05.22.13

Has Anyone Told Jesse Orosco About The Grizzlies’ Fixation With Lefties?

Posted in Basketball at 5:13 pm by

Tyler P. Lawler and Frank H. Lawler (neither related to the guy above) cited appreciably better stats for pro hoops’ tiny percentage (5%) of left-handed players compared to their righty counterparts in their 2011 study, “Left-Handedness In Professional Basketball : Prevalence, Performance & Survival”. And with that in mind, there’s a market inequity seemingly exploited to the fullest by the Western Conference semi-finalist Memphis Grizzlies. From the Wall St. Journal’s Kevin Helliker, Chris Herring and Stu Wood :

The 15-man Memphis roster boasts five lefties: Mike Conley, Tayshaun Prince, Zach Randolph, Ed Davis and Tony Wroten. Head coach Lionel Hollins is a lefty, too. All told, that’s more than the other three teams combined. The Heat have two southpaws (Chris Bosh and Joel Anthony), the Spurs one (Manu Ginobili) and the Pacers none.

In this season’s playoffs, lefties have accounted for 46.1% of all minutes played by Memphis players, the second highest percentage in NBA playoff history behind the 46.2% of the 1969 Philadelphia 76ers, according to an analysis by Basketball Reference. During this season’s playoffs, lefties have accounted for 48.5% of all Memphis field goals attempted, second in NBA playoff history only to the 48.8% of the 1968 New York Knicks, according to Basketball Reference.

Conley Jr. has guided his team to the Western Conference finals with his point-guard play. His scoring and assists numbers are well above his regular-season averages. Randolph has also upped his scoring in the playoffs using both his left and right hands to score in the low post. And Prince’s main contribution in the Oklahoma City series was guarding right-handed star Kevin Durant, who shot just 42% from the field.

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