BREAKDOWN—Hayward changing shot selection

Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward is having his first experience as a go-to guy in the NBA. The transition has been difficult and trying. However, as the season progresses you can see Hayward evolving as an offensive player.

Earlier in the season, Hayward was taking a large amount of low-percentage shots. The league shoots on average about 38% on mid-range shots or 2-pointers in the non-restricted areas. Shots at the rim or from 3-point range are much more efficient shots.

Here is Hayward’s shot distribution for the first 25 games of the season.

gh shot distrubution first 2537% of your shots coming from mid-range is a lot. Chandler Parsons, the model small forward in terms of efficiency, takes just 10% of his shots from mid-range. Nicholas Batum takes 23% of his shots from mid-range. However, neither of these players are go-to guys on their roster.

Over the last 10 games you can see Hayward is taking fewer long range 2s and in turn is taking more efficient shots.

gh shot distrubution last 10Hayward has reduced the amount long 2s from 37% to 29% of his total field goal attempts. Almost all of those shots have changed from mid-range 2s to 3-point attempts.

Hayward shoots 40% on mid-range 2s—or 0.8 points per shot. On 3-point shots he is averaging 0.84 points per shot, and considering he is shooting 10% below his career average, that will improve.

This is a nice evolution in Hayward’s game. My guess is that this continues, and over the next 10 to 20 games we’ll see even more 3s and fewer mid-range shots.