When a team gets the ball with just a few ticks left in a given quarter, there’s no risk in launching a buzzer beater from beyond half court. The team either gets a free three points or the score remains the same.But that’s not the case for the player faced with actually taking the shot. There’s a good chance he misfires, and so his field goal percentage is likely to take a hit.
Lately, field goal percentage has been gained traction among basketball observers. Field goal percentage is the sport’s most basic measure of efficiency, and efficiency is the axis upon which sports’ statistical revolution spins.
For good reason, talent evaluators rate a player who scores 20 points on 12 shots more highly than one who nets 20 points in 16 attempts.
I don’t know this for a fact. But I do know that players do this a lot. And at the third-quarter buzzer, it looked [sic] Maynor did it tonight. When Maynor had a chance to get up a halfcourt shot as time expired, he took a few extra tenths before releasing. He ended up sinking the shot after the buzzer. Sometimes players intentionally do that so they don’t damage their individual shooting percentage or the team’s. But when a player gets as good of a look as Maynor did, you would think he should throw it up regardless. Just things you think about in a 3-point loss.
Had he gotten it off in time and missed, Eric Maynor’s shooting percentage wouldn’t have been destroyed by a single failed attempt. But for most teams, the same player – usually the point guard, or a team’s top scorer – is called upon repeatedly for these buzzer beating opportunities. Over the course of the season those misses could amount to some statistical damage.
And any damage to a player’s field goal percentage could eventually effect his contract.
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