CHECK MY STATS: Kirk Hinrich, Sioux City Shooter | Wizards Blog Truth About

CHECK MY STATS: Kirk Hinrich, Sioux City Shooter

Updated: July 2, 2010

A lot of people were disappointed when the Wizards traded for Kirk Hinrich.  Mike Prada of SB Nation alone gave the move a “Nay”, a “Feh”, and a “D-“.

There is no question that “Kurt” is overpaid, but salary cap space only gets you so far.  Even if the Wizards had upwards of $25 million to spend, it wouldn’t get them any closer to signing a “max” contract player.  Let’s be serious.  None of the league’s top players ever really considered coming to D.C., even with John Wall.  The Wizards will be a work in progress for a couple of years, and when we are honestly competitive, Hinrich will no longer be under contract.

So is he worth it for this Wizards team?  I turned to Synergy Sports Technology to find out.


Where is Hinrich most effective (at least 60 attempts)?

Based on %Score (a measure of scoring efficiency in certain situations):

  1. Transition — 48.8% (1.1 Points-Per-Possession)
  2. Hand Off — 47.5% (0.99 PPP)
  3. Spot-Up — 40.3% (1.09 PPP)

In transition, Hinrich does a good job finding space, whether he is leading the break or spotting up around the 3-point line.

To illustrate:

Here, Taj Gibson batted down a Gallinari pass.
Hinrich used his mad hustle to scoop up the loose ball and push toward the basket.

Hinrich kept his head up and looked for the best option.

Recognizing that the Knicks defense gave him space,
Hinrich did what he does best – he took the shot (and made it).

“Hinrich is a jump shooter. Period.” wrote By the Horn’s Matt McHale in 2009.  While a simple analysis, it’s incredibly accurate.  86-percent of his field goal attempts were jump shots last season, according to (note: 82games defines jump shots as attempts made 6-feet or further from the basket).  Since 2005-2006, 83.4% of his field goals have been jump shots.

Over the last four years of his career, Kirk Hinrich has taken an average of 10.58 shots per game between (via Hoopdata).  Only 1.63 of those FGAs have come at the rim and 0.48 were taken less than 10 feet from the basket.  0.75 FGAs came between 10-15 feet, 4.03 FGA came between 16-23 feet, and 3.63 FGAs were three pointers.

This isn’t a terrible thing (he had a 47.8 eFG% last year), and Hinrich is the Bulls’ all-time leading three point shooter, but it does suggest that he has limitations on offense.

For example, Hinrich shot the ball 75 of the 80 times he received hand-offs last year, and almost all of those attempts were jumpers.  With Hinrich, the Bulls’ hand-off game operated much like their Pick & Roll.  Hinrich would come off the natural screen set by the hand-off man, find space around 18-feet, and take the open shot.  His true shooting percentage in this scenario was 47.5%. Uncomplicated and effective.

Where is Hinrich least effective (at least 60 attempts)?

Based on Synergy’s %Score (a measure of scoring efficiency in certain situations):

  1. Pick & Roll Ball Handler — 35.4% (0.73 PPP)
  2. Isolation — 38.4% (0.79 PPP)
  3. Off Screen — 38.8% (0.80 PPP)

The less decisions Hinrich has to make, the better.  With hand-offs, Hinrich is often able to jump to his sweet spot (pictured above) and pull up.

With pick and rolls, it gets trickier.

A visual breakdown:

In this situation, Hinrich was unable to use Warrick’s pick,
and moved to the space on his left.

As Warrick slipped the screen, the Memphis defenders followed.
Hinrich was now in isolation (another area where he isn’t very effective),
but managed to create separation and attack the painted area.

As the defense collapsed, Hinrich panicked a bit and turned the ball over.
Notice that he had three players standing wide open outside,
as well as his center down low, who had sealed off his mark.

It would be unfair to call Hinrich a liability with the basketball, but he is not a great creator either.  My main criticism is that instead of reading the play in real-time, he often assumes that he will have an open jump shot as he comes off the screen, or the pick, or the hand-off.  When the space isn’t there, Hinrich does not think twice about launching a contested shot, when he should instead be keeping his dribble alive and finding an open teammate.  The majority of his turnovers also came in scenarios where Hinrich was unable to work around a screen, was unable to find an open shot quickly, or was forced to drive into the lane and create.  From what I saw, Hinrich is not a selfish player.  Some of his more frustrating offensive tendencies seem to be nothing more than bad habits.  You might say, “Well, bad habits are hard to break.” Fair point, but players do have the capacity to play smarter basketball.

Hawks wing Josh Smith proves this point.

2007-2009: 13.37 2010: 12.3

At Rim:
2007-2009: 5.73 2010: 6.7

<10 Feet:
2007-2009: 2.1 2010: 2.3

10-15 Feet:
2007-2009: 0.57 2010: 0.3

16-23 Feet:
2007-2009: 2.97 2010: 3.0

2007-2009: 1.53 2010: 0.1

Smith and Hinrich do not play the same brand of basketball, but there are takeaways here.  Smith’s shot selection has improved dramatically since his rookie year.  The most noticeable difference was that he stopped taking stupid three point shots (he’s a career 26.6% 3-pt shooter).  The result? The Atlanta Hawks saw their highest win percentage since the 1996-1997 season and Smith became an all-star, unofficially.

Decision making is a problem that Flip Saunders will have to consider, and hopefully correct, because Hinrich turns the ball over a combined 32% of the time as the P&R Ball Handler or in isolation.


Where is Hinrich most effective (at least 60 attempts)?

Based on Synergy’s %Score (a measure of scoring efficiency in certain situations):

  1. Spot-Up — 36.1% (0.93 points-per-possession)
  2. P&R Ball Handler — 40.5% (0.85 PPP)
  3. Off screen — 41.1% (0.9 PPP)

You can probably tell by looking at him (and no, not just because he’s white), that he isn’t an elite athlete.  To his credit, Hinrich works really hard on defense, is a willing help defender, and does his best to contest shots.

To the tape:

Even though Rose was playing fine defense on Mo Williams,
Deng shifted into the center of the lane.

As a result, LeBron James was left wide open.
Hinrich recognized the danger,
and slid over to prevent the easy bucket and check LBJ’s shot.

LeBron dished to a wide open Anthony Parker in the corner,
but Hinrich was able to close quickly and force the miss.


Where is Hinrich least effective (at least 60 attempts)?

Based on Synergy’s %Score (a measure of scoring efficiency in certain situations):

  1. Isolation — 42.5% (0.87 PPP)

Unfortunately, there weren’t enough attempts to warrant a complete situational defensive breakdown.

Taking into account that the Association’s average FG% was 46.1% last year, being scored on just 42.5% of the time is commendable.  This is especially true, when the numbers are put in comparison.  For example, Gilbert Arenas allowed his defensive responsibility to score 60.8% of the time in the same situation.

The addition of Hinrich, my friends, will significantly improve the Wizards’ defense.

For further reference, here are the numbers on some of the 2009-2010 Wizards team in isolation situations:

  • Randy Foye — 51.5%
  • JaVale McGee — 41.3%
  • Quinton Ross — 41.2%
  • Mike Miller — 41.1%
  • Nick Young — 40%
  • Andray Blatche — 37.4%
  • Earl Boykins — 37.3%
  • James Singleton — 37.1%
  • Fabulous Fabricio Oberto — 34.3%
  • Al Thornton — 30%

So there you have it folks, Al Thornton twice is the isolation defender Gilbert Arenas is – statistically speaking, of course.  I was most surprised to see the pocket-sized Boykins perform so well.  Isolation defense is not a perfect predictor of a player’s ability to play within a defensive scheme, but it does provide clues about a their effort tenacity on that end.

So, what exactly does Grunfeld see in Hinrich?  Why does he love the utility guard so much?

Hinrich, a former all-defensive guard who started on the 2006 World Championship team, is actually more comfortable working off the ball (low Usage of 16.6%, too),  is efficient in transition, and can mentor a future all-star guard in John Wall.

For the next two years, the Wizards are hoping to play an up tempo offense. Wall, Arenas, and Blatche will command most of the possessions, which will leave Hinrich free to find space for open jump shots. The Wizards are also trying to get tougher on the defensive end, made evident by the addition of Kevin Seraphin (banger!) and Hamady N’Diaye (“H”).

Hinrich will help the team dictate games on the defensive end and won’t play matador defense, a la Gilberto. From the look of things, he’ll be a perfect fit.

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John Converse Townsend
Reporter / Writer / Co-Editor at TAI
John has been part of the editorial team at TAI since 2010. He likes: pocket passes, chase-down blocks, 3-pointers. He dislikes: typos, turnovers, midrange jump shots.