Tag Archives: NBA Playoff

Greatest NBA playoff ‘pure shooters’ in the three-point era

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published multiple times weekly focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Larry Bird's photo at Conseco Fieldhouse, Indi...

Larry Bird (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Your team is down by one and has the ball with 10 seconds left. Who do you want to take the last shot?

Your team is up by two with five seconds remaining. Who do you want to get fouled and sink two free throws to ice the game?

Your team is down by three and needs a three-pointer to tie. Who do you want to shoot the three?

One final question: Who would you rate as the greatest “pure shooters” in the NBA playoffs during the three-point era?

I know, a lot of questions to answer. But here’s a little help. To try to answer the last question of the greatest “pure shooters” in the NBA playoffs in the three-point era, I established a few guidelines. First, a player had to have played in 40 or more playoff games in his career. Secondly, to qualify for the best “pure shooter” label, a player had to have a career playoff shooting percentage of .450 in field goals, .300 in three-point attempts, and a .850 free throw percentage.

Here are the players who qualified for the list (minimum of 40 shots attempted in each category to qualify)

Player, playoff games, FG pct/3-pt pct/FT pct

Larry Bird, 164, .472/.321/.890

Jeff Hornacek, 140, .470/.433/.886

Dirk Nowitzki, 128, .463/.380/.893

John Paxson, 119, .494/.369/.867

Steve Nash, 118, .473/.409/.899

Ray Allen, 113, .453/.415/.893

Joe Dumars, 112, .462/.358/.855

Ricky Pierce, 97, .466/.355/.866

Antonio Daniels, 80/.461/.353/.863

Hersey Hawkins, 74, .455/.396/.907

Chris Mullin, 71, .495/.409/.859

Kiki Vandeweghe, 68, .510/.345/.907

Mark Price, 47, .464/.337/.944

If we use these same criteria for this year’s playoffs, and drop the minimum attempts to 10, we have only two players who qualify as the best “pure shooters” in this year’s playoffs. They are:

Chris Paul, 5 games, .469/.389/.882

James Harden, 4 games, .500/.462/.871

What do you think?

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

2012 NBA Playoffs: Scoring 35 or more points at age 35+ in the playoffs

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published multiple times weekly focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Utah Jazz Kar...

Karl Malone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A handful of older players (age 35 or older) are on the rosters of the teams remaining in the NBA playoffs. In fact, a few of those players play predominant scoring roles for their teams, including Boston’s elder statesmen Kevin Garnett (he will turn 36 on May 19) and Ray Allen (age 36), and San Antonio’s Tim Duncan (he just turned 36 in April). Could any of these three (or any other 35+ player) light up the scoreboard with 35 or more points at age 35-plus in this year’s playoffs?

Karl Malone at age 36 and 273 days, is the oldest player to score 50 points in an NBA playoff game.

Here’s a look at the players who have scored 35 or more points at age 35 (or older) in the last 25 playoffs (since 1986 playoffs).

Most playoff points by player 35 years of age and older (age), team, date

50: Karl Malone (36) Utah, 4/22/2000

45: Michael Jordan (35) Chicago, 6/14/98

41: Michael Jordan (35) Chicago, 5/19/98

41: Reggie Miller (35) Indiana, 4/24/2001

39: Michael Jordan (35) Chicago, 4/24/98

38: Michael Jordan (35) Chicago, 4/29/98

37: Michael Jordan (35) Chicago, 6/5/98

36: Alex English (35) Denver, 4/30/89

35: Michael Jordan (35) Chicago, 5/3/98

35: Michael Jordan (35) Chicago, 5/29/98

35: Reggie Miller (35) Indiana, 4/28/2001

If we drop the point total down to 30 points in a playoff game, here’s a look at the players age 35+ who scored 30 points or more in the most playoff games in the last 25 years.

Most playoff games (1986-2011) with 30+ points at age 35+, Player(s)

14: Michael Jordan

6: Reggie Miller

5: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone

1: Ray Allen, Charles Barkley, Sam Cassell, Alex English, Eddie Johnson, Kevin McHale, Steve Nash, Clifford Robinson

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp