Today on Twitter I made the following assertion:
Take any random NBA player. Give them the green flag to shoot 20-30 shots a game. Not one turns it down and most will get 20+ PPG.
Being a wise person, @jon_e_nichols actually asked for proof on the subject. Of course, it’s unlikely that I’ll get most NBA teams to just start handing out 20-30 shots to every random player. But let’s have a fun thought experiment. Using 500 minutes as a cutoff, I went searching for some bad players. Last season the player with the worst TS% was Shawne Williams with 37.2%. If we then looked for the player with the worst free throws vs. field goal attempts we get Mike Miller with 2%. Putting the two together we have a fun formula:
[True Shooting Percentage] = [Points] / (2 * ([FGA] + 0.44 * [FTA]))
or, with concrete numbers
0.372 = 20 / (2 * (X + 0.44 * 0.02 X))
Fun right? That’s actually the break down for True Shooting percentage. I’m solving for X. If a player had the worst shooting in the league (0.372 on the left) and got to the line the lowest in the league (the 0.02 on the right) then how many shots (X) would that player need to get to score 20 points? The answer? 26.6!
So there you have it. If a player can take 26.6 shots at the worst shooting rate in the league without ever getting to the line…they can still break 20 points per game! This is a formula another player figured out…