CoJo giving the Pacers Offense Mojo


On July 14th, the Pacers traded CJ Miles and the rights to Emir Preidzic to the Raptors in exchange for Cory Joseph. This was one of the many roster changes the Pacers did this past offseason. With most of the attention focused on the Paul George trade, the Cory Joseph trade went under the radar. Now that under the radar move is paying big dividends for the Pacers. 

Joseph has nothing short of great for the Pacers so far this season. He’s been a key cog to the Pacers second unit playing the off-ball role as Lance play the role of facilitator. This usually means the most of Joseph scoring opportunities in the half court comes in the form of spot-ups. 

When it comes to spot-ups plays, Joseph has been one of best in the league. He’s in the top 96 percentile in spot-ups with 1.36 points per possession which is 15th best in the league. For those of you who are not good at math, Joseph is scoring 136 points per 100 possessions which is INSANE. I guess you could say this is an improvement from his 89 points per 100 possession last season. Among players with at 70 spot-up possession, Joseph ranks fourth, only trailing Patty Mills, Tony Snell, and Al Horford.  

Joseph numbers become even more impressive when you look at his numbers for the different type of spot-up situations. According to Synergy Sports, in spot-ups where it’s just a catch and shoot Joseph is in the top 93 percentile averaging 1.44 points per possession and has a 70.6 effective field goal percentage.

Oladipo gets Aaron Gordon on a switch from earlier in the possession and blows right past him with a nice behind the back crossover. Dipo gets into the paint forcing the defense to collapse leaving Joseph wide open in the corner. Oladipo then riffles a pass to Joseph and you can guess what happened next. 

In circumstances where Joseph dribbles, he’s averaging 1.31 points per possession and has a 65.6 effective field goal percentage. This is good enough to put him in the top 92 percentile.

The clip starts off with a pick n roll action between Oladipo and Sabonis. Sabonis receives a perfect bounce pass and the dense if forced to provide weak side help. Sabonis reads the defense and fires a pass to Lance, who’s wide open in the corner. Stephenson then whips the ball over the Joseph after the help defense rotates over to him. After a hard close out by Knicks fan favorite Ron Baker, Joseph puts the ball on the deck and takes one dribble into a rhythm shot and knocks down the jumper. 

Both, by the way, are significant improvements from the last season in the same areas (1.06 and .57 respectively).

As is the case with the majority of players, most of Joseph spot-up opportunities comes from defenses helping in the pick n’ roll (44 percent). When this happens, Joseph is averaging 1.33 points per possession and has an effective field goal percentage of 66.7 percent.
Typically the defender will leave Joseph to help out with the pick n’ roll action going on. Often giving Joseph an open shot or opportunity for a pull-up jumper if the ball handler passes it out to the perimeter like the clips below illustrate.

This sequence starts off with a pick n roll with Collinson and Turner at the top of the key. Goran Dragic helps off Joseph to tag Turner, leaving him open at the three-point line. Collinson then gets the ball out to Joseph and he proceeds to knock down the catch and shoot three despite the late contest by Dragic.

Here the similar thing happens like the previous clip. Marco Belinelli helps off Joseph to tag the roll man. The only difference is that Belinelli closes out on Joseph hard. Joseph then takes two hard dribbles to his right and rises up for a pull-up middy and drains it.

Joseph has been excelling in his offensive role all season and is a major reason why the Pacers currently have sixth best offensive rating the league.

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