Visualizing assists

Have y'all seen this? Pretty interesting tool from Hoopism. The only downside for us is that the data is all from last year, so it's kind of hard to draw much from it because we have so few guys from last year back. However, I did think it was cool to play with and have reposted some pics of various players here for your enjoyment.

But first, what 'Gold Standard' PGs look like:






As you can see, these guys are all good...really good in fact. But more useful is what we can glean from these guys, and perhaps it can serve as something useful for understanding our young guys, and that is this: there are two primary patterns here, going to the 'go-to' guy and going to your 'big three.' 

Now these two concepts overlap somewhat, but I find it amazing that these upper echelon points essentially live off of passing the ball to primarily three players, and usually with one of those three players being clearly dominant (in terms of number of assists received). Clearly Deron and Nash are better at dishing to a number of guys while favoring one in particular, whereas Westbrook and Kidd highlight the 'Big Three' approach with everyone else sprinkled in like parsley.

The question I'm asking, then, is it the chicken or the egg? Do you need scorers to pass to first, or the guy who can make those passes to the scorers? Our boys below the jump.

First, Jonny Flynn:


And Ramon Sessions:


I find it amazing that Jonny Flynn's two favoritists players to dish to were...(drum roll please)...Corey Brewer and Ryan Gomes! Wait, what?! I did not see that one coming at all. If there was ever a graphic that illustrated the extreme lack of play making ability last year for this team, I think this might be it for me. I mean, why isn't Big Al clearly number one? Where are all the shooters? Oh ya, that's right - Brewer and Gomes were our shooters last year. It will be veeeerrrryyyy interesting to see what kind of dish maker Jonny is this year.

As for Ramon, he was about as equal opportunity as it gets. Which again makes me wonder why Love and Big Al weren't the two clear lead horses? Is it the triangle? Or were guys simply not open enough? I mean, everyone knows that Nash was going to go to Amare, or Deron was going to go Boozer, but that didn't stop those assists from being made? I would submit both of these images as possible evidence to the ineffectiveness of the triangle. 

So what about Ridnour? He's been dishing relatively well this season for us. 


Strikes me as somewhere in between Jonny and Ramon, in that he knows where/who his shooters are and yet isn't against working everyone into the flow. Kind of surprised that Bogut wasn't his number one guy. 

And finally, just because I can, I present to you Kevin Love and Corey Brewer:


Love is interesting because of the two guys he clearly favors - Big Al and Brewer. Again, Brewer was apparently our lone shooter last year (or maybe the only guy who routinely would cut to the basket). And Love to Big Al? Well, at least Love knew who should be getting the ball, right?


Correction, make that two guys who knew who should be getting the ball (which should be your best scorer, right?). 

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