NBA.com’s John Schuhmann gets you ready for the 2017-18 season with a key stat for each team in the league and shows you why it matters. Today, we look at the Indiana Pacers, who didn’t make the most of their efficiency from beyond the arc.
The Indiana Pacers were the only team last season that ranked in the top five in 3-point percentage and in the bottom five in the percentage of their shots that were threes.
The Pacers shot well, but not often enough, from beyond the arc.
Last season, the league played at its fastest pace (98.7 possessions per team per 48 minutes) in the last 24 years. And it took 64 percent of its shots, the highest rate in the 21 years for which we have shot location data, from the restricted area and 3-point range, the two areas that yield the most points per attempt.
The Pacers went in the opposite direction. They were one of only five teams that played slower and took a lower percentage of their shots from the restricted area and 3-point range last season than they did the season before.
League-wide effective field goal percentage is highest in the first six seconds of the shot clock. And in regard to the percentage of their shots that came in the first six seconds, the Pacers went from above average in 2015-16 to below average in ’16-17.
They were already below average in regard to the percentage of their shots that came at the basket or beyond the arc. And with a drop last season, the Pacers had the league’s second worst shot-selection profile, as only the Pistons took a lower percentage of their shots from the restricted area or 3-point range.
Myles Turner was one of 13 players who shot better than 70 percent on at least 200 attempts in the restricted area. But he took more mid-range shots (337) than restricted-area shots (296). The latter (1.4 points per attempt) were worth much more than the former (0.9).
Among 16 players who attempted at least 400 catch-and-shoot jumpers last season, Turner (46.3 percent) had the lowest effective field goal percentage on those shots. For the league as a whole, 78 percent of catch-and-shoot jumpers were 3-point attempts. For Turner, that ratio was only 27 percent.
The Pacers did see the biggest increase in 3PA/FGA from the regular season to the playoffs, when they took 33 percent of their shots from beyond the arc. But that was still just the seventh highest rate in the postseason, and they still didn’t get to the basket very much. Only 27 percent of their shots came in the restricted area and only 60 percent of their shots came from the restricted area or 3-point range. Both of those rates ranked last in the postseason.
Paul George is gone and Turner is now the de-facto franchise player. As they rebuild around the 21-year-old, the Pacers would do well to adjust their shot selection.