Hello all! I've been playing around with a statistical measure I call Expected Scoring. Expected Scoring uses a player’s FGA from each area of the floor and multiplies it by the average number of points scored on that type of shot to come up with an Expected Scoring total from that area. The Expected Scoring total can than be compared to the actual number of points a player scored from that area to arrive at a Point Differential. This point differential is an expression of how a player shot compared to the league average, but I like that the comparison is drawn with actual point totals. The average values of shots by location that I use (At Rim – 1.208, <10ft. – 0.856, 10-15ft. – 0.783, 16-23ft. – 0.801, 3PT – 1.081, FT – 0.759) were calculated by Albert Lyu of ThinkBlueCrew.

Anyway, I started using it at my blog, Hickory-High, to profile some players around the NBA as the regular season draws closer. I just finished looking at Amir Johnson and thought I would share some of what I found:

The first thing that jumps out is that Johnson appears to be a player with a good sense of his own limitations. He rarely shoots the ball from outside of 10 ft., averaging less than 1.5 attempts per 40 minutes on all shots longer than that. He has scored at an above expected rate on shots at the rim in every season. In addition he made a huge jump last season scoring slightly more than 1.5 points more than expected on shots at the rim, per 40 minutes. To put this number in context, it’s roughly the same positive point differential that Greg Oden has on shots at the rim, or that Jared Dudley has on 3PTs.

The other really promising thing about Johnson’s numbers is the steady improvement he has shown in each area. His Point Differentials have increased on shots at the rim, <10ft., 10-15ft. and 16-23ft. in each of the last three seasons. It’s still rare to see him shoot long jumpers, but he has made progress to the point of shooting at essentially the league average rate on jumpers from 10-23ft.
His scoring efficiency has reached a fairly impressive level across the board and he seems like he could be poised for a breakout season. If anyone is interested in the entire analysis, here's the link.