The numbers told Mike D'Antoni early on in the season that his group shot a far lower percentage in the first 10 seconds of the shot clock. In the second half, from roughly 15-5 seconds remaining on the clock, the team made a much greater percentage, hence why the team had much more offensive success.
Now, by "offensive success" I don't mean number of points, I mean efficiency. And no one has been more efficient than David Lee.
D'Antoni has rewarded Lee by allowing him to trigger the offense some possessions, the freedom to shoot jump shots, and the ability to break people down off the bounce from the perimeter.
And give the coach credit for recognizing that numbers don't lie, and that the system can still work in the second half of the shot clock. The team just doesn't have fast, high percentage shooters, or at least that many players with high FG%s in the first 10 (seven) second so of the shot clock. But they are developing.
See Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari.
Secondly, I've had the chance to watch Jordan Hill practice a bunch this year and tweeted this yesterday. I don't have issue one with the kid's work ethic, although I do agree that he seems to be too content with riding the pine. But whose to say that he hasn't been told to focus on practice and to be ready to bust out of the gate next season? Sure, Hill COULD play 10-25 minutes per night on a horrid team. This one isn't. They've been playing several games above .500 for a month now and are a serious playoff contender. So stop with the "how does the 8th pick not play?" nonsense. He'll play next year, count on it. Right now he's behind Jeffries, Lee and three point shooting 4s on the depth chart.
For those who haven't seen enough of him, but somehow know he's not a player (like they did with Gallinari on draft night BOOOO!!!!!) Hill frequently shows off a silky smooth jump shot that stretches out to 18 feet. The difference as to why Gallo played last year is that he could score thanks to unlimited range.
Hill's athleticism has improved greatly as his strength has improved, and from what I've seen he is always working after practice with Herb Williams working on his back to the basket game, which is relatively non-existent. Lee plays the bulk of the minutes at the 5 spot spelled by Jeffries, who moves over from the 4 then gets paired with Gallinari, Chandler or Harrington at the 4 spot. Bender is part of the mix 2 because he is more of a spot shooter. Hill is a 5. There just aren't any consistent minutes for him...yet. The two plays that stand out for me were the pick and roll banger against the Lakers and the stroke he showed off the other night against the Pacers. Yes, he likes to shoot and his shot selection in practice has been reeled in.
But to think he's not a big part of the team's future is crazy. I'll take 6'11 athletic and who can shoot any day. This is not Channing Frye, he attacks the rim...and this is not Mikki Moore.