FanPost

a look back at the 3 point shooting

Hello everyone, just decided to do a brief fanpost on the 3 point shooting numbers from this series that I gathered from NBA statscube.  

The entire series, we saw a team that shot well below its averages and one that shot well above its averages.  Not hard to figure out where the Lakers fit with in this scheme.

The Lakers 3 point attempts actually jumped up from 16.6 on the season to 19.0, about two or three more attempts a game.  The Mavs 3 point attempts also jumped as well, from 26.5 to 22.7.

As for percentages for the Lakers from behind the arc from both the wings and corners:

Screenshot20110509at120_medium

Screenshot20110509at120_medium

Its pretty bad, especially from the corners, where we saw a -16% drop off from the season average.  Throughout the Pau Gasol era, we have never really had a particularly strong three point shooting team, but we always had someone step it up from behind the arc in the playoffs like Trevor Ariza or Shannon Brown.  This year, that just was not the case.  

Screenshot20110509at125_medium

I composed here a table comparing all the percentages for rotation players from behind the arc for both the regular season and playoffs.   I highlighted the percentages for just the playoffs (totals include the Hornets series) since the sample sizes for the Mavs series were too small.  The ones that saw an increase in 3pt FG% from their seasonal average are green while the ones that saw a decrease in 3pt FG% from their season average  are red.  As you can tell, pretty much everyone except for Derek Fisher saw a drop. In the entire playoffs, they shot just 29.1%. For the Mavs series, these guys shot about 21.0% from behind the arc (15-73), well below their seasonal average as a group of 35.7%.  

Now for the Mavs:

Screenshot20110509at109_medium

Screenshot20110509at109_medium

Their entire team shot a whole 5 percentage points higher from what they shot at the top of the arc.  One has to wonder what that percentage would be without game 2 (their worst night from behind the arc) and strangely, they shot on average from the corners (probably because Terry and Peja are are great from the corners).

For their rotation 3 point shooters in both the regular season and playoffs:

Screenshot20110509at141_medium

Only Barea and Stevenson shot a lower 3pt FG% in the playoffs, but they dont really shoot a very high volume of threes.  The guys who do (Dirk, Peja, Terry, and Kidd) each saw increases.  Dirk, Terry, and Peja's percentages are by far the most dramatic as you can see, well above their seasonal averages.  

In the season, these players shot 37.0% from the behind the arc and in this series they shot 46.5% from the field!!

So in review, the Lakers shot appallingly bad in this series from both areas behind the arc (the top and the corners).  Not one 3 point shooter really stepped up and got hot.  Some credit should be given to the Mavs defense, but with such poor numbers, you probably have to consider that maybe they were unlucky too.

The Mavs meanwhile are the polar opposite, shooting the lights out from behind the arc.  A significant cause for this goes to the horrid Laker pick and roll defense which rotated very poorly the entire series, giving the Mavs wide open looks.  At the same time, the rate which they hit some of these shots (wide open or not) is just ridiculous, which means they are definitely due for some regression in their next series.  

Ultimately the Mavs had much superior 3 point shooters, but it also goes to show that with such small sample sizes anything can happen.

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