Apr 26, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (24) shoots over Atlanta Hawks forward DeMarre Carroll (5) during the second half in game four of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena. The Pacers defeated the Hawks 91-88. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Paul George Leads The NBA In Three Point Shots Made, Other Stat Notes

It’s nice to see him shoot well after that mid-season fiasco. He couldn’t hit a mid-range shot or any shot accurately. Those mid-range shots were generally terrible looks, too. But, he’s turned it up in the last four games, averaging 21.8 points, 11 rebounds and five assists over 39.5 minutes. He’s shooting 44 percent from the field and a lights out 50 percent at the three-point line on 6.5 attempts.

The three point shooting has been ridiculous. He leads in the NBA in three-point shots made during the playoffs. Yes, the whole league. The same Paul George that couldn’t make anything in March is tops in the league. Whether it’s running off a one or two person screen or spotting up from the corners, George has been Kyle Korver-esque.

He’s making 3.3 three-pointers per game. That ranks second in the NBA behind Mike Dunleavy. Second! He’s also making more per game than three-point marksmen Kyle Korver, Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard and JJ Redick.

He turns up the efficiency a lot higher in wins. In the two wins against Atlanta, he averaged 25.5 points on 55 percent shooting. He’s also shooting an insane 64 percent on seven attempts from behind the arc. How about in the two losses? It’s not good. 18.5 points, 31 percent shooting on 14 attempts. It gets a little weirder when you dive more into it. He has taken 18 free throws in the losses and six free throws in the wins. Getting to the free-throw line is an effective way to get easy buckets, so it’s weird that he’s shooting so little of them in wins but shooting a ton in losses.

Effective field-goal percent is my favorite way to check efficiency. Let’s use that. He has a 54.8 effective field-goal percentage in the playoffs, which is seventh for players who average at least 30 minutes per game and above a 20 percent usage rate. He’s ahead of post behemoths LaMarcus Aldridge, Dwight Howard and Al Jefferson in that category. Pretty good.

This is also incredible. Paul George wasn’t even in the top 25 in effective field-goal percentage for players who have at least a 20 percent usage rate and play at least 30 minutes per game during the regular season. He wasn’t in the top 35 either! Notable volume shooters like J.R. Smith, Jamal Crawford and Damian Lillard were more accurate in that category. It’s odd for a player who is 6-foot-9 with a seven-foot wingspan to shoot worse than players that are shorter than him. The top two players in that category are Dwight Howard and LeBron James — who are about 6-foot-9 or taller.

Here’s his shot chart during the playoffs.

Screenshot 2014-04-27 06.11.22

Hey, I see the color green at the rim. That’s nice. For a guy his size and length, he should finish over front-court players comfortably. But he doesn’t do that so well. During the regular season, George shot 58 percent at the restricted area. He took 306 shots there. To put that in perspective, Monta Ellis who is much smaller and can not rise up as high as Paul George, shoots 60 percent at the restricted area. Ellis took 448 shots there.

To add another angle, LeBron James shoots 78 percent at the restricted area. Kevin Durant shoots 77 percent there. But, that’s okay if George never gets to the point where he’s making every three out of four shots at the rim. 65 percent is a number I would like to see him reach.

He’s been good and enjoyable to watch so far. More enjoyable in Games 2 and 4, but enjoyable nonetheless. Let’s see if he can continue this scoring accuracy on Monday and through the playoffs.

Stats courtesy of NBA.com

Tags: Indiana Pacers Paul George

  • raylucas

    Good analysis. The reason for the low in the paint numbers in the playoffs seems to be because he doesn’t crash in like others. He’s expecting the contact call rather than ensuring the contact is made resulting in a call. If Paul figures that out, his game will shoot to another level. Go Pacers!

    • Ian

      I think Paul is not yet strong enough to take the beating inside and finish. He’s always had the knack for making acrobatic layups avoiding contact, but he gets very few and-ones compared to Lance because he lacks the strength to muscle the ball in while taking contact. Durant is taller and longer than George and has added muscle over his career while LeBron is obviously a tank. Ellis is so quick that he takes very little contact on drives to the rim. Finally Paul doesn’t have a low post game which he could use to get some high percentage looks in the paint as well.

  • Adam Best

    His PIE — Player Impact Estimate — for the playoffs is third. Only behind Aldridge and LeBron. Think that is the truest indicator of his overall value to the Pacers.

  • John Allen Reave

    Wait a sec. If he’s second behind Dunleavy, then how is he leading?

    • Jalen Bishop

      At the time of the article, the Bulls only played three games. Dunleavy made 12 threes in those three games. Pacers played four games and George hit 13 threes. Dunleavy hit 4.0 per game, George hit 3.3