This post was inspired by this tweet:

I wondered how many times our lovelies Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis had  “bad shooting nights” of 15+ FGA at less than 40 percent. This is what I found.

Data as of 2.11.12

That graph is among players who have had a “bad shooting night” more than 12 times (plus just for fun Kevin Durant and LeBron James). Ellis and Jennings lead the NBA in bad shooting nights at 20 and 19 respectively. This is bad in itself, but it’s even worse when you look at how many games these same players have had “average shooting nights” (15+ FGA, > 40 percent).

Data as of 2.11.12

Ellis and Jennings are the only players on the list who haven’t had more average shooting nights than bad shooting nights. This makes sense, because, you know, they can’t shoot.

What’s surprising about the numbers is that the Bucks are still a .500 team when Monta Ellis has a “bad shooting night” and only a .611 team when his shot is on. His level of play has little effect on the outcome of the game. He’s basically a non-factor.

However, when Jennings has a “bad shooting night,” the Bucks are 4-19 for a .210 winning percentage and when his shot is on, they’re 14-18 for a .777 percentage. The Bucks are at a point where they live or die by Jennings’ shot and that’s a scary place to be.

Another factor I looked at is how the players on this list changed their game when their shot wasn’t falling. Everyone on the list increased their free throw attempts when their shots weren’t falling. Except for Ellis and Jennings. They both decreased their free throw attempts when they didn’t have a shot. It defies logic. Ellis dropped from 5.39 FTA on “average shooting nights” to 3.65 FTA on “bad shooting nights.” Jennings dropped from 5.27 FTA to 3.6 FTA. Ellis also increased his three-point attempts and decreased his assists when he didn’t have a shot. Jennings stayed the same at around six three-point attempts and six assists per game.

So what does this all mean? It means that both Ellis and Jennings are determined to get their shots no matter how they’re performing. They don’t alter their game when they’re shot is off and it shows when you watch them play.