By Josh Cohen
July 14, 2017
ORLANDO — Evan Fournier was much stronger and grittier this past season. One way to quantify it is through his AND-1 rate.
While not expected to ever be the type of player to draw infinite fouls – like James Harden, DeMar DeRozan or Andrew Wiggins – Fournier did a solid job initiating and absorbing contact.
Let’s compare the last three years:
In 58 games played in 2014-15, Fournier had 14 plus-ones (0.24 per game)
In 79 games played in 2015-16, Fournier had 23 plus-ones (0.29 per game)
In 68 games played in 2016-17, Fournier had 28 plus-ones (0.41 per game)
Increasing free throw attempts is a major point of emphasis throughout the league. Finishing through a foul consistently – something that guys like LeBron James, Russell Westbrook and Giannis Antetokounmpo really excel at – tends to reduce how often defenders choose to intentionally hack a player hunting for a bucket.
Fournier drew eight more fouls on shot attempts in 11 fewer games in 2016-17 than the prior year, which suggests he was ultra-aggressive and fearless. With him being such a good free throw shooter (over 80 percent last two years), it’s imperative for Fournier’s foul absorption to rise even more this upcoming season.
Most of the fouls drawn by Fournier while in the act of shooting came on layup attempts (86 out of 107, 80 percent). An additional 14 occurred on floaters (13 percent). Only six were when he was taking a jump shot.
Learning to get defenders off their feet – which some players like Lou Williams and Jamal Crawford have become known for – perhaps is the next step in Fournier’s development.
Let’s take a look at a few AND-1 buckets by Fournier from this past season:
FOURNIER HESITATION DRIBBLE PRECEDES DRIVING REVERSE AND-1
FOURNIER SPLITS DEFENSE, ACCEPTS BUMP AND FINISHES
KEEPING DEFENDER HANGING ON YOU & THEN LEANING IN
ANTICIPATING BLOCK ATTEMPT & PROTECTING BALL
EXCELLENT BALANCE WITH THE CONVERSION