Shooting Guards and Field Goal Percentage
In the NBA, games are won by shooting the ball well, which makes sense. The more times your team’s players get the ball in the hoop, the more points are scored. And the more points scored, the more games won. Obviously, it is a little more complicated than that in reality, given how important defense is. But field goal percentage should be a solid indicator of games won. Field goal percentage is as simple as made shots divided by shot attempts. Once we discover if field goal percentage indicates team success, we should then examine how teams can choose players in the draft with higher field goal percentages; better shooters. We will be focusing on shooting guards, as they are the players who shoot unassisted the most. To start, a scatterplot searching for the correlation between winning percentage of NBA teams so far in 2012-2013, and the NBA team field goal percentages. Win%
There is a fairly strong positive correlation, as can be seen from the scatterplot. The correlation coefficient, or R, should be examined to confirm what the eye test tells us. R = .638
.638 shows a fairly strong positive correlation, as it is close to 1. It is clear that a higher field goal percentage means your team has a much better shot at finishing with a good winning percentage, although it is not a perfect rule. With this knowledge, one would assume that teams should attempt to draft players who will shoot high field goal percentages. Obviously, teams do attempt to do this. Are there certain physical characteristics that predict field goal percentage, and thus NBA success? For the sake of this study, the focus will be on shooting guards. The players at the shooting guard position shoot more in isolation plays than players at any other position in the NBA. Shots out of isolation are unassisted, which means that their chances at going through the hoop are almost...