What's Wrong With Trevor? - A Rebuttal

I have to get to class soon, so I'm going to make this short.

Dave made a comparison between Ariza and a certain player earlier this morning, and I think it expresses a concern we've all felt: Trevor is trying to shoot the Rockets out of the game. In fact, Dwyer at BDL has explicitly said this. The argument seems to be a simple one: Ariza takes too many threes.

And yet we're faced with a dilemma: the Rockets, whom we all suspect to be geniuses or androids or something, are apparently encouraging Trevor to do these things. What's up wit dat?

By now, I'm sure you're all familiar with our new best friends at Hoopdata. Let's look at their stats for Ariza this year. What do we see?

First, his efficiency beyond the arc is the best it has ever been outside of the playoffs. It's not a particularly efficient shot for Trevor this season, but it's worth slightly more than shooting 50% on twos.

Second, his efficiency at the rim and around the basket has declined remarkably: an 8% decline at the rim for last year, and a 26% decrease at less than ten feet (though he doesn't take many shots from there).

Third, he has increased the number of long twos he shoots. That's not cool, and he probably needs to cut that out.

So what does that mean?

Well, if I were going to guess (and I will), it means that his three point shooting isn't the real issue so far. Trevor's decline in offensive efficiency has a lot to do with the fact that his shot around the basket isn't falling quite as often, and he seemingly can't get a call when he drives into the paint (Trevor's foul-drawing rate is down this year, as well). I would expect both of these things to improve as the season progresses.

As for the other comparisons to Rafer: as I stated in the comments section, Trevor is actually better at keeping control of the ball than Rafer was, and his contributions on the boards and on defense are better than Rafer's. And his usage rate is significantly larger than Rafer's, too. So the comparison between Ariza and the Dream Shake's menace seems to me to be only apt in describing the frustration we all feel when Ariza isn't scoring well. But I think there's a good chance that will change in the near future.

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