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Thread: Best shooters in the NBA and why field goal percentage can't identify them

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    George Hill Apologist mattie's Avatar
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    Default Best shooters in the NBA and why field goal percentage can't identify them

    http://deadspin.com/5912397/the-best...ag=rajon-rondo

    The Best Shooters In The NBA, And Why Field Goal Percentage Can’t Identify Them
    What does field goal percentage actually tell us?

    Two of the most important variables that affect FG percentage are 1) who is taking the shot, and 2) where they are shooting from. Field goal percentage is a useful metric for summarizing the probability of a field goal attempt resulting in a made basket, but when the effect of space is overlooked, it is not a valid proxy for shooting ability; in fact, it is often a misleading indicator of how well a player actually shoots. (Croz reads this.. *dies*) For example, Tyson Chandler led the NBA in overall FG percentage this season. Nearly 68 percent of his field goal attempts resulted in made baskets, which sounds impressive. However, a whopping 96 percent of those attempts occurred within seven feet of the rim. He shot a dismal 2 for 14 from beyond seven feet; his "shooting" abilities are spatially limited.

    This is common sense, yet to this point very little analytics work has evaluated the effect of space on shooting percentages. Sure, we consider crude areas like "three-point land" and "in the paint," but as anyone who has ever watched a player clang 20-footer after 20-footer knows, shooting ability varies on much finer scales than that.

    With that in mind, I divided the court into eight three-point zones, eight midrange zones, and one close range zone; here are the league leaders in field goal percentage from within each of these 17 zones:


    In the area immediately around the basket, Dante Cunningham of the Grizzlies has the highest FG percentage in the NBA. Cunningham made an incredible 74 percent of his 126 field goal attempts in this area, edging out some slightly less obscure guys, LeBron James (72 percent) and Tyson Chandler (71 percent). As a "role player," Cunningham's ability to score at such a high efficiency here legitimately puts him in an elite group of scorers. For comparison, Ricky Rubio is the league's least efficient shooter in this area, shooting at 41 percent.

    In the midrange
    About 37 percent of the league's field goal attempts occur within midrange areas. Collectively, this is the NBA's least efficient shooting domain; the league shoots 38 percent from these zones, compared to 55.4 percent from close to the basket and 34.8 percent from the more-valuable three-point land. Players who can score efficiently in these areas are especially valuable. With that in mind, it's not surprising to see that many of the best midrange shooters in the league are among the league's highest paid players. Few of us should be surprised to see Dirk, Nash, Bosh, LeBron or Kevin Garnett in these areas. On the other hand, almost everyone should be shocked to see Rajon Rondo in their company. He's widely known as a woeful jump shooter, and that's not an unfair assessment overall. But Rondo has a few sweet spots from which he is surprisingly effective, and as you can see in his bleak shot chart below, the area off the right elbow is one of those oases. In this area Rondo shot 56 percent, edging out Ty Lawson and Dirk, each at 53 percent.


    Three-point shooting
    Beyond the arc, seven different players are represented, suggesting that even the NBA's best pure shooters have unique spatial strengths and weaknesses. The corner three-point shot is the most effective shot in the NBA; it is slightly closer to the basket than other three-point shots, which makes it slightly easier to make. Ray Allen loves the corner three, though he is more effective on his left (graphic right). Allen averaged 1.71 points per attempt from this spot, which was the single most potent player/spot combination in the NBA. In fact, his field goal percentage from there was better than Blake Griffin's free throw shooting-57 percent to 52 percent. From the other corner, the Griffin's teammate Nick Young averaged 1.7 points per attempt, good enough for the second most potent player/spot combination in the NBA this year.

    Although Steve Novak led the NBA with an incredible 47 percent from three, he's only the best shooter in the NBA from one small area on his right side. He's great everywhere, but he is only the best of the best in one place.
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    I'm on a MAC! graphic-er's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best shooters in the NBA and why field goal percentage can't identify them

    Granger haters can suck it!
    You can't get champagne from a garden hose.

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    George Hill Apologist mattie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best shooters in the NBA and why field goal percentage can't identify them

    lol
    Find me on the internets @mattiecolin

    Read it and weep:

    When George Hill is above 15% usage we won 73.5% of games. Below 15% usage we won 61.9%

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    All Hail CJ Watson! Nuntius's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best shooters in the NBA and why field goal percentage can't identify them

    I've seen this graph before. Let me tell you something. We really don't want to see the worst shooters graph

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    Default Re: Best shooters in the NBA and why field goal percentage can't identify them

    Enjoy
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    Default Re: Best shooters in the NBA and why field goal percentage can't identify them

    Quote Originally Posted by yoadknux View Post
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    Enjoy
    i don't think any pacers fan would enjoy it.

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    NaptownSeth is all feel Naptown_Seth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best shooters in the NBA and why field goal percentage can't identify them

    Well at least Roy's got something obvious to work on.

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    Come Home Lance! BlueNGold's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best shooters in the NBA and why field goal percentage can't identify them

    So...the Pacers occupy 25% of the worst shooting slots?...and they are probably the second or third best team in the EC?

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    Default Re: Best shooters in the NBA and why field goal percentage can't identify them

    Quote Originally Posted by graphic-er View Post
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    Granger haters can suck it!
    haha... foot meet mouth

    seriously though, we all know Danny can shoot it. A real PG should help Danny and his fg% as much as anyone else on the team as long as he's taking better shots. Still kinda embarrassing to see him on there twice though.

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    Default Re: Best shooters in the NBA and why field goal percentage can't identify them

    Can't shoot from our left, haha.

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    Default Re: Best shooters in the NBA and why field goal percentage can't identify them

    The NBA's version of Derek Zoolander, can't shoot left.
    "It's just unfortunate that we've been penalized so much this year and nothing has happened to the Pistons, the Palace or the city of Detroit," he said. "It's almost like it's always our fault. The league knows it. They should be ashamed of themselves to let the security be as lax as it is around here."

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    Intuition over Integers McKeyFan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best shooters in the NBA and why field goal percentage can't identify them

    A quick glance shows only one team besides the Pacers has more than one of the bad spots. We have four.

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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: Best shooters in the NBA and why field goal percentage can't identify them

    I would like to see career numbers as one season could easily just be a fluke.

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    Default Re: Best shooters in the NBA and why field goal percentage can't identify them

    Quote Originally Posted by McKeyFan View Post
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    A quick glance shows only one team besides the Pacers has more than one of the bad spots. We have four.

    Well, the Wolves have two players with Wes Johnson and Ricky Rubio, but that doesn't change things much.

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    Default Re: Best shooters in the NBA and why field goal percentage can't identify them

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueNGold View Post
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    So...the Pacers occupy 25% of the worst shooting slots?...and they are probably the second or third best team in the EC?
    That's nuts. Makes wonder how good the team could be with an all star pace setter. Our flawed offense is really the only thing holding us back. A few defensive adjustments in the playoffs could help too though.

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    Default Re: Best shooters in the NBA and why field goal percentage can't identify them

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueNGold View Post
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    So...the Pacers occupy 25% of the worst shooting slots?...and they are probably the second or third best team in the EC?
    Just stay on the right side of the hoop I guess.

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    Default Re: Best shooters in the NBA and why field goal percentage can't identify them

    Quote Originally Posted by CJ Jones View Post
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    haha... foot meet mouth

    seriously though, we all know Danny can shoot it. A real PG should help Danny and his fg% as much as anyone else on the team as long as he's taking better shots. Still kinda embarrassing to see him on there twice though.
    NOPE, this worst shooting chart could just as easily mean that these are areas of the floor these particular players dont' shoot from very much thus making them worst in the league. Supported by the fact that Granger was one of the best from the top of the key. Probably means he took a ton of shots from there.
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    Default Re: Best shooters in the NBA and why field goal percentage can't identify them

    The reason why I think our problems this year were OFFENSE, not DEFENSE. Taken in a vacuum, this would tell me our defense kept us in games our offense was trying its best to lose. That matches both the eyeball test and the reason why a team like Miami who had players who simply were not going to be overwhelmed by a defense was able to get by us.

    Imagine a team with these same exact players (non-superstar) but shooting at a level that lifted them off this worst shooting chart. How much better could we have been?
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    Default Re: Best shooters in the NBA and why field goal percentage can't identify them

    Quote Originally Posted by graphic-er View Post
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    NOPE, this worst shooting chart could just as easily mean that these are areas of the floor these particular players dont' shoot from very much thus making them worst in the league. Supported by the fact that Granger was one of the best from the top of the key. Probably means he took a ton of shots from there.
    This would make sense if we weren't 24th in the league in fg%. Honestly, this chart doesn't surprise me at all. Our offense was painful to watch at times this year. With no one to run a pick and roll properly we ended up with a ton of contested shots late in the shot clock. It clear to me our biggest weakness is our inability to run the p&r. The good teams in the league run it 90% of the time

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    Default Re: Best shooters in the NBA and why field goal percentage can't identify them

    Quote Originally Posted by BillS View Post
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    The reason why I think our problems this year were OFFENSE, not DEFENSE. Taken in a vacuum, this would tell me our defense kept us in games our offense was trying its best to lose. That matches both the eyeball test and the reason why a team like Miami who had players who simply were not going to be overwhelmed by a defense was able to get by us.

    Imagine a team with these same exact players (non-superstar) but shooting at a level that lifted them off this worst shooting chart. How much better could we have been?
    Well actually Miami did get overwhelmed by our defense, for two games, so much so one of their superstar players quit playing. Then they made adjustments, we relaxed, and failed to make the proper adjustments.
    Last edited by Eleazar; 06-04-2012 at 07:25 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eleazar View Post
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    Well actually Miami did get overwhelmed by our defense, for two games, so much so one of their superstar players quit playing. Then they made adjustments, we relaxed, and failed to make the proper adjustments.
    I agree, our offense was actually hurting us at times defensively because we would take such horrible shots or make such lazy passes that we gave up easy points in transition.
    Last edited by graphic-er; 06-04-2012 at 11:45 PM.
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    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best shooters in the NBA and why field goal percentage can't identify them

    Didn't Granger occupy two positions on that worst shooting chart? Did Barbosa overtake him for one of the spots?
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    Default Re: Best shooters in the NBA and why field goal percentage can't identify them

    Somehow I just knew Danny would end up on both charts.

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    Play McRoberts and Price! BRushWithDeath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best shooters in the NBA and why field goal percentage can't identify them

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball View Post
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    Didn't Granger occupy two positions on that worst shooting chart? Did Barbosa overtake him for one of the spots?
    Danny is on there twice.

    We had 4 or the 17 spots. 2 by Granger, 1 by Hibbert, and 1 by Barbosa.
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    Default Re: Best shooters in the NBA and why field goal percentage can't identify them

    Quote Originally Posted by McKeyFan View Post
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    A quick glance shows only one team besides the Pacers has more than one of the bad spots. We have four.

    I kept saying from before the start of the season that shooting was going to be the Pacers achilles heel. I'm not surprised. I'm only surprised that Paul George, Tyler Hansbrough, or Darren Collison didn't make it onto the list.

    If the Pacers were a better shooting team, we'd be getting ready to watch them play Boston in game 6 tonight.

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