By The Numbers: Anthony Davis' shooting growth has stalled

By The Numbers: Anthony Davis' shooting growth has stalled

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - As the Pelicans approach the halfway point of the season with an increasingly disappointing product on the court, another bad trend is beginning to show that it is here to stay: Anthony Davis' shooting improvements of the past have reversed in a couple key categories. In preparing for his fourth year in New Orleans, Davis spent the offseason increasing his shooting range, including a focus on three-point shooting. It is natural that an increased volume of shots from further away would deteriorate the field goal percentage of a big man with a predisposition for scoring from close range but you be the judge of the numbers.

Using Pro Basketball Reference's expansive database, below is a compiled table of Davis' shooting statistics.

Shooting Distances by Year
Rookie (FG%)/(% of attempts) Second Third Fourth
Less than 3-feet

.713 (46.9%)

.704 (39.6%) .733 (37.4%) .709 (30.8%)
3-10 feet .435 (18.3%) .409 (20.7%) .440 (18.8%) .451 (18%)
10-16 feet .373 (12.3%) .431 (18%) .419 (19.8%) .301 (16.4%)
16 feet-3-pt. line .260 (21.6%) .368 (20.8%) .419 (30%) .451 (25.4%)
3-pt. shots .000 (0.9%) .222 (0.9%) .071 (1.2%) .278 (9.5%)

Davis is currently having his best season from 3-10 feet, 16 feet-3-pt. line and from 3-pt. range. While his 3-pt. shooting is still a work in progress, it should be noted that he has a long ways to go. Among fellow power forwards who have attempted as many 3-pt. shots (54) or more than Davis, he ranks 28th in percentage.

He is having his worst year in the restricted area around the rim and is taking the lowest percentage of shots from there. This is especially odd when considering the physicality required to make plays in this area and how his added body mass should only increase his effectiveness close to the basket. Furthermore, his 87.5% dunks are the lowest mark of his 4 years in the NBA.

It is also troubling how much his field goal percentage has dropped off from 10-16 feet, by the far the biggest drop-off in any range during his career.

An indication of the Pelicans' struggles as a whole is their reliance on Davis to have a good night from the field:

Rookie (FG%) Second Third Fourth
Wins .543 .546 .543 .553
Losses .503 .498 .527 .456
Difference .040 .048 .026 .097

The Pelicans are just 1-11 this season when Davis shoots under 47%. Last season, they were 14-11 on such nights.

On a positive note, Davis is once again playing his best basketball in the fourth quarter this season. He is shooting 55.9% from the field in the closing period, as opposed to 48.9% for the duration of the game. The +.070 difference is the greatest he has had since his rookie season (+.084.)

Through 37 games, he is on track to play in 71 contests, 3 more than he has ever played in one season.

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