since they’re having such a hard time scoring anyway. Some perimeter shooting could help Lopez continue to be as efficient as he has, which is a matter for another post, but Brooklyn could turn to their big man more soon anyhow. If that happens, his value jumps up another notch.

Jodie Meeks – The Black Mamba’s imminent return is near. That should spell disaster for Meeks’ stock, right? Not so fast.

Firstly, Kobe Bryant will need time to shape up into form. On a solid Lakers team, he can bide his time with that. Like with Lin, however, it might not matter all too much since Meeks is having a highly efficient year. He’s shooting an uncharacteristic 50 percent from the field which is certainly thanks to the feeding frenzy approach to offense D’Antoni has these Lakers playing on. It’s hard for an opposing defense to zero in on one guy.

To boot, he holds the league’s ninth-best PPS at 1.45. That’s one spot after Brook Lopez and two after Harden. So, if his efficiency stays up he might be able to keep just about the same number of field goal attempts (9.3) even once playing under the shadow of a five-time champ.

Dwight Howard – It’s a sad reality but much of D12’s defense hinges on how involved his teams are willing to keep him on offense. So, though they might jeopardize their current No.1 standing in Points Per Game, their assists and defense could see a much-needed boost as a result.

Howard has a habit of slowing down defenses by over committing himself to playing with his back to the basket, but he’s also leading the league in PPS with 1.66. So at least he’s being efficient in his hampering of the Houston offense. Then again, the Rockets have to realize that keeping Howard involved on offense will not only keep him involved on defense but expand the dimensions of their offensive schemes. That can be the difference between a first-round win or exit in a competitive Western Conference.

So, instead of the 10.1 field goal attempts he is averaging – the lowest in his career other than his rookie year – they need to make a habit of getting him 13-14 of them per contest. At 1.66 PPS, his points average could jump to 21.78-23.4. And a happy offensive Dwight is a happy defensive Dwight. And a happy Dwight is a happy fantasy owner contingent.

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