The Golden State Warriors have taken their shooting to new extremes this season

The Golden State Warriors won last season’s championship thanks in large part to their amazing shooting skills. This season they have been even better — their 16-0 start is the best in NBA history — and they are doing it by taking those shooting skills to new extremes.

It is no secret that the Warriors like to shoot three-pointers, and this season 34.4% of all of their shots come from behind the 3-point arc, up from 30.7% a year ago. But they also like easy shots, and this season 29.5% of their shots come in the restricted area (the semi-circle near the basket that typically includes layups and dunks). This means that nearly two-thirds (64%) of their shots are threes, layups, or dunks. Just three years ago, only 51% of their shots fell into these categories.

This isn’t quite as extreme as the Houston Rockets, who have nearly eliminated mid-range jump shots from their vocabulary, and take 74% of their shots from three-point range or the restricted area, but the Warriors are trending in that direction.

Here is what that shot evolution looks like in the form of a heatmap, via

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