A theme coming from new Phoenix Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek is he wants to play at a fast tempo.
In theory, Hornacek’s idea is dead on — attempting shots earlier in the shot clock whether it be off a turnover, missed basket or made basket leads to better attempts. You’re attacking a defense before it gets settled and organized.
The numbers back it up. According to 82games.com, on average when a team shoots within the first 10 seconds of the shot clock, players made an effective FG% (eFG% accounts for twos and threes) of 54 percent. From 11 to 15 seconds the eFG% drops to 49 percent, 16 to 20 seconds 47 percent, and 21+ seconds 45 percent. (All further shot clock statistics in the piece are from 82games.com)
Phoenix’s problem last year wasn’t the pace it played at. The Suns were the ninth-fastest team in the league based on ESPN.com statistics. The problem was they weren’t very good at it.
This chart shows the percentage of Suns’ shots attempted in each section of the shot clock compared to league average.