We are continuing with our preseason Expected Scoring player profiles. Today we’ll be looking at the Detroit Pistons’ Austin Daye.
If you’ve missed my other posts on the subject, Expected Points uses a player’s FGA from each area of the floor and multiplies it by the average number of points scored on that type of shot to come up with an Expected Point total from that area. The Expected Point total can than be compared to the actual number of points a player scored from that area to arrive at a Point Differential. This point differential is an expression of how a player shot compared to the league average, but I like that the comparison is drawn with actual point totals. The average values of shots by location that I use (At Rim – 1.208, <10ft. – 0.856, 10-15ft. – 0.783, 16-23ft. – 0.801, 3PT – 1.081, FT – 0.759) were calculated by Albert Lyu of ThinkBlueCrew.
Daye was very solid in limited minutes last season as a rookie. He showed great scoring instincts and was better than expected on defense. Daye still obviously needs to do some work on his body, adding bulk and strength to be able to fully maximize his talents. With the injury to Jonas Jerebko, an opportunity for Daye to play a larger role has materialized, and thus far in the preseason he has been taking advantage of it. Here are his traditional stats (per 40 minutes) from last season in Detroit and the 2010-2011 preseason thus far:
Preseason inflation aside, Daye’s numbers through six games look very impressive. Other than a slight drop in his Free Throw Percentage, Daye has seen improvement in every category. His Field Goal Percentage has remained steady, so the huge jump in his scoring is mostly attributable to more available shots and the remarkable percentage he has been shooting on his 3PT shots.
Let’s now break down his scoring efficiency in a little more depth. Below is a table showing Daye’s Expected Points, Actual Points and Point Differential for each area of the floor from last year and through the first 6 games of this preseason (all numbers are per 40 minutes). If you prefer a spreadsheet to the embedded table photo, here is the link.
As a rookie, Daye scored at a rate above expected from every of the floor, except on 3PTs. He finished the season with a positive Point Differential, scoring 0.43 more points per 40 than expected. Daye shot 42.9% on 3PTs in college and there was every reason to think his shooting from long distance would come around eventually. So far this preseason it has, with him shooting an astronomical 52.0%. This has pushed his Point Differential on 3PTs from a -0.64 to a positive 3.01. Even with the decline he has seen in his Point Differentials on shots closer than 10ft., his overall Point Differential has climbed to 2.32. This means that he scores 2.32 more points per 40 minutes than expected.
Daye’s 3PT shooting will likely drop to a more even level as he moves into the regular season. However, there’s every reason to think it will be much higher than last season’s 30.5%. In addition, it’s likely that his shooting close to the rim will return to a level more similar to last season’s percentages. Even with those percentages evening out, Daye looks to be an extremely potent, efficient, and versatile scorer. He is one of a handful of players in the league with the potential to score at an above expected rate from every area of the floor. In addition, his solid contributions on the glass, at the defensive end, and taking care of the ball; will hopefully keep him on the floor and give him a chance to do what he does best: score.