By Josh Cohen
July 13, 2017
ORLANDO — Elfrid Payton and Aaron Gordon have outstanding chemistry. The proof is in the numbers.
This past season, Gordon shot 127-of-237 from the field (53.6 percent) and had a 58.4 effective field goal percentage when the pass before the shot attempt came from Payton (95 of those made shots counted as assists for Payton).
Here’s how that compared to other notable tandems around the league in 2016-17 (regular season):
Blake Griffin from Chris Paul: 49.1 percent (51.7 effective FG%)
Kevin Durant from Stephen Curry: 50.4 percent (57.7 effective FG%)
Kevin Love from LeBron James: 45.1 percent (56.3 effective FG%)
Bradley Beal from John Wall: 48.6 percent (58.3 effective FG%)
DeMar DeRozan from Kyle Lowry: 49.4 percent (50.3 effective FG%)
Anthony Davis from Jrue Holiday: 50.9 percent (52.7 effective FG%)
Of the 127 Payton to Gordon made shots, 40 of them were dunks and many of those were alley-oop tosses. Also very interesting, AG shot nearly 35 percent from 3-point range when the pass came from EP. Gordon shot just 28.8 percent from beyond the arc overall.
Further analysis shows that Payton and Gordon connected in a variety of ways. Payton does an exceptional job locating teammates when they attack the basket without the ball. He makes terrific drop-off and look-away feeds that lead to easy buckets.
In addition, when he is able to blow past his defender off the dribble, so much opens up for Payton. He’s able to force the interior defense to collapse on him, which helps free up his teammates either underneath the basket or on the perimeter.
Here is a breakdown of how well Gordon shot from the floor when the feed came from Payton based on pass type:
Payton to attacking Gordon: 38-of-49 (77.6 percent)
Payton kickout to Gordon: 18-of-47 (38.3 percent)
Payton post entry to Gordon: 12-of-19 (63.2 percent)
Here’s a look at a few possessions that illustrate Payton to Gordon scoring plays:
PAYTON ALLEY-OOP TO GORDON
PAYTON KICKOUT TO GORDON FOR THREE
PAYTON SEES SIZE & STRENGTH MISMATCH IN POST, GORDON TAKES ADVANTAGE
PAYTON PICK-AND-ROLL WITH GORDON