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As McDyess goes, so go the Pistons

In today's Free Press, Krista Jahnke notes how Antonio McDyess is prone to letting his success or failure snowball over the course of a game:

"He needs to hit early shots to get into a rhythm," coach Flip Saunders said.

Tayshaun Prince said teammates engage in armchair psychology with McDyess during games, encouraging him to keep shooting if he misses early. Otherwise, they know he can fade.

"When he misses two or three shots in a row and nobody says anything to him to keep shooting, then he tends to veer away from that," Prince said. "If he makes or misses his first shot, we constantly stay on him to keep shooting the basketball. Then he'll keep shooting."

As it happens, McDyess was a hot topic in the comments of the last game thread, which isn't surprising considering McDyess bounced back from a six-point, six-board game to score 16 points with 12 boards. DBB reader joejoejoe looked up the numbers and found an interesting correlation between McDyess' performance and the team's success:

The Pistons are 24-14 when McDyess shoots less than 50% from the field.
The Pistons are 13-6 when McDyess shoots from 50-59% from the field.
The Pistons are 20-1 when McDyess shoots 60% or more from the field.

The Pistons are 29-15 when McDyess scores fewer than 10 points.
The Pistons are 28-6 when McDyess scores 10 points or more.

It’s not that McDyess is scoring a ton of points. He scored more than 15 points only 5 times this year. I just think that when McDyess is clicking then it opens up the game for his team as a secondary option.

I agree with his conclusion. McDyess isn't a prototypical power forward who rarely strays from the paint. Instead, his preferred shot is a 12-15 foot jumper where he's usually automatic ... right? You might be surprised -- take a look at his NBA Hot Spot chart after the jump.

Antonio McDyess 07-08 Hot Spot

Huh. I was expecting something a bit more ... red. Two of those gray spots aren't all that bad -- 45.2% and 46.4% -- but still, it pales in comparison to his percentages from last year:

Antonio McDyess 06-07 Hot Spot

Granted, none of this really means anything when it comes to this year's playoffs, especially considering how McDyess can be one of the streakiest shooters on the the team this side of Jarvis Hayes. But when his shot isn't falling, I'm definitely going to start paying extra attention to see how many shots he starts passing up and how his teammates react.