Prime Kobe and Prime T-Mac vs. Kawhi and PG13
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Baron Von Humongous
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:45 pm    Post subject:

LaLaLakeShow wrote:
Baron Von Humongous wrote:
Aeneas Hunter wrote:
Baron Von Humongous wrote:
Aeneas Hunter wrote:
Baron Von Humongous wrote:
Right, but that doesn't negate my comment. A lot of those contested 20-foot 2s he took over the course of his career would've been better shots from 25 feet regardless of whether it was the 1st Q or 4th Q. My guess is that if 25-year-old Kobe were in the NBA today that his shot chart would look more like James Harden's than vintage Michael Jordan's. The game has just evolved.


Maybe, but some guys just never become good three point shooters. It's not like Kobe didn't try. If I had to narrow down the problem to one thing, it would be that Kobe was not a spot-up shooter or a catch-and-shoot guy. His three point stats relative to other players make more sense when you take that into account. Maybe he could have developed a step-back three like Harden, but then Harden actually does not have a impressive shooting percentage even with the step-back.

Kobe was still a career 33% 3pt shooter even as his shooting cratered over his last three seasons post-injury. He was a career 40% shooter on long 2s - impressive, but still only worth 0.8 PPS to about 1 PPS on his 3PAs.

The big issue for Kobe was less one of accuracy than one of frequency - the man took an insane number of long 2s. Over the course of his career he attempted nearly 2,000 more long 2s than shots at the rim. 2,000! Insane! Kobe was one of the most anti-Moreyball great players, which makes what he accomplished even more impressive, imo. And it's not like those long 2s were easier shots for him either - he'd walk into triple teams and take fadeaway 22-foot jumpers like they were layups when he got in one of his many grooves.

So I think the guy chose those shots. Kobe's obviously a very intelligent, hyper-competitive guy who I think would adapt his game to be even better in this era if he was still physically capable. Because if he had taken 1,000 more 3s instead of those long 2s, I think he might've passed Malone on the all-time scoring list before he hung up his sneakers. Someone can check my math.


Sure, the career average is a little misleading. Still, Kobe averaged 38% only once in his career and had only two other seasons at 36%. His typical season was around 34.5%. That's better than his career average, but still well below the league average. If you factor in the extra distance, that's more or less consistent with a 40% rate on long twos, some of which are only 16 feet. While the numbers varied over time, the gap between his long twos and his threes tended to run around 5%.

Let me take another shot at articulating my premise. I freely admit that I have no research to prove this, but I think it makes intuitive sense. If you break down the stats on guys who shoot a high percentage on threes, they almost always have a gaudy percentage on catch-and-shoot threes. We have seen some of these stats kicked around on the board. Likewise, we have seen stats kicked around showing lower percentages for contested threes. This makes perfect sense, of course.

My point is that it wasn't Kobe's game to take catch-and-shoot threes. He would usually be the guy with the ball, and the defender would be nearby. So my premise is that Kobe's low percentage on threes, relative to other players, is not so much due to Kobe's ability to shoot threes as it is to the fact that Kobe did not have the sort of game that would maximize his three point shooting opportunities.

Data that granular isn't publicly available going back that far into Kobe's career so I have no way to verify your premise or not. What I can dispute - and already disputed in the quoted post you maybe skimmed rather than read closely - 40% on long 2s and shooting above 33% on 3s is in no way a wash. Shooting 50% on long 2s and 33% on 3s is a wash. Kobe never shot better than 43% from 16-23 feet in any season of his career.

But regardless, if your premise is correct - that Kobe was attempting many more off-the-dribble than C&S 3s - then his routine 34-35% 3P% is even more impressive and valuable to an offense.

Anyway, here's Kobe's 81 point game: https://youtube.com/watch?v=t45OXWk1m2M


Anyone who watched Kobe can tell you the majority of his 3 point attempts were off the dribble. Probably the vast majority. At the very least after holding the ball a few seconds and sizing his man up.
Other than Shaq Kicking it out of a double team who would be the one setting Kobe up for catch and shoot 3’s?

Pau and Odom...? Pretty good passers those two.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 1:00 pm    Post subject:

Baron Von Humongous wrote:
Data that granular isn't publicly available going back that far into Kobe's career so I have no way to verify your premise or not. What I can dispute - and already disputed in the quoted post you maybe skimmed rather than read closely - 40% on long 2s and shooting above 33% on 3s is in no way a wash. Shooting 50% on long 2s and 33% on 3s is a wash. Kobe never shot better than 43% from 16-23 feet in any season of his career.

But regardless, if your premise is correct - that Kobe was attempting many more off-the-dribble than C&S 3s - then his routine 34-35% 3P% is even more impressive and valuable to an offense.

Anyway, here's Kobe's 81 point game: https://youtube.com/watch?v=t45OXWk1m2M


I was making a different point. I was saying that 40% on long twos is consistent with 34.5% on threes as an expression of shooting percentages. In other words, you would not expect him to shoot 40% on the long twos if he took a step or two backwards.

As far as the impact on scoring goes, sure, if he had converted those long twos to threes, even at 34.5%, he would have scored more points. That's the premise of modern analytics. We see a lot more threes as a result, just as we see batters in baseball take a lot more pitches trying to draw walks.

The value of 34.5% is a more complicated question. It is one thing to say that 34.5% on threes is better than 40% on long twos. It is another thing to say that 34.5% on threes is valuable as a general matter, given that the league average tended to be around 35-36% for most of Kobe's career. I think it would be fair to say that this was not a strength of Kobe's game, though it was likely a net positive.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 1:01 pm    Post subject:

Baron Von Humongous wrote:
LaLaLakeShow wrote:
Baron Von Humongous wrote:
Aeneas Hunter wrote:
Baron Von Humongous wrote:
Aeneas Hunter wrote:
Baron Von Humongous wrote:
Right, but that doesn't negate my comment. A lot of those contested 20-foot 2s he took over the course of his career would've been better shots from 25 feet regardless of whether it was the 1st Q or 4th Q. My guess is that if 25-year-old Kobe were in the NBA today that his shot chart would look more like James Harden's than vintage Michael Jordan's. The game has just evolved.


Maybe, but some guys just never become good three point shooters. It's not like Kobe didn't try. If I had to narrow down the problem to one thing, it would be that Kobe was not a spot-up shooter or a catch-and-shoot guy. His three point stats relative to other players make more sense when you take that into account. Maybe he could have developed a step-back three like Harden, but then Harden actually does not have a impressive shooting percentage even with the step-back.

Kobe was still a career 33% 3pt shooter even as his shooting cratered over his last three seasons post-injury. He was a career 40% shooter on long 2s - impressive, but still only worth 0.8 PPS to about 1 PPS on his 3PAs.

The big issue for Kobe was less one of accuracy than one of frequency - the man took an insane number of long 2s. Over the course of his career he attempted nearly 2,000 more long 2s than shots at the rim. 2,000! Insane! Kobe was one of the most anti-Moreyball great players, which makes what he accomplished even more impressive, imo. And it's not like those long 2s were easier shots for him either - he'd walk into triple teams and take fadeaway 22-foot jumpers like they were layups when he got in one of his many grooves.

So I think the guy chose those shots. Kobe's obviously a very intelligent, hyper-competitive guy who I think would adapt his game to be even better in this era if he was still physically capable. Because if he had taken 1,000 more 3s instead of those long 2s, I think he might've passed Malone on the all-time scoring list before he hung up his sneakers. Someone can check my math.


Sure, the career average is a little misleading. Still, Kobe averaged 38% only once in his career and had only two other seasons at 36%. His typical season was around 34.5%. That's better than his career average, but still well below the league average. If you factor in the extra distance, that's more or less consistent with a 40% rate on long twos, some of which are only 16 feet. While the numbers varied over time, the gap between his long twos and his threes tended to run around 5%.

Let me take another shot at articulating my premise. I freely admit that I have no research to prove this, but I think it makes intuitive sense. If you break down the stats on guys who shoot a high percentage on threes, they almost always have a gaudy percentage on catch-and-shoot threes. We have seen some of these stats kicked around on the board. Likewise, we have seen stats kicked around showing lower percentages for contested threes. This makes perfect sense, of course.

My point is that it wasn't Kobe's game to take catch-and-shoot threes. He would usually be the guy with the ball, and the defender would be nearby. So my premise is that Kobe's low percentage on threes, relative to other players, is not so much due to Kobe's ability to shoot threes as it is to the fact that Kobe did not have the sort of game that would maximize his three point shooting opportunities.

Data that granular isn't publicly available going back that far into Kobe's career so I have no way to verify your premise or not. What I can dispute - and already disputed in the quoted post you maybe skimmed rather than read closely - 40% on long 2s and shooting above 33% on 3s is in no way a wash. Shooting 50% on long 2s and 33% on 3s is a wash. Kobe never shot better than 43% from 16-23 feet in any season of his career.

But regardless, if your premise is correct - that Kobe was attempting many more off-the-dribble than C&S 3s - then his routine 34-35% 3P% is even more impressive and valuable to an offense.

Anyway, here's Kobe's 81 point game: https://youtube.com/watch?v=t45OXWk1m2M


Anyone who watched Kobe can tell you the majority of his 3 point attempts were off the dribble. Probably the vast majority. At the very least after holding the ball a few seconds and sizing his man up.
Other than Shaq Kicking it out of a double team who would be the one setting Kobe up for catch and shoot 3’s?

Pau and Odom...? Pretty good passers those two.

They are, certainly. But how often game by game do you recall Kobe standing out on the perimeter waiting to be set up? Conversely, how many times do you remember Kobe creating his own shots, regardless of the type?
He was either attacking the rim off the dribble, pulling up for those long 2’s everyone now decries off the dribble or rising up for three off the dribble.
That’s how I remember it, anyway
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 2:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Prime Kobe and Prime T-Mac vs. Kawhi and PG13

nomoreshaq wrote:
of course none of these players ever played with each other (or not yet) but who do you think would be a more dominant two-way duo? overwhelmingly i think kobe/t-mac but i'm biased. anyone have any interesting thoughts?


Defensively, KL and PG13 has the edge because T-Mac wasn't great defensively. But the edge wouldn't be much in this hyped up fantasy pay per view match, because T-Mac would be up for it. He always turned up his efforts against Kobe.

Offensively, it's not even close. PG13 for the longest time made me SMH. I thought he had the ball handling and the height like T-Mac, but he has tunnel vision and has always been a lightweight scorer. Last year was the first time he blew up and went past 25 pts. So I'm not even sure the Clippers are getting this new PG13, or if they'll get the career average PG13 next year.

Anyway, Kobe and Tmac destroys them. End of story.
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Baron Von Humongous
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 3:22 pm    Post subject:

^ Kobe no doubt shot a lot of 3s off the bounce, but I'd be curious to see if the data backs up what we remember or not.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 3:30 pm    Post subject:

Aeneas Hunter wrote:
Baron Von Humongous wrote:
Data that granular isn't publicly available going back that far into Kobe's career so I have no way to verify your premise or not. What I can dispute - and already disputed in the quoted post you maybe skimmed rather than read closely - 40% on long 2s and shooting above 33% on 3s is in no way a wash. Shooting 50% on long 2s and 33% on 3s is a wash. Kobe never shot better than 43% from 16-23 feet in any season of his career.

But regardless, if your premise is correct - that Kobe was attempting many more off-the-dribble than C&S 3s - then his routine 34-35% 3P% is even more impressive and valuable to an offense.

Anyway, here's Kobe's 81 point game: https://youtube.com/watch?v=t45OXWk1m2M


I was making a different point. I was saying that 40% on long twos is consistent with 34.5% on threes as an expression of shooting percentages. In other words, you would not expect him to shoot 40% on the long twos if he took a step or two backwards.

As far as the impact on scoring goes, sure, if he had converted those long twos to threes, even at 34.5%, he would have scored more points. That's the premise of modern analytics. We see a lot more threes as a result, just as we see batters in baseball take a lot more pitches trying to draw walks.

The value of 34.5% is a more complicated question. It is one thing to say that 34.5% on threes is better than 40% on long twos. It is another thing to say that 34.5% on threes is valuable as a general matter, given that the league average tended to be around 35-36% for most of Kobe's career. I think it would be fair to say that this was not a strength of Kobe's game, though it was likely a net positive.

There's value in being a threat to take unassisted 3s on volume even at only 34.5%, especially when combined with all of Kobe's other offensive talents. That gravity would've opened up the floor even more and would've fittingly resulted in Kobe taking fewer heavily contested pull-up two point jumpers.

Now I'm writing fanfic in my head about Kobe/Pau/Odom running a version of Golden State's offense with Lamar at center and Kobe/Pau becoming volume 3pt shooters.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 3:41 pm    Post subject:

Baron Von Humongous wrote:
^ Kobe no doubt shot a lot of 3s off the bounce, but I'd be curious to see if the data backs up what we remember or not.


Yeah, same here
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 3:52 pm    Post subject:

LaLaLakeShow wrote:
Baron Von Humongous wrote:
LaLaLakeShow wrote:
Baron Von Humongous wrote:
kikanga wrote:
Baron Von Humongous wrote:
Prime Kobe and prime T-Mac would need to shoot more 3s.


They are the opposite of Jerry West. West took shots from 3 point range (without a 3pt line giving an extra point) because it was easier for him to score 2 points there.
Defenses were different for Kobe and TMaC so it was better to shoot midrange shots to win games at that point in the NBA. But they both showed 3pt range late in games when it was needed. They had 2 motion shots because they elevated over defenders before their release. But I don't question their 3pt acumen at all.

No, those guys loved long 2s that should've been 3s.


Kobe Absolutely showed 3 point range late in games when needed

Right, but that doesn't negate my comment. A lot of those contested 20-foot 2s he took over the course of his career would've been better shots from 25 feet regardless of whether it was the 1st Q or 4th Q. My guess is that if 25-year-old Kobe were in the NBA today that his shot chart would look more like James Harden's than vintage Michael Jordan's. The game has just evolved.


Yes, you’re correct about that. Kobe would adapt as others have.


Kobe did adapt. He would have absolutely destroyed defenses if they didn’t get rid of the old illegal defense rule. Changing that rule changed everything about the way the game is played. If you gave Kobe single man coverage in his prime with open lanes to the hoop? Cmon.

As it is he still built a pretty successful career. In my mind he is the most versatile player to ever play the game.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 3:58 pm    Post subject:

1hu2ren3dui4 wrote:
LaLaLakeShow wrote:
Baron Von Humongous wrote:
LaLaLakeShow wrote:
Baron Von Humongous wrote:
kikanga wrote:
Baron Von Humongous wrote:
Prime Kobe and prime T-Mac would need to shoot more 3s.


They are the opposite of Jerry West. West took shots from 3 point range (without a 3pt line giving an extra point) because it was easier for him to score 2 points there.
Defenses were different for Kobe and TMaC so it was better to shoot midrange shots to win games at that point in the NBA. But they both showed 3pt range late in games when it was needed. They had 2 motion shots because they elevated over defenders before their release. But I don't question their 3pt acumen at all.

No, those guys loved long 2s that should've been 3s.


Kobe Absolutely showed 3 point range late in games when needed

Right, but that doesn't negate my comment. A lot of those contested 20-foot 2s he took over the course of his career would've been better shots from 25 feet regardless of whether it was the 1st Q or 4th Q. My guess is that if 25-year-old Kobe were in the NBA today that his shot chart would look more like James Harden's than vintage Michael Jordan's. The game has just evolved.


Yes, you’re correct about that. Kobe would adapt as others have.


Kobe did adapt. He would have absolutely destroyed defenses if they didn’t get rid of the old illegal defense rule. Changing that rule changed everything about the way the game is played. If you gave Kobe single man coverage in his prime with open lanes to the hoop? Cmon.

As it is he still built a pretty successful career. In my mind he is the most versatile player to ever play the game.


Great Post “Flawless Victory”
I bring that point up constantly to people trying to nitpick Kobe’s shooting percentages. Jordan never had to deal with that type of congestion. It’s a shame we couldn’t see them play under the same rules for the duration of their respective careers
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:35 pm    Post subject:

LonzoLegend2 wrote:
A rookie TMac was almost traded here for Eddie Jones before Del Harris nixed the deal and told West to go after broke down Glen Rice instead.

is this true?
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:38 pm    Post subject:

SuperboyReformed wrote:
LonzoLegend2 wrote:
A rookie TMac was almost traded here for Eddie Jones before Del Harris nixed the deal and told West to go after broke down Glen Rice instead.

is this true?


Yeah, apparently so. T-Mac was shaking his head on The Jump when he was told.
Dang, that would’ve been something to see. But hard to complain after living through a 3-Peat in Los Angeles. Things turned out pretty good 🙂
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:39 pm    Post subject:

LaLaLakeShow wrote:
SuperboyReformed wrote:
LonzoLegend2 wrote:
A rookie TMac was almost traded here for Eddie Jones before Del Harris nixed the deal and told West to go after broke down Glen Rice instead.

is this true?


Yeah, apparently so. T-Mac was shaking his head on The Jump when he was told.
Dang, that would’ve been something to see. But hard to complain after living through a 3-Peat in Los Angeles. Things turned out pretty good 🙂

Del Harris needs to be slapped once a day every day from now until his death.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:40 pm    Post subject:

Baron Von Humongous wrote:
LaLaLakeShow wrote:
SuperboyReformed wrote:
LonzoLegend2 wrote:
A rookie TMac was almost traded here for Eddie Jones before Del Harris nixed the deal and told West to go after broke down Glen Rice instead.

is this true?


Yeah, apparently so. T-Mac was shaking his head on The Jump when he was told.
Dang, that would’ve been something to see. But hard to complain after living through a 3-Peat in Los Angeles. Things turned out pretty good 🙂

Del Harris needs to be slapped once a day every day from now until his death.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:27 pm    Post subject:

Baron Von Humongous wrote:
kikanga wrote:
Baron Von Humongous wrote:
Prime Kobe and prime T-Mac would need to shoot more 3s.


They are the opposite of Jerry West. West took shots from 3 point range (without a 3pt line giving an extra point) because it was easier for him to score 2 points there.
Defenses were different for Kobe and TMaC so it was better to shoot midrange shots to win games at that point in the NBA. But they both showed 3pt range late in games when it was needed. They had 2 motion shots because they elevated over defenders before their release. But I don't question their 3pt acumen at all.

No, those guys loved long 2s that should've been 3s.


Couldn't flop your way to 3 free throw attempts back then like you can now. Mid range jumpers (specifically free throw line extended) was key in every Jordan and Kobe chip. That way they could still make the shot whether they were fouled or not.
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Last edited by kikanga on Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:29 pm    Post subject:

LaLaLakeShow wrote:
SuperboyReformed wrote:
LonzoLegend2 wrote:
A rookie TMac was almost traded here for Eddie Jones before Del Harris nixed the deal and told West to go after broke down Glen Rice instead.

is this true?


Yeah, apparently so. T-Mac was shaking his head on The Jump when he was told.
Dang, that would’ve been something to see. But hard to complain after living through a 3-Peat in Los Angeles. Things turned out pretty good 🙂

FRIGGIN DEL
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