John Schuhmann of NBA.com threw down a nice video and a couple stat tables today showing how LaMarcus Aldridge's mid-range shot helps the Portland Trail Blazers offense even though firing from that distance is the lowest-production move in basketball.
The sets shown in the video will look familiar to diehard Portland fans. The overall lesson is still worth taking in. Looking at numbers on a page--lowest point-per-shot ratio for mid-range shots, most mid-range shots in the league for Aldridge plus the second most isolation plays--doesn't tell the whole story. Sometimes those mid-range looks are money, not because of the player or percentages, but how they foil the defense and lead to easier shots all over the court. Who'd have thought that Portland's motion-based, "We don't care who scores" offensive attack would give rise to one of the most iso-heavy players in the league? It's true, yet the offense remains beautiful and unselfish.
Great perspective from Mr. Schuhmann and well worth a look.