So far this season, the Nuggets’ Danilo Gallinari is shooting
42 37 percent from behind the 3-point line. This is kind of impressive, although unremarkable by itself, but when we account for shooting angles, something more noteworthy is revealed. First off, Gallinari shoots 3s from all over. He’s pretty active in the corners and at the top, but he’s most active along the wings; this season, well over half of his 3-point attempts have come from the wings, where he’s gone 41-for-123 (33.3 percent). Again, this is unremarkable. However, breaking it down further reveals Gallinari is much better from the right wing than the left one. In fact, of the dozens of players with at least 50 attempts in each of these zones, Gallinari is the best from the right wing (28-for-53, 53 percent), and the worst from the left (13-for-70, 19 percent).
The two most fundamental components of spatial analytics are distance and direction, but too often we neglect the import of direction in even our most “advanced” NBA metrics. The case of Gallinari reminds us why that is limiting. By lumping all of his 3-point attempts into one convenient distance-based bin obscures a key bit of information about his game.
Anyway, since we looked at the best shooters around the court space yesterday, it makes sense to look at the bad news today. And, while Gallinari does appear on this chart, he doesn’t deserve to be the focal point of a discussion about inefficient NBA shooting. Instead, I will devote that to the player who blends incredible talent and fan infuriation like no other; the guy who deservedly comes up every time we talk about players who are really active outside of their proper jurisdictions, that crazy sheriff down in Georgia — no, not this fella.