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James Harden's Brooklyn Nets

Discussion in 'NBA Dish' started by jerryclark, Jan 13, 2021.

  1. HP3

    HP3 Member

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    It means the amount of shot he takes and the type of shot he takes are what makes his raw percentages "average."He's an 3 point elite shooter, which is why he's allowed to take so much. When it comes to mid range, "good" and "bad is relative esepcially when you compare it to the three point percentage so the comparison doesnt work
    It means he's taking different types of shots and the amount of shot he's taking is a lot more.

    His last 5 years as a Rocket has his shot attempts balloon and has Harden handling the ball more than he ever has.
    So if you can increase your volume substantially but still maintain the same TS% than it does matter.
     
  2. Reeko

    Reeko Member
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    What was Harden’s midrange FG% in the 4th quarter because it had to be higher than all them 3 point bricks he was tossing up. That’s what I want to know.

    What was Harden’s midrange FG% in the 4th quarter in the 13-14, 14-15, and 15-16 seasons before he basically completely eliminated it from his game? Or to be even more specific, what was Harden’s midrange FG% in what is considered clutch time?
     
  3. jordnnnn

    jordnnnn Member

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    Can’t find a way to filter out the numbers in clutch time but here’s all the per game 4th Q mid range numbers with his 3 point % in the 4th each year via stats.nba.com

    12/13 : 36.1% on 0.5 attempts (33.0% on 3s on 1.5 attempts)
    13/14 : 47.5% on 1.0 attempts (45.8% on 3s on 1.5 attempts)
    14/15 : 48.3% on 0.9 attempts (32.7% on 3s on 1.6 attempts)
    15/16 : 32.4% on 0.9 attempts (35.9% on 3s on 2.2 attempts)
    16/17 : 41.7% on 0.3 attempts (29.6% on 3s on 2.2 attempts)
    17/18 : 25.0% on 0.6 attempts (35.8% on 3s on 2.5 attempts)
    18/19 : 44.8% on 0.4 attempts (33.5% on 3s on 3.3 attempts)

    Really all over the board. The 14/15, 16/17 and 18/19 seasons he was clearly nailing the mid range in the 4th better than the 3. Other years about the same or even better from 3 than mid range.
     
    #5723 jordnnnn, Sep 24, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2021
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  4. Easy

    Easy Very Calm
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    We are still talking apples and oranges. BTW, this is a discussion of shot selection strategy, not a criticism of Harden's shooting ability. No need to be defensive about Harden.
     
  5. Easy

    Easy Very Calm
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    "Clutch" stat is by nature a small sample size. Large variance is expected.
     
  6. jordnnnn

    jordnnnn Member

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    I couldn’t figure out how to get the zone specific shooting numbers for “clutch” time. All those numbers I posted were for all 4th quarters.
     
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  7. Reeko

    Reeko Member
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    Is there a major difference in his midrange and 3 point percentage in the 4th during the postseason?
     
  8. aelliott

    aelliott Contributing Member

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    Harden has always been below average at midrange.
     
  9. Reeko

    Reeko Member
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    sample size is probably way too small for Harden’s midrange FG% in the 4th quarter now that I think about it…probably multiple series where he didn’t even take 1 or only took 1 or 2
     
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  10. aelliott

    aelliott Contributing Member

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    Harden rarely takes a midrange anymore. The last two years he's averaged 0.5 attempts/game. Almost every one of those are shots that he has to take because of the shot clock or shots he's getting up to draw a foul but not gettng the call.

    Midrange is an incredible inefficient shot and he's even below league average on the shot. Why focus on league average for a shot where everyone except for like 5 guys are highly inefficient? Harden shooting 38% to 40% on midrange does mean that he sucks at it. He should never shoot it. His efficiency is over 60%. Why would you take a shot where you are going to make at a 40% or less rate? Just because everyone else is also inefficient at midrange too isn't a reason to take a bad shot. The idea is to take good, efficient shots.

    Harden's 3 point skill is the ability to create open 3s. He can do it at a volume that few others can approach. Shooting just above league average at the volume that he does is a huge advantage since the shot counts 50% more. That's the whole point. Because you're getting 50% more points on the shot it's much more effective than most 2 point shots - even if you're shooting league average.

    [/QUOTE]

    How does Harden taking an inefficient shot make the overall team offense more effective? Taking bad shots doesn't make the offense better. I know there's the idea that a variety of shots makes you harder to defend but it's not like he's ever had trouble getting open shots for himself or teammates. The Rockets were always top 1 or 2 in the league in open 3's. If they ever had a problem of getting open shots then you look at doing something else but that's never been an issue. . He can generate open 3s, drive to the rim or get free throws easily, why would you replace any of those with a much less efficient shot.
     
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  11. HP3

    HP3 Member

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    I'm not defending Harden, it's just your argument is that his TS% remained the same despite changing his shot selection doesnt account for Harden taking WAY more shots and off the dribble jump shots than he ever has in his career during that time span(the last 5 years). When you increase volume by that much efficiency usually always drops, but Harden's did not. If he was taking midrange with increased volume during this time period, his overall efficiency likely would drop.
     
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  12. aelliott

    aelliott Contributing Member

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    In the three years that you noted, once you factor in the difference in points per shot, you'll see that he was still more efficient from 3 than midrange.

    14/15 48.35 from midrange - 32.7% from behind the arc which is equivalent to 49.05% on 2s.

    16/17 32.4 from midrange - 35.9% from behind the arc which is equivalent to 53.85% on 2s.

    18/19 44.8% from midrange - 33.5% from behind the arc which is equivalent to 50.25% on 2s.
     
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  13. aelliott

    aelliott Contributing Member

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    I guess the question is why are we discussing/questioning shot selection for a guy that is the most efficient 30+ points/game scorer in the history of the league?
     
  14. steddinotayto

    steddinotayto Contributing Member

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    Data according to NBAsavant.com (they only have data up until the 2017-2018 season)

    https://nbasavant.com/player.php?ddlYear=2017&ddlShotMade=&ddlTeamDefense=&player_id=201935

    2010-2011: Midrange FG% 43.2 (48/111) League average that year: 40% ABOVE AVERAGE
    2011-2012: 36% (32/89); 38.7% BELOW AVERAGE
    2012-2013: 32.5% (74/228); 39.2% BELOW AVERAGE

    2013-2014: 40.8% (106/260); 39.5% ABOVE AVERAGE
    2014-2015: 36.9% (128/347); 39.4% BELOW AVERAGE
    2015-2016: 41% (135/329); 39.8% ABOVE AVERAGE
    2016-2017: 42.8% (59/138); 40.1% ABOVE AVERAGE

    2017-2018: 35.3% (47/133); 40.5% BELOW AVERAGE

    If you want to go by Basketball Reference's stats for FG% between 16 feet to the 3 point line:

    2020-2021: Harden FG%: 57.1%; League average 40.9% ABOVE AVERAGE
    2019-2020: 50%; 40.4% ABOVE AVERAGE

    2018-2019: 34.3%; 40.1% BELOW AVERAGE
    2017-2018: 36.8%; 40% BELOW AVERAGE

    2016-2017: 42.7%; 40.3% ABOVE AVERAGE
    2015-2016: 40.2%; 39.8% ABOVE AVERAGE

    2014-2015: 33.7%; 39.4% BELOW AVERAGE
    2013-2014: 41.1%; 39.5% ABOVE AVERAGE
    2012-2013: 33.3%; 39.3% BELOW AVERAGE
    2011-2012: 41.3%; 38.8% ABOVE AVERAGE
    2010-2011: 40.2%; 40.3% BELOW AVERAGE
    2009-2010: 38.1%; 40.2% BELOW AVERAGE



    So let's stop with the theory that Harden "has always been below average at midrange". I'll even concede/admit that my statement of him being average to above average is incorrect. Again, I'm not saying nor did I ever say in this recent conversation that Harden should be hoisting more mid range shots at the expense of 3 point attempts. I also never claimed that the midrange (or specifically Harden's mid range) was a more efficient shot. But if you have better data that shows Harden "has always been below average at midrange" I'm all ears.
     
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  15. aelliott

    aelliott Contributing Member

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    As mentioned, the NBA doesn't provide midrange percentage in clutch time. However, if you look at the 3 years that you mentioned you can get his 3pt% in clutch time.

    13-14 - He shot 47.4% on 3 pt shots in clutch time. That's equivalent to 71% on a 2pt shot so it's safe to say that he was way better from 3 in clutch time that year (he shot 47% from midrange in the 4th quarter).

    14-15 - He shot 50% on 3pt shots in clutch time. That's equivalent to 75% on a 2pt shot. Again, he was much better from 3 in clutch time (he shot 48.3% from midrange in the 4th quarter).

    15-16 - He shot 31% on 3pt shots in clutch time. That's equivalent to 46% on a 2pt shot. That year he only shot 32.4% from midrange in the 4th quarter so it's also likely that he was much better from 3.

    Two of those years he was super efficient from behind the arc in clutch time. Even the season where he didn't shoot the 3 well in clutch time, he was still likely way more efficient than he was from midrange that season.
     
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  16. HP3

    HP3 Member

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    For the record, Im of the opinion that Harden should attempt more mid range in the clutch because there are inflection points that kind of hard cap you in the playoffs. But throughout the game, he shouldn't be taking those much at all.

    Would the floater be considered a mid range shot?
     
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  17. AroundTheWorld

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    Never argue with aelliott about statistics :cool:
     
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  18. Reeko

    Reeko Member
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    I moreso want to compare 13-14, 14-15, 15-16 midrange in the clutch or I guess entire 4th quarter if clutch isn’t available to MDA seasons where midrange was basically abolished for the stepback three since the MDA years are the seasons people say Harden should’ve used more midrange.
     
  19. aelliott

    aelliott Contributing Member

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    You are not using accurate stats. Go to stats.nba.com for accurate stats.

    The midrange stats can be difficult to find as they are buried under the shooting stats.

    Here's how to get to them:

    From the menu at the top go to "Players" or "Teams" and select the "Shooting" menu option. From that page you'll see an option in the header bar that says "Distance Range" - Change that value to "By Zone". Once you do that the stats displayed below will now include midrange FGA, FGM and FG%. They provide accurate midrange stats all the way back to the 96-97 season.

    Again I'll ask - Why does it matter how Harden compares to other players in midrange when practically everyone is inefficient at those shots? He could be way above league average and it's still a really bad shot.
     
  20. Easy

    Easy Very Calm
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    Again, I am in no way arguing that midrange is a good shot. No need to convince me 3pt shot is much more efficient. I have always known that as a fact. Thus I am not advocating that Harden should take A LOT of midrange. If you think this is what I am doing, then, sorry, you are barking up the wrong tree.

    All I am saying is from commonsense logic. Two weapons is always better than one weapon, even if the second weapon is not very powerful. If you have a machine gun and a knife, you know the machine gun is a much more efficient way to kill your enemy. Why do you still keep the knife? Because if your enemy knows you have a knife, they will think twice at using close combat tactic to render your machine gun ineffective.

    My speculation from this logic is that utilizing more (not a lot) of the midrange might make the rest of the offense more effective, not just for Harden but for the whole team. I have no proof because this is a counterfactual argument. But I think it is sound logic. Just because Harden is the most efficient volume scorer does not mean he cannot be even more effective. His TS% over the years show that dropping the midrange all together did not make him a more efficient shooter. I think it is a logical fallacy that if he is great at something, he should never do anything else. This same logic is used for arguing that Harden should NEVER play off ball because he is so great at ball dominance.
     
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