A Discussion Of Identity And Where They’re Launching

Hoopdata – Using Shot Location to Diagnose Positional Identity Crises.

HoopData brings us a comparison by position of shooting frequency by percentage. Tom lays out several interesting findings, particularly the similarity in point guards and small forwards, then outlines several players including Kobe Bryant, Rajon Rondo, and Wilson Chandler.

What I found startling was the number of long-range shots power forwards take.  The least efficient shot on the floor is being taken at close to 30% by bigs in this league. That’s over 15% more than close and mid-range shots. It’s not the number, really, it’s the comparative percentage. When you look at how much more efficient power forwards could be in this league if they were to convert some of those into short shots. Simply based on league averages you’re looking at so much of an efficiency push.

It’s not that if you play PF you shouldn’t shoot those. God knows, the two biggest attempt PFs (per 40, playing at least 20 minutes a game) are dynamite from that range (Nowitzki & Garnett).  But David West and Hakim Warrick are both shooting below 40% from there, and above 42% from less than ten feet. Those are just examples of high volume shooters with higher minutes. But power forwards in whole need to recognize that unless they are a premier long-range shooter, they would do better to trust the higher percentage shot.

Matt Moore

Matt Moore is a Senior NBA Blogger for CBSSports.com's Eye on Basketball blog, weekend editor of Pro Basketball Talk on NBCSports.com, and co-editor of Voice on the Floor. He lives in Kansas City due to an unbelievably complex set of circumstances and enjoys mid-90's pop rock, long walks on the beach and the novels of Tim Sandlin.