BREAKDOWN – Gordon Hayward Season in Review Part 5 – Synergy Sports


Here is Gordon Hayward via Synergy Sports. Synergy Sports labels every possession as a type of play be it a post up, spot up, hand off, etc. The label is based upon how the play ends. If you make a pass to create a play it is not registered under the player who made the pass.

Overall, Gordon had a very good offensive year. As a 2nd year player to rank 96th in ppp (pts per possession) is strong. He struggled early in the year with his shot or these numbers would be considerably higher.

The numbers on his spot up shooting should improve in the coming years. Hitting just 38% of his spot ups and 35% of the spot ups from three.

What jumps out is nothing is elite. He is not a very good isolation player yet (34.6% score rate and 29%) shooting. His pick and roll play is really hampered by the turnovers (30% of possessions on the pick and roll) as well as he didn’t hit any three’s off a pick and roll where he stepped behind the pick and nailed the shot. If he can develop this it would be a game changer. Coming off screens for catch and shots or drives he is only ok. Despite his size he wasn’t used at all as a post up player.

Where Gordon is at his best is in transition where he had 13 and 1’s this year and scored on 68% of the chances.

Without being elite in any area Gordon was still significantly above average offensively and much improved from his rookie year.

Surprisingly, Hayward overall production his 2nd year was not up a great deal from his rookie year. The drop in 3 pt shooting from 47% to 33% hurt his overall performance. Yet, if you dig in a little you see some marked improvement.

Compared to his rookie year he improved from 26% score rate on isolations to 35%. Transition jumped from 54% score rate to 68%.

Switching to the defensive side of the ball

These are very surprising to me. Everything I have seen tells me Hayward is a strong defender, opposing coaches discuss it and our own coaches believe it. However, the numbers don’t treat him well at all.

My instinct is to dismiss this as Synergy struggling to understand defense, since if a defender stymies someone and he passes out to a shooter it doesn’t get registered. It only gets registered if the player takes the shot. However, it is worth seeing what it says and see if we can learn anything.

Gordon’s big issue is player hit 42% of three’s when he is guarding them. 44% of those on spot ups. He needs to put a focus on this area of his defense.

His size does come into play when players are trying to post him up as he allowed just 33% shooting on post ups. He is also very good when guarding players off the screen.

The areas of struggle are defending the isolations, the ball handler on the pick and roll and protecting the three.

The good news is he is considerably better than a year ago when he allowed 1.06 ppp and this year just .97. He had a similar issue a year ago on the three’s allowing 40% of all three’s.

Hayward’s biggest area of improvement was in the post where a year ago he allowed 53% shooting.