Small Numbers

ESPN's Daily Dime proclaim's Allen Iverson's Saturday performance the day's worst:

Was Iverson bad? Not exactly. Was he good enough? No way. His 7-for-20 shooting (0-for-3 on 3s) was not what Denver needed in such a big game.

Here's a question: Why does Iverson ever have games where he puts up three treys? The guy is an okay three point shooter -- he sinks the NBA three 31 percent of the time, which is a heck of a lot better than most people can do -- but though this is close, it's distinctly below the break even point. Score three points on 31 percent of your possessions and you'll rack up an offensive efficiency of 93 points per hundred possessions -- terrible. Teams can easily afford to give him that shot all day. This is, I think, the sort of thing where looking at the numbers really does matter. Watching games, the difference between a 31 percent three point shooter and a 37 percent three point shooter isn't going to be obvious. Over the long run, though, the 31 percent shooter is probably hurting his team while the 37 percent shooter is almost certainly helping. By eyeball, though, these are both guys who hit about one shot in three.