Marco Belinelli had a breakout year with the San Antonio Spurs last season. The question headed into this season for Belinelli is whether he can repeat his 2013-2014 performance this season.
Marco Belinelli was great for the San Antonio Spurs last season posting career highs in field goal and 3-point percentage, 48.5% and 43% respectively. Belinelli was so good at knocking down the deep ball he even won the 2014 NBA Foot Locker 3-point Contest.
Field goal percentage and 3-point percentage was not only where Marco Belinelli excelled though. The shooting guard from Italy also posted some nice averages during the season with 11.4 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.2 assists in 80 games for the Spurs.
So, back to our main question, can Marco Belinelli continue to put up these strong numbers?
For the answer to that question we take a look at some of Belinelli’s advanced statistics.
Marco Belinelli evolved as offensive player while also improving his defensive this season, increasing his offensive rating to 114 from 104 and lowering his defensive rating to 105 from 107 (Note a defensive rating decrease is good because defensive rating is measured as points allowed per 100 possesions).
Take a look at some more of Belinelli’s advanced statistics below in comparison to his previous season and career averages.
Looking at this table you can see Marco Belinelli improved in numerous categories including win shares, rebounding percentage, and PER (Player Efficiency Rating).
What’s good news for Belinelli is that his usage percentage was similar to his career average. This means that the 28-year-old guard basically became more efficient as a player this season.
The most notable jump on this table is Marco Belinelli’s win shares. Belinelli, winner of Italy’s Nettuno d’Oro this year, nearly doubled his win shares from the 2012-2013 season, jumping from 3 win shares to 5.9 win shares.
Additionally, the 3-point specialist, Belinelli, increased his win shares per 48 minutes to 0.140 from 0.076.
These numbers are outstanding for Marco Belinelli but can he repeat this performance?
If San Antonio Spurs fans are wondering what Belinelli should do or who Belinelli should emulate to keep up his strong performance, they need to look no further than fellow Spurs player Danny Green.
Danny Green performed a similar turn-around with the San Antonio Spurs after joining him.
Now Green has been on the San Antonio team for a few years so there is a decent amount of data on him. Check out some of Danny Green’s advanced statistics below.
Although Danny Green did not go through quite the breakout Marco Belinelli did in his first season with the San Antonio Spurs, there are some very apparent similarities between the two guards, most notably in win shares, offensive rating and defensive rating, and PER.
Similarly to Belinelli, Green’s breakout was huge in the 2011-2012 NBA season. The former North Carolina Tar Heel posted a large increase in offensive rating and a solid defensive rating.
Although more teams will now be targeting [Belinelli] and there may be a slight drop off in numbers, it appears this version of Belinelli is here for the long run.
Danny Green also posted a similar win shares per 48 minutes number as Belinelli, 0.142 (Green) to 0.140 (Belinelli).
As you can see, Danny Green fell off a little after his initial breakout season. More teams were aware of his lethal shooting ability and other attributes on the floor, resulting in a more concerted effort in stopping Green.
Although Danny Green’s number fell of a little, his numbers in the subsequent seasons following his breakout were either equal to or better than his career average before the breakout (sans a few categories).
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It now seems as though Marco Belinelli can maintain his performance from last season. Although more teams will now be targeting him and there may be a slight drop off in numbers, it appears this version of Belinelli is here for the long run.
What also confirms this prediction is the fact that Belinelli is in the best organization in the NBA, the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs have been and are known for the longevity of their players.
As long as Marco Belinelli is a Spur, he should have no problem continuing to succeed in the basketball world.
What do you think about Marco Belinelli’s outlook for this season? Let us know in the comments!
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