The Mayors of the NBA

The Mayors of the NBA

Jan 31

Earlier in the week, I posted a couple of things over at Grantland that looked at the best and worst shooters so far this season. These two posts provided a glimpse into the spatial efficiencies of NBA players. As a logical follow-up to that, it makes sense to consider frequency: which players shoot the most at different spots? If all NBA players had foursquare, these guys would be the mayors of these spots.

The Most From There

Looking at this graphic, a few things jump out:

1. LaMarcus loves the mid-range. No NBA player shoots as much in the mid-range than Aldridge. He shoots so much in the mid-range that he is the mayor of two adjacent sections on the chart. Although he only shoots about 41% from these zones, his ability to get the kind of volume he gets there is still impressive. Aldridge narrowly beat out Kobe and KG for the top spots in these two zones.

2. Big Al is the least surprising player on the chart. When he retires they shouldn’t raise his jersey into the rafters, but instead they should paint his face on the left block. Tons more on that here.

3. Lillard loves the top of the arc. The potential rookie of the year is the most frequent shooter in the zone where point guards shoot most of their 3′s. As of January 22nd, Lillard had attempted 126 shots from this spot, but he’s only making about 37% of them.

4. Greg Monroe. Although he may not be the most effective close range scorer, his ability to get the volume of shots he gets near the rim is still noteworthy. Interestingly though he leads the league in attempts here, he’s only 5th in field goals made in this zone trailing LeBron, Dwight, Blake, and Thad Young who all shoot at least 60% from this area. Monroe shoots 53%.

5. Danny Green has re-invented himself as a very good 3-point shooter. Of course it’s no coincidence that this happened in San Antonio, the land of open shots and great shooting coaches. Green shoots a vast majority of his 3′s from the right side (graphic left) and this is also where he’s most efficient. He hits 40% on this side.

6. Carmelo is doing a better job in the mid-range this season. His mid-range game is more symmetric this year than it has been in awhile, but his most popular shooting zone remains on his right (graphic left) where he’s hitting 46% of his shots. He’s hitting the exact same rate (46%) from the other side too.

7. With an increased burden, it seems as though James Harden’s efficiency is dropping. His 3-point attempts are at an all-time high, but his 3p% is at an all-time low. His most common three-point shot is along the right wing but he’s only making 31% from there… below league average.

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