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[SI] Is Ariza the worst shooter of last 30 years?

Discussion in 'NBA Dish' started by HMMMHMM, Mar 10, 2011.


    HMMMHMM Contributing Member

    Oct 8, 2010
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    [rquoter]The most exclusive group for a shooter is the famed 50-40-90 club, reserved for those who hit 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from three-point range and 90 percent from the foul line. The full list of guys who have done that: Steve Nash (four times), Larry Bird (twice) and once apiece for Jose Calderon, Mark Price, Dirk Nowitzki, Reggie Miller and Steve Kerr.

    While scanning box scores, I noticed that Trevor Ariza went 0-of-10 in the Hornets’ thrilling win over the Mavs on Wednesday, an important victory in New Orleans’ push to clinch a playoff berth. I knew Ariza had been having a horrible shooting season, but I hadn’t checked his numbers in a couple of weeks, and his 0-of-10 line prompted me to do so now.

    The carnage: 38.8 percent from the field; 29.6 percent from deep; 70.7 percent from the foul line. I joked on Twitter that if Ariza got hot, perhaps he could join the 40-30-70 club this season. Just for fun, I decided to look at how many players had actually shot this poorly over the course of a full season, with a floor for minutes played and three-point attempts in order to knock out guys who put up bizarre numbers in limited minutes.

    And guess what? Ariza is having one of the worst shooting seasons in the three-point era (which started in 1979-80). Granted, he doesn’t shoot as often, particularly from long range, as a few of the other guys whose names pop up here, so he’s not doing as much damage to his team’s offense by gunning. And Ariza is, most of the time, a fantastic defensive player who defends his guy well, helps in smart ways and grabs steals.

    But in any case, here is the complete list of guys (minimum 2,500 minutes and 250 three-point attempts) who have pulled off the sub-40 percent/sub-30 percent double (via Basketball-Reference’s indispensable database):

    • Vernon Maxwell, with Houston in 1993-94: 38.9 percent from the floor; 29.8 percent from three.

    • Jason Kidd, with Dallas in 1994-95: 38.5; 27.2.

    • Mookie Blaylock, with Atlanta in 1997-98: 39.2; 26.9.

    • Jason Williams, with Sacramento in 1999-2000: 37.3; 28.7.

    • Jerry Stackhouse, with Detroit in 2001-02: 39.7; 28.7.

    • Allen Iverson, with Philadelphia in 2001-02: 39.8; 29.1.

    That’s right: Not a single Antoine Walker appearance!

    Iverson obviously took the most shots of all these guys, but for my money, Jason Williams might be the most irresponsible chucker here. For him to jack 505 (!) three-pointers on a team that featured Chris Webber, Vlade Divac and a 22-year-old Peja Stojakovic (about 24 minutes per game in 74 games that season) … yikes. Someone needed to shoot for both Iverson’s Philly team and Stackhouse’s Pistons club; Maxwell at least improved a bit in the playoffs from three-point range in that championship season for Houston; Kidd was a rookie on a bad (but improving) team; and I just can’t stay mad at Mookie Blaylock.

    Ah, but we haven’t yet factored in free-throw shooting, another area where Ariza (66.5 percent for his career) doesn’t exactly stand out.

    The full list of guys who have pulled the sub-40/sub-30/sub-70 trifecta in a minimum of 2,500 minutes (but no floor for three-point attempts):

    • Jason Kidd, 1994-95: 38.5/27.2/69.8

    That’s it. That’s the whole list. That’s the club Ariza is a handful of missed free throws away from joining.

    In related news, Ariza will make more than $21 million combined for the three seasons after this one for a team that traded away Darren Collison to get him and is currently owned by the NBA. As things stand now, it looks like Rockets general manager Daryl Morey did very well to get out from under the five-year deal he gave Ariza so quickly, even if he only got Courtney Lee in return in the four-team deal.

    It’s easy to forget now, but Ariza’s shooting was one reason he got that contract in the first place. He shot 50 percent from the floor and nearly 48 percent from three-point range during the 2008-09 playoffs for the Lakers, and he looked ready to assume a role as a sort of super-duper Bruce Bowen. Morey is a ridiculously smart guy, so he surely knew Ariza, a career 31.5 percent shooter from deep, wasn’t going to morph into a reliable 40 percent three-point shooter in the long term. But with Ariza just entering his mid-20s, it seemed reasonable to expect him to settle in as a decent shooter — maybe 45 percent overall, 35 percent from deep — and an elite, ball-hawking defender.

    That obviously hasn’t happened, and as wonderful as Ariza is defensively, he’s only hurting his team by attempting 10 shots a game and making only three or four of them — especially since he’s just so-so at rebounding, passing and taking care of the ball, and he’s getting to the line fewer times per minute than at any point in his career.

    Maybe I’ve still got the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference on my mind, but all of this makes me appreciate how hard it remains even for the brightest guys to predict how well a player will perform in a new team context. Ariza looked good playing in the triangle offense alongside two of the world’s best players and some other wonderful pieces. Morey and then Dell Demps, the Hornets’ GM, surely used whatever tools they had (and Morey’s got a lot of mathematical tools) to try to predict how Ariza would perform with their teams.

    In Morey’s defense, those calculations may have at least factored in Yao Ming. Still: These guys wouldn’t have made such large commitments to Ariza if they thought he would shoot like this. This is a two-year shooting slump of historical proportions.[/rquoter]

    Are there still people out there that prefer Ariza to Lee? :rolleyes:
  2. Joshfast

    Joshfast "We're all gonna die" - Billy Sole
    Supporting Member

    Dec 9, 2001
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    Vernon was a hoss that season! One of the most entertaining players to watch ever as a Rockets fan.
    1 person likes this.
  3. rockets934life

    rockets934life Contributing Member

    Nov 11, 2007
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    Interesting to see our old friend Mad Max on the list.

    On Ariza, look the guy was never a good shooter. He got hot and it helped him get a nice deal but Morey wasn't fooled by one post-season into thinking he was going to be a star. He gambled that his size, length and athleticism would elevate him to the next level, it hasn't and the gamble failed somewhat. Morey did a nice job of moving Ariza for a starting caliber SG in CLee, who we have the luxury of playing off the bench.

    I still say New Orleans is at least content with Ariza, he has provided good to great defense which when Rocky Balboa or Willie Green are hitting their shots, is incredibly valuable. Problem that has developed is that, when they aren't hitting their shots, Ariza's warts are exposed as an offensive player. The guy is getting you almost 6 boards and 2 steals a game, which is excellent for a SF. Haven't seen enough of his game this season to know if he has stopped trying to be Kobe but with Paul in command, I doubt Chris would let Ariza get carried away like he did so often last year.
  4. apollo33

    apollo33 Member

    Feb 27, 2009
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    Ariza's pull ups is still haunting me in my sleep.
  5. macho GRANDE

    macho GRANDE Elvis, was a hero to most but................

    Jul 4, 2002
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    Repped for truth.
  6. A_3PO

    A_3PO Member

    Apr 29, 2006
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    Ariza had a nice hot streak during the championship run. I said from the beginning after the Rockets signed him that he was not a good shooter and the Ariza that appeared in that playoff run wouldn't show up again. The silliness of him taking pull-up jumpers and turnarounds in the pre-season made me laugh. I stopped laughing when the pull-ups continued in the regular season.

    I've never liked Ariza as an NBA player though I supported him while his jersey was Rockets red.
  7. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

    Sep 19, 1999
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    Vernon Maxwell, with Houston in 1993-94: 38.9 percent from the floor; 29.8 percent from three.

    stats can kiss my white butt. MadMax was Clutch City.
  8. tellitlikeitis

    tellitlikeitis Canceled
    Supporting Member

    May 7, 2009
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    Here's DeShawn Stevenson's shooting line in 08-09:

    FGs: 2.3-7.2 .312

    3-pointers: 1.1-4.0 .271

    Free throws: 1.0-1.9 .533

    He played 32 games, averaged a little under 28 minutes, and scored 6.6 per game. IIRC, he was out for a huge swath of the season because of back issues.
  9. goodbug

    goodbug Contributing Member

    Nov 23, 2002
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    Kobe makes teammates better. He doesn't just give them open. He literally teaches young players how to shoot, and works hard with them. Ariza benefited from that and now has a much better form than before joining Lakers. Now he has a good contract and he probably doesn't work hard any more.
  10. The_Yoyo

    The_Yoyo Contributing Member

    Dec 25, 2001
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    <iframe title="YouTube video player" width="480" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/ASxTyFlLYso" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    this is all the 29.8 I need to know from Maxwell that year.
  11. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

    Sep 19, 1999
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    except then you'd miss how he took over game 3 on the road in Phoenix and scored 30+ points in the second half.
  12. Ras137

    Ras137 Contributing Member

    Feb 18, 2009
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    Shocked, just shocked. I mean when I saw the title, my first though was "No he isn't its Antoine Walker!"

    I also think MaxMax is going to have to choke a b*tch, or at least run into some stands somewhere and punch a fan.:p
  13. francis 4 prez

    francis 4 prez Contributing Member

    Aug 15, 2001
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    i went to B-R and lowered the floor on minutes to 1000 (and 3PA to 50) just to get some more role players in there, and that article did a disservice to antoine walker. he managed to play 1800 minutes in '06-'07 for the heat and dropped a .397/.275/.438 on the world. yeah, 43.8% on ft's. i remember hollinger adding all 3 fg/3p/ft numbers up to see who the best shooter ever was once in an article, and if you do that here no one with over 1500 MP can touch ol' toine's 1.110 total. no one is under 1.200.

    for 1000 MP, eddie griffin comes close with a 1.141 with minny in '05-'06. in fact, on the 1000 minute list, 4 of the 20 people who qualify - eddie griffin, walt williams, terrence morris, and kenny thomas - all played on the 2001-2002 rockets. they didn't all have their terrible seasons on that '01-'02 team, but for a stat that covers 30 years and only includes 20 people, for us to get 4 of them together on one team is pretty incredible. and shandon anderson is also on the list and only missed out on making it 5 guys on the same team by one year (because we somehow got the knicks to take his contract off our hands).

    at 800 minutes, pavlovic actually put up a 1.055 season in '09-'10 for minnesota.
  14. br0ken_shad0w

    br0ken_shad0w Member

    Jun 11, 2006
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    I never wanted Ariza in the first place (same way with Artest).

    I was expecting Rafer Alston's name to pop in on that list, but I see he hasn't hit sub .300 from the 3p line. Good for him.
  15. infinitidoug

    infinitidoug Member

    Oct 16, 2010
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    Allen Iverson?!?! Woah :eek:
  16. DieHard Rocket

    DieHard Rocket Contributing Member

    Sep 9, 2000
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    Rafer was at least streaky, so he would have a hot game from behind the arc here and there. When he was off though, watch out.

    Ariza just plain stinks all the time.
  17. ArtisGilmore

    ArtisGilmore Member

    Jun 15, 2009
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    Please tell me this is sarcasm.
  18. T-Slack

    T-Slack Member

    Jul 1, 2009
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    Truth be told I respected him more then I do Martin. At least Aziza helped his team win when it mattered most when he was with the Lakers and some when he was with us.
  19. OkayAyeReloaded

    Jul 7, 2010
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    Nice article.

    Meanwhile in other news, Courtney Lee is shooting .46% FG, .435% 3pt FG, and .756 FT% with good defensive talent.

    Yeah, we just got Courtney Lee :p
  20. emjohn

    emjohn Contributing Member

    Jul 29, 2002
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    Let's rewash these numbers for fun, using my favorite metric, points per shot

    Steve Nash career 1.35, club seasons*, 1.40

    Larry Bird career 1.26, club seasons 1.37

    Jose Calderon career 1.26, club season 1.30

    Mark Price career 1.32, club season 1.41

    Dirk Nowitzki career 1.36, club season 1.43

    Reggie Miller career 1.44, club season 1.51

    Steve Kerr career 1.28, club season 1.43


    Trevor Ariza career 1.17, current season 1.08

    Vernon Maxwell, with Houston in 1993-94: 1.05, career 1.10

    Jason Kidd, with Dallas in 1994-95: 1.08, career 1.13

    Mookie Blaylock, with Atlanta in 1997-98: 0.98, career 1.04

    Jason Williams, with Sacramento in 1999-2000: 1.03, career 1.07

    Jerry Stackhouse, with Detroit in 2001-02: 1.24, career 1.25

    Allen Iverson, with Philadelphia in 2001-02: 1.13, career 1.22

    Antoine Walker: career 1.06, one year Mav stint 1.02

    and adding in:

    Kevin Martin career 1.49, current season 1.50

    Tracy McGrady career 1.19, current season 1.14

    Hakeem Olajuwon career 1.28, championship years 1.31

    Kevin Durant: career 1.36, current 1.40

    Kobe Bryant: career 1.31, MVP season 1.37

    LeBron James: career 1.34, current 1.41


    The take home:
    Ariza is awfully crummy....but who know Mookie was that wretchedly inefficient? Also, Kevin Martin's scoring efficiency is absurd and grossly underappreciated around here. Hey, it's not like Reggie Miller was known for creating for himself, others, or for playing D.....

    The reference scale:

    1.50+ No one else should be getting the ball

    1.35+ Great scoring option

    1.25 Average

    1.15- Volume Shooter

    1.05- Yikes

    * Actually did this 5 straight seasons. Author decided to round 0.899 down to knock off one year, I think it counts.

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