Today's Number: 25%
I'm going to try to start a little series here where we examine overlooked numbers and statistics concerning the Rockets' personnel last season, though, to be honest, there's no telling how long it will last. Today, we begin with Chase Budinger.
Budinger played the role of spot-up-shooter during his rookie season and actually fared quite well, finishing with 1.17 points per possession, good for 37th in the league. If there's another facet of Budinger's game that initially comes to mind, it's that he can run the floor and get out in transition. Unfortunately, Budinger's transition game wasn't very good in 2009-10, despite the many flashy dunks that he dropped at times. His subpar points per possession (1.08) placed him at number 202 in the league in transition.
Budinger looked much better finishing around the rim during the Summer League, but that's nowhere near the same level of competition. In studying game film from the regular season using Synergy sports technology, I noticed that Budinger tended to bail out on dunk or layup attempts when a defender was able to square him up on the fast break. In other words, if someone got in his way, he wasn't able to side-step the defender and rise up a la your traditional finishers in the lane.
Interestingly enough, Budinger's biggest downfall in transition (and in his three-point shooting as well) was his field goal percentage on transition threes. Bud only shot 25% (11-44) on transition three-point attempts. If you look at his final three-point percentage (37%) and wonder, "I could have sworn he shot better than that," well, here is your evidence. Budinger actually shot 40% on spot-up situations behind the arc, which is quite good. Clearly, if Budinger can either improve upon or reduce the number of his transition threes, he will be able to kill two birds with one stone, thus also improving his transition ppp as well as his overall three-point percentage.