The NBA.com Hot Zone feature is not the easiest to use...or massage. But with some help, it becomes a valuable tool at seeing where your favorite player is most (and least) effective.
Using Hot Zone, here's what we found (with some added data from the CBS Sports Dunk-o-Meter):
Yi Jianlian hits better than 50% from the right and left corners, but half of that when shooting straight on. Unfortunately, he shoots less than 50% directly underneath the basket and only 16 of his 52 field goals have been dunks.
Devin Harris is great in the left corner, shooting better than 85%, but in the right, he drops to 25.0%. He rarely shoots from there anyway. He likes the left wing too for his three's...including that long one vs. the 76ers. He takes more of his three's from there than from anywhere. That pull-up jumper? Don’t let him go left...or let him set up at the top of the key either.
Vince Carter? Don’t let him go right. From three-point land, from mid-range, he is much more effective from the right side than the left. From the right corner, he's shooting 56%, from the left only 36%...yet he's taken slightly more shots from the left than the right. Only 30 of his 147 makes underneath have been dunks.
Brook Lopez can hit that mid range shot with regularity from anywhere around the horn, shooting nearly 50%, but you really want him to take it from the right wing, where he shoots it at better than 62%. What percentage of his shots underneath are on dunks? About 40%.
The team’s three point specialists all have their preferred spots but in the dribble-drive offense, the premium is on shooting from the corners. Bobby Simmons shoots almost equally well from both with a combined 48%, Jarvis Hayes is much better from the right, with a disparity of 17 percentage points while Keyon Dooling shoots a remarkable 62% from the right and a still extraordinary 45% from the left, for a combined 55%. Ryan Anderson has the largest disparity between corners among the specialists, shooting 25% from the left, 46% from the right.
Just inside the arc on the corners is where Trenton Hassell excels, shooting better than 54%. Anywhere else in that 15-to-22 foot range…forget it. He isn’t even shooting 20%. He knows it though, taking only a small sample of his shots from there.
If you’re wondering whether Josh Boone or Sean Williams could fill the role of power forward, keep wondering. Boone has taken seven shots from more than 15 feet, making one. Williams has taken 41 shots overall this year, 28 of them from directly underneath. He’s made only two of those remaining 13, neither from farther than 15 feet away. He has missed the three shots he has attempted from more than 15 feet.
Rod Thorn is right about Chris Douglas-Roberts developing a consistent outside shot. Beyond 15 feet, he is shooting 3-for-16, including 0-for-2 beyond the arc.