We continue ranking the Golden State Warriors’ best shooters.
If you missed it, check out Part 1.
10. David West
West, like Zaza Pachulia, is a valuable asset at the free-throw line. He hit 76% of his freebies and has hit 81% over his career. It’s been years since the team has had one big man in the rotation, let alone two, who don’t stress out Dubs’ fans at the line.
Unlike Pachulia, however, West is a very reliable midrange shooter. Almost half of his shots were beyond ten feet from the rim, and he hit them at a strong 47% rate.
Perhaps most impressive is his shooting from 16 feet beyond the basket, where he hit more than 51% of his shots. Even though most of these were open, catch-and-shoot jumpers, the efficiency here is remarkable. Over his last five seasons, West has consistently hit near 50% of his shots from this area.
West also hit three of the eight three-pointers he attempted this past season. Though the level of difficulty of his shots is low, he still hits them at a sneaky strong rate.
9. Draymond Green
Green is a difficult player to rank on this list because of his streakiness and high variability. Although his shooting numbers this year were not good, his performance last year, especially when Luke Walton was filling in as head coach, was quite decent for a power forward.
Draymond shot 70% from the free-throw line last year, a tiny bit above his career average. But where he really struggled was at the three-point line, where he hit only 30% of his attempts, compared to 38% the year before. Green, himself, has discussed issues with his shooting form this season — his shot can often look flat.
He avoids midrange shots almost entirely. Only 6% of his shots were between 10 feet from the basket and the three-point line, and he hit only 21% of them. Given the relative inefficiency of midrange jumpers and his ability to shoot from three-point range, his lack of midrange game is probably fine.
If I were to guess, Green’s true three-point ability is somewhere between his performance this year and his performance the year before. Nevertheless, he should focus on improving his shooting foremost this offseason. If he can hit 35% of his threes, it will force opponents to always keep a man on him and provide vital spacing for his teammates.
8. Shaun Livingston
Livingston doesn’t shoot threes, but his shooting in the midrange is nearly unmatched. His post-ups are Kobe-esque, using his size and footwork to hit a variety of silky-smooth shots. Almost all of these shots are incredibly difficult.
Although Livingston only hit 70% of his free throws this year, he hit 86% of them last year, and 79% of them over his career. Likely, he will regress to the mean next year.
Livingston’s shot chart is almost the direct inverse of Draymond Green’s. He attempts few close-range shots and almost no three-pointers, while shooting more than half of his shots in the 10- to 16-feet range. He hit 45% of his shots from this area last year, a very solid rate, and has done so for the last four years. In the area of 3- to 10-feet from the basket, Livingston hit an incredible 68% this past year.
Livingston may not space the floor as well as other guards in the league, but his midrange game is valuable to the Warriors. His ability to hit those patented fade-away jumpers is known league-wide.
7. Patrick McCaw
As a rookie last year, McCaw showed promise as a shooter. Many first-year players have trouble adjusting to the NBA three-point line and the speed of the game, but McCaw held up just fine.
McCaw was a good shooter in college, hitting 36% of his threes and 78% of his free throws. His DraftExpress profile notes, “he showed real potential [as an outside shooter] ... he’s particularly effective right now with his feet set, especially when he can hop into his shot off an extra pass. McCaw still has a lot of room to improve in this area, though, as he’s still very much on the streaky side at this point of his development.”
This year, McCaw hit 33% of his threes and 78% of his free throws. As he gets stronger physically (he’s still only 21!), I expect him to improve from long range. He likely will never be a feared marksman from range, but he could very well be an above-average shooter in the league as soon as next year.
6. Andre Iguodala
Iguodala may be streaky, but last year he quietly put up another good shooting season. His free-throw shooting massively improved: he shot 70% from the line after shooting 59% and 61% the two years before. If he can keep his free-throw percentage around 71%, his career average, he will be fine.
Iguodala hit 36% of his threes — his best since the 2011-2012 season. It was the fifth best rate on the team last year, behind Ian Clark, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry. Iguodala also shot very well in the area from 16 feet from the basket to the three-point line, sinking 54% of shots from there.
He might not always be reliable, especially when he’s dealing with health issues, but Iguodala is an above-average shooter, with buckets being just one of his many skills as the ultimate glue guy.
Part 3 to come.