NBA Roundtable

Trevor Ariza Watch

In General NBA on December 2, 2009 at 7:18 am

At the end of preseason I noticed this trend in Ariza’s play

#11 — Trevor Ariza

  • 87 points on 80 shots and 23 free throws for a TS% of 48%

It doesn’t look good for Ariza’s scoring efficiency now that he’s one of the main weapons on his new team. Something to watch as the season progresses.

Ariza’s rebounding numbers were low too (5 per 36 versus 7 per 36 for his career) … watch that also … see if his intent on proving his scoring prowess effects the effort he puts in on the boards.

The two main issues at hand were:

  • Inefficient scoring well below his previous levels — which was expected given the circumstances + increased responsibilities
  • Lower rebounding numbers — which, for the most part, was unexpected and disappointing

So how has Ariza done in these two categories in the first month of the season?

  • Games + Minutes– 17games and 38.9minutes  per game
  • Scoring — 18.2 per game
  • Rebounding — 5.3 per game
  • Scoring percentages — 38.2% field goal percentage on 17.5 attempts a night + 34.2% on three point attempts while taking 7 per game + 74% from the line while taking 4 FTs a game. Resulting in a true shooting percentage of 48.2% plus 2.6 turnovers per game.

So, in summary, Ariza has been highly inefficient as a scorer + his rebounding numbers are still at a career low rate.

Scoring

The inefficient scoring doesn’t really bother me. Ariza isn’t a go-to type of offensive player. He doesn’t have that skill-set. Once Houston gets some of it’s offensive talent back (Yao, Tracy), or replaces some of that talent (Tracy?), and allows Ariza to fall back into a more complementary role I’d expect to see his efficiency jump right back up.

Victim of circumstance + only a temporary problem would be how I’d view Ariza’s poor offensive efficiency.

Rebounding

Some of the drop in rebounding can be explained by the increased number of minutes Ariza has played at the shooting guard position but it’s still a larger drop (on a per minute basis) than I’d expect to see.

I still think Ariza is focusing too much on his offensive duties while his effort/focus on rebounding has dropped off. As Ariza becomes more comfortable as a scorer I would hope to see his rebounding numbers increase.

I’ve also felt Ariza’s defense has dropped off some as well. He’s still playing above average defense but not at the same level as he was last season.

Summary

So, in summary, we’ve seen a continuation in Ariza’s play since preseason on his inefficient scoring + his below par (by his standards) rebounding.

17 regular season games plus 7/8 preseason games. It’s been going on for a while now. Anyway, we’ll check back in on Ariza around mid-season to see how he’s doing in those two departments + his defense.

Hopefully, this won’t become a Richard Jefferson type scenario where Ariza’s rebounding drops hugely and never recovers after being asked to be a go-to scorer + subsequently focusing too much of his own energy/effort/focus on scoring instead of his all-round game.

Houston’s Defense

While we’re on the Rockets … I’m surprised that Houston isn’t doing better defensively.

  • The Rockets are only 23rd in defensive eFG%
  • Plus they’re 19th in defensive efficiency

Given the amount of defensive talent on that team — Shane Battier, Trevor Ariza, Chuck Hayes, Luis Scola, Kyle Lowry and to a lesser extent Carl Landry — I had expected the Rockets to be a good-to-very good defensive squad this season despite the loss of Yao Ming.

On a similar note, I’m even more surprised at how well Houston’s offense is doing. They’re 13th in offensive efficiency at the moment. I thought they’d be bottom ten plus likely bottom five offensively.

Something else to watch with the Rockets as the season progresses …

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