If you're interested in reading an excellent analysis of the 3-pointer in the modern NBA, I highly recommend Ben Morris's article on Stephen Curry, whose historic shooting ability is so absurd, one could argue he is underutilized despite his high field goal attempt numbers.
One can take bad shots - and part of Steph's magic is knowing what is a good shot for him.
And for him, an incredible shooter, this means plenty of shots from anywhere on the court.
I feel like he may be "underutilized" on a 73-win Warriors squad that includes Klay Thompson, etc.
But if you asked him to put up 40 shots a game playing on a team with one of the NBA's worst offenses - it would be a whole different story.
At the smallest level of performance it is nice to see that you can fail more often than you succeed and still be very successful over all.
"Deron Williams went like 0-9. I was like, 'Can you believe Deron Williams went 0-9?' Kobe was like, 'I would go 0-30 before I would go 0-9. 0-9 means you beat yourself, you psyched yourself out of the game, because Deron Williams can get more shots in the game. The only reason is because you've just now lost confidence in yourself.'"
Which is also true for the worst players in NBA history, with the exception of the causality and the success.
(IIRC He didn't mention the obvious, that he was the best player on the team.) He said it was because he practiced the most, which was plausible, and because he could miss the shot. He said for if some players miss that shot, it crushes them; they don't recover. He could take it, miss it, and take it again the next day without it affecting his focus.
He made a few of those shots and led his team to two NBA titles. The first one was the year after he threw away a pass and the game in the playoffs, an unforced error that cost his team their first trip to the NBA Championship:
My biggest complaint with Kobe is that he scored a lot of points because he took a lot of shots. Last night for example, he took ~60% of shots from the field for his team which accounted for ~55% (ignoring FTs). In other words, the expected return on his shot was lower than the rest of his team. Now, FTs change that story a bit, but even in the best case scenario he breaks even with his team.
Kobe was a great leader on the court, which is what allowed him to get away with shooting more shots than the rest of his team combined on a regular basis. He also had this "The Lakers are built around Kobe" team structure that made that the expectation.
Look at his career and I think it's a different story.
Isn't that the point of basketball?
EDIT: There's roughly a finite number of shots a team can take in a game. If one player takes most of the shots, then sure they will score a lot of points. But are they maximizing team points? If other members of the team have a higher shooting percentage then taking less shots and passing the ball around will be advantageous.
Regular Season: 878-468 (.652)
Post Season: 137-89 (.606)
There is a strong correlation between Kobe Bryant's scoring, and winning Laker's seasons.
However, it is important to view his accomplishments in that light. He scored 40+ points in games because the team basically said "Let's have Kobe score 40+ points today". Because of that, his absolute point totals aren't great markers for individual talent.
we can't really hold kobe's last game against him imo - he's definitely been a ballhog but if it's his last game he should have the opportunity to shoot until his arms fall off
The biggest knock people seem to have against Kobe is that unlike Jordan, he didn't elevate the game of his teammates.
A quick search shows that an NHL team will generally get around 30 shots per game. If your goal save percentage is about 45%, then you're not going to have a career much longer when the rest of the league hovers around 94%.
probably a charge, but DAMN that was an epic play.
The explanation is probably psychological, you don't want to take shots that are as about as difficult as 3 point shots, but worth only two. But the situation isn't really any better if you take a single step forwards.
Of course, the positioning of the defensive players matters, they're usually just inside the 3 point line.
1. Remember the NBA has legal zone defense.
2. Additionally, help defense is a lot easier in today's NBA. Forced isolations would be very difficult and even if you do it, there is less ground b/w help defense and the attacker.
3. You have many more quick and/or lengthy 3&D type wings in the NBA today. Help and close-outs are easier.
4. Long shots mean long rebounds. Putting wings one step in means the offensive team would lose out on one of the main disadvantages of zones - inability to secure defensive rebounds.
5. That one player will also be a liability on transition D. He will always be one step behind in case the opposing team forces a TO and runs.
That's just scratching the surface, but there is a reason it's called no-man's land for shooters.
He's (presumably) trying to maximize points per possession. His shooting percentage is a decreasing function with respect to distance from the basket. And there's a jump in the "shot made reward function" at the 3 point line.
Not following your logic...
A step backwards moves your balance and you have momentum backwards so getting an immediate upright jump shot without losing power/accuracy is more difficult.
Two different things at play here. At least this is my experience as a former competitive basketball player...
I'd guess the few shots that are in that band came off of screens where you only have a brief moment to get a shot off.
As you go in a bit, I suspect it's much less likely that he would have started open outside the arc. If a three isn't an option he would take the easiest shot available wherever it was, and "easiest" usually means "closer (if open)".
And finally, if he's just inside the arc and wide open, he's going to have time to move a step back to try the three.
So I think there are few situations where it would make sense to take the shot just inside the arc.
Really, all the positioning is dictated by the offense.
Defense ends up just inside the 3-point line because the offensive player sets up just outside the 3-point line, not the other way around.
Kobe (and pretty much all basketball players) are continuously planning how they will get open and where they will shoot from.
Part of that plan is the knowledge that an almost-but-not-quite-3-pointer is a really dumb shot.
So they'll usually catch the ball at the 3-point line and either shoot or dribble substantially closer to the basket.
It made me realize why some players are willing to take a shot with one foot behind the line: because they're open!
Consider that Kobe logged a career average of 4.7 assists per game.
Compared to other elite shooting guards/small forwards:
* Michael Jordan - 5.3
* Lebron James - 6.9
* Kevin Durant - 3.7
* Carmelo Anthony - 3.2
* Dwayne Wade - 5.8
That said, basketball is more mobile now than it every was and passing plays such as the pick and roll are an essential part of any team's arsenal. A good player will assist his teammates as well as shoot. On the other hand, it's really not fair to pick out these players as good or bad since their circumstances have all varied. LeBron James played on teams with Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Ron Artest, Kevin Love and other excellent players. Kobe Bryant played with Shaquille O'Neil; Michael Jordan with Scott Pippen and so on. It's easy to pass when the players around you are also capable of scoring. I honestly can't think of a great shooter who's played with Carmelo Anthony. That could be because he's a ball hog and they never get to shoot and are thus forgotten, it could also be that he's the only good shooter and a centerpiece of their team.
I don't understand that sentence. Jordan was a 2 who moved to the 3 later in his career.
In the past 5-10 years, however, the game has come to rely on a mobile, smaller player. Draymond Green and Kawhi Leonard are good examples. The screen play, one of the most popular plays in modern basketball, requires both players be able to shoot, since who shoots is dependent on which player the defender pivots to. In addition, these players become important defensively important because of their ability to quickly react to fast movement of the ball. It's not coincidence that both of the players I listed are considered top defenders, despite playing forward. Kawahi Leonard has won defensive player of the year twice, and that award is dominated by centers and, to a lesser extent, guards.
For context in terms of contemporary players known for assists:
Chris Paul: 9.95
John Wall: 8.95
Rajon Rondo: 8.70 (surprised that he's not higher!)
Steve Nash: 8.49
Russel Westbrook: 7.59
eta: Should note that these guys are point guards.
Kobe averaged 6.0 assists per game the year after Shaq left, the highest season average of his career.
What I mean by that is he copied his style, his shot, his drive to perform, but you're spot on in pointing out it really was all about him. Jordan took pay cuts to get better guys around him, he relentlessly made guys play up to his standards.
Kobe took huge contracts, drove out other players who made the team better and refused to let others share his spotlight. What I remember most is in several games after Shaq left, watching come down the court and repeatedly looking guys off who were wide open, then either take a wild three point shot, or drive the lane and lose the ball.
Here is a video comparison of Jordan plays vs. Kobe plays: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v27Hk5OIe-k
FYI - The NBA has had a salary cap since 1985.
var courtBounds = [[33.1593, -118.0198], [34.2353, -118.5198]];
I sure hope they have permissions set up on that database..
I'm sure someone is already setting up a Tumblr blog to document their attempt :)
Where Curry's game is extremely efficient, with most points coming from behind the line or near the basket, Kobe was shooting all over the place. Kobe's game was also much more reliant on getting to the foul line.
They were/are both prolific scorers but do it in completely ways.
It's a nice contrast with Steph, who is objectively already the best shot-maker ever at the NBA level. The group that shares his size and athleticism is relatively large, but his shot-making sets him apart.
At one time, Kobe's career arc looked like it might topple MJ's. I think he cloned his game after MJ to a fault. He copied many of his moves and his intensity, but he also copied his shot selection. It turns out he wasn't quite as good at making shots as MJ, so this is what you end up with. If he had been a more willing passer and a better teammate, he might have been the GOAT.
Jordan and Kobe are both 1.98, you can compare them better.
Typically, in the NBA, the best scorers fit closer to the Kobe mold than Curry mold, Jordan and Lebron, for example. It will be interesting to see what influence Curry has on future generations and if others will follow his path like Kobe and Lebron followed Jordan's.
From what I hear, kids are now shooting long shots like Curry when they goof around, where my generation (I'm 34) used to like playing on lowered rims so we could dunk.
There were also players who shot the ball extremely well before the three-point line took effect. Steph is averaging around 30 points per game with 5 three's a game. Without the additional point, it drops him to 25 points per game. Still good but probably not an MVP shoe-in anymore.
Lebron and Westbrook's effectiveness of offense are largely based on getting to the rim. In fact, San Antonio has faced Lebron in three NBA finals and each time they deployed a strategy designed to tease Lebron into taking jumpers rather than drive or play inside. Doing that against Curry would be a death wish.
1.91m = ~6 ft 3in
86kg = 189.6lbs
1.98m = ~6 ft 6in
edit: oops, 6ft 6in, not 6ft 8in
At least in America, "Kobe Bryant is a famous basketball player" is one of those facts that everyone (for relatively large values of everyone) knows.
I'd say he's semi-famous in the UK.
(I believe they also have people in India doing this nowdays)
> It began use in the NBA at the start of the 2013–14 season, and it is now in use in all 30 arenas, following trials during the previous season in 15 arenas.[
Which I guess means before that they had some guy who just recorded shots on a board. Would be interesting to see how it was collected prior to this technology
However, the number of attempted 3 point shots (or 3 pointers missed) seems to rise significantly in the latter half of his career. I wonder if there's something to be said about an increase of confidence (deserved or not) behind the 3-point line, and whether that extra point outweighs the increased likelihood of missing as an overall statistic (obviously it could make the difference between winning and losing in a single game). Or perhaps it's indicative of a trend for the NBA overall with more 3 point attempts in recent years. Or I could be seeing something in the data that isn't there.
Also, driving to the basket, probably his leading alternative, takes speed, strength, and the ability to take a beating. Probably all those abilities declined as he aged.
> [the] extra point outweighs the increased likelihood of missing as an overall statistic
is a relatively-recent discovery for people in the NBA: the expected point value of a three-point shot is much higher than the expected point value of a very very long two-point shot.
I'd also say that as he got older, his athletic ability declined (injuries and age), so in order to continue getting points, he needed to attempt more shots.
A sports database guy I know found the shot and it's certainly not a fourteen foot jump: https://twitter.com/seanlahman/status/720668150258393088
For example instead of hit/misses it would be neat to see the colors be based on average time left in the game (gradient from one color to another).
Or perhaps a color for "nothing-but-net-swoosh" (I doubt they have those metrics but maybe they do?).
Kobe Bryant shooting from behind the backboard in 2009: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnARpfzVIis
I suspect they picked the point where he jumped from, rather than too, therefore you can run parallel to the backboard, jump under it (from behind, and land in front) and lay it up so it goes in.
I cannot recognize colors of shots behind 3 point line. Looks like all are 'missed' for my eyes.
Relatedly, shots that are marked as being taken from slightly to the side are more likely to be contested, often by a much bigger defender.
When you are shooting from the side and miss, the ball will be much more likely to bounce off the backboard to the side.
I'm a bit amazed that this kind of data is captured and wonder how accurate it is.
I wonder what the proprietary software is. Anyone know? Based on opencv perhaps? Amazing!
But yes, there is some opencv in this project(and probably in almost every other commercial machine vision project out there), but the smart parts are hand tailored, opencv have useful general purpose algorithms, but to get the best results you need to dig deeper.
Source: I've worked on the system in the past.
Note: [...] This chart does not include free throws.