Best midrange shooting and post scoring big men?

Moderators: Clyde Frazier, Doctor MJ, trex_8063, PaulieWal, Quotatious, penbeast0

ceiling raiser
Assistant Coach
Posts: 3,887
And1: 3,266
Joined: Jan 27, 2013

Best midrange shooting and post scoring big men? 

Post#1 » by ceiling raiser » Thu Nov 25, 2021 9:48 pm

Inspired by 70sfan's responses in the narratives thread.

This seems to be where we left off:

Midrange Shooting (10ft-16ft and 16ft-3pt)
Dirk (high 40s-low 50s on decent volume)
---
Garnett/Malone (mid-high 40s on decent volume)
---
Hakeem (low-mid 40s on decent volume)

Post Scoring
This is a bit fuzzier, but it looks like 70sfan's data has something like:

Kareem
---
Hakeem
---
Shaq

I assume Dirk would be in the top tier?

This doesn't have to be just top 25 GOAT players, basically anybody who could be a number one option on a contender is fine - but maybe we should figure out the top 25 GOAT PF/C first.

3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
4. Bill Russell
5. Tim Duncan
6. Wilt Chamberlain
8. Shaquille O'Neal
9. Hakeem Olajuwon
11. Kevin Garnett
15. Dirk Nowitzki
16. Karl Malone
17. David Robinson
19. George Mikan
20. Moses Malone
21. Charles Barkley
25. Bob Pettit
Now that's the difference between first and last place.
Owly
Assistant Coach
Posts: 3,797
And1: 2,033
Joined: Mar 12, 2010

Re: Best midrange shooting and post scoring big men? 

Post#2 » by Owly » Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:19 pm

I'd say if midrange is the interest FT% gives you a solid baseline in terms of like-for-like pure shooting. Not perfect for from the field, and different players would weaponize it differently but, bar Mikan (iirc and underhand free throw shooter).

Fwiw, 1 option on a contender ... '04 Hamilton or if too off ball, '04 Billups were 1 option on a, iirc, pretty dominant in ultimate form (with Sheed) title winner. So team being at overall (not necessarily via O) just "contender" level leaves an arguably low bar.

Sikma, Smits and Okur come to mind. 90s Schrempf if considered a PF (his primary position in Indiana) though his usage peak is below even Sikma and Okur.
ceiling raiser
Assistant Coach
Posts: 3,887
And1: 3,266
Joined: Jan 27, 2013

Re: Best midrange shooting and post scoring big men? 

Post#3 » by ceiling raiser » Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:27 pm

Owly wrote:I'd say if midrange is the interest FT% gives you a solid baseline in terms of like-for-like pure shooting. Not perfect for from the field, and different players would weaponize it differently but, bar Mikan (iirc and underhand free throw shooter).

Fwiw, 1 option on a contender ... '04 Hamilton or if too off ball, '04 Billups were 1 option on a, iirc, pretty dominant in ultimate form (with Sheed) title winner. So team being at overall (not necessarily via O) just "contender" level leaves an arguably low bar.

Sikma, Smits and Okur come to mind. 90s Schrempf if considered a PF (his primary position in Indiana) though his usage peak is below even Sikma and Okur.

This is a good point. Maybe big men who were number one options on (1) teams that made multiple finals or (2) teams that won a title. Both include the 04 Pistons, but they're kind of an exception.

Could also just limit it to PF/C in the RealGM top 50 or top 100 all-time.
Now that's the difference between first and last place.
Cavsfansince84
General Manager
Posts: 9,440
And1: 6,885
Joined: Jun 13, 2017
   

Re: Best midrange shooting and post scoring big men? 

Post#4 » by Cavsfansince84 » Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:56 pm

Ewing belongs for midrange imo. As do some other guys who weren't necessarily top 40 players of all time.
70sFan
RealGM
Posts: 19,184
And1: 14,519
Joined: Aug 11, 2015
 

Re: Best midrange shooting and post scoring big men? 

Post#5 » by 70sFan » Thu Nov 25, 2021 11:15 pm

In terms of post play, here are the numbers I collected so far:

1993-94 Hakeem Olajuwon (35 games):

Boxscore stats:

42.7 mpg, 28.2 ppg, 12.0 rpg, 4.3 apg, 3.5 tov on 51.6 FG%, 78.6 FT% and 56.6 TS%

Stats from the post:

Overall: 17.7 ppg, 12.5 FGA, 6.2 FTA, 51.3 FG%, 58.1 TS% and 49.4% FTr
Left block: 13.0 ppg, 9.1 FGA, 4.7 FTA, 50.9 FG%, 58.1 TS% and 52.2% FTr
Right block: 4.7 ppg, 3.4 FGA, 1.4 FTA, 51.3 FG%, 57.9 FG%, 42.0% FTr

1971-79 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (33 games, incomplete):

Boxscore stats:

44.7 mpg, 31.2 ppg, 15.9 rpg, 4.6 apg, 3.3 tov on 53.7 FG%, 72.7 FT% and 57.1 TS%

Stats from the post (some estimates due to incomplete games):

Overall: 22.2 ppg, 16.4 FGA, 6.2 FTA, 52.8 FG%, 57.1 TS% and 37.9% FTr
Left block: 13.5 ppg, 9.7 FGA, 4.4 FTA, 51.7 FG%, 56.8 TS% and 45.1% FTr
Right block: 8.7 ppg, 6.6 FGA, 1.8 FTA, 54.4 FG%, 57.5 FG%, 27.3% FTr

1982-83 Moses Malone (22 games):

Boxscore stats:

41.0 mpg, 25.8 ppg, 14.5 rpg, 1.7 apg, 3.2 tov on 53.7 FG%, 69.4 FT% and 57.9 TS%

Stats from the post:

Overall: 11.7 ppg, 8.7 FGA, 4.1 FTA, 48.7 FG%, 53.9 TS% and 47.6% FTr
Left block: 9.0 ppg, 6.3 FGA, 3.1 FTA, 52.2 FG%, 56.9 TS% and 49.4% FTr
Right block: 2.7 ppg, 2.4 FGA, 1.0 FTA, 39.6 FG%, 45.8 FG%, 42.9% FTr

NOTE: Moses data will be updated when I track his 1981 games.

2000 Shaquille O'Neal (31 games):

Boxscore stats:

42.5 mpg, 30.0 ppg, 14.9 rpg, 3.0 apg, 2.6 tov on 56.2 FG%, 48.2 FT% and 55.9 TS%

Stats from the post (some estimates due to incomplete games):

Overall: 18.6 ppg, 15.3 FGA, 6.7 FTA, 50.4 FG%, 51.1 TS% and 43.6% FTr
Left block: 10.1 ppg, 7.8 FGA, 3.8 FTA, 52.9 FG%, 53.2 TS% and 48.8% FTr
Right block: 8.5 ppg, 7.5 FGA, 2.9 FTA, 47.8 FG%, 48.8 FG%, 38.2% FTr

NOTE: I will include 2001 games as well when I track them.


Keep in mind that I only included shooting fouls in my calculations, so any non-shooting foul in a bonus is not included in the calculation. Some FT data may be a bit off, as I decided to make estimations of FT efficiency instead of writing every single FT in the statsheet. They work quite well for the players we have data on though.

I'm going to collect similar tracking data for David Robinson, Wilt Chamberlain, Tim Duncan, Bill Walton, Nikola Jokic, Artis Gilmore and Joel Embiid (at very least). Jokic and Embiid calculations will help me understand how big of an error my stats have compared to official ones.
D.Brasco
General Manager
Posts: 8,414
And1: 6,792
Joined: Nov 17, 2006

Re: Best midrange shooting and post scoring big men? 

Post#6 » by D.Brasco » Thu Nov 25, 2021 11:51 pm

I don't think he extended quite out to midrange but Yao Ming had a pretty sweet shot especially for being 7'6".
Pelly24
Lead Assistant
Posts: 4,668
And1: 3,441
Joined: Aug 02, 2016
     

Re: Best midrange shooting and post scoring big men? 

Post#7 » by Pelly24 » Fri Nov 26, 2021 12:09 am

Jokic gotta be up there with anyone
penbeast0
Senior Mod - NBA Player Comparisons
Senior Mod - NBA Player Comparisons
Posts: 24,517
And1: 6,115
Joined: Aug 14, 2004
Location: South Florida
 

Re: Best midrange shooting and post scoring big men? 

Post#8 » by penbeast0 » Fri Nov 26, 2021 1:33 am

Owly wrote:I'd say if midrange is the interest FT% gives you a solid baseline in terms of like-for-like pure shooting. Not perfect for from the field, and different players would weaponize it differently but, bar Mikan (iirc and underhand free throw shooter).

Fwiw, 1 option on a contender ... '04 Hamilton or if too off ball, '04 Billups were 1 option on a, iirc, pretty dominant in ultimate form (with Sheed) title winner. So team being at overall (not necessarily via O) just "contender" level leaves an arguably low bar.

Sikma, Smits and Okur come to mind. 90s Schrempf if considered a PF (his primary position in Indiana) though his usage peak is below even Sikma and Okur.


Sikma wasn't as accurate as his spectacular FT shooting would have you believe. Maybe it's because he took an odd looking shot from clear behind his head (very hard to block) which he didn't do from the FT line. Okur was one of the early 3 point shooting centers. Smits, to me, always seemed more of a traditional inside scorer though he did face up more than most counting on his height to get his shot off.
“Most people use statistics like a drunk man uses a lamppost; more for support than illumination,” Andrew Lang.
User avatar
prolific passer
Rookie
Posts: 1,077
And1: 326
Joined: Mar 11, 2009

Re: Best midrange shooting and post scoring big men? 

Post#9 » by prolific passer » Fri Nov 26, 2021 1:58 am

The entire celtics front line of the 80s was pretty much like that.
Owly
Assistant Coach
Posts: 3,797
And1: 2,033
Joined: Mar 12, 2010

Re: Best midrange shooting and post scoring big men? 

Post#10 » by Owly » Fri Nov 26, 2021 5:26 pm

penbeast0 wrote:
Owly wrote:I'd say if midrange is the interest FT% gives you a solid baseline in terms of like-for-like pure shooting. Not perfect for from the field, and different players would weaponize it differently but, bar Mikan (iirc and underhand free throw shooter).

Fwiw, 1 option on a contender ... '04 Hamilton or if too off ball, '04 Billups were 1 option on a, iirc, pretty dominant in ultimate form (with Sheed) title winner. So team being at overall (not necessarily via O) just "contender" level leaves an arguably low bar.

Sikma, Smits and Okur come to mind. 90s Schrempf if considered a PF (his primary position in Indiana) though his usage peak is below even Sikma and Okur.


Sikma wasn't as accurate as his spectacular FT shooting would have you believe. Maybe it's because he took an odd looking shot from clear behind his head (very hard to block) which he didn't do from the FT line. Okur was one of the early 3 point shooting centers. Smits, to me, always seemed more of a traditional inside scorer though he did face up more than most counting on his height to get his shot off.

Sikma doesn't have to be as accurate as his FT% (better than Robertson, West, Jordan etc) to be notably good. I'd have to trust you that his odd release wasn't just out of the post, which I do, but I'd still want to see for myself (okay yeah that checks out). Regardless, though he extended his shot out to 3 when only him and Laimbeer were doing that among centers. After '89 the Barry handbook says he "has long been one of the league's most dangerous ouside-shooting big men" [though grading only A in shooting - perhaps in part due to a poor playoffs and diminished inside shooting). In summary, I take what you say on board, he's still a mention, imo.

Smits is, in a limited, late career sample, .433 for 10-16, .467 16-3pt - that's pretty good. Both are above median in a group of what I'd call noteworthy shooters (note: some like Smits are incomplete, and this is couple of years old so modern players aren't up to date)
The 10 either side from 10-16
are
Dell Curry
Nash
Mullin
Dumars
T Mills
Houston
Nowitzki
Abdul-Rauf
Terry
Rice
Smits
Curry
H Davis
J Jenkins
Redick
Paul
Towns
Calderon
Novak
Kev Johnson
Cassell

for 16 to 3 it's
Terry
Jordan
B Roberts
Otto Porter
D Collison
Kurt Thomas
Abdul-Rauf
Lue
Allen
Lee
Smits
K Thompson
Hamilton
Novak
PJ Brown
Fredette
Gordon
P Mills
Korver
Lillard
Aldridge
User avatar
henshao
Senior
Posts: 701
And1: 300
Joined: Jul 29, 2018

Re: Best midrange shooting and post scoring big men? 

Post#11 » by henshao » Fri Nov 26, 2021 5:53 pm

One guy who "time forgot" is Raef Lafrentz
User avatar
KobesScarf
Veteran
Posts: 2,719
And1: 564
Joined: Jul 17, 2016
 

Re: Best midrange shooting and post scoring big men? 

Post#12 » by KobesScarf » Fri Nov 26, 2021 5:54 pm

Wilt easily
User avatar
homecourtloss
General Manager
Posts: 8,455
And1: 13,592
Joined: Dec 29, 2012

Re: Best midrange shooting and post scoring big men? 

Post#13 » by homecourtloss » Fri Nov 26, 2021 6:21 pm

Pelly24 wrote:Jokic gotta be up there with anyone

He is.

Post scoring

2020: 57.0% FG, 86th percentile in points per possession (PPP)
2021: 55.6% FG, 73rd percentile in PPP
2020: 56.9% FG, 76th percentile in PPP

Midrange shooting

Career: 48.9% from 10-16ft, 46% 16-3pt
Last two seasons: 48.5% 10-16ft, 52.5% 16-3pt
OdomFan wrote:I'd rather have Ray Allen on my team [over Curry].


Hal14 wrote:Not saying I put McHale over Duncan, but the argument can be made.
penbeast0
Senior Mod - NBA Player Comparisons
Senior Mod - NBA Player Comparisons
Posts: 24,517
And1: 6,115
Joined: Aug 14, 2004
Location: South Florida
 

Re: Best midrange shooting and post scoring big men? 

Post#14 » by penbeast0 » Fri Nov 26, 2021 6:25 pm

I could be wrong on Smits, just working off memory rather than stats which is much less reliable.
“Most people use statistics like a drunk man uses a lamppost; more for support than illumination,” Andrew Lang.
User avatar
Texas Chuck
Senior Mod - Mavericks and NBA TnT Forum
Senior Mod - Mavericks and NBA TnT Forum
Posts: 71,405
And1: 68,875
Joined: May 19, 2012
Location: Purgatory
   

Re: Best midrange shooting and post scoring big men? 

Post#15 » by Texas Chuck » Fri Nov 26, 2021 6:28 pm

henshao wrote:One guy who "time forgot" is Raef Lafrentz


Raef wasn't a post scoring big though. He was much more a modern big who provided some shot blocking on defense and spacing on offense.
bondom34 wrote:This is stupid and you know this is stupid.
User avatar
kendogg
Starter
Posts: 2,129
And1: 428
Joined: Apr 08, 2001
Location: Cincinnati

Re: Best midrange shooting and post scoring big men? 

Post#16 » by kendogg » Fri Nov 26, 2021 6:44 pm

Wilt's post efficiency SKYROCKETED FAR BEYOND the levels of any player in history when he stopped taking so many fadeaways and passed the ball more. And he was pretty efficient even while taking them. I think he could have extended his range to mid-range, but there's very little reason for him to. The best midrange threats were also poor post threats due to lack of strength/size and/or post moves. If got the post presence, there's no reason to fire from further out.

I'm very confident in today's game Wilt would have a field day since he could be much more aggressive in the post. I would confidently say he's the best all around paint scorer in history, though Shaq has some arguments just because Wilt's case is a lot of projection since we don't have the advanced stats back then or a lot of video evidence of his play at all even, plus his game was different due to much more strict offensive foul rules, so he couldn't take advantage of his massive strength in many cases.

Midrange, I think Kareem belongs in the discussion as he often did not have a strength advantage over his opponent in the post and thus might struggle to back them down but he did have his famous hook which he used out to midrange often. He also had a midrange jumper that he used on occasion. We don't have the advanced stats for him due to era and I'm not sure what stats folks have unofficially collected but I think he is definitely in the conversation for best midrange center.

Return to Player Comparisons