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Monday, December 13, 2010

What Is The Best Shot?

There are different ways to evaluate shooting effectiveness.

Traditional Field Goals Percentage= FGM / FGA.  This would mean if a play attempted 100 shots and made 40 shots, they would have a FG% of 40%.

Effective Field Goal Percentage= (Field Goals Made + (.5 x 3 Pointers Made)) / FGA. So the same player above who made 40 field goals of 100 shots, if they made 10 threes and 30 twos then there eFG%= 45%. This is a stat that the NBA originated. It is an attempt to weight the value of making a three point shot.

True Shooting Percentage=  Total Points / 2* (FGA + (.44 x FTA)) This stat is an attempt to evaluate both field goal and free throw shooting together. This stat is one that is typically used by stat junkies looking to draw comparisons between individual players.
Two players we have had go over 60% in eFG% have been Jaque Howard (now Gohlinghorst) and Amanda Gunther. Amanda accomplished this with a starting 57% FG%. Jaque accomplished this by shooting 48% from threes. Anything over 60% is considered GREAT. To illustrate the value of the three point shot, Jaque was 107-236 on twos for 45% and 74 for 154 on threes for 48%. Using the formula for eFG%, she shot over 60% for eFG%.

eFG% for Past Teams
2007- 48% (Sectional Finals)
2008- 44%
2009- 44%
2010- 44%
2011- 47% thru 10 games

An NBA analysis of shooting from specific distances helps to clarify some of the idea of what is a good and bad shot. They analyzed shooting percentages for a season from various spots.
0-5 feet-  57%             1.14 point per shot
6-11 feet- 37%            0.74 points per shot
12-17 feet- 38%          0.76 points per shot
18- the line- 39%        0.78 points per shot
Threes-  35%              1.05 points per shot
Foul Shots- 77%         1.54 points per trip to line (2 shots)

The most efficient three ways to score are:
#1- Shooting free throws
#2- Shooting layups
#3- Shooting three point shots

These numbers are based on shooting by NBA players, the best in the world. Another interesting set of stats they find is that the bottom NBA players shoot less than 30% on shots from 6 feet to the three point arc. One might argue that the worse the player's skill level, the worse the mid-range two point shot becomes. For our 2008 and our 2009 seasons, on shots from 5 feet to the three point arc, we shot under 25 percent as a team.

You put all of this together, and you can see some of the logic of the Grinnell System choosing to shoot layups or three point shots. These are efficient ways to score on possessions. Plus you add that by taking more three point shots, you are apt to be able to take quicker shots to impact the speed of the game. And you are better able to get offensive rebounds with the defense spread out.

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