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2013-14 Season in Review: Travis Outlaw

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Travis Outlaw played more than he ever did for the Kings this past season, but were the minutes worth it?

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

2013-14 Stats:

63 GP, 16.9 MPG, 5.4 PPG, .399 FG%, .350 3P%, 2.7 RPG, 0.8 AST, 0.3 STL, 0.3 BLK, 0.4 TOV, 1.5 PF

Needs to work on:

  • Continuing to regain his 3 Point Shot
  • Maybe, possibly, hopefully not shooting every single time

Analysis:

When the Kings acquired Travis Outlaw off of the Amnesty wire in 2011, it was in the hope that the SF who had underperformed so badly in New Jersey would be able to regain some of the form that he displayed in Portland.  In Portland, Outlaw was one of the better bench scorers in the league, and a very good outside shooter.  In New Jersey, he broke his hand and seemingly never recovered his shooting stroke.  In his first two years in Sacramento, he kept shooting, but his 3P% remained under 30%.

This year Outlaw played more minutes than his first two seasons in Sacramento combined, and while a large part of that was necessity (especially after the loss of Marcus Thornton and Jimmer Fredette), he also seemingly regained his 3 Point Shot, hitting 35%, which while still not great, was one of the better percentages on the team and the first indication that Outlaw might rediscover his shot.

As mentioned above, the Kings played Outlaw a lot more this season, and they did so by playing him a bunch of minutes at the SG, an awkward fit, but with no real SG on the roster aside from Ben McLemore, there wasn't really another choice.

Despite Travis' better outside shot, he also shot worse on his 2 pointers this year, and the Kings were much worse offensively with him on the floor (-3.9 points per 100 possessions).  A large part of that is because Travis Outlaw has almost never seen a shot that he doesn't like, to the point that it even became a go-to joke for Mike Malone in some post-game pressers.  The statistics bear the same as Travis posted an assist rate of 7.0% and a turnover rate of just 6.9%, one of the lowest numbers in the league.  Under what circumstances do players have really low assist and turnover rates: those where they never pass the ball.  He also spent a lot less time attacking the rim, with a career-low Free Throw Rate of .160 and just 1.8 FTA per 36 minutes.  That's about half of his career average of 3.5 FTA per 36 minutes, not like that's an impressive number either.

In a surprising twist, Travis was actually a positive for the Kings on defense, at 1.6 points per 100 possessions better.  So in effect they went from being an awful defensive team with Travis off the floor to just a really bad one.  Still, it's a positive sign, especially since Travis possesses great size, length and athleticism and should be a good defender.

Travis Outlaw will be entering the final year of his contract next season.  Hopefully the Kings won't have to rely on him as much then, but when he is called upon, I'd like to see him be a dedicated "3-and-D" guy and less of a "shooteverything-and-D" guy.

Tomorrow: Isaiah Thomas