The Atlanta Hawks: Pizza shot charts


Aug 19, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; A Tampa Bay Rays fan holds up a flag for pizza after the Rays struck out 10 batters for the night which wins a free pizza. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks shot charts …….. compared to pizzas.

Pizza is good.

We can all agree upon that, right? I’d like to take a few minutes to explore a pair of topics that seemingly have nothing in common, yet both of which are very, extremely important, especially given that it is almost lunchtime at the time of writing: Pizza and shot charts. For each of the Atlanta Hawks players, we will take a look at the player’s shot chart for the 2014-15 season, and compare the given shot chart to the appropriate variety of pizza.

That’s simple enough, isn’t it?

Jeff Teague, Cheese

Cheese pizza has a certain universal appeal to it, and it almost always gets the job done. Sounds about like Teague, right?

This chart is particularly pretty yet — Teague could stand to finish a bit better at the rim — but Teague is shooting well all over the court, including a fine bit of work in the middle. And that’s cheese pizza: the middle ground that keeps folks happy.

Al Horford, Supreme

Oh my, this one is so delicious. Big Al is converted nearly 58% of his shots in the restricted area, a few ticks above league average.

Far more impressively, Horford has made 53.7% of his midrange shots, where he is taking over half of his attempts. That conversion rate lies far north of the NBA average of 40.2%. Horford has a ways to go with respect to rebounding and defense — and both areas should improve as he gets healthier — but this shot chart is a delicacy formed from pepperoni, sausage, peppers and onions.

Those are my candidates for the essentials on a supreme pizza. But what else is acceptable? Tomato? Ground beef? I’m expecting a very mixed opinion on mushrooms. I’ll eat all of that stuff on my supreme, thank you very much.

Thabo Sefolosha, White pizza with broccoli

If you’re going to make a white pizza, at least have the humanity to throw a few slices of tomato on there. Otherwise, you’re eating alfredo on a crust. Yuck. On a related note: Sefolosha has made 2 of his 25 attempts from outside the paint. The good news is that he’s just a hair under league average at the rim.

Dennis Schröder, Linguiça

Sort of like Kyle Korver (see below), Dennis Schröder thrives on one type of shot and he does that shot super, crazily well. For Dennis, it’s getting to the paint. Schroder takes nearly two-thirds of his shots in the restricted area and flips them in — really he shoots more sidearm shots than anyone in the NBA — at a rate of 65.7%. It’s a trend that defenses going to have to work to deny and if/when they do, Schröder’s teammates should feast on the open space.

Speaking of feasts, my oh my is linguiça delicious. Here is a representative image of a linguica pizza. For those who don’t know, it’s a chorizo-like sausage, so it functions on a pizza much like pepperoni. It’s a pleasant little surprise, much like Schröder’s play in his sophomore season thus far.

I want bonus points for this match because of the diacritical marks, okay?

DeMarre Carroll, Half meatball, half pineapple

Have you ever gotten one of those half-and-half pizzas, only to discover that everyone secretly wanted slices from the same half? DeMarre’s shot chart is something like that. Every Hawks fan wants what is happening on the right-hand side, and no one wants what’s on the left.

Based on his defense and overall play, you could say the same about Carroll’s injury absence: the Hawks games with DeMarre were far preferable than those without him.

(Oh and by the way: ground beef is the good topping and pineapple is gross and has no business on a pizza.)

Paul Millsap, Artichoke and black olive

Vegetarians have probably already run away screaming due to my dependence on meat-heavy pies, but here is a veggie combo that always tastes great, even if it’s difficult to describe way. Millsap takes more shots, makes more shots and scores more points than any other Hawks, but it’s not always easy to put to words how exactly it all works out. Paul can score from anywhere on the floor, and if a defense forces him from a primary option into a secondary one, he’s got a backup move that might look a wee bit unorthodox that generally works just as well.

That sounds like artichoke and olive to me.

Kyle Korver, Pepperoni

Kyle Korver’s shot chart is a one-dimensional masterpiece. Roughly 65% of his shots come from three-point range, and Korver is putting them in twine at an obscene 56.7% clip. And if there is one topping that can blanket a pizza to perfection all by its lonesome, a topping so perfect that it needs nothing else to hide it or complement it, it’s pepperoni.

Oh and by the way, Korver is the NBA’s only minutes-qualified 50/50/90 player: 50+% from the field, 50+% from three, 90+% from the free throw line.

This space here is the one where I’m supposed to write a conclusion that ties everything nearly together, only it’s lunchtime and I’m hungry and bye-bye.

Don’t forget to “Like” the Soaring Down South Facebook page and “Follow” us on Twitter @SoaringDwnSouth to get up-to-date Atlanta Hawks/NBA news, rumors and analysis conveniently in your news feeds.