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Layups: The Importance of Your PG’s Shooting Ability

Posted by Neil Paine on July 9, 2009

Over at, Jon Nichols has a very interesting study on the impact a point guard's 3-point shooting ability has on his offense's efficiency. The data shows a very clear pattern -- the better the long-range ability of the PG on the floor, the better the offense performs. Obviously the arrow of causality can run the opposite direction as well (the PG could be shooting better because better offensive teammates could be getting him clearer looks at the basket from downtown), but I think it's still cool to see the data affirm that having a PG you can't sag off of makes your offense more dangerous.

One Response to “Layups: The Importance of Your PG’s Shooting Ability”

  1. Jason J Says:

    I wonder if this has shifted some with wing players taking on so much of the playmaking responsibilities. If Kobe has the ball and is creating offense it's very important for Fisher to be able to hit open threes. When Reggie Miller (or Hersey Hawkins or Steve Smith or Byron Scott) was running off screens looking to get a quick shot off, did Mark Jackson really need to be a dead-eye from the outside? Obviously it wouldn't have hurt for him to be as good a shooter as possible, but the game plan wasn't to hit Reggie in the pinch post and kick it back out to Jackson for the trey. Exactly the opposite really.

    When I think of the 80s and 90s, with some obvious exceptions like Jordan, Pippen, and Drexler, I don't recall a lot of wing players being significant playmakers. Now it's common for a 2 or a 3 to share a lot of the play-making responsibilities with the point guard. Bron, Bryant, Wade, Joe Johnson, Hedo, Steven Jackson, Brandon Roy, TMac, Vince... It's probably due to a combination of a generation of players growing up trying to emulate MJ (and now to emulate Bryant) and the change in hand-checking rules giving greater importance to the drive and kick game in general.