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BBR Mailbag: Highest Percentage of Shots Being 3-Pointers

Posted by Neil Paine on November 8, 2010

On Saturday, Nathan wrote this to us:

"Through five games, James Posey has 20 FGA, 18 of which are 3PA, making for a staggering 90% rate of 3PA to FGA. Even though Posey went for a 70% clip last season, I see very little in his play (or being involved in a Jim O'Brien system) to suggest he shouldn't shatter that number this year. I was wondering either what the top 3PA to FGA ratios were..."

Among players who, like Posey, took at least 4 field-goal attempts per team game, here are the guys who saw the biggest proportion of their shots come from behind the 3-point arc:

Player Year Age Team G MP FGA 3PA 3PA/FGA
James Posey 2011 34 IND 5 85 20 18 90.0%
James Jones 2011 30 MIA 7 187 49 43 87.8%
Damon Jones 2008 31 CLE 67 1336 363 276 76.0%
Damon Jones 2006 29 CLE 82 2089 491 371 75.6%
Kyle Korver 2005 23 PHI 82 2667 759 558 73.5%
James Posey 2006 29 MIA 67 1914 395 290 73.4%
Steve Novak 2009 25 LAC 71 1161 396 286 72.2%
Dan Majerle 2000 34 MIA 69 2308 422 304 72.0%
Damon Jones 2005 28 MIA 82 2576 726 521 71.8%
Dee Brown 1999 30 TOR 49 1377 495 349 70.5%
Steve Blake 2011 30 LAL 7 133 37 26 70.3%
James Posey 2010 33 NOH 77 1731 345 242 70.1%
Walter McCarty 2004 29 BOS 77 1900 523 366 70.0%
Keith Bogans 2008 27 ORL 82 2198 588 409 69.6%
Chuck Person 1998 33 SAS 61 1455 398 276 69.3%
Channing Frye 2011 27 PHO 6 153 35 24 68.6%
Dan Majerle 1999 33 MIA 48 1624 298 203 68.1%
Rudy Fernandez 2011 25 POR 6 111 37 25 67.6%
Brent Barry 2007 35 SAS 75 1631 425 287 67.5%
James Posey 2008 31 BOS 74 1821 414 279 67.4%
Keith Bogans 2009 28 TOT 65 1272 324 218 67.3%
Dan Majerle 1998 32 MIA 72 1928 439 295 67.2%
Shane Battier 2009 30 HOU 60 2031 354 237 66.9%
Quentin Richardson 2011 30 ORL 5 116 33 22 66.7%
Hedo Turkoglu 2011 31 PHO 6 160 47 31 66.0%
Jason Kidd 2011 37 DAL 5 170 38 25 65.8%
Chuck Person 1996 31 SAS 80 2131 705 463 65.7%
Damon Jones 2007 30 CLE 60 1173 355 231 65.1%
Voshon Lenard 1997 23 MIA 73 2111 684 442 64.6%
Charlie Ward 2003 32 NYK 66 1465 414 267 64.5%
Quentin Richardson 2010 29 MIA 76 2082 561 358 63.8%
Kyle Korver 2004 22 PHI 74 882 327 207 63.3%
Rudy Fernandez 2009 23 POR 78 1993 630 398 63.2%
Joe Dumars 1999 35 DET 38 1116 350 221 63.1%
Rudy Fernandez 2010 24 POR 62 1441 423 266 62.9%

I need to point out that regression to the mean will almost certainly bring down some of these astronomical 2011 rates, but even so, if Posey can stay above 76% he will definitely have a shot at breaking Damon Jones' "record".

Of course, 3-point attempts are far more prevalent now than they were when the shot was first introduced, so you could argue that Posey has a built-in advantage over players from the past. Which players had the highest 3PA/FGA rate relative to the league average?

Player Year Age Team G MP FGA 3PA 3PA/FGA LgAvg +/- Avg
James Posey 2011 34 IND 5 85 20 18 90.0% 22.2% 67.8%
James Jones 2011 30 MIA 7 187 49 43 87.8% 22.2% 65.6%
Dan Majerle 2000 34 MIA 69 2308 422 304 72.0% 16.7% 55.3%
Damon Jones 2006 29 CLE 82 2089 491 371 75.6% 20.2% 55.3%
Kyle Korver 2005 23 PHI 82 2667 759 558 73.5% 19.6% 53.9%
Damon Jones 2008 31 CLE 67 1336 363 276 76.0% 22.2% 53.8%
Dee Brown 1999 30 TOR 49 1377 495 349 70.5% 16.8% 53.7%
Joe Hassett 1982 26 GSW 68 787 382 214 56.0% 2.6% 53.4%
Chuck Person 1998 33 SAS 61 1455 398 276 69.3% 15.9% 53.4%
James Posey 2006 29 MIA 67 1914 395 290 73.4% 20.2% 53.2%
Damon Jones 2005 28 MIA 82 2576 726 521 71.8% 19.6% 52.2%
Dan Majerle 1999 33 MIA 48 1624 298 203 68.1% 16.8% 51.3%
Walter McCarty 2004 29 BOS 77 1900 523 366 70.0% 18.7% 51.3%
Dan Majerle 1998 32 MIA 72 1928 439 295 67.2% 15.9% 51.2%
Steve Novak 2009 25 LAC 71 1161 396 286 72.2% 22.4% 49.8%
Steve Blake 2011 30 LAL 7 133 37 26 70.3% 22.2% 48.1%
James Posey 2010 33 NOH 77 1731 345 242 70.1% 22.2% 47.9%
Keith Bogans 2008 27 ORL 82 2198 588 409 69.6% 22.2% 47.3%
Craig Hodges 1990 29 CHI 63 1055 331 181 54.7% 7.6% 47.1%
Channing Frye 2011 27 PHO 6 153 35 24 68.6% 22.2% 46.4%
Charlie Ward 2003 32 NYK 66 1465 414 267 64.5% 18.2% 46.3%
Joe Dumars 1999 35 DET 38 1116 350 221 63.1% 16.8% 46.3%
Brent Barry 2007 35 SAS 75 1631 425 287 67.5% 21.3% 46.3%
Jaren Jackson 2000 32 SAS 81 1691 488 306 62.7% 16.7% 46.0%
Chuck Person 1996 31 SAS 80 2131 705 463 65.7% 20.0% 45.7%
Rudy Fernandez 2011 25 POR 6 111 37 25 67.6% 22.2% 45.4%
James Posey 2008 31 BOS 74 1821 414 279 67.4% 22.2% 45.2%
Keith Bogans 2009 28 TOT 65 1272 324 218 67.3% 22.4% 44.9%
Jud Buechler 1999 30 DET 50 1056 240 148 61.7% 16.8% 44.8%
Kyle Korver 2004 22 PHI 74 882 327 207 63.3% 18.7% 44.6%
Shane Battier 2009 30 HOU 60 2031 354 237 66.9% 22.4% 44.6%
Quentin Richardson 2011 30 ORL 5 116 33 22 66.7% 22.2% 44.5%
Damon Jones 2007 30 CLE 60 1173 355 231 65.1% 21.3% 43.8%
Hedo Turkoglu 2011 31 PHO 6 160 47 31 66.0% 22.2% 43.8%
Trent Tucker 1989 29 NYK 81 1824 579 296 51.1% 7.4% 43.8%

Relative to average, Posey is still #1, but the season he's gunning for here is Thunder Dan Majerle's 2000 campaign. Keep jacking up those triples, James!

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2 Responses to “BBR Mailbag: Highest Percentage of Shots Being 3-Pointers”

  1. Jason J Says:

    Neil - I'd be interested to see the top guys in the 3 pointers shot per FGA AND free throws shot per FGA weighted season to season. I'm not sure how that would be determined since you'd need to define what is a high percentage of 3s and what is a high percentage of free throws. Arbitrary cut-offs like 4+ threes w/ 8+ FTAs are hugely dominated by player seasons from the last 6 years (and Allen Iverson):

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/tiny.cgi?id=r4rtD

    I'd like to know how much is due to the simple change in play style that calls for more three pointers overall, how much is just specific players happen to play that way, and how much is due to the rule change that says, "If a guy has his hand on your hip at the three point line, that's a foul." Where it used to say, "If a guy has his hand on your hip at the three point line, tough tacos."

  2. Shawn Says:

    Joe Hassett had more three point attempts than all but four teams, including the Jazz and Lakers combined. In 800 minutes.