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End of Year Best and Worst Awards

With awards season coming up, I thought it would be fun to make up my own awards. Since this is the internet, of course I had to recognize the worst of the NBA as well. All stats are courtesy of the NBA.com stats page as of 4/6/15. Without further ado, I present to you my Best and Worst of the NBA:

NBA Jam You’re on Fire Award: This award goes to the best three-point shooter in the league. (min. 50 attempts)

Winner: Luke Babbitt, 51.3%

There are some very surprising names on this list. Who would have thunk that Luke Babbitt was the best three-point shooter in the league this year? Two scrap heap veterans also make the top five in Tayshaun Prince (45.5 percent) and Hedo Turkoglu. (44.5 percent) It’s shocking that Prince is shooting 46 percent from three – he was traded from Memphis because Grizzlies brass believed he couldn’t hit a shot to save his life. Here’s the top five:

3 pt leaders

Josh Smith Award Pt. 1: This award goes to the worst three-point shooter. (min. 50 attempts) 

Winner: Lance Stephenson, 16.0%

Born Ready takes this award down, barely edging out Gary Harris of Denver. The other guys on the list had the sense not to shoot as much as Lance, who has had a rough year in Charlotte. In case you were wondering, Josh Smith is shooting 31.5 percent from deep this year, the second-highest percentage he has ever shot in his 10 seasons in the league.

The bottom five:

worst_3_point_shooters

Sam Cassell Award: This award goes to the player that most resembles an alien life form shot the best percentage on clutch free throws. (min 15 attempts) Not only was Sam I Am one of the best clutch free throw shooters in the NBA, he also had a great celebratory clutch dance that Flip Saunders claims once cost the Wolves a championship.

Winner: Rudy Gay, 24/24 

Gay is one of the most polarizing players in the NBA, so add this to the list of things that he does great. Klay Thompson is also perfect at 15/15.

The top five:

Best Clutch Free Throws

Rajon Rondo Award: This award goes to the player that most resembles an alien life form shot the worst percentage on clutch free throws. (min 15 attempts) It’s probably not fair to call Rondo a bad clutch free throw shooter because he’s so poor at it in general (36 percent on the season) that he doesn’t play in the clutch at all.

Winner: Andre Drummond, 7/21

Drummond is the only player I’ve ever seen airball two free throws in a row:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnT0UH_Erjg

He doesn’t do much better in the clutch, hitting on only 33 percent of his shots as compared to 40 percent overall. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist‘s name is a surprising selection at #5 – he hits 70 percent of his free throws on the year but drops to 50 percent in clutch situations.

Tim Duncan didn’t make the top five of this list, but it’s worth noting that he’s shooting a shocking 19/34 on clutch free throws this year. Hawks players Al Horford and Paul Millsap were also in the bottom 20, shooting a combined 24/39.

The bottom five:

worst_free_throw_shooters

Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-Jacques Wamutombo Award: This award goes to the player who has given up the lowest field goal percentage on shots within five feet. (min. 200 attempts) And yes, that really is Dikembe’s full name..

Winner: Andrew Bogut, 49.8%

I should preface this award by stating that the stats page at NBA.com can be a little wonky with attributing individual defensive statistics correctly, but Bogut is well-deserving of this award. He has been anchoring a Warriors team that has the best defensive rating in the league. Some older veterans in Joel Anthony and Elton Brand also make this list, showing that defense at the rim isn’t necessarily all about athleticism.

The top five:

best_rim_protection

 

Oprah Winfrey Award: This award goes to the player who gives up the highest FG% within five feet. (min 200 attempts) Who wants a basket? You get a basket! You get a basket! Everybody gets a basket! 

Winner: Reggie Evans, 71.3%

Reggie Evans cares about one thing on the court, and that’s Reggie Evans‘s rebounding stats. When teammates are sad that a basket is scored, Reggie probably nods his head and thinks, “Everyone’s sad when Reggie doesn’t get a rebound.” The entire Minnesota team rounds out the rest of the list.

The bottom five:

worst_rim_protection

 

Anti-Analytics Award: This award goes to the player with the highest percentage on 15-19 foot jump shots. (min. 75 attempts)

Winner: Kevin Love, 57.6%

It’s a difficult question to answer what has gone out of style faster: The long two or Kevin Love. Love has been criticized a lot this year, but he’s still great at stretching the floor and is fantastic within the 15-19 ft range.

Rounding out the top five:

long_2_king

Josh Smith Award Pt. 2: This award goes to the player who has shot the lowest percentage on shots from 15-19 ft.

Winner: Michael Carter-Williams, 22.7%

MCW is putrid at these shots.. What makes it worse is that he takes a lot of them. The knock on MCW has always been that he can’t shoot. Luckily, he has been shooting less of these shots after he was traded to Milwaukee, where Jason Kidd has encouraged him to take more shots at the rim or out of post-ups. Josh Smith makes the list as one would expect, coming in at #5.

The bottom five:

worst_long_2

 

 

 

 

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