King of the Point Guard Hill: Part 2 – Scoring

In case you missed the first the first part of this, you can head on over to http://baxterandfriends.net/king-of-the-point-guard-hill-part-1-methodology-passing/ and read up on who are the best passers in the NBA.

So, we have now come to scoring. For some, this part really helped their case in being named the best point guard in the NBA. For others, well, it was a pretty ugly sight. Scoring is an integral part in the NBA. Last time, we looked at how these guys created for others and now we are going to see who can create for themselves. From catch and shoot to driving, we cover it all.

Stephon Marbury

Starbury was no stranger to getting buckets.

We will first look at the methodology I am using, then take a look at the stats, and we will finish with some analysis and breakdown of these 24 men. So, you can skip the boring stuff or you can read it. The choice is yours and yours alone! On to the stats!

Methodology

Overall, I used 10 different stat categories. These categories are:

  • Points per game. This gives us a nice totality of how many points are scored. The number can be deceiving, but this is why we have the other categories.
  • Drive Points per game. How many points are scored a game where a player is driving to the basket.
  • Drive shot percentage. The percentage a player shoots on drive situations.
  • Catch and shoot points per game. How many points a game a player scores where he catches the ball and immediately shoots, without making too many dribbles or basketball moves.
  • Catch and shoot percentage. The percentage a player shoots in and catch and shoot situations.
  • Pull up points per game. How many points per game a player scores where he picks up his dribble to shoot.
  • Pull up points per game percentage. The percentage a player shoots in pull up situations.
  • Effective field goal percentage. A lovely stat that weighs shots accordingly, 3 the hardest and 1 the easiest, and gives a players overall percentage from the three different types of shots.
  • Free throw attempts per game.
  • Free throw percentage.

Using all of these, we can make a formula that not only takes into account how many points these guys are scoring, but also how efficiently they are doing it. This is major as both volume and efficiency will be taken into account. Although it is great to score, it is also great to score efficiently. You may also notice that I left out the 3. This is on purpose. A 3 point shot is accounted for in all of these stats. So it will be there naturally and I saw no reason to include it as a stand alone stat when it is naturally occurring in the base stats I am using.

Derrick Rose Colored Jersey And Black and White Background

Rose will hopefully be healthy next year. Interesting to see where he falls in this ranking next year.

The Big Table of Stats

Player Name
Points Per Game
Drive PPG
Drive %
Catch and Shoot PPG
C&S %
Pull Up PPG
Pull Up %
eFG%
Free Throw Attemps per game
FT %
Chris Paul
19.1
3.3
52.2%
1.8
42.9%
8
43.4%
51.1%
5.6
.855%
John Wall
19.3
4
49.5%
2.2
41.9%
6.6
34%
47.2%
4.8
.805
Ty Lawson
17.6
5.6
50.7%
2
35.9%
4.9
37%
47.5%
6.5
.798%
Kendall Marshall
8
2.1
46.5
3.2
40.8%
1.9
33.9%
49%
0.7
.528%
Ricky Rubio
9.5
3.6
42.3%
1.7
34.3%
1.5
29%
41.3%
3.5
.802%
Stephen Curry
23.9
4.2
51.6%
4.1
48.9%
11
43.6%
56.4%
4.5
.885%
Brandon Jennings
15.5
3
36.9%
2.1
33.1%
6.4
34.9%
44.1%
4
.751%
Kyle Lowry
18
4.1
50%
4.1
43.7%
4.7
32.2%
51.2%
4.9
.807%
Kyrie Irving
20.8
4.6
46.7%
3.1
35.6%
7.9
40.6%
48%
4.8
.737%
Russell Westbrook
21.8
4.3
39.2%
1.2
31.7%
7.7
38.1%
48%
6.4
.826%
Goran Dragic
20.3
5.3
51.6%
2.8
43.1%
5
40.1%
56.1%
5.5
.760%
Mike Conley
17.2
4.8
48.6%
3.1
36.2%
4.8
41.3%
50%
3.8
.815%
Michael Carter Williams
16.7
5.8
37.8%
1.7
28.8%
3
33.9%
43.1%
5.2
.703%
Isiah Thomas
20.4
5.6
51.6%
2.9
41.2%
6.5
39.3%
51.3%
5.7
.850%
Kemba Walker
17.7
3.8
38.9%
3
36.3%
6
36.4%
44.1%
4.6
.837%
Jeff Teague
16.5
5.6
42.1%
1.5
33.1%
3.5
37%
47.6%
4.8
.846%
Tony Parker
16.7
6.3
52.7%
1.5
40
4.2
44.5%
51.3%
3.6
.811%
Damian Lillard
20.7
5.6
40.4%
4.5
42.6%
5.9
38.4%
50.8%
5.2
.871%
Jose Calderon
11.4
0.7
47.2%
5.8
44.8%
3.5
42.3%
58.4%
0.8
.825%
Eric Bledsoe
17.7
5.9
52.9%
1.6
35.3%
4.8
39.6%
52.2%
5.5
.855%
Rajon Rondo
11.7
4.4
41.9%
1
29.4%
3.7
37.6%
44%
2.2
.627%
Trey Burke
12.8
1.9
37.2%
4.5
36.6%
4
35.1%
44.2%
1.6
.903
Deron Williams
14.3
3.2
49.7%
4
45.8%
3.9
39.6%
51.8%
3.4
.801%
Jameer Nelson
12.1
3
49.1%
2.8
33.9%
4.1
32.4%
48.5%
1.6
.857

Well, that is a ton to look at! Lets break down a few of these into a few subcategories so we can get an idea of what we are looking at before we rank them.

Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry can simply shoot from anywhere.

The Ugly

Rajon Rondo, Michael Carter-Williams, Ricky Rubio, and Brandon Jennings… you guys just can’t shoot. This is not as problematic for Rondo and Rubio since they are not scorers and don’t take a large percentage of shots. However, Jennings and MCW are atrocious and should refrain from shooting. These two are the very definition of volume scorers. Low efficiency, and just a detriment to the team. This is about as ugly as stats as we are going to find. Yuck.

We have seen the future of MCW and it looks ugly.

Elite Drivers

Tony Parker and Eric Bledsoe are simply the two best driving point guards in the game. The stats don’t lie. These men score more WITH higher efficiency than any of the other point guards. It’s great to analyze play styles between these two. Tony Parker uses finesse, while Bledsoe is a bully on his way to the rim. Still, these two men cannot be stopped when they lower their heads and drive. Just ask Lebron.

Eric Bledsoe

Bledsoe was a bully even backing up Chris Paul in LA.

Off-ball Masters

Jose Calderon is the best off the ball point guard. His catch and shoot scoring and percentage fair better than anyone else. Which is an extremely handy skill. Even if he doesn’t have the ball, you have to watch him because he will kill you if you leave him open. Other catch and shoot masters are Deron Williams, Damian Lillard (remember the playoffs?), Kyle Lowry, and Stephen Curry. Curry is literally millimeters behind Calderon. This is especially impressive considering Curry is elite in almost every other category as well. Seriously, who is leaving Curry open anyways!!!???

Folks, THIS is what a catch and shoot is!

Stop and Pop

The Pull up shot is one of my favorites. Even though it is a low percentage shot, it is such a game changer when you hit it. It is usually a follow up to a shakedown and some circus dribbling. It is just a damn fun play. Stephen Curry, again, is the best pull up shooter in the game. Especially from 3. It makes no sense. Again, who is leaving this man open!?

Nasty.

Others are elite pull up shooters as well. We see Chris Paul is just barely behind Curry in overall Pull up stats. If you ever watch Chris play, you can clearly see he loves to dribble into open space and take the open mid-range pull up. One of the best shots in the game right now.  We see Kyrie Irving pull this same thing. Irving loves working this shot out of screens and double screens off of the pick and roll. One of his favorite plays since college. Tony Parker shows up again. Tony also loves to weave into mid range and closer to unleash his nasty pull up game. Isiah Thomas and Goran Dragic aren’t quite elite, but they are worth mentioning here as well.

Chris Paul

Perfect example of what Paul loves to do.

Goran Dragic Needs His Own Space

Goran Dragic doesn’t do anything elite, except for his effective field goal percentage, but he does every thing DAMN good. He needs mention of this. Him and Isiah Thomas both. Dragic is simply an amazing scoring point guard who is very well rounded. Him and Bledsoe are an unfair backcourt. Two points co-existing as one. But, Goran Dragic needed some special attention. One of my favorite players and the numbers show that he is special.

20090930-4228

Dragic working the mismatch.

Stephen Curry is Good

The categories in which Curry ranks in the top 5, out of 10: PPG, Drive %, C&S PPG, C&S %, Pull Up PPG, Pull up %, eFG%, and FT%. That leaves only two categories in which he is not top 5. Un. Fair.

The Rankings

Now that we have seen the stats and looked a little deeper, lets rank these guys. As I mentioned, I compiled this list by plugging all stats into the formula. This ranking reflects both volume and efficiency.

  1. Stephen Curry – Golden State Warriors
  2. Isiah Thomas – Sacramento Kings (Now with Phoenix Suns)
  3. Chris Paul – LA Clippers
  4. Damian Lillard – Portland Trailblazers
  5. Mike Conley – Memphis Grizzlies
  6. Goran Dragic – Phoenix Suns
  7. Eric Bledsoe – Eric Bledsoe
  8. Tony Park – San Antonio Spurs
  9. Kyle Lowry – Toronto Raptors
  10.  Kyrie Irving – Cleveland Cavaliers
  11.  Ty Lawson – Denver Nuggets
  12.  Jose Calderon – Dallas Mavericks (Now with the New York Knicks)
  13.  John Wall – Washington Wizards
  14.  Deron Williams – Brooklyn Nets
  15.  Russell Westbrook – OKC Thunder
  16.  Kemba Walker – Charlotte Hornets
  17.  Jeff Teague – Atlanta Hawks
  18.  Trey Burke – Utah Jazz
  19.  Jameer Nelson – Orlando Magic (Now with Dallas Mavericks)
  20.  Michael Carter-Williams – Philadelphia 76ers
  21.  Brandon Jennings – Detroit Pistons
  22.  Kendall Marshall – LA Lakers (Now with Milwaukee Bucks)
  23.  Rajon Rondo – Boston Celtics
  24.  Ricky Rubio – Minnesota Timberwolves

This is how Thomas ended up where he did.

 

Surprises

  • Who saw Isiah Thomas as the second best scoring point guard in the league? Not me. Like Dragic, he is a man who does everything DAMN good.
  • Did not see Conley ranked so high either. Just an efficient player.
  • Dragic, Bledsoe, and Thomas are in the top 7 and all on the same team. Phoenix has an absolute wealth of talent at PG. This leads me to believe they may be looking at life without Dragic. Stay tuned.
  • Kyrie Irving barely cracks the top 10, at 10. His reputation is bigger than what his stats are at the moment. An average shooter who happens to take a lot of shots.
  • Russell Westbrook!? Ladies and gentleman, this is what high volume and low percentage shooting will get you. Now can we talk him into letting Durant shoot the damn ball?
  • Ricky Rubio is a bad shooter, but I didn’t realize his low scoring and efficiency are this bad. He is going to have to hope his passing outweighs his atrocious shooting.
  • MCW is another young terrible shooter. Gaining favor in the rankings from the volume, but it is absolutely a detriment if he keeps this garbage up.
  • I was always low on Damian Lillard, but after doing this, I am going to give him his due. He is a great scorer. A very gifted scorer. I would place him ahead of Kyrie, who seems to get all of the praise.
  • I thought Wall would end up higher. However, he isn’t the greatest shooter yet and is mainly an average scorer. Still, he puts up 19 a game. If he refines his shot, he could easily move into top 5 territory. He is on the cusp.

John Wall

Almost, John Wall! Almost!

 

So there it is everybody. The scoring rankings. Next week, I am tying everything up and we are going to rank these guys overall.

Let me know what you think about the rankings so far and debate, or praise, me if you want. Hope you enjoyed and see you soon!

And for good measure, Stephen Curry…

 

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