Dwight Howard is a Hall-of-Famer having a solid year for the Charlotte Hornets. But you still probably don’t want him shooting jumpers.
Dwight Howard in his 14th NBA season, closing in on 1,000 career games 35,000 career minutes. I think it’s safe to say we’re past the point were an evolution in skill is coming. Howard has been very useful for the Charlotte Hornets this season, but it’s been by playing to his strengths — defense, rebounding, physical play around the basket.
Howard has also, apparently, now racked up 32 mid-range jumpers in his first 13 games for the Hornets. The results have been…not good.
Nearly three mid-range attempts per game is far too many for a guy who has, for his career, shot about 27.5 percent in the 10-16 feet range. In case you don’t have a calculator handy, Dwight’s mid-range looks this season have an expected value of about 0.19 points per shot. Some more math — if the Hornets played a game with 100 possessions and they let Dwight shoot a mid-range jumper every time down the floor, they’d score a grand total of 19 points in said game.
Let’s contextualize further. Here are three offensive outcomes with a higher expected value that Dwight outside the paint:
3. Kristaps Porzingis shooting from 30+ feet. Porzingis has made 1-of-7 shots from beyond 30 feet this season, that’s an expected value of 0.43 points per shot more than double Howard.
2. DeAndre Jordan shooting a technical foul free throw. DJ is hitting almost 60 percent of his free throws this year. Even a single shot would have an expected value of 0.595, blowing a Howard jumper out of the water.
1. Jeff Teague working on the low block. Teague has finished four post-up possessions this season for two points — an expected value of 0.50.
Big guys shooting from halfcourt. Tiny guys working in the post. Hack-a-heroes at the line. All preferable to Dwight facing up from 12 feet. Maybe we could just cut those from the repertoire?