Recently, the LA Clippers broadcast noted that Doc Rivers thinks Avery Bradley is “un-statable”. But you know what? He is and it isn’t great.
During the LA Clippers loss to the Detroit Pistons on Saturday, the team’s broadcast mentioned that Doc Rivers and his coaching staff believe that Avery Bradley is “un-statable”. Now, I’m not 100% sure what that means, but I’m assuming it is along the lines of “he is more of an eye test guy than someone whose impact can be seen using analytics.”
Look, I’m all about the eye test, but analytics have definitely proven their merit in today’s NBA. And while I do see some positives in Avery’s game at times, I just am in the camp that his negatives outweigh the benefits.
The first stat we’ll look at is Player Impact Estimate. Per NBA.com, PIE measures a player’s overall statistical contribution against the total statistics in games they play in. Guess what? Of Clippers’ players, Avery ranks dead last. If you look at the league as a whole, Bradley ranks 295th among starters who have played more than 15 minutes a game.
He also ranks last on the team in Effective Field Goal Percentage, which helps to determine how well a player is shooting while weighing three-pointers as more valuable than two-pointers. Even better, he’s last in he league in EFG% among starters who play more than 15 minutes per game and have been in at least 20 games. Granted, he’s in odd company here with players like Russell Westbrook, Draymond Green and DeMar DeRozan nearby.
The issue with his shooting also has to do with shot choice. Bradley takes 60.8% of his shots from two-point range, which seems fine until you realize that 26.6% of those are pull ups. These are the most inefficient shot in the game and it shows with his low 37.8 EFG% on them.
It gets worse. Most of his two point shots come with more than 7 seconds left on the shot clock. While 15-7 seconds is the average time of shots, I’d be willing to bet off of watching the Clippers’ games that the curve is more skewed towards 15 seconds remaining than it is seven.
Coupled with that, is the fact that 25.9% of his mid-range shots come with a defender playing just 2-4 feet from him.
If layman’s terms, Avery shoots a ton of pull up jumpshots pretty poorly, relatively early in the shot clock with defenders often nearby. Perfect, right? If you want to suffer, here’s video proof.
“But he isn’t an offensive player! Doc has him out there for his defensive presence!” Okay, I’ll concede that may be the case. While there aren’t a ton of statistics for defense, let’s take a look at what we do have available.
On defended field goals, there is actually somewhat of an impact. Overall, players defended by Bradley shoot 1.6% worse. It’s not a lot, but it is something. He’s espeically effective at two-point rage, with defended players shooting 6.9% worse. The bad part? Players actually somehow shoot 7% better from three-point territory when Avery is guarding them. Yeah, I don’t get it either.
His defensive box minus this season is a -0.7. This stat is heavily influenced by who he is on the court with and the starting unit has not been great at defense, so we can give him a slight pass here.
Time to get more advanced. Thanks to our buddies over at NBA Math, we can look at the TPA (Total Points Added) Model. According to their glossary, TPA looks “at both defensive and offensive effectiveness on a per-possession basis while also incorporating the amount of playing time the contributor in question receives.”
Go ahead and type “Avery Bradley” in the Player box on this page. The results aren’t pretty. Bradley isn’t saving any points defensively. In fact, he’s losing 15.68. This, coupled with the -58.26 offensive points added does not paint a great picture. These paired together show his Total Points added at an outstanding -73.94.
His defensive impact can be seen somewhat by stats, but the huge negative impact he has on offense offsets any possible benefit you get from him on the other side of the court. Doc may not see Avery as someone who can be quantified by statistics, but there are numbers that back up my and many other fans assertions that he should not be getting the third most minutes on the team.