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 NBASavant.com.
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