One of the tried-and-true lamentations of a struggling offense is that "they've become a jump shooting team."  Maybe it's nothing to lament if you have a couple of insanely good jump-shooters, but for a team that built its stature in the post, it's probably a cause for concern.

Usage Rates:

Professional Basketball Player

05-06

06-07

Elton Brand

24.6

18.3

Sam Cassell

23.8

25.6

Cuttino Mobley

18.0

18.8

Corey Maggette

24.6

23.3

Chris Kaman

15.7

16.2

Quinton Ross

10.8

11.7

Shaun Livingston

15.2

18.1

Vlad vs. TT

15.3

18.2


In a nutshell, usage rate [{[FGA + (FT Att. x 0.44) + (Ast x 0.33) + TO] x 40 x League Pace} divided by (Minutes x Team Pace)] measures a player's level of participation in his team's offense.  There are more knowledgeable APBR guys who might take issue with that description, but I think that's a fair assessment of the stat's import. 

One of the things that strikes me as odd is the increase in Kaman's usage rate.  This tells us that the Clips are finding Kaman when he's on the floor; Chris simply isn't converting his opportunities.  "The shots aren't falling" -- and I'm paraphrasing here -- is how Ralph characterized Kaman's nightmare last night, and from watching Chris, that seems to be my impression.  It doesn't take a genius to come to that conclusion. I mean, the guy is shooting .375 from the field.  John So contends that Kaman merely isn't getting the ball where he likes it and that, too often, he seems to be too far from the basket or too far underneath.  The only silver lining?  Kaman's turnover rate is down to 14.9 from 16.4.  Getting to 12 + change should be Kaman's ultimate goal, but right now landing his shots is the most imperative item on his agenda. 

Elton's game UR last night was in the high-18s - around his season average - after a game against NOOCH in which he was the focal point of the offense.  I still maintain that in a halfcourt game, Elton and Chris are inextricably linked.  Of course, I have absolutely no empirical evidence to support this, but it seems logical that if Elton is drawing double teams on one block, then Chris is going to have more space in which to work on the other.  And if Chris isn't on the floor, and Thomas is essentially playing the wing, and the Clips are playing smallball, then EB is going to draw the Prussian army, especially since the team isn't particularly adept from the perimeter.  You've watched the games, you tell me: Haven't you noticed that, NOOCH as the exception, teams have been doubling EB off-the-ball as a matter of policy this season? 

Other than EB's dropoff and Shaun's tick upward, the usage rates are very consistent with last year's numbers.  But until EB gets above 20 and Chris' shots start to fall, I think the Clips are going to be only as efficient as their jump shooting.  And we don't want that.