Earlier today, I put together a quick analysis of Courtney Lee and the trade in which the Memphis Grizzlies sent him to the Charlotte Hornets. The piece included a graph of wings who had played with the Grizzlies over the history of their franchise, charting each player by their three-point percentage and their Defensive Box Plus-Minus to get an idea of their “3-and-D-ness.” In reply to that piece I received this tweet:
@HickoryHigh Like the idea of graphing 3-and-Dness. Have you done this for the league as a whole?
— Kevin Pelton (@kpelton) February 17, 2016
When Kevin Pelton makes a suggestion for further exploration, one does not say no. So, here it is, 3-and-D-ness charted for the 2015-16 season. The graph includes all non-centers who have played at least 500 minutes this season and averaged at least 2.0 three-point attempts per 36 minutes. The team icons makes it a little tough to judge, but the size of each point is the player’s three-point attempts per 36.
If you’re like me, the first thing that jumps out is Kawhi Freaking Leonard. There are elite three-point shooters and there are elite defenders. This season at least, he’s really the only one who can lay claim to being both. There are a few other interesting tidbits here. For example, Kelly Olynyk finds himself rich in 3-and-D-ness despite playing more of a frontcourt position. Since I didn’t limit this player set to just wings you can also see point guards like Stephen Curry and Kyle Lowry. Also, the ridiculous wealth and depth of the San Antonio Spurs and the Golden State Warriors. Besides the insane performance of Kawhi Leonard, they have a combined eight players who are above average in both the three-point shooting and defensive metrics.
I also thoroughly enjoyed the scavenger hunt for 3-and-no-D players like J.J. Redick and Doug McDermott, as well as the other side of that coin, D-but-no-3 players like Josh Smith and Justise Winslow. And of course, poor Derrick Williams, headlining the No-3-No-D quadrant.
Have fun. Play around. Ask questions. Share with your friends. Let us know what you find!