The Hornets haven’t shot the ball well in general this year (they’re 25th in the league in true shooting percentage), but Marco Bellinelli has shot the ball exceptionally poorly. His 3 of 10 performance against OKC last night prompted me to do some digging so I could quantify exactly how bad his shooting has been this year.
Of the 38 NBA shooting guards who play 20 or more minutes a night, Bellinelli is second to last in true shooting percentage, at 45.9%. He’s capable of playing a lot better than this; last year he ranked 12 out of 49 at 56.1%. If Bellinelli starts playing the way he did last year, the Hornets would start turning these L’s into W’s. His performance has been a great predictor of the team’s success this season. Bellinelli has shot 53% in the Hornets’ 3 wins and 29% in the team’s 7 losses, the worst differential of any Hornets starter.
The good news is that he’s continued to hustle in spite of his poor shooting; Bellinelli is one of the league’s top rebounders among shooting guards. For that reason and because he’s so central to the team’s success, we should continue to support him and try to cheer him out of this poor shooting streak, even as we eagerly await Eric Gordon’s return.
Sources: hoopdata.com and espn.com, all stats are current as of 1/11/2012.