Chris Johnson's Empty 23

via blog.nola.com

In last night's lone D-League game, the Dakota Wizards fell to the Iowa Energy, 111-103.  In the game recap on the D-League's official site the two players mentioned on the Wizards are forward Renaldo Major, who put together a fantastic offensive performance, scoring 28 points on only 14 shots from the field, as well as center Chris Johnson.  Johnson's 23 points came in a far less impressive fashion - the big man only connected on eight of his 19 shots from the field and also turned the ball over on eight separate occasions. 

In order to quantify just how inefficient Johnson's scoring was, we turn to a metric used in HoopData.com's fantastic advanced box scores: Points Contributed per Possession Used.  This statistic is defined as follows:

Points Contributed = PC = Pts + Ast*2/3 - AstFGM*2/3

Possessions Used = PU = FGA + TO + Ast*1/3 - AstFGM*1/3 + FTA*0.44

Where AstFGM are assisted field goals made.

Points Contributed per Possession Used = PC/PU

Although it's not exactly easy to just calculate this number off the top of your head, it's relatively intuitive.  The number of possessions used is based on shots taken, turnovers, assists, and free throws - the only four ways a possession can come to an end.  The number of points contributed depends on points scored (obviously) but also on the player's assists as well as how often that player's baskets were assisted. 

The fact that Johnson had eight turnovers is clearly a big factor in why his night was so inefficient, as a turnover ends a possession with zero probability of scoring.  However, when we dig into the box score, we also see that he had a ton of help scoring his 23 points.  Here are all of Johnson's made shots, from the play-by-play on the D-League's official site.

Johnson Alley Oop Dunk Shot: Made (2 PTS) Assist: Cooper (1 AST) 

Johnson Layup Shot: Made (4 PTS)

Johnson Layup Shot: Made (6 PTS) Assist: Gerrity (1 AST)

Johnson Slam Dunk Shot: Made (10 PTS) Assist: Gerrity (4 AST) 

Johnson Slam Dunk Shot: Made (12 PTS) Assist: Anderson (1 AST)

Johnson Slam Dunk Shot: Made (14 PTS) 

Johnson Slam Dunk Shot: Made (21 PTS) Assist: Gerrity (5 AST)

Johnson Jump Shot: Made (23 PTS) Assist: Gerrity (6 AST)

Johnson was able to attack the rim, scoring near the basket on seven of his eight shots, but that was due to the ability of his guards to create those opportunities.  He was assisted on five of the seven shots at the rim and on his only jumper.

Now, we have all the data necessary to calculate Johnson's PC/PU.  Johnson scored 23 points, had 3 assists, 6 assisted field goals, 19 shot attempts, 8 turnovers, and took 9 shots from the free throw line.  That comes out to 21 points contributed in 30 possessions used, or 0.7 points per possession.  In a league where the average team scores roughly 0.9 points per possession, that's very poor.  Considering Johnson took just under 30% of Dakota's total possessions - combining both on-court and off-court possessions - and used them very inefficiently, it's no surprise that they lost the game.  23 points may get him in the game recap, but Johnson should hope that NBA front offices don't find this box score.

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