CLIPPERS SHOT-CHART ANALYSIS
A lot can be learned by looking at what spots on the floor players are the most effective shooting the basketball. It can indicate where plays may be directed or who they’re directed for. It helps explain why Willie Green might settle into the right corner on a fast break (he’s a near 55-percent shooter from there) or why Blake Griffin operates from the left block more often than the right. The shot charts associated with each player’s profile is one of the standout features on NBA.com’s revamped stats page. Of course, they don’t tell the whole story—stats alone never do. But they can point you in the right direction.
Take a look at the shot charts for 13 players on the current Clippers roster who played at least one NBA game in 2012-13.
Green: FG% above league average
Yellow: FG% comparable to league average
Red: FG% below league average
Barnes had one of the most successful 3-point shooting seasons of his career, hitting on 34.2 percent of his shots from distance. Out of the 325 shots he took from long range, 130 of them came from the left wing or the left corner where he shot a gaudy 42.3 percent. His shots either came from 3-point range or within 8 feet of the rim. He only took 64 of his career-high 675 shots from the mid-range areas.
Collison started 47 of his 81 games in Dallas last season and his shooting percentages were consistent with his previous three seasons. He took 318 shots inside of 8 feet, which ranked third in the NBA among players listed at 6-foot or under. Other than that he was not a volume shooter from any other position on the floor. He was a successful corner 3-point shooter in limited attempts (21-for-45), which could bode well in lineups that feature both Paul and Collison in the backcourt this season.
While he’s never been considered as a high-percentage shooter overall, Crawford is also rarely below league average from anywhere on the floor. The Clippers’ single-season 3-point record holder (149) did most of his damage last season from the wing spots. He was a combined 76-for-182 (41.8 percent) on shots from 3-point land on either wing. It stands to reason that Crawford is deadlier from those spots because he has room to operate, dancing with the ball into pull-up jumpers. Crawford, who is a mid-range killer as well, was highly effective on the right side of the floor, shooting above league average from three separate areas.
On a 25-win team in Phoenix, Dudley was one of the primary offensive options. He saw a fraction of the open looks he will see this season in L.A. However, he still shot 36 percent or better from 3-point range from four of the five noted spots on the floor. He was also highly effective from mid-range, shooting 46.2 percent between 16 and 24 feet.
He was among the best 3-point shooters percentage-wise in the league, finishing tied for eighth (42.8 percent). But Green did the most damage from the corners. He made 46 of his 71 3-pointer from either the left or right short-corner three, including shooting a league-best 54.9 percent from the right corner. While Green started 60 games for the Clippers last season, he is not expected to be in the guard rotation on opening night this year. However, if called upon, he could provide a valuable 3-point threat once again.
It may appear there is way too much red on Griffin’s shot chart, but it is a little misleading. Six of the spots that show up below league average are areas that he shot fewer than 35 times. The spot to focus on, besides his remarkable 66.1 percent shooting on 661 shots inside of 8 feet, is the left block. Despite criticism of Griffin’s perimeter performance over the years, he made improvements last year. He became close to a 40 percent shooter from the 8-23 foot range on the left side last season. Take note of Griffin’s percentages from the elbows, he shot 35.1 percent from the left and 33.9 percent from the right. Those numbers could skyrocket this season with more opportunity and another offseason of work.
In limited minutes and with so many scorers on the floor around him when he did play, Hollins was relegated to shots around the rim. However, he was 65-of-99 inside the paint and has proven capable of knocking down that free throw-line jumper even though he only took eight shots from that spot last season.
Much like Matt Barnes, Jamison, who played for the Lakers in 2012-13, was afforded nearly 90 percent of his shots either behind the arc or within 8 feet of the hoop. He is adept at hitting in-between shots in the paint and is a great cutter off the ball, which allows him to get to the rim. His sample size from mid-range is not large enough to assess much, but his 23-for-54 effort on right wing 3-pointers bodes well for his ability to stretch the floor.
The NBA’s leader in overall field goal percentage (64.3 percent), Jordan worked almost exclusively inside. He shot 66.8 percent from within eight feet (third among qualifying big men) with 169 of his 310 field goals coming on dunks. Still, he showed an ability to knock down runners and hook shots in the lane as well, which are areas of his game that are expected to expand this season.
Surprisingly, Mullens did not necessarily have a sweet spot from long range last season, shooting at or below league average from four of the five charted positions. It appears he was more successful from the left side of the floor, including a 9-for-15 effort from the left corner. Much of that could change in L.A., where Mullens, who just two years ago took his first NBA 3-pointer, will get an abundance of open looks and should continue to improve.
Talk about deadly. Paul is nearly all green from inside the 3-point arc, with his only two “trouble” spots coming on the right side of the floor where he shot better than 41 percent in each location. It is arguably one of the cleanest shot charts from 2-point range in the league. He is efficient and effective. While Paul prefers to go right (79 shots compared to 42) on his patented elbow step-back, his best area outside of plays at the rim came from the left side. This could mean that teams overplay him to the right, allowing a little extra airspace. Or he’s just that good. The only down side to Paul’s breakdown comes in the form of the straightaway 3-pointer, where he made just 19 of his 73 attempts.
The Clippers were widely praised for the acquisition of Redick this summer and rightfully so. There is plenty more to his game than shooting, but the former Magic and Bucks guard is effective in both the mid-range and 3-point game. He shot 35.8 percent or better from all five 3-point locations and was above league average in all five spots from 16-23 feet.
Wayns played 27 games last season, averaging 7.5 minutes, so his shot chart is a little unfair. It is difficult to get any kind of read on his most successful spots based on such a small sample size—split between Los Angeles and Philadelphia.