Ben Couch, in his continuing series on the Nets off-season acquisitions, takes a look at Kevin Garnett's shot charts and finds that the 6'11" center-power forward can still shoot ... at a very high rate.
Couch writes, "Garnett was an above-average shooter from every zone inside the three-point line. The closest KG came to the mean was on the far left baseline: his .414 FG% (24-58) checked in 0.5 percent above the league average." Moreover, he notes, "Garnett shot more than 5.0 percent better than league average from every two-point zone save for the top of the key."
Best to guard him tight when he's on the left side, because as Couch notes, "that's his sweet spot." Garnett's most effective at the very beginning and end of games. That's when he's he most likely to be a featured player.
"Garnett generated significant early offense for the Celtics, producing 101.5 points per 100 possessions in the first half," Couch writes with accompanying shot charts. "While his field-goal attempts were evenly split (406 in the first half; 407 in the second), Garnett connected on 211 in the first half (.520) versus 193 in the second (.474)."
He's also underrated in the clutch, the final five minutes of games within five points. Couch notes, "For all the attention (rightly) lavished on Paul Pierce's abilities as a closer, Garnett remains a major threat in clutch situations.* Among players with 50 field-goal attempts, Garnett's 103 points ranked 14th; his .418 field-goal percentage, 23rd."
One problem, however, is KG's late season injuries, which have plagued him the last two years. Couch notes that last season, Garnett played only 16 games after the All-Star break. Still in the playoffs vs. the Knicks, he had games of 16, 17 and 18 rebounds, averaging a playoff best 13.7 per game.