Which players can fill it up the best no matter where they are on the floor?
Evaluating the skill sets of all of the NBA’s best players have been all the rage of late due to the recent All-Star Game festivities. In particular, shooting is one of the most desired traits when teams are building their rosters. With the 2019–2020 season now more than half finished, who have been the best all-around marksmen in the league?
To get to the bottom of the question at hand, we will be utilizing the statistic True Shooting Percentage. According to Basketball Reference, “the formula is PTS / (2 * TSA). True shooting percentage is a measure of shooting efficiency that takes into account field goals, 3-point field goals, and free throws.” There are plenty of other stats and formulas that offer value, but this is being used as one that takes into account all aspects of shooting- all field goals, three-point shooting and free throws.
Only players who take at least two three-point attempts and play at least 15 minutes per game will be considered. This is to ensure candidates have a diversity of attempts from all over the field. Otherwise, a player like New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson would top the leader board, as he currently leads the NBA in True Shooting Percentage at 71.9% The problem is that he hasn’t attempted a single three-pointer all season and the average distance of his field goal attempts is a whopping 1.4 feet from the basket.
Without further ado, here are the NBA’s best all-around shooters this season — the results may surprise you:
5. Karl-Anthony Towns, Center- Minnesota Timberwolves (TS% 64.2): He is so good in just about every facet of the game that it feels like he doesn’t always get his due for exactly how talented he is. With per-game averages of 26.5 points, 10.8 rebounds and 4.4 assists, he impacts the game with his box score stuffing tendencies. His shooting is especially undervalued, as his field goal%/three-point%/free throw% splits of 50.8/41.2/79.6 are just outside Larry Bird and Dirk Nowitzki territory for big men. He may be 6’11” and can bang down low with the best, but he is also taking just a shade under eight three pointers a game.
4. John Collins, Forward- Atlanta Hawks (TS% 64.3): One of the most underrated young players in the game, the 22-year-old blends a power inside game with surprisingly effective perimeter shooting to be one of the best shooters in the league. Averaging 20.6 points and 10.2 rebounds per game, he is doing so on the strength of the following field goal%/three-point%/free throw% splits- 57.2/35.5/81.4. He is definitely not just a dunker, as he takes nearly four threes a game. His True Shooting Percentage has gone up in each of his first three years in the NBA, so there’s no reason to believe he can’t get even better.
3. J.J. Redick, Guard- New Orleans Pelicans (TS% 64.5): It should come as no surprise that the 14-year NBA veteran is on this list. After all, he is one of the greatest shooters in history. His field goal%/three-point%/free throw% splits this season are 45.4/45.8/90.0 and he is on pace for the best True Shooting Percentage of his career, which is saying something. He does most of his damage from deep, as he takes nearly seven three-point attempts per game, and over 60% of all his field goals come from behind the line. Most impressively, his average field goal attempt is currently standing at a career-long 21 feet from the basket.
2. Christian Wood, Forward- Detroit Pistons (TS% 66.0): The lanky UNLV product bounced around the league for several years before finding a niche as a key reserve for the woeful Pistons this season. Playing 19.1 minutes per game, he boasts field goal%/three-point%/free throw% splits of 56.5/38.5/73.8. His per-game averages of 11.2 points and 5.7 rebounds, along with solid defense, mean he may find himself in a more expanded role in Detroit before long.
1. Duncan Robinson, Forward- Miami Heat (TS% 66.5): The second-year player from Michigan became a starter with the Heat after a disappointing rookie season on the strength of his deadly shooting. Averaging 12.6 points and 3.4 rebounds, he has field goal%/three-point%/free throw% splits of 45.7/43.8/88.9. Of his 9.1 field goal attempts per game, a whopping 8.1 of them come from behind the three-point line. He is a weapon from seemingly anywhere on the floor, as evidenced by his average field goal distance of 23.3 feet. As the best shooter in the NBA this season at the tender age of 25, he may stick around a while.