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Advanced Stats Class: Miles Bridges absolutely crushed Effective Field Goal Percentage

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The Hornets team eFG% ranked just 19th in the league, but Miles Bridges performance was on par with three recent NBA MVPs.

Portland Trail Blazers v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Brock Williams-Smith/NBAE via Getty Images

The 2020-21 Charlotte Hornets finished the regular season with a 33-39 record and the No. 10 seed in the Eastern Conference. Let’s take a look back on the Hornets team advanced stats and better understand why their season went the way it did. This week we’ll break down the Hornets Effective Field Goal Percentage.

Advanced stat: Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%)

What it measures: Field goal percentage adjusting for made 3-point field goals being 1.5 times more valuable than made 2-point field goals.

Hornets result: 53.2%, 19th in the NBA

Team Effective Field Goal Percentages have become increasingly important over the last several years in light of the NBA’s 3-point shooting explosion. As an advanced metric, eFG% takes into account the fact that 3-pointers are more valuable than 2-pointers. For example, shooting 35% from beyond the arc still yields more points per shot attempt than shooting 50% on 2-pointers. Effective Field Goal Percentage accounts for this difference.

The Hornets were below average this past year in eFG%, ranking 19th out of 30 teams. This is a bit surprising because a number of Hornets players fell somewhere between “good” and “outstanding” from the 3-point line, including Gordon Hayward (41.5%), Malik Monk (40.1%), Miles Bridges (40.0%), Terry Rozier (38.9%), and PJ Washington (38.6%).

As a team Charlotte shot 36.9% from the 3-point line, which ranked a respectable 14th in the NBA. But when it came to 2-pointers, the Hornets shot just 51.7% which ranked 22nd in the league. Roll all of this up and James Borrego’s perimeter-oriented team was pretty solid from deep and pretty dismal from inside the arc.

As far as individual players are concerned, Miles Bridges absolutely crushed it in eFG%, reinforcing what a young stud the Hornets have on their hands. Here is the eFG% for Hornets players who averaged at least 20 minutes per game:

Hornets Effective Field Goal % (Min. 20 MPG)

Player eFG% 3 PT% 2 PT%
Player eFG% 3 PT% 2 PT%
Miles Bridges 59.6% 40.0% 59.3%
Bismack Biyombo 58.7% 0.0% 58.9%
Cody Zeller 56.5% 14.3% 59.8%
Terry Rozier 54.8% 38.9% 51.2%
Malik Monk 54.0% 40.1% 47.1%
Gordon Hayward 53.7% 41.5% 49.9%
PJ Washington 52.2% 38.6% 48.0%
Devonte' Graham 51.0% 37.5% 38.0%
LaMelo Ball 50.4% 35.2% 48.9%

Miles Bridges didn’t just lead the Hornets as a team in this category, his performance was among some of the elite scorer’s in today’s NBA. To put Miles’ 59.6% eFG% in perspective, he ranked 15th in the league among players who attempted at least 600 field goal attempts. Bridges finished right behind Stephen Curry (12th, 60.5%), Nikola Jokic (13th, 60.2%), and Giannis Antetokounmpo (14th, 60.0%). For those keeping score at home, Miles Bridges, who started the season at 22 years old, was as efficient from the field as three recent NBA MVPs. Just....wow.

On the other side of the spectrum, LaMelo Ball and Devonte’ Graham were the Hornets least efficient shooters among the team’s core players. LaMelo struggled a bit with his 3-point shooting at 35.2%, but there’s clearly a foundation to work with and he should just get better from here. Devonte’ Graham needs to be better from inside the 3-point line, period. His 38.0% shooting on 2-pointers can allow defenders to body him up on the perimeter, confident he’ll struggle to score on pull-ups and drives to the basket.

Overall the Hornets Effective Field Goal Percentage was nothing special this past year, but Miles Bridges’ individual result was nothing short of spectacular.