Yesterday we looked at ShotScore, a new method to identify the NBA’s best scorers. You can read the full piece here, but in a nutshell, the method compares the actual point yield of an individual NBA shooter against an estimated tally of what an average NBA shooter would accrue from that exact same set of shots. This is a useful way to evaluate shooting because unlike field goal percentage, it accounts for where on the floor the shooter is most active and factors that in to the analysis. Midrange shooters are compared against the NBA’s average midrange production, etc.
Players like Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Jose Calderon, and Kyle Korver immediately rose to the top; these players consistently outperform league averages from their most active shooting zones. But, it’s also instructive to identify the players who make shots at rates much lower than league averages, the guys that regularly underperform relative to their shooting cohort. Here is the bottom five:
DeAndre Jordan led the NBA in field goal percentage in 2012-13, but what does that actually mean? Field goal percentage remains our best proxy for shooting ability, but when we ignore the key interactions between court space and shooting percentage, we do a terrible job of assessing the league’s best shooters. DeAndre Jordan is actually one of the worst shooters in the league, not one of the best. Who can forget the timeless demonstration of this fact a few years back:
Here’s a look at the players who held the highest field goal percentage around the court.
The NBA playoffs are in full swing, and as the amazing continues to happen, the Grantland crew wants to help you buff up on some of the lesser-known faces populating basketball's second season.
Who Is He? Pablo Prigioni.
What’s His Nickname? “The Maestro” has popped up a few times in my search, but I’m suspicious that’s only a result of the YouTube clip below. New Yorkers can help me out here, but apparently there’s a local sportscaster who refers to him as “Priggy Smalls” — make your own judgments there.
Where Is He From? Argentina, but he played professionally in Spain.
Years Played: Rookie.
What’s His Salary? $473,604.
His Game in 25 Words or Fewer: A pass-first point guard who’s fluent in the pick-and-roll, shoots it well enough from 3, and consistently makes great decisions with the ball.
What makes the Grizzlies-Raptors-Pistons blockbuster so exciting is the air of mystery about the long-term, on-court implications of the deal. And those issues almost all surround Rudy Gay: Just how good is he? Within what sort of roster might he jump up a level as a player and become something closer to the All-Star he probably thinks he is? And can Toronto provide that roster?
The Toronto Raptors gave up a likely lottery pick, now property of the Oklahoma City Thunder, to make Kyle Lowry their starting point guard of the present and future — the dynamic off-the-bounce creator that boring old Jose Calderon could never be. Lowry had worn out his welcome amid lineup uncertainty in both Memphis and Houston, alienating coaches and rubbing some teammates the wrong way. But he'd also grown into an above-average starting point guard playing on one of the best bang-for-the-buck contracts in the league. He’s Philly tough, and his fast-paced style and defensive intensity figured to mesh nicely with Raptors coach Dwane Casey.
But like the anointed Calderon Replacers that came before him (T.J. Ford, Jerryd Bayless), Lowry now finds himself backing up the 31-year-old Spaniard — a perfectly suitable veteran who also happens to be playing on an $11 million expiring contract that stands as Toronto’s best trade asset in their on-again, off-again pursuit of building blocks like Rudy Gay.
In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports on Tuesday.
Linside the Air Canada Centre lin Toronto, the lindomitable Jeremy Lin linitiated the offense. Raptors defender Jose Calderon had a linkling — lindeed, a lincredibly strong linference — that a linstantaneous drive was linevitable. "He's not so linventive," Calderon linsisted, linternalizing his lincessant doubt. Linstead, Lin lincapacitated the linattentive Calderon with a lintrepid game-winning 3-pointer. "Linsubordinate lincorrigible lingrate!" a lincensed Amar'e Stoudemire linsisted, lindulging in linvective and linnuendo. "How linteresting!" linterjected the linoffensive Canadians. "Linspired!" Coach Mike D'Antoni lintimated to his lintermediaries. "A LINCANDESCENT, LINVIGORATING SHOT TO LINVOKE GHOSTS, LINCITE RIOTS, AND LINFLAME THE MASSES!" shouted the announcer, and everyone was like, whoa, dude, enough.