With no NBA basketball being played until Thursday, we figured we would use the time off to take a look at Cerebro Sports’ 5-Metric Suite to see which New Orleans Pelicans’ players perform the best in certain statistical categories.
For this installment, we look at three-point shooting prowess through the lens of Cerebro’s 3-Point Efficiency (3PE) metric. According to the website, 3PE is “a shooting metric that combines 3PT volume and efficiency to show the most lethal shooters.”
Think about it this way, if I only told you that Player A was a 100% three-point shooter and that Player B was a 40% three-point shooter, you would automatically assume that Player A is the better shooter, a logical assumption given the information available to you.
The problem with that inference is that it is missing an important piece of context. Specifically, how many threes are both of these players taking?
So what if I added this bit of information to my previous statement: Player A is a 100% three-point shooter on one three-point attempt this season, and Player B is a 40% three-point shooter on 500 attempts this season. Does this tidbit change your opinion? It should, because Player B has a far greater sample size that proves he can consistently bury threes, while for all we know, Player A might just be a one-hit wonder.
In summary, by combining efficiency and volume in its 3PE metric, Cerebro gives us a much more holistic view of a shooter’s abilities than just plain old three-point percentage.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s look at the 3PE scores of all the Pelicans who have played at least 20 NBA games this season.
It looks like we have a surprise up top, as many people (myself included) would have guessed that second-year sharpshooter Trey Murphy III would be the team’s leader in 3PE. After all, he’s a 39.7% three-point shooter on 5.6 attempts per game. But CJ McCollum narrowly edges him out here because he maintains similar efficiency (38.5%) on even more volume (7.4 attempts per game).
Another observation one can make from this measure is that the newly-acquired Josh Richardson provides this team with a much-needed jolt of shooting, as he’s currently the team’s third-best perimeter shooter based on 3PE.
Some people may be wondering what exactly these numbers mean. In particular, where do these players stand in comparison to the rest of the league? To answer this question, here is where everyone’s 3PE score ranks percentile-wise compared to the rest of the league (minimum 20 games played).
From this, it looks like we have two borderline elite shooters (McCollum and Murphy), two really good shooters (Richardson and Brandon Ingram), one solid one (Jose Alvarado), and a steep decline after that. This explains the shortcomings in shooting/spacing this team has been hindered by for much of the season.
If you enjoyed this statistical overview, be sure to keep checking the website this week for a look at how the team stacks up in Cerebro’s four other archetype metrics.