Frank Vogel helped validate rim protection as a sound strategy for defensive success in the NBA and now it's impacting his offense.
Prior to the Sacramento game, the topic of Roy Hibbert's shot location, succinctly analyzed by this FanPost from MillerTime31, was broached. How did Vogel account for the change in Roy's shot location numbers over the past couple of years?
Two things stood out. First, injuries this year have forced the Pacers to come up with different ways to get shots. If the defense is going to allow Hibbert to shot 17-footers, there often aren't better available options on most trips down the floor.
The other issue is how NBA teams are defending the pick n' roll, denying the roll by keeping bigs in the paint which in turn, leaves Hibbert with the mid-range look.
"I have encouraged his perimeter jump shot more this year than in the past," Vogel said. "He's a good shooter and the way this league plays pick n' roll defense, they keep their bigs in the paint, it is one way to take advantage and get him a few more looks."
Vogel opined that 80 percent of the teams in the league keep their bigs in the paint when defending the pick n' roll. The Pacers don't have a dynamic roll threat to challenge that defense and no one is looking for Hibbert to get loose and fly over a defender at the rim.
So Hibbert tries to find his spot to shoot and his coach is fine with it. On shots from that pick n' roll sweet zone between 15 and 19 feet, Hibbert is making about 43% of his takes. As you can see from his shot chart, his success is found when he shoots from the right elbow of top of the key.
Against the Kings, Hibbert just played 24 minutes with 11 points and 7 rebounds. He only had one perimeter shot attempt, a baseline look which he made.
Indeed, that is not a bad option for the big fella, but finding a way to get more looks near the rim through other play options remains a need for the Pacers.