Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Why Kobe's 48 Was Not Really That Big Of A Deal

Wow, Kobe scored 48 points in one game!!!

Oh, wait. He took 31 shots from the field and 13 from the free throw line. That's nearly half of the Lakers' field goals and more than half of their free throws. 

Just to compare (and just for fun), here's a little list of stats for you:

Kobe Bryant, SG, LAL (tonight): 18-31 FG (58%), 12-13 FT (92%), 0-3 3-pt FG (0%)(duh), 3-31 shots from 3-pt range (10%)
Jrue Holiday, PG, PHI (season): 44% FG, 90% FT, 38% 3-pt FG, 33% of shots are from 3-pt range
JJ Redick, SG, ORL (season): 44% FG, 93% FT, 36% 3-pt FG, 29% of shots are from 3-pt range
Rasual Butler, SF, TOR (season): 24% FG, 100% FT, 23% 3-pt FG, 70% of shots are from 3-pt range
Kevin Love, PF, MIN (season): 44% FG, 74% FT, 41% 3-pt FG, 30% of shots are from 3-pt range
DeAndre Jordan, C, LAC (season): 64% FG, 47% FT, no 3-pt shots

Now give each of those guys Kobe's shots from tonight (ignore the fact that different positions tend to draw more or less fouls and free throws):
Note: I created a new stat called JPoints because it's impossible to separate a player's 2-point FG% from his 3-point FG%. Sorry. Here's the JPoint totals for those 6 players:

Bryant: 44.5
Holiday: 41.6
Redick: 41.2
Butler: 32.4
Love: 40.2
Jordan: 45.8

Yes, you read that right. DeAndre Jordan would be likely to score the most points if he stayed out of foul trouble long enough to shoot 31 field goals. The problem with this group of guys (besides Jordan) is that they all shoot a lot of three-points. That negatively affects them when you take the 3-point FG% into account as a whole and don't consider that games like Kobe's 48-pointer usually happen on hot shooting nights. Case in point: 58% from the field tonight compared to 44% for the season and 45% for his career.

So yes, DeAndre Jordan on an average night has the potential to score more points than Kobe Bryant on a night where his shooting percentage is 130% higher than normal. That's some ESPN Sports Science shit for you right there. And now that we know what to look for, here are your JPoints All-Stars as projected for a 31 field goal, 13 free throw night - and remember, Kobe had a score of 44.5 and it was 130% better than his average. Did I already mention that?:
(FG% -- FT% -- 3-point FG% -- % of shots from 3-point range)

DeAndre Jordan, C, LAC: 64% - 47% - 0% - 0% - 45.8 JP
Lebron James, SF, MIA: 60% - 80% - 0% - 0% - 47.0 JP
Mario Chalmers, PG, MIA: 58% - 86% - 48% - 46% - 51.2 JP
Nick Collison, PF, OKC: 71% - 64% - 0% - 0% - 52.4 JP
Tyson Chandler, C, NYK: 73% - 79% - 0% - 0% - 55.62 JP
So the trend here is that the people who take the least 3-point shots have the highest score, right?
Well, Ray Allen is second in the NBA in three pointers made. Oh, and we have one more contestant.
Ray Allen, SG, BOS: 58% - 86% - 63% - 52% - 58.9 JP

So it's settled. Kobe is not "a top five player" or "the best" (looking at you guys, @Dredaddy34 and @DMarin23) - he's just a slightly above-average player who is coached by a man whose gameplan tonight was "Kobe is pissed off and shooting the ball really well, let's give him a shit-ton of shots." Sorry, Lakers fans. It's math and science. Well technically it's statistics and sports science, but whatever. You have been proven wrong.


PS: I don't particularly like Lebron at all, and I didn't write this blog to make the case that Lebron is better than Kobe. It just kind of worked out that way. And I thought this was a very fitting picture to close that last paragraph.


  1. this is dumb. no way are these other guys drawing those fouls to earn those free throws. and no way are they shooting that high a % if the defense focused on them like they focus on Kobe.

  2. Statistics is bull shit math everyone knows that.. You could easily add some other metric to completely change this whole thing if you were a Kobe fan. Just bc you are a pissed off hater doesnt mean u need to fool less mathematically inclined individuals into thinking kobe bryant sucks. Fact of the matter is, in his trade Kobe wins the top prize: championships. Your bull shit math, sir, is winning you no nobel prize's.

  3. Dude, your math is all wrong. Go back to school and come up with something that actually makes sense. 58% is not 130% better than 45%, are you fucking kidding me? lol

  4. I don't always read sports related articles, but when I do, I prefer to do that while crying and listening to Adele.

  5. 0% chance those other bums get themselves open for 31 shots and also lead their teams to a win