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## The 3-point shot

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• In doing some of my own evaluations of players over different eras, I ve run into something of snag: how to compare the relative values of similar players
Message 1 of 3 , Dec 30, 2001
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In doing some of my own evaluations of players over different eras,
I've run into something of snag: how to compare the relative values
of similar players where only one of the two players can hit the 3-
point shot. For example take Reggie Miller 99-00 and Rolando
Blackman 87-88 for example:

player GP FGM/FGA FG% FTM/FTA FT% Reb Ast St Bl TO Pts PPG
R.Miller 81 466/1041 44.8 373/406 91.9 239 187 85 25 129 1470 18.1
Blackman 71 497/1050 47.3 331/379 87.3 246 262 64 18 144 1325 18.7

By memory, the two played pretty similar games. THe numbers they put
up were also pretty similar. However, there is a major stat
difference between them. Miller shot 165/404 from downtown and
Blackman shot 0/5. We can quantify the difference between a 3shot
and a 2pointer based on their relative value (ie 33% from 3 is equal
in points created as 45% shooting from 2). But are there hidden
costs? On the one hand, one could argue that Blackman was a better
offensive player because he was able to score more points without
hitting 3s. However, there maybe an argument that it is a necessary
part of the job description of a shooter to be able to hit 3s.
(there are also era differences: no one really shot 3s in 87-88 and
when the 3 was used more in the early 90s blackman proved capable of
hitting 3s when it was expected of the perimeter shooters). Any
opinions on whether the ability to hit a 3point shot should be given
additional weight in statistical formulas and whether the inability
to hit a 3 based upon team/era expectations is also factored in?
• ... Good pick on similarity. I get a similarity score of 790 for them, or 890 without looking at 3ptrs. I don t have a great answer to your question, but I
Message 2 of 3 , Dec 31, 2001
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--- In APBR_analysis@y..., "harlanzo" <harlanzo@y...> wrote:
> In doing some of my own evaluations of players over different eras,
> I've run into something of snag: how to compare the relative values
> of similar players where only one of the two players can hit the 3-
> point shot. For example take Reggie Miller 99-00 and Rolando
> Blackman 87-88 for example:
>
> player GP FGM/FGA FG% FTM/FTA FT% Reb Ast St Bl TO Pts PPG
> R.Miller 81 466/1041 44.8 373/406 91.9 239 187 85 25 129 1470 18.1
> Blackman 71 497/1050 47.3 331/379 87.3 246 262 64 18 144 1325 18.7

Good pick on similarity. I get a similarity score of 790 for them,
or 890 without looking at 3ptrs.

I don't have a great answer to your question, but I can post my
calculations for these two:

Player Sc.Poss Poss. Floor% ORtg PtsProduced
Miller 587 1157 0.507 118.0 1365
Blackman 613 1116 0.549 112.9 1260

Miller scored on a smaller percentage of his possessions, but his
points produced per 100 possessions was higher. Miller played at a
time when points were harder to come by, meaning his offensive rating
was higher than the average by more than Blackman's. Miller scored a
higher percentage of points on a team that won slightly more. His
team also went to the Finals, though that's outside your numbers.

You're not even looking at defense here, but they are similar there,
too. Indiana was a better defensive team on an absolute scale, about
the same on a relative scale. Most of my analyses point to Reggie
contributing slightly more net points, slightly more net wins.

Finally, both Derek Harper and Mark Aguirre made a lot of 3's for
that Dallas team. Not sure how that helps you...

Dean Oliver
Journal of Basketball Studies
• Why count points from beyond the arc any differently than points from any other source? Very seldom does a team NEED a 3, the exception being at the very end
Message 3 of 3 , Jan 1, 2002
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Why count points from beyond the arc any differently than points from
any other source? Very seldom does a team NEED a 3, the exception
being at the very end of a very close game.

--- In APBR_analysis@y..., "harlanzo" <harlanzo@y...> wrote:
> In doing some of my own evaluations of players over different eras,
> I've run into something of snag: how to compare the relative values
> of similar players where only one of the two players can hit the 3-
> point shot. For example take Reggie Miller 99-00 and Rolando
> Blackman 87-88 for example:
>
> player GP FGM/FGA FG% FTM/FTA FT% Reb Ast St Bl TO Pts PPG
> R.Miller 81 466/1041 44.8 373/406 91.9 239 187 85 25 129 1470 18.1
> Blackman 71 497/1050 47.3 331/379 87.3 246 262 64 18 144 1325 18.7

Reggie's combined shooting pct in 2000 was .591, Blackman's
(1988) .534. I scale scoring rate by these factors, and give Reggie
a scoring rate of 21.3, Blackman 18.5.

Overall production: Reggie 27.4, Ro 25.9

> By memory, the two played pretty similar games. THe numbers they
put
> up were also pretty similar. However, there is a major stat
> difference between them. Miller shot 165/404 from downtown and
> Blackman shot 0/5. We can quantify the difference between a 3shot
> and a 2pointer based on their relative value (ie 33% from 3 is
equal
> in points created as 45% shooting from 2).

I would say 33% from the arc = 50% from inside.

> But are there hidden
> costs? On the one hand, one could argue that Blackman was a better
> offensive player because he was able to score more points without
> hitting 3s. However, there maybe an argument that it is a
necessary
> part of the job description of a shooter to be able to hit 3s.
> (there are also era differences: no one really shot 3s in 87-88 and
> when the 3 was used more in the early 90s blackman proved capable
of
> hitting 3s when it was expected of the perimeter shooters). Any
> opinions on whether the ability to hit a 3point shot should be
given
> additional weight in statistical formulas and whether the inability
> to hit a 3 based upon team/era expectations is also factored in?

Some people use formulas that consider 3-point percentage separately,
and end up penalizing Shaq (for example) for not shooting 3s. (?!?!?!)
I don't see any use for this; I figure the 3-pointer can get you an
extra point now and then, just as the and-one can.

It was suggested (back when it was new) that the missed 3 would lead
to fewer offensive rebounds, long rebounds, fast breaks, etc. I
haven't seen any studies of this, but my casual observation is that
if anything, there are more offensive boards (though fewer putbacks)
off missed 3s.

It's true that every team needs a couple of 3-point shooters, but it
may also be true that players who score inside the arc tend to be
more consistent scorers.

I think Reggie Miller is a statistical anomaly in many ways. He is a
3-point threat who can also get to the line a lot. And yet he
doesn't take a lot of shots most of the time. Thus he has one of the
highest "combined shooting pct" of all time.

.612 Cedric Maxwell
.609 James Donaldson
.608 Artis Gilmore
.606 Dave Twardzik
.603 Reggie Miller
.598 Kevin McHale
.598 Jeff Ruland
.596 Steve Kerr
.595 Charles Barkley
.595 John Stockton
.593 Darryl Dawkins
.593 Magic Johnson
.592 Bobby Jones
.590 Ed Pinckney

Mike Goodman
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