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Herring: Andrea Bargnani misses hard

Those fast breaks aren't a coincidence.

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Andrea Bargnani is having a decent season for Andrea Bargnani, which is to say a somewhat okay individual season. He's scoring about as effectively as he ever has from inside the arc, shooting poorly but relatively infrequently from behind the arc, rebounding as much as he ever as, and playing genuinely competent post defense. Still, the Knicks-- a very bad team-- have been consistently worse with him on the floor. He's one of the most played and highest-usage Knicks, but carries one of the team's worst net ratings (based on points/100 possessions) and, well, I can't get the NBA Stats site to load all of a sudden, but I bet his on/off numbers are pretty yucky, too.

It's been tough to put a finger on the basis for Bargnani's especially negative effect on his team (and previous team), but Chris Herring seems to have nailed a big part of it:

When he misses from long range, it usually turns into automatic points for the opposing team.

This season, Knicks opponents have grabbed 58 rebounds on jumpers that Bargnani has missed from outside the paint, and 35 of them-a whopping 60.3%-have led to a basket on the other end of the floor. That scoring rate off one player's missed shots is the highest in the NBA

Herring goes on to explain why that's the case: Bargnani doesn't just miss frequently. He misses hard (click through for exact data on Bargnani's shot trajectory, because Chrissy Fishes does not half-ass), produces long rebounds, then waddles back on defense while the opponent attacks in transition.

This is far from the Knicks' only problem, but it's one we've been unable to fully grasp until Herring looked into it. It'll be something to keep an eye on for the rest of the season. If Mike Woodson really does intend to play Bargnani and Tyson Chandler together, then perhaps Chandler's rebounding and defense could slow some of those counter-attacks. I don't know.