Lest you be reminded, Tyreke Evans is not a particularly good shooter. His offense is predicated on getting to the rim to open up the floor to everyone else. Alas, it does open up the floor for himself -- defenders play off of him to guard against the dribble-drive. And alas, Tyreke has struggled to make defenses pay.
This is a problem not just on three-pointers, where Evans is a career .255. It's a problem everywhere.
NBA.com's shot data shows the issue pretty clearly. He took 54.7 percent of all of his FGAs inside the restricted area, and shot 60 percent from there. That's excellent! The other 45.3 percent of his FGAs were not quite good, though. Inside the paint but outside the restricted area -- so from 3-10 feet, roughly -- he shot 29 percent. In the mid-range, where he took 21.7 percent of his FGAs, he shot 31 percent. He took all of four corner threes all season long ... and hit one of them. On above the break threes, which made up 10 percent of his shots, he shot just 20 percent.
The scene wasn't much better in 2010-11: Tyreke took and made fewer shots in the restricted area (remember the foot) but shot quite a bit better from the mid-range (34 percent) and on threes (29 percent). Not great, but he has shot a little better.
Is league average "passable" enough to allow Tyreke's superlative driving and foul-drawing ability to shine properly? Can an average jumper allow Tyreke to truly blossom?
The truth is that there's only one area where Evans' effectiveness is far, far below league average: three-pointers, where the league hit 35 percent last season. (Tyreke was at 20.2 percent.) We can calculate what the difference means for Tyreke's (and the Kings' scoring). But that's not the real impact. The real impact of Tyreke's jumper becoming credible is that it can punish defenses for packing the lane against him. The real impact is that it can open the floor for his incredible driving skill. The jumper is the Rosetta Stone in all of this.
This is a huge, huge question this season. I tend to agree with Greg that the range of possibilities with the Kings on the court this season relies heavily on Tyreke's next act. And where Tyreke goes depends a lot on that jumper.