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Rudy Gay: ‘I was inefficient’ as a Toronto Raptor

Mar 7, 2014, 11:37 AM EDT

Toronto Raptors v Houston Rockets Getty Images

Rudy Gay was inefficient as a Toronto Raptor. This is not up for debate.

He attempted 17.6 shots per game in Toronto, making just 42.8 percent of the 2-pointers and 41.1 percent of all attempts.

The only remaining question was whether Gay, who’s clearly not too fond of stats, knew he was inefficient as a Raptor, because everyone else already did.

He does.

Gay, via Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun:

“I was inefficient when I was here. I’m not anymore. I was when I was here,” Gay said, declining to provide a reason other than “it could have been a lot of things,” as to why his game was so off.

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Gay, to his credit, has flourished with the Kings. The exact source of his transformation is unclear, but given this admission, it really seems he took the statistically based criticism to heart.

At 17.1 and 18.6 in his two partial seasons with the Raptors, Gay’s field-goal attempts per game would have been career highs over any full season. That’s just too much of a load for him.

Reigning in his attempts to 15.5 per game with the Kings, which would be a career low over a full season, Gay has actually increased his scoring average from 19.5 in Toronto to 20.8 in Sacramento.

Taking 2.1 fewer shots per game and scoring 1.3 more points per game – that’s remarkable!

Gay deserves credit for admitting where he went wrong. More importantly, he deserves crediting for fixing it.

  1. mp4philly - Mar 7, 2014 at 11:42 AM

    Captain Obvious…

  2. conjecture101 - Mar 7, 2014 at 11:43 AM

    Kyle Lowry is shooting about 41% on about 13 shots, but they’re winning games. The scoring efficacy alone of a single player tells us next to nothing.

    • mj234eva - Mar 7, 2014 at 12:34 PM

      Kyle Lowry might be shooting 41% (41.9 to be exact) from the field overall but that alone does not tell the entire story.

      He currently averages 12.9 FGA’s per game, of which, 6.2 per game are 3 point attempts. He makes 38% of then. He averages 4.5 FT’s per game and makes them at an 82% clip. To get to a PPG average of 16.8.

      There are two more important “shooting efficiency” measures you should look at other than FG’s:

      TS% = True Shooting Percentage; a measure of shooting efficiency that takes into account 2-point field goals, 3-point field goals, and free throws.

      eFG% = Effective Field Goal Percentage; this statistic adjusts for the fact that a 3-point field goal is worth one more point than a 2-point field goal.

      Lowry has a TS% of .566 and an eFG% of .510.

      So, in actuality he IS efficient.

      Here are Gay’s TS% and eFG% splits


      TS% = .468
      eFG% = .421


      TS% = .586
      eFG% = .529

      So, Rudy has been scoring more efficiently with the Kings.

      *Note: Definitions for TS% and eFG% were copied from basketball-reference

      • conjecture101 - Mar 7, 2014 at 11:05 PM

        Good points. However two things concern me about the stats you mentioned; TSP & EFG. If we were to evaluate players based on them we would have to rank Jose Calderon above Russell Westbrook, Jodie Meeks above Demarr Derozan and Nikola Pekovic above Joakim Noah & Lamarcus Aldridge. The other thing that concerns me about those stats is that their fluctuation brings question to their value. The sudden shift in stats by Gay from Toronto to Sacramento proves that there was nothing inherently “inefficient” about Gay as a player, and that his stats ascended based on variables that have yet to be quantified or put in the proper context.

      • mytthor - Mar 8, 2014 at 2:37 PM

        The stats don’t tell the whole story of the player. It’s a piece of the puzzle only.

      • mj234eva - Mar 13, 2014 at 1:37 PM


        I never stated that’s how one should “evaluate” players, though. So, we don’t disagree there.

    • cmehustle - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:23 PM

      41% on about 13 shots a game for a point guard, not so bad especially when you pass the ball and play defense. 41% on 18 or 19 shots a game when you dont pass, not good.

      • conjecture101 - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:54 PM

        You’re making my point. I never said Lowry’s stats were “bad”, I was noting that every player’s stats must be given the proper context before we determine whether or not the player is effective. That context includes an old trick that talent evaluators used to invoke called “watching games” These evaluators would actually watch the players play in a game in order to frame their opinion of the said player.

  3. bhunter1995 - Mar 7, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    Props to Rudy Gay for turning his career around in SAC. The reason he is scoring better now then ever before is that he is one of three guys averaging 20 (I know thomas is in the high 19s but I’m just gonna round it). With Memphis he was thier bailout guy, he took every late clock shot and got the attention of the entire defense which is a big reason his % was so low. On the Raptors it was more of the same. Now he is with SAC and he has a low post scorer (who is a great passer) that he can dump it off to in DC and a very effective scoring PG is Thomas who is a solid playmaker. What I would like to see is the amount of Baskets Gay scores off assists in comparison to past years. I’m sure some analytics guy has it somewhere.

  4. angrytwitterguy - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:03 PM

    Some players wake up to the fact that it’s a business and they are pros after a team trades them, for Gay it took a second trade.

  5. bkbell3 - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    Just to point out if you shot 1000 shots for the year(about 12 per game) to make it simple,the difference between 50% and 45% is 50 made baskets for the year. Obviously that’s well less than one more made basket per GAME. 17 shots per game is 1394 and 50% is 697 made and 45% is 627 made for a difference of 70 made baskets for the year or LESS than one more made basket per game. Not exactly a huge difference.Hitting threes and getting to the foul line is what helps make top scorers more efficient.You would be surprised at the career shooting % of alot of perimeter players like Durant at 47% and melo at 45.5%. In the box scores on ESPN if you click on the players name a small box comes up showing %,points,rebounds,blocks and assists for the year as well as for their career.

  6. bruiserbrigade - Mar 7, 2014 at 6:42 PM

    Blame Canada. They’re not even a real country anyway.

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