CeCe Peniston (not to be confused with Carlos' boss, CeCe Boozer) is overjoyed by the news of Jerry Sloan calling out Kosta Koufos for shooting the damn ball so much. I must admit that I'm happy about it too. Kosta shoots the ball so damn much -- and the media never criticizes him for this (instead they heap insane amounts of love upon him, everything from him being an NBA ready talent to being the #2 center or power forward on the roster) -- that it has forced me into siding with the underdog Fesenko out of the two prospects.
Hopefully Kosta's last game of offensive quantity (5 FGA) over quality (0 FGM) will FI-NAL-EE open up the floodgates of criticism. DJ and PK (morning sports talk radio personalities on 1320 KFAN) even started to hint that (through quoting Sloan), perhaps, Kosta wasn't going to be an All-Star this season. Quoted in the Deseret News today, Sloan had this to say:
"Now Koufos is a little different story. I don't know what that was. He shot it every time he touched [the ball] . . . [When asked if Kosta had a green light to shoot he replied that] He's got a green light to go rebound. He's got a green light to pick up loose balls, and those things that young guys should do when they step out on the floor . . . he can shoot the ball, and that's one of his strengths. When he's been open, he's probably been told to shoot it (previously). But we'd like for him to fake to the other guys once in a while, just to let them known they're in the same game." (Jerry Sloan, 2008, via Desert News)
|Photographed by Sam Forencich for NBAE/Getty Images||CeCe Peniston "Finally" [3:58], (thanks SuperNudel!)not officially a song about the media (and Jazz Coaches) recognizing that Kosta Koufos isn't the best thing since sliced bread, and that he shoots the ball way too much for a rookie.|
Kosta's cumulative shooting stats have been unimpressive. I know, I have it all on a spreadsheet. All of his professional experience exists as a pretty small sample size . . . 8 games . . . but I can only work with what I have, right? Koufos was purported to be some sort of offensive stud -- or at the very least, NBA ready on offense. (not entirely unlike Mehmet Okur) He shoots a bad percentage, and shoots the ball a lot. Which is only compounded by the fact that he shoots a bad percentage. Which looks even worse because he shoots the ball a lot. Sound like I'm repeating myself? I think I am, but so far no one has been listening.
Mr.Koufos has shot the ball 42 times in the Rocky Mountain Review. So far he has shot the ball 6 times in 2008-2009 Preseason games. That's a total of 48 times. Out of those 48 times, how many has he actually made? 17. What's that as a percentage? 35.4 fg -- which is pretty shabby if he was drafted partly because he was a good offensive player.
Shooting the ball 48 times in 8 games doesn't look that bad though -- that's only shooting the ball 6 times per game. The problem is how often he plays. He played 96:40 minutes in the RMR, and so far has played around 11 minutes in the Preseason. That's around 107:40 total minutes. Right now I'm going to show you his ratio of shots taken and minutes played. This is simply 48 shots : 107:40 mins = 1 shot : x
How often does he shoot the ball, then? Once every 2.23 minutes. That is a very high rate for someone who shoots poorly. Carlos Boozer, who last season (2007-2008) scored over 21 ppg (at 55 fg%) shot the ball once every 2.18 minutes (1297 shots in 2827 minutes). What's the difference between 0.05 minutes? That's 3 seconds. Does Kosta Koufos, a 19 year old rookie who shoots the ball 35 fg%, NEED to be shooting the ball 3 seconds less frequently than a two time All-Star and two time Olympian who is the primary scoring option of the team -- a guy who shoots 20% better?
|Kosta shoots it over Greg Oden -- obviously a necessary shot to take! Photographed by Sam Forencich for NBAE/Getty Images|| |
Obviously the main criticism of my point of view will be that RMR stats shouldn't count, and that his playing in some games shouldn't either -- because of how little he has been playing. Okay, well, let's get rid of the game against the Lakers where he only played 2 minutes. That means that he shot the ball 47 times in 105:40 total minutes, instead of 48 in 107:40. That he made 16 shots, instead of 17. And that he played in 7 games, and not 8. This results, ultimately, in shooting the ball once every 2.24 (as opposed to 2.23) at the whopping proficiency of 34.0 fg%. [And shooting the ball 6.7 times a game, and not 6]
Don't get me wrong, I like the kid. I think he'll be a pro in this league and play (barring injuries) at least as long as a guy like Pat Garrity or Michael Doleac. (Hopefully with a better looking career, though) Let's just slow down the hype and media love for a while, okay guys? He's not already better than Jarron Collins and Kyrylo Fesenko ('cept maybe in ft% and shooting range, where he kills those guys). He's not the back-up center, and he's definitely NOT the back-up power forward. He's going to need seasoning in the NBA-DL this next season. He'll end up shooting better, having a better shot selection, and be well on his way towards having a solid rookie season as a teen in the NBA playing on a contender. (That's to say, watching older guys play while he runs around in the NBA D-League)
I'm just happy that people are finally recognizing his fault. Sorry, CeCe and I are BOTH happy that people see these faults, and FI-NAL-EE it's happening to us . . . that we're not the only ones repeating ourselves about the empirically obvious problem of a 19 year old rookie who shoots 35 fg% shooting the ball as much as our All-Star and scoring meal ticket Carlos Boozer.