Jefferson is constantly criticized for not shooting at a high percentage for a big man. Is this fair? I'll compare Al to KG to see what we find.

We all know KG was one of the best, and maybe the best player in the NBA in the mid-to-late 2000's. So what does the trajectory of his shooting percentages tell us about jefferson? Two hypotheses 1) jefferson's TS% is similar to KG's at at similar age; 2) When KG went to the celtics he was surrounded by other shooters and played with a great facilitating PG in Rondo and that helped his shooting percentages.  Lets present the facts and you decide

KG's TS%  for the early years in his career.   (Also remember that KG played with better teammates) 

96 52.2% 

97 53.7%

98 52.7% 

99 49.3% 

00 54.5% 

Average for 5 years - 52.5%


Jefferson's first 5 years - played with lesser teammates. 

05 55.4%

06 53.0% 

07 54.7%

08 53.5% 

09 53.2% 

average for 5 years 54.0% 

** Note: didn't include Jefferson's partial 6th year since he is recovering from major injury. 


Its also known that players get better in TS% as they go into their prime, Jefferson should continue to improve as KG did in his career. 


Lets now look at what happed to KG's total shooting in the latter years in Minnesota and after he went to Boston. Again my hypothesis is that shooting percentage will rise when surrounded by better teammates on offense and if you play with a great facilitating PG. 

As a side note look at KG's progression in Minnesota. I'd argue part of that is experience, most NBA players show improvement in shooting percentages as they older. In my opinion, part of it is also playing with better teammates in Minnesota in  the mid-2000's 

KG's total shooting latter years in Minnesota and Boston years. 

01 53.1%

02 53.6% 

03 55.3% 

04 54.7%

05 56.7%

06 58.9% 

07 54.6% 

Ave for last 7 years in Minnesota - 55.3% , only outlier is 06, when KG dropped his shots from an ave of 16.5 the previous 5 years to 14.5 

----------------------------------------------- Moved to Boston

08 58.8%

09 56.3% [played injured latter part of year] 

10 59.1% 

In the Boston years KG's abilities had deteriorated from his prime in Minnesota yet his FG% increased when allowance is made for last year when he was injured.  Part of this was a further drop in shots - higher selectivity. But I believe part of it was playing with two other hall of famers - Ray Allen and Pierce and also playing with a great facilitating PG in Rondo. 


Also before someone asks why Jefferson's TS% hasn't increased look at his shots per game. 


The more shots you take the more difficult to maintain a high FG%. Also remember he went from little double teaming early in his career, to constant doubles and triples last year and often the double came BEFORE THE BALL. Thats the mark of a GREAT PLAYER.

Shots per game.

05 – 5.2

06 – 6.4

07 – 12.8

08 – 17.6

09 – 19.5


Did I make my case?

What say you?

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