Top50 Players That Really Shouldn't Shoot That Much

The Mavericks opponent tonight got me into a nice little research about shot distribution in the NBA. Taking more shots than you should is a hot topic since Kobe decided he should go for 40 on every night. Against the Clippers on Saturday several guys went berserk over his shot selection on twitter as always and blamed him for the loss. But not so fast: Kobe had once again a gigantic USG% of 38.7%, but also scored a starter-best 1.18 Points Per Shot. So what? My numbers say, that if he indeed would have taken all the shots for the Lakers, they would have reached at least OT, if not more. OK, so this is according to PPS, but everybody easily understands that Kobe taking all shots wouldn't have resulted in Points = PPS*Team_Shots, because the defense would have quintuple-teamed him at some point. But it raised the question whether Kobe is really taking too many shot or if, adjusting to PPS in relation to the teammates PPS, he's not as selfish as suggested. Here's the data:

Rank Team Player USG% PPS T_PPS Skip%
1 DET Austin Daye 25.06% 0.418 0.870 44.77%
2 POR Marcus Camby 11.72% 0.573 0.968 37.83%
3 SAC Travis Outlaw 17.36% 0.578 0.959 35.28%
4 BOS Marquis Daniels 18.03% 0.561 0.930 35.04%
5 LAL Derek Fisher 12.50% 0.633 0.975 32.08%
6 UTA Earl Watson 12.87% 0.632 0.957 30.94%
7 NJN Shawne Williams 16.41% 0.584 0.884 30.04%
8 OKC Eric Maynor 18.38% 0.734 1.117 29.86%
9 TOR James Johnson 15.33% 0.621 0.926 29.36%
10 TOR Rasual Butler 15.47% 0.609 0.880 27.34%
11 DAL Lamar Odom 22.70% 0.704 1.029 26.29%
12 MIN Wesley Johnson 17.22% 0.614 0.877 26.17%
13 SAS T.J. Ford 17.29% 0.722 1.027 25.89%
14 NYK Toney Douglas 25.58% 0.690 1.009 25.60%
15 ORL Jameer Nelson 16.51% 0.754 1.048 24.54%
16 GSW Ekpe Udoh 16.61% 0.714 0.965 22.66%
17 POR Raymond Felton 20.46% 0.721 0.985 22.57%
18 PHX Grant Hill 20.04% 0.734 0.967 20.24%
19 OKC Nazr Mohammed 15.42% 0.822 1.065 19.98%
20 SAS James Anderson 19.99% 0.793 1.034 19.56%
21 NYK Landry Fields 14.95% 0.746 0.958 19.48%
22 LAL Metta World Peace 18.60% 0.694 0.899 19.39%
23 CHI Omer Asik 12.00% 0.688 0.859 17.93%
24 MIN Michael Beasley 24.65% 0.711 0.917 17.92%
25 CHI Joakim Noah 16.04% 0.767 0.966 17.86%
26 NJN Damion James 14.13% 0.644 0.807 17.84%
27 PHX Ronnie Price 19.67% 0.775 0.970 16.83%
28 BOS Jermaine O'Neal 14.08% 0.779 0.960 16.65%
29 NOH Al-Farouq Aminu 14.66% 0.709 0.872 16.38%
30 NJN Shelden Williams 13.34% 0.724 0.887 16.35%
31 SAC J.J. Hickson 17.49% 0.713 0.876 15.85%
32 CHA Corey Maggette 23.66% 0.749 0.933 15.78%
33 NYK Iman Shumpert 23.40% 0.720 0.891 15.41%
34 WAS John Wall 23.71% 0.666 0.822 15.18%
35 SAS Gary Neal 25.76% 0.843 1.046 15.17%
36 GSW Klay Thompson 18.92% 0.775 0.945 15.08%
37 DAL Jason Kidd 10.31% 0.753 0.900 14.89%
38 MIA Norris Cole 24.68% 0.784 0.966 14.88%
39 DEN Andre Miller 17.89% 0.857 1.039 14.85%
40 MEM Mike Conley 19.31% 0.831 0.996 13.79%
41 DAL Rodrigue Beaubois 23.21% 0.771 0.925 13.30%
42 MIN Darko Milicic 17.32% 0.729 0.855 12.51%
43 ORL Glen Davis 22.47% 0.755 0.894 12.47%
44 HOU Luis Scola 27.65% 0.829 0.989 12.25%
45 MIA Shane Battier 9.31% 0.786 0.903 11.94%
46 CHA Tyrus Thomas 16.12% 0.825 0.958 11.91%
47 SAC John Salmons 15.69% 0.728 0.841 11.56%
48 OKC Russell Westbrook 31.32% 0.854 1.016 11.53%
49 CHA Boris Diaw 17.12% 0.771 0.889 11.24%
50 BOS Rajon Rondo 22.84% 0.840 0.976 11.11%
Glossary & Comments
  • USG%: The percentage of the teams shots the player has taken
  • PPS: Points-Per-Shot
  • T_PPS: The teammates PPS while the player is on the floor
  • Skip%: My estimated percentage of shots the player should have skipped, because his teammates are so much better.

No Kobe? No Kobe!

That's because Kobe Bryant scores 0.980 PPS while his teammates combine for only 0.913. But here's room for improvement in my calculation. Of course the average of the teammates PPS can actually be lower than the players PPS, but nonetheless there could be another player with a better PPS out there, like Pau Gasol. This calculation suggests that Kobe should take 4.31% more shots, because he's better than the teammates average. But Pau Gasol should take 11.10% more shots, so when Kobe is teamed up with the Spaniard, #24 of course should give up shots to him. I might redo the calculation based on my lineup data and come up with something more specific in the future.

For Dallas we got Lamar, Kidd and Roddy in the list, which is not surprising. All of them have been subpar so far in shooting percentages and/or earning free throws and are surrounded by quality players in that regard.

Other intriguing names include Rookies Iman Shumpert and Cole, which take away shots from guys named LeBron, Wade, Melo and Amare.

Also Westbrook (takes away shots from Durant), Darko and Beasley (Love, Rubio) and so on.

After the jump we'll have a list for all teams and how much they would benefit from a better shot distribution: Take away shots from players that doesn't score that much and give them to players with a better PPS value. This is done by adjusting the USG% for PPS related to teammates PPS, then recalculate the new point-outcome and improvement for each team.

Have fun with it!

Team PPS AdjPPS Improvement
NYK 0.886 0.919 3.77%
TOR 0.864 0.886 2.58%
WAS 0.796 0.817 2.57%
POR 0.923 0.945 2.35%
DET 0.846 0.866 2.31%
MIN 0.882 0.902 2.25%
SAS 0.957 0.979 2.25%
BOS 0.919 0.940 2.22%
OKC 0.978 0.997 1.94%
CHI 0.904 0.920 1.86%
SAC 0.825 0.840 1.80%
PHX 0.917 0.933 1.74%
IND 0.876 0.891 1.72%
ORL 0.966 0.982 1.69%
DAL 0.910 0.925 1.63%
UTA 0.907 0.921 1.54%
HOU 0.902 0.916 1.51%
NJN 0.884 0.895 1.30%
MIL 0.872 0.883 1.24%
DEN 0.982 0.993 1.16%
CHA 0.858 0.868 1.15%
LAC 0.959 0.969 1.11%
GSW 0.907 0.915 0.98%
MIA 0.954 0.962 0.91%
MEM 0.871 0.878 0.78%
LAL 0.906 0.913 0.73%
ATL 0.925 0.932 0.68%
CLE 0.887 0.893 0.67%
PHI 0.977 0.983 0.61%
NOH 0.851 0.856 0.58%

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