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How Tyreke Evans' Game Changed

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We're all painfully aware how much a season-long battle with plantar fasciitis pained Tyreke Evans; he became a different player in front of our eyes, which is to say he became far less effective as the prolonged injury limited his explosiveness and in-game durability. That he fought through the injury to play 57 games in a lost season is commendable. That he came back when there was nothing left but the frosting on a(nother) bad season for the Sacramento Kings was surprising.

But let's look at the hard data to see what the injury did to Tyreke's offense. This is the percentage of total field goal attempts from each range.

Tyreke-evans-shot-types-v2_medium

Per Hoopdata, Evans took more than half of his field goal attempts as a rookie -- 52 percent, in fact -- at the rim. That fell to 38 percent in his second season. Where did all of those other shots go? Everywhere! Tyreke's share of shots at all of the other ranges increased, with the biggest percentage jump coming at the 3-9 feet range. Those would typically be runners, floaters and last-minute pull-up jumpers off the dribble. (It doesn't show in the graphic, but only 12.8 percent of those 3-9 foot shots are assisted.)

This is a problem simply because that which makes Evans so powerful on offensive player is his ability to get to the rim and finish. He still finished quite well at the rim (59 percent, which is below the league average of 64 percent but is strong for a high-usage guard), and all told he still got to the cup fairly regularly. But if he can get back to that rookie level and take half of his shots at the rim? The team will instantly be better off.

Why? Tyreke shoots almost 60 percent at the rim ... and right around 33 percent beyond that range. Even if you don't account for fouls, that's a huge difference.