The five most efficient role players in the NBA
Efficiency has become the name of the game in the current NBA world.
The current NBA offenses now consist of a lot more 3-pointers and layups than any other time period within the NBA. Teams have increasingly adjusted their offenses away from a post-centric offense and mid-range shots and moved towards a perimeter-based offense with more shooters.
This is the reason why players like Monta Ellis and Josh Smith, who once were young stars, are no longer on an NBA roster. This is the reason the stretch 4 position has become such a commodity in the last five years. The new offensive sets have allowed teams to become significantly more efficient, and teams covet efficient players like never before.
In the increasingly competitive market for efficiency on the court, here are five of the most efficient supportive or role players in the NBA this season.
Montrezl Harrell, Los Angeles Clippers
Harrell has turned into a solid role player for Doc Rivers. While his points per game average is down from 9.1 to 7.7, Harrell is currently shooting 60.3 percent from the field, which is in the top 10 among the NBA.
Harrell has been a solid role player coming off the bench for a depleted Clippers roster in desperate need of help. Patrick Beverly (knee surgery), Danilo Gallinari (hip), Blake Griffin (concussion, knee), Milos Teodosic (foot) and now DeAndre Jordan (ankle) have all missed portions of the year already due to injury.
The starting lineup has been completely decimated by injuries, but Harrell has been a bright spot in an otherwise depressing season for clippers fans.
Tyreke Evans, Memphis Grizzlies
Evans, who once beat out Stephen Curry and James Harden for Rookie of the Year honors, had continued to regress after his promising rookie season, until this year. Evans’ scoring this year (19.9 points per game) is nearly on par with his rookie season (20.1). He is currently shooting above 45 percent from the field and above 40 percent from beyond the arc.
While the Grizzlies have struggled with Mike Conley sidelined with an achilles injury and Dave Fizdale fired, Evans has emerged as a quality NBA starter. With a scarce supply of talented wings in the NBA, Evans will garner lots of attention this summer as a free agent if he can continue his strong play.
Don’t be surprised if the Memphis Grizzlies go into rebuild mode and trade Evans and Marc Gasol for young prospects and draft picks. Evans could really help a team like the Wizards or his former team, the Pelicans, make a playoff push.
Enes Kanter, New York Knicks
The former No. 3 pick in the draft from Turkey has become one of the most efficient bigs in the NBA. He’s quietly scoring 13.4 points per game while shooting 59.7 percent from the floor. He has also developed great chemistry with Kristaps Porzingis.
While Kanter has never been known for his defense, he is pulling down 10 rebounds a game and pacing to finish with career highs in blocks and steals.
Kanter has showed he’s not afraid of anyone, whether that be LeBron James, Kevin Durant or the Turkish government.
David West, Golden State Warriors
While the 37-year-old and former All-Star only plays 13 minutes per game for the defending champions, he’s shooting at an unbelievable 62.4 percent from the field, his highest field goal percentage in his career by a wide margin.
West is the only non-starter in the top 15 of the player efficiency ratings and is one the most underrated passing big men in the NBA.
While the Warriors have lots of options, West has been a reliable backup big for Steve Kerr and is one the cogs responsible for the best reserve group in the NBA.
Clint Capela, Houston Rockets
Capela has blossomed in his fourth year as a pro, averaging 14.2 points, 11.1 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game. Capela is also first in the NBA in field goal percentage at 66.9 percent.
With the addition of Chris Paul, Capela has been the beneficiary of open looks around the rim, and he’s been efficient doing so. Similar to how DeAndre Jordan’s ability as an alley-oop threat and finishing around the rim resulted with his very high shooting percentages, Capela has become Chris Paul’s new Jordan.
The 23-year-old from Switzerland has formed a great pick-and-roll duo with James Harden, combined with a plethora of excellent 3-point shooters to space the floor. Capela has provided great rim protection on the defensive side of the ball, and has been holding down the interior for Mike D’Antoni.
Featured image from YardBarker.com
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