NBA Player Stats: Top 5 Players – Pull Up Shooting


This season added a new component to their stats page called Player Tracking which looks at NBA Player Stats not previously available, at least publicly.

Player tracking uses 6 cameras to track each player and the video collected provides details on things like ball and player movement, shows their efficiency and areas of the game previously unmeasured such as number of passes or rebound opportunities.

In Part 1 of this series I outlined Distance and Speed, Part 2 covered Touches and Possessions, Part 3 focused on Passing, Part 4 covered Defensive Impact, Part 5 focused on Rebounding, Part 6 on Drives, Part 7 on Catch and Shoot. In this installment we’ll look at the top 5 players who excel in Pull Up Shooting statistics.

Part 8: Pull Up Shooting

Definition of this category as per Pull Up Shooting: Any jump shot outside 10 feet where a player took 1 or more dribbles before shooting.

As per Players are ranked based on:

  • Pull Up Shots Total Points: Total points scored on pull up opportunities
  • Pull Up Shots Points Per Game: Points scored per game via pull up opportunities
  • Pull Up Shots Points Field Goal Attempts Per Game: Field goals attempted per game including two and three point attempts.
  • Pull Up Shots Points Field Goal Makes Per Game: Field goals made per game including two and three point makes.
  • Pull Up Shots Points Field Goal Percentage: Percentage of field goals made.
  • Pull Up Shots Points Three Point Attempts Per Game: Three point field goals attempted per game.
  • Pull Up Shots Points Three Point Attempts Per Game: Three point field goals made per game.
  • Pull Up Shots Points Three Point Field Goal Percentage: Three point field goals percent determined by attempts versus makes.
  • Pull Up Shots Points Effective Field Goal Percentage: Adjusted field goal percentage with 3 point makes being worth 1.5 times that of a 2 point make.

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Jun 14, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers in game five of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The top ten players in this category are all guards and mostly point guards at that. As expected the shooting guards breaking  into the upper tier are Houston Rockets James Harden and Golden State Warriors Klay Thompson.

Breaking down each of the sub categories we find a couple of similar players and a few surprises in the top 5 and some noticeable absences:

Total Pull Up Shots Top 5:

1. Chris Paul – 846

2. Stephen Curry – 674

3. Russell Westbrook – 584

4. James Harden – 560

5. Damian Lillard – 523

It’s actually not surprising the entire group is point guards except James Harden who handled the ball last season as much as most point guards. Westbrook is a natural on this list, perhaps more surprising is he doesn’t lead this sub category.

Pull Up Shots Points Per Game:

1. Chris Paul – 10.3

2. Russell Westbrook – 8.7

3. Stephen Curry 8.5

4. Kobe Bryant – 8.3

5 (Tied) Mo Williams and Kevin Durant  – 7.3

6. James Harden  7.0

Pull Up Shots Attempted, Made and FG%:

Given some players will find their way into the top 5 of these sub categories based on better efficiency on fewer attempts I chose to look at the top performers in analyzing their production. Notably there are some stand outs.

Kevin Durant Let’s use this stat as a reminder of just how great a shooter Durant is as he registers the highest field goal percent at 48% for pull up shots. If he’d played the full season odds are he’d be among the top 5 in many of the sub categories.

Chris Paul : He places second to Durant in FG% for pull up shots at 47.7%

Russell Westbrook: Not surprisingly Westbrook makes the most attempts via pull up shots. How many times have you seen him come down court stop on a dime and make a pull up shot? He ranks second in makes just behind Paul who again tops the leader board.

James Harden ranks among the leaders in all sub categories tied for 7th  in attempts, tied top 8 in makes and of the top 9 attempt makers he ranks 6th in FG%. His numbers are 7.6 attempts, 2.8 makes and 37.3% field goal %.

Ty Lawson may not be among the top 10 leaders, but his numbers are no less impressive with 6.2 attempts, 2.4 makes and 39.4% from the field.

Pull Up 3 Point Shots Attempted, Made and FG%:

Stephen Curry tops the sub category 3 point shots per game attempted with 4.4, made with 1.8 and of the top 10 players in those two categories he is second in field goal percent category with 42.3%.

Shockingly the player who takes the second most pull up three attempts is former Rocket Isaiah Canaan with 4.1 attempts. He makes 1.6 of those attempts since joining Philly for a 39.6%.

James Harden hits the list at third with 3.9 attempts and 1.4 makes for 35.6% field goal percent.

Again Kevin Durant lingers on the list with the best percentage of the top performers at 43.5% though he only attempts 2.3 times per game connecting on 1.o per game.

Effective Field Goal Percent (adjusted field goal percent with 3 pointers being worth 1.5 times more):

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Of the top performers in the previous 2 sub categories the top 5 in this sub category are:

1. Stephen Curry with 56.2%

2. Kevin Durant with 55.6%

3. Chris Paul with 53.4%

4. Isaiah Canaan with 52.8%

5. James Harden with 46.4%

Remarkably Klay Thompson doesn’t appear on any of the sub categories top 10 lists which points to his need to be passed the ball with him already in position to shoot.  Looking back at the finals perhaps this explains why the Cavaliers were able to control him to a certain extent as they kept him in motion  limiting the amount of times he could just go to a corner and spot up for a three point shot.

Next up in the series we’ll look at Shooting Efficiency Stats.

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Next: Player Stats - Shooting Efficiency

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