Memphis Grizzlies: Austin Daye's Hot Shooting Is Bonus for Grizzlies

Joshua J Vannuccini@@jjvannucciniSenior Analyst IIIFebruary 27, 2013

ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 06:  Austin Daye #5 of the Memphis Grizzlies fouls Jeff Teague #0 of the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on February 6, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

When the Memphis Grizzlies traded Rudy Gay to the Toronto Raptors, the major name they received was Tayshaun Prince. Many overlooked the additional piece in the transaction that is Austin Daye. He never really showed much promise since being drafted 15th in 2009, but has been exceptional with the Grizzlies. 

Daye is putting up 5.6 points and 1.8 rebounds in the nine games he's played with Memphis. He's getting just 12.9 minutes a night in the rotation, but has remained solid nonetheless. He had similar production with the Detroit Pistons, however in a slightly increased 14.5 minutes per game.

The most remarkable improvement for Daye this season has been his jump shot. After averaging 30.5 percent from three-point range for his career, Daye has upped it to a stellar 47.3 percent this season. He managed to convert on 52.5 percent with the Pistons, and is shooting 42.1 percent with the Grizzlies thus far.

Daye is, however, knocking down 50 percent of his long-range attempts as a spot-up shooter. With much of the Grizzlies' offense working in the paint, he has found success floating on the perimeter for open shots. He's actually shooting above-the-break threes better than from the corner.

The majority of shooters are more accurate from either corner, due to the shortened distance. Daye is quite the opposite, knocking down just 38 percent from that area on the floor. His accuracy from everywhere else above the three-point line is stellar, as he's converting at a 56 percent clip.

Daye has an advantage that few shooters have—his stature. He stands 6'11", which in addition to his high release point, makes him that much harder to defend. Furthermore, Draft Express pegged Daye as having an abnormal 7'2" wingspan; thus the combination of his height and length makes his shooting a headache for defenders.

He has never received consistent playing time over the course of his career, but Daye has proven to be a remarkable shooter this season. He had a season high 3-of-4 night from downtown on February 8, as he played 17 minutes. Daye followed up that performance with a 16-point effort on February 10.

The Grizzlies are winners of seven straight, so tampering with the rotation would prove risky. However, further incorporating Daye has more pros than cons, and could add a long-range weapon to an already potent group.