NBA Roundtable

Jermaine O’Neal Scoring Efficiency

In General NBA on November 14, 2009 at 8:08 am

A stats heavy post

Some stats courtesy of

2009/10 (Heat) 2008/09 (Heat) 2008/09 (Raptors) 2006/07 (Pacers) 2005/06 (Pacers) 2004/05 (Pacers) 2003/04 (Pacers)
eFG% Inside Shots 56.1% 41.4% 39.7% 37.2% 38.1% 40.4% 37.8%
eFG% Jump Shots 70% 59.8% 62% 57.7% 66.4% 57.4% 58.9%


  • Edit — Sorry, I left out the 2007/08 season in the table above, the numbers for that season were 36.3% on jump shots and 65% on interior shots.
  • The above is the last five/six years plus the early part of this season of Jermaine O’Neal’s career.
  • During those five years his percentage of inside shots taken and outside shots taken have been very consistent and ranged from 67-73% on inside shots taken which means consequently 27-33% oof his shots were jumpers.


  • Jermaine O’Neal has shot between 37-41% on his jump shots over the past five years. He is currently shooting 57% on jumpers this season. Jermaine has been very consistent with his jump shooting ability over the years so I’d expect him to revert back to the norm as the season progresses.
  • Jermaine O’Neal’s efficiency on the interior has jumped wildly over time — 57%, 58%, 59%, 62%, 65%, 66% — and we if we go back one more year we see Jermaine hit 69% of his shots in the paint that season, that is back in 2002-03 (seven years ago). So who knows where his efficiency goes as the season continues? I expect it will drop but no ideas on how much. My expectations would be for it to finish in the 61-64% range but that is total guess work. Jermaine O’Neal has been too inconsistent in the past to give a quality estimate.

Okay, second part, let’s have a look at Jermaine O’Neal’s true shooting percentage marks

2009/10 (Heat) 2008/09 (Heat) 2008/09 (Raptors) 2007/08 (Pacers) 2006/07 (Pacers) 2005/06 (Pacers) 2004/05 (Pacers)
60.3% 51.4% 52.6% 48.9% 50.0% 53.0% 52.0%
2003/04 (Pacers) 2002/03 (Pacers) 2001/02 (Pacers) 2000/01 (Pacers) 1999/00 (Blazers) 1998/99 (Blazers) 1997/98 (Blazers)
TS% 48.9% 53.9% 52.1% 50.1% 51.5% 45.7% 49.8%


  • Jermaine’s rookie season is missing. He posted a 49.4% TS% that year.
  • Jermaine has never been an efficient scorer due to his low field goal percentage (for a big) of 46.1% for his career. He’s been solid at getting to line which gives his true shooting percentage a good boost (5% most years) but not large enough of one to make him an efficient scorer.


  • Jermaine O’Neal’s previous two career bests in true shooting percentage were 53% and 53.9% and he scores in the 51.5%-to-52% range most often. Consequently, I’d expect him to fall somewhere in that neighbourhood again this season.
  • So far this year Jermaine is posting a true shooting percentage of 60.3% which clearly is far and away the highest of his career. This will drop over time, likely down to the expected range I noted above.


Jermaine O’Neal is also posting a career low in turnovers per minute since he began playing large minutes. I’d expect a slight up-kick in turnovers but I think he can keep this number down so long as Miami doesn’t use him as a primary option offensively. If the Heat do use him as a primary option then I’d expect his turnovers to increase by 30-50%.


Jermaine O’Neal is posting the highest true shooting percentage of his career (60% versus 51.5%). He is also making more jump shots than ever before (56% versus 37-41%). This two areas will very likely fall back in line with his career over the course of the season.

Jermaine O’Neal is also hitting a career best (at least over the last 7 years) mark from inside the paint. He’s been wildly inconsistent in this area in past seasons. That makes it hard to pin down an expected number for him to hit this season, but again, I’d expect it to drop some.

In other words, based on Jermaine’s past, Jermaine O’Neal cannot keep up this freakish (for him) level of scoring efficiency throughout the season.

Also, on a final note, Miami have greatly benefited from O’Neal’s scoring efficiency in the early part of the season. If it does revert back to the norm then their level of performance as a team will drop.

  1. Bah … it clipped the final column!

    I did that the first time I wrote those tables so I deleted the the final column. Instead of making it fit it just makes the text larger and still clips the final column! Bah!

    Ah well, it’ll do.

  2. It’s been two months — a quick update on Jermaine’s scoring efficiency

    Field goal percentage = 54%
    True shooting percentage = 57%
    Jump shooting = 45%
    Interior shots = 69%

    So, Jermaine O’Neal’s true shooting percentage has fallen from 60% to 57% and his jump shooting has dropped from 56% to 45%. So, Jermaine’s scoring efficiency has dipped but he’s maintained a lot of his efficiency and is on track to post his most efficient scoring season of his career (57% over 53.9%).

    The Miami Heat should be very happy if he can maintain these numbers over the second half of next season. However, I would expect another dip as the season continues but I’m hoping + expecting that he now holds steady at around 55% TS%.

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