Behind the NBA Three Point Contest: Increasingly on the mark

As I alluded to the other day, the NBA is getting better at selecting participants for the 3PT shootout. I’ve taken a look at the three point shooting of all the competitors since 1999-2000. I looked at both pre-All-Star shooting within the season the participant was selected, as well as the career three-point shooting (including that season’s pre-All-Star numbers) of the participants prior to participating in the contest. First up: three-point shooting percentages.

history_3PT

The in-season 3PT% has not really changed over the last 14 years, but the career 3PT% has improved. The increase can’t be fully explained by improved 3PT% across the entire league either. It looks like the players invited to participate have hit a greater percentage of threes in their careers.

In-season three-point win score (determined by the forumla 3PM * 3 – 3PA) and career three-point win score are also on the rise (excluding last year’s lockout shortened season, of course). Here’s the data:

Year Av. Season 3P% Av. Season 3PTWS Av. Career 3P% Av. Career 3PTWS
2000 41.0% 35.8 36.4% 170.3
2001 41.3% 40.6 38.7% 155.6
2002 43.4% 64.9 39.0% 233.6
2003 41.5% 45.8 39.0% 304.2
2004 40.8% 55.8 38.7% 223.0
2005 38.8% 50.2 37.9% 235.7
2006 39.0% 46.3 37.5% 334.5
2007 42.9% 62.0 39.7% 319.0
2008 44.9% 65.8 41.2% 374.2
2009 41.8% 68.2 39.0% 269.7
2010 41.0% 55.3 39.4% 239.7
2011 40.8% 53.8 38.8% 400.0
2012 41.5% 22.5 38.6% 156.7
2013 42.6% 65.3 41.1% 254.0

I can also report some interesting findings:

  • The player with the worst in-season 3PT% was Dirk Nowitzki in 2008 (29.1%). Nowitzki also had the worst in-season mark as measured by 3PTWS (-18).
  • The winner with the worst in-season 3PT% was Kevin Love in 2012 (34.8%). Love also had the worst in-season 3PTWS of any winner (+6)
  • The player with the best in-season 3PT% was Jason Kapono in 2007 (56.0%). He is also the winner with the highest 3PT%.
  • The player with the lowest career 3PT% at the time of participation was Mike Bibby in 2000 (30.7%).
  • The winner with the lowest career 3PT% was Daequan Cook in 2009 (33.2%). He is also the winner with the lowest career 3PTWS (-1).
  • The player with the highest career 3PT% at the time of participation was Jason Kapono in 2007 (46.9%). Kapono also has the next two best marks as well.
  • The player with the highest in-season 3PTWS was Peja Stojakovic in 2008 (+126). But Stojakovic lost to Jason Kapono that year.
  • The player with the lowest career 3PTWS was Allen Iverson in 2000 (-32).
  • The player with the highest career 3PTWS was Ray Allen in 2011 (+1254). This isn’t entirely surprising, as Allen holds the record for the most three-pointers made in a career and has shot over 40% on three-pointers.
  • The year with the largest “star power” — that is the year with the highest average career 3PTWS — was 2011. This number was largely skewed by Ray Allen (+1254), but Paul Pierce (+455), Daniel Gibson (+287) and James Jones (+259) were not exactly slouches either.
  • 2008 had the next biggest star power, with Steve Nash (+797), Peja Stojakovic (+715), Dirk Nowitzki (+336), Jason Kapono (+241), Daniel Gibson (+122), and Richard Hamilton (+34) all participating.
  • The year with the worst career 3PTWS was 2001, when Ray Allen (+271), Bryon Russell (+149), Steve Nash (+142), Pat Garrity (+92), Peja Stojakovic (+64), Rashard Lewis (+37), and Dirk Nowitzki (+37) participated.
  • The year with the 2nd worst career 3PTWS was 2012, when James Jones (+295), Anthony Morrow (+292), Ryan Anderson (+136), Kevin Durant (+102), Mario Chalmers (+70), and Kevin Love (+45) participated.

Hope you enjoyed it! Maybe one day I’ll go through the entire history of the competition.

- Devin

Comments are closed.