Gordon Hayward is the third of our season in review pieces for Locked on Jazz. We will analyze each player in 7 parts
Part 1: Year Compared to Career
Part 2: Compared to the league
Part 3: Year via circumstances
Part 4: Shooting positions on the foor
Part 5: Synergy Sports
Part 6: His impact on the floor and what line-ups worked with him on the floor
Part 7: Comparative to history
The entire second year class of players struggled to start the year after missing the summer league and training camp due to the lockout. With a year’s experience of how the league works and what a full season really entails these players were unable to advance their skills in a structured environment. In turn, most of the player s had step back years instead of step forward years.
Traditionally, players make a subtle improvement year 1 to year 2 and then explode year 2 to year 3. With big men it can be year 3 to year 4. With Gordon this season we saw the beginning of the year 2 to 3 jump with his March and April performance.
Hayward seems to be on the road to following the correct trends. Realize all league numbers were down around 15% or more, so this is a very healthy jump in the Locke offensive ranking from a 5.8 to 10.4. 10.4 is well above the league average this season.
The reasons for the improvement in ranking are largely based on his possessions used. He is beginning to figure out how to get a shot and where to get a shot from in the NBA game. He goes to the line considerably more and as we will look at later 12.8% of his possessions at the line is really good. The drop in turnovers is also an expected sign. As Kevin Pelton explained in a podcast this year, a higher turnover rate as a rookie is a good thing.
He is a rare player that is at nearly 20% of his possessions as a three and over 12% from the line. He will likely increase in both next year and he gets into rare territory with that.
In other categories his assist rate improved greatly however, he is still a insufficient rebounder. A rebounding rate of 6.5% of the rebounds is one of the lowest of small forwards in the NBA.