Steve Blake Part II

Steve Blake Part II

May 18

That's a pretty good option, anytime

Steve Blake missed that corner 3 that could have given the Lakers a key win Wednesday night in OKC. After all of the drama, I revealed in the last post that Blake is actually quite good from that spot; he’s shot 52% from the right corner this season – that’s incredibly good. In fact only 7 other players have shot as good or better from that spot this year. Here they are (minimum of 25 attempts):

1. Avery Bradley 73%
2. Al Harrington 60%
3. Jamal Crawford 59%
4. Nick Young 57%
5. Matt Bonner 56%
6. Willie Green 52%
7. Roger Mason 52%
8. Steve Blake 52%

Here are some other names that Blake outperformed from the right corner this season:

Ryan Anderson 50%
Steve Novak 50%
Jason Richardson 49%
Mike Dunleavy 48%
Richard Jefferson 47%
Jason Terry 44%
Ray Allen 37%

Hypothetically, I wonder if Ray Allen, Steve Novak, or J-Rich were on the Lakers if Kobe would’ve been as angry. I wonder if Mike Brown would’ve thrown MWP under the bus if that pass landed in the hands of Ray Allen instead of Steve Blake.

We’ll never know the answer, but the real takeaway from this mess is that from an analytics perspective, it’s unclear why Kobe would be upset with this play; it gave his team the best chance to win; the open look for Blake in that corner is simply one of the best shots the Lakers can ever get, regardless of the situation.


  1. Chu

    Grey font on a white background? Makes it very difficult to read your posts.

  2. Andy

    “it’s unclear why Kobe would be upset with this play”

    Because he didn’t get the ball, duh.

  3. Eric Chang

    This is a very interesting application of quantitative techniques to the NBA. Do you know if NBA teams actually employ something similar to these analyses on their own players? Players definitely have their comfort spots, e.g. Bruce Bowen.

    Steve Blake’s open shot was definitely the right play. Kobe running the clock down on the play before that, when the Lakers were behind, that was baffling.

    • Daniel Paz

      Some do more than others. There was an article by Bill James on Shane Battier a couple years ago called “The No Stats All Star” that went into the stats Houston tried to use. Broke the court down into a grid and had numbers on how the shot was taken (dribble left/right, catch and shoot, etc)

      • be_here_now

        that’s awesome. how many rings does Battier have? how about the Rockets under current management, have they made a lot of deep playoff runs?

        • Kirk

          O, and O. I’m not sure what your point is, but it seems you have an anti-analytic POV. The two remaining teams in the western conference on the other hand are among the most advanced analytical teams in the league… thanks for reading, kg

  4. Morands

    I may be wrong, but I think 25 shots from that corner in about 60/70 games are too little to make a substantial stat.
    In any case, I agree when you say that Blake’s open three was a pretty good option, even only statistically speaking.
    Please forgive my english!

    • Kirk

      That’s a fair point, and why I added the fact that he shot 45% there last year. So over two seasons he’s about a 48% shooter from there. kg

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