What makes the best scorer in the NBA? Is it simply the points? Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony are leading that battle, but LeBron James and James Harden aren’t too far behind, and James is the best or second best from that group, because shooting ratios and volume scoring also come into consideration.
The guys at The Wages of Wins Journal decided to come up with the following formula to determine who are the best shooters in the NBA, but what they really come up with are the best scorers in my opinion. They take the true shooting percentage of all the players who average at least 18 field goal attempts per 48 minutes (at least 400 minutes played), and come up with the not-so-surprising results:
Kevin Durant, who most consider to be the best offensive player in the NBA, leads the list. Durant is also leading the NBA in scoring with 28.6 points per game, which might lead him to win the scoring title for the fourth consecutive season. He’s followed by LeBron James, averaging 27.3 points per game this season but his effective field goal percentage (60.5%) is much better than Durant’s 56.6%. However, Durant is helped by his ability to get to the line, averaging 9.2 attempts per game to James’ 6.8 average.
A surprising name to see on the list is someone like O.J. Mayo, who has been having quite a lot of highs and lows this season for the Dallas Mavericks, but his 45.8% field goal percentage is tied for the best in his career. He’s averaging 17.3 points per game, but it’s hard to say the Mavs will benefit from him shooting more. Just like the Lakers are always on this borderline with Kobe Bryant, who does have a higher win share than Mayo’s, but the two have the same True Shooting ratio. Bryant simply shoots a whole of a lot more.
There are also the bad shooters of the NBA –
Kevin Love is on this list but really shouldn’t be due to breaking his hand twice this season. Some names are a bit surprising to watch, but most aren’t. The criticism directed at Raymond Felton and Monta Ellis seems to be true, as they’re among the worst in the NBA among the volume shooters. In the question of Monta Ellis or Brandon Jennings? Jennings is slightly better with a 50.5% true shooting ratio compared with Ellis’ 47.3%. One thing is certain – Michael Beasley, one of the more disappointing high picks in recent years, needs to stop shooting so much, making a horrible 39.5% of his field goal attempts for the Phoenix Suns, averaging only 10.1 points per game.