After part 1 of this series we know that long two point shots are ineffective and the most effective shots in NBA are at the rim and outside 3pt line, so let’s follow it up with another question:
what’s the potential gain from that not-so-hard-to-discover knowledge?
Thanks to http://hoopdata.com/shotstats.aspx I compiled a list for all teams in the last 5 seasons with their shots selection and thanks to http://www.basketball-reference.com I added some columns with respective team’s offensive statistics. You can find it at the end of this post but let’s jump right into conclusions:
Correlation Coefficient between “how often teams take good shots” [measured by adding all shots at the rim and outside 3pt line and dividing it by all shots taken by respective team] and
it’s Effective Field Goal Percentage is 0,51 while it’s Offensive Rating is 0,361. It means that 25% of team’s eFG% and 13% of team’s Offensive efficiency can be explained by shots selection alone!
If you are not impressed let me rephrase that, when you compare teams that are above and below average in terms of percentage of shots taken at the rim and outside 3pt line, you will get results like this:
That’s a difference like between teams around Top10 and Top20 in the league!
In those 5 seasons there were only 4 teams which were above average each year: Phoenix Suns, NY Knicks, Houston Rockets and Denver Nuggets and only once among them offense was worse than Top17 [those Knicks who attempted a lot of threes but couldn’t make them] while they were fixtures near the top.
So I’ll ask again: WHY DO TEAMS ATTEMPT MORE LONG TWOS THAN THREES!?!
Is it simply a case of smart defense? Because we know that long two is the worst possible shot in basketball, we know that teams who avoid them are better offensively and those who take them in bunches are worse offensively…. and yet there are plenty of those shots…