4. The Cavaliers rely heavily on making tough shots
Watch the best offenses in the NBA and you’ll notice something quickly. They do just about everything they can to avoid taking mid-range jumpers. Why? They’re not an efficient shot. If you’re going to hoist an 18-footer, you might as well step back a little bit and try to earn an extra point.
Virginia, though, lives on the mid-range jumper. The Cavaliers’ mover-blocker offense generates a ton of looks off screens and a lot of those come in the mid-range. Hoop-Math tracks field goal attempts in three categories — at the rim, others 2s and 3s. The other 2s category includes every 2-point attempt that isn’t a layup or dunk, so it’s a reasonable proxy for how many 2-point jumpers a team takes. A full 35.0 percent of Virginia’s shots qualify, the 39th highest number in Division I.
Synergy, meanwhile, tracks things a bit differently and offers a look at just how difficult many of those 2-pointers are. 56.0 percent of the Cavaliers’ halfcourt shot attempts are jumpers and 18.9 percent of those are long 2s taken from between 17 feet out and the 3-point line. Only 27 teams in Division I attempt a higher percentage and at just 0.74 points per possession, they’re not exactly a great look.
Notably, all of this ties back in with what we’ve already discussed. Ty Jerome and Kyle Guy thrive on making difficult shots, but in low possession games, difficult 2-pointers don’t always get the job done, especially when the opposing team is knocking down outside jumpers worth an extra point.