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NBA Players who Learnt to Make Three-Point Shots

20 Jan

After I explored sudden mid-career improvement in free throw accuracy a natural follow-up was to check another shooting skill: three point shots. Who did have the biggest improvement?
Which players did have the most impressive improvement late in their career?
Who did attempt the most shots before sudden jump in accuracy?

You will be able to find all the answers in one table ;-)

And it was created in a following way: I used a file with historical data from basketballreference.comand I found all players who had a season with 100 attempts with improvement by at least 3% [up to at least 33%] when compared to a previous one and they played a minimum 1000 minutes in both years.
Finally I sorted it by the size of improvement. Also I excluded players from 1979, their sudden jump was possible… because three point shot became available ;-)

Interesting fact: 2 recent winners of Most Improved Player Award are in the Top40 [Love, Diaw] and 6 of the last 7 winners are in the Top350 [additionally Brooks, Granger, Turkoglu and Bobby Simmons all with at least 4% improvement].

Anyway, here’s the full list…

Player Season Year Team 3P Made 3PAtt 3P% to-date 3PM to-date 3PA to-date 3P% Improved by
Cedric Ceballos 5 1994 LAL 58 146 39,73 2 23 8,70 31,03
Calbert Cheaney 2 1994 WA1 96 283 33,92 1 23 4,35 29,57
Jack Sikma 12 1988 MIL 82 216 37,96 7 68 10,29 27,67
Bobby Simmons 4 2004 LAC 50 115 43,48 6 31 19,35 24,12
Kevin Love 2 2009 MIN 35 106 33,02 2 19 10,53 22,49
Kevin Johnson 10 1996 PHO 89 202 44,06 66 295 22,37 21,69
Chris Smith 3 1994 MIN 47 108 43,52 12 53 22,64 20,88
Brian Shaw 4 1992 MIA 43 130 33,08 8 63 12,70 20,38
Detlef Schrempf 10 1994 SEA 93 181 51,38 133 422 31,52 19,86
Ricky Pierce 8 1989 MIL 46 133 34,59 19 121 15,70 18,88
Terrell Brandon 4 1994 CLE 48 121 39,67 21 97 21,65 18,02
Mookie Blaylock 4 1992 ATL 118 315 37,46 44 225 19,56 17,90
Brad Lohaus 3 1989 TOT 47 137 34,31 4 24 16,67 17,64
Lucious Harris 2 1994 DAL 55 142 38,73 7 33 21,21 17,52
Michael Jordan 6 1989 CHI 92 245 37,55 58 287 20,21 17,34
Brad Davis 8 1984 DAL 47 115 40,87 35 148 23,65 17,22
Tyrone Corbin 12 1996 ATL 74 208 35,58 27 146 18,49 17,08
Brent Price 3 1995 WA1 139 301 46,18 58 198 29,29 16,89
Kevin Gamble 6 1992 BOS 52 139 37,41 14 68 20,59 16,82
Craig Hodges 4 1985 MIL 73 162 45,06 77 271 28,41 16,65
Tom Chambers 6 1986 SEA 54 145 37,24 19 92 20,65 16,59
Eric Murdock 3 1993 MIL 69 168 41,07 36 145 24,83 16,24
Mike Bibby 2 1999 VAN 77 212 36,32 15 74 20,27 16,05
Richard Hamilton 7 2005 DET 55 120 45,83 170 570 29,82 16,01
Sherman Douglas 7 1995 TOT 40 110 36,36 49 239 20,50 15,86
Jose Calderon 3 2007 TOR 79 184 42,93 32 118 27,12 15,82
Mark Price 2 1987 CLE 72 148 48,65 23 70 32,86 15,79
John Stockton 6 1989 UTA 47 113 41,59 51 197 25,89 15,70
Joe Johnson 4 2004 PHO 177 370 47,84 196 607 32,29 15,55
Howard Eisley 4 1997 UTA 48 118 40,68 43 171 25,15 15,53
Danny Ainge 6 1986 BOS 85 192 44,27 57 197 28,93 15,34
Gerald Henderson 9 1987 TOT 69 163 42,33 74 274 27,01 15,32
Shawn Marion 3 2001 PHO 48 122 39,34 25 104 24,04 15,31
Damien Wilkins 3 2006 SEA 50 122 40,98 30 115 26,09 14,90
Boris Diaw 6 2008 TOT 75 181 41,44 51 192 26,56 14,87
Ron Anderson 8 1991 PHI 42 127 33,07 17 93 18,28 14,79
Magic Johnson 11 1989 LAL 106 276 38,41 117 490 23,88 14,53
Al Harrington 9 2006 TOT 127 293 43,34 126 437 28,83 14,51
Bobby Phills 5 1995 CLE 93 211 44,08 22 74 29,73 14,35
Laphonso Ellis 5 1996 DEN 95 259 36,68 13 58 22,41 14,27
DeShawn Stevenson 7 2006 WAS 74 183 40,44 53 202 26,24 14,20
Tim Perry 6 1993 PHI 73 200 36,50 15 67 22,39 14,11
Ricky Pierce 9 1990 TOT 46 116 39,66 65 254 25,59 14,06
Larry Johnson 4 1994 CHA 81 210 38,57 28 114 24,56 14,01
Mark Jackson 9 1995 IND 64 149 42,95 257 887 28,97 13,98
Glen Rice 2 1990 MIA 71 184 38,59 17 69 24,64 13,95
Eddie Johnson 8 1988 PHO 71 172 41,28 119 432 27,55 13,73
Darrick Martin 3 1996 LAC 91 234 38,89 27 107 25,23 13,66
Craig Hodges 6 1987 TOT 86 175 49,14 235 661 35,55 13,59
Kevin Durant 2 2008 OKC 97 230 42,17 59 205 28,78 13,39
Andres Nocioni 2 2005 CHI 93 238 39,08 25 97 25,77 13,30
Jay Humphries 7 1990 MIL 60 161 37,27 62 258 24,03 13,24
Reggie Theus 13 1990 NJN 52 144 36,11 186 801 23,22 12,89
Todd Day 3 1994 MIL 163 418 39,00 87 332 26,20 12,79
Scott Skiles 4 1989 ORL 52 132 39,39 29 109 26,61 12,79
Jared Dudley 3 2009 PHO 120 262 45,80 38 115 33,04 12,76
Craig Hodges 3 1984 MIL 47 135 34,81 30 136 22,06 12,76
Steve Smith 11 2001 SAS 116 246 47,15 909 2632 34,54 12,62
Richard Jefferson 3 2003 NJN 48 132 36,36 19 80 23,75 12,61
Marvin Williams 4 2008 ATL 55 155 35,48 25 109 22,94 12,55
Allan Houston 2 1994 DET 158 373 42,36 35 117 29,91 12,44
Chris Mullin 8 1992 GSW 60 133 45,11 272 829 32,81 12,30
Antonio Daniels 4 2000 SAS 74 183 40,44 38 135 28,15 12,29
Spud Webb 7 1991 SAC 73 199 36,68 60 245 24,49 12,19
Toni Kukoc 8 2000 TOT 70 157 44,59 377 1162 32,44 12,14
Clifford Robinson 6 1994 POR 142 383 37,08 51 204 25,00 12,08
Larry Bird 6 1984 BOS 56 131 42,75 129 419 30,79 11,96
Ken Norman 7 1993 MIL 63 189 33,33 31 145 21,38 11,95
Derek Anderson 4 2000 SAS 101 253 39,92 93 331 28,10 11,82
Terry Dehere 3 1995 LAC 139 316 43,99 71 220 32,27 11,71
Vince Carter 2 1999 TOR 95 236 40,25 19 66 28,79 11,47
Jamaal Tinsley 3 2003 IND 77 207 37,20 88 341 25,81 11,39
Jeff Green 2 2008 OKC 96 247 38,87 21 76 27,63 11,23
Jameer Nelson 2 2005 ORL 70 165 42,42 44 141 31,21 11,22
Richard Hamilton 9 2007 DET 62 141 43,97 269 819 32,84 11,13
Tim Hardaway 2 1990 GSW 97 252 38,49 23 84 27,38 11,11
Malik Sealy 5 1996 LAC 79 222 35,59 54 220 24,55 11,04
Bimbo Coles 6 1995 TOT 88 254 34,65 94 398 23,62 11,03

So the answers to questions at the top are…

Who did have the biggest improvement? Cedric Ceballos
If we consider players with at least 250 previous attempts the winner would be Kevin Johnson who by the way also won Most Improved Player Award.

Which players did have the most impressive improvement late in their careers?
My answer would be Jack Sikma.
In his 12th season, after attempting 68 shots in previous 11, he made 38% of 216 shots!

Who did attempt the most shots before sudden jump in accuracy? Steve Smith made 34,5% of his first 2632 shots and then in 2001 with Spurs he made a whooping 47% of 246 attempts.

Any other curiosity you can find is also for free… so enjoy! ;-)

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Posted by on January 20, 2012 in Expanding Horizons

 

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