Shot Clock Watching

Question 1: Between Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis, who do you think takes a higher percentage of their shots with less than 10 seconds left on the shot clock?

A: Curry

Question 2: Which player (Curry or Ellis) shoots a higher eFG% with less than 10 seconds on the shot clock?

A: Ellis

Surprised? I kind of am.

(Note: The data are available at Unfortunately, they only give eFG%, not TS%, which would be even more useful.)

Here are the numbers:

Shot clock Curry Ellis
(sec) %FGA eFG% %FGA eFG%
<10 47% 51.0% 38% 57.7%
11 – 15 23% 61.6% 24% 43.3%
16 – 20 21% 64.3% 24% 49.6%
21+ 10% 33.3% 14% 49.3%

Conventional wisdom holds that very early (21+) and very late (<10) are bad shots. That is clearly the case for Curry. His worst eFG% are at either end. Ellis bucks conventional wisdom. In fact, his best shots, by far, appear to be with less than 10 seconds. What’s so surprising about this in my mind is that the excuse many Warriors fans give for Monta’s overall less-than-stellar shooting efficiency is that he is forced to carry the load on offense — and part of this is taking bad shots at the end of the shot clock.

In fact, what one should take away from this table is that A) Curry is the one who appears to be taking way too many late shots (is he the one who is really carrying the load?) and B) Ellis actually would appear to be more efficient when he is “the last hope”. It should be clear that Curry needs to take shots earlier in the possession, and that Ellis should be the one who gets the ball at the end of possessions. At least, that’s what the numbers are telling me. Like I said above, kind of surprising, right?

2 thoughts on “Shot Clock Watching”

  1. I’m sick of Monta. It’s not fun watching him anymore even if Fitz keeps saying he’s amazing with 24PPG. I want to see a real team, not this crap we’re seeing. That includes defense and ball movement. Sorry Monta.
    I really love Steph + Reggie. They’re awesome.

  2. Interesting stuff. Curry is taking half his shots with the clock winding down – this is probably because he’s the PG and when you don’t have anyone to go to in the post you end up with the ball in those situations. Maybe his shooting percentage is higher earlier in the possession because he’s only taking those shots on breaks or when he’s wide open – which is exactly when you want your PG taking shots. Would be interesting to see how this breaks down position by position in the NBA.

    Ellis’ numbers look terrible in this split – he’s basically only an above average shooter when the shot clock is winding down.

    Warriors have a lot of problems now though, so I don’t think Monta is the first guy to be pointing fingers at. If they could trade him for someone who would better suit this team – like an actual low-post presence – would probably make a big difference for the team. Imagine how much better the Warriors would look if you subbed Gasol for Ellis.

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