Fantasy Basketball

The Art of the Mid-Range Game

Fantasy Basketball Chris Paul
Photo Credit: Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

The top 10 mid-range shooters in the NBA, by percentage, with a minimum of 75 makes:

1.       Serge Ibaka, PF|50.5% – A player who can block upwards of three shots per game and connect on 162 mid-range jumpers is a true diamond. Ibaka has occasionally incorporated the three-ball to his repertoire as well (20). He’s all catch-and-shoot with 90.1% of his makes being assisted.

2.       Chris Bosh, PF|50.2% – Since joining the Heat in 2010, 42.4% of Bosh’s buckets have come from the mid-range. Given that he’s shooting only 33.6% in the paint (non-restricted area), he’s wise to stick with his calling card 18-foot elbow jumper.

3.       Luke Ridnour, PG|49.8% – Ridnour is a rare breed in that he prefers the mid-range to the three-point line. In fact, his numbers beyond the arc have dipped precipitously the past two seasons (31%). His small stature and lack of explosive athleticism prevents him from finishing on the interior; the result is 400 attempts between the paint and the three.

4.       Steve Nash, PG|49.7% – Nash is efficient everywhere – when he gets on the floor—62.3% in the RA, 47.5% in the paint and 43.8% from distance. Of his 83 mid-range conversions, 81.9% are self-created looks.

5.       Chris Paul, PG|49.2% – The run on point guards continues with CP3, whose peripherals combine a touch of Ridnour with a splash of Nash. Like Ridnour, Paul gravitates to the mid-range J before the three-pointer to the tune of 307:227. Like Nash, 81.5% of his makes come off the dribble; to the surprise of no one.

6.       Patrick Patterson, PF|48.5% – Back to power forwards we shall go with the oft-overlooked Patterson. The former Kentucky Wildcat is the master of the pick and pop (95.5% AST), knocking down 111 mid-range jumpers compared to only 116 conversions five-feet and in. Also boasting 50 three-point makes on his resume, Patterson is a matchup nightmare.

7.       Dirk Nowitzki, PF|48.1% – Old reliable would never miss an opportunity to crash this list. Nowitzki has 206 mid-range makes in just 52 games (277 in 2011-2012). His portfolio is balanced with 63.1% the result of an assist and 36.9% off isolation.  It should be noted that his activity in the paint has all but disappeared following knee surgery (1.25 FG/game).

8.       Jason Smith, PF|48% – Smith, one of the more underrated glue guys in the NBA, makes his hay on post defense and his aptitude on the catch-and-shoot (pick and pop). 204 of his 341 total field goal attempts have come in the mid-range. He hasn’t played a game since February 26th due to a torn labrum.

9.       Marc Gasol, C|47.9% – Our first true center. Shooting just 43.2% in the paint (non-RA) at 7’1, it’s fortunate that Gasol is quite effective in the high post. He has 154 mid-range J’s on his ledger, most of which catch nothing but the bottom of the net.  Additionally, Gasol is facilitator supreme, creating easy hoops for his mates with regularity (4 APG).

10.   Tony Parker, PG|47.8%- Despite lack of a pure distance stroke, Parker epitomizes the pick and roll point guard. When he doesn’t get to the rim (59.7% eight-feet and in), he’s made 162 jumpers in his new comfort territory in 65 games played. Parker shot 39.8% from mid-range last year; he’s still improving, and that’s a frightful reality for defensive game plans league wide.

Breakdown:

  • 5 PF, 4 PG, 1 C
  • 6 on +.500 teams
  • 8 Western Conference members

Others worth noting:

Kawhi Leonard shot 49.1% but his 56 makes didn’t qualify; Marreese Speights has connected on 118 mid-range jumpers in 18 minutes per game; J.J. Redick was the top qualifying shooting guard at 44.1%; in terms of quantity, LaMarcus Aldridge led the way with 312 (42.8%), followed by DeMar DeRozan at 258 (40.8%) and Carmelo Anthony at 256 (44.6%).

*All data provided from NBA Stats

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