Last week I threw together a post poking around into the fairly common case of Kobe Bryant taking an inordinate number of shots while the Lakers lose. Basically I found that the Lakers had a Win% of 0.737 over the past 3 seasons, but that their Win% drops to 0.533 in games where Kobe took more than 25 shots.
I don’t want to offend Lakers’ fans by singling out Kobe, so I put together some more numbers to spread the Haterade around. Over the past three seasons, there have been 75 instances where a player attempted more than 30 shots in a single game. This list includes multiple appearances by LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki, Zach Randolph, Monta Ellis, Joe Johnson and Al Jefferson. The collective Win% of the teams in those games was 0.467.
Before you all start screaming “Duh, Monta Ellis and the Warriors!” I made a rudimentary attempt to put those numbers in context. For each of those 75 instances I took the Win/Loss record of that player’s team for the season in which that game occurred. I also included the Win/Loss Record multiple times for each occurrence. For example, if Dwyane Wade had two games during the 2008-2009 season in which he attempted 30 shots, I included the Heat’s 43 and 39 record twice in my figuring of the overall Win%.
The overall Win% of those teams, over those seasons was 0.589. So there was a significantly smaller likelihood of those teams winning a game in which a player attempted 30 or more shots. Now this may be a classis example of “correlation does not prove causation.” Perhaps those teams were facing an early deficit and so individuals were gunning trying to get their teams back into the game. Injuries to key teammates could be a factor as well.
Regardless, this appears to add some weight to the argument that a balanced scoring attack is the most beneficial offensive set up to a team’s chances of winning.