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Thread: Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

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    Default Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

    One of the best-known and most widely accepted truths around here is that Jim O'Brien makes the Pacers take too many 3pt attempts. I don't remember hearing that about Carlisle or any previous coach, but O'Brien gets hatred because the Pacers shoot "too many" 3s. Well, lookee:







    This is the Pacers' 3pt Attempts (the bars, scaled on the left side) and 3pt percentage (the line, scaled on the right axis.) for every season since 1981. Note the strike-shortened year in 1999.

    It doesn't take a genius to see that 3pters have increased steadily over the years. The Pacers' use of the 3 has grown with every coach except Irvine and Thomas. Even Rick Carlisle raised the team to a new high in 3s. And with his slow tempo, that is saying something!

    Yes, O'Brien has pushed the team to new heights, too, but you can see a big boost in the percent made under O'Brien, too. He definitely did something right in his first two seasons.

    I would be curious to hear comments about how high the number of attempts can go in the future. Reasonably, as long as the eFG of 3pt attempts is high enough, the team should continue taking more. (Note, when I say the future, I'm not talking about the rest of this season, but beyond that.)


    To refresh your memory, here the Pacers coaches since 1981:

    O'Brien
    Carlisle
    Thomas
    Bird
    Brown
    Hill
    Versase
    Ramsey
    Irvine
    McKinney


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    Last edited by Putnam; 01-04-2010 at 07:28 PM.
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    Intuition over Integers McKeyFan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

    Nice work.

    Frankly, I didn't like all the jump shooting by the Bird/Carlisle coached teams with Reggie/Jalen/Mullin, etc. I thought that team lived and died by the J as well. I yearned for the return of Larry Brown.

    They just really happened to live it up by the J in 2000.
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    Default Re: Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

    MckeyFan - I agree with you. I often say my perfect offense would be if the pacers shot 50 free throws a game. And in order to do that you have to get the ball inside. But with zone type defenses now allowed it is harder to get the ball inside

    Putnam - I would be interested in the number of 3-pt shots attempted for the league overall. I suspect it goes up every year. The only time it might have dropped is when they moved the line back where it was I beleive after the '96 season.

    Carlisle was a big believer in the three point shot, so was Bird - they liked it as a means to space the floor. Most coaches agree with that. Larry Brown and Jerry Sloan don't like the three.

    Jim O'Brien discussed on his radio show a couple of weeks back about how poor the midrange shot was. He believes in either getting the ball and shooting it 5 feet from the basket and in or shot the three.

    Pacers currently are 7th in 3-pt attempts, but are tied for 5th worst in %, but all the other 5 teams all shoot the three many fewer times than the pacers.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/statis...r=true&split=0
    Last edited by Unclebuck; 01-05-2010 at 10:23 AM.

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    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

    I hate quick 3's.... I think Jim O'Brien loves them. I believe quick 3's are nothing more than bad basketball that lead to FB's going the other way, losses of momentum, and a way to totally lose a lead or thwart a comeback....
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

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    Default Re: Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball View Post
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    I hate quick 3's.... I think Jim O'Brien loves them. I believe quick 3's are nothing more than bad basketball that lead to FB's going the other way, losses of momentum, and a way to totally lose a lead or thwart a comeback....
    Its no secret that once this team gets a lead they like to chuck the 3 ball at will, and pretty much everytime they end up losing the lead in a matter of minutes because they are chucking up shots too early in the shot clock giving up extra possessions. Instead of using up the shot clock and rebounding the ball. Nothing kills another teams momentum for a comeback like denying possession of the ball.

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    Default Re: Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball View Post
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    I hate quick 3's.... I think Jim O'Brien loves them. I believe quick 3's are nothing more than bad basketball that lead to FB's going the other way, losses of momentum, and a way to totally lose a lead or thwart a comeback....
    Carlisle would agree with you there. he likes the three, but hates the quick three because the offense isn't set.

    I don't mind quick open threes by excellent shooters. Reggie Miller, Ray Allen - shooters at that level. Pacers really don't have a shooter like that currently, although if Granger is hot - I don't mind him taking a quick three

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    Default Re: Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

    Even Rick Carlisle raised the team to a new high in 3s. And with his slow tempo, that is saying something!
    I've infamously ranted about this very thing, not against Rick but in his defense. Detractors said he was a slog ball coach determined to feed the post, drag the game down and constrict the offense.

    My counter is specifically how he dealt with the post-brawl/injury era. He went small because that's all he had and they went to a bomb and pray style to keep up with bigger or more talented rosters, and to some degree it worked. Certainly they still made the playoffs and were at .500 at the time of the GSW trade.

    However that doesn't mean I support that style as an intentional goal. It's one thing to make the best of things and another to target that approach. When your main players are Reggie, Fred Jones, and Jackson, this is what you do to survive.

    I mean right now Granger, Rush and DJones are all much better dribble attack players than the post-brawl group was. There are options now, back then there weren't any.

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    Default Re: Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by McKeyFan View Post
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    Nice work.

    Frankly, I didn't like all the jump shooting by the Bird/Carlisle coached teams with Reggie/Jalen/Mullin, etc. I thought that team lived and died by the J as well. I yearned for the return of Larry Brown.

    They just really happened to live it up by the J in 2000.
    They were extremely good at it though. That's why they played that way, it was a serious strength AND they had an all-star rebounding specialist PF on the squad, someone who was good at getting OFFENSIVE rebounds.

    If you're jump shooting around 50% or better you're doing a lot more living with it than dying. Plus that team was running designed plays to get shots in rhythm, repetitive plays that they honed with years of play and practice. Not just Reggie's baseline curl but the plays for Rik, Mullin, etc.



    We see this now. We all know that Troy wants to step into the top of the arc 3 as a trailer. If you get him that shot it's pretty reliable. The issue is that it's very simple for the defense to take that away, there is no complexity to force the defense to make a choice or read. And that's one of the most complex plays they run for a jump shot, or the optional TJ/Troy high PnFade with Troy slipping back out behind the arc.

    At crunch time those plays get removed by the defense. Then what do you do?

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    Default Re: Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    At crunch time those plays get removed by the defense. Then what do you do?
    Get crunched while continuing to shoot jumpers and drive inside into traffic rivaling Castleton at Christmas?

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    Default Re: Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

    The Pacers, for several seasons, had two guys that are ranked in the top 30(ish) for 3FGA and 3FGM for their careers.

    And with Chuck and Reggie on the roster together, the team averaged 9(ish) 3FGA per game. 20% of Chuck's FGAs were 3's and about 1/3 of Reggie's FGAs were 3's. The three was a WEAPON, not a GAMEPLAN. Just under 11% of that team's FGAs were 3's.

    Reggie averaged 4 3FGAs/ game, Chuck was at 2.5, McCloud (who shot a decent percentage) was at 1.7 and rest of the team shot 1.

    And that season is the gold standard in playing offense, at least in the Pacers' history. They were only 41-41 because the players wouldn't commit to playing hard on defense, but they were certainly effecient offensively. Even our guys that only watch the defensive side of the ball will admit that team was very good on offense.

    In my opinion, that team took a lot of 3FGAs but it made sense because they had two legit weapons from that distance.

    Fast foward to last season (I'm not sure the current season - while in progress and with a depleted roster - is meaningful.

    That team averaged 21 3FGA's per game. More than double. Yes, Granger is a legit threat from outside the arc and Murphy hits a high percentage from out there whether I think the PF should be at the arc or not. 24% of that teams FGAs came from behind the arc.

    So look at this crap:

    TJ Ford: 104 attempts, 33%.
    Marquis Daniels: 90 attempts in 54 games, 20%.
    Stephen Graham: 66 attempts in 52 games, 30%.
    Dunleavy shot 90 in only 18 games and only hit 35%.
    Jarret Jack also shot 35% on his 221 3FGAs.

    These guys all shot a lower % out there than Detlef did during the 1990-91 season, but Detlet only attempted 40 3FGAs.

    Vern Fleming and Mike Sanders were comparable to those five guys, and they shot 38 3FGAs combined, for the season. That's what those guys do in a week.

    The blame is not solely on Jim O'Brien. But good gracious, we should keep in mind that the 90-91 team shot a boatload of 3's. Granger and Murphy should both be allowed to shoot 4 3FGAs per game and if they happen to be hot (at least 2-4) then maybe the team can ride the hot hand. But that would get this team back to ~10 3FGAs per game. There's no way this roster should be jacking up the shots from outside the arc like they are doing.

    What's so bad about taking a high percentage 2-point shot? The 1990-91 team figured out how to do it (similar -- but not as effecienct of course -- as the Showtime Lakers did it.) You don't have to solely play low-post, shot-clock eating isolation ball to get a good 2-point shot attempt.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


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    Default Re: Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

    If you're referring to the 90-91 season:

    The team shot .493 from the field and .332 from 3.

    Reggie was .512 and .348
    Chuck was .504 and .340
    McCloud was .373 and .347
    Detlef was .520 and .375 (best on the team at both)

    I don't know how that looked then, but by today's standards those 3 point % don't exactly wow.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/IND/1991.html

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    Default Re: Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

    They were 3201 - 6245 on 2FGAs. 52%. EDIT - they were 9th in 3FG% and 8th in 3FGA. The league average was 32%.

    Last year's team was 2568 - 5355 on 2FGAs. 48%. EDIT - they were 8th in 3FG% and 4th in 3FGA. In 2007-08, they were also 8th in 3FG% and third in 3FGA. I guess you could say they got a little bit "better" in 2008-09 since they dropped a spot in 3FGA with the same 3FG% ranking. The league average was 36%.

    - - - - - - - -

    That was one of Chuck's worst seasons at shooting the 3-point shot, as his percentage went back up to the 37%-38% range until the arc was shortened. And Chuck shot >50% in the playoffs, which is what everybody remembers about that team anyway.

    That was Reggie's second-lowest 3FG% season (only 2004-05 was lower). And that's probably why he shot forty fewer 3FGAs than he did the previous season (played 82 games both season, a difference of 0.5 3FGA/ game.)

    So we had two guys that were very legit threats out there but knew the difference between "use it as a weapon" and "Plan A is jack up a lot of three's and see if we can hit enough to make up for not shooting the higher percentage, closer shot (where we also have a chance to get an "And-1" situation.

    Nowadays, too many players think that shot is "in their range". On the 1990-91 team, if you weren't Reggie, Chuck or McCloud, you did not have a "green light". And Detlef's 3FG% was all over the board until the arc was shortened (and the new line was within his shooting range.)

    If O'Brien, Carlisle or Bird were coaching them, Detlef, Kenny Williams, Micheal Williams, Vern, and perhaps Mike Sanders would probably all be firing them up, with disappointing results.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


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    Default Re: Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoJ
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    So we had two guys that were very legit threats out there but knew the difference between "use it as a weapon" and "Plan A is jack up a lot of three's and see if we can hit enough to make up for not shooting the higher percentage,

    Is this statement justified, do you think, by the difference in the 3pt%?

    You describe 3s as "a weapon" in the hand of the '91 team, but you disparage it with last year's team. The actual difference in 3pt% isn't all that different.
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
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    Default Re: Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

    Then use it as a weapon... strategically, selectively.

    Not the centerpiece of the entire gameplan.

    Given the relative same %, I'm questioning the increased use of it.

    Reggie and Chuck (and later Byron) did not launch a bunch of bombs throughout the game. But they were ready to crush your spirit with a big one at a critical time. Unless they had a heat check and determined that there was sufficient temperature. And then they just let you have it until they cooled off or your took the shot away from them.

    Sort Chuck's 90-91 game log by 3FGAs. 9 games with 5 3FGAs or more. Of those nine, there is a dreadful 0-5 game (that also has a dreadful 4-11 from inside the arc. Ouch). 1 1-5 game (7-14 inside the arc, that's better), 2 2-5 games. The other five games are > 50% 3FG%.

    Sidenote, its also interesting to note that all but one of those >5 3FGA games came before the coaching change (December 20). You've got to blame Cotton-Ball-Head for that, not Bo Hill.

    Similar for Reggie... he had thirty games with more than 5 3FGAs. He aslo had 18 games where he took two or less, and was a combined 3-19 in those games.

    If you're telling me we can expect either Granger or Murphy to limit themselves to 2 3FGAs in a game because they "don't pass the heat check" then I'll just shut up about it.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


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    Default Re: Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

    Meh, if I had my way the NBA would do away with the three point line.


    Basketball isn't played with computers, spreadsheets, and simulations. ChicagoJ 4/21/13

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    Default Re: Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

    You've got to blame Cotton-Ball-Head for that, not Bo Hill.
    Props for Bob Hill!

    Now I know there was a good reason to start this!
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
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    Default Re: Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    Meh, if I had my way the NBA would do away with the three point line.
    When it first started, I really liked it mainly because it allowed a team that was down by 3 points with very little time left in the game to have a chance to tie or win the game if they were down 2 points. And while it is hard to believe now that was generally what the shot was used for back when it first was introduced into the NBA. Hard to believe the huge difference today.

    Edit - Here is an interesting NY Times article about the evolution of the three point shot and a quote from Donnie Walsh
    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpag...=&pagewanted=1


    I've been trying to locate three point shot attempts per game for every year since 1980 when the shot was put in. - I can't find it
    Last edited by Unclebuck; 01-05-2010 at 04:53 PM.

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    Default Re: Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    Meh, if I had my way the NBA would do away with the three point line.
    I think the 3-ball balances the game.

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    Default Re: Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    Props for Bob Hill!

    Now I know there was a good reason to start this!
    Well... since I'm the only one around here that will say anything good about Bo, you've got to expect it.

    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


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    Default Re: Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    Meh, if I had my way the NBA would do away with the three point line.
    I have started a Petition for David Stern. Here is what I am working out for Peck:


    • Make all the players wear short-shorts with belts.
    • Each basket is made from a milk crate stolen from Maplehurst.
    • Allow no noise besides the dribble of a ball on the hardwood floor. Not even the players can speak.
    • Only lead-based paint on the floor, and without a three point line.
    • Chuck Taylor's can only be worn on the floor.
    • Crew cuts!
    • No mascots, but there will be a line dance at every halftime.
    • There can only be tobacco and hair care products sponsoring each game.

    Please throw out any other ideas, guys.

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    Default Re: Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoJ View Post
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    Well... since I'm the only one around here that will say anything good about Bo, you've got to expect it.

    I'll say something good about him. He was a much better coach than Versace, Irvine or isiah Thomas - the three worst coaches in Pacers NBA history.

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    Default Re: Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    Meh, if I had my way the NBA would do away with the three point line.
    College and high school as well.

    I think it has hurt the game. Used to be the coach and players had to be very creative to work for a high percentage shot. Now it's drive to the hoop or kick it out for a three. Gets boring after a while.

    Back in the day, we got to watch artists in action: Gervin, McHale, Jabaar, Dantley, Aguire, Bird, Magic, and many others.

    (Yeah, the three was around then, but the league hadn't quite moved everything in that direction, based on the pure math.)
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    “People talk about how quiet he [McKey] is, but he’s really been helpful. He gives a lot of insight to players in how to guard certain teams and what their weaknesses are. The whole team listens to him, and it makes my job a lot easier. Having players like him is what pro basketball is all about for me.” —Larry Brown

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    Default Re: Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by McKeyFan View Post
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    College and high school as well.

    I think it has hurt the game. Used to be the coach and players had to be very creative to work for a high percentage shot. Now it's drive to the hoop or kick it out for a three. Gets boring after a while.

    Back in the day, we got to watch artists in action: Gervin, McHale, Jabaar, Dantley, Aguire, Bird, Magic, and many others.

    (Yeah, the three was around then, but the league hadn't quite moved everything in that direction, based on the pure math.)
    I think college has a higher % of three point shot attempts than does the NBA. Not sure about H.S.

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    Default Re: Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    I think college has a higher % of three point shot attempts than does the NBA. Not sure about H.S.
    I would imagine because college is so guard dominate.

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    Default Re: Pacers Long-term Trend of 3pt Shooting

    UB, that's a great link.

    ...

    The most ideal shot, Nets Coach Lawrence Frank said, is from the free-throw line because it almost always results in at least a point. The next-highest-percentage shot is at the rim. Three-pointers are next. But a team would have to shoot 60 percent on 2-pointers to match the offensive output of a team that shoots 40 percent from beyond the arc.
    Two major flaws with this. I'm not sure if Lawrence Frank or the article's author are at fault for these assertions. That's an interesting use (or lack thereof) of quotation marks.

    The league average 3FG% is

    08-09: 36.7%
    07-08: 36.2%
    06-07: 35.8%
    05-06: 35.8%
    04-05: 35.6%
    03-04: 34.7%

    Etc.

    So the 40% number that is assumed is bogus.

    Here are the teams that have shot >40% from three:

    Sacremento (03-04, with Peja leading the way). But they "only" took 1498 3's.

    That's it.

    The Suns have a couple of seasons > 39.5%, and the Celtics have one.

    So lower the 3FG% in that calculation to 36% and you get a "breakeven" 2FG% at 54%.

    But part II of the flaw is this:

    Teams score about 15-20% of thier points at the FT line. About the same amount of points that they score from behind the arc.

    I'm not sure where to find the ratio of FGAs that are attributed to fouls outside the arc vs. inside the arc. But we all instinctively know that the ratio is very heavily tilted toward interior shoots. The revised FG% above still assumes no contribution from the FT line.

    Let's assume, and this is quite generous to the 3-point shot, that 15% of points from FTs come from 3FGAs and 85% of points from FTs come from 2FGAs.

    In rough numbers, last season teams scored an average of about 5,000 points per season from "2", 1,600 points per season from "3", and 1,500 points per season from the FT line.

    1,500 * .85 = 1,275.

    1,275/ 5,000 = ~25%.

    36% * 3 = (x% * 2) * 1.25
    1.08 = 2.5x
    x = 43%.

    And teams shoot better than 43% on 2 FGAs.

    CORRECTION to the last five lines:

    1,500 * .15 = 225
    225 / 1600 = 14%. I think this number is completely overstated but I have no idea how to get an accurate number.

    (36% * 3) *1.14 = (x% *2) * 1.25
    1.23 = 2.5x
    x = 49%.

    And teams shoot better than 49% on 2 FGAs. (And teams don't get 15% of their points from the FT line attributed to shooting fouls behind the arc.) So the 85%/15% split needs better support.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


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