Kobe’s Shot Selection, Driving Ability, and Shooting Ability Compared to MJ, Bron, and D-Wade.

The adjacent tables represent the ten best and ten worst 2-point shooting percentages among Kobe, MJ, Bron, and Wade.  I am using 2-point shooting percentage as a crude proxy for Shot Selection, Driving Ability, and Shooting Ability and it holds up pretty well. 

First, a look at the top ten table. Five of the ten were Michael Jordan’s prime years when his shooting ability and shot selection were improving and he still had incredible driving ability.  Four of the ten were Lebron; his driving ability overwhelmingly overshadows his suspect jump shooting and average to above average jump-shot selection. The remaining one was D-Wade of 2010-11.  No surprise there; Lebron helps Wade’s shot quality immensely with the attention he draws.  Notice no Kobe in the top ten.

Now for the more interesting bottom ten.  Bryant has five of the bottom ten seasons; his poor shot selection has overshadowed his great driving ability and good mid-range game.  All the rest of the bottom ten, including Kobe’s first two years in the league, are a result of youth, rustiness, or old age.  Lebron’s rookie year is on this list because he had no jump-shot at all and typical rookie shot selection.  Kobe’s first two years are this list because he has always had poor shot selection; combine that with a still-developing jump-shot and you have a poor 2-point shooting percentage.  Jordan’s seasons on this list are pretty obvious too.  You have his second year in the league, his comeback year in 1994-95, and his Wizards years of 2001-03.  His comeback years were marred by his still good, but declining jump-shot and his almost non-existent driving ability when he was with the Wizards.

In this stat, Kobe does not compare favorably with these guys, but I would still choose him over Lebron and Wade.

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